Growing Up

Firstly, thank you all for all your comments. I am indeed blessed. My dear friends who worked themselves up into a worry over my puzzling entries. You know what you all are? Rock solid. That’s what you all are. Rock solid and unwavering and I love all of you so, so much. Thank you. What follows is a rather lengthy reflection of my life and certain points of self-realisation that I have to do for myself.

Just experienced a little rollercoaster ride in my personal life, but I am happy to report that it is back on track.
Something has been happening lately. It’s not the physiological changes like the appearance of a few strands of white hair, or my expanding waistline or the transformation of my upper arms to turkey flab that moves like jelly when I wave over-enthusiastically. It is more emotional. And more mental. I think I am wanting to settle down. I want some stability. I don’t want to be angsty or angry or emotionally wrecked. I just want to be.. settled. Not static, but just settled. I’m thinking it’s part of growing up, but the strange thing is that it seems to have happened overnight. Well, perhaps, I have been changing gradually but the realisation of it just hit me.

A few things happened over the week that made me realise how far I have come as a person. Compromises, sacrifices, negotiation, a calm-head, tantrum-freedom. I have finally understood the importance of all of these. I have put up with things I would have not put  up with. I try to rationalise. And most importantly, I try to mend and heal and change. mirrorastridchesney.jpgChanging one’s self is not an easy thing. To look yourself in the mirror with a very harsh and self-critical eye is something that not all of us can do. And even if we did, it is much easier to dismiss those thoughts and get back to our humdrum lives. I’m not talking about pessimism or self-defeating negative thoughts, but things that you know you can change for yourself, that you can change for the better.

As I grew up, I have constantly heard my parents chide me for being stubborn. It’s probably the one word that I have heard most through my childhood, and even now on occasion. And it is true. I am quite hard-headed and obstinate. I wish to think it’s a trait I have inherited from my dad, and I know it is quite true. Why, even my mother has a vein of obstinance. Very often, I catch glimpses of my father in myself. And this is what I believe is self-realisation. I get upset with my father for precisely the same things that he gets upset with me. Well. I digress. Over the past two months, I realised what I wanted in my life, and I want it to work, and I have been putting in effort to make it work. Even if it means compromise or sacrifices or huge doses of understanding. The first signs of maturity.

The next. Today, I received a letter from CPF, informing me of repaying my Education loan back to my parents’ CPF account. For those who are not familiar with this, the average Singaporean student can use his parents’ CPF to pay for his tertiary education first. It is a loan, and a year after you graduate (can you imagine, it has been a whole year since I received the scroll and mortar board) CPF sends you the abovementioned letter reminding you of your loan and instructing you on GIRO proceedings. The parents’ can opt to waive the payment, but even then, I would not allow that. Firstly, nothing beats the feeling of having paid for your own education. Secondly, the money is theirs. Thirdly, no amount of money is going to repay the years of love, support and understanding that my parents have put into building this family. The monthly repayment is not exactly a huge sum of money, but it is still a significant figure (you will understand if you have just started your career at entry level)

pay.jpgAt first, I grumbled, having to deal with this loan months into getting my fixed salary. But hey, this is merely a snapshot of what is to come. The car, the house, the furniture, the gadgets… etc etc. It is frightening, but this is life. The thing that amazes me is that I am actually coming to terms with it, coming to full acceptance. A year back, I would have flown to Fairyland with my sparkling wings and would refuse to come back. But now? I’m trying to see how I can manage my finances better.

I think I have had a whale of a time with my pay the past few months with not much commitment on my hands. It is a completely different feeling to have your own hard-earned money to spend, and I enjoyed that freedom. But now comes responsibility, and as harsh as reality is, I feel happy knowing that I am finally coming to terms with my own. I have bought enough work clothes, and I need to spend only the odd dollars on really gorgeous things (on sale). I have this very exciting savings plan and long term goals. How exciting, and how terribly grown up.

fairies1.jpgA tiny part of me refuses to let go. The little fairy. The little girl. Things of sweets and pinks and cottoncandy and strawberries. Of magic and unicorns and mermaids. Of stars and wishes. I don’t think I will ever let go. I don’t think I want to either. But, I think growing up is bravely handling the responsibilities and realities of life head on and yet, be able to dream and indulge in little flights of fancy. Trying to balance this two, and successfully doing so, is what it takes to give yourself the “All Grown Up” badge. And I’m hoping that I can award myself this badge in time to come. And I know, it’s not going to be easy.

But… Bring it on! :)


5 Responses to “Growing Up”

  1. Queen of Drama. Says:

    “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

    Growing up is definitely a journey of a thousand miles, infact, it is a neverending journey, like my mother says, everyday for the rest of your life, you grow up a little more.

    The single step that starts this journey is acknowledging that it has to happen soon, and trying to understand what it might entail. Im glad you’ve taken that step, and babe life is a blast! have fund! *muah*

  2. thegerl86 Says:

    heys,though we don’t know each other, I feel that the last paragraph of this post so aptly describes me as well.:)
    Keep writing.

  3. lavathena Says:

    i am so glad to read this. its speaks so much of your maturity and willingness to push forward. thats great darlin! and i will be here for u as long as u need and let me. *hug*

  4. Queen: Thanks my dear. It is indeed a very tough journey. But yes, life IS a blast! mwah!

    thegerl86: I’m hoping I’m not the only one feeling this way, but thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. :)

    lavathena: *huggg* thanks so much dear. i’m such a wuss sometimes. Nvm, let’s leave that aside and bring on the BAILEYS!!!

  5. Hi Meera,

    Once you’ve realized that, it means that you earned the badge. You’ve grown up. But don’t ever let go the fairy because later in life it will come back demanding more and more attention. The older you get, the closer you should be with your inner-child. That’s the secret dear priestess… :o)

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