Sunday, January 20, 2008

27 going on 17?

"When you're 17 you know everything.
When you're 27 if you still know everything, you're still 17."
-Ray Bradbury

Today I turn 27, and with the added figurative candle on my metaphorical cake come several sinking realizations. That I'm now in my late 20s. That I'm only 3 years away from turning 30. That I have 2 years left to audition for American Idol (like I would). That I'm just 1 year away from what I've always thought of as the ideal marrying age (eep!). That I'm another year closer to bidding my youth goodbye. There's a sensation of roiling dread bubbling in the pit of my stomach (or maybe it's the beginnings of an ulcer), and it would be worse if not for the reassuring knowledge that after 27 years of slogging through this morass called life, I've done a lot I can be proud of, and I've grown into a person my family and friends can be proud of. Admittedly, my parents would breathe easier if I finally found their future son-in-law, but hey, you can't have everything.

Turning 27 might be a bit unsettling, but paradoxically there's also something steadying about it, as if my internal clock is signaling that it's time to REALLY act like an adult now, that I need to shed my immature qualities and abandon all childish pursuits. In many ways, I do feel grown-up already (I was born 30, after all), and I know enough about myself and the world around me to see me through whatever grown-up messes I manage to get myself into.

in many ways, I'm still 17 too.
I probably owe it to 2 years of teaching high school kids, but I actually feel younger now than I did in my early 20s. I'm pretty sure I'll never be entirely rid of the reckless arrogance of a teenager, and I will even throw the occasional hissy fit like a spoiled debutante. I will abuse my parents' kindness and continually turn to them to bail me out of trouble. I will bully my sister and I will bicker with my brother, and I will snort in laughter with them over juvenile pranks, private jokes and ridiculous wedding emcees. I will crank up the volume when listening to rock music, I will squeal and swoon over Hollywood hotties (AND Marc Nelson), and I will gossip with my girlfriends about the most mundane and meaningless things (i.e. boys). I will still get a kick out of amusement parks, cartoons, and professional wrestling, and I will never, ever give up my collection of stuffed animals. So sure, I may be getting older, but as they say, age is a state of mind, and there will always be days when mine audaciously, foolishly thinks it knows everything.

That whole "older and wiser" bit is SO overrated anyway.


At Sunday, January 20, 2008, Blogger Sean said...

As a person who's set to turn 29 this year, I like to think that we try to combine the wisdom of maturity with the drive to keep a little piece of our childhood. Sometimes the maturity wins, and sometimes the childhood does. If there's anything that shows exactly who we are as people, it's those occasions when we somehow manage to get both of them to stop hitting each other with the mallets and start working together. :)

At Sunday, January 20, 2008, OpenID Xta said...

I wonder if I'll feel that way in 8 years... XD

Happy Birthday Ms. Lim!

At Monday, January 21, 2008, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Sean: Mallets? :) I prefer the image of those foam bats. Or those oversized Q-tips from American Gladiators. Haha.

Christa: Crikey, I don't want to imagine turning 35 just yet. :p Thanks for the greeting. :)


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