Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Icebreaker by Sheila Mapanao

Good evening, everyone! Tonight’s the night I do my icebreaker speech! And the task at hand is to introduce myself to all you. Before I start, I’d like to ask… “When you are asked to introduce yourself, how do you do it?” Maybe you give out basic information like name, age, company you work for, etc. etc., right? Because that’s how we define ourselves. Well, tonight I’d like to be a bit different. Rather than telling you those basic information, which most of you probably already know anyway, I’d like to introduce myself by how I see myself…
First of all, I am a writer. Or more truthfully, a frustrated writer. I dream of someday writing a novel much like my favorite authors, Isabel Allende, John Grisham, J.K. Rowling, and a host of others. Even in grade school, I joined (and won) a number of writing contests. Now, I have a different outlet for my writing, and that is in blogging. For those of you who don’t know blogging is basically keeping an online journal.
Second, I am a bookworm, which I can say is the reason I wanted to be a writer in the first place! When I was younger, I could finish a thick book in 1 night! There were times that I would forego sleeping just to finish reading whatever book captured my interest and imagination.
Third, I’m also a movie buff. Friends usually joke that I’m their resident movie reviewer cum critic cum trivia guide. Name the actors or actresses in a movie, and there’d be a good chance I can name the movie.
But all the things I told you about me now is just a very shallow definition of who I really am. We’ve barely scratched the surface, as these are the things that I would tell practically anyone, even people I’ve just met. But to know the real me, you would have to know what I went through a few years back.
I was married 8 years ago in 1996, to my boyfriend of 9 years. The marriage started out happily at first. But by 2001, the marriage had unraveled and I had left my ex, with my kids, and just a few clothes and toys in tow. So imagine, I was with this person for a total of 14 years, almost half my life. And I certainly thought I knew him. For a while I couldn’t believe that I was in this sort of relationship…that this was the person I married. Rather than go through the details and relive those unpleasant moments, let me just say that I had gone through all 3 rings… engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. Truth be told, I was in a abusive relationship. And I had to get out, if not for me, then for my children who were witnesses to the abuse.
Looking back now, I can hardly believe that I was able to hurdle all those negative experiences. For a while, my self-esteem was wrought and I felt so helpless, so insecure. I was in a state of denial, and depression. But fighting back, standing up for myself, and being able to finally leave that house, that man, and that relationship, has definitely made me into a much stronger person.
My life now as a single mom is so, so much happier! I have 2 handsome, and loving sons and they are my life, my treasures. They are my reason for being. I do my best to bring them up as I want them to grow up to be fine young men, upstanding citizens of the world. And when I look at them now, so young and innocent, I know I made the right choice in leaving that marriage. And I know that I still have a long way to go in bringing up my children, and yet I look forward to the journey ahead. Because I believe in my heart, and in my soul, that in this world now I am first and foremost, a mother.
And that is how I’d like to be known to you. Good evening again to everyone! I’m Sheila, frustrated writer, bookworm, dreamer, fighter, and survivor, but above all, a mother! Thank you!

1 comment:

Gege said...

Sheila,

I read your second speech before this. And I have to say that with these 2 pieces, I got to know you so much better. I feel privileged to be in the receiving end of personal information. I am sure you learned a lot from your experiences, no matter how excruciating the suffering. And maybe others will learn from your experiences too. The more I am looking forward to coming back and get to know the Toasties!

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