Up Close and Personal : A Few Things That I Have Learned in 2019
As I get older, there seems to be more and more moments where I would take some time and look back at the things that I have learned. Be it by experience or through active studying. This year, it’s no different. While 2019 hasn’t exactly been a year filled with wild rides and crazy surprises, it still taught me a lot about myself, and most importantly, through those experiences, it helped me better understand and discover what it is that I want to do in life.
1) INABILITY TO READ
If you have been following this blog for awhile, then you must have seen me mentioning my inability to pick up a book and sticking through with it until the end. Sure, all this time, I have mentioned it in the passing or even jokingly, but honestly, being unable to even read a book a week, when compared to 2018 I could zoom through 3 books a week, is terrifyingly daunting to say the least.
I understand that there has been a lot of changes throughout 2019, with me moving into a place far from school, making me have to commute 5 hours everyday just to go to school, to me starting to worry about my future now that graduation date is looming above my head. I get that all those reasons could have contributed to my inability to finish a book. But still, despite me understanding that, it still sucked.
I don’t know if this is strictly a “me thing” or if someone out there also feels this way, but reading grounds me. It grounds me emotionally, making me a more calm and open minded person. Remember when people say that reading is their way to escape from the stresses of everyday life? Yeah, that’s me. Not being able to finish a book affected me more than I was prepared for, and trust me when I say, it’s even worse than pre-period hormones. For real.
2) FUCK YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU
Another fun thing I started implementing in 2019 was to care less about other people’s opinion. And trust me, as stupid as this sounds, it is really easier said than done.
For example, I would be walking down the streets wearing heels and being self-conscious that people are staring or worrying that I’m wearing skirts that are too short when in reality they are knee length, or stopping myself when I wanted to do silly things like shake my butt when I’m feeling happy. You know, all those little things that you feel self-conscious of doing in public because some strangers––that you will 99% never see again––opinion is more important than your fun.
Really, I didn’t realize how much of my behavior was controlled to the public’s “you are an adult now, therefore act like one” until I actively started to fight against it. And now, while I still have 99 problems, worrying about other people’s opinion is no longer one of them.
3) DONT SETTLE
I mean, really, if I get $5 every time I read or hear the word, “don’t settle” when it comes to people giving relationship advices, I’d at least be able to buy a medium-sized teddy bear by now.
At the end of 2018, I finally had the courage to break off an almost 3 year long relationship. It was as if the rose tinted fog from which I view that relationship lifted off overnight and for once I realize just how abusive and manipulative my then partner has been. This lesson, is the one that I hold close and dear to my heart to this day.
I have the habit of being too attached too quickly, and giving people one too many benefit of the doubt. Today, despite me being in a happy and healthy relationship with my current partner, I will still remind myself that no matter how happy I am, there is still plenty of fish in the water. There is no need to hang all my hopes and dreams onto one relationship and keep on hanging on despite knowing that it was meant to sink on the base of “love”. What is, and will always be first priority, is my happiness. And if there is anything or anyone that prevents me from having that, then it’s time to push them off board.
4) EMBRACE BEING ALONE
This is something that I’ve recently gotten the hang of, and trust me, it is extremely liberating once you find yourself comfortable enough with yourself to spend days contentedly being alone.
A little bit of a backstory, I have lived in a different country––far away from any emotional support or family––for about 3 years now. I started living abroad, taking care of everything all by myself, when I was 17. I am now 21, and I have finally learned how to be comfortable in my own silence, and not needing to be around people 24/7 to chase away the perpetual loneliness.
To be honest, once I found myself being comfortable in my own presence, I actually started to crave being by myself and enjoying my own hobbies in my down time more. Rather than going out and having to socialize non stop for the whole day. Of course, despite me being comfortable alone, I still need my dose of human interactions after a few days. And this is not saying that we should all lock ourselves up in our rooms and be hermits. I’m just saying that instead of being like my old 3-years-ago self, who would cry herself to sleep almost every night because of how lonely I felt, these days, I have embraced it and even started enjoying being in my own company.
Another one of my new found hobby! Cooking!
I honestly don’t understand why my parents––my mother especially––kept me out of the kitchen and cooking for so long. I mean, I enjoyed it so much that I even started an IG page just for cooking. Well, I suppose seeing how different my mother has been raised, it’s understandable how she felt like I should never learn how to cook, cause if I do, then that is all I will be. A housewife.
I understand why she would have thought that way, evident in how different our generations were raised. But despite me understanding it––they are still against me cooking to this day, god knows why––I will never stop cooking just because someone doesn’t like me to. Because cooking brings me peace and happiness, and I would be stupid to give it up.
These are some of the––arguably––more important things that I think I’ve luckily had the chance to learn in 2019. There are still so many more that I’d like to tackle, namely being more comfortable with letting go of control, and to stop over-over-over worrying.
However, things such as self-growth really isn’t something that you can force onto yourself. I mean, technically you could, but it’s just not something I enjoy doing to myself. With that said, I am proud of myself for learning about the things above in 2019, because those really are no easy-feat. With the 2010s decade being over, here’s to a new and hopefully better decade.
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