I won’t turn 33 till about 4 months down the road. But growing older brings about new anxieties unlike the ones I’ve had in my 20s.
“When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.” ~ Anne Lamott
This quote from a friend spoke to me, out of the tons of status updates, quotes of the day posts and other information that I absorb throughout the day.
Until this ripe old age of 30-something, I found that I still care too much about how others see me. I know, as a matter of fact, I am a conscientious, extremely self-critical person. And I have pride and integrity in my work no matter how much I tell myself to “screw it and anyhowly deliver it”. But it does still sting a little to face rejection sometimes.
I try hard to be a human’s human. A kind, considerate, hardworking, fun, nice-to-know kind of person to the people around me… while I may not be the most efficient, or the most organised person around, I’ve always tried hard to do things to the best of my abilities. That’s enough… right?
But I found myself craving praise. Craving for a pat on the back. Craving for some positive attention. That could be my self-esteem craving for some recognition, even though my conscious self says “I know who and what I am, I don’t need no validation”.
So in my 20s, I was constantly on the search for a better me. I stumble and fall on my face sometimes, but I did manage to dust myself off and became stronger. I was finding my true self and discovering my true nature through work, relationships and even some good ol’ soul searching…
In my 30s, I kind of got it made with a stable career growth and diminishing debts and having the opportunity to travel and see the world, like how I have always wanted. But with this stability comes some form of self-criticism that was stronger in magnitude than before. I feel the pressure to outdo myself constantly, for some reason.
I feel awful about each little mistake, and I do treat myself quite badly when things go south sometimes. I’ve got to love myself and accept myself just that little bit more.
Just a little bit more.