From an ineluctable kick in the bucket to living the previously unwanted dream life: the quaint story of Phil Dieulafoy

Since a part of the United States of America is troubled with the outcome of the election, I learned about someone whose story might warm your heart; for the others that are pleased with the results, this narrative will make you think you are living in the greatest times.

Phil Dieulafoy was born in 1986 in the west side of Paris, in France. He was an ordinary child. Throughout his childhood, he felt as though something was missing. The boy was not passionate about anything; his parents did not provide the support he expected them to. It led him to spend most of his time doing nothing productive.

“I never really had any solid footing.”

Phil was a remarkable student, but that did not help boost his morale. His friends made everything bearable and he was happy around them. Years passed, as Phil graduated middle and high school; still, he was not satisfied. The young man had unwillingly filled out college choices on this specific site run by the ministry of education and was waiting for a response from any of those schools.

One day, his parents were having an argument. Phil was flabbergasted to find he was not ‘planned’, but the result of careless acts. That is when Phil decided to end it all. He survived.

“I felt lost, more than ever before.”

After his recovery, Phil left home and went into foster care. It did not help. His biological parents had removed his college choices from the site. Phil had nothing to do and he was hopeless. Two years later, someone knocks on his door. The person claims he is there for Phil’s education, from a school named ECE. Not interested. He gets a lot of calls from the same guy, whom he hangs up on every time.

“I understood all they ever wanted to do was help, which is what I sought for so long.”

A week later, Phil is awaited by two guys in front of his house. They were from ECE, and after a brief talk, Phil broke down and acknowledged his sorrow. He was offered free tuition at ECE, which he accepted.

Unexpectedly, the school is great. Everyone he meets is thoughtful. Phil makes friends, who are supportive. He is introduced to the school’s associations, and the variety of what they provide. Still, Phil is clueless about what he is passionate about, until the day he learned about this academic stay, a six-month trip abroad every third-year student can do. In total 166 agreements amongst 137 different schools situated in 49 countries. Phil was thrilled, but the places in the most prestigious schools are limited. He reacted and strived for the best at school. When the time came, Phil had every opportunity opened. He chose Beijing as his destination.

“I cannot thank ECE enough.”

Beijing was more than what Phil ever imagined, which led him to stay in China and finish studying there. In 2011, after his graduation, he was spotted by a Tencent engineer in the subway. Surprisingly, Phil was the only one with a working telephone network. Turns out he had placed network sensors at each subway station he frequently used. That was enough for the guy to hire him.

As of today, Phil Dieulafoy has found his way. He kept his job but has a higher position. He found love and is happily married. If there is one message to remember, it is this one, from Phil himself:

I lost hope but I was miraculously saved. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. There is a time for everything.” 

By Nathan Lancman


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