Growing old is strangely serene. I truly think so.
I don’t have a full long list of things that I learnt in life, just 3.
1. Childhood is the shortest period in our life with the longest impact.
An interesting conversation with my colleagues revealed that most of our homosexual friends often come from single family, with their sexual inclination being of the same gender as their missing parent. E.g. A friend of mine who is masculine, had no mother around her when she was growing up. Another gay friend of mine, had no father when he was growing up. Of course there are others who were sexually assaulted when they were young, and of course the others who were seemingly born gay, that could have contributed towards them being homosexuals, but I do find that the missing father or mother figure creates a deep impact on the child.
For myself, I grew up with 2 elder sisters who were inseparable. I recall being told that I am extra and often trying hard to please my sisters so that I am one of them. They also said that I separate my mum and dad because I refuse to sit alone on the bus and either of my parent had to sit alone. I did not think that these were harmful because they were after all mere jokes and ‘harmless’ comments my sisters said as kids. However, I grew up constantly seeking to please others, to be liked by others, fearing greatly being disliked by others or being left out. Again, I did not think these were causing problems in my life, until recent years (I’m 28 this year).
My own partner, did not recall having a bad childhood though he remembers his parents quarreling when he was young. He said it was nothing, just normal quarreling. Upon checking with his sister, I realised that it was actually a traumatising experience because the siblings hid in the bedroom, crying and in fear, as CDs and household items were thrown around and shattering just outside the bedroom door, amidst the parents’ shouting and screaming. My partner was 8 or 9 then. He probably didn’t know what was happening. He grew up, detached from his own emotions and pretty much unable to grow attached to anything in life, jumping from one thrill to the next. The biggest problem is, he doesn’t realise it and doesn’t see it as a problem at all.
The scary thing is, impact from childhood experience doesn’t shout or scream for attention or make themselves known. They are embedded deep within, growing with you, and every dysfunctional event that occur as a result of the impact from childhood just seem so natural.
I can go on and on, about child psychopath, or adult pedophiles who were sexually attacked when they were young and grow up sexually assaulting others too. But I won’t, because I’m sure you already got the drift.
2. Staying true to oneself does not necessarily work; sometimes, change is better.
I joined my current work place because I wanted to learn from my boss how she managed to move up to a senior management position and stay as one, when she kept true to herself. By keeping true to herself, I mean being a super direct, blunt, frank and straight forward person who doesn’t sugarcoat words and outrightly show her sarcasm and displeasure without holding back.
I wanted to know because I was just like her but I faced roadblock at my previous workplace. I felt that I should stay true to myself and not change. Because why should I become someone I am not, just to please others?
Well, eventually, she left the organisation after I joined for 2 months and I witnessed the problems and tension she has to face, not purely but partly, because of the way she is. I learnt then, that sometimes, change is good.
Because there is nothing wrong with changing for the better and becoming a better self.
3. Beauty and good looks are much less important than we think.
Now, I used to harbour the same thinking a lot of people probably has. That looks are important, though it is not the most important thing, but c’mon, I’m pretty sure its on the list of Top 5 important factors, hahaa.
This is true, until I met this super gorgeous lady who looks almost like an aged Fiona Xie; slim, high forehead, almond shape face, big dolly eyes. And she is 45 and already has 5 kids! I thought the loving guy with her was her husband, until I realised that he is just a boyfriend and that she is actually separated from her rich husband, who has demanded to divorce her. She had wanted to kill herself until she met this current boyfriend, because she does not work and has no means to support her children and thus she can’t divorce either.
Main point is, she is so pretty and yet, she’s miserable.
I always felt that maintaining good looks is definitely one important factor in keeping your man beside you. As the guy tries to stay faithful, it is the woman’s job to put in effort to make it just that tiny wee bit easier for the guy to not stray. (this is debatable, but well.) I guess it still is, but it is never a guarantee.
More importantly, I learned that nothing is more important than ensuring that we stay relevant as a person. Relevant, as in self sustainable and self lovable. Looks is just a part of it, not a huge part, neither a small part. But never make the mistake of placing looks and beauty above things in life.
Now, I look forward to learning more things in life and becoming a better person. 🙂
Onwards and ahead! *flies