Saturday, October 27, 2007

Powerful Experiences

Our comfort zones prove to be the best for us. We feel secure, confident. Worry is often a bit far from our minds. And fear, ah yes fear, fear is an alien in THAT zone. And when we are taken away from our comfort zones, suddenly we panic. Do we?

In the beginning, I think we all anticipate the consequences of change. Should we call them consequences in the first place? Or would it be better to say that, often times change itself is what stirs up the fear in our hearts. I think so.

As the days go by, that fear in my heart has slowly started to subside. But it never goes away and I think it will never go away until I am finally home for good. It lingers but I am more capable of suppressing it now. This has been a learning experience for and will continue to be. Yes, everyday is a learning experience but bigger changes bring about greater learnings. It is scary but as we learn to accept, we grow.

Last Tuesday, we celebrated Mom's 2nd year in her heavenly dwelling. And also, as the days go by, we learn to let go a bit. Not completely. Never. Acceptance may be the word for it I suppose. And slowly we learn to accept the fact that no matter what anyone says or does, people we love who have left us, will ALWAYS be a part of us. Our emotions ride with the tide though. SOmetmes we're up, and sometimes, we're low.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

The First Of Many

2 weeks ago, I left the company I worked for for almost 3 1/2 years. Last week, as my family brought me to Manila to start training in my new job, I almost lost it. I thought I would never survive the following days.

I left on the bus at 9pm last night, headed home and arrived at around 3am. I came home and never felt better.

The week that was.

What consoled me was the promises of friends who said they would accompany me and be with me while I was away from home- which did not happen really. I found myself dealing with so many feelings and emotions and having to control them as well as I could.

I was booked in a huge hotel suite. I was alone. And during the first night, I could not sleep. For the first time in a very long time, I experienced fear in it's truest sense. Not the fear of a mother, not the fear of a wife, not the fear of a friend, not the fear of a daughter. It was the fear of a human being.

It was a powerful week. Many new people met. New work culture and environment. Away from the family. Alone. Feelings of excitement. Uncertainty. Hope. Anticipation. Anxiety.

During the last 2 days before coming home, I realized that I actually also enjoyed the being alone. It was just me.

Finishing that first week is only the beginning. I will be doing this for the next 5 weeks. Until then, I will look forward heading home every Friday. It is still a scary thought. But that day will arrive.

Until then.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On Growing Up

When I was seven, I was decided. I was going to be an astronaut. Yes, after visiting Cape Canaveral in Florida, I was dead set on pursuing a career in space aeronautics. Being weightless in air is what got me, I was so fascinated and intrigued by it. No, not once did the dangers of flying into space EVER cross my mind.

When I was 12, I was determined to be a lawyer. This was 3 years after my grandfather died. And the impact he had on my life was very apparent.

When I was in highschool, I wanted to be a psychologist. Here, my Mom's influence became very apparent. I was going to major in Psychology. And I did. I did not know yet where exactly that course would lead me, but Psychology was what I really wanted.

When in college all I wanted to be was a graduate.

Ask me now what I want to be "when I grow up."


That's what I want to be.

As we age, our experiences, the circumstances we were put through, the people we met along the way - everything that life has thrown us mix perfectly together and paints a beautiful picture of wisdom.

I'm sure we all, once in our lives, have encountered a wise person. Beautiful, isn't it? There is a sense of calm in them. Their words give you so much assurance, that things will be OK. In them you will see how time has tested them. They are the people we look for when everything seems so be going haywire. They inspire you to keep going, merely by listening to them makes you know in yourself, that yes, I will survive. They are the people who will leave a mark in your heart never to be erased. A mark you will forever be grateful for and will proudly carry in your heart forever.

This world needs more of these people.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I Fell In Love

Yes I did. I fell in love. It happened during the time the husband was gone.

Maybe it was because I lost my focus. I guess when the person you pay a lot of attention to is not in sight, you have a tendency to shift your attention to something or someone else. In my case, I ended up diverting my attention to 2 people, who in the past 5 days have allowed me to fall in love all over again.

