Time to grow up?

If ‘growing up’ has made me realise anything… It’s that I’m not ready to grow up. After talking to a couple of people about how quickly 2013 has passed, we realised that after next year we’ll be done with university and out to find a ‘real’ job. We realised that in 5 years, we might have a couple of friends getting hitched, and in 10 years, we’re going to be 30. In the scope of things, that’s probably a long time away… but after seeing how quickly every year is passing, it feels like we’re just a hop, step and a skip away from all these things occurring.

The thing that scares me most about growing up is the whole ‘responsibility’ part that comes with it. I have undoubtedly lived a privileged life where my parents are just a bird call away from swooping in to clean up any mess I’ve created. They’re here to support me when I have no idea what I’m supposed to do and I can turn to them when I’m not sure how to do something. I mean, it’s not that I have an inability to do taxes, cook, clean, look after myself and all that stuff, it’s just that I’m lazy as shit. I’m not ready to take initiative of my life and make things happen. If I had it my way, I would probably just sleep for one half of the day, then eat and watch reruns of Sherlock, HIMYM and Shameless for the other half.

Okay, so maybe in some ways I feel like I’m ready to take full responsibility of my life. I’ve thought about what investments I’m ready to make, what I’m going to do when I get my first legitimate job and all that stuff, but this is me being all talk and no action, as I’m not sure what steps are required for me to actually get there in the first place. That, and I’m supposed to be basking in my young naiveté, adapting to the manner and lifestyle of a mindless youth in her glory days.

Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m the only person my age who’s freaking out about this growing up thing. I feel like this is the time to be ‘living it up’, but I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that maybe if I don’t start worrying about these things now, I’ll spend and live in a way that’s reckless beyond repair. I’ll be something of a knocked-up 20-year old university drop out who has a substance abuse problem, and missing limbs/organs that have resulted from funding that addiction.

So, when is it time to grow up? More importantly, when are you supposed to recognise when it’s time to grow up and plan for the future? Is it supposed to be this one moment where everything in the world comes to a sudden standstill, and you’re just looking around thinking, ‘What am I doing with my life?‘. Do we then get some dramatic slow-motion montage of our past experiences in Sepia with Radiohead’s ‘No Surprises’ playing in the background? Like, shit. Do we get an intervention telling us that we’re officially at the end of the ‘living it up’ phase and that it’s time to find a real purpose in life? DO WE GET A DAMNED LETTER AT LEAST?!

I’m not sure if anybody else is in the same boat as me, but one of the things I fear most is that I’m not doing enough. Whether it’s not enough of ‘living it up’ now, or in the future when I’m looking back thinking about what I should’ve done in the past to make my life easier. But, if there’s anything that I can recommend we do in the present, it’d be to do what we want. Life’s too long to be stuck doing anything we hate… And, it’s also too short to waste our time regretting decisions of things we did or wished we had done. So, my lame proposition is that we do what we want and don’t spend too much time worrying about things that don’t need worrying about. Things that have constituted this mindless babble you’ve just read… The lovechild which is this massive word-vomit post.

If you’re older and you’re just having a good ol’ chuckle at my quarter-life existential crisis and have any words of wisdom… Let me know.

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My take on bullying

Recently I watched a video on the vlogbrother’s channel where John Green talked about bullying and how to get through it. I can’t say that I have had a great load of experience with being a direct target of bullying, but I have had the odd one or two people early on in high school who have been passively aggressive to me for a short period of time… With no apparent purpose. Even though it didn’t affect me too dramatically, I do know how shit it feels, and I can only imagine how hard it would be for those people who have been excluded or victimised for a large portion of their lives.

One of the things that John mentioned in this vlog was how there was this one thing that made him understand why bullies acted the way they did. Of course, it was no excuse to be doing that type of shit, but when you think about reasons a bully might… Bully… Well, it puts things into a bit more perspective.

A lot of the times people do the things they do, it’s always due to some past experience, trauma or something bloody awesome happening in their lives. People’s behaviours are always catalysed by something that’s influenced them in some way – and this behaviour they exhibit is a physical hallmark of their experiences. This doesn’t just relate to ‘why a person bullies’, but also why a person might be extra careful. Why a person might incessantly bug you for attention. Why a person is so caught up with how they look. All these things that make up a person is due to something that’s happened in their past.

