People · Relationships · Women

To mama, my mother, comrade and queen

I know you are enjoying one of your most aspired trip right now.

Since I started traveling solo, I’ve encouraged you to go on a trip by yourself. You needed and deserved it.

Solo travel is one of the best ways to learn and empower oneself, especially if you’re a woman. It has changed my life and I know it will change yours, too.

I’ve always wanted for you to discover again your freedom and all the other aspects of yourself. Life has given you another chance to know yourself and to do the things that you want to do without thinking if it would please your husband or your kids.

Being a wife and a mother has enriched your life but it also took so much from you. Women usually, if not always, sacrifice more of themselves than men do. You’ve lived your entire life for us. Now, it’s time to live your life for yourself.

I know there are still issues you are not fully resolved with. But you’ve come a long, long way. You’ve always been strong, yes. But you are stronger and wiser now. You’ve shown me how not to commit the same mistakes that you did. You’ve shown me how it’s never too late to redeem oneself.

I’ve seen how you’ve been both miserable and happy in the life you have chosen for yourself. It’s your life. I may not have the same preferences and dreams like the ones you’ve had but I’m proud of you for being able to take responsibility for them.

I’m so proud of you, mama. All your struggles and pain only made you more loving. You have a huge, deep, well of a heart and an understanding so vast. You are The Empress. You are a wealth of the world. The world will be dimmer without you.

I place honesty and freedom on the top of my list of values. I believe those things will always, always, give us peace of spirit and deep joy. I want you to live honest and free, mama. You are at your most beautiful when you do.

Activities · People · Self · Women

To the Moon who is my witness

Tonight I’m making a vow to officially own my life.

This means:

1. I will take sole responsibility for taking care of myself. I will do what makes me feel and look good. I will define what makes me look good and I will stand up for what makes me feel good. I know what’s good for me.

I will listen to others’ opinions (okay, even if they are unsolicited), but I will not let them decide for me.

I don’t exist to please the preferences of other people.

2. I will never be ashamed of my emotions. I have the right to feel whatever I am feeling. I don’t have to explain to anyone. If they’re in their right mind, they won’t even need to ask.

3. I will never doubt myself when I want to say “No”. I have the right to decide what I want and what I don’t want. Based on my experiences, specifically when you are a woman, you will never run out of people who will make you feel and look like a bitch for saying “No”. But again, I don’t have any obligation to anyone to justify my decisions. Likewise, I don’t need to put up with a nice image so people will think I’m a normal, educated, fine, young lady.

4. I will speak up. I may be right and I may be wrong. If I’m right, then I’m doing everyone justice by exposing and standing up for the truth. If I’m wrong, then the truth will prevail and the sharpest discourse will come out. I will learn and so will others. It’s a win-win situation.  I’m gonna be smarter, wiser and humbler in the process.

If someone disrespects me or judges me, I’ll never think twice. I’ll stand up for myself.

5. I will live and behave as I please. So what if I wear red lipstick and body-hugging clothes (some people look down on those who do)? What if I don’t want to get married and have kids? What if I’m okay with one-night-stands? What if I’m an-out-and-proud-opinionated socialist and feminist?

I’m not gonna be anybody’s poster girl. I will not try to fit myself into anybody’s reality.

People · Relationships · Self · Women

To the woman who can’t leave her abusive partner

I don’t claim to know your reasons. I don’t claim to know your situation. I’ve never been a wife and a mother. But I am a woman. There was this very striking moment in my life that I could not shake off. But that’s the point. I should not let that memory go, ever in my entire life. It will save me.

I could still remember the exact moment. It was late in the evening, at around ten. It was only a couple of hours after I was able to confront my then boyfriend to confess on me about his cheating (he wasn’t planning to confess at that time). I was in a fast food eating with my mom. I was feeling very, very depressed, not because he cheated on me but because I forgave and accepted him again.

My mother was right. She said, if I was able to accept that kind of behavior, then what else could I not accept next time? We were not even married and we didn’t have a child. I practically didn’t have much reason to cling on to him. She asked me why did I even have this feeling that I needed him so much?

Then I heard myself talking to myself these exact words,

“This is the line you said you will not cross. If you cross this, there is no turning back. This will lead you straight to hell and this time it’s your choice.”

I felt its raw truth inside me. I could even remember how it tasted like, how it sounded like, how its breath felt like in my chest, in my ears, in my mind. I called him and broke up with him in an instant. He completely didn’t expect it (like he didn’t expect I would knew that he cheated on me). In exchange for the love I shared with him, that was the kind of treatment he gave me in return (cheating, manipulating, lying for I couldn’t even say how long or how many times or if there really was a time in which he was being true to me).

I realized then, perhaps, that was how abuses kept on happening.

If we don’t have boundaries or if we keep on transgressing our own boundaries, we could keep on giving excuses for our abuser’s actions, we could keep on twisting the truth ourselves.

If we violate our own values and let ourselves down, it could become a habit – a fatal habit at that – and really, it could cost our lives. It could either kill our bodies or our spirit – or both.

I could cope up with losing him but never with losing myself. I still knew what dignity was and I was going to fight for it even if I had only myself to fight with (which made everything so much more difficult).

The lessons I’ve learned can be summed up as:

Know your worth. Know your values and uphold them at all cost. Never, ever give up your dignity for anyone or anything.

We are always given another chance to redeem ourselves. Let’s not waste our life letting these chances pass us by. I’m glad I’ve learned those lessons this early. I may save myself for deeper kinds of shit. But again, my dear, as long as you are alive, it’s never too late to learn and redeem yourself.

Take back your dignity and life. Own it. Be your own savior. It’s nobody else’s obligation to make you happy. It’s yours. Fight for the love and the life that you deserve.