There were a number of things that I knew I’d cut out of my life after becoming a mom. Some of them, like ending up at the hospital after an all night drinking/doing-only-God-knows-what session, were a given. Other bad habits, like my Djarums, weren’t so easy to write off. The difference? It’s hard being a good mom when you’re up to your eyeballs in debts accrued via ER stays. But smoking? I absolutely believe that it’s possible to handle your responsibilities as a parent while being a smoker.
Unfortunately, Djarums aren’t sold in the Philippines and I was having a hard time being an energetic mom who smokes. Those are good enough reasons. Real talk though? I stopped smoking mainly because of the judgmental assholes who think that being a smoker means I’m also being a bad mom. I let them get to me, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s because I had to blend in as well as possible before finding my footing. Maybe it’s because I was insecure with my body and my newly acquired role as a mom. Maybe it’s because it was easier to use fitting in as an excuse for not having to fight. Because, trust, you think it’s hard being a freak/weirdo/queer/person who generally does not fit in/etc. in the heartland of America? It’s a zillion times harder over here, where the streets are Hard.
I was afraid of that, of the Hard. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to balance my old proclivities and lifestyle and attitudes with my newly instated place in the m-hood. I thought that I had to start over again, flail my arms a bit, get lost in the muck and mire of what I should do and who I had to be, fake it until I make it, play the part of headstrong/independent/got-everything-under-my-finger Big Mama until the role fit me like a glove. But none of that matters, and none of it was 100% authentic, and really I’ve been like every other person in the world, figuring shit out along the way and discovering things that move me and shake me and make me feel sad anxious afraid happy lucky angry gorgeous amazing.
Eight months ago, I moved overseas, and I lost my way and I lost my self. Now I’m reclaiming Me.