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Pia Besmonte

is back

Growing up alone

Maturity is when you start doing the right thing. Naïveté is expecting that everyone is going to start doing the right thing because you first made the choice.

Today I learned

that human beings may be assigned to grow old together as siblings, but growing up takes solitude.

The simple story

For weeks now I’ve been trying to confirm whether or not my older brother is coming to my wedding. He not so subtly said that he’s not coming without his plus-one. The reason I didn’t invite said plus-one is personal, and has to do with my being a mother to a boy. The complexity of my brother’s relationships is his story to tell. The bottom line, for me, is that he refuses to send his sister away on her most important day.

The complex story

In the last two years that I have been away from blogging and social media, I have been working on myself.

After my mother passed away and my surgery, I grew distant from my family. I made a mess of my life and career prospects straight out of college. I became severely depressed. I hit rock bottom. I felt alone.

When I decided to pivot, I met my fiancé. He was the first and only person I allowed to see me at my most vulnerable. He saw me with tears and snot dripping freely from my face as I tell the stories that haunted me to silence. He simply listened.

I finally found the person who — unlike my family — didn’t criticize without empathy, who didn’t tell me what to do but encouraged me to rebuild my life with my own bare hands.

When I was ready, my fiancé invited my family to my book launch.

Reconciliation

The day I launched my first book was the beginning of my reconciliation with my family. They listened to my lecture and they witnessed what I do, which is write, teach, and perform poetry.

From then on and throughout my pregnancy, I got my family more and more involved with my new life. When I gave birth, I called my sisters. They came over our place for lunch on some weekends. They were all present on my birthday party in July.

As I plan my wedding, I make provisions for my family’s comfort and happiness as they come to our destination wedding in Tagaytay.

Alas, I can’t have it all. And I guess this is the challenging part of family, that you can never have perfect harmony with everybody all at once. And now that I think I’m a little more mature, I’m going to have to live with that.

 

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