Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
I’m already 26 and every time I would say this to people, they don’t believe me. One, because I’m living alone in Manila, though I’m in the same apartment with my aunt and her daughter’s family. Second, my parents were situated in Nueva Ecija, my hometown. And lastly, because of my age, obviously.
My batchmates in elementary, high school, and college are getting married and starting to build a family. While me, at the age of 26, is still an NBSB.
I’ve missed fun gatherings, sleepovers with friends, after-office dinners, and many, many, more fun happenings in life because of this. Some of my friends would say, just for once I should join the party until midnight. Just for once, I should be with them in an out-of-town trip. Just for once, I should tell my parents to allow me to have fun. Just for once, I should try lying to them since I am living alone and there’s no way for them to know if I’m really home or not. And I feel tempted every time.
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I’ve always wonder what’s it’s like to enjoy the night without thinking of the time. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to say “yes” in a trip without the need to ask permission every time. I wondered what it’s like to sleepover with friends and catch up with them the whole night.
Most of the time, I would try avoiding gatherings because I’m afraid to be called a “killjoy” when I have to go as early as 8pm (my special curfew for official office events only). The party maybe just starting but all I’m thinking is how to explain to my mother that I need to extend and that we’re not allowed to go home yet.
I lost friends in the process. I cried my heart out during the times I was not even invited because they know I am not allowed as usual. I tried talking my mother about it. I’ve tried saying there’s no way we could meet people in this kind of set-up. That I wanted to find someone, too, and build my own family someday.
But, every time I do, we end up fighting. I ended up hurting her feelings. My mother is a worrier and a paranoid when it comes to our safety. Maybe because she already lost one of us before. I understand where she is coming from. And every time, I would just accept defeat because I would always choose my family over all fun nights with friends. Every time, I would just think how lucky I am that I still have her in my life. And I still wouldn’t trade it for anything. Even if I’m already missing half of my life in the process.
But there are nights that I would think what it’s like to be in a relationship, too. Or if I would ever find one in this lifetime. But in this kind of set-up I have, maybe I should just give it up and accept that my mission in life is to serve my family. It’s not that bad after all.