The system that we’ve been working on for the past 3 weeks looks like it’s cooperating now and so hopefully, there will be no more excessive overtimes. And so, I’d like to officially start my 30-day blog challenge today, September 21, 2016, less than 100 days before Christmas. What’s the connection? Hehehe.
Warning: long post. Did not expect it too.
Day 01: Your current relationship. If single, discuss being single.
What a first topic to write about for this challenge. A real challenge indeed. But I’ll try still.
I am in a relationship now. He is my first. No boyfriend since birth (NBSB) until last year, few months after my 36th birthday. Yes, that long.
But I’d like to talk more about the years when I was not in a relationship. And the journey prior to being in one.
I have to admit that at times, I got frustrated. Some other times, I fear growing old alone. Family is family but they have their own lives too. It’s still different when you have your own partner/family. I experienced this fear the most when we lost our father, making us children parent-less. After our father’s burial and completing the 9 days novena, I felt so alone, confused and worried. I saw how my siblings and their families went back to their daily lives. As for me, I was just in my house, the house that I built because my parents promised me that they’ll live there while I have not yet decided to go back home. I had to force myself to go back to Manila so I can start reacquainting myself with my reality too.
But most of the time, I was ok. I was ok because:
- A lot of my friends are single and never been in a relationship too. Some are even older than me. And they are ok, so that calmed me a lot of times.
- I was in debt because of the construction of my house (my first sayote kingdom). This was financially demanding. All excess funds went to it so I wanted to just focus on it first. I didn’t want to be stressed with relationship responsibilities.
- I had aging parents to think of and I somewhat appointed myself to be financially responsible for them because among us siblings, even with my limited resources, I was the most capable to do that.
- I was having fun being single. After college, my parents let me be to find my own world and build my own life. I have been independent since then. There was no one to take into consideration when I decided on things. If I failed, at least I only have myself and my pride to think of. I felt that going into a relationship will be complicated for me.
- I always felt that I was not ready to be in a relationship. I had too many insecurities and I always doubted myself whether I would be a better partner or not. This might sound that I’m too harsh on myself but it was what I really felt all those years.
Through the years, I have been pressured by relatives, and sometimes even my mom, to settle down. My one and only answer to them was “Umay to latta nu madanon ti tyempo. Nu gasat, gasat. (It will come at the right time. If it’s meant to be, it will happen)”. I was not bothered, but maybe they were, hence the pressure. In both of my parents’ wake, my and my brother’s being single were highlighted. In the Igorot culture, we have bal-iw or chants. It basically equates to prayers to Kabunyan (God). My brother and I were always mentioned in the elder’s chants. The way I understood it, they were asking our parents to look after us children, especially the single ones because we are alone now that they (parents) are gone. I was not offended. I do understand that they only had good intentions for us.
I also have to admit that when I lost my mom, I thought that it would be nice to have someone special to share those lowest moments in my life with. But then again, I quickly realized that it was better to be single during that time since I was a mess. I was alive but not really living. It was a very difficult phase for me, even if I was already in my thirties when I lost my mom. I’m sure if I was in a relationship then, it would be a mess.
The transition to being in a relationship…
They say that doing the novena is helpful especially when you want something badly. During the dawn (Aguinaldo) masses in December 2014, I prayed to God like I never did before. I honestly told him that I wanted to be in a relationship and that I believe I was ready to have one. Previous similar prayers will always include, “but Your will be done, Lord”. Not at that time. I prayed only for that for all the dawn masses I joined. But of course, God had other plans. We lost our father in January 2015, making me forget about this wish. I allowed myself to wallow in sadness and misery. I was out of the office for more than a month. I just stayed in the apartment all day doing nothing or watching TV, or went out with a friend on other days.
In April 2015, I encouraged myself to slowly move on with my life. I had to start the healing process. I started rethinking about my goals, now that my parents are out of the picture. I was at this point in my life when koya (I call him this because he introduced himself as kuya 😛 ) texted. And then I remembered my prayer in 2014. (Thought bubble: God’s answer to my prayer? God’s gift? God’s perfect timing?) But while my friend was convincing me to jump right in, I hesitated. I was facing new responsibilities yet again (sending my niece to school, helping my other niece with her overseas application, acting as the eldest in the family) and it was overwhelming. But I did enjoy exchanging texts with him, I guess. Proof? My phone bill doubled and it was due to a lot of sent text messages hehehe 😛 . But I still prayed for it though. I knew I did not want to just jump right in and jump out if I did not like it. It would be a waste of time and it would be unfair to him, and I will feel guilty for a long time or maybe forever.
