I’ve recently come back from Cebu to spend some time with my parents, before finally living a parentless life. I’m not really alone and this is not the first time, but adult life is dawning on me.
I’ve been on vacation-mode practically for several months now, pretending to be a freelancer (ooooops, employers might see this!). But seriously, life has been difficult since I quit Organika. Not because it’s too challenging, but because it’s empty. Life seemed to have meaning then.
Trech is also now in Germany, taking pictures around town (which means I’m almost friendless and feeling left behind). We dreamed together that we would go to Europe, it’s amazing that it’s now true for her!
I remember our conversation about parenthood and self-esteem. She said, “There are two ways of raising a child. On one end is mine, and on the other end is yours.” One gets amazing confidence, feels that she deserves the best, that she’s special and loved by the universe. The other kid wonders why somebody would love her, choose her, and think that she has to work for everything she’d have.
What’s the better way of raising a child? One may be glowing with confidence, but she may be easily broken. One may be doubtful, but she may become very strong, very creative. What’s the better way of raising a child? They will both face challenges that will make them cry. Their limits, only they will know.
However we may be raised, or however we may have raised our children, I guess we just have to remember that this is our life story and no one can tell us if it’s going the wrong way. Just keep moving.
My high school friends probably remember a house party I organized, to which I didn’t go. My mom and I had a bad conversation that night and she just decided that I couldn’t go.
You can guess the teasing the following day, and dayssss.
Then I told my mom, “Please don’t do that again. It shrunk my self esteem.”
Honestly, at that time, I was scared of what her reaction would be. But I knew I had to do it. I had to assert my teenage freedom. And what’s her reaction? Blank stare, none. And before she could say anything and dilute the message, I walked to my room, chin up.
Kids, adults don’t know everything. It’s parents’ first time to parent something like you, unless you’re totally like your older siblings. In which case, they’re sticking to the old formula so you can be like your perfect older sibling; or they’re following a new parenting guide to come up with a better product. But hey! It’s you. You’re not a guinea pig so stop hoping that maybe you’d turn into the kind of child they’re dreaming of.
Adults are just pretending they know everything so we’d fall into believing them. that’s just the great thing with my mom, she never did. At that blank-stare moment, she probably learned something too. She’d tell me when she’s scared and uncomfortable about my decisions, and when she doesn’t consent. At that point, it should be completely my responsibility. She encouraged me to think and to act as I believe.
Sure there are consequences to unguided actions, but isn’t life like that almost all the time? Show me a person who says she knows everything she’s doing, and please never listen to her again.
Don’t wait until you’re 30 to assert teenage freedom, but sure, you still can.