When I Grow Up

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Baby Girl
"When I grow up. I will be brave enough to fight the creatures. That you have to fight beneath the bed each night to be a grown-up." - When I Grow Up, Matilda The Musical

I wanted to be a grown-up. 

To be tall, and smart, and pretty. To reach the books on the highest shelf. To answer all the questions I needed to know. To look in the mirror and see a face I liked. I thought turning eighteen meant becoming the grown-up I wanted to be at eight.

I waited years to turn eighteen. When I turned eight, I counted the decade before I became an adult. When I was thirteen, I thought life would be better in five years. It’s been five years later. A lot of things have changed, but I'm not sure if it's for the better.

Yes, the clock has struck midnight. I'm eighteen years old.

Scrapbook girl
reading book
girl scrapbook

Birthdays are important to me.

Whether it's mine or anyone else's. I gape in shock when someone tells me they don't celebrate their birthday. The horror of not cutting ice-cream cake, or feeling the nostalgia wash over you. 'It's not a big deal.'  They assure me, but that's not true. Birthdays are a big deal. They are the biggest of big deals.

It’s life telling you: Congratulations! You survived. You survived a messy year of unexpected twists and turns. You survived to live another year. You survived. Congratulations on surviving, good luck on the next year.

I am not the same person as I was at seventeen. It is clear that 365 days can change a person. On my seventeenth birthday, I was on the phone crying in Malaysia, no one seemed to remember my birthday. On my sixteenth birthday, I found out I was (am) anaemic. I don't even remember my fifteenth birthday.

On my eighteenth birthday, I'm here. Typing away alone late at night, hoping I have enough energy to study for History paper tomorrow.

I never expected much for birthdays. No one is throwing pebbles at my window nor is there a surprise birthday bash (pun intended). There's just me, unsure whether I should consider myself a grown up yet.

diverse friends

I'm not sure I even want to grow up yet. All the years of daydreaming of heightened maturity and profound sophistication. They never amounted to anything. They were wishful thinking and skewed perceptions of what being a grown-up would entail. I felt so ready to face the adult world at eight, but I'm terrified of it at eighteen.

Growing up means having monsters. No one tells you that when you grow up, they will be monsters you have to face. Monsters in forms of papers, perspectives, and people. You don't have a sword to swing or a shield for shelter. Monsters don't have weaknesses but you do. You arm yourself with your weaknesses, call them strengths and hope Monsters believe you.

I was oblivious to monsters at eight. I would meet monsters at thirteen. I will have to fight monsters now at eighteen. My hope is when I do grow up, with the maturity and sophistication I've dreamed of, the monsters will go away.

When I grow up, these monsters will grow up with me. I understand that now. Perhaps if I knew that at eight or thirteen, I would stay a child. Euphorically innocent and blissfully ignorant. I don't want to grow up, I don't want to survive,  I don't want to face monsters.

I want to live.

Smiling Hijabi
Hijabi FamilyBirthday Girl Hijabi

I wanted to be a grown-up. 

To be tall, and smart, and pretty. But I'm only 5'1. 'Bimbo Bash' is a delightful nickname my friends bestowed on me. And my face is only acceptable with five pounds of makeup slathered on. I'm not the grown up eight-year-old Bash wanted to be, but I am the grown up I have to be.

The grown-up versions of me will have a life I may not comprehend now. At times I wonder what Future Bash(es) are up to. Nineteen-year-old Bash is in the UK, typing a similar melodramatic post. Bash at Age 21 is complaining the Indian food is too spicy. By the early thirties, lights are off by 9PM. I can't wait until I'm thirty.

But for now, I'm eighteen. I need to go to bed soon, it's twelve minutes past my curfew. Wow, eighteen with a curfew. Adulthood is not kicking off to an exciting start.

So when did you grow up?


  1. Lol I'm also only 5'1. You're the cutest! Happy Birthday Bash!
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

  2. Such a lovely post :) Happy Birthday Bash xx
    The Belle Narrative

  3. So well written! Happy Birthday! I'm 22 this year and I do feel like I have grown up but only because I had to. I'm still a massive kid at heart and that will always stay!

    Fix Me In Forty Five - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
    Blog Lovin' // Instagram

  4. Happy birthday darling, I am much older than you yet I still have monsters to fight and I feel like a child most of the times, LOL. Best of wishes to you ! And remember good things come in small packages ;)

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion and beauty blog

  5. I don't think you ever grow up fully! I'm turning 20 next month and might have an identity crisis haha. While I have an idea what 20-year-old me will be like, I take comfort in feeling like I made the most bout 16-year-old-me and 18-year-old me learned what I had to. All that being said, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    xx, Pia


  6. Such a gorgeous post! Ohhhh, I love how you write.

    Happy birthday again m'dear! :)

    Meg | A Little Twist Of…

  7. Such a beautiful post and photos. I am 5' 2 so you are not alone :)


  8. Love this post, its so cute and full of memories! Love it!


  9. Great blog!
    Would you like to support each other by following each other´s blog? ^_^

    Et Omnia Vanitas

  10. Aw Bash you are such a beautiful like lady! Those are cute photos of baby Bash

    Candice Beauty Candy Loves

    1. I guess I still didn't grow up though I'm 30! Of course, I've made a lot of experiences in the past and can mess with the adults around me but innner me is still a 20 something girl who doesn't want to grow up either. I wish I could you, everything is easier when you grown up but there're so many decisions to made and so much to deal with (bills, responsibility etc.) that I'm glad to share those duties with the love of my life. And for this year I wish you the same, Bimbo Bash! Hug you!

      xoxo Ira

    2. Aaahhh, sry 4 my grammatical errors! ;-))

  11. Happy birthday. Love to see your personal pics <3
    Nati xx

  12. Happy Birthday! I think we all expected life to be different at 18. Unfortunately, when we're so young we think it's so far away!
    Personally, I don't think anyone ever grows up... not if you choose to be young at heart! That's all that matters :)


  13. Happy 18th b-day to you Bash :) I wish you a lot of love and hapiness to you :) And btw, you're pretty, even without makeup, dear!


