Sister in Boston
Mother in Stockton
Family in the Philippines
and me, well, I’m in San Francisco.
I went to work yesterday. I work in a men’s boutique.
My shirt was not as tailored as I was used to. Usually, I would find things that weren’t so on-point, and obsess over it.
I realized how much I’ve institutionalized this ‘self-loathing’, this picking-at-my-own-eye til all was left was bloody sockets…and then obsess over the bloody sockets!
I thought about Lola. I thought about her Illocano-style Pinakbet (a mixed vegetables dish, prepared with fermented fishes), all 20 servings I ate. And then, it hit me: I finally took the time to invest in what made me feel truly good.
Spent the money to go to L.A.
Thought I would go shopping, but ended up just kickin it with family.
This is Victor’s (my partner’s) family. This is my family, because it feels exactly like my family, in Boston, Stockton, the Philippines, and even here in San Francisco.
Food became the binder. The love I felt, especially as I scraped every serving clean, took me back...to all the old experiences I’ve stashed away in the back of my mind.
My shirt was not tailored. My shoulders back, chest out, and pride exuding, I remembered Lola’s pinakbet, and remembered, once again, WHO THE HELL I WAS.