It is a wonderful feeling. Memories and feelings of many years ago suddenly came rushing back, filling my heart with an overwhelming sense of happiness! And I am very sure that they felt exactly the same way.

For the first time in a long time, it was all about me. All the attention was on me as well. I felt special, I felt loved, I felt wanted, I felt appreciated. I loved the feeling! I could not help it. And to this very minute, I still close my eyes and savor that wonderful feeling!

I fell in love. They fell in love.

It's all about 'Mama' this time. The older one knew the absence of their father but the younger one was a bit confused. But everytime I would arrive home, they would happily jump around and then run to me to embrace me. The eyes of my older one would light up. The younger one would hug my leg. They would clamor for my attention waiting for me to listen to what they had to say about their day. They would be excited to sit down and listen to me read them books. They'd be excited to play with me. And for the first time in a long time, they made me feel so cool. We have been enjoying every single minute together.

I would just look at them and would just be very thankful that these boys were given to us. Heaven sent. For a minute it crossed my mind that I was not worthy.

I thought having the husband away would have been so bad. But as the days have gone by, I have actually enjoyed it. Maybe because as I said, my attention was completely diverted. This time, all the attention was not divided, it was all focused on just the children. And I am sure they loved it too. They looked for their Dad constantly during the first 2 days. The little one would run to the window and shout "Dada! and would peep to see if the car was in the driveway." The older one would ask me where his Dad was, I would explain to him and he would just say "oh men!" I think now they understand and are actually happy. They know their Dad would be back in a few days. To start another chapter of his life.

Before the my husband left on Sunday night, he said (and I will never forget), "This is for you and the boys babe."

And I fell in love all over again.

I'm glad I did. I'm glad this happened.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Talking to the pregnant partner of our friend who happens to be expecting a baby girl this December, she tells me she wants to throw a baby shower. I say, one of her close friends should organize it for her. And she further says she wants a baby shower so badly because it is a baby girl- because a baby girl is special. That if it were a boy, she didn't care if she had a baby shower or not- because it is JUST A BOY.

Oh my gosh I almost lost it after hearing her say that. She knows I have 2 boys. I could not control not raising my eyebrow though. And when I think about it now, I still get irritated.

I said a baby is special. Whether boy or girl. They are precious. And the more important thing to pray about is that the baby be normal and healthy.

It's sad that she has that kind of attitude towards the gender of her baby. What if it turned out to be a boy?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

It Isn't The Same

Yesterday, the house wasn't as "noisy" as when the hubby is around. The hubby wasn't around for rough play with the boys. Well, I did try to wrestle with them but it just didn't work. I was too scared to twist their arms or toss them too hard. We tries to shoot some baskets which the boys did enjoy, but I couldn't quite keep up with their energy.
So, I decided to do my "Mom thing." First, I sat them down and the 3 of us started to draw. And then we colored some pages on my 5 year old's coloring book. After that, I suggested I read them a book. They sat in peace and listened to me. And a little before dinner, we watched some TV.
I can keep up with "boys" stuff but ACTUALLY doing it - I don't think so. I have fun with the type of activities they love doing. I will for a while try to join their pace but to enjoy the whole activity with them I can't keep up. I think I am the type who will find a nice spot under the shade, sit down, take pictures and most probably shout this and that to them. Like "not too rough!" "Be careful you're brother is right behind you!" "Get down from that tree right now!" "Do not squish that bug!"
This is the first time in my whole life I will be away from the hubby for a straight 10 days and be left with the kiddos. I have been trying to enjoy some alone time for myself too. Am kinda trying to get the hang of it - after all, it's only been day2.
When hubby left on Sunday night - a rainy night, I felt a bit sad. So I decided to cheer myself up by watching FRIENDS. And last night, with the unusual "quietness" of the house, I decided to treat myself to a whole bar of AERO chocolate. Loved It.I know. But it did make me feel better. Happy food. Impulsive me.
I wonder what I will do tonight.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Things That Don't Kill You Only Make You Stronger

