For the last two weeks, I’ve been back home in Bicol. Initially, my intention was to only attend my best friend’s wedding but I ended up in a two-week long journey of finding myself in my hometown, Albay. It was a powerful spiritual experience to go back where you started.
At first I was too hesitant to stay and immerse myself back to the place where I grew up. Each time we went out, I made sure I was wearing sunnies for an inconspicuous incognito look. I didn’t want to meet anybody from my past. I wasn’t ready with a success story. In fact, I was wallowing in self pity the whole time because I was scared of how people will react to my “I’m a blogger” story. People back home were more about people going abroad or securing a high paying job as a basis of success. And I’m just a blogger. There are a lot of perks to being a blogger but not many people will understand.
Honestly, I haven’t had the success everyone back home was expecting of a girl who went to Manila to get a job. I’m on the verge of starting a business, but I’m still broke and jobless and I was scared of how people will react to that. There’s always this notion of being a big shot once you go to Manila to find work. People from the province expect you to come home with lots of cash.
I realized after 5 years of swearing I’ll wow people the minute I came back home, I was still a nobody. I’ve come a long way to radical self love, but thinking about this just makes me sad and frustrated with myself. My ego can’t stomach the fact that for 5 years, I’m still at the beginning, figuring out where I belong, what I’m supposed to do in my life, and if I’m cut out for success. Guess this sums up quarter life crisis, huh.
One day I woke up from this hapless self pitying and told myself there’s a reason I was invited to stay in my hometown for a long time. There’s a sweet serendipity about the universe placing me somewhere I haven’t planned. I admit, I’m usually hardheaded when it comes to these things that can potentially damage my ego, but what the heck, surrendering to the universe has always made me realize something. It’s like a key that unlocks a major piece of wisdom in my inner consciousness. And who knows, the clarity I get from this situation will help me make the most of this year, and my life.
My story starts with a left foot sprain accident just before I boarded the bus for Albay. Sprains usually happen when your foot steps on something you previously assumed was a flat surface, but isn’t. Over the course of embarrassment, my foot made for the most uncomfortable ride ever despite the fact that I was seated on the solo lane of a Cagsawa elite bus. And I forgot to bring a blanket. The bus I rode was a new unit so the air conditioning was profoundly cold. My foot hurt and I got imaginary frostbites. Did I mention the first weeks of January were in mercury retrograde? Wait, there’s more.
I was anxious how I’m going to wear heels on the wedding day when I could barely walk with my swollen foot. Good thing I arrived two days early so I still had time to recuperate. Btw, my heels were the only pair on sale left on the Parisian rack. It was the perfect size and it was perfect for me. I bought it the day before I went back home. Talk about perfect timing.
This is the first wedding that I’m actually a part of and I feel blessed being a maid of honor despite the responsibilities this may take. It’s fun to learn that part of this responsibility is lifting the bride’s veil during the holy communion. It was funny because it was such a simple task and the bride can do it herself but it had to be me.
On the day of the wedding we were all excited to get our faces painted, our nails did, and be dolled up ready for the ceremony. Since the wedding’s still on a mercury retrograde an incident happened that involved the make up artist leaving for another job four hours before the wedding. He hasn’t finished our hair yet but we let him go, because yeah we got him on a discounted price and we don’t want to be in the way of extra income. He came back at 4pm, the exact reserved time of the wedding. Our hair were still a mess and the priest was already looking for us. Good thing there were only three of us left so he put out his flat iron and started curling our hair. Fifteen minutes past four, I found myself running down the hotel room towards the car barefoot with my precious 5-inch heels in my grip and my left shoulder brooch pricking me from the inside.
I did a lot of fail moments during the wedding. First, I was supposed to usher everyone to their proper seats. Left for the women and right for the men. I accidentally told the ring bearer to go left, and so he went to the left isle not knowing where to actually sit. The little kid started wandering around and I had to fetch him back to his right seat. This, during the entourage. Good thing the wedding was only exclusive for family so there were only a few guests who witnessed me chasing a kid on heels.
I really admire the woman who organized the wedding. She was really in charge of everything. After a quick practice of duties the day before the wedding, she was there during the whole affair to make everything perfect, like a commander on a close watch for anything to mess up. I used to be like that but due to some unfortunate circumstances I had to tone down my A blood.
Btw, the wedding was in honor of my best friend’s mom who passed due to cancer last December. For her daughter to have a decent wedding ceremony was her final wish. Weddings are usually tearjerkers but this one was truly emotional. We can all feel Tita’s presence in the holy matrimony.
