I fear getting old. Who doesn’t?
Aging, aging, aging! If you want to scare anybody, just give him or her a sarcastic compliment that he/she looks quite old! It’s life’s best form of horror. White hair, wrinkles, handicap, blemished skin, painful knees, memory loss, poor eyesight, illness here and there – the list goes on – everybody dreads an added number! Aging, a stark contrast from the angelic aura of a newborn child, is like birth in reverse.
Scrap the health implications of old age and still, getting old is scary! The responsibilities, helplessness, complexities and limitations partnered with it – are more than enough to get you older than old.
In this week’s episode of my fave comedy TV series How I Met Your Mother, Ted lists the things he feels that he’s too old to do. He calls the list as “Murtaugh’s List,” (From Lethal Weapon’s Detective Murtaugh’s short line in the movie- “I’m too old for this”) From getting ears pierced to getting a hair dye, Barney tries to complete every task in Ted’s list within 24 hours. On the other hand, Ted attempts to accomplish Barney’s list of things only old people would do.
I fear those times—when I feel that I’m too old to do things…and do things only old people would do. To tell you frankly, I am in a pre-midlife crisis. I am scared to let go of my youth and embrace adulthood. I’m in a pseudo-crossroad between my childhood and adulthood. I always wish to be stuck with the here and now –if only there is a way. I sometimes feel like I’m still a teenager and a forever bunsoy in the family. But oh hell yeah, at a prime age of 24, I feel that tantamount pressure of aging.
Quite surprisingly, I imagined myself, a decade ago, that I’d be happily married at this age, wearing a corporate coat in an elegant high-rise building, owning a sleek car and a condominium somewhere in Makati. But now, here I am, still feeling like a teenager, dependent and wanting to be younger and younger as days go by.
If there’s such a thing as getting hooked on “youth,” I’m guilty as charged. I want to be forever young because I want to forever wear funky clothes and accessories (without anyone telling me that I’m a matronang nagdadalaga). I want to eat as much as sisig, bopis, callos, tokwa’t baboy, crispy pata, lechon, utak sa bulalo, chicharon or whatever fatal meal there is in this world. I want to be wacky and play childish tricks without anyone telling me to act my age. I want to forever feel the joy of sleeping 12 hours straight with zero disturbances from any signs of rheumatism or an early 4am cuckoo old age mode. I’m addicted to traveling places because I fear that one day I’d get old and never get the chance to see wonderful places (with achy knees, rheumatism, etc.). I fear forgetting (and being forgotten) and losing people whom I love.
The irony of life is time. Time makes life painful, meaningful, systematic and mysterious all at the same time. Like the changing of day and night, there are also seasons of life we must accept and embrace—I know that. The funny thing is, when you’re living the moment and enjoying too much of “this season,” it’s sometimes harder to let go and embrace the future.
Someday, somehow, I’ll be old enough.
Meanwhile I’m having bouts of insomnia because of this mad loving of my youth. My inner self is sort of always whispering to me, "Go be young!" I always feel that 24 hours is too short. Too plenty of lovely things to do, so little time. Ahhh the agony.