Flawed Fem

My Flawed Life as a Mother, Sister, and Daughter -To my Family, With fellow women, & In Christ.


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The End

How do you know it’s the end? How do you know it’s a new beginning? How do you know?

The death of a relationship is complex. When you’ve invested your heart, when you’ve bared your soul to someone, how do you suddenly stop? When your times were filled with endless laughter, when your beings were soothed by each other’s presence, how do you press the pause button and wait for the other to come back? When your routine involves a consistency, and the other decides to check out, how do you know if the magic will still be there the next time?

There are people who you can trust and have the assurance of a lifelong friendship. These people may be far, they may not be physically present. But your souls have been intertwined for life. Your hearts have been taken and kept in theirs. They treasure you as much as you do them. You finally see each other and there’s nothing but laughter, warm hugs, and loving glances. You have good memories of the past, and you create even better memories for the future.

Then there are people beside you, always with you. But you never know where you stand with them. Or you thought you knew, and then things change. Without a known reason. With no warning. With no provocation. And it makes you question life. It makes you wonder how much of your heart to open up again. How do you share your deepest pains and utmost joys to someone and then suddenly leave? How does one decide to love today and be indifferent tomorrow?

When life presents me with the end, an unexplainable end, my soul shatters. I am sad, I am nerved. I feel afraid, and I feel angry. When my conscience is clear, and my heart is pure, damning whispers and tempestuous lies seek to break me. When I care deeply and the other is careless, my being is shaken. And I hide: My heart cannot take another heartbreak. My open heart cannot bear another closed off door. The mind fucks, the on and offs, the judging eyes. I am sick of it all.

There is nothing good in the end. It takes my frail heart and crushes it. There is nothing good left in the end. It takes my soul to a dark and lonely place. An inevitable hole of numbness and ugliness.

So where do I go after the end? Where do I find a new beginning? It is easy for me to wander. In the hellhole. Indulge. In self-pity and self-doubt. And withdraw. Put on the brakes. Rest my weary heart. The hard part is the healing, to hold my head and heart higher than the forces that seek to put me down. To forge on, despite the ebbs and flows. Even as I now lay low and still, I must still go forth. To conquer the lies and seek souls of truth and integrity. To fight the temporary highs and find a real and lasting love. To be the light at the end of a hard long dark tunnel. To find peace in the end of an unworthy presence, and see clarity in the beginning of me.

~o~

In the more poetic words of Kesha/ Praying —

You bought the flames and you put me to through hell. I had to learn how to fight for myself. And we both know all the truth I could tell, I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell.”prayingkesha

 

 

 

 

 

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HIatus

I was in a writing hiatus for several reasons. There’s the physical- the sleep deprivation from a toddler’s sleep regression; the return of migraines over the season, and unpredictable summer plans. Then there’s the emotional- tragic news that hit me hard; and deep-seated conflicts that hit me harder. To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement: I was drained, exhausted, and broken. To say I had writer’s block would be an easy excuse, the reality is that was only a part of the truth. It is true I couldn’t write, but I could not write because I had no energy to write. And it did not stem from not knowing what to write. It’s quite the opposite: it’s from having too many issues that makes it hard to know what to release and what to hold close and private.

If I’ve stated this in earlier posts, please excuse the redundancy. Even as I am all about
exposing my flaws and feminist ideas (hence the blog name;) I created this blog with a purpose of empowerment. I am careful not to throw dirt or throw shade just because I’m pissed. I will use my sadness to learn a lesson, I will use my rage to engage my passion. I will use my ugly disappointments and channel that energy to a beautiful art. That is the essence of this blog. And when I cannot find that light energy, I feel like I’m writing incomplete sentences. When all I have is doom and a seemingly inescapable hole, I could not bring myself to write dark thoughts and end it there. Even if I do not have a resolution, I feel this need to counter the darkness. Even if it’s a sliver, a miniscule glimpse of light, I’ll take it.

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And so therein lies my problem at this moment. Have I seen the light? There are days when I am hopeful, more days that I’m not. Am I any close to any resolution? The physical exhaustion is relatively easy to remedy. The mental part, not so much. Especially when the resolutions depend on others. When I am at several crossroads, and yet waiting for others take their own journeys and seeing if our paths are truly meant to continue together or apart- that is the struggle. When my heart is torn and confused, when my brain threatens to explode from too much possibilities, none of which are completely desirable. I am stuck. And it is neither all darkness or all light: it is part darkened and part enlightened, and it is a most confusing state to be in.

So where do I go from here? One thing I realized during my hiatus: I need to write. I miss it. My heart needed the release, my thoughts needed to be poured out. And if I am going to be true about my flawed life, well, here I am, naked in my future unknown. Some answers have not yet been revealed, some lessons have not yet been learned. But my heart is open, and my love is true. And wherever life takes me, I draw on the grace of God and the courage of me. And for now, that is enough.

