GROW­ING UP

Business Bhutan - - Editorial - PEKY SAMAL The writer is the Man­ag­ing Edi­tor with Busi­ness Bhutan

I imag­ine my­self look­ing back at my life.

What do I see? I see a lot of learn­ing and un­learn­ing.

I see a lot of mis­takes, some blun­ders and a lit­tle girl grow­ing up to be a wo­man.

Would I have changed any­thing in my past? No way! Not a sin­gle thing! Whether it was the rag­ing ef­fects of chronic sick­ness and med­i­ca­tion, see­ing my fam­ily dis­in­te­grate or my story from a top­per to a blooper in school; sub­se­quent de­pres­sion and panic at­tacks, my fam­ily’s bat­tles with ill­ness and heart­break or my brother’s vi­o­lent para­noia, my fall­outs with em­ploy­ers, sur­viv­ing with­out a steady source of in­come, over­com­ing lone­li­ness or com­ing to terms with sin­gle­hood.

I be­lieve that ev­ery one of these ex­pe­ri­ences shaped me into the wo­man I am to­day and as much as I cher­ish my mo­ments of sun­shine, in ret­ro­spect, I cher­ish my strug­gles as well.

Life has been one big pack­age of sur­prises-some good, oth­ers bad but it al­ways taught me to be a stronger wo­man and in­di­vid­ual. Those who un­der­stand that life is tough know that life is a ride that can turn from a roller coaster to a smooth high­way in time or con­tinue with end­less bumps and pot holes, but one has the choice to ac­cept it and move on any way or play the vic­tim, cry foul and waste pre­cious en­ergy in be­ing un­pro­duc­tive.

I know cir­cum­stances can be hard but now, I also know if you are will­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your­self, you will grow up in no time. I used to throw pity par­ties be­fore. Not any­more. Some­body has to deal with the shit and if no­body else is around, you bet­ter roll up your sleeves and get done with it. No blame game. No self pity. Just adult­ing. Be grown up.

You also de­velop a thicker skin as you grow up. Some might call it in­sen­si­tiv­ity. I call it ma­tu­rity. Once you are done with the tough stuff, you just make up and move on. No grudges. No back­stab­bing. You get your act to­gether and be cool. And this means you must cut off toxic peo­ple from your life some­times. That is not self­ind­ul­gence; that is self-preser­va­tion.

Ad­di­tion­ally, you learn to laugh at your­self. Your flaws and foibles. That is what makes you uniquely you. And you will ac­cept them. It takes a sense of hu­mor and courage to laugh at your­self. And if you have mas­tered the art of crack­ing a few jokes at your own ex­pense, you are nearer to be­com­ing a bet­ter per­son. You are grow­ing up.

Once you are re­ally grown up, you also start see­ing the big­ger pic­ture. You re­al­ize that there is more to life than I, me and my­self. You re­al­ize that life is more than your bank bal­ance or the re­flec­tion star­ing back at you from the mir­ror. Sta­tus be­comes op­tional: you can do with it or with­out it. You re­al­ize that help­ing oth­ers grow even as you grow si­mul­ta­ne­ously brings you ful­fill­ment. Em­pa­thy, com­pas­sion and for­give­ness be­come some­thing of value to you.

Fi­nally, and very im­por­tantly, you be­come anti-drama. You be­come anti-non­sense and anti-nui­sance.

I think I have grown up quite a bit since the last time I re­mem­ber. But I also know that the day I think I have been there and done it all is the death knell to my growth.

“I am still learn­ing.”

- Michelan­gelo

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