Delayed Gratification…

This past weekend life threw one of its many curve balls. . . Sickness, pain, suffering, were among everyone’s feelings this past week. It has caused me to ponder a bit.

In the Filipino culture we are taught at a very young age to pursue our studies to have a better life than our parents have. No matter how “well-off” we were when growing up, it’s not good enough they expect us to live better than that.

My parents have worked hard. I don’t think I grew up deprived of anything. I suppose one could make the argument that although materiality was readily accessible or able to be bought my parents never spoiled us by buying items we wanted just because they could. My parents made sacrifices for us and I have never felt the desire to take advantage of them.

I’m concerned. When have you actually reached “better” isn’t there always something “better”?

My parents have worked hard. Earning every vacation day they took whether in actual time off or dollars. As I sit here looking at their life, I would say they have reached the “American Dream” everyone hopes for. The “American Dream” right…? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They have definitely pursued this happiness, they found it freely in Christ. They gained a few extra things along the way: each other, 3 children, a home, a car for each driver, healthcare ( I had to throw that out there, sorry)…

Since I think they’ve reached the “American Dream” I want to know…”Have they enjoyed it?”

Everyone talks about delayed gratification. Putting off pleasure and happiness now and trading it in for sweat, hard-work, and tears. So what is the time limit of delayed? For a child, it may be graduating from High School or college. For the college student, it’s graduating from college and getting that first job. For the young adult, it’s vesting in an IRA. Do you notice how the time stamps never end? There is always one more rung on the ladder to step up to.

When is one able to enjoy his accomplishments? For the Senior, it may be the summer before starting college. For the college graduate, it may be the summer before adult responsibilities kick in (or maybe 6 months after graduation when the student loan bills start marching in). That’s when it stops though, the time. Maybe I should say that’s when time snowballs. As soon as the first bill comes in, adult life snowballs: “How do I pay this bill when I’m still looking for a job?” The questions and concerns never end.

So tell me. When does one enjoy? Does it take a medical scare to jar us from our delayed gratification goals? Does it take a family member’s death to shake us to what is really important in life? Does it take a fire to burn down all our possessions to realize we never enjoyed our “props” in the house.

So I ask you today: leave the housework for tomorrow and spend time with your children. Take a break and pick up the phone and call your parents. Sit in front of the computer and Skype with your cousin. Drive 3 hours on Saturday to visit your aunt. Write the letter, the 2 page hand-written letter you said you were going to write ages ago.

If you die in your sleep, your housework will be done by someone else but one cannot hug your child for you. One cannot write the letter you said you were going to. One cannot be ‘you’ as hard as they try.

I’m Not A Girl?!

Yeah. How would you feel?

Several months ago Ben and I were talking and he mentioned how I’m not a girl.

I suppose it’s because I don’t handle situations like a girl. Honestly, I wouldn’t really know how a girl would handle whatever. I suppose cry and pout til she gets her way/attention etc?

A few weeks ago my brother and I were discussing a certain girl and some drama happening. My brother made the comment, ” Dude, she’s a REAL girl!”

Me: Oh is there such a thing as a fake girl?!

I should’ve known better

John: Yes! You are so not a girl. You’re a guy.

Me: Well great. Here’s another guy thinking the same thing…

Relaying this newfound information to a friend during chat..

me:  I’m not a girl according to my brother and ben.

A-REI: I’ve thought that at times…
but i appreciate that about you 🙂

me: OMG YOU TOO?!?!?!

A-REI: lol
me: I’m being serious…seriously you think that?

A-REI: um… that sometimes you are not as girly as others?   yes
i don’t think you are a guy
that’s weird…

Unfortunately, we got to the side of the conversation where I’m seen as a guy because they’re comfortable with me, etc. Honestly, I never show a guy that I can be a romantic interest because I don’t want just anyone giving me the time of day and I most definitely don’t give just anyone the time of day.

Now that I think of it, I believe only two guys have seen “girlfriend/wife prospect” Melanie. Ex-bf and pf.

While we’re on this subject, I cannot flirt. What does flirting consist of anyway? Yes, I’m a girl because I am more than capable to connive, manipulate, and deceive- I choose not to, unless you’re a girl using the aforementioned tactics towards me. You will get schooled, btw.

Back on track, (not like we were on track towards anything anyway) not a girl=Melanie. I suppose if that’s what it seems like then so be it. I am who I am because of what I have learned through observations and experiences.

Is it so bad that I live in reality? Or that I am independent and opinionated? I suppose the man I date/(eventually) marry would like to know I am more than capable of stepping alongside him instead of pulling him along?

Are people supposed to know that about you right off the bat? To my understanding, that just means you’re on the radar for an MRS degree. It screams “PLEASE MARRY ME BECAUSE I’M 21 WITHOUT ANY PROSPECTS”

I know, I’m to act and behave womanly and lady-like, etc, which is most definitely not equivalent to being a girl in my eyes. Am I wrong here or do I just live in Melanie-land?