Filipino-American

I Remember

Hi! How was your Thanksgiving weekend, readers? And for my neighbors to the north, hope you were able to cash in on some of the US’s “Black Friday” deals … or do you even have any sales like that for the day after the US’s Thanksgiving holiday? Yes, I’m just being curious.

My Thanksgiving weekend was good: Got to spend time with Hubby’s family on Turkey Day. And on the weekend, managed to eek out a few great savings from Black Friday; both locally and at the “big box” shops. But the point is, I managed to check off a few people off my Christmas list.

More importantly, my favorite college football team managed to win the all-important “Biggest Rivalry in College Football” game. AND we got to watch the game at a bar & grill, hanging out with my two cousins.

These two girls — the youngest of my Dad’s nieces (and close to 20 years younger than me!) — have seriously been the support I’ve needed this past year while dealing with my Dad’s passing. Maybe it’s because, like me, Dad had played an important part in their lives; many times being the father-figure that they’ve needed. And as we talked throughout that day, I somehow managed to remember how much my Dad’s passing has affected them as well.

I forgot how my Dad would stick up for them if their mothers (my Dad’s sisters) gave them problems. I forgot how Dad would manage to sneak them some cash when he thought no one was looking. I forgot how much he loved to play with them, and as they got older, joke around with them. I forgot.

So to my two cousins, who miss my Dad as much as I miss him … know that I remember and that I’m forever grateful that you two always manage to check up on me when I need it most.

******

And Rain? Don’t worry, my darling kitty. I didn’t forget about today either. I can never forget the day that I lost my first and most favorite kitty in the world. Hope you’re up there keeping Dad company ….

 

Planning To Fall

My Niece, Emilia Grace on her Christening Day

It’s Labor Day. Where did the summer go?

No … Seriously, people. Where did it go?

Tomorrow all the kiddos in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs will officially all be back in school.  Which always prompts me to question … why didn’t I go into a career that allowed me to always have summers off?

I’m not ready for autumn … which, if today’s weather in Metro-Detroit is any indication (high of 64 degrees), means that I’m definitely not ready for the cooler climate. And, seeing that autumn has always been my favorite season is absolutely pitiful.

Maybe I need to re-think this whole “favorite season” deal.

Even the Lil Texan thought the MI weather was too hot last week!

After all, Hubby & I did survive the sweltering high-90 degree weather with 100% humidity of Orlando. Like we did the previous two days here in Detroit, which were just as hot and humid. All I need is a beach nearby with some nice soothing waves … and I’d be golden.

Okay, maybe not so much “golden” but more “bronze.” After all, I tan nice and brown … like most of us Filipinos do. But you get the point.

Yet seeing that Hubby & I live in the Midwest with (unfortunately) no plans to move to a warmer climate in the immediate future, I suppose I need to embrace what I’ve got in front of me.

So with that said, here’s my list of things I look forward to doing with Hubby this fall:

  1. Leaves changing brilliant hues of red and orange
  2. Freshly-made Apple Cider and warm doughnuts
  3. Haunted Houses and Hayrides
  4. A resurgence in my need to knit and crochet
  5. College Football  – GO BLUE!

How about you, oh Internets? What’s your plans for Fall?

A Song That’s a Guilty Pleasure

Day Thirteen – A Song That’s a Guilty Pleasure:

I should blame it on Ace of Base. After all, if it hadn’t been for listening to them over and over (and over) again during the summer of 1993 … I probably wouldn’t have turned back to their Swedish counterparts and get into listening to ABBA again.

Not that I really knew many ABBA songs prior to my post-college years. At least I didn’t think so.

Or I should blame it on seeing “Mamma Mia.” The Broadway musical. And not the Meryl Streep / Amand Seyfried movie spectacular. It’s because of that musical that I realized I knew more ABBA songs than I ever thought.

Read more »

Forty Days of Night

Forty days ago, my Dad past away. Today, amongst our Filipino-Catholic family and friends, we will be celebrating the 40th day of remembrance.

For those of you that aren’t familiar (or haven’t read this previous post), the 40th day is believed to be the day that a loved one has “finished” visiting his/her loved ones on earth and is ready to ascend into the heavens.

