Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘choice’

Pressured To Marry

She’s nice. She’s cheeky. She’s bubbly. She’s your typical story-filled housewife who got some good cooking. Until she blurts out. “What a beautiful girl! Does she already have a husband?”

Ok. I’ve encountered this question a hundred times. This time, she was asking my mom while she was eyeing me whose head to toe is donned in my favorite yellow, flowered dress. “No.” My mom replied as a matter-of-factly.

“That can’t be,” she gasped, just like any typical gossip-obsessed housewife. It came with that typical warning that never failed my irate eyebrow rocket towards my hairline, “You’ll grow old a spinster. You should have children.”

With that sympathizing look, she made me look like another human casualty in the evolution of genetics. Fine.

If I would point out my argument in the middle of that dusty, rural street she would never understand. Just like hundreds of married people who have asked me that same question.

I just couldn’t understand why they have to pressure me with that farcical question.

Our Asian culture dictates women to marry at a young age. Women at their thirties are considered too old to marry, more so get a boyfriend (I’m sure I’d be fatally labelled a “leftover woman” in China). As time and culture evolves, women are becoming more empowered, independent and are given more choices to challenge themselves outside the confinement of motherhood.

I am one of those women who have chosen that path.

Of course, that does not mean I don’t want to marry. I would like to fall in love and be loved. I would like to see myself wearing a wedding gown and kiss the man who is destined to be The One. But I am not in a hurry. Why should I marry if I am not in love and no one’s in love with me?

Just like many modern women today, we are given a wide range of choices and paths to take. Be the CEO of a prestigious company. Go into extreme sports and adventure. Explore the Mariana Trench. Manage fifty lucrative businesses. Achieve the Air Force with flying colors. Claim the Miss Universe crown. Win a presidential race. Save the world.

This is the viewpoint of women (and even men) who live and work in the metropolis. But not those who live in the rural life.

I would honestly never forget my chagrin when a member of the Badjao community had told me I should get married so I can have kids who would bury me when I die. Girls as young as 13 are marriageable to this group of people while 18-year old ladies are considered a spinster among them. I could not believe the limited perspective these people have nurtured throughout generations. 

This line of thinking is almost similar to the people living in my community. Partly rural and partly urbanized, most residents living here are below middle-income earners. Some were not finished in schooling. Basically, their choices are limited, as well as their resources. This leads them to the pattern of living-eating-marrying-working-have kids-die.

Ok, it does not mean one dies immediately after giving birth. But my point is most of them believe this is the same pattern everyone should go through. And every women should marry in the age history had dictated on man.

Or maybe, the age that our ancestors have dictated on man.

“Thirty! You’re too old to get married.” Rolls eyes.

“I’m married at 18 but I’m happy.” That’s your happiness, not mine.

“Would you like me to recommend somebody?” Shows me a picture. Throws up in the trash bin.

“You should marrying –” Shhhhh!! I don’t have a boyfriend! You mean I’d marry my toenail?!?!

I have sighed endless of times at those sickening questions. Gentle warning, some would say. But for me it’s the gripping reality on how limited a cultural perspective could be. 

I am not in a hurry to get married. I don’t worry about not having children. Too many marriages are broken because they have served their own selfish urges or followed the dictation of society without testing it through wind and fire. Marriage comes with careful consideration, prayer, commitment, and refinement. 

No one could ever understand when one is different among them. A single lady living among married contemporaries is as odd as the house of the Mad Hatter standing among the same tattered houses. Society dictates us to go through the same path they have gone through. They call it normal. I call it boring.

One’s destiny should not be dictated by the majority who knows no other way out of the box. Our age and status is not the basis of our purpose in life. Man’s judgement is not the fulfillment of things. No one has the right to taint the purity of our choices as only we ourselves can understand why we have chosen this path that’s different from them. Only God knows the best for us and society can never grasp that for our sake.

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The Forked Road

My 2015 has been a season of risks. I have been in the middle of two roads for time and a time, tasting the air for directions. When once I thought that the road I have chosen will go on as a single path, it ends up in another forked road which I have to decide again at the beginning of 2016.

I have chosen the former path because I had soured upon the old path of conformity. I had desired new learning and prestige in another field. Somehow my prayers were answered. But as I consumed these past few months full of tears and struggle, I need to weigh again God’s real plan for my life. Was this His actual will or just His permissive will? I had to decide. Perhaps, I am called to another path I have been running away…and turn there.

