I wrote this way back in May 2013, but I never published it.
I should probably write this down before I forget.
This whole of second year has been a disconcerting, yet humbling experience for me. Forget school for a moment, but it goes a lot deeper than that. First year, I would say, I was pretty carefree of a lot of things. Too carefree in fact, that I lulled myself into a sense of security.
Come second year I realized, have I been sleeping all this while ? Why is it that I'd only started realizing things now, after a whole year have passed ?
And even after that, I realized that I thought I've seen it all, I could handle everything, but I was wrong. I had overestimated myself, and it made me realize there's more to being grown up than just paying bills, living alone without the hu-ha's that you usually have as teenagers.
Being grown up is also about respecting others. It's about being considerate and not taking advantage of other people's kindness. It's about showing gratitude for their kindness and not taking their kindness for granted thinking that they're just there to serve your whims. It's also about knowing your boundaries. Just because people are kind to you, doesn't mean they allow you to exploit them. Even small gestures are considered courteous, and nobody will actually tell you to do those little things. They are actually expected from you as a form of courtesy. You are not to take things at face value, you kind of have to put thought into it to think about what's the right thing to do. I appreciate people being frank, but sometimes, it's just impossible to be straight out about everything because of this thing called "courtesy", and I guess that's just how the real world works. Nobody's going to tell you what to do. I didn't realize I was just so used to it. I even have in my brain "written" instructions about what to do for different situations, kind of procedural methods to ethics and etiquette to ensure that I am "well-behaved", but sometimes, the world doesn't work like that. Sometimes you feel that the things you do fall in line with what you think is right, but it may not be so with what the people around you feel is right. At all times, you kind of have to second guess yourself and not think to yourself that people are always tolerant to all your behaviors.
Being grown up is also about taking care of yourself, and I don't mean just hygienically or house-chore-wise, but it's also about money. I've mentioned it before in a previous post. I also realized that all this while I've been living off given money. I'm using, spending money, but up to this day I have not earned any money to call it my money in its entirety. I realized that it's time to start earning money, I can't get too used to having money being given to me all the time.
Being grown up is about being happy, without being too complacent. Being aware, but not anxious. Being able to take things into your own stride and keep your cool to make rational decisions. Being able to handle situations in a level-headed manner. Being grown up is about keeping your emotions in check, which is the hardest thing for me. Being grown up also means not being in denial of the situation and not mope about it, but try to work out the solutions without being influenced by emotions. I almost feel like being grown up means compartmentalizing your personal feelings and what needs to be done, or is appropriate to be done, separately.
Being grown up also means learning from your mistake and not actually do them again. When you make mistakes when you're young, people don't beat you down too much for it because you're inexperienced, and you may not know better, and you still have the chance to learn from it, but when you're much older, it is expected that you should know better because you're experienced, and I guess it is a little harder to learn from your mistakes because you're more set in your ways.
Somehow I feel that I thought I knew how to take care of myself, but apparently I was so naive in my judgment, I didn't realize there were a lot of things that I didn't think of thinking about. There is still so much that I have yet to know about the real world. Sometimes I feel like I'm still that high school kid who doesn't know better, and I realized I don't know how to be an adult, in facing the real world. I feel angry at myself sometimes for being inadequate, but at the same time I should do something about it. I can't let those ill feelings and self-pity consume me.