Together with the death of my Mom was my inheritance of a very huge debt. I owed my Mom's family a big amount. Right after her cremation, Mom's sisters and brothers invited me over to the family home to discuss certain issues. Seated on the dinner table we my 3 aunts and 2 uncles, in front of us were the ashes of my Mom.
The bomb was dropped. Since we had no money to pay for my Mom's medical treatment, Mom ended up borrowing a total of Php1.9M (almost over $40,000). And I was to inherit that. How was I going to pay? Instead of selling property and belongings, I was not to receive the yearly earning the family corporation would earn which it's members were entitled to. Computing it, I would have approximately 11-12 years to pay off all that. Things were still blurry. My Mom had just died 7 days before that and had been cremated a few hours before I was 2 months pregnant, so I said OK. They did lay all the cards down before me.
A few months after, it dawned upon me how painful this all was. Because Aunts would rub it in that I had to be thankful for the money lent to us, that I should be thankful they decided not to add on interest to it, that they did not have to make me sell things just to pay off the debt faster. But at the back of mind I just wanted to shout back for them to cool it, and back off. I could see their point. It was crystal clear. But give me a break! Allow me to mourn first! And the insurance my Mom was entitled to - which would have greatly helped me and my family because we hardly have any savings - I had to give so that my debt would be lessened.
ANYWAY. After that, they would pretty much just get in touch with me when they wanted to give me updates on my debt but other than that, Christmas and Birthdays and other occasions were spent in silence. Unlike before my Mom died when family really meant family. When I gave birth to my 2nd child, no one from my Mom's side even remembered. And I was hurting. But I told myself to let it go. But it still hurt, it never went away.
Until a month ago when I got to chat with my Aunt. Again, the money issues came up. It turned into a heated exchange of insights and opinions. She told me what I was going through was nothing compared to what she went through (she used to be on welfare - I don't know why she had to compare our situations) and that I SHOULD move on. I said I couldn't believe they would do this to their own family. And since they all met up in Chicago for my cousin's wedding, I am 101% sure that they talked about this incident among themselves.
Deep in me, I just felt really bad. I understood my obligation to pay but it would have been less painful if they did not have to rub it in or make me feel as if I owed them my life that if they weren't there, my Mom would not have been able to go for treatment and would have died earlier. It saddens me because my Mom was such a gentle soul. She loved my Aunts and Uncles and even my cousins. She was a giver. Never in the millions, but she was a giver. And I felt sore because I had no one to turn to. No siblings to bear the weight of the pain with me. Suddenly, the relatives who I was so sure of would take good care of me and my family now that my parents were gone just seemed like strangers to me. Only caring about getting the money I owed them.
In the months that followed, I kept my silence.
Yesterday, my Aunt sent me a message asking me to meet her and my uncle at his house this weekend. I had a feeling it had something to do with money and debt. But I still asked her why. And that's right, I was right. It took me a long time to compose my reply. I prayed before even typing it. And then I said it. I said I didn't want to talk about my debt because I felt it unnecessary, that I was trying to move on as told to me by my Aunt and that talking about it just made me yearn for my Mom and Dad all the more. I told her that I knew she would understand.
I still fell bad. But I do not want anger and bitterness to consume me. These are things I want thrown out the door, never to haunt me again. I need peace within me. And I figured that distancing myself for a while may help me heal. Not distancing while building anger inside. But just distancing so that such are no longer talked about and as I keep away,I get to appreciate the beauty of having things better left unsaid.
On to lighter things. After 1 1/2 years, hubby has a job again. I can't explain how happy I am. Everything happened pretty fast. And as he got confirmation from his new employer last week, he was informed that he needed to go down to Manila to train for 10days. So I am a single parent till then.
The only thing I despise about such arrangements is that I cannot sleep well through the night when hubby isn't around. Call it whatever you want to call it, but it's that way. I got a good 5 hours of very light sleep last night. My body aches, like it got tired of lying down last night. Terrible.