It is a fact. I am a late bloomer.
While everyone else around me have found themselves and came into their own very early in life, I was still struggling to find myself. It took me a long time before I could even understand myself, let alone see myself.
I used to be so envious of those who seemed to know exactly what they wanted to do with their lives and who they were, even before they reached 30 years of age. I didn't understand how they could do it and wanted desperately to ask them if they had a secret manual that's titled - "The Idiot's Guide to Knowing Thyself", or "The Easy, Quick Fix to Finding Yourself: An Insider's Guide".
While I was fumbling, stumbling, crumbling and falling from Grace like every other month, they all blossomed like Spring time in Paris. For so many years, I felt inadequate, incompetent and dejected. Thinking that something was seriously "damaged" about myself.
Not knowing - was both frustrating for myself, and especially for those who cared about me. They all just didn't quite know what to do with me, or about me. Nor did I, for that matter.
For many years, I drifted from this place to that - changing places, faces, body shapes and sizes, and even trading lovers from one city to another. Not realising that I can never run from myself or hide - even if I didn't know who the hell "myself" was at that time. So, this 'escapade' continued for a long time.
As I look back now, I can honestly say out loud : "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING, WOMAN?"
Well, clearly, I wasn't - so that just compounded the unfortunate series of circumstances that made up the last 35 years of my life.
It was not until recently that I finally discovered what I was really looking for. And it was not until recently that I understood why I did the things I did. Here, please allow me to share some of my own reflections as the year comes to a close.
1) Finding someone to love me is not the same thing as me being the someone who can be loved, or who can love in return. People may truly really love me, but I didn't know how to love myself.
2) Collecting loads of admirers and suitors does not equate to one's appreciating market value in life or love. The only thing inflated is my ego.
3) Moving from one country to another is not going to change the view within, only the view on the outside.
4) Not doing anything and not moving, being static in every sense of the word is also a choice. It does not excuse me from all responsibility and accountability.
5) As I dwelled within the realms of indecisiveness, I am not the only one being 'stuck'. I also dragged others along in this 'stagnant' mode. This was something I did not want to acknowledge.
6) No matter how many times I tell myself that I was being honest from the start when I told each person that I was incapable of being faithful, it does not acquit me from hurting their feelings or breaking their hearts. The blood still stains my hands.
In truth, I do not need people to love me or understand me.
I just needed to love and understand myself. No matter how much other people can love me or understand me, it can never compensate for my lack of love or understanding of myself. It is, in a word, irreplaceable.
This was the reason why I could not cherish anyone or anything deep enough. It was all very superficial.
This was the reason why I could leave everything out and live without anyone.
This is the very reason that kept me from living my life - really living. Because my heart was never opened.
People and things were no different to me. They can be replaced, disposed of and a newer, shinier version could be bought at the next grand sale. At some instances, at 50% off the original cost price. So, there was no need for me to value, treasure and endear myself to anyone or anything.
I was empty because there was this huge hole. Although I could sense it, I did not know what to do about it. So instead of seeking ways to resolve this, I did my best to mask it. Or attempted to ignore it and hoped that it will magically disappear.
We humans have a strange habit.
We will always seek an external source to feed the things that are inherently missing inside of ourselves. I still don't quite know why we do that, but we always do so. May be it is just easier that way and less painful.
But we do not realise that in actual fact, it is the more fatal and painful in the end.
So, after so many years living with myself and learning about myself, I began to understand that the human race is acutally one which is deeply petrified of pain and suffering. So, we rather spend all our efforts, money and emotional investments in escapism, delusions and illusions.
We do not want to face the truth about ourselves. We do not want to see the real face of who we are.
If you sit back and reflect on how you have behaved and observed the movements of your own mind over the years, you will see what I mean. You will then discover what you have been hiding from in all this time, and what you are attempting to escape from.
As a species, yes, we are terribly vulnerable and fragile. Our bodies and mind break and shatter as easily as glass. We cannot evolve as fast as the germs we are trying to kill off. We can't even mutate to a stronger life form so-to-speak. Hence, we can only create, innovate and participate in all things external of us.
This is our grandest illusion yet - may be that is why we are so fascinated with magic.
We rather buy into the farce than the truth and live in fallacy than reality.
So, what words of advice or, ahem, wisdom can I share after finally coming of age?
Only these -
You are as beautiful and wonderful as you are. Right now, right here.
This moment is going to be as good as it gets until you make that change inside you.
Yes, you have the ability to do anything you want to do, as long as you really put in the effort to achieve it.
No, crying will not change anything.
And no, screaming and shouting will not make it any better.
The one who really loves you will cherish your vulnerability as well as value your strengths.
When people criticize you, it doesn't mean that they hate you or that you are really that bad or lousy.
It means that you just have more room for improvement and you can learn from it and grow from there.
DO NOT wallow in self-pity.
I repeat - Under no circumstances, should you ever allow youself to wallow in self-pity. Because if you choose to wallow in self-pity, you are just fulfilling their 'unpleasant prophecy' about you. But if you choose NOT to believe in being the 'lesser you' and remaining as the 'lesser you', then do something positive for yourself and change for the better.
Above all, make that change for the better LAST and SUSTAINABLE for the rest of your life.
You are worth every your sweat, blood, tears, dreams and hopes.
So, start acting like one. Start behaving like one.
Be kind and grateful to as many people as you can because you know very well how pain feels.
Therefore, you should not cause others any more pain or suffering.
Before you actually become a solution, stop being a part of the problem.
Yes, you can do all the above.
Because I am doing it and I am much worse than any of you put together.
So, believe in the best of you and allow that very best of you to RISE each and every day.
The rest of your life can be the life you have always dreamed of.
Today can be your true beginning.
It is never too late. It is only too late when you never even gave it a chance.
I say it again, you are worth YOUR every sweat, blood, tears, dreams and hopes.
So, it should all come from you and no one else.
No one else is responsible for you or your life.
You should not marry someone else for their money, but earn your own.
You should not sleep with someone else to reach the top of the ladder, but climb on your own.
You should not use people in order to get what you want in life or love, but use yourself to give what people in your life need and love with all your heart.
Nothing lasts forever and nothing stays the same.
This applies to all sadness, pain, joy and pleasures in life and love.
What you understand of the above statement will determine your maturity and ability to live your life to the fullest, and to appreciate life for what it truly is.
This is all I can share and have to share.
The rest is really up to you.
As the year comes to a close, I pray that each and everyone will be loved as much as they should be loving themselves and others.
I am starting a new exciting chapter in my life and I already know how I will end.
Because my mind and heart will not be governed by negativities and insecurities.
I rather be found guilty for caring more than not at all, and doing much more than not enough.
The year 2010 will be very interesting indeed.
I promise I will make an effort to write every single day, even if it is a short line or two.
My birthday is coming up soon. It's funny - I don't feel 40 years old at all.