Age is JUST a number

I say I'm 27. Seriously.

I say I’m 27. Seriously.

When I was young(er), I used to think that people who were in their 30’s or 40’s were already old.

I grew up in the generation where the young ones realize and acknowledge the authority of elders, may they be parents, aunts or uncles, or parents’ friends.  As a teenager, I was close to my aunts, we tell stories and we laugh a lot, but never did I see them as my equal.  They were always “up there.”  They were older and I gave them all the respect that they deserved.  Though honestly, there were times when I didn’t want to hang out with them because it felt “uncool” hanging out with older people…

I was never really close to my mom when I was growing up because she was more of a figure of authority than anything else.  I followed and obeyed.  I never saw her as a “friend.”  Provider, yes.  Parent, yes.  But, buddy? Chum? Friend?!  As Tyra Banks would have said it, “Hell to the no!”

Besides, the age gap made it difficult for me to see her differently.  My parents — and their siblings — will always be older.  When I was a teenager, I had this thinking that they were already ancient.  Gosh.

I am in my late thirties now.  To be more precise, I am pushing forty.  Just saying that is making my heart palpitate.  In my young self’s eyes, I AM ANCIENT!  Panic time.  Gulp.  I. can’t. breathe. too. well. 

Thinking about it, I don’t feel too different.  I mean, I feel like I’m the same ME that I was as a teenager.  I have the same friends…  I dislike the same people (oh, grow up, girl!)…  I still like the colors pink and purple and all shades of violet…  I still like the same kind of music — or at least, I still DON’T like the heavy metal kind (gives me headaches), while classical music still makes me sleep…  I am still conscious of my weight — like I have been when I was infact 20lbs lighter… I still think my arms and thighs are big…

So, maybe I have matured a bit.  Maybe I look at life differently now, meaning I am not after the drama anymore.  I don’t get stressed easily now… though come to think of it, I was never really the ‘easily-stressed’  type.  I know for a fact that my personal experiences, both good and bad, have shaped me into who I am today… But somehow, for some reason, I still FEEL like I am the same person — same girl– that I was years back.  Twenty or so years back, to be precise.

I don’t really feel old.  Or ancient.  I am in my late thirties, but I feel young. I am the same Me that I have always been.

Now I realize that 30 or 40 is NOT old or ancient.  Gosh, I’m taking back the perception I had of my aunts when I was young.  I am there now… and I wouldn’t want my son or my son’s friends to think that I am not cool because I an older.

Age is JUST a number.  It’s who you are inside that truly matters in the end.

Uhm, can you please remind me of all these before I actually turn forty…  In case, you know, I start panicking and begin having my midlife crisis…  Sigh…

Maybe it’s about time that I accept — and admit– my real age.

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photo via google images

Love Thyself

Supergoddess Me

Female:  “I can’t think of a name for my blog.”

Friend:  “Why not Supergoddess?  It fits you.”

Female:  “Hmm. You’re right.  It does, doesn’t it? Thanks!”

AND then Supergoddess Me was born…

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I wasn’t always this cocky… confident… sure of myself.  Believe me, once upon a time, I was this shy, timid girl with inferiority complex who gets sick in the stomach and vomits everytime she’s nervous.  Okay, so maybe that still happens to me ’til today (old habits die hard), but I am far different from who-what-how I was years ago.

I grew up under the shadow of an older sister.  Older sister was smart, confident, outgoing, no-nonsense type of girl… a real toughie.  She was also the nanny’s favorite.  And since we were left with our nanny for the most part of our growing up days, well, older sister basically ruled.  Nanny just adored her and everybody knows about it.  I for one, knew about it.  How can I not when I was always, ALWAYS being compared to her?

She’s not as tough… She can’t be on her own, she might get lost… She’s so nice, people will take advantage of her… She can’t take care of herself… She’s NOT a lawyer she won’t know what to do…

Those were but some of the words I heard spoken about me.  And somehow, they stuck.  When you are young, you are easily influenced by what others think about you.  Give a child words of encouragement, and you will build her confidence.  Tell a child how disappointing you think she is, and you will easily see the change on how she sees herself.  Eventually she will prove that she IS a disappointment if that is what you keep ingraining in her. 

For some time when I was growing up,  I think my self-esteem was subzero.  Self worth… uhm, what self worth?

My confidence level improved somewhat when I was in high school.  I realized that I was smart enough.  I was a diligent student, too.  And so I studied hard, made sure that my grades were above average, so I had something to be proud of.  Something to feel good about.  I knew, as well, that my parents would be proud of me, too, if I kept getting good grades.  I was somewhat active in high school. I had a lot of friends, I joined contests and clubs, but I made it a point to hit the books whenever needed — which was all the time.  I was a closet nerd. 

College was another thing, though.  The university was big, the course was tough, I had to make new friends, so it was pretty much like going back to square one.  I had to prove myself all over.  I was a diligent student still, yet I guess my shy side prevented me from shining.

I think it was when I started working that my transformation took place.  It was then that I realized that there’s nothing wrong with being nice, or patient, nor is it bad to smile a lot.  In a way I looked at  my being “charming” as an advantage.  It made people warm up to me.  Being friendly and approachable helped.  Eventually as they found out that I had brains, too, well I guess I gained their respect more.

But more than what the others may think about me, my confidence level grew when I started seeing myself differently.  It was when I stopped comparing myself to others — my sister, my mom, my friends– that I began to value myself more.  It was when I accepted myself for who I am that I understood what self-worth is all about.

Oh yes, I still had my moments.  There still were people who tried to bring out the insecure, inferiority complexed person in me.  In my past life, I went out with someone who was emotionally abusive.  For some time I was inching back to subzero… It took the intervention of my best friends to make me realize that I shouldn’t let anyone trample on my self-esteem, nor should I start comparing myself to other women… specially when, according to them, I am already several levels high up.  Thank God for caring friends!

One YOU

We are all unique individuals.  Our differences make us who we are.  Our differences make us special.  We are all an “original” given our strengths, as well as our flaws and imperfections.  Our self worth should not be dependent on other people. 

You don’t need another person to define you. 

 

What’s important is that you KNOW yourself.

And LOVE yourself.

 

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photos via weheartit.com

Staying 27

It never used to bother me when people ask how old I am.  My friends are mostly of the same age so we understand each other’s language, i dress appropriately that people won’t think i’m from another era (say ’60s or 70’s), nor would they think i’m trying hard to look young… and i am surrounded by young kids a lot of times that i feel young, too.  Believe me, laughter begets laughter.  Try surrounding yourself with grumpy old people and see how long your light spirits will last.

My age used to be just a number.  It didn’t feel like such a big deal when i turned a quarter of a century.  I still felt young and alive and had so much to look forward to.   And then when i had my child, i was a happy young mom.  I had friends who went on a hiatus when they turned thirty.  They felt they were too old to stay single.  I remember being a joyful thirty year old “young” mom.   

But then lately, as i watch my son turn into a fine lad, warning bells seem to be ringing relentlessly inside my head.  Okay, so maybe it’s more of a gong that i am hearing.  That nagging sound that keeps reminding me that well, i am not so young, after all.     And that unless i stick to my make up story that i had my son at a very young age (say 16), well people who ask my age are bound to know that I am not in my late twenties — nor am i just thirty (where my age stopped.  but press release has always been 27).  Of course I can always hope that they suck at math and can’t make mental computations.

So, does this age thing bother me now?  Yes, it’s starting to.  Getting old scares me.  I don’t want to turn out old and wrinkly with gray hair.  Worse, old AND grumpy.  A hag in every sense of the word.  I am afraid of getting old without knowing my purpose in life. 

Can i do something about it? Maybe.  I can accept the fact that everybody grows older everyday. It’s a sign of life, so I should be thankful.  Perhaps embrace the idea that wisdom comes with age (… thus, i am wiser than well, my son and his friends).  I am more experienced, more knowledgeable, and i should be proud of my personal successes, big or small. 

 And yes, if i wish to age with grace, daily use of moisturizer and body lotion will help, too.  Have a strict beauty regimen.  I can dye my hair brown (or even magenta) if i feel like it.  Smiling helps a lot, too.  So maybe i should always flash my mega watt smile at friends and strangers alike.

Age is not just a number when you really think about it.  It signifies the years you have been blessed with this gift called life.    Instead of being in denial, i guess I should be grateful i have reached this far… and look forward to having more.

Of course I can always say that my son is really JUST my younger brother… but who am I kidding??

 

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watch out for: Signs that I’m Getting Old (or I’m Not as Young as I  Say I Am) 

 

 

emptiness and acceptance

sometimes i catch myself staring into space, being here physically but mentally far, far away.  so far away i can’t even place where.

sometimes i ask myself if i am happy with my life. like, if i am to die tomorrow, can i say that i have lived a full, satisfying life that i can go in peace… or am i filled with regrets, what ifs and i-wish-i-dids…

if i am to be honest to myself, i should acknowledge that there are things that i still wish i can change…  things that i wish never happened… feelings that i wish i never felt.  there are memories of decade old events that i am still running away from… pain brought about by other people that i can’t seem to forget… thoughts that fester inside my head… thoughts that i just can’t seem to get rid of.

sometimes i just feel empty. 

i like doing things for other people.  i like helping, reaching out, meeting their needs.  yet sometimes, despite having given a lot of myself to others, i can’t seem to find the satisfaction and the fulfillment.  at the end of the day, i just feel drained… exhausted.  and i can’t help but question, when do i get something in return?  when do i experience being nurtured or pampered just because?  do i always have to work for it myself?

sometimes i run away in my head.  i imagine things being different. i imagine being in total control of everything in a totally different universe.

but then sanity kicks in.  my true self speaks out and reminds me that life isn’t supposed to be perfect.  life is what we make it.  and as i continue having Dr. Phil moments in my head, i come face to face with the realization that maybe i feel empty because i choose to feel empty.  maybe i still get affected by past hurts because i simply don’t want to let go of them.  it is all a matter of choice… and there are days when i choose to be sad instead of happy… i choose to be resentful instead of thankful… i choose to feel empty and be in denial, than accept things as they are. 

sometimes we make the mistake of letting other people define our happiness.  be it their acceptance of us, the way they treat us, the way they love or not love us.  it is so easy to fall into that trap… that seeming dependence on how others perceive us.   this is just so wrong because people will let us down, whether we like it or not.  people are not always nice.  and sometimes, the people we love the most are the ones who hurt us the most, as well.  we just have to accept that that’s just how it is.

yes, we may feel empty at times, but then if we know how to fill that void — whether by doing something or just letting the feeling pass — then, the feeling will pass.   bottom line is,  when we don’t depend on other people to make us happy… when we  don’t let them define who we are… then we have more chances of being really happy.