Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘purpose’

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.

Awaking the Dreamer From Within Through Dreambook

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I remember that day very well. My best friend and I were pouring our hearts out at a fastfood restaurant, right after our working shift. I was nearly depressed, losing insight of where I was going, boxed in our back office work. She talked right to me on having a goal — or on looking back at my dreams. In an unexpected turn, we began to write our dreams at the back of the small receipt. In it were five year goals. Where should we be after five years? One of those dreams was to become a reporter, being reminded that broadcasting is my first love. Five years after, it came, it was made, and it was done. 🙂

I never thought it would be. I had written loads of other dreams wherein we transferred to bigger sheets. Too bad,I couldn’t check on them for I couldn’t remember where I kept it.

The five-year goal has passed. Now, I am at the limits of my four-cornered world (again) but here comes another blessing in a helpful form.

Instead of a small receipt paper, I am blessed to have Dreambook. Joining its launch at the World Dream Day last September 27 at Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4, I was one of those who participated the activities with other dreamers who want to inspire the world.

Led by life coach Claude Sta. Clara, we took a review on the dreams we aspire, and take track on its progress. I got the best surprise when I was picked to have a weekly version copy of the Dreambook journal.

Now, the Dreambook is more profound and helpful than that crude piece of paper. In it are guide questions to recognize your strengths, passions, and your dreams. Like any activity book, it keeps me engaged, with its colorfully designed pages highlight encouraging quotes. It also gives enlightenment on what you may have missed or what you lack to keep you from getting to your dreams, and how to get rid of them. Aside from answering guide questions, you can keep track on where you are by checking your timely status. It keeps you focused on your goal — to fulfill the dream or dreams that you have been long keeping.

The Dreambook is highly recommendable for all. Everyone is a dreamer, and this defines our very purpose on this earth. These dreams are not only for us, but it will bless the many others. Our dreams can come into fulfillment when we pursue them, ignite them, and live them.

And so, I have entered a new dream — dreams, rather, in the Dreambook After five years, I would be able to look at the Dreambook, and see where I would be by then. After dreaming of working in the media a little more than five years ago, I now dream to work in an international media company, and have my own show.

You can grab a copy of the Dreambook at all Powerbooks branches in the Philippines. I guarantee that the inner dreamer in you will be inspired and will rise up through this life coaching journal.

A little glimpse om what's inside Dreambook :)

A little glimpse om what’s inside Dreambook 🙂

Writing Pains

I woke up at almost 2 o’ clock in the morning just to write my script. In the state of surprise, I rushed to my still open netbook and typed away. Focused and alert, I did not notice how I’ve finished my long script in a jiffy.

Somebody told me I’m a very intelligent person because I write well. Being a student who joined journalism clubs and wrote for school columns, I was a bit popular among my peers. I even once thought that being a writer makes one exclusive. But through the years, I realized that being a writer does not make you the brightest person in the world. Rather, it’s a talent and gift with a purpose, and not made for bragging.

It’s a gift to the one who will use it well and a curse who will use it senselessly. I don’t know why some thought it’s very intelligent to write eloquently without really making a straight point. Just like any other skill, it’s not made for the writer to be famous but as a help to the public. Let me tell you that it can also be a puzzle. It’s challenging to put every information together, while constructing a very clear and concrete point.

Hard to be a writer? Yes. Very much. But no skill can be developed without it being tested on harsh waters. Waking up in the wee hours in the morning is one. But, when furnished, there’s fulfillment. Besides, whatever talent and skill you have, your passion can never die even if it is thrown into the fire. Living the passion just points one to where he should belong. To know one’s gift brings him to his convergence point. This is what everyone should discover in himself, for when we find our assignment, we would know what is our purpose in our generation.

I might not know how big can my script make an impact to the society. All I know is that I should do my job well. Popularity should not be an issue. When the real purpose of one’s skill is forgotten, chances are, the skill can be forgotten, too. When we practice our skills and gifts, may be remember the generation to whom these skills will impact, as we are part of this big world that we take part in rebuilding.

Shifting Focus

I left Monday with an angry and stressed outlook.

It’s so frustrating when one day you’re empowered with the Lord’s promises and restful atmosphere on Sunday but suddenly shifting into a furious worker on Mondays. I almost thought of myself as a modern-day Dr.-Jekyll-slash-Mr.-Hyde. What’s even more frustrating is when I realize I’ve broken another testimony. It’s like shattering a new golden ball you received as a gift before your folks can appreciate it.

The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, peace, and joy. But absence of these three things reflects the loss of them. Only through Christ can we receive these things. But they can only manifest if we fully have faith to let go of our selfish ways and let the Giver of these things take over our lives.

It requires a change in focus. Whatever I focus affects my perception, and much sooner, my emotions. Should I focus with what I see or what I hope for? Blessed are those who have not seen yet believed, the Bible says.

I hope for excellence. But I cannot move forward if I focus on the failure of one step.

I hope for alliances. But I cannot have it if I focus on the character flaw of one person.

I hope for promotion. But I cannot obtain it if I focus on self-pity and insecurity.

I hope for world restoration. But I can never be part of it if I focus on myself alone.

I cannot dwell in the lack that I see. All I have to focus is on the One who can fill the lack. If I have no cards left, only God can change the game to my favor…not because of me, but because I’m part of His team that brings His glory and love to a broken world with a distracted focus.

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