Letter From the Editor: May
So, May. It's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (btw, which is the correct acronym?? APIHM, APAHM, APIAHM, AAPIHM, who the f knows but we should really figure this one out quick y'all) and also Mother's Day - so for a site that honors Filipina womxn, you know this one is special to us. I had been putting a ton of pressure on myself to do all this stuff to take the site to the next level this month - but, shit happens in life that's out of our control and one of the most important things I've learned the past few years is that being flexible is the wave. Let's just call it a soft relaunch and add in some inspirational quote about how "we're all works in progress" as we figure shit out over here. Hehe.
This month, I'm thinking about the ideas of getting back to our roots, but also about breaking the cycle. When it comes to Mother's Day, we're always bombarded with tender images that sell greeting cards and flowers and bottomless brunches and I get it. Mothers can be amazing and the ability to create life is a magical gift. But what about those of us who have broken relationships with our mothers; whose mothers have been abusive, negligent, who have mental illness, who haven't been there in the ways we've needed them to be? To be honest, I'm one of you, and it's something I'm working through.
Whenever I used to hear other people talk about how their moms are their best friends, their rocks, I always felt a twinge of jealousy and longing. Now, I try to reconcile my anger with the thought that, if she had been nurturing and supportive, would I be the independent, goal-oriented woman I am today? I've had to raise myself in many ways, and grow up fast, and harden myself against the opinions of others. So as difficult as it is, I try to be grateful for these experiences and be compassionate and move forward. Because I know that accepting the limitations of this relationship, and finding peace within them, is how I break the cycle of abuse, of shitty communication, of failed relationships and poverty. It's how I heal myself.
After all, we're all humans who are doing the best we can with what we're given. We're all dealing with this ancestral trauma that lives deep in our bones. We come from intense wisdom and beauty, but also from rape and war. This is our legacy, what we shoulder every day, what we are pushing through. Just because someone is a mother, with all the loaded expectations placed on them, doesn't make them any less human or any less imperfect. It doesn't erase their struggles and their experiences, which might be harsher than we can imagine.
We can honor our roots while at the same time birthing a new legacy. We can raise our children, if we choose to have them, to be compassionate, emotionally intelligent, to be the change in this world. I believe that. I have to.