What does it mean to grow up?

So, it has been exactly one week. Just last Tuesday, I had the biggest ordeal of my life. Technically, it would be an overstatement to call it the biggest ordeal, for it’s not the worst I’ve suffered, whether physically, mentally or emotionally. However, there is just a certain quality to it that ranks it all the way up to the top.

If January 29th, March 27th, May 12th and June 17th were the worst days of 2016, February 21st stands as the ceremonial worst day of 2017 so far. All of the above dates represent the culmination of self-disgust and despair due of the fact that I was the only person in control and at blame for acting poorly all through my life such that those events would turn out that way. Those are the deepest pits I’ve fallen into, the ones that I’d dug out only by myself, and the ones that has taken excruciatingly the largest amount of energy to climb out of.

Why was last Tuesday the worst of it all? Surely, I wasn’t at all alone in that experience. Love, companionship and support go the longest way and I had all of that from the people who truly matter. It also had the least permanent damage. No one else needed to know about it, and so there was little need of facing my greatest fears. Physically, the past couple of months were hard and 23 times harder on that day itself but, what is physical pain compared to emotional pain?

Is it guilt? Is it the immorality of it? Not really. I know it with full certainty that it was the best outcome for any individual. No, this is not it.

Is it guilt, though? Yeah, I know I covered it just few seconds ago. I meant another kind; a guilt that I feel towards a younger version of myself. A version that held tightly onto contrasting values and opinions on this subject. A version that believed that this is the pinnacle of atrocity I could have possibly reached. A version that was a better daughter in her parents’ eyes.

Every person goes through this. The events of our lives, both major and minor, alter and shape us to become a completely different person than the version few years back. We astonish ourselves by beginning to embrace beliefs that used to feel like going against the grain previously. We react differently to the same subject. We perceive the things around us or the things that happen to us differently. However, is the present version better than the past version? That’s the big question.

It’s the question I’m currently struggling with a lot. Sometimes, I feel proud to have changed so much over just a year. Having a more open mind, growing to be more optimistic over the future of our planet and the human race and becoming more accepting of my flaws. Most importantly, I’ve slowly begun to understand what it is to love freely. There are more.

But there are also moments when I regret what I’ve become. A young woman who is less strict on herself on certain values, the girl who believes in the opposite of what her parents had taught her to believe in and a far less creative, hardworking artist or thinker.

Perhaps it’s a part of growing up. To rely less on what has been impressed on me since young and develop my own personal truth instead. That doesn’t mean I stop respecting the things that I was told by wiser and more experienced people or giving up the idea of adhering to certain parts of culture and tradition that has no reason behind them. There’s only this much of accuracy to what you perceive, and to base everything you choose to believe on your perspective of reason is ignorance.

I have to choose. I have to choose how I want to grow up. I have to choose how I shape myself from the infinite number of possibilities available when a particular event occurs in my life. Like in The Last Crusade, I hope I am an Indiana Jones. The one who chooses wisely.

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