I won’t lie … it has been an incredibly emotional and physically exhausting couple of months. Throw the holidays into the mix and … well, yeah. Let’s just say the hamster on the wheel inside my head has been working overtime.

As I had expected, there are those days where I’m so busy that I don’t have time to think about the loss of my Dad. And then there are those times … usually during the most random moment … where it hits me square in the chest.

My cousin and I, during the initial 9-day Novena period, started to refer to those moments as “Meltdowns.” Something, typically some off-the-wall memory of my Dad, would transform me into a blubbering mess. And although these “meltdowns” don’t happen as readily as they did in the first few weeks, I still wonder when I’ll start to feel a bit better.

I have many stories to share … some of them involving stories of “visits” from my Dad over the past 40 days … yet I feel I’ve got little strength to write by the end of the day. This is obvious, as I haven’t had the inclination to blog over the past few months.

So yeah … this is my sad attempt to start writing again. And maybe when those every-day memories of my Dad don’t hurt so much, I’ll be able to tell you some of those stories.

But for now, just know that I’m around. And I’m reading. And I’m hoping to get back into some sort of “normal” again soon.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Related Posts:

Emily Prays for Nine Days

Emily Hits a Previous 40-Day Mark

The Whole Nine Yards

Nine days ago, at approximately 7:30 pm that night, a pretty significant hole had formed in my heart. What had been there for the past 38 years of my life was the physical presence of my Dad on this world. And even though (by this time) we had been expecting his “last breath” for a couple of days, it still didn’t help the sudden onset of emptiness I felt in my chest.

I didn’t know what to expect … or how it would feel to lose someone so significant in my life. I didn’t know  that my emotions could swing from one spectrum to another in the blink of an eye. After all, how can I have gone from laughing hysterically about a particularly funny incident involving my Dad … to crying inconsolably about that hole in my heart.

Except now, after nine whole days of gathering with family and friends … of praying the traditional Filipino-Catholic Novena following the departure of a loved one … I can finally say that the hole in my heart has begun to fill. And it’s because of all those family members and friends that have come out in droves to celebrate my Dad’s life.

Although not quite to back to capacity, the emptiness that once occupied that hole is now filled with the memories I have of my Dad … of all those special Daddy-Daughter moments. I know that I can look back at those moments and feel my Dad’s presence enveloping me.

But more importantly, that hole is now filled with all the stories about my Dad that were shared with me these past two weeks. It’s been filled with the incredible support I’ve felt from old friends and even older friends … whether it was driving clear across the State just to spend 5 minutes crying with me minutes before the Funeral Mass. Or making an extra trip to Mickey Dee’s to pick up a sweet iced tea and iced latte for me and Hubby. Or even just being there to hug me; knowing that was exactly what I needed at that moment.

So thank you, all my family and friends … I hope you know how much every single kind word** you’ve said and every single kind gesture you’ve done has meant the world to me.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

** Special thanks to my cousins … from both sides of my family. You’ve been my my saving grace during those dark, dark moments.

*** An extra-special thanks to my incredibly awesome husband. We joke about me having a thing for “The Rock” … but rest assured, you are my one and only Rock. You are my constant in the midst of chaos.

Unforgettable ... That's what you are to me.



Things I’ve Learned on My Alaskan Adventure

  • Alaska (at least Southeast Alaska) is not a giant piece of land completely made of ice, like we were taught in grade school. (You know, Seward’s Icebox?)

  • Not all Native Alaskans are called Eskimos. In fact, the Southeastern Alaskan Natives are the Tlingints.

  • Fish & Chips and Clam chowder at a small lunch kiosk on the dock in Ketchican, Alaska is d*mn good!
  • There’s something inherently beautiful about glaciers and the waters surrounding them. Oh, and it is possible to sail a huge ship through some narrow passages and still be maneuver around glaciers.

  • And by the way, Tracy Arm Fjord is not, in fact, an arm. A fjord is long, narrow inlet with steep sides, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.

