family feelings

i am not my own person.

Monday, November 19, 2012tee

going home always gives me a sense of family and brings about a rush of emotions. makes me realize more that i am not just my own person - that i belong to a bigger group, a family, a clan, a community. and whatever and wherever i go, i will always have a sense of belongingness and not just being my own person but being that of my family's too. all of us are inter-connected in some way. growing up in a small city, that was a lesson and a fact i knew since early on.

i am not just my own person, i am my parents' child too. we were raised in a happy, loving and nurturing environment. i come from a middle-class family - my dad is a surgeon and my mom is a a nurse. we live in a small city where everyone practically knows everyone else and my dad, especially, is known because of his profession. our parents have done their job in teaching us to be well-grounded and humble. growing up, classmates would always tell us that we must be rich being the doctor's daughter and all, but it was something that never got into our heads. i recall one day my brother who was yet in kindergarten, so innocently asked my mama: "are we rich? what does being rich mean? my classmate told me we are rich." i forgot what mama told my brother, but i think it was something on the lines of being humble and saying we're not rich but we should be thankful for the blessings what we have. we were always taught to be level-headed, not to take advantage of others and not to see ourselves as superior over others. we were just your regular, middle-class kids. at a young age, i have always wondered why my classmates called their folks "daddy" and "mommy" while we call our parents "papa" and "mama" so i tried teaching my younger brother (who was still learning to speak) to say "daddy, mommy", and the moment mama got hold of that, she immediately corrected me and my brother and told us that only the rich call their parents "daddy, mommy" and we should never think of ourselves as financially rich and wealthy. my parents always taught us to live within our means, that's why up until now, i was never a fan of credit card installments and debt to credit card companies myself. i have this mantra - if you can't afford it, don't buy it in the first place. i, however, because we're in the modern era - do own credit cards, but mainly because of convenience. :)

since young, we were taught early on on the value of hard-earned money and work. we had helpers but that didn't give us the right to laze around all day and let the helper to all the work. the helpers are not there to fulfill our every whim and desire. even if we had helpers, that didn't give us the right to talk back, insult or maltreat our helpers. our parents never tolerated bad behavior and disrespect either, and though i went through my angst-filled teenage years (which i now deeply regret), we were taught to treat others with respect and with kindness. importantly, we were taught never to start fights, and though we had epic fights among ourselves as siblings at a young age, we were never the war-freaks and misbehaved at school. we were never spoiled, we grew up not asking for this and that by whim. i would never have the nerve to ask for my parents for the pair of sketchers that was all the rave in school and most of my classmates were sporting. the same goes for my siblings too, we grew up not in "want" - never asked for this and that and point this and that while we're out shopping. we get treats from time to time - graduations, birthdays, Christmases and some weekends. our parents were not stringent with us either, we were always provided what we needed and if we asked for it, it would be given to us. the values instilled on us since young were also seen in how our parents lived their lives, they walked the talk, so to speak. it always amazes me how well-respected my father is with his values and ethics and even up to now, i would just meet some random stranger who after a series of small-talk, apparently knows our family and my father and will always have a story of how papa helped him in a way. always makes me beam with pride each time. 

these little tidbits comprise of my childhood and how we were reared and somehow give an insight of who i am and was - all because of how our family had raised us. and a gentle reminder to myself never to forget my roots, to proudly as ever look back at where i've come from and where i've been, and to remain grounded and infinitely grateful. :)

you can bring the girl out of the small city, but you can never bring the small city out of the girl.
 true that.

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  1. aww.. i can totally relate! funny, it's as if I was reading about my life!

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