No Age Match

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.

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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,

I’m ageless

just like Disney…

I am timeless

jack disney

Signs of Aging

I think I’m the perfect epitome of forever 21. I am also qualified for forever 16, forever 14, and forever 12.   I’ll never grow old whether I like it or not. That’s what I believe in  but lately things change. I now feel old.  I can lie about  my age if  I talk about inches, lines, and wrinkles. But there are some clear signs of aging that I cannot deny.

When you see your peers change their relationship status to married and baby photos in their wall photos

Most of the time, I am surprised when I see my batch mates in school, my friends and acquaintances over here and there share wedding photos. “But that’s impossible! He was just about my age.”  Really? Does that mean I can get married too? Reality bites. It’s just so hard for me to reconcile that I can be mother and a wife, like some of my peers do.

When your dreams are SMARTer

As you and I grow old, our dreams become smaller and smarter so that they can fit into our world. Only a small population of those who have dreamed to be lawyers and doctors in high school will stick to their childhood dreams. When you plan your life ahead, you make practical goal setting.  As what my RGEP teacher said goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound)

When you easily get tired and bored

I suddenly feel my body is slowly aging. It’s not  as energetic as it used to be. I used to cram a lot when I was still studying.  I could endure long nights yet stay alive the following day. Today, I cannot  keep my body alert and awake all the time. I have no power to fight sleep anymore. I sleep everywhere.

When cute boys are not interesting

Maybe this is just me. If  Iwere a bit younger, I would probably like Daniel Padilla. But I’m just too old to appreciate the likes of Daniel Padilla, Justine Bieber or even guys with baby-face like Richard Gutierrez.  I prefer men over boys because boys need a lot of catching up to do. In short I opt to watch a movie of Richard Gere over Zach Efron’s. lol *kidding

When you wear thick face and thick skin

Confidence comes in age.  Now, in my twenties, I take risks without thinking.  Lesson learned in life: the more you think, the more you don’t do it.  Think less and you will achieve more .  As the years go by, I develop thick skin. With the number of years on earth comes the number of failures and rejection. You will eventually acquire immunity.

When you forget your age

I don’t speak lies but  apparently I have some memory gap which is another sign of aging. I sometimes fill out forms with my wrong age.

When you are already concerned about money and security

Teens will not normally talk about savings, investment, and business. And if you happen to hear these words a dozen times, congratulations, you are now an adult.

When the teen star you used to watch is now an adult

When I watched Anne Hathaway played Fantine in Les Miserables, I could not get over the thought she was the girl in Princess Diaries. She was the nerdy and clumsy Princess Mia and now she’s playing a prostitute.  If the teen star is now a full grown adult, then I’m probably an adult too? Gee, how old am I?

When you witness your nieces growing up

It’s easier to notice children growing up than grown-ups growing old. Kids serve as my calendar. They remind me how old I am.

When you’re with someone super young, you’ll feel super old too

Firework

As fireworks filled the empty sky, my mother felt her tummy was exploding too. And surprise! A life form came out of my mother’s womb. Since then, fireworks remind me of my birthday. (Though I was actually born in Jan. 1, lunch time)

While the rest of the world is waiting for firework display, I am not excited for obvious reason- I’m getting old. To some, it is a moment when they think of how well they did the past year. To me, it is a recollection of my entire life. Okay, I am getting old , so is the world but my life keeps getting better. While my high school classmates said that they had more fun moments in grade school, my high school life was way better. While most people agree that high school life is the best, I have more cherished memories in college. People of my age said they miss college life but I like my life now. I am enjoying my independence, my quest for my unknown fate, my constant question on my purpose in life. Life has been good to me even if I complain a lot and even if I have a lot of reasons to be dissatisfied. Sometimes, I feel insufficient. I just look at my life ten years ago, what I was like. Whew! I came a long way to be where I am right now. When insecurities lurk in the corner of my mind, I seek advice to my inner goddess. She says, “Your measurement of success is not based on what you have achieved and what others have not. But it’s what you are now in comparison to what you were.

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Looking back, there are some things I don’t really deserve to have. I just pray to God  and negotiate with Destiny. This thought alone makes me grateful for whatever life has to offer. As I welcome another year, I have much optimism that life will be better.

Happy New Year everyone! May you ignite the light and let it shine and be a firework in the sky.