We only went out once. The rest were all pure text exchanges. No, not even phone calls. Just text exchanges. We were both comfortable that way. But that one time we went out, I honestly did not want the night to end. I was comfortable in his company. He shared some memories about my mom. I didn’t know he knew my mom personally at least for a short time prior her demise. He never mentioned them in our text exchanges. While praying about him and about this new excitement in my life, I felt that I was beginning to like him too. And I started feeling that everything was just right. No hesitations whether I will be a good partner or not, but just a promise to myself that I’ll do all my best if I do decide to jump in. No insecurities. No what ifs. Just “he seems ok, I’m ready to give it a try”. And the transition from NBSB to in a relationship happened 🙂 .
It is a lot of adjustments even up to now. We were not part of each other’s lives that long and we had our own lives prior finding each other. During the first few months, I used to compare ours to the other couples. But then I realized that what’s applicable to them may not be applicable to us, so I trained my mind and heart not to benchmark. I was more at peace since then. I accepted that we are two different individuals trying to slowly merge our lives together. And it’s a hard process especially given our ages. He still has his insecurities, I have mine. But what’s more important to me now is that we still decide to stick with each other after every bump.
At this point, while I pray that the Lord guide us to be better individuals, it is still up to Him where He really wants to lead us to. And while I fervently hope that it will be a life together with him, I am ready for whatever the Lord has planned for me. After all, He’s still the project manager of my life.
But remember the thought about how nice it would be if there was someone special in my life to share that time with when my mom died? Guess what. He was there at the sidelines during the 3 highlights/lowlights in my adult life. Every time I remember this, I am always in awe and amazed at how God works. Anyway, he was there when I had my house blessed. This was our first meeting but we were not formally introduced. We talked for a while, but like what I shared here, I tried to play cupid for him and a former schoolmate hehehehe. BUT, I NOTED that he was SINGLE 😛 😆 . He was there during my mom’s burial mass. Our only interaction then was when I handed him the stipend for the priest. He was also there during my dad’s burial mass. Now, this is a little interesting. And I leave you with this story and photo 🙂 .
After lunch during dad’s burial
Friends and relatives were just taking the time to catch up since it is often a reunion of sorts with life events such as the death of a loved one. I was attending to the church community that time. Koya was nearby. Suddenly, one of them came near us, put her arms around each of our shoulders and told koya to introduce himself to me because who knows? We might be each other’s “the one”! Que horror and the awkwardness to the highest level! Hahahaha! Too close for comfort too!!! And if there is one thing that I don’t react to very gracefully, it is in situations similar to this. But I quickly reminded myself that I am the host and I just smiled while everyone was watching and I was waiting for him to offer his hand for a handshake, which never happened. I jokingly told the person trying to introduce us that maybe he was not interested. I tried to offer a handshake. I was getting more embarrassed because he did not accept it right away. I was also becoming more aware of my surroundings. My female cousins and nieces nearby were giggling and having the time of their lives, at my expense. But he did. And told me his name. Hahaha! Of course, I won’t forget that his neck and face were red, maybe from embarrassment too. Both of us did not expect that! Hahaha. And in my mind, if this was a test, he already failed 😛 . But of course, the universe had other plans proven by where we both are right now. Hihihi.
That someone who forced us to introduce ourselves to each other happens to be my childhood friend’s aunt, and who will eventually be koya’s source of my mobile number 😀 .
Whew! This was challenging to write than I thought because it’s too personal than my usual posts hehe.
My friend who was able to attend that house blessing, and who was my unofficial photographer, captioned this “complete family” last year when I told her about koya hehehe. That’s mudra, pudra, koya and me and I think my tito and Father in front of the 4 of us. Back view lahat 😛 . Taken in 2013. At na-miss ko bigla nanay at tatay ko.