Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming of Age, Version 2.0

Coming of age is always a big thing in every culture, first and third-world alike. It's a whole big shebang of celebrations in a myriad of ways across the globe. The lucky first-world ones get big dos like Debutante, Bar Mitzvah, Seijin no Hi and the likes. Completed with lots of eating, drinking, merry making and sometimes lavish gifts no less. Then, you have the scary, NatGeo-worthy extreme versions common among tribes where freaky and inhumane rituals like getting your clitoris snipped off sans anaesthesia or a saucer forced into your mouth mark your passage into adulthood.

Regardless of its form, one thing is clear. Coming of age is a big fucking deal. The Grand Poobah of life's milestone, possibly ranked high just after birth and death. It ushers and shoves you into adulthood where exciting times and experiences await.

Well, exciting indeed, because you're about to learn the ways of life as an independent and hopefully self-sufficient person. An avalanche of life's different experiences ahead. You'll soon find your place in the working world, feel like you're walking on super glue often, relish the magic of your first love, suffer the pain of a heart broken (hopefully not too many times), enjoy the freedom of financial independence, get a couple of slaps in your face or set backs. A mishmash of everything good and bad, happy and sad.

In short, you'll come to realize that, well, life does suck which makes me wonder why the hell does the whole coming of age warrant such celebrations when the many challenges, set backs, growing pain and hardship you're about to face as an adult are anything but celebratory??

Having survived my 20s struggling to make sense of life while learning to play the game of life and dodge its curve balls, it seems like I've come to a nice spot where I've finally felt comfortable in my own skin. The drowning seems to be gone, treading water is easier and now I'm swimming and managing pretty fine at the deep end of the pool. So how about a toast now instead? A tippling toast to celebrate being comfortable in my own skin? My little second "Coming of age", Version 2.0 perhaps?

With the fading youth and collagen came a wrinkle or two, as well as some pretty priceless lessons and realizations. My pseudo philosophical musing and reflecting have made me discover some of the things I enjoy now that I'm on a comfy spot. So being comfortable in my own skin is like this:

  • You realize the whole concept of self love isn't some shitty mumble jumble self-help book conspiracy as real as a unicorn. You've finally accepted who you are and be proud of who you have grown into. You enjoy being the person you've developed into and take pride in being you. No more hoping you were as pretty as so and so, as rich as what's her name, or as lucky as someone else. You love YOU.
  • You have a better sense of your core values.
  • You're happy at where you are in life.
  • You realize you don't have to and don't want to please everyone. You focus on yourself and not what other people's perception of you. You're self-ish (self-focused) but not selfish.
  • You don't take everything so damn seriously anymore. You're more relax with things.
  • You no longer take rubbish from people. You know your boundaries and set them well with gusto.
  • You're finally kinder to yourself. No more excessive beating yourself up and you're more forgiving toward yourself. Always a lesson, never a failure.
  • You have made peace with your own flaws. Your insecurities don't seem to bother you as much.You're able to joke about them, make fun of the flaws and at times, even come to love and appreciate them. Lack of height? No problem, being petite makes me look younger. Chubby cheeks? Good, I'll age gracefully. No boobs? Not an issue, I won't look fat, clothes fit better and they're cute perky ones that won't sag till my waistline. Get the idea?
  • No more talking big or trying to impress. The last time I talked big and made up things to impress people, I was probably 15 or 18 trying to fit in. My 20s was spent trying to establish where I stand socially with the constant need to impress and be accepted and respected. It's tiring to say the least. Cue in the 30s, well, I don't give a damn. Now, that's just the way it should be.
  • You count your blessings and give thanks and gratitude to the things you have. I thank the universe I have a comfortable life and a roof above my head every night when I slip into my nice warm bed. In my youth, I asked the universe for a Chanel 2.55 and asked the universe "Why the hell me?"
  • You understand that you don't always get what you want and that it is okay (though at times annoying) to not have what you want. 
  • You thank your set backs because they're your perfect teachers in life.
  • You're finally able to see how some set backs are indeed, blessings in disguise.
  • You're rid of that sense of rivalry to outdo your peers, your friends, your colleagues, everyone. You know your own goals and what matters to YOU and now how it looks to others. You dance to your own beat and it makes you happy.
  • You're a lot more humble than you were 10 years ago because you've come to realize you actually do not know everything or anything for that matter.
  • You're more relax and in control of what life is gonna offer

    My coming-of-age motto which I put up on my desk.