Now, let’s get back on topic. Bullies may have several reasons for why they do what they do. The one that I’m sure all of us have heard at some point is, “They’re jealous of you”. Another one that also commonly pops up is, “They’re insecure of themselves, so they put you down to make themselves feel better”. Then the really deep and disturbing ones like, “They’ve been verbally/physically/sexually assaulted” or “They have a really tough family life”.

But the one thing that I took away from John’s video is that these people who bully you aren’t necessarily evil. They, too – as hard as it is to believe – are people who are living with their own fears, pains and problems. The fact that they target you in particular is definitely unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean that they have anything against you as a person. Many times, the act of bullying isn’t because the problem lies with you, it’s usually a problem that lies with the other person. Although this may not be 100% accurate and may vary in different cases and situations, bullying can often be a sign of weakness from the perpetrator. They may use this tool as an instrument to gain control and strength in an area that they don’t usually have within their lives.

For all my younger readers out there, if you’re in high school and dealing with a shit load of bullying, know that it’ll stop. High school, although it may be the ‘best years’ for one bunch of people, for others it’s just another thing they have to survive… and depending on how you deal with it, it’ll just be another chapter in your life. This is going to sound like a typical guidance counsellor moment, but if you are being targeted, know that there is somebody out there who will listen and care… Even if they are just people on the internet.

The Appropriate Amount of F***s to Give: Life Edition

Sorry everybody for being a little M.I.A. these past few weeks. I didn’t really want to post a string of things that either didn’t make sense or were so monstrously insubstantial that they were a waste of space… So, I’ve obviously decided that this one was worthy in some way, shape or form. That being said, I’m going to try my hardest to post more frequently! 

As the new year commences, I only find it appropriate to give out a potentially beneficial life tip for my people of the interwebs. So, as I’ve been scrolling through numerous social networking sites, I’ve come to notice a recurring new year resolution; to stop pleasing others. ‘How is this an appropriate amount of f***s to give column?!’ you may ponder. Ah, my friends, this is in fact a ‘don’t give that many f***s about other people’ column… And I mean this in the nicest way possible.

Many a times we have been confronted with things that we don’t particularly want to do but we do it anyway. Our happiness is leached for the sake of other people… Not even for the sake of their happiness, it’s just for the sake of them. My mantra in life has always been to do what I want… This is of course within the bounds of what’s socially acceptable. I do what I want as long as it won’t have any negative consequences on me or the people around me… And so far it’s worked out pretty alright.

I mean, when has it become ‘bad manners’ to say no? When has it become so taboo to do what you want? In the end, all you’re really doing is living for yourself, not for others. If you don’t do what you want and it’s all for somebody else, then aren’t you really just living out their plans and their expectations for and of you?

This relates to turning down your friends’ ‘hectic nights out’ so that you can stay at home and watch those embarrassingly awesome chick flicks and binge on things that will probably give you a high cholesterol and diabetes. This relates to challenging your friends for that restaurant you want to go to because it obviously makes better parmas. This especially relates to being able to voice your disapproval or if you disagree with something somebody said. No, it’s not cool to get into fights, but if there’s anything that I’ve learnt from the people I choose to hang out with, I like people who aren’t submissive and don’t feel inclined to agree with everything I say. I mean, who doesn’t like a good challenge?

This doesn’t even just relate to friends. For all my Asians out there… and especially for all my people who have relatives/partners/girlfriends/boyfriends/teachers with high expectations for you and for your life, remember to not fall into the trap of living for them. I can’t stress this enough, because I legitimately felt like I was undergoing a metamorphosis or something dramatic when I realised this… But don’t live in fear of disappointing others. I always feared that I would do something that would disappoint my family, and sometimes I still do… However, luckily it’s on nothing that is a complete conflict of interest.

It’s a scary feeling knowing that you haven’t been doing what you want for the most part of your life… Knowing that you have been living to please others… Living to make them proud of you. But I’d bet on anything that it would be even scarier if you went so far down that path that it was only when you were 35 and in a career you hate that you finally realise that you’re being somebody you aren’t because of other people’s expectations of you.

I’m going to leave you with this parting note… A challenge, if you will. Be selfish for a change. Put yourself ahead of others. Live for yourself and not for other people, no matter how much they matter… Because as the wise Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”