This has been running in my mind for quite sometime now.
Trying to keep my feet firmly on the ground, my mind is running amok with thoughts of keeping my current employment and passion more competitive, living alone in the city, with occasional welcome intrusions from a brother whose pursuits has turned to networking and his DeMolay standing, a very beautiful niece whom I fondly see a bright future despite her stopping school for the moment, and maintaining our small farm in Bicol, where my family has been living for 10 years now, give or take a few.
Thinking deep, I do not really want to end up whining about upper class problems, just living within my means is enough. Given the experiences of being up there with the in crowd, I know I will always be an outsider, Heavy Metal in a world of Pop, in a society where being IN is so much the requisite for every Social Climber bent on having his 15 minutes of infamy, and a lot of social media overreaction.
Now, if I decide to relocate, yet again, my family from the countryside and back into Gotham, will it make things better for us? My wife and I used to live here, several locations around Metro Manila, and we were without child then. Our eldest was born in Lourdes Hospital, Sta. Mesa, Manila, while we were living in Paranaque, back when I was really getting agitated with how my work with TOEI has gone sour from mismanagement and some fool’s idea of how artists should dress and how we should do our animation work, turning a place of creativity into a factory environment for drones. Our youngest daughter, they are only two, bless them. was born in Bicol, and both girls are now in school, slightly privileged by provincial standards, always being mistaken for a towner or “taga Centro” because of the way they carry their clothes, how popular they are at school and the singing and dancing everybody seems to talk about.
Should I bring them again into the fire? City living, with all its conveniences and garbage, the constant race, people rushing off to somewhere they don’t really want to be, and the temptations of anything fashionable, all for the feeling of belonging to a certain clique. If I do this, I will be uprooting my family and setting them into something we may or may not thrive in. The kids are growing up, having friends grow with them. And my belief is the cycle of “promdis” living life as one, then foraging into the city on their own is to make them better individuals, hardened by hardships of the countryside, to not forget where they come from, a constant epilogue of mine. I don’t want my daughters to end up like wimps who can’t handle bullies at school. I don’t want them throwing tantrums because they are the only ones without an iPad or Smartphone in their class.
But my wife suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis on her knees, with the rest of her bones in Osteoarthritic pain, a malady so stressful, the sickness has deformed her hands and feet, she describes the pain as a slow sapping of energy, she even joked the only place in her body not experiencing pain is between her legs, her hair slowly falling from the oral chemotherapy medications, that we just couldn’t upgrade to the injectable kind, for fear of her losing her strength and having to settle for a bedridden life. She is a strong woman, who has taken care of the farm, and her aunt, and my mother in law with such ease, it’s hard to see her feeling like a good for nothing. One of the reasons I began to think I should relocate the family here. Back in the farm, good help is hard to find, and good househelp is even harder. We have made it this far by doing everything around the house, cooking, cleaning, laundry, all by ourselves. We started our marriage with living in our own space. And we intend to keep it that way. Our daughters are even learning small stuff around the house, now more than ever, because they do their part around the house, with things their Ina cannot do on her own.
Nothing much has changed with my attitude in life. I’m just older, a father now, a boring work-home and vice Versa kind of guy, had outgrown the trappings of drinking sprees and being an utter hooligan, a geek , a nerd, a rebel and a naive son of a bitch . Gone are the days when I would ride my bike and just pedal off to somewhere, or grab a camera and shoot. But sometimes some thoughts wear me down, a debacle of sorts for a man in his 40s, of doing good and providing for my family, of deciding some things that will have some earthshaking effect for those I love. Or maybe I’m afraid of being found out? My daughters think highly of me, they think me an honorable, kind father, a rock. How can I tell my daughters that I am just a man, brittle and fragile in some places, beneath the facade of strong will and stern beliefs? Do I tell my family at some point I did some things that would be embarrassing for them? How sometimes I go hungry just so I can pay for the bills, pay for the rent, pay for a motorcycle that I cannot use yet because I still don’t have a proper license. How can I live with the fact that at some point, I have thrown down my guard and let myself be carelessly in love with someone other than their mother.
It happened. It happens. I still do love her. I even wish I was in a different situation, in a different time-space dimension of sorts. But it’s something that could never be. It was good. It was salubrious. Like Steve Lukather‘s guitar notes in a song, perfect and pure. It was something I promised on my Mother’s words that I would never do. And I broke that promise. So I gave up on her and turned my sights to my wife and daughters who have been there for me, look up to me, depend on me. A kind of secret to keep, a memory to share with only myself. I wouldn’t call it a sin. How can it be? It was something deep inside I know, had to happen. She was everything lovely, intelligent, feisty, unnerving, sensuous, caring, overbearing, delightful woman could be. But I had make up my mind. We were drawn to each other that neither one can let go. We hurt. We became illogically hurtful. It had to end.
But I digress.
So, in between work, collecting music my daughters need to hear, and my audiobook fascination, and rekindling friendships with people I owe, whether it be financial or emotional debt, I continue to think about this relocation thing.
It’s a work in progress.