 

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ALL HEART. Sparkly and all 😉

 

 


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Politically Incorrect: Outsider

An outsider, that’s what I am. A rebel since birth, an introspective. I question my beliefs, I affirm my morals. I love with passion, I fight injustice with a bleeding heart.  I am not part of the elite, I am not part of the “in crowd.” I have cupped the face of a few hardened souls, I have held the hands of one homeless too many. Yet as I have tried my damnest to  save lives, I feel helpless in the face of dangerous and dirty politics facing my two worlds. I love my people, but I’m afraid the people that I love has now turned to hate. Hate for their fellow sufferers. Hate for each others’ differences. Hate that has overpowered too many hearts and minds: where change and progress might have occurred, we are now clouded and painfully covered in hate.

I am no saint. I have fallen prey to hate and rage far too many times lately. It is hard for my feminist heart not be affected by misogyny, especially when such is expressed by the highest ruler of the lands. It is hard to sleep well at night when I know my fellow immigrants are being beaten, bullied, and deported due to a flawed immigration system. It breaks me to know that impoverished countrymen in my otherworld fall victim to the war on drugs, and that young potential minds have been wasted and killed in the crossfire. I feel defeated and helpless.blogpi

Yet…there can be hope. For I do not have a one sided view of these tragedies–

I do not blame anyone for wanting to make “America great again”  I understand seeking to improve the US economy, for tax and healthcare reforms. However, I do not believe they can be achieved by bigoted immigration laws and a tolerance for white supremacy. I do not believe in inequity and creating laws to make the richer rich and the poor worse off. There has to be a better way. The current POTUS was not elected by mere hate alone. He has touched upon the disillusion of many, and it is that disillusionment that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, instead of turning the disheartened into positive changers, it has only increased the hate in their hearts. Hate that has turned to blame and loathing for others that do not look like them, hate that has blinded them to the plight of people similar to their own ancestors’ survival, hate that has made it near impossible to institute any real and logical change in the land of unlimited possibilities.  Yet I cannot react in hate. Hate begets hate, and it is a vicious never ending cycle that has put us in the predicament we are in now. Instead of responding in rage, I want to feel their rage and seek to help. Instead of hating them for hating me, I choose to love, and open myself to these people, so they can see me as more than an outsider, but part of this vast colorful country that we all choose to love and defend.

In my homeland, the war on drugs have taken its toll. Countless lives have been taken, and more will be. The latest victims are young teens, boys whose lives have been cut short by this bloody war. Do I believe it is the President’s fault? Do I believe the drug cartels are the ones killing each other off? Do I also think that the opposition may have a hand in this war? I DO NOT KNOW. Moreover, I also think those are the wrong questions to ask. The more important, meaningful question is how can we help the country alleviate itself of the drug problem? If we abhor the violence, what are we doing to help, really truly help the victims?  Violence makes me flinch. But I flinch even more at people spewing hate in the name of human rights. You do not care about human rights if you only care about the dead dealers/addicts and not the people killed by these dealers. You also cannot call yourself a true human rights advocate if you ignore the police arrogance/violence. You want justice and human rights? Then HELP. Donate to the rehab centers. Volunteer and give to the shelters. Do the hotline for abused women. Drug addiction is a true epidemic, believe me, I’ve seen it. It is a disease, that needs to be treated and prevented, not killed. Love him or hate him, Pres. Duterte has established many rehab centers and helped women in domestic cases. What have you done?

I am not here to convince you of my beliefs. I am not here to condemn anyone of their beliefs. But I am here to challenge you of your beliefs. Whether you are left or right, Yellow or DDS- that you stop seeking to be right, and seek to find unity and progress in our differences. That your beliefs pushes you to help- to build, not destroy; to lift and not to stomp on others.  I am using my pen (or phone) to exercise my power to lift you. I am using my meager savings to help those who need it more. Use yourself for others. That is the most powerful political statement one can ever make today.

 

 

 


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My Babies’ Father

Let me be straight. If you are the type of guy who expects, nay, demands his wife and baby mama to cook and clean, and does nothing of the same, then do not waste both our times reading this post. This is not for you and you are not deserving of me. Even back in a land of tradition, I have always been the resistance. God bless her soul, but there was a time my exasperated grandma told me that I will not be able to find a husband because I cannot cook.  My response, I’ll find a cook/chef husband. Of course I was labeled a smart ass from then on, but that’s another story. Many years later, how do you think I fared with my baby daddy?..

