Week 3

Things that excite me about growing older

  1. Not being (as much of) an idiot

As painful and embarrassing as it can be sometimes to look back at things said and decisions made, it’s a great thing to be able to have hindsight and actually see that these weren’t choices you would have made today as you’re now older and know better.

  1. Having more independence

While it varies from person to person, Malaysian culture is such that families do tend to stay very involved in their children’s lives long after they’ve turned 18, gotten a job, gotten married and had their own kids etc. I’m really fortunate to have family that goes above and beyond with how much they care. I think it’s a really good thing despite how it can be stifling sometimes but the older I get, the more they’re relaxing about it.

  1. Climbing the career staircase

‘Corporate ladders’ and the ‘rat race’ always seem to have such negative connotations. I’m over a year into full-time work now and although it’s had its moments, I’m still at that stage where I am really eager to learn and develop my skills. It’s probably a combination of having gone through formal education for 17 years and my own somewhat Type A personality where I need to be working on something all the time, but there is often no greater joy to me than levelling up both from a career and personal perspective.

  1. Money

Having a job and disposable income is such a nice to have.

Things that scare me about growing older

  1. Being in another age bracket when filling in forms

Age is usually divided into these brackets on forms: <18 , 18 – 24, 25 – 35, 36 – ?? and I’m not even sure what the rest is because I never look that far ahead into the future. It felt kind of cool moving into adulthood when I first turned 18 but there’s no fun novelty about moving further down the line after that. It even feels like a bigger responsibility because it was an age range my parents occupied not too long ago. I’m often reminded that this was the age dad became a father to me. I recently told my friends that I was thinking of fostering cats and dogs for short periods of time and the response I received was to ‘think some more’, so I can’t imagine ever having the ability to be a full-time carer of another human being, no matter what the age.

  1. Eye cream, hangovers and jetlag

One of my friends who is also a frequent flyer recently remarked how she’s started getting jetlag as she travels between Australia and Thailand, something that she never used to when she was younger. This was an epiphany for me as for the last couple of trips, I couldn’t explain why I would get so incredibly tired in Malaysia, despite sleeping for longer and not doing much exercise when I’m there. Not so relevant for me but during our trip to Bowral we also discussed hangovers and how recovering from them is a bigger task than it used to be. A cousin over dinner yesterday told me about the eye cream she recently started using as she’s now 26 which she felt she needed to as her skin would be more prone to wrinkles. Having your body start to noticeably age both in appearance and in its ability to do things, is really confronting.

  1. Watching your family grow old too

As I sit here on this aircraft flying away from Malaysia and my immediate family. I’m told over and over again that family is really important and I think that message sinks in bit by bit as a get older. My grandparents have slowed down and are losing more and more of their mobility. My brothers are growing up; one of them is even taller than I am. If I’m lucky, I get to come home and meet new cousins that I didn’t even know were born. Every day that I am living and working in Sydney is a day that I am away from my family and missing precious moments. I don’t regret this and I am lucky to have some family in Sydney and others who fly in frequently. But each morning I wake up and I have to reaffirm my decision to be here before getting on with my day.

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