11 – I’m Getting (b)Older [a look back at being 19]

Before Reading On:
This post is a tiny bit longer than the usual – don’t say I didn’t warn you 😛 


     In less than a week, I’ll be celebrating my birthday *blows party poppers everywhere such fun much party wooooo* BUT this year, it won’t only mean that I’ll be getting a year older. It also means that I will bidding farewell to the “teen” years once and for all, and welcome with open arms the beginning of a third decade – I’M TURNING TWENTY!!!!! (Okay – maybe I don’t need to make such a big deal out of this ><)

    I’ve always felt the apparent inconsistency between how old I feel and the actual time I spent on earth since I escaped from my mother’s womb (i.e. my actual age in simpler English 😛 ).  And although I’m expecting to be the same scenario this year, I simultaneously also feel that this birthday will be different from the usual [ NOT because I’m going to miss writing teen after a single digit, and NEITHER because it shall be the first time I’ll be celebrating it away from home]. 

     Throughout the past few weeks, I reflected upon how I started my 19th year of living on this earth. I still remember how I felt (which pretty much was how I felt for the majority of my “teenager” life) – like an emotional wreck of irrational thoughts, helplessness and self-sabotage. Even though I had been getting help to control my anxiety, I started my 19th year feeling as though there was no way to get out from rock bottom. And less than 365 days later (and to my surprise), I don’t feel that way anymore! 

     Without denying the growth I made from one previous birthday to another, the past year was the most pivotal year for me. Even though the majority of it surrounded one particular yet impacting event, such beautiful and bitter experiences have changed me into someone I never thought I’d see myself become a year ago. Some events have brought out the uglier side to me, but that in itself challenged me and brought me out of my comfort zone to a whole other level: they made me grow a tougher skin; I was forced to realise my mistakes and my negative thinking styles even more; I got to recognise who the right people in my life are. Other experiences revolved around new opportunities, many firsts and the chance to express myself more – particularly through writing. And despite the amount of pain I felt getting through most of the year, being 19 has moulded me into a calmer and more self-controlled girl who is able to look at herself in a better light than she used to a few years back. She’s become more assertive and more honest with herself and with the people around her. And Instead of waking up with a mind heavy laden with irrational thoughts, she is now able to start afresh every morning – something which I never thought I would be able to accomplish. 

     I should give credit to myself for allowing myself to be open to experience all of this, but I shouldn’t forget to acknowledge those who were a part of it in some way or another:

to my family
     Mum, Dad, my sisters – even though our family isn’t the typical one, I thank each and every one of you for being there for me in spite of the chaos we might have going on in our lives. From giving me constant lifts from one place to another, to supporting me in what I do and for believing in me, to even putting up with my consistent mess: thank you for being a shoulder to cry on and for understanding me, and I apologise if I weren’t the same to you.

to my friends
     You are a diverse and a large bunch: from the course-mates I get to see every day, to those I meet once every blue moon but still try my best to keep in touch – whichever category you fall in, I am grateful for every single one of you. I call myself lucky to know many people whom I know I can count on no matter what. I may have shown my ugly and being a pain in the butt side more than my best side throughout the past year, but in spite of this you put up with my nagging, whining and problems, and I couldn’t be any more grateful for you. Thank you for being such amazing and important people in my life, and I hope I get to be as half an amazing friend as you were with me: you know who you are!

to those who have hurt me and/or don’t talk to me anymore
     You’re a small group (thankfully), but you were the most influential group of people throughout the year. I share great memories with some of you: a few of which I wouldn’t trade them with anything else. I also know that your actions may have no bad intention attached to them – which is why I still perceive you in good light. And even if you did such actions with bad intentions – I still thank you. You may have inflicted wounds in me, but through them you have inflicted in me a sense of growth: in strength, in knowledge about myself, and in the many lessons which followed the pain. I also acknowledge that your actions may have been a result of my wrong doings, and I apologise if that’s the case for it was never my intention to hurt your feelings.