 

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Father’s Day gift to Daddy Dark Lord  😉

 

When I met my now husband, one of the first things he did was cook for me. He made me oxtail soup which I would not have the patience to do (I specialize in 15 min meals:) He is also notoriously neat, he loves clean floors, so in submission to him, he is in charge of deep cleaning/ vacuuming in the house. Being a stay at home, I cook and clean more frequently. But it was never an imposition, it was never an order from the Husband Highness. It was a teamwork of chores, just as I have always envisioned marriage to be.
But baby daddy is more than just Mr. Clean. The birth of our kids brought out so much more…
~ He is man of service. Sometimes to a fault. While this can be a source of conflict in other areas, this is a much desired trait in the child rearing department. He is lovingly involved with our children’s lives: Lovingly changes diapers (!) Lovingly supports/his kids’ #1 sports fan. He can be Tiger Dad, but mostly because he really cares about our kids and wants what’s best for them.
~ He is sweet. Comforting and playful. His boys can never get enough of rough playing with him. His boys scream in glee every time he comes home, their adoration of him they can barely contain.
~ He is committed. To his kids. To his beloved boys. He spends time with them and cares for them so much. He tries so hard to understand them. And trust me, they can be a rambunctious pair. He tries to break free of traditional fear-based parenting. I know this doesn’t come easy to him, but he’s trying.

His heart is full. His love for his children boundless. He is all in. He is my love. He is their love. He is their #1 hero. I am proud to call him my babies’ father.


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M.O.M. (Mother series 3)

For a woman who loves herself least, and loves God and her family most. MOM.

She was a simple girl. She is a simple woman. A gentle soul who seeks to help others throughout her life: She was a beauty queen by chance and a star dancer by passion, and in both instances, it was her humility and kindness to her peers that made her so well loved.  She was a teacher who has so much compassion for her students/ children.  She was the oldest of 6 who stepped up to be her siblings’ caretaker when her father died early in life. She was the new wife who moved to the city and became her husband’s mother’s dutiful daughter, through the good and bad, caring for her in many sick and difficult times. She lived out God’s love and light, even through her own tears, even as her family struggled through finances and death.

She is most patient with her children, 4 unique souls, with distinct personalities, with different sets of challenges. She is not perfect, but amidst moments of frustration, she finds a way to transcend anger and show kindness. She seeks to understand us even as we misunderstand, dismiss her. She remains steady, even as we rebel, then and now. Her faith in us never wavers, her heart for us continues to beat strong in the storms. She never fails to teach us about God’s love, and how that defines her love for us.  She is our first glimpse of heaven, with all the comforts of an unconditional love.

Her goodness knows no bounds. She has a big heart for the downtrodden. She has a sincere empathy for the poor and disadvantaged. She is unusual in her ways as a boss, whether it’s in her workplace, or at home. Unusual because while her colleagues show a short fuse towards the less educated workers, she instead bears and teaches them skills. While other homeowners treat their help with contempt and high demands, she befriends them, and treats them as equals, as human beings deserving of basic rights and respect. Her goodness reflects her righteousness. She lives a life of integrity and value. She always tries to do the right thing, even if it causes her undue hardships. She will fight for her children, her mama bear instinct always seek to protect us from harm. She is simply a light force that shines beauty in dark realities.

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This is my mom. A woman of extraordinary beauty and light. Her open heart invites sharing life, and I cannot help but live for our chats, ranging from the mundane day to day, to the big ideas. She is my yoda, simple in her speeches, yet wise in her insights. Even as we relate differently now, in spite of conflicts in views, my relationship with  mom remains the most beautiful thing I have in life.  It is her sacrifices that gave me life choices.  It is her faith that pushed me to live my dreams.  It is her nurturing soul that has enabled me to live. So today, and for the rest of my fortunate life, I would like to live a life deserving of her sacrifices. I would like to honor her with my faithfulness, to protect her as she has held me, to comfort her as she has calmed me, and to pass on her Godly light to my own children. I would like to thank God every day for giving me her, and for giving me the highest honor of being called her child. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

 

 

 


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Work Mom (Mother Series Pt.2)

 

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Boss Mama is the beautiful woman on the left~ (not to be confused with Ms. Shiny Face rt.)

I have not talked to her in years. I have not seen her for a while. Years have passed. I’ve worked in a variety of work and under many bosses. But she was different. She was more than an authority figure to me. She was a mentor, a friend, a role model. She was my work mom.

 

I was on my way to grad school thousand of miles away.  I can only take a job that allows me to do part time work while I was studying for GRE and doing my school applications. My friend told me they needed some help in her workplace. It was time limited. It was the perfect fit.

