By habit, I ignore my age. Which is probably why I constantly zone out when asked, “How old are you?”
I think I just don’t get the fuss over ‘aging.’ I believe we don’t just age after birthdays, instead, we age whenever we consciously chose to move on and change. When we entertain the idea of changing, aging becomes the norm. We become less the same from the person we were. And we might not actually come back to becoming who we have been.
Getting old big time
Sometimes, I measure age through the leap of change I’ve taken. Yesterday marked such a leap: I arrived here in Singapore.
It was my first international trip. My first encounter with figures of authority, like immigration officers. To top it all, I traveled alone!
Naturally, I took in the sights so greedily, like a newly-made vampire sipping fresh human blood. I didn’t sleep throughout my three-hour flight. I just looked at whatever there was for my eyes to see. I felt more alive than ever, as I juggled through different emotions, from awe to cautious.
My attempt to try the world outside the comforts of my hometown Cebu was rewarded. I met people who were eager to assist a neophyte like me. I also met people who wouldn’t even look at me (either they were just being uptight or was I just too much of an energized bunny?).
Then post-travel thoughts came flooding back. I thought it was amusing that we (plane passengers) were in the mercy of a flying machine. I also thought — in a silly way — that when our plane left Cebu, it was dark and the stars weren’t up there to join us. Instead, bright bodies were down below, cascading through the city’s nightscape. At that moment, Cebu ceased to be my hometown: it became just another constellation. In the same way that Singapore is — perhaps, every foreign city is like that. 🙂
As long as we live, we will age. And if we will it, we will change, too.
I will take in more. My sister just taught me that during escalator-rides, I must stick to the left side. The right side is reserved for those hurrying to reach somewhere. I’ve re-learned the art of arithmetic through this strange new currency. And now I’m looking at maps, reading out loud hard-to-read names. Toa Payoh. Tampines. Bugis Station. Whampoa Drive. Our new home with our new family. And I thought to myself: I, too, will add texture in these people’s lives. They, too, will change and age. Aging together have never been this exciting. 😀