Still, from this strange path that I have taken I will carry lessons and changes that has greater purposes at their ripened time. Wherever I go and whatever road I choose, I shall remember never to give up, to keep on running the race, and do everything for God’s glory despite of suffering.

At the end of every forked road I face, the dawn arises. Whether I choose one or another, I know that I shall find hope along the way for my trust is upon the Lord, who never let’s go of my hand as I walk in this path of life.

Hanging In the Balance

Today, I have the tendency to walk-out of my job.
For the first time in my career life, I have lost my vision and my dreams. The stress and pressure in my present job has now gotten to my nerves. I am beginning to abhor making content for television. I felt I had the right to lay back and just take in what’s being fed into me.
It’s not easy being a producer. And it’s not easy reaching your boss’ standards.
Truth is, I want freedom. No bosses, no competition, just freedom of expression. However, I am limited by the modes of practicality: the need for work, the need to earn by working for other companies.
But in my five months stay, I feel I am not growing. I am doing the same mistakes.
I am now confused whether to continue in this job or leave and look for another one. I wonder how can I know that this job that comes my way is for me?
I have a few days to decide where to go. I hope this New Year carries a new beginning in my career.

Crossing Over

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It’s like dying. You are conscious of the things you are leaving behind. And the people who have been a part of you. You want to make sure you are remembered. So, you give these little objects — the useful and the bizarre — to friends who could use them soon enough.

My last week in this company has veen odd for me. I have not felt the surety of leaving all behind until I began to sort out my things. I remove mugs here and give them away. Pick the wallet-sized photos off my wall. Carry my most trusted notebooks from the dusty shelf. The moment I leave the table clean, the moment I knew my presence is detached from this place once and for all.

Four years of dirty desks. Four years of touching a world wild with national controversies. For years of struggling with dreams and frustrations. Then, this one moment of realization breaks the cycle. It’s time to go.

Why leave it all behind? For a breakthrough I’ve been expecting in all these years. For a shift that I am unsure how it will happen. For a destiny I’m about to cross over. I have sowed this four years with tears and heartbreak, of prayers and praise. And now this remarkable four-year ride is about to be replaced by an even greater adventure.

Thus, I give my bow. I am grateful, forever grateful, of what I’ve learned and loved in those four years.

Another season has ended. Another is about to open. I have crossed over. It’s time to conquer.

With these, may what I leave behind becomes fruitful, as I am about to be pruned again for the next harvest. With this, I bow, saying thank you for what I have become and what I shall become.

Awaiting A Life Mission

It’s been late of when I started to pray for my lifetime prayer partner. Like a blossoming teenager, I’m excited to fall in love, have a man to care for, and someone to share my life with. I wondered how it would be (and how I’d look like).

But there are days that I can’t help think if I’m really meant to have a lifetime partner. I contend with what I see to what I’m asking in faith.

When I shared my frustration to a friend months ago, he only said, “Ask God first what’s your assignment…”

What am I really meant to do? I was even more awakened when my mom —the woman who’s been praying for me to have a lifetime partner — told me, “Seek for His will first. Set aside your desire.”

No pressure. Just wait. Enjoy the coming thirties.

Then, I realized that to get married is to be a good steward of a Godly family.

I don’t desire to have children, yet. Actually, I can’t buy the idea of having my own family. Besides, having children means to have the assignment of becoming a good parent — the assignment of passing down a legacy. It would be a time of getting ready to pass by this world, by raising a new generation carrying your calling, wisdom, and anointing.

Many people are telling me to get married before thirty. Seven months to go.

But sometimes, the real mission comes after thirty.

I am in the cocoon stage. I am not quite definite with my assignment on earth. It’s like running after the wind and using your discernment as a compass in the nothingness. Remembering a word given to me that I am a late bloomer, I could see how true it is.

I’ve been given hints. I got short term plans. I have ambitions. But none of them are concrete yet.

Perhaps, my real assignment will come at the age every twenteener feared. And outcomes will not go as expected.

I know that God got a plan that I’d be surprised. If I just follow Him, it would be better than any adventure or any love story in the world. 🙂

The Wanderer and the Haunted

A poem for the waiting (while this correspondent was waiting for news the day before yesterday):

I silence the vision of you
So as not to daydream
In the pavement filled with dust
And rocks that lead to reality
No matter how I try to catch you
You run away, run away
Urging me to run after
Even if the chase has no price
Yet, let me ask one question
As I tread this pointless road
Would you still haunt me
Or should I ever see you again?

 

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