Last July 2013, Senator Pia Cayetano filed Senate Bill No. 29 or the Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 2013. This bill will penalize any employer who discriminates applicants on the basis of age. This gives confidence for people who are afraid to try better job options.
The problem with ‘age’ is that it gives false expectation. That’s my problem with numbers. That’s why I hate math. The employer summarizes his expectation in numbers. If you are older, you probably have a set of skills. If you are younger, you have the agility and the flexibility to be on field. Age just like appearance, is a simplified way of evaluating people. It is also a way of evaluating yourself. Age sets the timetable of what you should achieve and what you should have. Age tells you how you should behave and how you make life choices.
I have an age issue. Sometimes, I am hesitant of answering how old I am because I ruin the images that construct a real adult. With my looks, I will have a hard time convincing people that I can get married, I can apply for a driver’s license, I can watch R-18 movies. Believe it or not, I have lived more than two decades on earth. And sometimes I feel like I have to bring my diploma or certificate of employment to make others believe I am old enough for this and that.
There’s a part of me that wants to be described young and there’s also a part of me that wants to be described old. If there is no concept of age, I shouldn’t be torn between being young and being old.
Misconceptions of Age
There are many misconceptions that come in age. One is: ”When you’re older, you’re smarter or wiser.” The older ones can be very assuming but great ideas can come from the youth. Young people are progressive thinkers. They should be heard. And sometimes you find yourself giving advice to people who are older than you. When you are led by people younger than you, it hurts your pride. Instead of earning knowledge, you gain insecurity. But life is like that. Someone just had a happy chance in his early stage of life.
And it does not mean you are old, you stop learning. When I attend workshops or join performing classes, I usually meet young people even if it’s an adult class. Where are all the other grownups? I salute the 30s who are taking dance lessons and voice classes, who go to culinary school, who finish their studies even if their peers are done.
Child vs Adult
The world has a set of standards for adulthood. And if adulthood meant going to the bars, drinking all night, learning how to smoke, I prefer to be a child. I never let go of my kindergarten fascination on colors, tales, songs, and magic. I crave for excitement, just like when I was sixteen years old. And I still keep my college idealism.
Growing up or growing old, is often correlated with accumulation, may it be knowledge or wealth. It saddens me that maturity lets you go of small things. Children like bubbles, balloons, crayons and clowns. But an adult with so many bills and goals, the floating balloon in the air is invisible.
I think I’m too young even if my age tells me I’m not. I knew it when I saw the fireworks at Disneyland. My feet were sore and my eyes were signing off but the fireworks brought my eight-year-old self to life. Too many colors occupied the sky. The music made it more dramatic. When it played A Whole New World, I wanted to cry. If my brother and sister weren’t around, tears would come out naturally. I felt it was forever and I lingered on the thought that “dreams come true.”
If you ask me how old I am,
just like Disney…
I am timeless