Advice for the Supposed Lovelorn #ThursdayTips

Valentine’s largely become an occasion for married couples, those in a relationship (even if “It’s complicated” and all those other tags), or people simply in the courtship stage. And this has pretty much resulted in singles being shoved aside, figuratively speaking, but sometimes rudely just the same. The worse part is, oftentimes, it’s the singles who belittle themselves and feel unworthy.

This should not be so. It’s the season of LOVE!!!!! Love is everywhere of every day. Love is for everyone! And unless you’re an evil overlord or such,…

YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE

Stop hating on Valentine, it’s not his fault. Don’t be a killjoy just because you think Valentine’s is not for you. Perhaps it’s simply not the right time, or s/he’s not the right person, or there are just greater things in store for you. Stop sulking and keep living.

I remember this incident when two younger and prettier girls concluded that I was depressed due to a lack of romantic relationship. It was the only proof they had. In other words, singles like us (or like I was then, and they were, for that matter) were diagnosed as depressed just by knowing our pitiful status.

I never really felt depressed about the lack of significant other. I hope that if you are singles right now, you don’t either. Let me share with you the things I learned along the way (taken from my SPINSTERVILLE piece). Take these as words of wisdom from a former supposed lovelorn:

Being single is not something to be ashamed of. It is not a sin. Where in the world has that ever been written? Spinsterville is not The End of the World. More like a State of Mind. The end of the world is only for those who cannot get pass beyond what their eyes can see. They do not care that the world is round and to see it from different perspectives. They do not care to look at what is really beyond the horizon, afraid that they just might find themselves and not like what they’ll see.

Singlehood is not merely a choice you make, but the only one given you at the particular moment. Should the opportunity presents itself, however, you still have the right to not accept Choice B. Maybe not that soon, maybe never.

Love is not something you simply buy from the store wherein you go to a rack, pick one item up, then pay for it at the counter. If this is how it’s done, then you just might pay dearly…It’s about making the right choice. It’s about choosing what makes you happier, not what makes them happier.

Why hurry and jump into the frying pan just to avoid singlehood? Sometimes, you get more than you bargained for. Many times, people get into it at the first sign of false hope, only to get burned and live the rest of their lives trying to lick the wounds…In our hurry, we pick the closest fruit nearby and think that that will do. Later, we discover the worm that has been hidden all along. By then, it’s too late. What a rotten deal we put ourselves into.

Don’t join the bandwagon just so you won’t be left behind. A wedding does not assure you of a happy marriage. It is simply a declaration of the commitment you make, that you will try to achieve the happiness you crave for in the relationship.

It does not assure you of children, either, if that is your primary goal. Don’t treat your spouse like a thing that you can use for your own selfish purposes.

A soul mate is not necessarily the one you marry. S/he could be your best friend in the form of a companion, parent, child, someone of the same sex…I can go on and on. A soul mate is someone who understands you fully yet helps you become a better person and lets you return the favor. A kindred spirit, so to speak.

Do you realize that statistically, there is an uneven distribution of the sexes in the world? There are, in fact, less men than women. Let us also not forget about gender preferences…I only know that somehow, some way, the balance is tilted and that’s reality. They will not change just because you say so. We all have to look at the small details to see the bigger picture.

Singles should not think they are the only singles in the world and that they have failed in fulfilling their life’s mission. Was Jesus ever married? No. Did Mother Theresa marry? No…This just goes to show that you don’t have to be married to achieve whatever it is you are meant to achieve.

“You are all that you need.” I think, to have someone is really just icing on the cake. The cake itself is already whole, delicious and edible, its foundations already built. The icing and all others are just treats that may be enjoyed and add color. But they are not necessary. We just want them to decorate the cake, like we want them to decorate our lives.

I think singles and non-singles are both victims of society and its twisted notion of what is supposed to be right or wrong. This thinking dates back from time immemorial. It’s so much so that even when they feel happy, doubt often creeps in to kill that happiness, simply because they are not what they are not. 