  • Glaciers have a blue tint to them because that’s the only color that glaciers can’t absorb. And because of that, I think Crayola should come up with a “Glacier Blue” crayon …

  • I now know the five different Salmon species just by looking at my hand.
    • Thumb = Chum Salmon
    • Index Finger = Sockeye … as in “Poke your eye out with your finger”
    • Middle Finger (or tallest finger) = King Salmon, the biggest of the salmons
    • Ring Finger = Silver Salmon
    • Pinky = Pink Salmon.
  • And now you know them, too!

  • I can officially say that I’ve seen a Black Bear with her three cubs and that bears can’t read.

  • We’ve also seen American Eagles and I think I finally understand the metaphor about the strength and beauty of a “Soaring Eagle.”

  • The Filipino-American population in Juneau, Alaska is so big that they have a whole “square” called “Manila Square” dedicated to them.

  • This is probably why the number of Filipinos working on the cruise ships in Alaska greatly outnumbers that of all other nationalities (60% of the staff on our ship alone were Filipino).
  • This includes a Filipino Executive Master Chef and Executive Sous Chef … who were kind enough to create off-menu Filipino dishes. Like pancit. And Topsilog. And Adobo. Yummmm!

  • Skagway is actually spelled Skaguay … but only because the postal office didn’t like the way it was spelled.

  • Skagway was known as the gateway to the Klondike because this was the first stop for most people seeking gold in the Klondike. And from some of the stories I heard (“Soapy” Smith, the thousands of horses killed in stampedes) there were quite a few things people would do for a Klondike Bar … of gold, that is.

  • According to our tour guide, Skagway is a one-horse town. And it apparently likes to hang out in front of the Bonanza Bar & Grill.

  • It’s possible for the U.S. Coast Guard to airlift a critically ill passenger onto their helicopter (on our “Day at Sea”) without officially landing on a cruise ship. It may take more than 30-minutes of practice (and circling the ship) before actually airlifting the person, but it’s doable. (The passenger, thank G*D is now stable in a hospital in Alaska … at least as of Saturday afternoon.)

  • Using the Medical Clinic on the cruise ship (for a pretty big bug bite that caused major swelling and erythema to the surrounding tissue) is much cheaper than seeing your doctor at home; especially for those of us that lack health insurance.
  • There’s not much you can do in Victoria, British Columbia when you only have four hour to spend there between 7:30 and 11:30 pm on a Saturday night.

  • It’s a good thing we didn’t discover the 24-hr Buffet until the last night. Otherwise I would have gained even more weight than I already did …

  • Sometimes all-inclusive vacations (like cruises or other specialty resorts) bring out the worst in people. I think I’ve seen and encountered more rude passengers with an odd sense of “entitlement” on this trip than I’ve had in other vacations past.

    Just because pretty much everything is included on the ship doesn’t mean that you need to take all of the cookies or sweets. Or that you have to be incredibly rude to the crew members who are there to serve you. Don’t think that just because you worked hard for this vacation, you should be waited hand and foot … these staff members are working just as hard for a vacation of their own as well!

  • But overall, we’ve meet some really nice folk … both crew members and passengers alike. If I could, I’d definitely do another cruise to Alaska again. Maybe this time we’d head further north towards Anchorage … and spend a few more days inland, discovering more of this beautiful State instead!

Feelin’ Lucky

The Happy Newlyweds

Hubby & I have spent the past week in Canada. While the main reason was to celebrate his cousin’s wedding in Toronto last Friday, we spent the past week touring Eastern Ontario and Québec. And actually, as I type this … we’re on a three-hour tour bus drive from Kingston back to Toronto, where we first started this bus tour.

The main purpose of doing these tours is because Hubby’s Uncle and Aunt have flown in from the Philippines to attend the wedding. Since they’ve flown halfway around the world, Hubby’s parents as well as the other family members living in North America have decided to have a “mini”-reunion to show Hubby’s Uncle a small chunk of Canada.

