Do You Like Me Now?

Libertine – one of the most interesting films I’ve seen so far. And the quote up there from the main character sums up my answer to the question our professor gave us for his introduction to last week’s lesson: How have you changed since entering college and do you like that change?

First question first: how have I changed?

I think, were I to meet my high school self, that version of me would be disgusted. Purely, utterly disgusted by who I am now, by how I act, how I speak and dress. How I carry myself. My younger self would utterly hate the changes I’ve done to myself, my younger self would utterly detest me. It’s like I’ve become a totally different person – the anti-thesis of my high school self if you will.

I now bend over for others

My younger self used to do things her way. She wouldn’t have dreamed of letting other people dictate her actions, stifle her creativity, kill her brand. She would fought back and lashed out, all teeth and claws and piercing eyes. She would have never – ever ever ever – thought of letting others take the lead. She wouldn’t have shared the power.

I’ve learned to be tolerant

Back then,  my younger self couldn’t have cared less for people who didn’t do their work. People who didn’t want to contribute to the group didn’t get their names  written in the members list. People who did poor work got pointed out, without remorse, without regard for their excuses. She would have never tried to listen to their reasons, to their problems, to their complaints. She would have never burdened herself with that pressure.

Bandwagon = not always bad

My younger self thought that following the bandwagon was too mainstream and was only for those who didn’t know any better. Those who were mindless followers of the norms, sheep flocking without much thought of where they were going. She thought that since she knew better, she should not follow the bandwagon. But now, I’ve learned how to use it to my advantage – to influence people through these things they can’t avoid but follow. Surely, my younger self would retch knowing how much different I’ve become.

Commuting by myself

At least this one, I think my younger self can appreciate. I’ve learned to take the LRT and ride the jeepney for far longer periods of time than I did before. Although this has contributed to my going to farther places – like SM Megamall and Trinoma – and consequently spending more money… I take it back. My younger self would definitely not appreciate my becoming a “taong-gala.”

Buying things for myself

My younger self used to get my mother to buy stuff for her all the time – the only reason why she would accompany her to get the groceries. However, now that I have access to my full allowance (given to me per month), I’ve learned how to spend spend spend. And it’s bad, it’s really really bad. My younger self, gone are they days when the humble P50.00 was a cherished treasure. Nowadays, that same amount can’t even get me home. Younger self, money is a double-edged sword. It gives you what you want, but it gets you addicted to buying until you realize that you have no money left – even for transportation!

Girlin’ it up

My younger self, we are so much different now. Back then, you cringed even just at the mention of face powder and lip gloss. Perfumes made you sneeze like you had allergies. Talking about liking real boys made you cover your ears to block the sound of contamination. Dear younger self, I don’t know if I pity you or want to emulate you. This new person – blushed cheeks and shining lips – sometimes I want to get rid of it. But it’s necessary now. We have to keep up.

Unchanging love for anime?

Younger self, I must confess. Those that you found endearing, exciting back then are to me no longer. I find it harder each day to even think why I followed the fandoms I did when I was still you. It makes me cringe in pain. It makes me choke on air. It makes my brain bleed. Is this because I’ve matured? Or is it because I’ve become too immature and deceitful –  so much that I’ve even convinced myself to hate those that I loved before? I don’t know younger self. I really don’t.

Am I happy now?

I honestly am split in half. In some ways, I miss my younger, more naive, more honest and open self. It was easier being myself  then, not caring too much about the consequences of my actions. My younger self couldn’t care less of what people thought of her – good or bad, she lived her life the way she wanted. Free from influence of the crowd, free from fears of acceptance and self-doubt. She had minimal responsibilities, practically no worries except for academics. Life was easy for my younger self.

But on the other hand, I never had so much freedom. Now I have the resources to do what I want – money, freedom, legal age – but there are also responsibilities. And a lot of things I used to believe in have also changed. I’m more independent, yes, free to choose by myself and free to  suffer the consequences by myself. Now I can’t just say something and expect people to turn the other cheek.

Words hurt people then, yes. But words hurt people even more now – because now we’ve been exposed to how powerful words can be. It’s the core of our discipline. And with that knowledge, I must let go of some my (younger self’s) beliefs.