  14. Happy birthday, here's wishing you a wonderful and fun time. Greetings!

  15. Haha I had a curfew when I was 18 too, whenever I was back in my parents' house. Sending you lots of luck and best wishes for your birthday! xx

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  16. Happy Birthday! Birthdays are very important to me as well. I hope you enjoy your time being 18.

  17. Happy 18! <3
    I think I grew up when I started college or moved out of my parents house. Life is crazy, but amazing <3


  18. Happy 18th birthday! Growing up sure has its challenges but there will be good thing to learn from too! You look very pretty in the pictures, thanks for sharing!


  19. Happy birthday, Bash! I turn 18 in a week or so, and honestly I'm not all that excited. Like you and probably every other kid out there, I wanted to grow up. I wanted to be independent. But not anymore. Because with independence comes responsibilities and decisions. And I'm not very good at that :')

    La'bell || labellwong.blogspot.com

  20. Oh, you look so pretty <3

    Just discovered ur blog, maybe following? :)

    Katja from Slovenia

  21. I turned twenty this past march and it feels weird. For the last couple of years I wasn't really excited about my birthday and I dreaded the idea of growing up, but something must have clicked, I'm really ready for the world now. You just learn to accept the bad times, the sad times. There will be some every year, maybe even every month but you should just focus on getting through the day. You will make it through and will live more happy moment than you ever expected. Be kind and see all the joy you give to people come back to you and a thousand times more. Growing up isn't so bad, it just isn't what we all expected !
    On a sidenote, you look absolutely stunning and I wish you a happy belated birthday !

    xx, Charlie

  22. Happy Birthday! I felt the same as you, I wanted to be a grown up - living in my own flat, great career, epic style. I'm now in my mid-twenties and still feel I have a lot of growing up to do! I don't think it ever stops really.

    Saskia / girlinbrogues.com

  23. I don't really celebrate my birthdays as I get a little depressed that I am getting old haha. But I am not much of a birthday kind of person I like to be by myself. Though I do like your mind set on it, maybe this year I'll look at it like you and maybe I'll actually like my birthday this year :)
    You look so amazing I just love these shots! So beautiful.
    Oh and Happy Birthday (again haha)


  24. Happy Birthday! Just found your blog, I love it! Your photos are amazing!

    laurieelle.com xx

  25. happy birthday! just found your blog and i love!!!


  26. Happy birthday! It's always funny how you want to grow up so badly, and then suddenly you realize that you don't. But you're still the youngest that you will ever be again, so live for the moment, and I hope 18 is great.


  27. Such a lovely post dear and very happy birthday to you! :)

  28. Happy birthday! We need to celebrate every birthday! Love your photos, you look amazing girl. Enjoy your day


  29. I've never felt like a big grown up. I am quite responsible but I still like playing with children, jumping, laughing about something, gossiping like a teenager... I guess we shouldn't lose when we grow up. If we lose, then we become bitter. If we learn with time, then we're blessed.
    Happy birthday!!

    Natalia | Lindifique

  30. Happy birthday beautiful and I am one of those people who don't really celebrate birthdays. LOL! I used to but these days I want to slow time down and stop the aging process if possible. ;-)

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  31. looks fun!! happy birthday, dear! :D

    Have a great day!
    Animated Confessions

  32. Happy birthday, beautiful:) I really loved celebrating my birthdays until I got twenty. I think it just wasn't special anymore after that. I recently turned 26 and I really wish time could go a little slower:)


  33. Happy Birthday. May your future years be filled with many blessings.


  34. Loved the post, so beautiful! Happy birthday :) xx

    Picture Me

  35. This is such a cute post, you're so pretty

  36. Awww happy 18th birthday! Enjoy it and live life to the fullest when possible


  37. This post is so so so nice! :) thanks for sharing, really!! Happy B-day <3


  38. Such a lovely, well composed post! Happy Birthday, gorgeous!
    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

  39. Such a nice post I love it, and these photo frames are absolutely gorgeous love the designs. We always want to grow up when we are younger. then when we do its not always what we expected. hope you're having a great week. XOXO

  40. Happy Birthday!!! I hope you had an awesome day with your loved ones :)


  41. This was beautiful!! What a lovely birthday post, you have such a gorgeous way with words!

  42. Girl this is an amazing write up, everything you said it's true. We all wanted to grow up and now we have to deal with the monsters . Happy birthday.
    Princess Audu

  43. Happy belated birthday! Beautifully written post. Birthdays are definitely a big deal!

    Bella Pummarola

  44. Oh that's so cute! Birthday baaash! Haha I wish you a very wonderful and happy birthday!



  45. Happy birthday lovely! I hope you had an incredible day :)

    Rachel xx

  46. I loved reading this post! So much to think about and I agree, birthdays are the best!!

    Pop over to my blog :)


  47. Cute post! I know exactly how you feel :) And I found out that I am anaemic too - "fun," right? ;)

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com