I’m pretty stoked to write on my shiny new blog. My Desperate Subic Housewife blog was fun. And the few times that I wrote in it, it was actually really gratifying. I had random people who I never really thought would be interested in my life message me saying how entertaining and relatable my posts were. Not too shabby for someone who had very low expectations on reader turnout. (I seriously thought I had a grand audience of 3: My mom, my tita and my husband.)
But the thing is, that blog depicted how my life was at that certain point in time; totally random with minimal commitment and effort.
At the tender, tender age of 35, I realized that I can’t keep on being mediocre anymore. I need to start putting in more value to the things that I do, to the things that are important to me. Thus, this new and improved blog.
I guess this is what this first post is about. You see, I’ve always been passionate about finding your own identity and building self-esteem but somewhere along the way, while I was half-heartedly coasting through life, I kinda lost my own self worth.
ON HANGUPS AND BEING STUCK TO A ROLE
I vaguely remember one of my first philosophy classes in college. The professor (shout out to Doc Dy!!) was talking about how people tended to put an external aspect in the center of their lives (whether it was a job, a relationship etc) and when that thing is taken away, their entire sense of self crumbles.
I think that succinctly describes what happened to me. I placed a lot of stock in one particular aspect or role in my life. So much so that the other aspects of me were neglected; I got stuck in my role as a housewife.
It’s hilarious now that I’m typing it out, because being a housewife was the last thing I even wanted to be. I had a flashback of talking to my best friend way back in grade school, she said that when she grew up, she wanted to be a housewife. A couple of friends later on mimicked the same life goals. And I remember in all instances thinking, “Why would anyone want to be a housewife? Is that even a legit career?”
Fast forward a few decades later, my friends moved on to having steady jobs, and I became the housewife. Oh the irony.
A disclaimer though, becoming a housewife myself made me realize that all the misconceptions I had growing up were totally baseless. Managing a household is not easy, and yes, it is a legit career.
Plus, although it was not originally a life goal, I found it quite fulfilling. I was for a big chunk of my life, a domestic dud. So being able to actually open a stove made me kilig. I loved learning about new household cleaning products and testing out which worked the best. I felt a sense of pride when people gushed at how lovely our house looked. I loved having my own time and being able to keep my own schedule. For most part, I was content.
Too content. You see, I found this new role of mine so fulfilling, that I neglected all the other roles that I played. Domestic duties took a back seat to everything else I wanted to do. I lived, breathed and even dressed housewife (and not even the cute Eva Longoria kind). You know those annoying career people who cannot talk about anything but their work? I became one of those, except instead of stock portfolios and marketing studies, I was talking about cleaning with baking soda or the pros and cons of using fabric conditioner. And seriously, there was nothing wrong with that. But if I was honest with myself, I hated that I was becoming so unidimensional.
I also think I took the job description to heart. Like any career, being a housewife came with a JD. Mine was pretty simple. I was expected to maintain a spiffy house, manage our staff (a whopping total of 1) and be a good wife. (Because you can’t be a housewife without being a wife, otherwise you’d just be a stay- at- home bum). And for me, being a good wife translated to putting the needs of my husband first. All the time. No breaks. No days off. No vacations.
It started off with small things, like making sure that I plan the menu based on what he liked and not on what I wanted to eat; or holding off on buying new stuff for myself so he had budget for his hobbies. No big deal. But after a while, even my mentality changed.
My self esteem started becoming rooted on what my “boss” thought of my efforts. If he was approving, I was happy. If he was noncommittal, I found my efforts lacking.
Also, more blatant issues came into play. Because he was the breadwinner, and I was “just” a housewife, his career and financial decisions held more weight than mine. Because my career revolved around “just being in the house”, I felt more inclined to hold my tongue in public when he was discussing heavy matters with friends or colleagues (even though my opinionated ass was itching to pipe up) because in my head, what did I know, I didn’t have a job/expertise, I was “ just a housewife”.
The funny thing about being in this particular rut is that it kinda creeps up on you. I never realised I was in a pickle until things got bad for me.
Ok, I can go on forever, but because I’ve been told I write novels and not blog entries, I’ll finish my kwento on certain things I realised in my next blog post. Hope you keep on reading! 🙂