I was probably the biggest worrier when I was younger. I was always so scared of so much that I was more concerned with the future that I never really appreciated being young and carefree. I thought back then the little responsibilities I had was so huge that I wouldn’t be able to deal with growing up, but over the years I had 10 main concerns that I constantly worried about, these worries pretty much summed up my life growing up and luckily, I’ve had some answered for me. Here’s a little secret, all I ever really needed was a little bit of patience and time to figure some of these things out.
- Am I ever going to grow taller?
I’ve always been small, short to be precise. Thinking back, my height never really stopped me from doing anything, but being significantly shorter than my peers did bring about a lot of unnecessary insecurities, I was always the one who had trousers that were way too long for me. I had to buy children’s sizes to actually get a mini skirt, I wore heels just to get a little more height. My height didn’t bother me as much until my younger sister grew way taller than me. Today, I stand at 5 ft 1, but that is the height I’ve been for many years. In fact, if I remember correctly I had my growth spurt quite early, I think it was in year 6 and even then it didn’t make me any taller than any of the other kids, it just meant that I was not too short compared to the second shortest person. It’s safe to say I’ve been below average height most of my life. The only thing it really ever stopped me from doing was being able to be an air hostess for big international companies but I did get over that pretty quickly. Over the years though I gained a love for my height, small height means smaller feet (at least for me) and it means that when there are shoe sales, I can usually find nice shoes in my size. I think this worry is pretty redundant now because being small is not a hindrance in my life, it hasn’t had an adverse affect in my abilities as a contributing member of society but still, sometimes I wish I could add a few more inches.
- What if I don’t meet someone and fall in love?
I’ve always been the kind of person who loves to love. I love everything about being in love and even when I was younger, back when boys think girls have cooties and girls think boys are gross, I was so excited at the prospect of finding my dream love. Even as a young kid I was open to the idea of falling in love with a person rather than a gender, race or religion. I looked forward to finding someone to share my life with someone, even before I ever really knew what that meant. When I started to learn a little more about myself and started seeing the vast differences I had with my peers I worried that I wouldn’t find anyone who could be similar to me. I was terrified I wouldn’t meet anyone and fall in love. I laugh now because as I grew up I had more than my fair share of romances. I wish I could go back to my younger self and tell myself that one of the things I did not have to worry about was finding someone to fall in love with because I loved falling in love so much that this was not difficult. However now as a ‘grown up’ I do worry I won’t find someone to love me. So in the flip side of things this worry is something I still carry with me to this day, if anything it’s just changed a little bit and has made me appreciate people more. I have also realised that I do not want to let this fear make me settle for just anyone, I think everyone deserves to find the other piece of their soul in another person. I do believe we all have soul mates and that this soul mate will change depending on what we choose. I will not rule out the opportunity to love anyone willing to love me truly, I’m just very blessed that right now I have a wonderful partner who not only makes me feel complete but also adds a tremendous amount of happiness and adventures with his presence.
- Will I even have a career?
I was fortunate enough to be raised by two very hard working parents who made it their mission to instil their work ethic to my sisters and I. When I was a kid I was so afraid that I wouldn’t find a career path for me, and I wanted so badly to be a career person. Nice fashionable suit, court heels and briefcase. I just wanted that all so much. It’s funny because it turns out the finding a career part wasn’t such a problem, it really became a, will I find a career I actually enjoy, worry. The truth is I haven’t yet. I found some great jobs that I got important skills and experience from but so far I haven’t found anything that fulfilled me. I’m still on the hunt for a job that will enable me to be creative, successful, feel important but also make a difference in some way to people’s lives. I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to explore the avenues of creativity. I just hope that I find something worthwhile soon; this period of uncertainty is beginning to wear me down. Surely there’s a job out there for me?
- What if I never make it out of Devon?
From the moment my family moved to Devon I had been desperate to get out of it. I dreamed of being anywhere but there, I couldn’t wait to explore the world, discover new places and experience new things. I was so terrified I would live, grow and die in Devon. Now I’m thinking, what the hell was so bad about being in Devon all of my life? The first opportunity I had to move away I did it. I moved to Stoke-on-Trent to go to University, at the time I thought that was the furthest place from Devon and it sure felt that way. I had a big wake-up call to how good I had it back home and actually spent every opportunity I had to go home! After I graduated I moved to London with my partner. I also spend every opportunity I have going back home. We’re hoping to move back to Devon at some point, we figure it’s the best place to bring up children. Isn’t it funny how things turn out? I bet my kids will also spend most of their childhood wishing to be out of Devon, and no matter how many times I tell them they’ll regret it, they’ll be like ‘Whatever Mum, I know best.” Yup, pretend children, I thought so too.
