Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life at Twenty-Five


This wasn't how I thought I'd find myself at twenty-five.

A thousand and one scenarios had gone through my mind growing
up. I thought I'd be be climbing a career ladder somewhere,
stable and established. I thought I'd have found that annoying
insistence of the idealization of “the one” despite all my
feminist sensibilities. At one point or another, I'd thought I
would already have had a baby (although ideally, I pegged this
scenario at 27 or 28). I thought I'd be making it big. I thought
I'd be this complete, successful individual... taking the world
one article or documentary at a time.

Funny how life decides to slap you awake and make you realize just
how naïve we are to think we can just plan our lives and then fate
will timidly and gladly take that blueprint off our hands and make
all our dreams come true.

Because this is NOT where I thought I'd be. If people had told me
at say, twenty that this is where I'll be at twenty-five, I would
have laughed at their faces and would not have, for a moment,
taken such a ridiculous scenario seriously.

Who knew.

I haven't found "the one" or even just someone and instead just
had my heart broken too many times, I can't even figure out how
I let it happen so many times in the first place. I let go of
“the dream” I built my academic and extra-curricular credentials on
for my entire college existence for a chance at love that turned out
to be one of my worst gambles. I tasted what it felt like to get
published, to write and be read, to do what I love...
but now, I don't know where the dream has gone.

And now at twenty-five, halfway through my twenty-sixth birthday, I
sit here, reeling because life is happening to me this very moment.
Knocked up. Outside of wedlock. Broke. Jobless. Alone. Carrying the
child of a man-boy who is currently my personal version of the devil
incarnate. Writing this post in an effort to figure out what got me
here while waiting in anxious anticipation for the birth of my
daughter which could happen in a few weeks, or any minute. Wondering
where I went wrong. And most importantly, trying to figure out what
kind of life broken, irresponsible, confused me could ever give
this baby.

Oh the self-pity trips I take everyday.

I only got two more pills on my pre-natal meds bottle, an OB
appointment in a few days, two expensive tetanus shots to take and
no idea how to pay for them. I search the net for articles on
pregnancy and skip all the parts that talks about daddy's role.
I resent that stupid Anmum advertisement with the woman that goes
“Now that I'm pregnant, my husband makes sure I do what's best
for me too”. I balk every time people ask me where the dad is and
when I plan to get married because no matter how smoothly I lie,
my eyes always say otherwise.

I wake up every morning and do my daily walk and wonder what
people think when they pass by this pregnant girl walking by
herself on mornings. Do they wonder where her husband is?
Does it show that I care what they think when they look
at me?

Why do I even care anyway?

When I line up for my OB visit and I sit sy-by-side with other
pregnant women with their supportive husbands and partners, I
wonder if they look at me sideways and try to hide their pity.
When I ride in jeepneys and see whole families squished together
going home from the church or mall or whatever, I wonder will
my baby ask herself why she never has a dad to ride jeepneys
or go to church or to the mall with? And when she asks me,
will I ever figure out a way to tell her without highlighting
the brokenness of our little incomplete family?

I never run out of material. I am the oppressed, rejected
heroine in my tragic little teledrama.

But in truth, I am not that naïve.

Not about this at least. As much as I enjoy playing the drama
queen, I know I have no right to pretend to be the victim here.
Fate really isn't the architect of our lives. We are. And
wherever we find ourselves, at any point in our lives, we know
well enough that we constructed the circumstances that led us
there. Okay, maybe fate constructed the circumstances, but how
we responded to those circumstances and those decisions and
choices we made brought us to where we are.

I chose to believe him despite common sense telling me it's a
pile of bullshit. I was the one who willingly allowed myself
to confuse intimacy with love even though I've told myself not
to let that happen. I cried the tears I knew I'd cry even though
I had every opportunity to prevent them and enough experiences
to know better. Or so it seemed.

Right now, I just want to pop a champagne and celebrate my
stupidity with a mirror in front me so I can look at myself
with derision the entire time while I toast at my reflection.

And I really would. If I could take alcohol which I can't.
If I can afford champagne which I also can't.

Which brings me back to my baby. My baby whom I love beyond
reason even though we haven't met. My baby who I already worry
about even though she's not even here yet. My baby who I will
be responsible for forever when I'm not even sure I'm responsible
enough for my self yet.

It's easy to write down the lessons and look at the mess-that-is-
my-life nicely typed in black and white, as if it's all sorted out.
But I know just how confusing it's all going to be when she comes.

Still, the messy confusion of life is what makes it beautiful.
That's where the colors spring from. That's where the stories
come from. It's the stuff that those lasting memories are made
of. And even though, I'm at it again, making another blueprint
for two lives now, I'll re-read this post once in while and
remind myself that it may turn to be a lot different that I
thought it would be in my head and I should always remember
that I'm no longer deciding for myself.

And as much as that feels me with dread, it fills me with
excitement as well. I don't know what kind of mother I'm going
to be. I guess I'll just have to take this parenting thing one
day at a time and hope that five, ten years from now, I'll be
popping champagne celebrating how despite my stupidity, despite
my being me, life is still turning out to be a whole hell of a
lot better than I could ever plan.