I am by definition a Tia or Tita* because my brother has kids, and some cousins gave me a bunch more nephews, and nieces too. I love those kids so much that I have embraced being addressed as a Tita, but not the stereotyping that comes with the term. You see, people still associate being a Tita with being an old maid who knits or bakes or owns a cat.
The stereotype on Titas is in itself a stereotype. Tita nowadays could be anywhere from 3 to 53, or maybe 63 (although most women in their 60s I know of have embraced being called a Lola** or Tita Lola), and they could be engrossed in anything from baking to vlogging to surfing. I am a single woman in my late 30s, it’s an age so legit to be labeled a Tita by popular public perception, but I don’t do cats because I’m still not over past pet cats dying on me, so right now I have a stubborn shih tzu who won’t follow commands and always asks to be fed first before any human in the house (that’s a very cat trait, actually); I watch Game of Thrones and gets entertained by nudity, sex, and violence (pointing this one out but not necessarily saying that it’s an unTita thing to do); I don’t bake but I cook because living alone taught me that it’s a must to have some kitchen skills.
I turned a year older yesterday. I’d be lying if I write to you now that I don’t feel old at all because I do feel old now, especially at times when I experience shortness of breath during some activities, or call it a night as early as 8pm – things I’ve never experienced or did when I was in my 20s. But I am more excited to do things now, things my younger self couldn’t afford to do because I had priorities or lacked priorities.
So I made a list. It’s not a bucket list because that seems like a prerequisite to dying. It’s more of a To-do list, something to make me enjoy life more.
I encourage you to create a list as well. You may not be a Tita, or a year old turner like me, but you could be a human feeling the need to have some order in your life right now, or just a checklist to get things moving for you. You may start with your number, so what’s your number? By that, I don’t mean the “What’s your number?” movie question. I’m actually asking for your age because that could be your guide on how many items to list down. I just turned 37 so I intend to write down 37 items. Now, name your list. I call mine, THE TITA LIST.
On my list are a number of things only I, as the “lister” could understand, but there are three things I’d like to share because I thought they may trigger challenge or excitement to some of you who could be reading this now.
Within my “new year” (so that’s July 31, 2017 to July 31, 2018), I shall be prioritizing three things
- Stand on a surfboard – I regret that I had the chance but didn’t do it just because I was scared. This sounds mundane but it could also be an expression of being finally fearless.
2. Explore a new career (and a new work environment) – this seems vague but it’s clear to me, and I have begun exploring.
3. Visit a country that could possibly be my new home – I’ve always considered moving to a new place with a new area, and country code. But I won’t be “Tia Manila” anymore when that happens, hmm…
(Here’s a peek at my actual list…)
These three may seem unrelated but they are all about adventures to me. I encourage you to write down adventure-centric exploits on your list too. I could go on but I committed to giving you just 3 out of 37, and I don’t wanna take too much of your time which you should be spending on creating your own list. Do it now, and please tell me about it! Let’s check on each other’s list. Hit me up.
I wish you well.
*Tita is a Filipino term for Aunt
**Lola is a Filipino term for Grandmother