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It Hurts No More

Flordeliza C. Sarmiento

· Volume I Issue I

I have always dreamed of giving.
I grew up seeing how my parents give generously to our relatives, even to people who turned out to be their biggest critics up to this moment. Yet, many still have owed their life to the kindness of my mom and dad. My father has been gone for almost a decade now, yet I am always in awe every time I hear comments of how good a man he was. I take it all for his generosity.
Every time I ask my mom why they would allow relatives to stay with us for a couple of years, she would always say what my father had been telling her: to give while there is still yet to give.
I always have questioned that.
Until I had my job.
That was when all the responsibilities have been placed upon my shoulder. I started paying for my own bills, plus all the expenses at home, supporting every family member. It was really hard especially when another relative (a family really) stayed with us for a couple of years; then comes a grandmother, then cousins – you could imagine how extended our family was all under one roof.
You are right guessing! I was the only one who had a job, providing for everyone and for myself while I was under medication for almost a year that time.
Did that hurt?
Indeed, not until I realize I had nothing left with me and I only had a week’s worth of travel allowance I had to make ends meet for two weeks, before my next payday.
Did that hurt? At that moment, no. I was raised to give and give until there is still left to give.
The idea of giving felt really right until years later, I needed to look for another job after I ended my contract with my previous employer.
Until I was not able to pay all my bills and had my singlehood ring (not a purity ring of such type, I grew up being a Christian) be sold to a lhuillier so I could start a new job which pays later than never.
Until I had to put off my insurance policies simply because I did not have any single savings and my delayed salary would not allow me to venture into such “economical-financial-literacy-future-holding-ideology”.
Does it still hurt? Yes. I am now in a permanent position as a public teacher; and looking back into the “lost investments” and “living investments”, I came to ask where all my profits have been. I couldn’t find any reasonable material and investment to tell people I was able to put up a future for myself.
I felt like I was feeding a piggy bank that never gets filled. I felt like I have lost myself in the long process of realizing I should also prioritize myself, my future.
And now that I’m starting to go beyond my means of saving, this is when I realized, saving has never been too hard compared to providing for everyone else, thinking this is all for me. This is for my future. For me. For my future.
Until I lost half of my month’s salary due to negligence. I may have been writing as for that particular reason. My frustration comes from thinking of how I could pay my apartment, utility bills, Home Credit, dental appointments, transportation, food, allowance, support for my family and other personal expenses. Add to these are the expenses teachers usually spend in public schools.
Since I lost a big amount of money, I decided to withdraw my savings so I could survive a month.
Yes, there has been this regret of how stupid I was, and how guilty I was for not telling anyone about this. Yet, I was able to pay my important and urgent bills, and provide small amount for my family.
Does it hurt to provide for my family’s needs and pay for my bills in exchange for sacrificing my savings to survive for a month? Does it hurt to prioritize other people in my life than my personal needs and allowance? No.
About that lost money, I know I have blessed the person who found it. I blame him not, for I too did not come from affluence, but from my parents’ legacy of giving until there is nothing left to give.
Since it hurts no more, I believe I could still pursue my dream of giving.
Do I still have anything left for me? Yes. I have still savings in the bank account, an apartment to stay in, my job, my family, my boyfriend, and tons of real friends. And those, I am not willing to share or give away.