And when I say “mini” … I mean that it’s a smaller portion of Hubby’s entire family. During the actual wedding weekend, the total number of family members (including aunts/uncles, cousins, children of cousins, and all significant others) equaled 37. When we went to Niagara Falls on Monday, about 25 of those family members were still around for an overnight stay. And when we started the three-day bus tour on Wednesday, we whittled down to 17. Regardless, it has been an incredible week with the family … something that we haven’t done since January 2008. And unfortunately, that happened to be in Virginia Beach when Hubby’s grandmother passed away.

Only a handful of the "young" cousins with Hubby

In that two-year time period, four new children were added to the family. One was our niece, Kairi and the subsequent three babies were girls born between 2009 and early 2010. In addition, Hubby has much-younger cousins between the ages of thirteen and eight. The other young kids are children from his sister (Tyler) and his first cousins. This puts the total of “young kids” fourteen years old and younger at twelve.

That’s twelve kids being watched over by parents; twelve kids being beckoned by the various parents and their “Tita” or “Tito”** or “Até” or “Kuya.”*** Twelve kids all calling out “Mom” or “Dad” and approximately seven sets of parents responding to that title.

That’s about eleven of Hubby’s Aunts / Uncles / First Cousins out of the 37 family members that have young kids under the age of eighteen.  If my math is right, this also means that about twelve of those 37 family members are either parents of older kids (eighteen or older).

Partial Group shot in Old Quebec

Then there’s Hubby & me; the childless couple. We’re not counted amongst those who have children at any age. We’re only counted as children of Hubby’s parents. And we only get the title of “Tita/Tito” or “Até/Kuya.”

But we’re definitely not called “Mom” or “Pa” (which is what Hubby’s family calls their Dads).

Now, I know what you’re thinking … here goes Emily, once again, complaining about not being a Mother; of not being able to experience what its’ like to be called “Mom” or “Mommy.” And yes, I do admit that it has been bittersweet this past week when seeing all the babies dressed up for the wedding; when seeing all the other Aunts and Uncles and Cousins passing the new additions to the family around the group, oohing and ahhing and fussing over them. (Although, I do fully admit I took part in such activity … )

But you know what? I actually found the silver lining in all the hullabaloo of the “World of Babies/Children.” And that silver lining is this:

Hubby being silly with our nephew & cousin

I was actually ecstatic that I didn’t have to respond to being called “Mom” … especially when it was in regards to the constant questions from the kids older than four years old about what was going on next.  Or why we had to leave now to go to our next destination. And I certainly didn’t mind that I wasn’t responsible with having to deal with attitudes or behaviors that the kids doled out once they got grumpy.

While I dealt with each instance that came my way or happened during our “watch” over them****, I have to say that I finally appreciate the fact that I’m “just the Auntie” or “just Até Emily” to all the kids.

In fact, I can honestly say without a doubt that Hubby and I are lucky. And I don’t mean “lucky” in the sense that, as a Child-Free couple, we don’t have to deal with the day to day issues of being a parent … because, I still wouldn’t trade the opportunity to raise a child for anything else in the world.

Great "candid" photo of the older kids

No, I mean “lucky” in the sense that we get to be the “Cool Auntie and Uncle” to the children. We get to take the kids around to do fun things (while hopefully giving the parents a bit of a reprieve) when we want to and/or are able to. And we get to “play” with them and joke around with them as much as we want.

But most importantly, we also get to be the ones who they can talk openly to;  feel comfortable around to ask some difficult or sensitive questions. And we’re the ones whose words, at this point in their lives, can make some sort of impact on them; put a different perspective in mind for them … even if they’ve been told the same things twenty times over by their parents. And it feels great.

I can honestly say that the time we spent with Hubby’s youngest family members has been wonderful and truly satisfying. And I hope that during the week we’ve spent with them, we’ve been able to contribute to lasting memories and life lessons that they can take back with them to their own homes.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Related Posts

Family Fun in Niagara Falls

The Mr. Apron Strings Family Bubble

Welcoming Kairi to the world

Pregnancy New(s) Edition (PWP)

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

** Means Aunt or Uncle in Tagalog (the native language of the Philippines)

*** In Tagalog, Até (ah-teh; feminine) or Kuya (koo-yah; masculine) is a title given to show respect to your elder siblings or cousins.

