I’m Twenty-Six!

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It’s my birthday today! And believe it or not, I have spent all my life looking forward to my birthday each year and not because of the presents – but because I get to be one year older!

I guess you could say that I’ve literally been obsessed with becoming an adult. During my high school years I failed to relate with my classmates on their fears of leaving high school and going off to university then eventually – working. I was ecstatic! I couldn’t wait to enter into adulthood and gain that freedom that I have so longed for.

Growing up in Asia has taught me countless of things that I am grateful for – but it also taught me that being young means that you don’t have a say in anything, not even things to do with yourself. And you won’t earn that ‘right’ to choose until you have graduated from university, which means you would be at least twenty-one that you are allowed to start to develop any sense of individuality.

I became fixated on the idea of growing up and doing things my way. I didn’t dream of being rich or respected – I just wanted to be free.

Don’t get me wrong – I was a good kid. Being free to me meant simple things like being able to choose my own outfits, my own hairstyle, or just to be able to have my own thoughts and beliefs and not being judged. I didn’t want to be like everyone else – I just wanted to be me and not having to be ashamed of it.

[Note: schools in Thailand are extremely controlling. They make all the girls get the same hair cut, of the exact same length. You wear school uniform (also identical shoes and school bags as everyone else) until you graduate from university. Luckily enough, I didn’t have to go through this much control as I attended an international school and not a Thai school. But nonetheless, I still went home to my family and my Thai friends that tell me that it’s wrong to express myself.]

The whole idea is that they want students to only focus on their studies and see any form of individuality as a distraction (dressing up, doing your hair, seeing your friends, or dating) so therefore they eliminate all those factors to ensure that all students are focused.

I believe that everyone has got their own medium for self-expression. And considering now that I work in fashion – looking back to see how much that was kept from me is no wonder why I used to always feel extremely trapped. That was also the reason I always felt so lost, so out of place, so much of an outsider, because I was kept from exploring who I was always meant to be.

I have only been free to dress however I wanted for just the past couple of years (as long as I’ve been blogging) so I’m still not over the initial excitement of it all. From time to time, I still get that exhilaration of being able to explore the different outfits or being able to wear my hair however I want to.

So go ahead – ask me what I want for my birthday this year because there’s nothing on that list and hasn’t been for two years now. I have been living what I have dreamt of my whole life.

~ Nün xx

10 responses

  1. First of, Happy Birthday.

    Secondly, I can totally relate to what you’ve gone through seeing as I grew up in M’sia. However, things changed after I went to SF. The people and culture there is entirely different and the sense of freedom was definitely an exhilarating experience. To put it simply, I was much happier there as I felt that I didn’t need to hide behind a mask.

    Awys, 2 years in the States and I’m back now in M’sia.. yay… 🙂 But I’ll always treasure the time spent there, the friends that I’ve made and just the feeling of being able to express who you truly are without being prejudged. Well that’s all from me 🙂

    Glad to see that you’ve found your own path.

    Ken

    • Hi Ken!

      Thank you for sharing your story with me! I’m so glad that SF helped you come out of your shell and feel more confident about being yourself. I hope you never let that go even if you’re back in Malaysia now!

      Hugs,

      Nün xx

  2. Happy birthday! I remember going to schools in Thailand, it was really restricting. But that’s great that you get to now be free to do what you want, how you want, when you want. Hopefully I get to see you around when you move to LA(:

  3. so happy for you that you’re living your dream! I just started blogging but grew to have such delight in it that I can tell it’s helping me grow to be the kind of artist I seek to be. All those baby steps eventually lead to where we want in life and I’m happy for you that you are finally living your dream.

    xx

  4. I can totally relate to your excitement about becoming an adult. My parents aren’t your typical Filipino/Asian parents, not “hard-asses” at all, but they were very overprotective when it came to going out with friends/doing my own thing. All through High School, even some of college, I felt like my independent spirit was being crushed by their resistance to let me go. Now that I have graduated college, gotten a stable job, etc, they are fully supportive of my decisions. Being an adult is AWESOME, so I know EXACTLY how you feel. I could do without the bills though 😉

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