I’m off to Australia in less than 24 hours for a 3-week (almost) holiday with Family and catching up with friends from there.
Staff and Managers at work have been going in and out of my office and lingering by my office door the ENTIRE day to just tell me they’ll miss me, say bye or wish me a safe and wonderful holiday.. or to try and convince me to not go on holiday (these coming from my management team =p)
Even the CEO and the other Directors have jokingly emailed me to tell me they have revoked the leave approval or to make sure I come back!
it’s the little things like these that tell me that somehow, I’m doing things right. =) and that makes my heart flutter just a bit.
Funny how, for years you feel/think that you’re over something or someone, then someone or something just comes along and it forces you to re-live everything that hurts.
Excerpts from an email/letter I’m about to send to my estranged husband, about this Annulment process…
I must have told you this a dozen times already, but all I ever wanted since I was a kid - was to marry a wonderful man; to have 2 kids (boy and girl); live in a small but lovely and comfortable home with 3 bedrooms a nice kitchen, a bath tub and a backyard where the kids and our dog can play.
I was a dreamer. I think (I hope) I still am. I dream about spending weekends with my family, making them a nice lunch while they set a table at the backyard. I dream about travelling to Japan, in May, to see the Cherry Blossoms - (they were in my wedding gown, remember?). I dream about growing old, with my husband and kids and grandkids around us - people adoring the fact that we’re still sweet to each other and in love.
10 years ago, I thought I had a start to my dream. Yesterday, I was reminded again of that dream and how that was all shattered about 4 years ago.
I was being asked, pried by a complete stranger about my life - about the past 4-5 years. I was being asked to re-tell my story. how I met you. how and WHY I asked you in our front porch if you were sure about getting married. I was being asked if I ever tried to fix the marriage. If I did anything to reconcile our differences. I was asked why I resigned, and how I coped with the pain.
I wonder if this entire process even has an effect on you. At the very least, I wonder if you know the effect it may have on me. I hope you understand that 4-5 years ago - the dreams I held so dear in my heart, that family I have always had in my head and in my heart, you broke them into tiny little fragments that I can’t seem to piece together anymore.
This whole thing, is painful. Not because I want you back. Not because I don’t want to get this Annulment done. It’s because it really tore me to pieces. Shattered my dreams. my childhood dreams. I DID love you with all my heart — I only love with all my heart. I stay loyal to someone or something until the end. But you broke that. the little girl, daydreaming about her life when she’s in her 20’s - just died. over and over and over. every single time I have to go back to what happened - she dies. and I feel it.
To you this may be nothing. maybe you think this whole process, routine or just something to get it over and done with. it isn’t to me. It forces me to go back to a place where I know I’m just going to feel nothing but pain. I just hope you understand that. I just hope you spare me any more pain.
My dad’s been home for about 2weeks now and his first Saturday morning, I woke up to the beautiful sounds of Eric Clapton songs.
My dad’s pretty good with the guitar and he taught my sisters and I how to play. Hearing Tears In Heaven on a Saturday morning was a delight. It’s been a while. It’s nostalgic and warm and fuzzy.
My parents have been living in Australia for nearly 5 years now and I only get to see him once a year. He’s getting old. Hair receding, arms and legs growing thin, memory fading.
We’ve had a lot of fights when I was younger — actually until about a year ago, we had a fight. He’s conservative, too much. I’m more liberal and contemporary. We disagree a lot. But one thing we have always agreed on is Music.
We just spent an afternoon watching the tribute/concert for George Harrison held at the Royal Albert Hall (years ago?). This time, my son’s bonding with us - over Beatles music.
Dads and daughters have a very weird but beautiful relationship. My dad’s got 4 very different daughters. But we all bond over Music, Movies and TV shows.
He leaves in 3 weeks and it sucks that i’m so tied up with work most of the days.
This one’s a bit straight to the heart for me. I’m not working overseas, but I know too many friends, family and former colleagues who have gone abroad just to work and pursue that “American Dream.” Move away from their family for long periods of time and take care of other families.
Hearing it from an Expatriate makes it even more touching.
