Headlines for Saturday:
We were tidying up the house in preparation for my mom's visit when I felt this incredible sadness take hold of me. My mom's flying in from the Philippines to attend my convocation this Friday, and realizing that I'm going to get to see her for only four days, I felt lost and mis-placed all over again.
I had to get to the bottom of this feeling. I needed to understand. I couldn't see a good way forward. I've been working on this for months, and I'm still stuck. It's a bigger thing than I am, and I'm going to need help.
I am Filipino, and I will always be that. I owe my country my education, my culture, my friends, and more than that, my family. The opportunities my country gave me made me who I am, and I owe so much—not just because of everything I received, but also because of what I can do.
I am Filipino, but I am not currently in the Philippines. I don't know when I'm going to be home for good, or even if my sense of home is changing. Is it here? Is it there? Am I going to bring home all these experiences and ideas and opportunities, or am I going to be part of the brain drain that I grew up hearing about?
Is it possible to ask these questions without feeling guilty?
But it isn't that easy. I have selfish reasons for staying. The more stress I put on myself or receive from other people, the clearer my selfishness becomes—and yet all the more entrenched, allthe more real, all the more myself.
So it becomes a choice between two halves of a life, and that's no good at all. If I can solve this, if I find peace in this, imagine what I could do with that energy and joy?
But for now... it's difficult. I haven't quite figured out how to be in more than one place at a time. I don't know what to answer people when they ask me whatever happened to my dreams of going home right away and of bringing what I learned in my master's back home. I do know that I need to address this or it will make my life painful.
What would be ideal? I would like to wake up each day and feel that I'm in just the right place at just the right time. I want to feel that I'm being true to myself. It's okay. I'm okay.
Maybe I just have to decide to stop feeling guilty. Okay, let's try that as an experiment. I am what I am, and we'll see how everything works out. Who knows? It might even be better this way.
It's tough, but maybe this is like kneading bread. Maybe life is stretching me so that I can do greater things.
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I came across this beautiful quote from Anne Patchett's memoir "Truth and Beauty" on the Happiness Project blog:
"I knew then it was just too enormous for me to manage and that worrying about her would swamp me. If I was swamped by worry, I would be useless to her. It was even possible that I would desert her, and that was the thing that could never happen. I decided that night I would take all the hourts of my life that could so easily be spent worrying and instead I would try to help her."
That's it. That makes sense. I can't afford to feel all down about myself, boohoo, I'm living in two worlds and all of that. Not when I can take that time and that energy and do something *wonderful.*
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