I believed that a good man for me wouldn’t make me feel insecure, however, it’s not always true. Yes, the way my man treats me would highly affect how secure I am in a relationship, but… the bigger part of staying secure is more about how secure I am with myself, how confident I am about being simply me. Now, PMS aside, I can be proud to call myself secure (took me long to get there).
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you” – Lao-Tzu
It started from the background of my own upbringing, I found that I used to compare myself to others a lot. It was perhaps driven by the tendency of Asian parents to want their kids to excel in EVERYTHING. Children’s achievements are their parents’ glory. It did good for me when it was taken positively, as a drive to be a better person, or when I adopted a particular person as a role model. I used to have my mother saying “Look at her! She’s your age and she has done this…” or something along those lines. I am not a competitive person, however it hurt my pride when my mother said that to me, and it drove me to achieve the same or better. All I wanted was to make my parents proud of me and could just stop comparing me to their friends’ kids. I also found myself competing for attention, therefore when people divert their attention to others who had achieved more, or has a unique characteristic, I’d felt left out and unaccepted. That’s when insecurities started to come in, I wasn’t happy about myself, and I needed re-assurance from others, so I could be happy again.
Then came the day when I have had enough trying to please everyone just to be accepted. I have done all I could, I have jumped through hoops, went through a hell a lot of effort to achieve things that weren’t even making me happy, and at the end of the day, I still didn’t get the recognition and reaction I was hoping to get. It was the same in relationships, I have had enough trying to make my significant other happy, or moulding myself to fit into their criteria, while they couldn’t even make me feel secure or adore me in return. It takes two to tango.
As for my parents, I am aware of my duty as their child, but I stopped trying to impress them by doing things they wanted me to do while ignoring my own. They are my parents, I know the spotlight is still on me, whether or not I have achieved what they wanted. I am sure that they’re happy with how I turned out eventhough we have our differences. I have grown to be a strong, and independent young woman. I’m able to make my own decisions, direct my life where I wanted it to go, and get to where I wanted in life. I have nationwide recognition in my chosen career field, and many other achievements that I am proud of. And I am sure that the day will come at its own time, when they would proudly say and show off to their friends “That’s our daughter, and that is her masterpiece”.
However, even after the revelation I was still struggling to find myself as I went through so many ’stages’ of me and still didn’t find it. Finally after many years I started to realize the things that didn’t change everytime I went through all those stages. Eventually I recognized the things that are ‘mine’, I knew how much I can handle, how strong I am, how vulnerable I am, the things that made me happy, the things I wanted in life, then eventually I learned to embrace all my flaws, and excel in my strong points.
Acceptance worked like magic! I could never be happier with myself. I realized a major change in my self confidence, which majorly affect my security when being in a relationship. I was able to finally think with a clear head, and not trying to impress, I was simply being me, and when my relationship with my ex ended at a bad note, yes I took it hard, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel at loss and was able to move on.
I also take pride in intelligence. So I am not a rocket scientist, but I am knowledgeable and smart in my chosen field and perhaps a couple others, and I wouldn’t be shy to show them how passionate I am about it. And with that, comes my devotion to my chosen partner. So I know, in so many ways, that I am a great catch… but can the men see that? I do not ask to be put on a pedestal and treated like a queen by my man, but I simply ask for the respect as an equal partner in the relationship, and be treated the way he’d want to be treated.
I see a lot of my friends are settling for less than what they deserve. Many of them (including myself at some point of my life) cried a river and desperately wanted them back in their lives when men left them, cheated on them, used them, but what they failed to see was that they were better off without the jerk in their lives. If those men treated them unfairly, used them, and left them, then it would be his loss! Not all men are jerks, but even the nice ones are still able to make bad mistakes. They are only human.
I have accepted the mistakes I made, the bad decisions, the bad behaviour and the lot… when I was at the bottom I’ve had more than enough time living in the past. No matter how many friends help me through it, I still needed to get out of my own mess with my own effort. My friends couldn’t make me. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I need to love myself more than anything else, because afterall, I am all I have. No matter how many friends hold my hands during break up healing process, hug me when I lost my beloved pets, or even how many people in the world experiencing the same thing… I still experience it by myself. I just know that I can rely on them for support, but in the end, none of them felt what I felt and how I felt it.