Have you grown at all?

It’s been strange to turn 20, now 21, and it keeps on going (or so I’ve been told). It made me think whether I’m really growing, not just getting older (and I mean growing as a person, I’m not that silly to think I’ll ever stop being a dwarf). Many times I still think of myself as the kid I’ve been for most of my life. I can’t get that I’m an adult. No, adults are those grown up, alien people. I’m not that. I was born a kid and will always be one.

But something has definitely changed. It hits me when I’m at work and people treat me like an adult. It hits me inside my own family. It hits me when I look in the mirror and my doe eyes are turning strangely older. Is it all bad? I think I had a good childhood (almost a fairy tale childhood except for the school bullying). But I didn’t have such a good teenage life. I spent most of it inside medical school, depressed, neurotic, going over the edge. I’m not fussed over staying a teenager. There must be something I’ve turned around for good. Is there something I can refer to as “this is not something I would have pulled out 5, 4 years ago…But I can do now?”.

I’ve stopped trying to be things I am not. I can’t say I’m completely over it, but it has improved a lot. I had an obsession about wanting to be everything, know everything, do everything. But mostly I was just so ashamed of myself I thought anything else was good but me. I used to be jealous of everything and everyone. Being around anyone was painful for me, because my mind was just focusing of how much of the other person I lacked. “He can write great songs… why can’t I?, I suck!”.  It was exhausting.

I stopped thinking that dating was an impossible skill I would never get.  I have been a #1 geek most of my life. I used to think I had gotten lost in the school of life and I was wandering around trying to find my way just when the other kids were having dating classes. My love life can be summed up in a little notebook. First kiss at age 15, me running away afterwards in shame and confusion, leaving the guy all dazzled (Speaking of that, I saw that guy on tv yesterday. Pretty awesome.) I had an “online boyfriend” that year too, for like a couple of months or less, who is now a sweet, good overseas friend, and is engaged now (with a real-life woman fyi!… or so we all think). Then two years went by trying to recover from first kiss… until a crazy 17th birthday at a friends house, got me drunk and had me french kissing like 3 people on the same night, 2 of them being woman. (I know, I skipped a few steps there.) Later a couple of dates here and there. A lot of lying trying to cover my lack of experience with over-seductive behavior and embarrassing myself a lot. A couple of less-than-a-month “boyfriends”. Then like 3 years of nothingness when I got worst into my depression. Later a friend who was dating me while I was thinking he was just a friend (now I can see I was really dumb because he wasn’t that subtle after all). That ended up bad I think. And finally my “August” (think of “Sweet-November” the movie). I don’t know if he extended to September, October and November. It’s still blurry but it’s most likely to finally end when he graduates and goes into his “Real – Doctor” life in 5 days. I’m not in love with him or anything, but it’s been a good experience. There are still some issues I have to deal with, but in general I can say that dating is not an impossible thing to do.

I stopped thinking my mind worked different ways than the rest of the humans. I feel normal even by being a weirdo. Most of the times…

I don’t feel as a loner as much as I used to. I learned to adapt to other people being different and enjoy my time with them, otherwise just get away, not linger while wondering “why I’m such a weirdo I can’t get along with them”.

I stopped feeling bad because I enjoyed being alone. I can go home on a Saturday night because I want to, not because I have nothing else to do.

I stopped trying to make everyone happy just so I could fit. I can be a bitch right now. I can make people feel bad if I really want to. And it turns out I don’t want it too often. But at least I know I’m good to the people I really want to be good with.

I don’t feel ashamed of my flaws as often as I used to. I think this blog has helped a lot for that. I think blogs of people in my blogroll have also helped more than I’ll ever tell. Like, hey, first time I ever read Tanya’s blog was on DeviantArt when I was looking through pictures and photos, and stumbled upon one blog called “Your flaws make you beautiful” (by the way I can’t find the link to that one anymore, has it been deleted?). I started reading all of her DA blogs since then and seeing all of her photography.  Pretty cool stuff.

I’ve stopped being scared when “euthymic, scared that I would get depressed again anytime and trying to avoid it at all costs. Instead I acknowledge that I might get depressed again, as I’ve had several relapses over the years. But I won’t enter that field unprepared again… or at least I will have a bit of a hope that it can be beaten because it has happened before.

I’ve gained lots of weight! 10 kilograms since I was 16. I used to have a BMI of like 17, an overeater twiggy.  BTW I need to stop it now.

I’ve been feeling more comfortable in my own country, while I used to wish I could get out of it as soon as possible. I’m still not patriotic, I still want to live somewhere else, but I’ve calmed down from those times when I thought I would happily go work as a prostitute rather than staying here one more second.

I’ve became a full atheist instead of agnostic. I’ve also calmed down and tried to avoid all religious debates. It’s just my way to think and I can’t force anyone to think that way.

I know all these changes may disappear or be forgotten, especially when my depression attacks. But it’s just great to realize that not all is bad. Not all the time at least. This all reminds me of Sulz reference to flaws about “self acceptance or self improvement?” I say self improvement, but most of the improvement I’ve mentioned has really consisted on self acceptance. So which one is it?

So, do you think you have grown over the years?  Or is there a moment or age in your life you’d rather be right now?

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4 thoughts on “Have you grown at all?

  1. i’m a year older but i’m definitely not an adult like you are! for one, i’m still a student, and for another i plan to study after i graduate. the moment i think i’m really adult is when i pay my own bills and pump petrol for the car myself!

  2. I stopped thinking of adulthood as economic independence, I think of it as a state of mind. Something that changes inside you. I’m probably miles away from what adulthood must be for real though, so you can’t trust me.

    Just for the record, I’m also still a student, and will stay a student for a while (for at least 4 years more). I don’t earn my own money yet, and don’t have a car, and can’t drive. So you really, REALLY, can’t trust me.

    I just say… I’m going in a direction, somewhere, instead of being stuck. And it feels good.

  3. Vanessa,

    I am really happy that you’re growing up, but the most important for me is that YOU ARE FEELING HAPPY! :). Please stop thinking that “It ended up bad” because 1) Our friendship has not ended up, at all. 2) I have always seen you like my little insane sister. What happened between you and I was a “glitch of the matrix” and about the aftermath… I apologise for the shed tears.

    Hope you don’t hate me for taking you for granted

    Diego

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