Birthdays are weird. But this year they have transformed themselves from a generally unbecoming and uneasy, almost unnatural occasion that nurses a seed of discomfort, to a sheerly loose and serene event, a generally approved excuse for throwing a celebration of life and humility and goodness, of food and of abundance.
Perhaps it also comes with the morphication that took form within myself. It has become increasingly frequent for me to take off this dark robe of such an unclinical, amateur depression (that one might use the word 'frustration' in order to not aggrandize its actual effects in case like this, i don't really care), which was still a very honest and personal experience that I cherish. I don't instantly become all sweet and drenched in positivity, but somehow turning the image of the horizonless, dimensionless sea of bleakness has helped me to see a vivid portrayal of what my eyes long to behold. Not a clearly shaped silver lining or a certain illumination--for I still believe I am grounded to the land of the realistics--but such bleakness that now only comes seldom doesn't provide much realism either. Maybe it now has become less real. Now I've been thinking depression doesn't speed up the whole process of realization of the solution, or supports a reliable plan on fleeing the problem itself, although it definitely gives some certain push in other areas (creativity, comfort, acknowledgement of the sweet company of oneself, maybe knowledge in general because you have less time for people, etc).
Now my love for people has skyrocketed. I don't think they have changed or anything, I think I have positioned myself better, keeping my balance between the toxics and the people I need to be around with. Now that I have done that I think people are magical. One second they could be the most pleasant thing on earth (no ironic quotation marks here) despite their varied level of tolerance or agreeability, one next second they STILL make me wish for a nuclear bomb to annihilate them all. (Maybe not that far. I'm all against such use of power.) But it still is much better. I'm getting there. Maybe in future I can be that liberal chick who craves and feeds on African foods and all because that is how I will exhibit to the world my open-mindedness and tolerance; and if I can so can you...!
~jk~ ~inspired by jimmy chen's tweet~
Now back to birthdays. I still stand neutral on the debatable issue of the statement 'age is just a number'. Yes, it is a HUGELY relative measure of one's maturity or tool to gauge one's density of life experiences, but in such relativity and immeasurability resides an almost tangible luggage. Starting with the obvious which is your responsibility to the nation. At certain age you need to obtain your identification card, you need to go through national service (for boys in singapore), etc. Your age does determine how much you have to shoulder. Secondly, of course the things and space and distance covered in your life climbs on as your age adds up. Never a reverse process, although it may slow down and stay in static for a period of time. I mean you could think backward as you age but what you have had from the past is still pocketed safely in your jeans. So it's not really just a number.
Figuring out. I love what Tavi and Susie have to say about the phase they are in and for Susie, also birthday. We are always in the state of figuring out--since every preceding phase consists of "lost years"--although it's fact that we must have known better (via the amounted knowledge throughout the years, although they may not stand the test of time) than we did in previous years. Because we figure out new things everyday. Even when we do nothing; maybe we figure out that breakfast in bed is not the answer or our bed head needs refurbishment or a realization hits upon us this morning that we are so worn out after working back-to-back. New things to figure out everyday, that we shouldn't limit. And this shall not, and does not, hopefully, stop with age. You don't stop finding new things as you arrive at certain age. I certainly hope I never do.
Age as a number. I'm not certainly proud of my age (anymore). I think my mental development betrays me as much as my physical development did. I used to be the tallest in my primary school. I used to have such high hopes. Now look at how my height barely fares with others'. I think there are jumps in mental and physical developments that I have felt throughout the years. I felt I learnt much more when I was in my lower grades in primary school. And when the settlement shift to Singapore happened, there went another jump in my mental development. Changed completely the way I think, for better or worse. Now I feel like it's a water too calm--I am still learning things but not as much. The transition is not as shocking anymore. I shall just give in to the fact that I'm no more that cutesy little lass with a prompter response to witty statements or a SLIGHTLY more exposure and wider pool of knowledge (via being among those who have lived in two places). I feel like my 'special' status has washed away with my age, which exactly is a terrible thought. But honestly it really was my thought. Maybe I want to be special as much as everyone else does, maybe I want it more than anyone else. I have to admit this someday, and today is the day.
I hope this could translate as a stability that I can plod on in order to move forward. I shall remember that I never stop growing. At least I definitely think I have found my skin a more comfortable place to live in.