I think my biggest flaw is that I’m too emotional. Most of the time I can contain it and just laugh it off or act indifferent, but there are times when I cave in and just let it burst.
A few days ago my Mom and I got into a huge argument. She had been pestering me to get a job, and normally I would have just ignored her, because I knew that I was doing my best to find one, but then she said a few words that really pissed me off. “Proud na proud ka sa Pilipinas mo diba?” That hit a chord, it really did. I normally don’t talk back because this had been a long standing issue between us, but with those eight words she definitely crossed a line.
You see, my mom lives in the United States. After she and my dad got separated, she lived a rough life in Manila. She resigned from work because of personal issues and was unable to find another job after that. She was short of pathetic – depressed and helpless, she had a short temper and would often turn to us to vent out her anger. I remember my sister’s face being shoved into a plate of food while my hair was being pulled and my body being kicked endlessly. No matter how much she hurt us, though, she was pleasant enough when she was sane, and out of pity I would just accept every stunt she pulled and tried to understand her. Because she literally had no money to spend for herself I would give her part of my allowance so she could commute to Makati and apply for work, and there was even a time where I sold pastillas de leche to my classmates so she would have some money. She was on her way to being a total wreck but her determination to start over won in the end. She managed to pool some money (I don’t think I have the right to share the means she resorted to, but anyway) and flew to the United States where she remarried and found great and high paying jobs.
But while my Mom was intelligent and stubborn, she was also overflowing with pride. Finally being able to live the life she dreamed my mother started belittling the country she was raised in, and she wanted us to go there so we can leave this supposedly wretched country and be rich in another continent. And while she showered us with gifts, it always came with a little backlash – telling us with every designer bag, every Victoria Secret underwear that we would not be able to afford luxury in the Philippines because America was the only answer to all our woes. I think this was the reason why I started being detached and growing sick of the thought of living in the United States. Granted, our country was a little shitty, but I’d always thought that with enough perseverance you could live a pretty decent life here. I know it sounds unrealistic and cheesy, but I’d rather live here, a happy lower middle-class citizen, than live in the States with my life revolving around working my ass off and never being satisfied with the amount of money I’m making, no matter how high it is.
So you could imagine my anger when my mother said those eight words to me. When I answered that I’d rather be poor in the Philippines than live in America as a proud and conceited individual, my mom said I was rude and started spewing endless insults. “Anak lang kita. Kung di kita pinag-aral wala kang mararating.” I was positively shaking with anger and tears were flowing down my eyes in frustration. Four years of sending me to college and she was already so full of herself? What about my father who sent me through nursery, grade school and high school? I didn’t hear him complaining. Last I heard, it was the responsibility of the parents to send their children to school. I really didn’t understand why she had to say those harsh words and make it seem like it was my obligation to follow her every whim just because she sent me to college.
Yeah, yeah, I understand, she only wants the best for me. She lived a hard life in the Philippines and got it all back in America so she wants me to do the same. But you know what? From the time I was ten, I was used to fighting for myself, to thinking for myself, and right now I’m pretty hell bent on staying in this country. Sure I have dreams, and that includes maybe staying in a foreign country someday, but I sure won’t have anyone decide for me. After all, that’s how they raised me to be, right? And I won’t especially go to New York to be with a crazy mother.
Whew. That was a lengthy entry. Anyway, again, on the emotional thing; with all the crazy shit my mom pulled I was now slowly descending into a dark depression. I felt useless and pathetic and stupid and I wondered if I was ever going to make something of myself. This climaxed in a night of crying while singing Hanson songs. Yeah, I think I was going insane a bit. But a lot of friends calmed me down and offered words of wisdom and comfort. Thanks Emil, Den, Kwyn 🙂
Then wonder of all wonders, the next day as I was meeting with my twin and my other good friend, I got a text message asking if I was still open to becoming an Editorial Assistant for their company. And although the pay is really low, I’m ECSTATIC. Finally, I’ve been given a chance! I’m finally part of the workforce!
I’m really really scared that I might jinx it, though, so this is the last time I’m going to talk about it. But once I start after two weeks, I’ll definitely make another mention. HOPEFULLY I GET TO START AND NOT MESS IT UP. Haha.