**** And believe me, this week there were lots of times where we voluntarily offered to take responsibility for the kids.

Probably my most fave pic from this trip. We'd go back to Quebec City if we could!

Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 2

(If you missed Part 1, click here … )

While I’ve pretty much begun to resolve those particular grief issues, there’s still that lack of strength that I feel I need in order to go through the entire adoption process.  Because it takes someone who really has enough strength to climb over the proverbial brick wall getting in the way of having a child. And specifically, I’m talking about all the rules and reg­u­la­tions and inves­ti­ga­tions into your pri­vate lives just to raise a child that is not bio­log­i­cally your own. Quite frankly, I know that I don’t have what it takes to go through that.

Why do I say that? (And Kelly … hopefully, this will help answer the question you posed to me at one time … ) Well first of all, I just know what I’m capable of handling emotionally, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive any further disappointment or heartache. Or as my new favorite quote from Pam says:

It got to the point where the potential for more heartbreak was more overwhelming than the glimmer of very small hope.

The second reason I feel as if I have little strength is because I have little confidence that things will come relatively straightforward and simple to us.

Not that I expect adoption to be an easy path. If we did decide to adopt, I have this very strong suspicion that we’d have so many more walls to climb. Give me a chance to explain … and I’d absolutely love to hear what others have to say to contribute to this discussion.

Let’s start off with Domestic Adoption:

  • Hubby & I both Asian American; Filipino American, to be specific.
  • How often do you suppose any Potential Birth Moms (PBM) would look at our dossier and — just by looks alone — think that we’d make great parents when their child will (most likely) not look at all similar to the adoptive couple that they’d hope to raise their child?
  • Or that the PBM might worry that their child would face more barriers having Asian American parents?
  • How often are Asian American babies given up for adoption; especially if the PBM is also Asian or Asian American? Culture dictates that family is important. If the child is not wanted in the immediate family; chances are that there is another family member (aunt, cousin, third uncle twice removed) that is willing to raise the child. Unfortunately, that’s a situation that’s likely never going to happen to us.

Moving onto International Adoption:

  • There are stricter laws and regulations from various countries in effect.
  • Some specific countries, like Russia and Guatemala, have either suspended or have placed holds on any adoptions to the US.
  • Wait time. Even for Filipino adoptions there are certain stipulations on how and when a child can be adopted; when the child can come back to the US with the adopted parents. And quite frankly, I don’t think I can afford the three-year wait in order to adopt a child from my native country.

And finally other, all-encompassing barriers:

  • Age: Let’s face it. Hubby & I are currently pushing 40. And yes, I know that there are couples out there that are raising babies that are much older than us. But there was a reason why Hubby & I started trying to conceive within a year of marriage: I had always seen me as a younger mother; one that wanted to finish having babies before the age of 30. There was a specific reason behind that: my mother and I are exactly 3o years apart in age (sorry Mom!). Growing up (particularly in high school), not only did I deal with a cultural barrier, but I also dealt with a huge generational gap. Both my parents were pre-baby boomer, while I was most definitely a Gen-Xer. Even though after I turned 30, I knew that this was something beyond my control, adopting now — especially as the rules and regs of adoption have gotten more strict — well, it no longer seems prudent for both Hubby & my sake.
  • Energy: Along with age, this is the second biggest concern that I have. And, if I was honest with myself, the flimsiest barrier of all. Because, really this has to do with energy and stamina. It’s one thing to raise a child with the thought in mind that you’ll be young enough to (somewhat) keep up with their needs. It’s quite another thing knowing that I can no longer wake myself up in the morning without hitting the snooze button a dozen times. Would I be able to care for another life if I can barely care for my own? Like I said, flimsy … but I’m just being honest.

I don’t bring up these points to be negative in any way, shape or form. I’m simply stating facts that appear to be the most obvious barriers for our individual case when it comes to adopting a child. And that’s assuming that we would ever go down that route. And, as I said above, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I perceive as barriers.

*****

As it is, I feel that we’ve already played our game of Infertility Roulette. We’ve already placed all the bets we wanted to at this time in our lives. And we lost that bet. With adoption (or h*ll, even if we ever decided to go through IVF again), I want something I can be sure of … something I can count on.