I am really happy that my friend’s blessed with a healthy and ridiculously cute baby. A baby’s smile and laughter can easily shake away the gloom in the home. Seeing as the family is still grieving over the loss of Tita, I guess it was God’s plan that Adie was conceived before she passed because Adie’s the one person that’s keeping the family preoccupied and happy for the time being.
Living for two weeks with a baby in a house is both an honor and responsibility. And I’m not just quoting Pia Wurtzbach. It’s true. While it’s cute, fun and stress relieving to play with an innocent baby, it’s also a type of blogilates workout when trying to manage her tantrums and put her to sleep. I had the best biceps and legs workout ever I can tell you that. When she starts sobbing and nothing else can cheer her up, I had to start carrying her and doing lunges. Most would only shake her but I went the extra mile of doing lunges because that usually puts her to sleep faster and with less struggle. And when she’s finally asleep in my arms, my next dilemma is putting her on the bed. Even subtle movements could easily wake her up and lengthen the duration of my blogilates workout. Did I mention she weighs like a hallow block? She’s a mixed fed baby on her 7th month and she’s really heavy. Dasok as we call it in our dialect.
I wonder if I got the answer I was looking for as to whether I’m cut out to be a mom or not. I seriously have no maternal instinct. I’ve been a bit traumatized seeing how painful childbirth is and seeing the kids and parents in the pedia ward, really throws me off. I understand that a child getting sick is stressful for both the child and the parents. What I’m saying is, I’m annoyed because I’m not sure I’m the type to handle that kind of situation. I’m not as patient as a mother should be yet I don’t think I have the heart to grow old without any children.
After helping take care of a baby for two weeks, I’m still confused.
Seems like I got this weird fictional wisdom that tells me “In order to move forward, I must acknowledge my past.” Something like what happened to Daenerys. At first I was tempted to tell everyone I’m broke and jobless. That was the current state but that certainly won’t be for long. I wanted to tell people that just to get a reaction. I may surprise myself with whoever makes the pity face first. Just kidding. And so, as embarrassed I am to face my past in my current state, I summed the courage to go back home.
Another thing I don’t really enjoy about being at home is the unending stories of problems. My old relatives are so fond of telling stories where they are the victims. I admit there may be the evidence of injustice and turmoil in our home but I just hate hearing about it over and over again. Maybe that’s because I have nothing to help them with.
I got the chance to read my old diary from 2008. That was the exact moment when I was supposed to look back at the old me.
I read through my diary as I rested on my old bed. It was filled with dreams (literal dreams), fears and frustrations, and a little of what Tina Belcher may write. It was the dawn of romance, heartbreaks and complicated relationships, and of school, friendships and identity crisis. It was the time where the most trivial of things could mean a lot, especially when it comes to dreams. And so I wrote carefully, not even dropping names, expecting a certain someone to read it behind my back.
I was amazed to see I’ve written the phrase “I’m pissed off” or “this or that pissed me off” a ton, which meant I really was in a state of heightened cynicism and negativity back then. It’s like I was rolling my eyes at everything, even at myself. It was such a sad and self-destructive phase of my life that nobody knew about, not like I was planning on telling anybody in the first place. It was a time I tried to cover my insecurities with a quick fling here and there. I’ve had the best of friends in college but even we had our fights and moments of almost falling out. And I’ve dreamt of zombie kids with bright red eyes cornering me in my room. Boy has it been 8 years.
This is to remind you of your 2nd year in college. Many things happened and I know without these you won’t be what you are at your time. Anyway, I hope you’re a professional nurse already. Remember your purpose: Service. Keep up the good work. God bless!
This was the message that was written on the front page of my diary. It really flung me to the tip of the solar system and back to earth. I was still an aspiring nurse back then, excited to serve and become an “angel in the sick room”. It was an innocent time before I started looking for a job and everything got shitty. It was a time I was really looking forward to helping people.
I got my license alright but I don’t think I have it in me to pursue my nursing career here in the Philippines anymore. I don’t know. I guess I got corrupted in the process. Politics, nepotism, and endless training without a promise of a regularization. Plus I can’t handle “living” in a hospital where I’ll be seeing the same people time and again and the only fun I’ll have is getting a double off. For a Gemini, it’s really hard to get tied to something. I hope this year I finally find where I belong.
I do apologize for the delayed blog post. For the first month of 2016, this was indeed an interesting and transformative journey. I hope you guys had your moment of epiphany for this month as well. I hope that whatever you realize would lead you to the recognition of you life’s purpose. A happy 2016 everyone.