So you think you are alone and has no one at all? Then, it is worse than loving blindly. I call it living blindly. Open your eyes, look around! You can never be alone unless you will it. What do they say? That “no man is an island”. Realize that many people need you.

The heart is the biggest and strongest muscle after all. It can accommodate as many as you want if you let it. Marriage is not a requirement in life. It should not be a must to be considered normal and a part of society. It is definitely not a ticket to hand over to enter the gates of Heaven.

 

Do you guys agree yet? If yes, can I give you a few more tips? These are from an interview Dr. Eamer did with me about being one of those in the NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) crowd. In Part 2 of that interview, he asked for me to give a message to NBSBs (start reading that as a noun). Here they are below, translated wholly in English. I believe they are meant for all singles, not NBSBs alone…

TIPS WHILE YOU WAIT (OR NOT)

One, don’t wait. Don’t waste your time waiting. Don’t lose hope, yes, but do not make it your life-long goal or else, you might get more depressed. It will happen if it will happen. If it does not, at least find a way to be happy nevertheless. You owe it to yourself. Maybe do something that will benefit others.

Two, others can eat their opinions. If you’re just thinking of what others say or think of your situation, shove it. Are you getting into a relationship just so you can shut people up from meddling in your single life? Who do you think will suffer in times of trouble, them?

Three, don’t be desperate. Don’t settle for two-timers who are all-too willing to treat you as a fling or mistress. Where’s the dignity there? I think that would be even worse and humiliating than being an NBSB for Life.

Four, if you’re NBSB or single, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you and that you’re incomplete. We just have different circumstances. You’re already complete, as an individual–people are just icing on the cake, there to add flavor into your life.

Five, be careful what you wish for.

So singles, stop trying to conform to others’ standards so that they can mold you into their likeness. Stop explaining yourself and coming up with possible reasons on why you’re still uncommitted when you’re not even sure of them yourself. Stop being defensive and picking we’re-better-than-you fights–online or otherwise–with non-singles.

Most of all, stop apologizing!

YOU ARE SINGLE BECAUSE

YOU JUST ARE.

Alright, this is my key takeaway:

“When I finally meet my Creator, He will not be looking for the ring on my finger; He will not measure my worth by how many kids I’ve brought to the world; and He will not condemn me for not saying “I do.” Instead, He will ask how I lived my life regardless of a ring; He will measure me by how many kids I’ve helped bring up as good persons; and He will ask me what I did for others unselfishly. I will not face him as a single or a married person. I will stand before my Creator as an individual. That’s what really counts.”

 

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Agree or disagree? Let us know below.

If I ever offended anybody with this, kindly let me know. It’s not any of my intentions to do so.

No Turning Back

January. It signifies a lot of new things, right? Not only the year, but many create resolutions and many make plans. Well, me, too. But for me, January 2015 is the start of something else (and basically why I couldn’t find much time to post in the past weeks).

Why January was because of people’s conflict of schedules last December, which would have been a great month for it, and because if we consider the Chinese calendar (I’m probably practically 0% Chinese), it’s still technically 2014, deemed a great year to take the plunge. So I took the plunge:

I WENT AND GOT MYSELF MARRIED!!!

Yes, folks, I am now half of a two-person team, one of them crazy peeps who thought they would be settling down when in reality, it would actually be the opposite.

Yeah, I know, I know, why couldn’t I jut stay single and be happy? One well-meaning friend even kind of tried to dissuade me, saying she just wanted me to enjoy my life after what I went through when my parents both got sick and passed away. But the thing was I enjoyed my life best when I was, and now am, with him. Mushy, I know, but there’s just no other way to put it.

vin-gi-souvenir

It was a very simple wedding but I still wanted a cake to cut, wine for the couple drink or whatever you call it, and souvenirs such as this one. Photo and copyright ©  J.Gi Federizo

I mean I’m not even the party-hard, travel-much kind of person and I’m kind of a cheapskate, anyway, I’m not ashamed to admit. I just love to laze around, write, read, watch TV, talk about trivial and foolish things, even have deep and intellectually stimulating or enhancing conversations. People know I like to talk and I can spend hours doing it. Lots of times, I like to be alone, too, doing my own thing. So you see, things I enjoy need not be only experienced if I stayed single.