I hesitate using the word “guarantee” … since nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but after more than ten years of fighting the odds and now facing even greater odds against us (age, finances, etc), Hubby & I opted to get out of the betting pool.

And this is why, at least in my eyes, it’s never as simple to “just adopt.” It’s never easy to go through another round of IVF.

This is why Hubby & I have decided to “cut our loss” … or in this case, “cut the strings” … and live child-free after infertility.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Related Links:

Cutting The Strings

Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 1

Thoughts on Adoption

Information on Filipino Adoptions

Wiki Info on the Pre-Baby Boom Generation

Wiki Info on Generation X

Identity Labels

Anybody remember the old-school Dymo label-makers? I’m not talking about the fancy electric ones where you can type in whatever you want before printing it up. I’m talking about the ones where you turn the dial to choose the letter and squeeze the handle (as hard as possible) to imprint it on the red or black vinyl tape. And G*d forbid if you misspelled a word and have to start from the beginning.

For some reason I was thinking about that label-maker this past weekend. And really, it started last week when I received a wonderful email from an old High School Friend (HSF) that I hadn’t heard from in years. She had responded via Facebook in regards to the post in which I admittedly found myself questioning my purpose in life.

HSF talked about how, as women, we are always questioning ourselves about what we truly want in life. That we’re always finding a way to label ourselves while simultaneously trying to achieve more than what we can physically and emotionally handle. And that, in the process, we tend to lose perspective of who we really are in the grand scheme of things.

For HSF, it’s a matter of juggling multiple identities. She’s a wife, a daughter, a mother of three (beautiful) children. She’s also a free-lancer, a founding president of one of her alma mater’s alumni groups. Yet as beautiful as her life appears (especially from perusing through Facebook), she admits that she’s still coming to terms with the “Successful Career Woman” label; especially as she’s currently staying at home to with her three young kids.

The point of HSF’s email was not to point out how much different her life was to mine; rather it was simply to point out that regardless of how we view our lives, we only limit ourselves by placing labels on who we are or what we do. And furthermore, why can’t we just enjoy the path that we’re currently on and embrace who we are while traveling down this path?

I must admit, I’m still struggling to deal with the valid points that HSF has brought up. I’m sure it has to do a lot with the many years of believing that “Motherhood” was the end-all be-all for a woman’s livelihood. (I contribute this, as always, to the strong Filipino cultural influence that I identify with.) And, even though I’ve accepted the fact that I can’t have biological children of my own, I still long for something to fill that void that Infertility has robbed me.

Furthermore, with my recent unemployment situation, I feel as though I’ve been stripped yet another label that I’ve identified myself with. That “successful career woman” identity flew out the window the day I found myself surreptitiously without a job.

And really … that’s what this post was trying to explain.

While I’d love to “give up” those labels that I’ve placed on myself, I also must admit that it’s these labels that I’ve come to rely on to “ground” myself, so to speak, when I’ve otherwise felt lost. It’s these labels that help remind me of who *I* am in the face of uncertainty:

  • I’m a Wife.
  • I’m an only Daughter.
  • I’m a Sister to my Brother.
  • I’m a friend.
  • I’m Filipino-American (1st generation).
  • I’m Catholic.
  • I’m a nurse.
  • I’m a writer.
  • I’m infertile.
  • I’m child-free after infertility.

When looking at who I am; what I believe is the center of my core … it’s pretty obvious that there are those identities that I have no control over. These are the identities that have been imprinted on my soul; the ones that I cannot change. The ones that I’ve grown to accept as part of who I am in this life.

Then there are the labels I’ve chosen for myself (Catholic, nurse, writer, friend). Those are the identities that, despite the years of time and investment I put into them, I can readily let go. But do I really want to do that?

The problem, as I see it, is when one of these identities has been lost; especially at a time where I wasn’t ready to a) let go of that identity, or b) accept that identity for what it is.

