Wednesday, February 18, 2009


ORIGIN applies to the things or persons from which something is ultimately derived and often to the causes operating before the thing itself comes into being.
[From Webster's online dictionary]

None of what I write here is "new" in the sense that it is my original thought. I'm a big believer in taking what's already out there, processing the information and incorporating what I can. Its no surprise that something "original" can be born by pulling from the existing "stuff" or by putting things together in a different way.

Where did the idea for this blog come from?

As I said, the idea for an actual blog came from my brother in law. Prior to that, I have written my thoughts and ideas down in various forms both electronically and by hand (the old fashioned way!).

As for the origins of the message that I want to share, that origin goes all the way back to the time I realized that I was doing something that, seconds before, I had believed to be an impossibility.

My divorce.

I grew up in the Philippines as Catholic, raised by Chinese parents who were immigrants. My dad was born in mainland China and my mother in Vietnam. The Philippines was a colony of Spain for centuries and Catholicism is not only a religion but embedded in day to day life. "Divorce" was something that happened "somewhere else" - it was the unthinkable. From my parents, I was taught that one works through problems within the family. You deal with the hand that you have and don't "air your dirty laundry" in public. Even though my parents are well traveled and educated, "divorce" for them was not something to acknowledge.

So, up until the moment my counselor asked me "Would you spend the rest of your life with this man?" I had not contemplated divorce. I am a bit embarrassed to admit this but I even had a hard time saying the word! I referred to is as the "D" word.

I remember the session very clearly. That week, after hearing various opinions from friends who had discovered that my then husband and I were having marital problems, I wondered, how long would this process take? He and I were both seeing a counselor independently and also as a couple. I thought to myself, this process could take a very long time. So, I decided to ask my counselor about it.

She and I had been talking for about 3 months by then and my husband and I were also seeing her as a couple for a little over a month. After the normal introductions and "how did things go?", I shared my observation that I could be working on saving my marriage for a long time, "How do I know when to stop?"

She asked me, "Do you see yourself growing old with this man?"


My answer was instant. There was no hesitation or thought. I answered instinctively to the question.

It is the only moment in my life where I experienced such clarity in answering a question that I knew would have a big impact on my life. This moment is frozen in my memory as the turning point of my life.

The ripples of that moment are still here for me, 9 year later.

I was 34 years old and my life was just starting over again.

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