On Maturity

The common conception of maturity is that it does not come with age. That, of course, is true, as age is just a marker to measure the amount of time you have been here to exist, but it does not measure how you handle situations.

Today, I realised that maturity does not happen by force as well. Although it is true that maturity comes with time, the reality is much more complex than that.

I remember once when I was in the Super Kids program hosted by Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, I said that one action I often do was to ask feedback in regards to my writing. My coach Ricky praised me then, saying that being able to accept criticism is a sign of maturity, of personal growth.

It is very easy to put into logic that “we have to accept criticism”, but to do that, we have to first shed away our ego and the like. To do so, we need to reach a certain emotional experience where we are then ready to shed our long-built ego away. To reach a certain level of maturity requires going through a complex web of milestones, one which I am still having trouble putting into words.

For example, I have a bar of chocolate that I am very fond with. I treasure the chocolate very much, that I store it in a secluded corner in the back of the fridge, covered by dozens of other food in order to keep it out of site. One day, though, I discovered that my brother was rummaging through the fridge and happened to find the chocolate I treasured deeply. It turns out that he had eaten it all up, and there was nothing left to spare.

The mature thing to do, in my opinion, was just to let it go. But to let it go requires sympathy and empathy, which does not just spring up from logic. Sympathy and empathy comes from past experiences. From how I see it, my sympathy and empathy grows when I encounter someone who has been in the same situation I have, so I can offer them the advice I wish I had received. I tried to be the person I had never had for myself. It is only after that that I can try to relate myself to other people and put myself in their shoes, a pair of which I had never been in before in my entire life.

And the process goes on.

That being said, maturity cannot be forced by logic. A person can be exposed to a lot of information, but if that one person is not exposed to the emotion and experience necessary to develop that much maturity, then the person will not be mature.

(I swear, this all sounded much simpler in my head, but it turns out that writing it down causes a lot of the words to tangle against each other, resulting in a complex web that does not picture a situation clearly. I am trying, I dearly am, and writing, as it turns out, isn’t as easy as it used to be. Cue the famous The Fault in Our Stars quote: “My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.”)

Right now, I am glad to reach a level of maturity that is plausible by most. However, I realise that I am far from mature. To force myself to be more mature as well would be an attempt that would end in vain.

As I move on with my life, I realise that the milestones and progress we try to make for ourselves are indeed not caused by us at all. It is still controlled by a bigger force, by something bigger than all of us. And we have no control over it. Or we might. A little, perhaps?

I shall continue on with my life to find out.

Blueaholic is listening to: f(x) – Red Light album
(소중한걸 찾아봐
Try to find something important to yourself)

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