Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reasons to Tell Mom 'I Love You'

Growing up with my family, it seems like there was always a strain between Mom and I. While I remember the times when she would read me stories about bears and bedtimes, I also remember how hard she would push me and my sister for every school exam. And when I say push, I mean cane if we don't get satisfactory marks. Her expectations of us were sky-high. She was definitely the driving force behind all my straight A's.

My siblings and I always used to see her as a monster. As kids, we didn't like to be pushed so hard. We found ways to go against her as often as possible. Of course, the more we rebelled, the angrier she got and the angrier she was, the more she lashed out on us. And the more she lashed out on us, the further we were pushed away. And the cycle goes on.

But now, as I talked to Mom about my fees and going home, she is the most supportive being who tries to understand how hard I am working here. We've never said 'I love you's this many times, in fact at all. Coming here, I see someone who is willing to take out every cent from her savings so that I am able to do what I want. And when I offered to not go home to help save for my fees, she tells me not to worry and come home anyway.

A mother's job is never, ever an easy one. Looking at Mom, I know how difficult she's had it with us - from all our antics (Like painting the backroom wall with hideous Buncho paint 'Do you love *a bowl of noodles*?' and pouring her rice all over the outside floor to catch birds) to our hard-headedness to our rebellion against her well-meant disciplining. Possibly that's why all daughters are 'Daddy's girls'. Because Mommy is always busy trying to lead us to the right path and teach us responsibility, she comes across as the 'un-fun' and 'strict' one.

Now that I have 'left the nest', so to speak, I realise that Mom was the one who have coaxed me out into the world and taught me how to fly. Her expectations of us were so high because she knew what we were capable of. She knew that we had it in us to make it big. Her sacrifice has been huge, I know this especially in this whole ordeal of me coming to study in Australia. I have seen tremendous support like she's never shown before and for that I love her to bits. She will continue to be my driving force - to aim higher and to work harder for that goal.

'Love you forever'.

I'll love you forever too, Mom.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Once Upon a Long Distance Time

As I read Quaintly's most recent post, I find myself nodding at what she writes about the experience in being in a long distance relationship. That never mind what happiness manages to steer you away from the fact that your loved one is a thousand miles away throughout the day, that you will always, always return to a bed that is cold and worst of all starkingly empty at night.

But what makes it all worth it, is that single moment when you know the both of you are going to meet again. The date is set, and all you do is cross out the days leading up to that moment on the calender. When you reach that precious day, circled twice over in red ink, you put on your best clothes and with fluttering butterflies and clammy hands, you meet and every ounce of loneliness you've been feeling the past one week, one month, one year, vanishes. The next thing you know, you're in his/her arms - everything is right again.

People will tell you that it gets easier with each hello, goodbye. But only you know that it doesn't, it feels like it will never get easier. Of course, if you only had to do it for a certain time frame, then you'd know the feeling of relief when it's all over. But for others, each hello that you know will inadvertently end with a goodbye, each goodbye that you don't know when will end gets worse and worse. Some couples survive it and some couples don't. It's the most difficult thing when it comes to being apart with a loved one - both physically and mentally.

I remember special occasions that were spent not entirely alone, but with friends who try to surround me with all the love that they possibly have to offer. It's different and never enough. Like when fireworks paint the sky with loud, colourful streaks during Independence Day, or when I watch as couples around me hand each other roses on Valentine's... In fact, it didn't even need to be a special occasion, I just needed to see another couple holding hands, laughing with each other and it was enough to reduce me into a weepy mess (On the occasional emotional days, but they were never far apart enough).

Now I look back and pride myself in having been through and succeeded to overcome those lonely three years. But I don't think that I would ever, ever go through long-distance again. Ever. Not as I wake up in the morning with him snoring softly (Or not so) beside me, or when I go into that occasional outraged fit with him. I see myself as strong enough to have come this far, but if put into that situation again, I would feel equally as helpless as I felt then.

So to those of you who are going through the ups and downs of a long-distance relationship, no matter how short or long (because there really is not much of a difference) a time frame, you deserve to be applauded. And all I can say is that when you come out of this, you'll overcome any obstacle thrown at you. You'll come out more mature and stronger and there will be a time when you look at each other and smile as you reminisce the old days. :)