I am an expatriate worker. I refer to myself as an OAW, an overseas American worker, as a bad joke. The work I do involves a lot of traveling and changing locations, and I do it alone, without family. I have been in 21 countries now, not including my own. It was fun at first. Now, many years later, I am getting tired. The Philippines remains my favorite country of all, though, and I’d like to tell you why before I have to go away again.
I have lived for short periods here, traveled here, and have family and friends here. My own family of origin in the United States is like that of many Americans—not much of a family. Americans do not stay very close to their families, geographically or emotionally, and that is a major mistake. I have long been looking for a home and a family, and the Philippines is the only place I have lived where people honestly seem to understand how important their families are.
I am American and hard-headed. I am a teacher, but it takes me a long time to learn some things. But I’ve been trying, and your culture has been patient in trying to teach me.
In the countries where I’ve lived and worked, all over the Middle East and Asia, it is Filipinos who do all the work and make everything happen. When I am working in a new company abroad, I seek out the Filipino staff when I need help getting something done, and done right. Your international reputation as employees is that you work hard, don’t complain, and are very capable. If all the Filipinos were to go home from the Middle East, the world would stop. Oil is the lifeblood of the world, but without Filipinos, the oil will not come from the ground, it will not be loaded onto the ships, and the ships will not sail. The offices that make the deals and collect the payments will not even open in the morning. The schools will not have teachers, and, of course, the hospitals will have no staff.
What I have seen, that many of you have not seen, is how your family members, the ones who are overseas Filipino workers, do not tell you much about how hard their lives actually are. OFWs are very often mistreated in other countries, at work and in their personal lives. You probably have not heard much about how they do all the work but are severely underpaid, because they know that the money they are earning must be sent home to you, who depend on them. The OFWs are very strong people, perhaps the strongest I have ever seen. They have their pictures taken in front of nice shops and locations to post on Facebook so that you won’t worry about them. But every Pinoy I have ever met abroad misses his/her family very, very much.
I often pity those of you who go to America. You see pictures of their houses and cars, but not what it took to get those things. We have nice things, too many things, in America, but we take on an incredible debt to get them, and the debt is lifelong. America’s economy is based on debt. Very rarely is a house, car, nice piece of clothing, electronic appliance, and often even food, paid for. We get them with credit, and this debt will take all of our lifetime to pay. That burden is true for anyone in America—the OFWs, those who are married to Americans, and the Americans themselves.
Most of us allow the American Dream to become the American Trap. Some of you who go there make it back home, but you give up most of your lives before you do. Some of you who go there learn the very bad American habits of wanting too many things in your hands, and the result is that you live only to work, instead of working only to live. The things we own actually own us. That is the great mistake we Americans make in our lives. We live only to work, and we work only to buy more things that we don’t need. We lose our lives in the process.
I have sometimes tried to explain it like this: In America, our hands are full, but our hearts are empty.
You have many problems here, I understand that. Americans worry about having new cars, Filipinos worry about having enough food to eat. That’s an enormous difference. But do not envy us, because we should learn something from you. What I see is that even when your hands are empty, your hearts remain full.
I have many privileges in the countries where I work, because I am an expat. I do not deserve these things, but I have them. However, in every country I visit, I see that you are there also, taking care of your families, friends, bosses, and coworkers first, and yourselves last. And you have always taken care of me, in this country and in every other place where I have been.
These are places where I have been very alone, very tired, very hungry, and very worried, but there have always been Filipinos in my offices, in the shops, in the restaurants, in the hospitals, everywhere, who smile at and take good care of me. I always try to let you know that I have lived and traveled in the Philippines and how much I like your country. I know that behind those smiles of yours, here and abroad, are many worries and problems.
Please know that at least one of us expats has seen what you do for others and understands that you have a story behind your smiles. Know that at least one of us admires you, respects you, and thanks you for your sacrifices. Salamat po. Ingat lagi. Mahal ko kayong lahat.
David H. Harwell, PhD, is a former professor and assistant dean in the United States who now travels and works abroad designing language training programs. He is a published author and a son of a retired news editor.
