Saturday, April 25, 2009

Different Genes. Different Jeans.

Tonight, my blog is going to take more of a contemplative turn as I sit and ponder my first two weeks in Singapore. I was going to "hit the town" tonight but then I realised that I actually don't enjoy going out to pubs, getting trashed, and stumbling home - if i didn't enjoy it in Australia, why would I suddenly enjoy it in Singapore?

I already know that being in Asia is going to force me to learn a lot about who I really am. Not only is it going to challenge my idea of how my "way of life" should be, it is going to challenge how I see myself as another human being. Singapore is one big melting pot of nationalities - Chinese, Indian, Malays, Filipinos, Europeans, British and of course, Australians. Everyone lives quiet happily together. In fact, at a BBQ the other night, there were people from Singapore, Malaysia, France, Poland, Australia, Germany, and Italy. We each had our own characteristics, our idiosyncrasies, our own particular type of humor, own interests, own plans for the year. As we all got talking, we all found each other very interesting. The conversation carried on for hours. Having said all of this, I have been a little overwhelmed by the fact that, for the first time in my life, I am a minority - in so many ways.

At first, I was a little amused because people stared at me a lot, wondering what kind of country could possibly produce a very white girl, of athletic build, with auburn hair and blue eyes. However, now that I have gotten used to that to some extent, I am now beginning to pay closer attention to the way I feel here in Asia, not just how I look.

I am different in so many ways and I do not just mean physically. In Asia, not only is my physical build larger, but my personality as a woman feels as though it is larger. Almost too boisterous. I feel too unforgiving in my views. I feel as though I overwhelm people too much with my enthusiasm.

Everything about my life in Australia (at least in the past 6 months) was about "getting in there and getting it done". My attitude was all about it being "me against the world." I was slaying dragons. I was conquering Everests. I was saying what I meant. I challenged people to challenge themselves. I was being an independent woman. It was all about developing not only my body but my mind. Facing pain and overcoming it. Challenging my fears and overcoming them.

I have taken this attitude with me to Asia and I feel isolated by my own drive to succeed.

Here in Asia though, there does not appear to be an overwhelming number of women with that outward drive for taking life by its teeth and rip it to shreads.... I am in no way suggesting that women here are underachievers or that they are helpless and are not independent. However, women here appear to be so fragile... and in turn, it makes me feel unfeminine, clumsy, large and over the top.

I am trying to come to grips with the discomfort that comes associated with this reality. I am also trying to come to grips with how it is that I will be able to manage this in the coming year. By tempering the very essence of who I am - that larger-than-life, driven, fiesty, determined woman - I feel as though I am not going to be who I truly am.

This year was all about learning to be happy, learning to be comfortable in my own skin, learning acceptance as well as personal freedom. How will I be able to reconcile this and still feel like a woman?

1 comment:

  1. Please do not feel alone, my friend. I have felt much as you now feel, most of my life! What is important is to come to the realization, and then the complete acceptance, that who you are is OK, more than OK really, and that there is nothing needs fixing.