5 Signs You Are Emotionally Mature When It Really Counts
Growing up emotionally isn’t exactly the same as how we physically age over time. You may be a full-fledged adult already but still have the emotional level of someone who’s way younger. Consequently, you can exhibit emotional maturity that’s way advanced for your age. Here’s how you’ll know you’re emotionally grown (or at least growing) up:
You fail, you learn, and then you improve.
In college, it’s pretty normal for people to fail. A lot. And it’s also normal to feel so lost and dejected after experiencing failures, especially if it’s your first F. When you encounter a bump on the road to graduation (aka you failed a test, or worse, a class), you allow yourself to bask in the negative emotions so you could consequently flush them out of your system, you look at your situation from a different perspective and determine what could be remedied, and then you proceed with Oplan: Get Back On Track. You don’t just wallow in self-pity, nor do you ignore the negative emotions that come with failing.
You don’t spontaneously bail on your important obligations under the guise of “self-care.”
Yes, it’s totally okay to refuse an invitation to go watch a movie with friends after school if you feel like your body can’t take it anymore. It’s totally fine if you say no to spearheading a major org project if you feel like you’ve already got a lot on your plate. Self-care, after all, is a priority. There will also be times when you can't avoid canceling at the last minute, but using self-care as a convenient reason when you knowingly procrastinated could also just be a sign of you not owning up to a mistake.
If you're prone to this, understanding WHY you procrastinate is key. An nytimes.com article describes procrastination as a tendency to get rid of the present obstacles instead of thinking ahead and focusing on how it will affect the bigger picture, a phenomenon they call the "amygdala hijack." Those who tend to procrastinate are more focused on removing what is hassle at the moment, even if the consequences could lead to an even bigger problem to deal with in the future. We may think that avoiding the hassle of commitments is a form of self-care, but emotionally mature people would know that it's not always the case and would focus more on the long-term effects of the action instead.
You analyze your situation before you react.
IRL reactions aren’t like the buttons we have on Facebook posts—you can’t just un-click the ‘Like’ button to remove your reaction. Once you give out a response to a certain situation, you can’t just take it back. Emotionally mature people know that it’s important to think about how to respond to certain people and instances before you actually externalize it. For instance, it might suck that your parents are being unreasonable for not letting you hang out with friends, or that a certain friend of yours is letting slip a secret you had told them, but before you lash out and subtweet them on social media, think about whether your reactions will only worsen the situation.
More than that, emotionally grounded individuals know that venting out emotions is important, but that there is always a proper avenue or place to do it.
You don’t get jealous or intimidated by other people's success, especially your friends’.
When your study buddy gets the highest grade in an exam, you neither feel overshadowed by their small victory, nor do you feel like you’re intellectually lacking just because they got a higher score than you. You genuinely feel happy for their achievements and cheer them on, the way they are rooting for you, too.
You are able to take constructive criticism with grace.
As a student, you won’t be able to please everyone around you, and you certainly will have room for lots of improvement. When a professor offers you constructive criticism about your thesis, you accept graciously without feeling like their opinions are an attack to your entire persona.
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Before, sliding over the rainbows
Now, our hearts are bruised
Days once full of love and laughter
Became dawns of forfeited ever after
Smiles that bring ticklish sensations
Turned to cold question and answer
Figuring who would be the next instructor
The queen’s awake
Grappling to the happiness that the sorrow and sadness take
Going back to all the promises he couldn’t make
Poetry #2: YOUR VOICE
When you talk, your voice brightens my days. You provide me comfort in all the little things that you do. Your deep and mellow voice sends a tingling feeling inside me that makes me want to keep you in my life. I love talking to you every time, every day, every night and every minute if I could. You're someone just simply amazing.
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Today, I am sharing my mother's story. I wish my mother was a constant in my life, like an angel who guards you to sleep and comes right there when you called. But angels come back home too, in heaven where they always belonged, and my mother went back a little early. My mother died when I was 13 years old. My last memory of my mother: Letting go when you are not yet ready is a very cruel thing that one has to ever experience. It is a sudden wave of total sadness and desperation crashing into your very core.
On the 28th of July 2013, we went to a resort in Bataan for the employees’ getaway. My parents own a 7-11 franchise, and it had always been a tradition to give their store clerks a get-together every year. I remember very well the last breakfast I had with my mother. The Sunday morning sky was clear and sunny, and the sea was calm and tranquil as we ate our breakfast on a cottage under the tall palm trees. She shared with us a strange dream she had the other night. She dreamt about an unknown woman holding an ice pick chasing her down on a dimly lit street, then she woke up just before the woman could grab her arm. We never knew what that dream exactly meant and now, I wished I never knew its meaning. After breakfast, my family and our employees decided to take a swim at the beach. The day was nice. The morning air may be chilly but the sun’s kiss on our skins gave us warmth. It was perfect. Everything is fine and the tides are low which made it very enjoyable to swim. We swam a little farther from the shore and we stopped to the point where the water reached our shoulders. We were talking about the good things in life and reminiscing the good old days. Those are the things that I’ve always loved about my family because I never had a meaningless conversation with them.
