Well, as you can tell, I am alive. The first half of the year has come and is almost gone. There’s just a few more days left till June is gone, and with that, I will have to admit to myself that I will finally be hitting the mark that everyone says a woman is no longer delectable.
Yes, I will be hitting thirty next year.
Honestly, I find it quite amazing that I am even alive this long. I’m a little disappointed by the way my life has turned out, yet I’m surprised at the same time that I’ve come this far.
When I was 5, being 21 seemed like a long way to go. It felt like I was going to be ancient. Not ancient like Roman history, but ancient in the sense I was going to be on this Earth for that long. I never really quite had the long term view of things. It’s mostly all vague ideas and thoughts.
I ended up in writing mainly because as a kid it seemed to be something easy to do. When I was a kid, I thought I would be a nun or a nurse. I wanted to do something to help people. I grew up wanting to help people. It wasn’t enough to simply help though.
My family has a history of helping people. Depending on whom you listen to, the stories either warn us against helping those who weren’t part of the clan, or that sticking for your principles could lead to ruin.
In the family, my godfather is considered one of the straightest in the family. Straight in the sense that he would stand up for his principles. I know my grandmother and grandfather were alternately pleased and yet had a wry amusement about that. He is possibly the only person I know who was let go from his job two months in because he was such a straight and honest guy, he could not deal with the consequences (his job was a legal but ethically wrong kind of job). Some people have that temerity; he didn’t.
That was one of the stories I grew up with.
There’s a strong sense of ethical principle and morality in the family. Comes from being a Catholic, you see.
A Catholic, and I was sometimes impressed upon, from being a Malaysian Eurasian.
No lying, no stealing, no cheating.
There’s a reason why my grandmother was completely ok with her kids and grandkids doing any kind of job, as long as we were not used car salespeople or lawyers.
But I digress.
I remember very clearly my thoughts as a kid. I was lying in bed, looking up at the ceiling. I wondered if I would see my 21st birthday. I didn’t think I had much to look forward to. Age was literally just a number to me then.
So I lived in the moment.
Almost 25 years on, I find myself recalling that with incredible clarity. And I’m a little amused too.
If I had told myself at 5 that I would be a writer, that I would be writing for pleasure, and that I would read for pleasure, I would have looked at myself in surprise and laugh.
Actually no. I was a much more polite and brattier kid then. I’d have nodded my head and then went on to play. I’d then have told the story to anyone and everyone who would listen.
I still do that sometimes.
I found it very hard to believe that I would live to be 21, much less 30.
And if I did make it to thirty, I thought I would be married. I’d still be working, but I’d be married and have my own kids. And that my grandma would love to have played with my kids.
Funny how life turned out.
Original entry as appearing at Ink to Screen.