- What if I don’t have any friends?
I’m not the only kid whose life revolved around their friends. I was so obsessed with spending as much time as physically possible hanging out with my friends because I was most happy when I was surrounded by people. In adult-hood I’ve found an appreciation with my for my own company. Back then I thought the more friends you had the happier you were. I never really considered the drama of teenagers and was terrified that I may one day have very few friends. Back when Bebo and Myspace was a thing, I prided myself on having a lot of friends, many online but also in my daily life. Can I say something very candid about adult-hood. There is very little time for friends, I mean that in the least depressive way but it’s the truth. With family, career and romance, friendships can easily falter. In fact for me, trying to maintain friendships back home was difficult whilst being at University. Through some very different life choices (some good and some bad) I lost many of those I once called close friends. One day I came to the realisation that I actually had very few friends, so few that I could count them on my hands. I remember being a kid and planning my dream wedding, I’m not even kidding when I say that I couldn’t even get my guest list down to 300, not with all my family and friends, that’s forgetting my future partners guest list. But honestly, life happens and you just get so busy. I may not have as many friends as I did in my childhood but the friends I have now, I know are great lifelong friends who I am blessed to have. I no longer have to spend my time wondering who I can trust and who I can rely on. The friends I have now, I have for a reason, through the years I have found them dependable and loving, I may have had to kiss a lot of bad friendship frogs but it was worth it being able to trust that the friends I have now are faithful.
- Where will I live?
To be very honest I thought I would be living with my parents till I was old. I never imagined myself moving out, whilst I relished the idea of someday living in my own place, I was terrified of the independence and the whole process of choosing where to live. Again much like the other worries I’ve had, it turns out this problem wasn’t (I should say hasn’t so far) been an issue. I had a few housing issues during my time at university, if you want to know why you can read this blog post I wrote;
But then after that issue was sorted it all pretty much fell into place. After University, my partner and I did have some housing issues again, it was all just a bit up in the air because we had no idea what to do after University. I think now, where I stand, I am content with where I am, living in London with my partner trying to figure out how to navigate through adulthood, then hopefully once we’ve saved and found good careers then we’ll start out proper lives in Devon. I just can’t imagine living anywhere else, especially if I’m going to start my own family, I just know there’s no way I can raise my kids without my own parents lending a hand and being there to see my family grow. I just got way too real for myself.
- What if I’m not smart enough?
I’m laughing because I think back to some of the things I said, if you lay out my life in a timeline you’ll find I’ve spent most of my life in education, working or both. I wouldn’t be surprised if you read my life timeline and thought I was clever or hardworking. But really I’m not. I don’t mean to sound so self-deprecating but that’s just the truth. When someone once asked my why I hadn’t been back to the Philippines in over 10 years I would always say, ‘because there’s never been an opportunity to, every time my family have gone back I’ve either been unable to get time off of work or I have something important on at school I can’t miss, like an exam or assignment hand in’. And people are like omg you work so hard, you must be so clever, and it’s really not like that. I’ve always put my education first but it’s not like I have the grades to show for it. I’m just one of those people who got by in school and in life. The very thought that I was dumb and would be incapable of doing anything actually terrified me as a kid. I wanted so badly to be smart, some people are just born clever, honestly. I’ve had classmates who don’t revise and do assignments last minute only to get top scores. I would have to revise religiously for exams to achieve middle grades. This mediocrity made me fear for my future. I always wondered what life had in store for people like me, nothing special, just middle, not smart but not dumb. This fear continues to haunt me through adulthood. I had a particularly bad job interview where I met an MD of an established company, I must have done pretty well in my previous interviews to have been able to meet the MD, but 5 minutes into the interview he told me that he only worked with intelligent people and that he classed people with masters degrees intelligent anyone without one wasn’t worth hiring. Well, I only have a BA Hons, so I took it as him not so subtly calling me dumb. I got the job in the end but I’m sure it wasn’t because he approved it, I was probably just better than the other people but that didn’t make me ‘good’ either. I want to add something uplifting to this, though, I have also found that whilst being intelligent can open many doors for you, it’s also as important to have good experiences. Being hard working and having a good attitude can also show your intelligence. I don’t think intelligence is limited to general knowledge, I think it also applies to what you know about life, how you work etc. So for those who may not be book smart, there’s still hope, find out what you are smart at and stick to it!
- What will my relationship be like with my family?
