Case of the Ex: Major things I changed about myself because of their guidance

There are many loves I’ve experienced and each one has taught me a little something about myself.

They are the very reflections of me and sometimes I’m scared of what I see. It not only reflects who I am but also who I attract and who I get influenced by. It’s also good to have these experiences and people in your journey of life so that you can become a better adult or just a better person in general.

I’m going to share with you 3 exes that changed my life. Something that I’d never think I’d get to learn from the experiences I had from being with them. An eye opener behind the facade of what I thought was the best way to love or to behave.

Customer care

clem onojeghuo

He was working at a local retail store. I am a VIP customer so to speak at that time because I spend literally hundreds every other month shopping there.

So one day, I bought a t-shirt and it was a collab with another company. Someone came up to me to help (the retail guy), he was new, I’ve never seen him there before that day or maybe I was just oblivious. Anyway, he helped me order that special edition tee ( they ran out of sizes) and he was so smooth at getting my number that I didn’t even know it was a move until I actually got the t-shirt at the store on another day.

Anyway, we became friends and then we dated for a year. He was a very cheeky fella but even then he had a way to not be overpowering and un-gentleman about it. He was always respectful and courteous. He came from a religious school background and that paved the way of “some” of his then principles.

I used to dress … well not provocatively. I was definitely decent but it’s just that certain clothes fit me a certain way and no matter how modest I try to cover it up, it takes on my natural body shape and it’s really out there. Oh ~ point to note, I’m curvaceous ( you can check out my Instagram below to know how I look like, if you’re curious haha).

So even when I wear a cardigan, basically the cardigan wears me. Pfft. So one day, I met up with him and we were on a train on our way to town to watch a movie. And he saw how the cardigan looked on me and he just leaned forward, spoke quietly and gently , ” My darling is the most beautiful woman I have ever met and this might make you look even more sweeter.” And he buttoned up one of my buttons on my cardie and smiled.

Now you would think that the lesson here is to dress modestly. No. It wasn’t at all. You might think that it seems obnoxious but no it wasn’t at all. Nothing sexist or chauvinistic about it. In fact, the opposite. He was being the gentleman that he was and showing much respect to the lady that was in his care.

Actual fact was, I was dressed very modestly but because of my body shape and that area of my chest was very “obvious” and he wanted no peering eyes to gawk at me, he simply leaned over, very discreetly without causing a scene or making it sound possessive, said it in the most respectful and endearing way that it made me think about it.

I learned that we could advice our loved one in a non invasive and non-authoritarian way. Gentle strokes of ego and using the right choice of words. He was not only good with his external customers but he also used that skill with his internal customers too, his loved ones.

That experience made me change the way I communicated something that didn’t sit well with me to others. I made a more conscious effort to try to find the right words and style of talking so that my message and good intention won’t be misconstrued. Of course, we can’t always win at everything but at least I learned this fantastic way of how to put things that might seem uncomfortable and make it sound gracious and kind.

It’s just stuff

hobi industri

I have this thing about people who use my things. Like my personal belongings or stuff that I’ve bought. When I was with my other ex, let’s call him Voldie , he used to make such a fuss about caring for the car and all that jazz. Actually it was impressive on the amount of care he put into the car than me but it wasn’t impressive about how he valued stuff compared to human beings. Well, at least towards some people.

Anyway, this next ex of mine was a total opposite, he lives by the code of a brotherhood. Let’s call him Ron. So Ron and his colleagues and friends are really tight, so tight that they would borrow each other’s cars, come over and fix up each other’s bed set up after they help with moving and all that other fun neighbourly stuff. They could send the car back the next day and they don’t worry about whether the car was running empty or returned dirty at all and it was quite the chilling eye opener.

Why I say chilling is because, these are common things that everyone “normal” would be worried about or get into tiffs for. People will argue with siblings and then get cut off from using the car or banned from borrowing anything of their possessions. He was so chill about it.

I learned to be more generous and less obsessive with material things. It changed the way I value things and people. I did ask him about this very odd culture in his clique but all he said was, ” It’s just stuff. We help each other out all the time. Don’t worry about it. It’s just stuff.”

I basically gave him a standing ovation in my head after he made that statement and I never told him this but it changed my perspective forever.

Now don’t get me wrong, it didn’t change my ethics about how I take care of my stuff and how I valued someone’s integrity at looking after my stuff , no. I still am particular about those things. The thing that changed is the part of me that doesn’t get all angry about it if it goes south. Like if I got an accidental scratch or something unfortunate happened. I have given up being so bitter about it and adjusted how I managed myself.

Don’t Coffee shop culture me

waldemar brandt

This last person though technically is my ex-boyfriend haha but he is in fact my husband.

When we were newly dating, my husband and I were getting used to being comfortably ourselves.

Now the problem about two people from different backgrounds starting out is that we tend to slump into our natural selves ( behaviour and style) not too long after we make it official. So here I am having a chat and then we get into deep about a topic. So it wasn’t technically an argument per se. It was just a conversation about something very serious. So my passionate self will act passionately and when I speak with passion about whatever I speak about, I tend to do two things. I have very huge hand gestures and I’ll start using vulgarities. It doesn’t mean I was being rude, the more you hear me use it, the more passionate I am about the issue and this was my own way of showing that.

Now, in the Singapore coffee shop culture, this is very typical and a very common way of speaking with your friends. We use it all the time and it’s very normal and socially accepted. There was actually nothing really wrong with how I was describing things, with the way I speak in our culture. But this coffee shop style of conversing didn’t really sit well with him. He was not comfortable with all the vulgarities that made its way to his ears. Even if I was merely gesturing my passion about it.

So it got me thinking. Not everyone spoke this way and especially not towards their loved ones. He said ” I don’t know about you but I don’t speak to my loved ones with vulgarities and I don’t like you to use it when speaking to me. ” So I stopped.

I used proper words and left my cusses at the door whenever I was describing to him about something I was passionate about.

I learned to respect my loved one by not using vulgar words to address my concerns or issues out loud. Honestly, till this day, I have never heard him use a vulgar word at me, ever. Not even when he is at his angriest. Isn’t that just something.

Well, the people in our lives unconsciously help us with the way we “grow up” and start adulting. We can push it aside and ignore their advise or we can actually take a step back to see why this is bothering them so much.

It doesn’t necessarily mean we made a mistake or that we are flawed. It’s just us taking a different take on how other people understand us and see us. All in all, we get to groom ourselves to be the best that we can be for ourselves, our family and our loved ones.

I’ve observed some people and they even admit that they don’t find anything wrong about themselves at all even when ” all of us” can obviously see the flaw. So blinded by ego that this type of pride doesn’t do them justice. They lose out on growth and acceleration of wisdom. I guess wisdom comes at its own timing. Only when the human reaches an A-ha moment of humility then Wisdom will take a seat with them.

Oh well. I’m glad that these were pointed out to me if not, I wouldn’t be the person that I am proud of today.

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