So my son comes home from school with gifts and chocolates from his classmates, all wrapped nicely with notes and stickers and stuff…
I have nothing against stay-at-home-moms, but I have to admit, it’s tough trying to cope with things they can do. While a single-working-mom like me can barely catch a break from everything :/
Today just sorta highlights the fact that I’m single even more.
Ok, back to my Benedict Cumberbatch.
Annulment petition/papers came today and i have just skimmed through them.
I had no idea this will hurt. Sp damn much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to get back with my estranged husband. Not in this lifetime. But recounting and reading those hurtful and painful years just… Hurts.
How can two people who used to love each other to bits, end up hurting each other beyond belief? And in the process hurt everyone else around them?
I find it both weird and absolutely cool that my parents and I like Homeland, Sherlock and Downton Abbey.
They’re based in Aussie while my sisters and I are in Manila, so we don’t always talk about movies and TV shows like we used to. My dad brought us all up with fascination and wonder in books as well as good movies and TV shows.
I find it amazing that despite distance and few conversations, we still watch the same shows.
But of course, my dad’s not dying with the Sherlock fandom waiting for the next series. Nor is he bawling like me over Lady Sybill or that heart-wrenching Christmas special of Downton.
It baffles me why girls/women keep wanting to be a Slutty something. A slutty version of anything. Or saying it’s a sexy version instead of saying “slutty”. But really, a nurse with an open top showing her cleavage/bra - is slutty.
Slutty nerd, slutty race car driver, slutty nurse.
It bothers me because:
A) it sort of says a nurse can never be sexy as they are.
B) it gives off the idea that girls need to be slutty/sexy to be cool.
C) Halloween used to be for kids or ingenious costumes - not for sluts.
Sorry if I ever offended anyone but I’ve been looking for a simple costume for me to wear to work, but all I see are Slutty versions of something! I also have been seeing several slutty pictures on Facebook.
Oh ladies, you are beautiful and sexy. And smart. You don’t want to be slutty.
Oh wow. I just had a glorious, magnificent, amazing, 90 minute massage with Volcanic Rocks. Yes, volcanic rocks. Or just hot smooth rocks. Whatever they were, they made the entire massage more amazing. I almost fell asleep - I never fall asleep during massages!
Being a single-working mom for four years, very rarely do I get “Me” time. Today was just one of those days when I should get some time alone and a massage. Things were piling up.
Thank God I did.
How can little boys grow so fast?!
I’m stuck at home sick right now and my son’s getting dressed for school. I just realized all the jeans I bought him 4 months ago are now up to his ankles. 4 months and he’s outgrown perfectly good jeans that I thought would last him at least half the year :|
Just when I thought this week was going to be my “reset button” kind of week…
I’ve been handling one project after the other at work. Launching one campaign simultaneously - big and small ones. Hosting clients and directors coming over from Australia every other week. Interviewing people, working on transition plans and growth plans with the CEO and the President of the Company.
I barely have had time for my son, much less - myself.
I had to squeeze in Parent-Teacher meetings and seminars. I had to squeeze in Birthdays and quick time with friends.
I thought this week was going to be that time where I can finally put everything down for just 4 days - leave my laptop at home while I enjoy Singapore and all it has to offer during the Singapore Grand Prix. Food Trips, Universal Studios, Night Safari, The Harry Potter exhibit…
Then my son’s long-time nanny. The one person I can trust my son with for the last 4 years (basically since my husband left) has to go home to her hometown because her dad’s been bedridden and too weak and may die sooner than expected.
Now - I have no idea where or whom to leave my son to during the day while I go to work. :(
I rarely complain about being a Single-working-Mother. Only at times like these. when normally - you’d have a husband to plan things with. A husband to help relieve stress or calm you down… I don’t have that. Normally, you also have a set of parents or parents-in-law to help you with your kid/s… in my case - my parents are in Australia and my sisters are also working…. Parents-in-law? pretty much gone when the husband decided to leave as well.
I was just hoping for a break. a quick-4-day break. *sigh*