Now that I think back on the past year, I think I've matured (or changed, though I can only hope in a more positive way) a little bit.
- The brand-minded girl
Ask me about Louis Vuitton purse series two years ago, and I could give you the exact answer, I followed the purse's forum, etc. Now? I don't even care about those shiny expensive brands anymore. Ok, I still carry around one, but it's from my old collection, as I do not intend to buy any bags, branded or not. And the funny thing is, I do not even feel the pride of carrying a more than a-thousand-dollar-bag anymore as I used to. I dont even eye what kind of bag the other girls are carrying anymore. Its just a bag after all. Hm, now that I say it aloud, I kinda wonder, is the reason behind it is that I'm getting poorer, financially speaking? :D Or getting more manly? *gasp!
- Being judgmental, putting labels on people
I used to be very judgmental about other people. I hated people who're depressive, whiny, weak, ignorant, and the list goes on. To put it better, I didnt like people who didnt measure up to my standards as I saw myself as a strong girl. I used to think, if I could do it, why couldn't you?
I was picky, selecting carefully who I wanted to befriend. My friends consisted mostly of people who're strong willed, arrogant, smart, free thinking.
But as I had some distortions in life, I went out of my comfort zone and somehow made friends with different people from different religious backgrounds, races, etc. And I realized they're good people and I started to become more accepting of differences. And I was happier that way.. And people told me I was fun to be with and to talk to. I guess it was because I started to accept people the way they are and stopped judging and comparing.. Wait, negative and depressed people still irked me though.
The lesson didnt stop there. Curiously, in the past year I was surrounded by 'holy' fundamentalist church goers and I was the one being judged as I'm not as devoted as they are. And I was angry thinking how dare they judged me, when they haven't even walked a mile in my shoes. Oops, I think karma does exist!
So, I was the judge and then the judged. The circle is complete and I understand. Now? I'm an extreme liberal, to the point where I can think that people are the way they are because they have their own reasons, their own life experiences. And since I never walked in their shoes, who am I to judge? Negative and depressed? Well, it's their own struggle. I do not claim the right to dislike them anymore.. They are who they are, and I am who I am. *Now am I being non-judgmental or more apathetic?
- Me, the control freak
Since I kinda adopted my dad's buddhist philosophy, that we hold everything in our own hand, that we can choose our own future and destiny, (I tend to forget that what we can choose is our state of mind), I was an extreme control freak. I had to get things right, I was arrogant, thinking that I could overcome everything. Which reminds me of a funny conversation with a friend a few months ago.
He used to be a hedonist, living life on a fast track, but now he's a christian convert. He tried to convert me as well, but didn't really work out since he still can't answer my questions and maybe I'm too bullheaded. He told me that there must be God who destines things for us. And he asked me "Haven't you tried your hardest but still it didn't work out in the end? That you suddenly feel the need to pray as you accept defeat?" I answered determined-and-arrogantly,"Nop. As long as it's in my hand and I do my best, I never failed." "Well then, you're lucky.", said my friend.
Recently I faced defeat, I've tried my best and things still didn't work out. At this point, I let go of my arrogance and reluctantly admitted that there are indeed things that are out of our control, that things can go wrong, no matter how hard we tried or fought for the cause. Apparently there's indeed a stronger power than myself, it might be god, cosmic power, the universal energy, whatever you believe in. And it brought me back to the realization that I'm not an almighty superman. But for some weird reasons, I didn't feel the need to bow down and pray as well (which reminds me of another story with some christian fellows, oh I'll need another paragraph). And it made me ponder on my life motto Opto ergo sum (I choose, therefore I am), that the point is, I'm free to choose my state of mind, but not necessarily how things turn out. So now in the face of the defeat, I still have the choice to choose whether I grumble and hold grudges, or I let go of things and see it as another valuable lesson in life. And with full awareness and conscience, I choose the latter.
I used to join a christian sharing group last year and the leader said there're two types of people. Carrots and eggs. Carrots are those who get weaker and softer while being boiled. Eggs are the ones who get harder instead. Anyway, the leader then asked all of us, how we perceived ourselves. As my turn came, I didn't even have the chance to open my mouth, and a friend answered for me,"Ah, she is an egg!!". Another friend even added,"No, she's not an egg, she's a rock. No matter how long you boil her, she'll stay hard." Well, I won't admit I'm a rock, as I wasn't that hard in the very beginning, but the egg part is somewhat true. Honestly, I would like to be a carrot, it's a lot easier to swim with the stream, but I don't think that's my core. Anyway, this is out of topic.
I used to care what people thought about me, I tried to please people, worrying that they didn't like me or gossiped about me. Now I don't. I think I've come to a point where I've accepted that no one is perfect. I am not and I don't need to be either. I'm happy with my fortes and flaws, ok, about flaws, I'll try to be better for humanity's sake (ok, I exaggerate a little bit hehe), but it's all a process. And as long as I'm in this process, I accept my flaws. What do I care if others don't, as long as I don't do others any harm.
I don't really know what I went through or what I did to come to this point, but I think maybe because I've stepped out of my comfort zone, spread out some wings and took the fall. I've faced my fear and therefore I know what I'm capable of, which gives me a sense of security somehow.
A friend told me once that she didnt really like me when she first met me, as she felt a bit insecure because she thought I was cute fun always-twittering, and she thought that I did it to attract guy's attention. But after she got to know me, she told me, that she didn't feel insecure anymore (she's a very smart, self reflective and independent girl, whom I admire very much), because I didn't pretend to be cute or funny, that's just the way I am. I am authentic. And I know that, I've stopped pretending to be someone I am not some time ago.
- Fear of abandonment
I used to be afraid of being alone. If we want to get psychoanalytic, it might be because of my childhood trauma or whatsoever. I've come to realize my codependency pattern that I couldn't be alone, I had to be around people. And I decided to put an end to the fear and learned to enjoy the company of myself. Afterall, I learned that the unknown won't be that scary anymore if we have taken the first step of facing our fear. I have to admit it isn't easy and I'm still trying to hang in this. But at this moment, I've realized that being alone and loneliness are two different things. The fine line is again our state of mind. Now I can proudly say, I am staying strong. I'm getting there, I know I'm getting there :)
"Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional"