Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Why it's ok that shit happens when you grow up (and you can still turn out pretty alright)

Are we the makers of our own destinies? The older I have gotten the more I believe that despite how terrible or great our upbringing may have been, it doesn't have to determine who we ultimately become. Why am I writing this article, verging perhaps on the TMI for some of you? A meeting with a university friend the other week prompted a little self-reflection. She told me how much calmer I had become since our last encounter, more chilled and content, and she certainly had a point, causing me to pen down this piece of (nearly) mid-twenties wisdom.

The years after you leave university, have little money, no longer enjoy the security net of friends you see every day at school or on campus and unless you are very lucky also see you facing a dating world where being ghosted and ghosting is every day norm ( if you don't know what I am talking about read this), are fucking hard. What it is worse you begin to realise how much your upbringing whether happy and sheltered or dysfunctional and far from picture perfect leaves a toll on you for better or for worse. There is a German saying in fact that goes something like 'Everyone has their little parcel to carry, be it small or big' and it was when I realised we all suffer from that extra weight on our back  that I couldn't make it an excuse for my own short comings as person anymore, we at the end of the day the makers of our own destiny.

To spare you my dramatic life story (dad who died of a heart attack with drug abuse problems, mum who went crazy after and no family or savings that I can call my own since), I have always tried to hide rather than seek pity about it all. In fact I have tried to work extra hard to come across as completely fine, overachieving in whatever I could to compensate for the areas out of my control.

Inevitably however these factors leave their marks on you, like it or not, God knows what some psychologist would think about how I view men or what all of this has done to my levels of trust ( and very high level of sarcasm), always a pessimist and worrier about almost everything.

However the more you get let down in life and face disappointment ( and yeah that happens a lot in your twenties) you also realise you are not the only one with those unwanted "accessories" and you certainly shouldn't compare your issues to others. Of course not all involve death, crazy mums and the like but they are no less potent in effecting that person and shouldn't be an excuse used by anyone for anything but trying to be the best person you can be.

We should become the people we are despite AND because of these issues and though my life hasn't been the easiest, accepting and working with that has probably been the main factor behind my new found calmness. Maybe I am rambling a little bit but I guess what I want to say is shit happens in your childhood and when growing up but the way we react to it in resilience and more importantly live on to deal with it makes us the pretty decent adults we all want to be and should all work on.

1 comment:

alice said...

(long-time reader; first time commenting on your blog)

"In fact I have tried to work extra hard to come across as completely fine, overachieving in whatever I could to compensate for the areas out of my control." This struck a chord for me. I'm in my early twenties, attempting to pay my way through college/the world without familial financial help and my own baggage resulting from personal stuff and relationships. I think I'm always trying to make up for my circumstances by being the best student, most fun to hang out with, lovable, etc. And ... I really don't need to be doing that.

Thanks for this.