In Facebook, an old classmate from Assumption Antipolo posted this photo last week:
That's me on the top row, third student from left (click photo to enlarge). I am 6 or 7 years old here and I have no front teeth!
Since Facebook allows you to tag people in photos, all of us who were tagged here left comments on the pic and that's also how we found each other again. I got such a huge kick getting updates from long lost friends--most of them are married, with kids or are pregnant, and juggling a career, too. We've been emailing each other (and that's a lot of mail that I've been cheerfully busy with!) and I just get soooo happy reading about them and setting up appointments to meet soon. Their lives sound so fascinating and it boggles me that they find my life exciting, too.
Okay, I love my life. I keep telling Vince that the life I have now is beyond my wildest imagination (and Vince would always chuckle back, "You didn't imagine much then!"). After growing up poor, to be able to buy my shoes and bags and dresses, eat at nice places, buy my medicines (I'm a health nut), live in a lovely home, travel, help my parents financially, and do all these and more without going into debt... this life is totally insane for me.
You see, I've been very selfish these past years, focusing entirely on myself. It's a survival thing, I think. I wasn't very happy in my youth so I've worked very very hard the last decade or so to get to this point where I am happy. But in the last year, I've begun looking outward.
Maybe because I'm so happy and settled down? Maybe because I'm older and finally wiser? Maybe because I finally listened to God's prodding and stopped focusing on me? I don't know. All I know is there is a hunger in me to be generous, to give, to love, to reconnect, to ask forgiveness and to forgive. After all, I wouldn't be where I am today if other people hadn't been so generous with me. Vince's parents gave us our home, my bosses at work have rewarded my service, my staff gives so much time to the magazine so I wouldn't need to, my friends and sisters-in-law and family made my wedding utterly exquisite, my husband continues to spoil me rotten by providing me my needs and my wants. I am so blessed because people around me, despite my selfishness, have poured out their lives and emptied their pockets just so I can be happy. God is too good to me and that humbles me a lot, you know?
Life really isn't about oneself; it's about sharing your life with others. I have finally found meaning in generosity.