I went to work not expecting a lot. It was an in-between job and I was just happy to be earning some extra money. But it turned out to be more than a job. I met lifelong friends, I learned about work ethics (good and bad), and met the mentor who would shape my view of an ideal boss: The first time I saw her, she came with no fanfare, no swagger to give any indication that she was the boss of the department. Instead, what I saw was a woman who commanded respect, not because she had an arrogance about her, but because her soft and firm stance exudes class, decisiveness, and confidence in herself and her people. Over time, I saw how a woman of few words worked more efficiently than the men over her. She didn’t bark orders, she just executed them. She didn’t rule by force, she managed with mutual respect. She didn’t use fear to achieve results, she motivated and inspired confidence and teamwork among her team, pushing us to be our best and most effective at work.  We regard her as our leader, but never once did she ever made us feel like she was higher than us, never once did she utter dreaded clichéd statements like “I’m your boss and you do as I say”; “I’m your boss, I’m not your friend”.

She was not a loud person, but her words speak clearly and loudly to all of us who had the pleasure of working with her. Her humble nature revealed a wisdom far beyond her years- it reminds me, many years later, after I have become a manager myself, that good leadership does not come with a bragging heart, but it is through Godly humility, with a mind willing to learn, a heart able to respect, and a soul inspired to do the best work she can that defines a good leader.

So this month, on Mother’s Day (Mother’s Month- I call it), I would like to pay tribute to my work mom. To my/our work mom- you may not know how deeply you touched all of us, but we are all better people because of you. You molded me and taught me the value of leadership through inspired motivation . You are the epitome of kindness and godliness. You gave me the gift of authentic friendship and mentorship. You gave me the gift of you. Thank you. Love you always work mama~

 


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My Other Mother (Mother Series Pt.1)

Mother’s Day. We celebrate motherhood in all its forms- birth mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, fur mommies. But I would like to take this time to remember some unsung heroes, who are neither of the above. I would like to write in honor of my yaya for Mother’s Day, as a tribute to our caretakers, our nannies, our help. Those who may not have birthed us, nor formally took us in. But they take care of us as our mothers do, sometimes even more.

Everybody knows I love my mom. She is my best friend, my advisor, my teacher. She worked hard to provide for us financially and still be present for us emotionally and spiritually. Growing up, I was always amazed how this tiny woman would work 6 days a week, come home and cook our dinner, and tutor us after school. She also took the time to talk to us, really listen and know us. However, on those times she works late, we were left in the care of nannies or yayas.

Growing up, me and my 2 bros had the privilege of having the most loving, sweetest yaya in the world. We call her Manang Sili. (Side note: Sili means chili, she might have gotten that nickname because she loves spicy food, and she passed on that love of spicy food to all of us 🙂 Manang is our second mother, I still refer to her as my nanay-nanayan. To this day, my mother has nothing but fond memories of Manang. My mom beams with pride and loves telling me how Manang is a sage. Every time I ask my mom about baby advice, she would refer back to Manang, and would tell me how Manang has the best technique and has the best instinct on how to care and soothe babies. My mother never considered Manang as something less than her, or as her competition. My mother regards her as her partner in crime, her confidante. Manang was family.

My own memories of Manang was just as good. When I was little, my dad had to work late hours to provide for a growing family. But I was oblivious to our financial hardships because of Manang. She gave me a magical childhood. She instilled in me a love of nature, of climbing trees and resting by the waters. My fondest memories of early childhood was waking up at 5-6am, going to the bakery for the first batch of bread, pandesal, and playing by the coconut trees and the rocky shores of Manila Bay. Breakfast with Manang consists of said bread, chicharon doused in vinegar w.sili, and coconut drink or softdrinks (soda) in clear plastic bags. If I’m lucky, I get a balloon in the park before I go home.

As we grew older, we see less of Manang, as she had her own grandchildren to tend to. My youngest sibling, my sister, never got the honor of having her as her yaya, because Manang had a new grandchild at that time. Even though she wasn’t working for us anymore, she would still visit monthly and give us eggs and fruits from her family’s farm. But as I reached my teens, the visits became less and less. I heard that Manang worked in his son’s business full time. I heard that she finally mended her strained relationship with her daughter and lived near her. Much as I was happy that she got to live her life with her biological family, I missed her. And my mom did too. She started asking around her old neighborhood to find out where Manang now resides, but nobody really knew. And because we moved around as well, we lost touch with her. I felt the loss of her deeply. I would have happy dreams of her and her big laughs. I could feel her tight hugs and hear her loving whispers in times of sickness, reminiscent of when I was a sickly child, and her frail arms would cover mine for comfort. I may not be a sickly child or a crying toddler anymore, but I would always long for the sweet pure love of my Manang Sili.

Wherever she is, my only hope is that she is happy where she is, and that she knows how forever grateful we are to have her in our family. I hope she knows that I am beyond honored to call her not simply my yaya, but my beloved one. She was more than our help- she was our protector, she was our friend. She was like a second Mother to us… She was, and always will be, my other Mother.

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Manang Sili is a lover and giver of fruits. She has instilled the love of fruits in me, that I am now passing on to my own children~