Arousal 1: Matters of Aging
Before I left the house earlier, when I looked at the mirror an unexpected thought came to mind.
"I look forward to seeing how my hair will turn gray."
Brief images of George Clooney's peppered hair came to mind.
It got me wondering why I had that bout of thought.
Well, for one, expectedly, my birthday is coming soon.
But it's not that.
It doesn't even make sense to relate it to the other previous entries.
But instead of trying to unravel that mystery, I realized that it's good that I had a positive outlook to growing old. I welcomed the thoughts of unexpected changes that come with age.
I do hope I age gracefully.
Arousal 2: Self Reforms
For the past week or maybe two, I'm sorry, I forgot when I decided to start "cleaning house."
I figured since soon, I'm stepping out of the 1st quarter of life, I should start with getting rid of some bad habits.
First in line is nail biting.
Nail biting has been a very bad nervous tendency that developed over the years.
I think it all started when I was young. When I try to look back, it keeps going back to the time (I think) when my yaya who took care of me growing up - left the household to get married and start her own family. You see, I recall that it was that yaya who took care of my nails. I have no recollection if my mom trimmed my nails after that yaya left. And it was after she left where I first recall having started biting my nails.
Over the years, as I grew up and went through the pressures of school and over-achieving. Nail biting became the habit when I think, focus or get nervous during exams. I was not the pen biter or the person who bit the eraser end of the monggol pencil. I had my nails to bite - sorry.
Soon, April 1st week or maybe last week of march - would be smoking.
That's about the only two bad habits I have that are - well, physically manageable. Others perhaps could be classified as personality defects haha.
Arousal 3: Provoked thoughts
Earlier this evening, while I was chatting with a friend who visited SG from MY, he brought up that his best friend in college lived a privileged life. He mentioned his bestfriend's parents were in the US. The dad was an engineer of some sort. His bestfriend and the siblings grew up some time in college living by themselves. The bestfriend was gifted a car before he graduated...blah blah blah. You get the drift.
But, the topic that provoked my thoughts once again was the difference between expectations of people.
My friend asked his bestfriend if he helps out in the family's finances considering how his parents paid for his education in Mapua. The bestfriend said no and mentioned that the parents don't ask for anything in return - and that it was the parents' responsibility to have their children educated.
It hit me that I had similar thoughts growing up.
I recall having a fight once - or maybe several times - with my mom and the topic of being "pinapaaral" was brought up, and I remember shouting at her that it was part of the responsibility she bears for bringing me into this world. Well, I regret that argument now. But I am still amaze how people's opinion differ so much based on upbringing.
Yuppies working now who didn't grow up as privileged as others, feel compelled to help out the family. While the yuppies working now who were fortunately privileged, don't feel any sense of responsibility or perhaps are not obligated to provide. I'm sorry if I'm casting the argument in just black and white. But the gradient between black and white is too many and I digress.
I don't think my family is rich. I always believed that we're middle class to upper middle class. I'm fortunate that the age gaps between my siblings and I are big. My sister is 10 years older and my brother is 9 years older. That is one way I explain why it seems I live lavishly. Another reason I tell people is that I'm just a by product of family planning. Or sometimes I say that the life we're living now is a product of sacrifice from being an OFW family. Or in certain instances, I tell them that it's because I studied in UP. There's so many sides to the story for me to justify why people's perception that we're rich is wrong.
Now I am thankful where I am. When I call my mom and ask if she needs any money, she tells me NO and just reminds me to SAVE. I had to force giving her "pasalubong" cash when I went home last time. But she ended up not making use of it, and gave some portion of the "pasalubong" cash back when we were in NZ. (I used my credit card to purchase for them their Christmas gift for me and my mom paid me back with the SGD i gave her).
I always thought that, well, if my mom is not obligating me to contribute - but instead just to save up money for myself - then that's the least I can do. But then after contemplating on it, I realized that, my mom and dad are confident on the retirement that's up and coming. They're secured with the thought that all their children are independent and earning enough to make a living and save. My brother is in NZ and my sister is in the US. They have two options for countries to retire in. I got the hint that they're not planning long long term in the Philippines, when I told my mom I wanted to buy a condo unit and need their help to shoulder the expense (so that there will be an addition to the "cash cows" currently setup for their retirement) and she told me "Huwag na, hindi pa kami sure if dito magretire so sayang lang sa abala kung bumili"...
The only way I can comfort them with thoughts of security - is if I save money. If they know I'm saving aside money and still able to live independently, comfortably and RESPONSIBLY, then they know they did right by me. I'm guessing, it's possible that they're finally going all hands-off on their bunso (me). And just observing me from my status updates or perhaps my "here-and-there" phone updates to mom.