Answered Prayer: Becoming An Immigrant

I was debating whether to use that title or change it, because what if I have another answered prayer? Anyway, I decided it doesn’t matter it will have different dates and I added the subtopic of this post.

Before I start, I want to say that it’s hard to admit this because I don’t want people to judge my mom, and curse her or much worse, but I’m sharing it now because it’s been years and she already paid for her mistakes.

My mom went to the US when I was fourteen years old.Ever since then, all of us in the house, would wish and pray that she’ll become a permanent citizen up to now.

I don’t know when it started, but I just suddenly found out that she became an illegal citizen. She was found out, because one of the Filipinos she worked with, told the police, or embassy and she was paid for it.

Since then, my mom was summoned to the court and paid for what she did. I told you she left when I was fourteen, right? She paid by staying there without going home to us, she missed her father’s (my grandfather) death and burial, and she missed being a mom to me.

I’m not going to side with her and say that what she did is right, because it’s not, and I don’t want to ever follow the steps she made. I hated her for a while because of what she did, but I forgave her eventually. I hated her for other things like she chose her work over me before, but now I realized and understand why she did them. That’s why I promise myself that I will never be the kind of person who won’t have time for her children, just because of work. I want to become a hands-on mom, who won’t miss the important events and moments in my child’s life because my mom missed so many things in my life.

Before going to the US, she worked in Kuwait, and we only get to see each other for two months or less in a year. So I’m not close to her, and I don’t really know her. I do love her, because I remember little things about her like when she reads to me before I sleep, going to the mall to ride car and animal toys, carrying me, and playing with me as a little girl, but I don’t remember much, that’s it. It’s also hard to get along and to be close with someone, who is hardly there in your life.

I guess reading this post, will give you an Aha moment. It’s why I’m writing The Guardian Program. I’m not going to make my character work as a CEO and make her maids take care of her children, and make her miss important events in her children’s life. She’s going to be a hands-on mom while she does a part-time job as a consultant and counselor. I’m sure that people who are career oriented don’t understand this or maybe even other younger women.

It’s true. Some people think that when you’re legally emancipated from your parents, when you’re eighteen, and when you’re living on your own, you are an adult, and you are fully matured. What they don’t know is that men and women fully mature when they reach twenty-five. That’s the time where they start thinking differently. That’s why in Psychology, the Human Development, 25-40 is called the Early Adulthood stage. When I was twenty-four, I thought I was mature and I already know a lot of things, but when I turned twenty-five, my best friend, my family, and I, noticed how I’ve changed in thoughts and in my actions. Now I’m twenty-eight, I’ll say that four years ago, I am mature, but I’m still innocent, naive and is full of ideals and unrealistic expectations. Now, I’m different, but I’m much better. Anyway, I’ll save this for a different post because it’s already long.

Yesterday, which is today here in the Philippines, she is Las Vegas and she attended her final trial. She told us that now, she’s officially a legal immigrant. My grandmother, Aunt, and I cried and hugged each other after finding out. I’m also happy that after fourteen years, I’m going to see her again. I’m also scared because I bet she’s going to tell me that it’s my turn to go to the US. I plan to go there, and I want to do it the right way, so I will, but before I go there, my mom and I has a lot of catching up to do.

This is really an answered prayer, it may have taken half of my life, but what’s important is, God gave my mom a second chance to correct what she did, amended her sin, and gained the people’s trust again.

Pseudo Passions Harms Kids

Growing up, I was lucky to have never experienced, a college requirement that is a passion for something. But maybe it was unfortunate because I grew up with so much passion on writing and singing. With all the passions, I have I’m grateful to my parents for paying for it and somehow nourishing it in their tough love ways.

I grew up with skills in playing the piano by taking piano lessons for five years. It’s not my passion. It’s a pseudo passion. What I want is to learn the violin.

So why did I study the piano? Because my grandmother wants it and in her mind, if I don’t study the piano, I don’t have ambitions. She told me that after giving up ballet, because my parents at home and the ballet dos and don ts are suffocating. The truth is when she was little, she loved to study playing the piano, but her family can’t afford it, so she never got the chance. I feel bad for her. So I did it for her.

So what is a Pseudo Passion?

It is a passion pushed by our parents or anyone around us to pursue due to different reasons such as to enter a prestigious school, to stand out from the crowd, to succeed, to be more popular, and to compete with other family’s daughter or son accomplishments, and more.

Why does it hurt kids? 

