Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess!
I was thinking about how most (if not all) Disney princess movies always had the goal of the princess ending up with Prince Charming and living happily ever after. It also made me wonder why Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty didn’t have an awesome gang of girl friends?
I didn’t have many friends growing up, and to add to that, I was an only child. I’m just really thankful that I have cousins living in the same compound as I do, so I kind of felt that I had siblings in a way. Don’t get me wrong, though, I was alone most of the time, but I wasn’t lonely. I had my books and my dogs and MTV. However, I didn’t make as many friends during my elementary and high school years. I felt like an oddball. I played volleyball, but that was about it. We were only a handful in my batch, and I specifically remember this very strange time when everyone was into this animé show but me. So during lunch break, I’d be off on my own; my nose buried in Harry Potter books. It was a very awkward phase because I tried to blend in, but I really couldn’t. It felt like oil and water. I was an outsider, and I couldn’t wait for high school to end.
However, I did make some friends outside my high school’s walls. I got invited to high school fairs (thanks to my Dad’s friends’ kids), debuts, balls, and a few red cup parties. In hindsight, it was good to get out of my comfort zone and experience new things, but at the end of the day, the shape shifting got a bit tiring. I didn’t know myself, and I would try to fit into different molds just to be “liked” and have some sense of belonging. But at the end of the day, I would always be so happy to come home and curl up with a book and some hot chocolate.
Things changed, though. As soon as I entered university, I felt more loose and easy, knowing that I wouldn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb. We were only 10 students in my high school batch, so to see a sea of other kids my age ambling about a sprawling campus made me feel confident that I would find a place where I’d belong. I did, and the rest is history.
Even friendships could be as sticky and as tricky as boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. Couples break up, some move to different countries, some start families, and some just fall off the grid. It’s true when they say good relationships stand the test of time, especially with friendships. I’ve glided through various social circles in my quest for belonging, and at the end of the day, I’m glad I stuck with a familiar few who I can be my crazy self with.
Finding the right set of friends is just as important as finding the right life partner. I say this because friends really are the family you choose. I know the friendship mix may look different for everyone, but one thing I know to be true is that flocks of friends may come and go, but there are also a precious few that will stay. Knowing you’re not alone in this world is always a cup of comfort, and knowing that there are a few very kind souls who will love you for who you are—weirdness and all—is priceless.
I know I could be quite difficult to love. My best friend jokes that I remind her of Eleanor from this show called The Good Place because I could be quite the mean and mischievous one in our group. And it’s been this same person who was there to see me through my many unattractive seasons (of massive heartbreak, of wild bankrupt-inducing wanderlust, of passionate love for my career) to the one I am in today. And just like with an intimate relationship, it pays to be vulnerable enough to bare your heart and soul and your yucky first drafts and still maintain a healthy relationship.
Many moons ago, I felt pathetic for not having a “best friend” who I’ve shared a childhood with. By the time I was in high school, people started creating their own clusters, and I felt really alone. I couldn’t fit in any group, and I thought there was something wrong me. But in hindsight, I now realize that I was just waiting to meet the right mix of people whom I see eye to eye with in terms of my morals and my values and my insane love for naps and me-time. Something I’ve also known to be true is the older we get, the fewer friends we have, but that’s okay because things really do fall apart in this lifetime, but on the other hand, the ones who stay can make us really feel that we’ve hit the friendship jackpot.
And for all those Disney princess movies, how I wished that the future ones would also include a rad awesome pack of girl friends for the main princess and show how all of them are princesses in their own way. How each of them helps the other grow. How they become the best version of themselves in their own unique way. How they end happily ever after (even without the help of Prince Charming.)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Lara Intong
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