to God
     Thank You for being my rock to fall on when everything seemed impossible. You’re the One who never gave up on me and that I can trust with my whole life. Your love and mercy is key in making me get through life, and I know I can’t get through this without You! 

to any one reading this
     I don’t know exactly how many people read my blog, but if you do fall under that category I thank you: even if it’s your first time today. Starting this page was only a means to get through what life was throwing at me, and now it has become a platform where I could use my writing to challenge opinions and relate to others who go through similar experiences. Such a blog would cease without you reading it in the first place, and I thank you for giving it a chance 🙂  

     I may not be the 20 year-old I envisioned myself to be when I was a child (i.e. being employed and licensed ><), but I have achieved so much more than I thought I would. For the first time in a long time, I can say I am happy with who I am and where I am, which doesn’t mean I’m constantly serene and joyous. Life still manages to make it hard for me to handle at times: I still make mistakes, I still tend to be hard on myself, and I still say stupid things and act stupidly. I’m still getting to know my likes and dislikes, my dreams and ambitions, and I still have many uncertainties about where my life is heading. Yet in the presence of all this chaos – I am coping, I am learning, I am living – and those are the best gifts I could ever receive 🙂

    There are some people who perceive turning twenty as getting older, and even though it’s true and sounds scary, I feel as though life is only beginning for me, and I look forward to see what it has in store for me! To more years of failing, learning and living through life – and a genuine happy birthday to me ^.^


 

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5 – A Special Gift [an old school essay]

If one finds the definitions of what a gift is in the Oxford Dictionary, the first one which strikes us refers to it as “a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present”. Although it may have other definitions in reality, I find this one really effective. The ability for one to give someone else something precious out of one’s own free will is already amazing in itself. However people tend to associate gifts nowadays with materialistic objects, which although may look grand and cost a lot, they can eventually depreciate through time. A special gift has nothing to do with money or magnitude – it has to do with what matters most: its value. I believe the life of a human being is a special gift!

It may sound odd to one’s ears, as life becomes hectic over the years and hard obstacles increase and become challenges we have to face every day. But coming to think of it, no one would know what would happen if life is non-existent in the first place. I suppose nothing would exist if life wasn’t a reality – nothing but giant rocks floating around in the spacious absence of gravity. It is not known when life began: scientists believe in the Big Bang theory; others believe that God has a plan for every creature which lives. The life of a human being is truly a special gift because it’s more than just one thing: in fact, it’s not even a thing!

It all starts from a man and a woman who fall in love, and create a beating heart out of nothing but love. Everything one does for-granted, whether if it’s moving his legs, seeing the sun rise, or breathing air: it is all thanks to his parents who wanted him to live on this earth. The beating heart is a small fragile baby, who over the years becomes a person with ambitions and goals like everyone else has. At first he begins to cry for all of his necessities, but as he grows day by day, with the help of his parents, the child starts to see objects more clearly and begins to identify them with words. He then starts to try and take his first few steps; he improves on them every single day, till he eventually starts taking steps in the direction he wants to for his well being.

Life does not only give humans the ability to breathe and grow physically. It gives new experiences to individuals everyday to become the person they want to be without letting anyone from interfering. Some experiences will be amazing; others might become a nightmare which may haunt one forever. Then, there are other experiences which may taste bitter, but later on they will serve as a purpose for growth in understanding how life works. Life is not about gaining experiences only – it’s also about giving happiness to someone else, be it through a simple smile, or a word of gratitude. It’s about surrounding oneself with people who make living life easier. It’s the smallest details like these which at the end make life worth living!

If I had to sum up what this special gift is, I would say that it is one full of surprises. It gives humans something to reflect on every night before bed time, yet contributes in creating memories which remain in one’s heart till the moment one passes away. An old friend of mine once told me that life is a roller coaster ride: it goes through highs and lows, but at the end it’s up to the passenger himself to close his eyes and scream all the way through – or to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!