It hurts us because we pursue something out of obligation or duty, but we’re not interested in it, we are wasting our time, energy and effort on something we are not passionate. During that time, we also fail to realize or find our real calling as a person.

Another example is I took Nursing as a pre-medical course. I badly wanted to become a doctor, that was my third passion. I remember when I was having hospital shifts, my only motivation at that time is I was helping people, and I’m earning more experience as a person, to become a compassionate doctor. Since we can’t afford medical school, I push forth being a nurse. I am a licensed registered nurse.Working as a nurse is a pseudo passion.

Aside from dreaming to become a doctor, I have another option, which is to become a Psychologist. My Aunt opposed it so I didn’t pursue it. It was my fourth passion.

I used to hate piano and at that time, I can only rebel by playing sad and depressive songs, and I was. Now, I don’t hate playing the piano and also being a nurse, but when my parents act as if I don’t have any other choice but to forget my passion, and pursue playing the piano, and working as a nurse instead. It just makes my blood boil. I just want to die.

I found my real passion in life only when I was 24 years old back in November 2011. It was one of the most heartbreaking experience that led to a realization of what I’m going to do with my life. It was at that time when my parents made me gave up Nanowrimo to help my cousin in her thesis. There’s nothing wrong with me helping her like I said, I could always go back to the story and finish it. What made me angry is because of the way my mom and my Aunt disregarded my writing. I got the message, my writing is not important, and my cousin’s thesis is important. To me, my writing is important, but my cousin’s thesis is more important because she needs it to graduate. I’m willing to help her. I just wish they didn’t disregard my writing just like that.

So if parents, want children to have passion, and ambition, let them explore different things in their life, don’t get ahead of them, and push their dreams for them to pursue because they never got it. I know that children should make their parents happy by becoming a responsible, disciplined, sensible, successful, happy, and healthy adult, but it’s not the children’s job to pursue missed opportunities and dreams of their parents, unless their children had the same dreams with their parents.

Have patience, if a child is not finding his passion soon enough. It will come at the right place and time. Let them explore different things, to find what they like and dislike, what they are good at, and what they are not. And when they finally find their real calling, they won’t be wasting their time, effort and energy, and you won’t be wasting your money, and expectations for them to succeed.

The likely result is some of them will become like me. They will feel lost and confuse because most of the time his mom and dad are pulling him in different directions or to pursue something. They won’t know what to do with their life, because they spent the rest of their life, being obedient or following or doing, whatever their parents tell them what to do. That was a very sad realization on my part, and I only realized it during my exit interview from my first job. I tried to act the way they want me and applied for a job, I swore I’ll never do and in the end, I hated the job so much. As for the others I don’t know, let’s hope they have a better and happier life than mine since I can’t speak for all of us.

The other worst fact is that all those five years I spent studying ballet, another five years taking piano lessons and studying nursing for almost five years, I’ll never get them back. I’m close to my thirties, and I’m still starting to establish myself. I’m not the only one paying for my delayed success, my parents are paying for it too.

Dreaming and wishing are free. I used to say I don’t have regrets, but if I can go back to the past and change things, I will not agree to the ballet lessons and piano lessons and force them instead to enroll me to violin lessons and voice lessons. You probably think that was selfish of me, considering what she’d gone through. I have another three cousins she also enrolled in piano lessons. One of them loved it, so there’s my cousin vindicating her because she loved playing the piano, and she continued to learn up to now. Studying nursing is my decision, I wasn’t forced on it. I only wish my parents will stop forcing me to work as a nurse, and support me instead on working as a counselor or psychotherapist.

If parents can’t support the children financially, at least support them emotionally. That is more important. Children can pursue their passions in different ways. Children who have supportive parents when it comes to realistic passions or passion they could pursue within their means, they realize their dreams much faster than people like me, and those children have better relationships with their parents.

For example, since I love to sing, I joined my high school, and college choir in the past. Now, I’m a member of my community church choir. As for being a counselor or a psychotherapist, I am at least trained as a psychiatric nurse to counsel patients and different mental illnesses or conditions. I found a way to pursue what I want, by my promise is when I get the chance to study again, I will study to become a Psychologist. I will make it happen.

Another example is a friend I met in College. She gave me her words of wisdom which is to live my life and stop following their orders because she did the same thing with her mom. She patterned her life to what her mother wants, now that her mother is gone. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do with her life, and how to start a new life. It never occurred to me that she lived that way because I’ve always thought that her mom was supportive. Yes, she is supportive, protective, and nurturing mother to her and her siblings, and I admire her for that, but I remembered that my friend also gave up her dreams for her  and her other family members.