Perhaps because I’m the eldest, one of the most natural things for me to do is to look after my loved ones, especially my immediate family. I try to make sure they take care of themselves–that they eat the right food, stay away from vices/harm, do the right thing, remind them of their priorities, and whatnot. At the same time, I try to be independent–I worked for my own allowance and tuition for some years in college because I didn’t want to be a burden to my mom; whenever my salary would allow, I’d keep my share in the household expenses and give my brother allowance for school. My mom trained me to have these instincts, perhaps not intentionally. So yes, all my life I’ve been a mix of a mother and a father–one who does both the caring and the protecting. Which is why I’m too tired. In my relationship, I don’t want to be the only one who does these things. If only there’s someone who could hold me without being asked to; someone who’d be interested in how my day went and listen intently as I recount the events that transpired; someone who would understand that I, too, get tired. Just these and I might be a little happier. I might feel a little more loved.