Don’t get me wrong. I am still an advocate of single-blessedness, as I had staunchly expressed in the past. I do not necessarily advocate being single, nor being married, for that matter. I am advocating the freedom to choose and live as your status. Whatever you think will work for you.

It just so happens that married life seems to be what’s going to work for me and well, there’s no other alternative but to do my–our–hardest to make it work. I will not be a fool and pretend that everything is going to be smooth-sailing. It won’t be and if I were to be honest, there will surely be lots of bumps on the road. But the best road isn’t just one that is less traveled, but one you keep traveling on despite bumps and everything else. That’s what keeps the whole journey worth it, right?

Marriage is when you choose to be merry together as you age. Okay, I made that one up, but I like it so sue me 😉

Top Ten Questions People Ask Me #atozchallenge2014

In my Q&A Portion, I encourage people to ask me any questions, as long as they do not “border on too personal, below-the-belt, or unwholesome (too adult-oriented, nasty, of an intolerant nature).” So of course, being oh-so-popular, I only got a few questions thrown at me (LOL!!!).

So today, I thought I’d share to you the QUESTIONS people have most often asked me (aside from the name) and, naturally, my responses.

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j-gi-federizo

There are the Hair Raising Questions, called so because my hair tends to raise questions.

1. (Upon seeing the curls) Is your hair naturally curly?

“Yes, it is.”

Sometimes they ask this because they are amused. Sometimes, a few peeps actually like the curls. Sometimes, they ask because they are partial to straight hair. Whatever the reason, it’s in the genes, folks.

surly-hair-woman

This is not me, but a Googled image. I’ve seen some pictures of me with my back at the camera and I think this comes close to what it looks like when my hair is long already

2. Don’t you want to have your hair straightened?

“No. I like my hair.”

Maintenance is a bit of a challenge sometimes, but I kind of like it curly. One, I don’t want to conform to people’s standards when it comes to hair. Two, this is our Filipino ancestors’ legacy. I will not be ashamed of it. Three, it’s just gonna go back to curly anyway.

3. Oh, your hair is soft?!!

“Yep.”

That’s my reply because more than a question, it’s really often an exclamation. Due to my natural curls, people tend to assume the strands to feel…hmnn…well, wiry to touch, maybe, or stiff. Then they get to actually touch it and get a pleasant surprise. Another surprise is the strands are actually thinner than they seem.

 

Now let’s talk about Age-Defying Questions. Well, more like Confirm-or-Deny.

1. How old are you?

“Secret.” Or, “I stopped counting.”

For the longest time, I would give the first answer, sometimes I still do. Even when I was younger, I didn’t feel comfortable answering this. Why? Because I knew/know that people tend to label you and judge you and your capabilities, especially if you’re a woman, based on your age.

You could be as young as 25 and already, they would be needling you about getting married. You could be older and the more they would needle you about it as if the status would be what’s going to define the whole you. Or sometimes, they assume you won’t be able to catch up or be cool enough to fit in with younger people, which can be a disadvantage in the workplace.

One thing I can say: I don’t lie about it. I just don’t normally give the answer they want to hear. If it does not involve anything related to work, health or important documents, let me stop at 28. I’m in my 30s but let them assume that themselves.

2. (When I actually give the age) Really?!! But how come you look younger???

I shrug.

Ironically, many people tend to assume I am younger so they can’t believe when I say I’m this age. Sometimes I feel like a teenager having an identity crisis. I’m neither old enough nor young enough for anything. Go figure. Ha!!!

3. Have you had any boyfriend? or How many boyfriends have you had?

I smile and keep silent until I am made to spit it out.

