Saturday, February 7, 2009

giving it up to get it back

While randomly reading posts on the Wedding Bee, I came across one about "giving it up to get it back.." here's the part that got to me:

" Except, of course, that — leaving aside the details and nuances — I think that's why we didn't last. I wasn't willing to give any of "me" up in exchange for "us." Here's my theory: you have to be willing to give up some of "you" (actually, the thing about you that you most tightly grasp) in order for a relationship to work. "

Being an only child, I was brought up to be strongly independent. As much as possible, I do things on my own and I avoid asking people for help or for favors. I like the fact that I don't really depend on anybody but myself. Then came James.

We met when I was just about to go to college. I was a brat (still am, hahaha.) and when we first got together I had all these rules that he had to strictly follow. One, I pay for my own fare. Two, I pay for my own meals. Three, I don't like the idea of him escorting me back home everytime we'd go out. I would make him leave me at the terminal insisting that I can go home on my own. All that and more.

I remember my dad asked me about it and kept on rambling about how the guy was supposed to do that, how it was the norm, how it was a guy's way to show his respect, yadah yadah yadah. I only had one answer for him: "Marunong ako umuwi mag-isa. Di ko kailangan ng taga hatid. " or I'd say: "May pera naman ako, di ko kailangan magpalibre." I was that proud. Blame it to my stubborn youth.

I did notice a bit of hurt in James' eyes everytime I'd insist on my rules. I knew he wanted to take care of me, but I did not allow him to. Maybe I was afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to trust, afraid to let go. Back then I didn't realize that it wasn't a matter of who's paying for who or who's fetching who. It was a practice of compromise. It was a matter of "giving up a part of me in exchange for us."

Now I realize that I insisted on those rules not because I was this independent, modern girl, but because I was just scared to be transparent. I was too scared to trust. It took me months to finally be able to give up control and that's when I realized that this was way deeper than a childhood crush or a puppy love. It was more than a fling or a normally shortlived first love. This was a guy that I could trust my life with. With him I felt safe and that nobody can ever harm me.

Two years back when we were taking a break from us, I asked him: " are you angry with him?" (him, referring to you all know who). Without blinking, he said "yes." I said: "why?", expecting that he'd say because he took you away from me or something like that. But he said: "sinaktan ka kasi niya at nakikita ko ngayon kung gano ka nahihirapan. galit ako kasi nasasaktan ka." yes, that's how he takes care of me.

...and that's exactly what I got in exchange for "giving up" a part of me.

I am a witness to the suffering of my people.
I am a chronicler of truth and a catalyst of change.

-The Scholastican-