I have been surrounded by adults my whole entire life. I have been taught to be the best person that I can be by people who aren’t my parents. I’ve been coddled as a child by extended families, oh but never my parents. I grew up in the arms of a woman I barely remember now and in the arms of sisters who were like mothers, but never should have been.
Before I begin, let me address a few things. I know I’ve been talking a lot rather than pouring them into countless poems, but I thought it would be a good idea to tackle this.
For my readers who are younger than me, same age and/or older, this topic is about what I wanted to be, what I wanted, and who I am. I’m going to go ahead and calmly ‘analyze’ myself as plenty of things have come to light to me as of recently. This time, I will try my best to be as unbiased for myself as I can be.
Please bear with me and that I hope you learn or can relate to anything I’ve written. Like always, thank you for taking your time to read this. I would appreciate though if more of you commented. 🙂
Growing up, my parents did a really great job instilling in me the courage to dream and reach for the stars, though I had to be realistic and reach only for the stars that was accessible to me.
Already, you might be confused. I would be too! My parents often sent mixed messages of both encouragement and despair. Yes, despair. I think after the many times my dreams or that of my siblings were shut down, it’s safe to say, at some point, we’ve all felt despair. The thing about it though is, my parents were always the overachievers, the ones you could always rely to when needed. That’s why our relatives in the Philippines can, if not always, rely on us to help them out. And it’s also why my mother is quite the realist yet a dreamer when she can be. As for my father, well, safe to say, they can rely on him, but can we, his direct family, rely on him?
My mother was born second to her older sister, practically the middle child, but she was definitely the responsible one out of the four of them. Not to get too wound up over my mother’s life, the short version is, after having been adopted by her father’s brother, she was basically the hope of her family. She helped to basically put through her sister to school, some of their off springs and she made to the Americas. She’s the bread winner, if you will. (I’m glad to say though, my aunt, the elder daughter, is now also here- I think I’ve mentioned her before. The one in Hawaii. They are doing spectacularly, if you care.)
My father was born the eldest son, though not the eldest of all 7. Yes, 7. So you can only imagine the responsibility of which he was left with when his father died shortly after (I think) the 7th- my ninong (godfather) was born. Maybe. Not too sure about that one. Basically, he was and still is the big brother who always looked after them. It hasn’t changed and I think at some point in his life, he’s decided that they will always be his number one priority.
At 22, you’d think, is that really something to be jealous about? Do you believe me to be petty? I don’t think that my ever growing dislike for that is petty. Even when I was four, I had already known all of this. I was maturing in thought at age four and am clutching onto my age tightly because I’m not completely an adult yet. I’m not ready to say that I’m done with my childhood because I haven’t fully lived it yet which brings me to me.
I grew up under the supervision of my sisters for more than half my life. I was always surrounded by them and my brother, so our tight-nit sibling-hood can never compare to a thousand friendships only because they know me the way no one else knows me and I know them the same. We have secret jokes and our whole childhood, past that we’ve shared and can never truly share with others. So, it’s safe to say, my parents have mostly only been there for financial reasons. I love my parents, but at times, I can’t stand them and it’s not a normal dislike, it’s hate. Full on hatred. Some children who have only one or none have the ability to physically be aware that their parent/s aren’t there for them. Me, it takes a while and a real toll when they’re there, but they really aren’t. It’s almost like having robotic parents or cardboard cut outs. As thankful as I am for them financially, emotionally, I would love to have them in my life especially since I do have tendencies of chronic depression. I do have to admit, the fact that I hold on to grudges, regrets and the small details, it makes it very hard to move forward. Despite knowing this, I have a difficulty throwing it away. It’s tough to forgive and forget when it’s still in front of you.
I think that as I grew older, bits of me have warped.
I had a lot of dreams as a kid and a lot thoughts that ran through my mind, some things that you wouldn’t think an 8year old would be thinking about. I was a daydreamer up until I was 20 and I was brave.
I can’t say that I am any of those things now.
Quite recently, I realized, that my dream of being an artist was only conceived around the time I was in high school. Before that, I was aiming to be an educator. Sometime in the beginning of my college years, I thought of wanting to be an Art Therapist because I was eager to please my parents and myself- the me who’s unwilling to commit to a lot of things. But around the beginning of this year, I realized, my real dream is to make myself happy doing what I love. Frankly speaking, where I am is great and all and I enjoy most of it, but I would rather spend my life painting. I want to learn about fine art and despite it being a “moneyless job” I’m all for it. I think, the only reasons why I’m even in college is because 1. my parents, 2. relatives in the Philippines and lastly because I’ve already gone this far, might as well finish it.
Above it all, the reasons that I have for being college aren’t enough. I understand that, but I have a year and a half left. There’s no reason for me to stop either. So trudging on is the only option I have at the moment. So trudge on, I will!
Recently, I have come to admit to myself that I really dislike where I am and that it’s okay. At some points in our lives, we’ll walk a path that we thought was right, but wasn’t. For me, there’s no harm in continuing travelling down the rabbit hole because I will come out of it one day and I’ll start a new journey towards my real dream. My goal is to finish school, lift some burdens off my mom and sister’s (just one as only one is helping with family stuff) shoulder and when they’re ready and when I’m ready to let go, I’ll travel the world for that one tranquil space where I can find myself, paint and fall in love with the world.
That “someday” will come.
The person that I am right now can only walk forward. Sometimes, I’ll stop to assess how far I’ve gone in or how much more I have to go in to reach my goal. While other times, I’ll stop to regret where I am. I know that sounds crazy and almost unproductive, but knowing that I want something else with my life gives me the motivation to keep fighting. I’m young. I’m only 22 and I have the rest of my life to fall, get up, fall and get back up again.
I am ultimately a coward.
It’s true that I’m afraid to run the course or to turn back around and start on square one, but I think that happens after $20,000 worth of debt. There is no turning back around. Just moving forward.
I think that even though we are not where we want to be in life, if you have the chance or the time, just keep moving forward and if you can’t afford that, then strive for your real dream because there is more regret in not doing something versus doing something about it. I know that a lot of my regrets come from the things that I didn’t get to do.
During my childhood years, I was very hesitant to get myself out there. I had difficulty connecting with people other than my siblings, but I’ve now found people that I wish I had long ago connected to because they… they broke through that sibling-hood and wrote their names into my timeline and my heart. I consider them very much like my own sisters.
Knowing is a lot better than being ignorant. Even though sometimes it will hurt, knowing and having the chance to change things is better. Always.
I hope you take away some thing after reading this.
Thanks for reading a long sort-of rant.