It pains me to say that from the moment I could understand ‘relationships’ with other beings, I have had a terrible relationship with my family. I was not the easiest kid to grow up with or to raise. I was often more complicated than I needed to but I always justified my poor actions. Growing up gave me the wisdom to see the error of my ways and correct myself but back then I just felt so alien to my family and it made our ability to establish a relationship with each other so difficult. I bickered with my sisters way more than normal. I fought my parents through everything. Despite my discontent with them, I did worry that I would grow up to become the adult they disliked and even hated. I worried that if our relationship didn’t get better than I would grow up and move away and have no relationship with them at all. I’ve said it so many times, though, my life changed when I moved to University. My relationship with my family got really bad, but then it got really good and now I am so close to every member of my family. My sisters are my best friends and whenever I visit home we all spend good quality time with each other. I talk to my parents on the phone regularly and I turn to them for a lot of support. I guess all I needed was a little time and space to find appreciation for the family I have always had. Thinking for the future, I don’t worry about our relationship falling apart, this is definitely one worry I don’t have to carry with me now.
- What if I’m not good enough?
I think my parents are intelligent; my sisters are both brain boxes. My older sister great at math’s, my younger sister fantastic at Science. Me? I was more the, uhm, I don’t know. I guess I never really excelled at anything. Both my sisters were incredibly sporty; they were both popular, both smart, both very beautiful. Me? I don’t know, I had middle child syndrome, and honestly I believe that is a real thing. It wasn’t that I sucked at everything it’s just that I was never anything particularly special. It’s like imagine a race, people remember the person who comes first, people remember who came last, but no one really bothers with the people in the middle and I was always the middle person. Most of my life I spent my time never feeling good enough and it was through no-one else’s fault but my own. In fact, when I talk to my older sister about this, she always says ‘But no-one puts as much pressure on you except yourself, you don’t have to keep proving yourself to anyone.” And I feel like that pretty much sums up my entire life. I’m naturally competitive but this aspect of my personality has meant that I’ve lived a very insecure and self-punishing life. It’s stopped me from ever really doing anything I loved for fear of being ridiculed, outcasted or worse, failing. I loved to sing as a kid but my first opportunity to audition for the school play I just ran away and cried, I stopped playing the piano because my grading results weren’t great. I had an opportunity to intern for a popular fashion magazine but I was so scared of being terrible I just dropped out. I stopped writing and almost didn’t start my blog because I was so afraid of failing at my one passion. Every day I wake up and ask if I’m good enough. I’m so afraid of not being good enough that I can’t even ask it out loud and the truly pathetic thing is I seek everyone’s approval that in my 24 years of life I’ve barely made any decision for myself. I’ve genuinely never truly made a decision based on what would make me happy and it’s because I’m so scared to be considered less than worthy of anything. A little truth now, there are so many things I want to write about, favourites I have, opinions I have, experiences I’ve had, that I’m so afraid to share. Isn’t that so stupid? I mean I share experiences and I am honest about them but I have darker things, weirder things, funnier things that I’m so afraid to share because I’m afraid to be rejected. I know I can’t continue to live this life. I’ve allowed my surroundings, some negative people control my way and outlook for long enough. I need to try to suck it up and just do more things that scare me. No matter how loud my fear of not being good enough gets, I should let my love and passion for life speak louder.
- I don’t want to grow up.
Back then I thought that growing up was the worst thing to happen. I was convinced that being a grown up was boring. I watched my parents try and raise me, an angry and ungrateful kid, I watched them struggle and I just thought what’s the point in living a life like that. I genuinely worried that I would have the same struggles and challenges in life and just didn’t want to be an adult. I didn’t want to accept that responsibility and part of life. But really being a grown-up isn’t so bad, sure there are things I miss from being a kid that I didn’t appreciate back then but now I have the opportunity to learn for when I’m raising my kids. There are so many things I have to look forward too. I’ve accepted growing up is part of life and I appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow. Growing up isn’t the worst thing because I still get to discover new things. Not much has changed except now I am in control over my own life and I get to make choices to better my own future.
As I said time and patience, a little bit of wisdom and experience has granted me the opportunity to appreciate life for what it is. Being a kid in such a big world is such a scary experience but a lot of the questions I had back then have been answered by simply living my life. I’m grateful for every bruised knee, broken heart and failure because it makes success and wins that much sweeter. I know childhoods now are so different from when I was living out my childhood but the one thing should remain, everyone should remember their fears and passions of their childhood, I feel like it’s important to do this because it will help us mould the minds of future generations but will also help guide us to a path of happiness. It’s like when they say, remember where you came from, where you’ve been and where you’re going.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!
Peace and Love