growing up, with just my mom, brother, and myself (my dad, who was my kakampi, working abroad for most of my growing years), life was one big drama for me. my brother and i were born ten months apart, and it was tough. i always felt i had to fight for attention, to fight for my place in the sun, to always be my best so that i'd get my mom to love me. of course it didn't help how at that time, my mom was pretty young, and terribly wanted a son more than she did a daughter.
needless to say, all the attention mongering did not help in developing a lovey-dovey relationship. on the contrary, we fought with each other so much that my mom, probably tired of playing referee, each gave us knives one time so we could just kill each other and have all the fighting done and over it. that ended whatever fight quick.
of course there were good times. my brother, should he wish to be kind and loving, can truly turn on the charm. so, when he was in the mood, we'd have the best of times. i remember how when i was reviewing for the bar, i would hitch a ride with him to alabang most of the time. i also remember us having fun watching campy tagalog tv shows, such as 13, 14, 15.
when my parents left for the US around 8 years ago, we learned to co-exist and live together peacefully. we were alone in the family home, and we had a great time togother, managing to make sure everything ran as smoothly as it did when our mom was still there. he worked for the family business, and i was working and studying at the same time. it was great, and we survived magnificently. the major problems started when he began working for a call center. it was as if every evil bone in his body got the wake-up call and he turned into this horrible monster i didn't want to live with.
the monster was so horrible that one new year's day, i found myself telling him life would be better if he moved to the other house. the words may have been harsh, but to this day i believe it was the best thing i've ever done for myself (and probably for him).
since he moved away, life has generally been more pleasant for me. we exchanged the usual pleasantries during holidays and birthdays, and we counted on each other for favors when needed (like airport hatid and what not). then my mom announced a biggie: she was coming home for vacation.
and just like that, all the goodwill faded away. yesterday, i found myself vying for time and attention like a ten year old kid. i wanted things my way, and i believed my way was best. i also felt upstaged over the fact that my brother was going on leave on my mom's last week here while i couldn't take time off for work save for certain days. i hated how my brother - with a snap of his fingers - could make my mom's heart swell with pride and joy, while it felt like there was nothing i could do right once more.
here i am -- 33, a lawyer, with bills fully paid, savings in the bank, and happily independent -- and once more feeling horribly insecure the way i did all those years i was vying for attention.
horrible, i tell you.
oh i wish i could really learn the fine are of indifference. i wish i could perfect being okay with whatever. i've said this a million times -- how life would be so much better if i didn't get so involved in each and every thing. but i can't. and now, dealing with my mom and brother once more, i still can't.
on sunday, the three of us would be going on a trip to HK. i've been looking forward to it for a month now, since i first booked the tickets. i've been researching and planning and everything. but now, i can't muster up enough excitement for the trip. i can picture my brother once more getting his way, refusing to do stuff and my mom trying to please him, while i'm there, the panganay, supposedly able to understand everything and give way. it's not a pretty picture, and so while the trip has been a tiny ray of sunshine in my otherwise busy days, it has stopped being that.
i know i need an attitude change soon. and i wish i can do that.
for now though, i can't. and i hope the world just cooperates for a bit while i'm this way.