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My Journey Into the Bigger Me

Explosions shook my little hometown while war tanks thundered around as I ran across the street towards the concrete fence of our rich neighbor. I was following my mother and my siblings to where we would huddle for safety while the military attacked the lairs of the rebels in the adjacent town. With one sudden explosion I lost my grip to the kettle I was holding. As I ran after the kettle that was rolling to the roadside canal, the big chunk of hard rice was thrown aside. I picked up our precious staple food, and as I turned to go I glanced up at my father squatting on top of our nipa roof, carrying two big twigs, one in each hand, ever watchful in case a burning debris might drop any time and burn our wooden house. My father was looking at me, and I saw tears falling down his eyes! I was eleven, and at that instant, I wished I were ten years older! I knew then I will take command of my life and lead my beloved family to a better world.

My people’s taxes sent me to school, and I made sure my siblings would follow my footsteps. That is, pursue higher education through scholarship grants, since education was something my parents could ill-afford. We were trapped in a civil war and poverty, and I was convinced it was our only way out … and up.

I struggled my way into the greener pastures and joined the corporate world early in my career. And although I was actively participating in the early movements on gender sensitivity and women empowerment, I could not quite see the significance, because my old hometown managed to keep pace with the times.

Not until this past decade when my career path led me to the peace process in my own homeland was I able to confront the past I was running away from. One day I found myself from one evacuation center to another. As I confront hunger, homelessness, helplessness and powerlessness in the faces of the wives, mothers, sisters and children of combatants, I felt a sense of responsibility to care and to share.

I have survived in good shape, but how about the rest? How many millions of little girls have lived and are reliving my miserable past everyday to this day – in some troubled parts of this world? Somehow I know I can speak and they will listen. They can speak and I will listen. And in one great voice I’m sure we will echo each other’s heartbeat.

One instant I opened a mail that led me to Pulseworld. It would seem that my journey to Pulsewire was an accident, but deep in my heart I know destiny led me here! I am meant to be here ... a speck of salt and a drop of water in the great ocean of womanhood. I am a woman growing into my bigger self.

Comments

nilima's picture

Dear Emie

While reading the numerous journey one or two stories looks simple but the one who have traveled through that journey knows how difficult it was and how much they feel proud to be here!! I congratulate for the journey you have completed and i wish you all the best for the rest of your journey that is enlightened one!

all my love with respect

:)

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Hi Nilima!

Thanks! I have just started my journey with you. Each of our journeys may be similar or even far removed from the other, but it is exactly because of our differences that we have so much to share. Sometimes we need to learn our lessons from others ... because learning from experience does not always provide us what we need to know...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

nilima's picture

yes you are very right and

yes you are very right and learning can be started anywhere and anytime and it is indeed great when i am learning with the most amazing person like you!!

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks, Nilima!

That's should be real flattering, sister ... except that what makes me amazing is the same thing that makes you amazing, too - we are women! And if you imagine a world without us women - I'm sure you would see a world that is anything but amazing!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

vivian's picture

Your sense of responsibility

Your sense of responsibility to care and to share is what makes you a unique woman. It is nice that we are all participating in VOF, it don't matter you wins, what matter is our vision for women within our community, our country and the world at large. We all will get there.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Hi!

You are right Viv! Winning does not matter ... what matters most is our sharing and belonging. It's nice to exchange notes with women in different cultures ... and more amazing to realize you have shared sentiments despite the differences of color and creed...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

sahar's picture

Coping to Change

Dear Emie

Your journey of struggle made you stronger than pain and made you able to change as you know already how suffering mean for girls and women. Your vision directly went to the situation from which you obtained your strength as a woman who took the lead of her family to really lead in her community.

Sincerely

Sahar Nuraddin

follow me @snuraddin
--------------
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
- Helen Keller

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks!

Sometimes, change of heart is just inevitable. There are times when we think everything is okey ... and then God says "Go, search your destiny!" Nothing happens by accident!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Karen Rozier's picture

Dear Emie

You are an amazing woman. Thank you sharing your story of unselfishness and courage.

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Hi!

Women are amazing, Karen! And let me share this with you ... the great Mahatma Gandhi says "We don't get rid of pain... we absorb it in order to grow. Know that growth always happens in our darkest moments..."

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

Marti's picture

self-awareness, intelligence, compassion

Dear Emie,
Your writing reflects a deep self-awareness that I admire. This self-awareness obviously helped you grow in determination to make the most of your education to help your family. Your intelligence and your compassion are evident in your writing and combine to make a powerful force for good. Your writing convinces me that you will use your many strengths and qualities to help make the world a better place!

In partnership with you,
Marti

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks a lot!