    So, this much I know and I wonder what and how the next decade of my life would be like and the lessons that come along. Now that we're not drowning in the deep end of the pool and are swimming pretty fine, let's hope we'll soon be synchronized swimming like a dolphin, or even better, be able to walk on water. You never know.  Meanwhile, here's a virtual toast to all of us who have made it thus far intact. Sante!


    Tiffany said...

    Hi Bmuses

    i really in love with your coming of age, it's like a summary of our
    chronicles in life. i am glad you have morphed into a happy, "self centered" (i mean absolutely in a good healthy way) butterfly pursing your happy-ness and living a life in line with your guarded inner value. yes, u are in
    love with yourself. for me, i do think i must learn not to keep pleasing others without first pleasing myself, like u said, wanting to be socially accepted and be respected but in the end, we lost our-self first.

    i have some mottos pin up in my work desk too. though less discreet hehee
    they are:
    1. love is beautiful - though love is rare as gem. don't come easy. when love comes truthfully, treasure the love
    2. the next war will determine not who will win but what's left

    i love your pin up, simple but profound meaning! :)

    B said...

    Thanks dear. I really think there should be some real celebration for our second coming of age! The traditional one is soooo overrated!

    Anonymous said...

    can you elaborate on a matching incident to point #1 "whoever comes are the right people"?

    B said...

    Hi anon, it means different things to different people.

    To me, it means that even the supposedly bad people who come into your life are the right ones because they're meant to teach you something in life.

    People can be the perfect teachers of life. Good ones teach you to cherish the great things and they are such wonderful blessings. The not-so-pleasant ones might be nasty but they're there for a purpose and you will learn from it too. One day you'll look back and think, you're thankful to have met the person because the shitty things the person put you through has helped you grow as a person. Everything and everyone has their place in the big scheme of this thing called Life.

    Gee said...

    I love this post miss b! You write so well :) It's thought provoking and funny at the same time. Lovely read. You should start your own column.

    I can totally relate to the making peace with flaws part. I went through my 20s hoping for a nose job and even set aside a nose job fund! End up I'm too chicken to do it and I'm glad I didn't cos now that I'm 34, I've come to accept my nose. I still don't like it much cos it's still big but it's part of me and I don't think I would go mutilate my face to change it. Haha.

    B said...

    Hi Gee, thanks for your kind words and glad to know you're comfy with the way you look now! I think that's the good thing about growing older :)

    Anonymous said...

    One of my favorite posts :) A big toast to you too!

    jason said...

    Hi B, a very enlightening post and possibly one of your more (if not most) insightful too! Here's to self reconciliation! Everything happens for a reason and as they say, we are a sum of our life experiences eh! Kudos and good luck on your journey! Who gives a damn about the destination!

    Anonymous said...

    Beautiful post! Where's the "Like" button??? :)

    Tiffany said...

    yes i agree our bmuses should set up her facebook page so we can Like to spread the words of our goddness!! hehe

    it's still a good thing bmuses stands by herself, firm in her belief in whatever she do..i just hope you get ur refund back soon dear!!

    B said...

    @Jason. Haha...seems like insomnia breeds insight for me cos I wrote it cos I couldn't sleep...but yes, screw destination cos if you think about it pseudo philosophically, we all have the same destination of a morbid elongated wooden box of your choice...ha...

    @Tiffany, you're too kind :)
    Oh getting an exchange instead. God knows how long it'll take zzzzzzzz

    Anonymous said...

    Hmmm you're actually smarter and more insightful than you are given credit for. Thought you were just about buying luxury stuff and living the socialite high life. Not bad article really.

    B said...

    Hi, thanks but I'm not a socialite! I wish!

    Anonymous said...

    Not socialite? But you're always camwhoring in society magazines no? Weren't you on Harpers Bazaar showing off your expensive wardrobe and Tatler rubbing shoulders with other socialites?


    Related Posts with Thumbnails