I used to be deathly afraid of growing old. I had this impression that people stop having fun when they get old. They get all responsible and boring and they stop finding pleasure in the little things.
Now, I realize how effing misguided I was.
For the longest time (and for almost the rest of my adult life), I fought the notion of having to grow old. I hated growing old. So, I wasted time doing silly things, I ran away from responsibility, did not exerted effort to learn about being responsible about my finances, put off getting married until I was 29 and then skirted the issue of parenthood until I was well into my first year of marriage.
During my younger years, I wanted to be like Peter Pan — young, full of adventure and folly, and without a hint of responsibility. Now that I am old, I see how stupid the notion was.
It’s only when I celebrated my last birthday that I realized that I love getting old. That I can’t wait to grow old.
So, last year — I started fixing myself.
I opened a personal savings account. Money that’s not meant for my clothes, shoes, Japanese fashion mags and the like. I started saving for the rainy day.
I decided to let go of a dead-end, stressful job that’s wrecking havoc on my self-esteem and health. I still get stressed with my current job, but it’s the kind of stress that goes away with punching out the time clock by 5PM. Sure, I still hate a lot of things about what I do now, but it’s work that I can see myself doing for the next two years–if I am desperate.
I shunned away from things that don’t really matter. I stopped trying to conform. I stopped trying to please people. I stopped over-extending myself and my generosity. I started being myself more and more.
I started to love the company of myself. I started to love my anonymity at work, and felt finally at peace that I won’t be winning any Ms. Congeniality contest for once. I started accepting that being alone doesn’t mean I have to be lonely.I stopped doing things that I don’t like to do and just focus my energy and resources on the things that I like and enjoy.
I started working and defining my faith. I learned to understand what it meant having a close relationship with God — beyond the edifice of the church, of hymns and statues. I learned that faith, TRUE FAITH goes hand in hand with opening your heart and mind to HIM.
I started to love what being old meant.
Being old meant not having to be afraid of added responsibilities. It meant looking into challenges and taking them head on.
I realized not everyone get to experience getting old and having a chock-full of lessons on life and love stored in your heart.
As I wait for the clock to strike 12 and welcome another year in my already blessed life — I am already excited for the lessons, challenges and blessings this year will bring me.
As an early birthday gift to myself, I went to a fertility expert earlier to finally find out what’s wrong with me. I was blessed to find out that I just need a little fixing. That there’s nothing wrong with me and that I just needed time and a little bit of taking care of.
Here’s to my 34th and to growing old.