Sunday, November 6, 2011

Through Thick and Thin

"Tell your mom thanks for not coming over" and for asking when will be the next get together early." my friend told my daughter . The message obviously coupled with sarcasm solicited a chuckle because I have a reputation  for being a kill joy.

Most of my classmates and friends are in the province .I am now based in the city where I work.  I only visit my mom during special occasions and good thing she understands. Earning a living had become my utmost priority. I rarely go out because that would entail spending  and lessening my quality time spent with my kids so  I only get updated when I visit facebook and saw that my friends had a get together and which  I would comment," Great, am not there again."

My friends had gotten used of my absence.When we had our first high school reunion after 25 years, I visited my  friend, Mira  who became a neighbor when we moved. She called me a vampire of some sort because it seems that 8:30 in the evening is a bit early to visit one's  friend. I  have gotten used to my nocturnal lifestyle due to  my work schedules that I  have forgotten I was in the province where most people have normal lifestyles. I told her to call our friend, Fides  so we can hang out which she unwillingly obliged. She called our common friend, even adding  that perhaps I really had become a vampire, and when she handed me the phone, our friend could not believe it was me. It was after all more than ten years that we talked the last time. She even asked if it was really me. In between laughs  I told her we are going to her place in ten  minutes and since I was telling her the truth, she has to serve the leche flan that she had prepared. Now how did i know she made one? Well I  just did. In less than ten  minutes we were there, eating the sumptuous leche flan and listening to their  colorful stories about their marriages, work and colleagues.  I just simply listen though I  shared some stories, still no one can beat these two, even then. What more, Fides gave us  giveaways and her gift I kept hanging at our front door since then.

I have to admit there were times I have lost touch with most of my friends. These were the years that I was unemployed, and was busy taking care of the kids. Perhaps I was ashamed of the life I had chosen then and decided to hide myself from any connection. When my marriage did not work out, these classmates and friends were the same people who helped me stayed sane, who told me to move on with my life. Bit by bit, I started to engage in direct selling.  I would  sell my products to them and coupled with stories and laughter in between was enough to forget my pain then. When I decided to work again, I  also thought of loosing tract of our friendships but at that time, I was focused  on earning a living to provide for my kids.

In a way , I knew they understood. Years have taught us that our priorities had changed but not the way we took care of each other. It may have been seldom that we have been together, and that absence was mostly on my part,  but the concern and thoughtfulness had grown over the years. And that  I have always been  grateful,  to all of them,  though I rarely had the time to tell.

So guys, when will be the next get together?

Update me ok.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Touched by an Angel

I  always knew that I am an artist. I may have known even then but chose to ignore it. I even grew up thinking that having very few playmates was okay. My dad, who  happened to be a gifted musician was very choosy with my playmates. They have to be either relatives or somebody who at least come from respectable families. And when you say respectable, these are the non gossipers, create a scene drinkers, gamblers and social climbers. Our neighborhood was an ordinary one. We have our share of gossipers in the family, envious crab minded people, who had been jealous of us just simply because. Looking back I found that  quite  funny, mixed with  sadness and gratefulness because it  had shaped me and of how I chose to live my life today.

During family gatherings, we have our usual kissing of hands, being introduced to our  relatives who just came from abroad or who reside in Manila. But I will always find myself alone in a corner reading a book. I would literally look for one and take it all the way home with my dad and cousin's permission given. Never have I thought that having few playmates or preferring to be on my own would affect me until now.

My kids grew up having few playmates because they cannot stand cheating when it comes to games. It may be kidstuff but to them that means a lot. And I respect that. Integrity does begins at home and so do politics, bribery and corruption. I was brought that way  and so where my kids . They do not cheat, hate cheaters, and have a reputation for that. And the good thing about that was   they do not care, even if that would mean they will have very few friends or even none at all. I have to admit its' hard. In my line of work where majority of agents would do everything to do fraud so they can earn a bonus, I would at times re think if I am still doing the right thing. If staying in the company that help me built my character was still worth it.

It took me less than 24 hours to recognize that artist in me that I have ignored for many years in exchange for earning an above minimum wage for the sake of my kids. I auditioned for a well known game show where I met a woman who turned out to be an artist and a blogger as well. We talked  about a lot of things. Surprisingly our conversation made me forget that I have not slept for more than 20 hours and that my feet were already killing me. I even felt  like a kid pouring my self into every story that I told her . I became to understand a lot of things about myself  and why marriage did not work.  In less than a day I had opened my heart to a stranger which does not happen everyday. With so many stories shared, she fearlessly told me to write again. I immediately expressed my hesitancy. I am not after all a writer and it had been more than twelve years. Without blinking , she added that as beginners, one does not write  to have an audience. One writes to express who she really is.

That was the first and last time I saw her, We now only get in touch online which is not that often. With every post that I write comes the knowledge that she had and will be an inspiration.  She had seen a part of me that I thought was gone , forgotten even , but she was able to regained that dormant artist by simply being herself.