By Sara Grace C. Fojas
Leaving home after college meant no more home cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It meant you had to learn how to handle your own money, because asking your mom or dad for money would means you were irresponsible and you still had to go to the nearest padala center to get the money they did not hesitate to send. It meant doing your own laundry and buying your own groceries. It meant that you were on your own, even though you were living with your own siblings, because they would also have responsibilities and goals they would need to accomplish.
But the thing that didn’t leave when I left home were the lessons my parents taught me while growing up, especially Mama, who I think was the most practical person in the universe. Here are the things I learned when I left home:
I grew up in a religious family who would go to church every Sunday. But then one day, the Sunday routine stopped and we settled with the mass we would see on television every Sunday. The family may not go to church anymore every Sunday, but just observing Mama throughout the day, you’d see how she would start and end her day with a prayer. Once, there was a strong earthquake and Mama’s immediate response was to hold the Sacred Heart of Jesus poster on the wall and pray. She knows God will never leave our side and she’s set the perfect example on how we should trust in Him whatever may happen or wherever we go.
Invest in adventures, but don’t forget to invest in yourself.
Mama’s happy for us whenever we’d post photos of our travels or our food trip, or even just the recent movie we watched. But when she’s occasionally checking on us whenever she’d visit Manila, she would always remind us not to forget the important things like being healthy and buying the clothes you need, your own bed and cabinet, and just the practical things you need in life, which will be useful as you go.
Mama’s always sending us a text message or a private message on Facebook every day. Sometimes it would just be a simple “how are you?” or “hello” or a Facebook wave. Though we may not always send her an immediate reply, we make sure that on weekends we have a video call. Sometimes we forget how precious it is that we always have people wondering how we’ve been, like our parents and our grandparents back home.
You can always come back home.
When everything’s getting so overwhelming and the city life is becoming tiring, we all know that we can always take the 12-hour bus ride home and Mama and Papa will welcome us with open arms and make us feel like all is well in the world. But when they see that you’re ready to fly out of the nest again, even when you don’t feel like it yet, they will push you back to your dreams, never stopping to remind you that “you can do it.”