I have pretty much lived independently since college. Until my career shift to Life Insurance 3 years ago, I can only count with my fingers the number of times I was home for more than a week since I turned 18. Even during holiday and semestral breaks in college, I’d be home for 5 days max. In our dormitory, I was the last person to leave for and the first one to be back from vacation. It may seem as if I avoiding home at all cost. No. I was just enjoying all the out of school activities I did with my chorale friends. YOLOING our way. Haha
One homecoming instance that really stood out was when I had chicken pox during my junior year. I don’t make fever and flu too big a deal with my parents. I can go out and make it a normal day even with colds. But chicken pox. Upon diagnosis, I called my parents (crying) and said I want to go home. I will go home ASAP.
I remember how when the doctor told me of my situation that I wish one of my parents was with me. Ang laking issue kaya ng bulutong. Disturbed Body Image. I need Papa’s assuring, sometimes exaggerated, words that I will be fine and I will look fine. Hahaha
I went home. And that was the last I remember me sleeping together with my parents in one room. I was the ugliest duckling that time – blisters and all, but to my parents “gwapa gyapon ah”. You won’t realize how important your parents’ perennial words of faith and vote of confidence are until you need them really badly. You will need them somewhere, someway, somehow.
I’m going down the memory lane because the last 6 days have been really difficult. I would admit it to some friends who knew of my situation that I felt so alone tending to my sick self all on my own. I guess that meant really something coming from someone who takes pleasure in solitude. Know that it is not my intention to appear kawawa. Definitely not. Told you, I can go on with the day, business as usual, even with colds or a little feverish.
But I know when my body is really telling me to drop everything and rest. Just rest.
I was holding back some details of what’s really happening from mi mudra because, well, you know how inquisitive mothers can get. And they won’t stop until they’re satisfied. I was holding back because I am partly to be blamed for the first bout of the flu. The second part, I was all to be blamed. Haha I was good at faking it until I couldn’t help my rockstar coughing anymore. And I looked really sick. Even technology didn’t help. I would get glimpses of my flushed self while talking to my niece in our video calls and she’d say “Yayay (hurt) ka, Manay?”
And I’m useless in the kitchen. So if there’s one good thing that this forced slow down has done, it would probably be the time when I forced myself out of bed and made myself pancakes, fried chicken and a pitcher of lemonade. Proud. Ha ha
I’m so used to doing things on my own. Going places on my own. Making decisions, major or minor, on my own. I love the song On My Own but I have not intention making it my anthem. Masyado lang sanay sa on my own. Not that it’s enough a reason to resent. What I’m trying to say is we are never just on our own. We may think that but that’s not true. One way or another, we get help from people – strangers, friends, family.
In my case, no matter how huge the Miss Independent sign I carry with me, I know that deep inside I am just a girl who calls her parents for help, for rescue and for major lift when all the magic of independence ceases to work.
Thank you for taking care of me, Mama. Even from a distance.