A few moments later, we heard a panicking call for help from one of our store clerks. It was Rachel. She was struggling to keep her head above water. She was already drowning but the odd thing was, she was only a few feet away from us. At first, we thought she was just playing around until we felt the sand in our toes dissolving like powder. It felt like as if the seafloor submerged deeper. I remembered sighting the shore and it seemed so close yet very far away. We were all panicking at that time. No one knew how to swim except my mother so without having second thoughts she swam towards Rachel and called out to my father, “Yung mga anak mo! Dalhin mo sa pampang yung mga anak mo!” and I never thought I already heard my mother’s last words to my father. I was paddling like a dog, gasping for air, as I say a little prayer to God to take us all back to safety. I felt my father grabbing our swimsuits, trying to lift our bodies so we can breathe even though he was also struggling to keep himself alive. Once I felt my toes touch the ground, there came a veil of relief that covered my whole body. As soon as my father and my sister made it to the shore we started calling out for help. There were no lifeguards on duty at that time, no personnel, nor guards. I saw my mother already floating in her stomach. We sighted a boat sailing nearby, we waved our hands and called for their attention. They almost ignored us because they cannot comprehend what we were trying to relay but the good thing was a passenger in the boat noticed my mother and Rachel in the water.
My mother’s body was laid on the shore. She was unconscious and her whole body was pale as white. My father performed CPR but my mother couldn’t get the water come out of her mouth because the food she ate earlier got stuck in her throat and blocked the passage. A concerned tourist offered his car to deliver my mom in a nearby health center or a clinic of some sort since the hospital was miles away from the beach and she needs immediate care. My father told us to stay in the hotel room and prepare mom’s belongings so that if she wakes up she has fresh clothes to change into. My sister and I finished packing our things and waited for our father to pick us up from the hotel. I was crying and I couldn’t stop myself because I was afraid to lose my mother. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be if I lose her that day. Moments lasted until we heard a knock on the door and it was my father, crying, and apologizing to us. He hugged me and my sister tightly and saying, “Sorry, anak, sorry hindi na uuwi si mommy, sorry hindi ko nasagip si mommy”. And that was the moment I felt sinking into the ground. I never knew what to feel at first. I was numb because my worries were now actually a reality that I have to live in. I was at shock because I am now one of the kids in those cliche teleseryes who lost a mother at an early age. We went to the health center to settle everything. The clinic was very small and it sure did lack equipment. He told us to stay in the car. I wanted to see my mom, but I know he never wanted us to see her like that. I didn’t know what to feel. I was having high anxiety levels that my stomach is churning and I wanted to vomit. I got off the car and entered the health center to find the restroom. When I was finding my way around, I passed by the emergency room. I saw my mother lying in a foldable bed, lifeless, her hands dangling from the side of the bed, she has violet bruises on her skin, and her body was partially covered with a white towel.
That is when it sunk into me that she’s dead and never coming back. My father asked the others to just commute back to Manila because what we need right now is comfort from our family. The drive back home was one of the most painful memory I had as a kid. My father was in the steering wheel crying his eyes out. We drove from Bataan to Pampanga. We went home to my grandmother’s house, the nearest house that we can call “home” because how are we still going to be “home” without her?
Once we reached Pampanga, we stopped over to the gas station and my father made some calls to our loved ones to tell them that my mother passed away. He then called my aunt to help him arrange for the funeral. We got home and my grandmother hugged us and told us to get some rest. Already tired of crying, I went to sleep for a while. I woke up and for a second, I thought everything that happened the other day was all just a dream. That she was there in Manila, sitting on the couch reading some furniture magazine, waiting for us to go home. But that’s how cruel life is, right? I got up and weirdly, I felt sands in the bed. It was gray, just like the ones on the beach. I thought maybe it was just dirt but it was a fair amount to believe that maybe she visited us before she left. - ?
- The part of how I conquered the grief of her passing is shared in my personal blog. I felt the need to share my story with everyone since she's the woman I look up to. Feel free to visit my personal blog too when you have the time. I love writing my stories. Thank You! link: http://qkathreece.wixsite.com/kathreecequizon/post/breaking-waves