This story won second place in the Nuffnang-Glutamax The New Me Blogging Contest. Congratulations to my friend Jonini for conceptualizing the whole thing! Check out his award-winning blog right here.
Kaye Langit - Luistro: My Journey Into The New Me
What is the essence of being a woman?
How does a woman find her true self through years of dealing with life’s tribulations and achievements – at times sacrificing herself for the good of others, such as family and friends?
Join me in my journey of self-discovery. A passage that scales the summits of achievement that most women can only dream of. Feel my descent to the depths of sorrow, grief and guilt. And experience my redemption and transformation through a gift that has given my family so much joy and fulfillment.
My name is Kaye Langit – Luistro, and this is my journey into the new me.
Childhood Days and Dreams
At Grade 2, I already knew what I wanted. I wanted to be in media and to graduate from UP Diliman. A few months after college, I found out that 98.7 DZFE-The Master’s Touch was recruiting new announcers. Since I already was an avid listener, I rushed into this opportunity and thankful that I got accepted. It was one of the best moments in my life!
During my stay at the University of the Philippines, my professors brought out the extrovert – some say, the “kikay” in me. I knew then that I would soon be working with media people I only admired from a distance.
While I was working in the media, I was chosen as the only media practitioner sent as an official Philippine delegate of the 1999 RP-Japan Friendship Programme for the 21st Century formerly known as the Youth Invitation Program sponsored by the Japan Information Cooperation Agency held in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Kanagawa-ken, Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture and Hiroshima, Japan from January 13 to February 9, 1999.
It happened more than a decade ago but I can still feel the clay in my hands while twirling the machine needed for making tobeyaki pottery.
From hosting award-winning radio programs to the overseas seminars in Japan where I learned about Japanese broadcasting and tobeyaki pottery, I felt then that I was molding the very clay of my media career in my hands.
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My 15-year media profession included television news-casting, TV news reporting, magazine writing, voice acting in TV and radio commercials and radio announcing.
One of my most cherished awards was my back to back win in the 1997 and 1998 KBP Golden Dove Awards as the writer and radio host of Concert Hall aired on 98.7 DZFE, The Master's Touch.
On TV, my feature stories have been aired on Studio 23’s News Central. I also enjoyed being a co-anchor of the early morning newscast Balita Alas Singko ng Umaga on ABS-CBN Channel 2.
Something Was Missing
Despite the achievements, I felt that something was amiss.
Life is a great teacher. Just when you think you know it all and have it all, something comes along and changes everything. A lot of people make the faux pas of being overconfident or thinking they are too intelligent or too successful to be lacking.
I was a wife, a caring partner and a close friend to my husband. But the woman in me was craving to cherish someone borne out of our love – our union as husband and wife. Someone whom we could show our unconditional love and be loved in the most unique way.
Somehow, I wasn’t ready to become a mom. I had several emotional baggages to deal with first.
Guilt and Emotional Trauma
But conceiving a child was not the problem.
The main concern in my spirit was my guilt and the emotional trauma I experienced at the height of my media career.
In 1995, my mom went into surgery to remove a suspicious tumor from her right armpit. Later, the doctor confirmed a horrible truth. My mom had non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes, and one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Proof was that a mere three years later, that spiteful tumor has metastasized into my mom’s spine, stomach, uterus, and intestines.
The next five years became a vicious body-draining and spirit-sucking road to our own Calvary. A barrage of life-changing medical interventions left the family grasping for air on a moment-to moment basis.
My mom underwent an avalanche of laboratory tests including the dreadful bone marrow aspiration, where a gargantuan needle was stuck right through the spine to draw blood, eliciting heart-wrenching cries from her.
Since my father died when I was still very young, I had to be strong on the outside because I was her sole companion through the whole ordeal. But deep inside, the incredulous fear left me shaking and trembling like a rag doll.
My mom’s sun finally set in 2001.
Losing someone you love is never easy. It took me a long time to really recover. Not only from the pain, but more from the guilt of not having the chance to exhaust other possible means to save my mom. I wanted to give more of myself to my mom as her only daughter – her only child.
For the next several months, my husband would see me all curled up, crying on my mom’s bed, where she died. Without judgment, he just allowed me to cry in his arms until I’d fall asleep in exhaustion.
My mental anguish was so strong I literally felt my mind would have just snapped anytime. Daily talks with my husband, prayers and meditations on the Book of Psalms healed me bit by bit. I finally broke free from the reins of depression, a year and a half later.