Hi Marti! My profound gratitude for your unstinted appreciation of my being, although I am largely a reflection of most of us women. I have always believed in the wisdom, fortitude and endurance of what humanity calls "the weaker vessel". I have met a lot of amazing women who really inspired me to be and to become. I, too, am convinced that we will get going here - steadfast, relentless and solid - because we have each other at Pulse World. Do you know I've read a lot of testimonies here that have encouraged me to share ... personal accounts of women and girls who suffer so much in the dark corridors of male dominion - living their lives in oppression, suppression and repression? World Pulse has offered me a dimension of knowing what life my global sisters live out there, their tales of woe so alien to me - until I met them here. I feel so lucky I am in a more spacious culture. I do hope I can contribute my bit - even if only through online interaction ....

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

One of Many's picture

Truly a pleasure

Dear Emie:

Such lovely and well developed thoughts, ideas, and sentences. You relate the story of the trauma in your childhood directly, simply, and heartfully.

I am touched by your appreciation of your community’s contributions of taxes that have enabled you and your siblings to move “out…and up” from the poverty of your childhood. (and I appreciate that juxtaposition of prepositions there too – nice!)

I find the second to last paragraph is particularly well written. The sentence structure—transposition, repetition – sounds like a heartbeat—which then links to the next paragraph where you immediately use the words world pulse. (…and then the reference to your feeling heart, and then the ocean that has a pulse…) Excellent! Bravo!

Please know that the delay in hearing from me (a listener) was from an unexpected medical need on my part – nothing to do with you. Thank you for your patience – and for your story,

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Thanks a lot!

My profound gratitude to you, sister Anna! Honestly, I learned about having "listeners" only after I finished the final assignment! I was reading others' writings and browsing through comments when I came across one that mentioned about "listeners".... Oh my face! And I was going about dropping comments like I was one of them "listeners".... I felt so awkward... and so inappropriate!!!! Well, it's done, and truly, I felt a great sense of belonging!

And yes, I am ever so thankful for my people's taxes! I and my siblings are products of public schools. My father was a public school teacher but he is exempted from tax because he was among the lowest paid in the institution, my mother was a plain housewife, and he has gone beyond the allowable exemption for dependents! Imagine, exemptions for dependents is limited to 4 and we are 7! So my father did not pay taxes ... we were truly blessed by other people's taxes!

Sister Anna, I do believe that my writing is so much inspired by the testimonies of my other sisters here ... they are so candid, so sincere ... and simply amazing!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

hi, Emie-

your feedback is part of the whole process with WP. Everyone is developing a web of support through comments, feedback, etc. And this is a counterforce to competition. It builds the female and human community.

Sister Emie, please keep responding to others' posts. i ended up with an injury that makes typing a pain -- plus a need to sleep (not interested in discussing -- am blessed with insurance and people being helpful -- and it was not interpersonal violence) so i have not done as I wished and explored, responded and explored to my heart's delight. So if you continue doing so, you'll be fulfilling my unmet goals!

I really appreciated how well you used the few words that the assignment allotted.

best always,

anna

Speaking my Peace

Emie Zozobrado's picture

That's my redemption, sister!

Hi Anna!
That's really nice of you! You see, I started with more than a couple of blunders! I realized a bit late that "My Hero" was the first assignment ... so I crammed into my own piece at the bottom of the line! I got hooked from the very first testimony that I read ... I guess it was the one posted by Dando on the scarcity of water in her own Zimbabwe - because it was a story closer to home so I read it over and over again! And then I posted something that landed into the wrong board! Oh my nose! When I read that comment on someone being a "listener", I wondered what a "listener" was and thought, after literally dropping comments here and there ... Oh, my ... here I go again!!!

I'm really sorry about your injury, whatever it was ... but, of course, we always get what we deserve. Maybe you were too busy beyond yourself and the only way that you could slow down or get that well-deserved and long overdue rest was through something as inconvenient as that!

Sister, rest assured I will be writing here as much as I can ... and I don't really feel I'm just writing here at WP at all - I'm practically living a life I know I am growing into - living in the rainbow, into the bigger me!!!!

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

One of Many's picture

empowerment coming alive

hey, sister:

I am so happy you are finding such joy and empowerment. It sounds like you have found a wonderful path. Hurrah.

I've had too much of a day -- or two -- so no more tonight. Best wishes ~~

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Emie Zozobrado's picture

Take care, sister!

Thanks, Anna! I am convinced I found the right fellow travelers! The path will always be there ... and the journey can only be perfected when you are with those you are most comfortable to travel with! I found us ...

Take your time sister .... I can't imagine the inconvenience you have been through, but I know you are durable... until then...

Always,
Emie Zozobrado

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