I was far from excited about my birthday. The closer it came, the more anxious I felt.
And every birthday since I hit 20+ has been like this. It’s like a formula. Every nearing of a birthday is reason for self-evaluation, one which clings more on my negative side.
I don’t like where I’m at right now.
It’s official. I’m literally in my quarter life, and it’s not looking cute. It’s easier to say age is just a number, but that number hits you like rock – because with that number comes a long list of dreadful life issues.
I know I’ve already
talked about this a couple of times here and here, but it’s only
now that I can say it’s been most real.
I was petty, and I’m being petty again. But what can I do?
I begin with the trivial physical differences. I was used to being the youngest one anywhere I go, may it be in school, at work, in cliques. But not anymore. Even with the artists and musicians I follow on TV and social media, the ones who are my age are now either getting married or having children. The popular it-girls and bands of today are years younger than me. Everybody’s younger than me. Yuck me. To think that this nonsense celebrity blah-blahs never used to bother me one bit.
Then come the youth of today. They are the walking and talking reminder of how much I’ve already been left behind. I can see them girls running around in their school uniform or hanging out in their ragged attire, with no or not much makeup on, still looking sparkly and full of life. Then there’s me. I have to exert so much effort on my face putting makeup on, fixing my hair, myself just so I can at least come close or, if luck would have it, match their effortless freshness.
I see wrinkles forming, and I am all like, “Where did that come from?! WTH?” Add to that some grey hair popping up here and there. But what’s worse, you know what’s way worse? Get this, flaaaaaabs! Ever since I hit my 20s, bloated-ness has been an issue for me when my tummy used to not endure three cups of rice before. There’s apparently this slow metabolism thing. Don’t ask me about it. All I can tell you is it eats away my self-esteem one lumpy fat at a time.
It’s all dawning on me now. I’m recalling just how many times I have taken my own youthfulness for granted. Okay, maybe I didn’t really neglect it. I had an awesome time, but it is a regretful feeling now that this youthfulness is slowly walking out on me.
I’m not being stupid and shallow. This loathing of physical aging is normal, comes first in this crisis most of the time. Don’t dare tell me it’s just me. Are you going to be that hypocritical?
I don’t know where to fit. There’s this constant struggle of having to weigh myself using the age scale.
“Am I already being childish for still doing blah-blah?”
“Is this not cute for me anymore?”
“Girl, you aren’t supposed to do that just yet.”
Everything’s revolving and evolving faster than I want. I am just unable to control and slow life down, and that scares the hell out of me. I’m scared. Aren’t we all?
But then again, above the obvious physical change lies the more crucial change, that of priority setting.
I have to take care of everything about myself now – from taking over the basic chores at home, taking care of my own expenses, making my own big decisions. I can’t depend on my mom and dad anymore because that would only make me look irresponsible, and I’m just not up for the sermon. Even when this didn’t happen instantly (I had the time to make gradual adjustments), I still felt loaded.
Then again, it can’t only be just myself.
Now, I must also look after my family. Not because it’s payback time, but because now I think I can. Don’t get me wrong. I want nothing more than be able to serve my parents. I’ve never loved them more than I have now. But my question here is, am I really capable now? I’ll tell you what, NO.
Now this next one’s a favorite recurrence.
Everyone enjoys expecting so much from me – to get promoted, to get married, to bear children, to get my own house. Guys, is there a formula which equates to me getting all these things at once without losing my sanity? And do they all have to happen now? How about, can I work on them at my own pace? Time here is the enemy, but sometimes it’s hard not to confuse time with people especially when they’re acting up like mad dogs on the loose.
Every damn time.
What follows is another string of questions affecting each other. It just makes me question just how much I’ve already done (devaluating what I’ve already accomplished in the process of course), contemplate what else needs to be done and examine self if making enough. Because all these things just really get in your head, believe me.
This, of course, leads me into comparison with other people. You know, because that can’t be avoided. And that’s when I eventually sink into a tiny piece of human being because I’ll get blindsided and all I’ll see is their good life and my pitiful situation.
So now you see what I mean?
All these things are why I was hating on my birthday.
Apparently, this is a good thing.
Can you believe it?
It’s a good thing – not the feeling bad part but the spilling of emotions part.
Apparently, this is a sign that I’m growing old, instead of just getting old.
It’s a reminder that my observations, the changes are all a part of progressive transitioning. And based on what I have written now and what I had written before, there have actually been changes as per my dilemmas. I have learned to let go of some, improve on some, embrace some, completely solve some. Some new struggles have surfaced, but there are also some from before that have been resolved and forgotten.
If anything, if there’s a good that adulthood has caused me, it’s that I’ve learned to let go of physical things. I’m not being literal, just saying I’m at that point where I’m old enough to not lust over much material stuff. Maturity is finding happiness in what’s intangible. This I’d say is a bigger deal than I’m letting on.
Just on my birthday, I asked for two things – one for me, the other for my family. Both are non-material things.
I’d like to think that this so-called crisis is eventually going to lead me to maturity, and that should be a good thing, right?
Besides, there’s no escaping adult life.
This is not to say though that I’m already over quarter life crisis, not yet.
What? You’re just 19? Oh, you just turned 20? Wait until you hit 25. Good luck!
*Photo source: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/having-quarter-life-crisis