Well, I used to smile and keep silent, that is. The truth was, I was someone who was what we call an NBSB — No. Boyfriend. Since. Birth. At my age. I don’t see why anyone could have a boyfriend at birth, but that’s beside the point.

I always believe that being single should not be seen as shameful. Why push to be in a relationship just for the sake of it and suffer?  A relationship means having responsibilities anyway and, as others claim, it is better to be an NBNP — No Boyfriend, No Problem. It’s on a case to case basis, really.

But I have to say, to be still an NBSB at 30 could be a trifle awkward to admit. It’s one thing to be single right now, another to be forever single, and it seemed I fell into that second category. I was single not by choice alone. And then here were others practically demanding that I explained further the whys, to which I said “I just haven’t been in love yet,” and what they perceived as the whys, to which I didn’t know the answers.

But what was I to do? Lie??? Being single is not pathetic. Lying like that, now that would be pathetic! Life was what it was. I was not going to lie, just hoped no one would ask so I could avoid the awkward pick-me-apart moment. It also gave more reason for inquiring minds to go around the age question and these ones below…

4.  Are you married already?

“Nope.”

That’s a typical question, isn’t it? It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I was much younger because usually, it would be followed up with How come you’re not married yet? said in a way that made me feel like I was supposed to be ashamed for committing a mortal sin by not being married to anybody.

Well, that’s bound to change.

5. You have kids? or How many kids do you have?

“Uh, no, none.”

Typical question, too, right? Just not the kind of thing a young, unmarried woman would like to hear. Kind of a downer because it just emphasizes how frumpy she looks.

Now before anyone reacts violently and raises hell because I just generalized married women as frumpy, please take time to realize that biologically, that’s what’s bound to happen to most of us women. That hurts but that’s reality. There are just some lucky girls who still manage to not look a day bigger after giving birth, whether they have done something about it or not.

The thing is, I am frumpy and no amount of denying is going to change the fact, so anyone who asks me the question above, I cannot really blame. I just blame my ego for not coping well with the situation. I should keep a mantra. Say it with me, girls: “I don’t care. I love myself. I don’t care. I love myself…”

 

Last, we have the Family-Oriented Questions.

1. Are you the daughter of Mr./Mrs. Federizo, the teacher? Where is s/he now?

“Yes, I am…S/he’s _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”

I used to get these inquiries often enough until these recent years when both of my parents were retired and, later, passed away. I don’t really mind answering…well, most times. It’s just that folks whom I don’t know from Adam (or Eve, as the case maybe) just suddenly ask me these questions. Sometimes, they just go straight to asking how my parents are, where they are, etc., and almost always, they don’t even mention how they know my parents. They just expect me to respond.

creepy-spyI especially don’t like answering when they ask who stays with my parents when I am away (that is if they don’t  know yet about my parents being gone forever). I more especially don’t like to answer now when they ask me who is left at home when I am away, or who stays with me when I am home, or when I usually go home.

Would you feel comfortable giving your answer to complete strangers or people you know but don’t really trust? When my parents were alive, I worried about their safety, now I worry about the house’s and mine.

2. Don’t you have a sister? Where is she?

“Yes. She’s in _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”

Okay, I still answer, even when I am in no mood for small talk, just to humor others. There are just some who tend to give their unnecessary opinions: “Why does she have to stay there? She should bring her family here.” “Isn’t that too far? She ought to go back home.” “It’s better here. She should stay here where….” Etcetera, blaaah…

Sometimes, I am tempted to say, “Uh, excuse me. First, she’s an adult. She has a life of her own. Second, we respect that, so should you. Third, I’m sleepy and cranky and really not in the mood to discuss with you things that ought to be discussed within the family alone. I can be polite, but please don’t push me.”

 

So THERE!!! So far, those are the usual questions I get that are at the top of my head. Thank you for letting me share things about myself, embarrassing or not, but very honest. 🙂

 

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Not sure if you enjoyed this one, but I did. It allowed me to express myself more freely and talk publicly about certain thoughts and things I have kept inside.

This post serves as my “Q” post for…

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