Am I happy with the changes? For some of it, yes. Some made me sad, sad that I couldn’t retain such pure-hearted values. I’ve become more manipulative and deceitful, but those qualities are necessary evils. (Is this what being an adult is like?) But is this already my ideal self? I think not. I’ve only been living for 19 years. I still have a long way to go in forming that ideal self of mine. Am I happy with who I am? Ask me again in 60 years.

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  1. Well I for one like the way you are right now. You’re shaped not only by your desires and emotions but also by the people around you. Essentially who you are right now is a mirror of how you function in the environment you belong it. Be proud, ‘coz I’m proud of you. ;p

    • ❤ Awwww.. thanks, Joed! I've always had such a hard time adapting to changes to my personality. I have a habit of looking back and second-guessing my decisions in life, but hearing other people say that their proud of how I've become… it's reassuring. It's a relief. A breather.

      Really, thanks. :3

  2. I like the “you” now too!

    How timely this post is. We have a similar hw in Psych101, a sort of insight paper on how we turned out to be who we are now. I was also thinking of posting a couple of things on my blog.

    Anyway, we all miss our former selves one way or another. But then we must always remember that change is inevitable. Everyday we change because of certain decisions that we make (good and bad ones). What’s great about humanity though is that mistakes are our way of learning. If we don’t like something about our lives then we have the power to change. Sure, it won’t happen overnight but it will happen. No matter what though, you have true friends who’ll accept you for who you are. (me me me! *points to herself*)

    • ;A; I miss you Patty… I miss talking with you and sharing things…

      Thanks for saying that. Now that I’ve had more time to think about it, I guess it’s as you say, it’s inevitable for change to happen. The only thing we can do is to continue adapting and rewriting ourselves. Thanks a lot Patty, love you! ❤

  3. Interesting analysis. 🙂
    Well I think my past self (around high school) would be both joyful and offended by my present self. Joyful because I’m a badass mofo, wear proper clothes now (thanks to my critic who I really listen to), I exert my rights now, I don’t take much crap from people now, I can become a leader when I really am passionate about something, I can now say things in my mind instead being regretful because of not saying them, and being more of a gentleman.
    Offended because I lost some respect for authority (only those who are really unjust), I somehow gained a “realist” thinking, I didn’t grow tall enough to be 5’11” (just some nitpicking), I became a little more foul mouthed (Catholic School days are over), I became more cynical (with good reason and it’s lessening because I’m happy with my life now), and acne. ‘Nuff said.

    I think I’m pretty much happy with what I’ve become. Sure some qualities turned out for the worse but I think I’m a better person now than I was before. Come to think of it, I was really weak and kinda pathetic back then. Now I believe that I’m stronger as a person. 🙂

    • XDD From the time I first wrote this to the present, I think I’ve changed so much more than ever. Really.

      I can’t say that I want all the changes that happened. I agree with you when you say that there really are always the qualities you know you’ve gained and don’t like but just can’t seem to discard. However, I think that we’re still so young, and we’ve got so much room to improve ourselves.

      I’m happy that you’ve found a critic you feel you can really listen to. It says a lot that she’s able to influence you to be better, and that you’ve really taken up the task of considering her opinions. Keep it up man. Just keep it up, and it’ll all work out. XD

      @ the authority part: me too. I wonder if this is an effect of getting older..? Maybe we’re starting to think like the adults that we so wanted to go against when we were relatively younger. owo

  4. Change is the only thing permanent. However, there’s a book that I read, it’s a bestseller, the title is “Built to Last” by Jim Collins. It says that change and permanence are like yin and yang. Highly contrasting, yet always together. One important thing I learned from is that things, strategies, the way we work, the way we live must keep up with the times, but the “core-self,” your values, your principles, your personality, your identity, must not change.

    Same as organizations. Their business strategy must change with the times. Their org strucuture, etc etc. But their identity must be kept, and so as their corporate values and principles, because that is their foundation that keeps them stable.

    • I think sometimes though that identities also change over time; that no matter how hard we try to keep the identities we currently have, sooner or later, some drastic event or shift happens, and we experience really life-altering realizations about ourselves.

      My greatest fear still is that someday, people will know me for being someone who I was really not; that someday, even I won’t be able to answer even the simplest question of, “what happened to you that made you this way?” I suppose that means even the most stable foundations can get shaken? :3

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