Looking back, I realized that it was the pain from losing someone I dearly loved that stopped me from pursuing motherhood. I didn’t want to go through with something as painful like that again. But of course, that’s only wishful thinking. Another thing that really scared me was the pain associated with childbirth, not to mention the hormonal changes when you’re expecting. I literally didn’t want to lose control over my own body!
I was really thankful that Randy never asked for a child in all our thirteen years of marriage. Other husbands might not have been that patient. I wanted to thank him so I asked the Lord for a son. Two months before my 35th birthday, I started praying very seriously about this. Every day, I woke up at dawn to pray. I opened my prayer time by singing the worship song “The Power of Your Love,” not in English but in Spanish. I felt that the Spanish version brought out the inner urgency in me.
First, it was just about having a baby. After all, being childless for thirteen years is already considered infertility. But days passed, and something really incredible happened. My prayer time took a different turn. I was no longer praying for a son. I found myself just singing and singing the song in Spanish in tears and with great reverence. Every lyric spoke to my heart and mind as if Spanish is my native tongue.
I also can’t stop William Carey’s quote off my mind either: “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God; for we serve a great God.” I did just that. I simply believed. Without any work-up nor any medical intervention of any kind, sometime in December 2008, I discovered that I was already 7 to 8 weeks pregnant.
It was a moment that not only changed my body. It forever transformed the way I saw myself and the world.
When Lance Paul came into our lives, he changed us forever.
I've never realized that having a baby would make me feel more fulfilled than having all my accomplishments combined. All the perks associated with my television stint were now inconsequential, compared to holding your baby, cuddling him and seeing him laugh and smile.
Something in me finally made sense. Having Lance Paul in my life completes me not just as a woman but as a person. I feel that I have the strength to raise myself to the standards of being an honorable human being because of him.
Loving my child has finally brought me an opportunity to erase the guilt I felt when my mother died. I can now give myself away to love my child in the same way my mother offered her life for me when I was born into this world. Being a mother has brought me redemption.
My transformation to a career woman and working wife into a mother has dramatically changed my life. I guess I've become more selfless in a way. All those sleep and food deprived days made me feel that I was no longer living for myself, but for another person. Although he takes up most of my time, I would not want it any other way.
Right now, my baby has become the most important part of my life. I have given up my dreams for radio and television and have opted to work home-based.
I am now a freelance media specialist, dividing my day between writing magazine articles, doing voice-over work for TV/radio commercials, corporate AVPs, and being a voice talent for Back to the Bible - Philippines.
Thanks to the loving support of my husband, I've started as an international voiceover artist, operating from a home digital studio in Quezon City. This way, I will still have the chance to see my son grow up to be the person God envisioned him to be. There's really nothing wrong with other moms pursuing their careers. I just feel that this is the right path for me to take. I've decided to follow this conviction and now, I'm reaping the fruits of my labor, one day at a time.
I am now a mother like I always wanted to be. I could die tomorrow and feel completely fulfilled as a woman and as a human being.
The Joy of Transformation
I was watching Oprah one night and she was giving tribute to moms all over the world. One mother said that once you become a mother, you can never go back to your previous life of just focusing on yourself.
I guess she's right.
One time, I was in the mall. My husband and baby were not with me. Instead of feeling free and ecstatic since I can go anywhere without carrying a 30 pound baby and an extremely huge and heavy bag filled with my baby's diapers, bottles and what have you, I felt sad! I wished that they were with me, especially my baby, who smiles whenever he sees lights, babies, and food from just about anywhere.
I can truly say that the life I have now, although extremely difficult, has produced some of my most treasured memories!
So, what makes me a fulfilled woman?
I think Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 1994, said it best – “Being a woman is a gift of God which we all must appreciate. The origin of a child is a mother, and is a woman. A woman is one who shares love and who shares and shows a man what love, caring and sharing is all about.”
That, for me, is the essence of being a woman.
Everyone in this world wants a long life. But I want a happy life.
My child has transformed me from being a wife and a woman, into a mother – a giver of life. I can never go back to my previous life. And I will never, ever want to. For my baby has made me the happiest person in the world.
My name is Kaye Langit – Luistro, and this has been my journey into the new me.
This is my official entry to the Nuffnang-Glutamax The New Me Blogging Contest.