Take for instance, the part of myself that identifies with being infertile. This was one label I never expected to own. But the fact of the matter is that after one year of trying to conceive (waaaay back when, it seems), we were unable to get pregnant. By definition, infertility is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. That’s a fact. There’s no way I can change that pat of me; there’s no way I have control over that situation.

But take the part of me that identifies with being child-free after infertility. We tried everything that we could possibly do (within our own capabilities both financially and emotionally) to give ourselves a biological child, but that just never happened. And because we thought long and hard about our other options, Hubby & I chose to accept that living child-free was what was best for me. And believe me … it was not an easy choice to make.

And because, she nails it right on the head … here’s how Pam from Silent Sorority recently described the reason why she and her husband chose the child-free path:

“It got to the point where the potential heartbreak was actually more overwhelming than the glimmer of very small hope.”

In any case, my point is that with our decision to live child-free, I dealt with having to let go of one chosen identity and accept a new chosen identity. I had to let go of that identity of motherhood that I held on for so long. and I had to accept that living without children, despite the incredible longing to have a biological child of our own, was my new identity.

As I said before, the decision to live child-free wasn’t a choice that we wanted to make. It’s not that we didn’t discuss opening our hearts to adoption. Or opening our wallets to more infertility treatments. Simply put, identifying ourselves as living child-free was a choice that we had to make. Hubby & I needed to weigh our options to decide if that the small glimmer of hope was worth the insurmountable heartbreak we’d already been through. Hubby & I needed to make this decision so we (or rather *I*) could maintain my sanity.

Because if I didn’t put that label on me, I’d still be struggling to determine who I was … if I couldn’t be the mother I had always dreamed about.

And of course now … my new identity crisis is to determine what to do with my career. But I will take a page out of HSF’s book and learn to enjoy the journey while I discover what’s next.

How about you, Blog World? What parts of yourself keep you grounded? What labels do you place on yourself? How do you identify yourself?

Cherry-Coloured Funk *

It’s after midnight and I’m finding myself in some sort of funk.

Which is sad, because my last posts were all about trying to enjoy the simple things in life; like the unconditional love that a pet can give you.

I am truly and utterly in a funk.

And I hate it.

I’ve (obviously) been trying my best to be optimistic about everything, but lately it seems as if I can’t catch a break. And it’s ridiculous, because it hasn’t even been more than a month since my life turned topsy-turvy.

Maybe it’s because the loss of my job reminds me too much of another loss that I’ve finally came to closure on. Well, as “closed” as it could get anyway.

I’ve always alluded to the fact that my inability to have children of my own, to be a mother has made me feel less of a person. It’s made me that Filipina, who was brought up to think of bringing up her husband’s children is the only purpose in life, feel like I’ve lost any reason to exist in this lifetime.

And once I  “resolved” myself to a life withouth children, I naturally gravitated to my career as the next “logical” reason to get out of bed every day.

Which, when you look at the time line of my blog, you’d notice it. Starting back in Autumn of 2008, up to the point where Hubby & I decided to “cut the strings.” Plain as night and day; written in black and white. (Figuratively speaking, that is). And when you see how much I put into this job since moving to Chicago; all the effort I made to making my career … it’s obvious that I found something to fill the void of Motherlessness.

Then suddenly and unexpectedly, I find myself without a job. I find myself without yet another purpose in life.

I find myself struggling with the loss of yet another reason for my existence.

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Earlier today, I asked my husband what my purpose in life was.

This was all before I came to the conclusion I did up above; before connecting the dots as to why I’m feeling the same kind of loss for my job as I did for the loss of Motherhood.

Before I realized that I wasn’t quite that crazy for having these negative thoughts; however irrational it may have seemed at the time.

And Hubby’s answer was, “It’s whatever we want it to be.”

In my mind I know that Hubby’s right. And my heart tells me that he’s right for me to think of this as a time of opportunity.

But the empty feeling I have in my gut keeps digging away at my core; struggling to find something out of nothing. And I wish I could make it stop.

Damn … but I was doing so well.

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

* In case you’re wondering where the title of this post came from, it’s the name of a Cocteau Twins song that completely reflects the mood I’m in. Take a listen to it here … isn’t it hauntingly beautiful?

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