And my number is 38.
Cringe, I know… so close to 40.
Today I woke up to messages from my high school friends and the line being thrown repeatedly was, “Shit, malapit na tyo maging 40!” (Shit we’re almost 40). Where did time go, right? Can’t I just be in my 30s forever? I want to say that age doesn’t matter, but to be honest, I’ve started to feel the weight of my age on my shoulders. It is clear that even though my mind is clinging on to youthfulness, my body is transitioning to what it is slowly becoming–OLD(er).
When I was younger, I would wait excitedly for my birthday because it’s so fun to gain a year. I felt thoroughly accomplished and sophisticated with the maturity and that was the case until I turned 18. After that, I dreaded it every year. When I was closing in to my thirties, I got so obsessed with numbers–and making something out of myself. I don’t know why, but that’s how everyone was, so I guess I was just going with the flow. By 30 you want to be able to show the world that you’ve come so far. And so I plotted all kinds of goals for myself.
I wanted to be married by 30. I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be rich. I had so many plans and dreams for my life… because I thought that will bring my life meaning.
So what now? I am not “married”, not a mother, and not rich.
Eventually I realized the truth in the statement, “Age is just a number”. Because at the end of the day, all the hurrying and scurrying to meet deadlines did not do me good. The meaning you seek in life does not follow a world standard. The meaning you seek, comes from somewhere else.
Today I am thirty-eight (38) and soon enough I will enter my 40s. I don’t really have anything to show to the world, but I just want to be grateful for the chance to still try. And I guess what I can promise is that I will keep trying, until I am unable to. The other day I was talking to my DGroup about my life in the field and my DGroup leader asked me, “How long do you think can you do this for?” And I paused. I realized I’ve never really thought about that. “Until I can?” Until my hands permit me to do so?” And I knew that it is clear in my heart, that until God says, GO… I will go.
Age and My Hands
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve stopped (or maybe just taken a quick break from) coloring. I have set it aside because there are some instances, when I am performing a root canal, that I feel my hands getting really tired. That makes me worry so much because my survival is dependent on the ability of my hands to perform. And although I don’t want to say it out loud I usually wonder about it. What if one day I can’t move my hands anymore?
In 2010 a 72-year old OB successfully and skillfully performed Myomectomy on me. How about me? Will my hands be reliable in the clinic and the field, even when I become a septuagenarian?
Age is just a number, but we are fearful of the number because we feel that it comes with so many limits. I see this in my aging grandma who insists she is still completely capable, and I see it in myself when I try to “defy gravity”. Age is just a number but of course this number will come with changes that will vary from one person to another. Just the other day my youngest sister was crying of debilitating menstrual cramps and she said, “Ganito ba talaga kapag tumatanda ka na?” Is this really how it is when you get older? We merely laughed at her, in agreement.
Age is just a number and this number comes with a lot of changes. My number is 38–and soon it will greater than that. But who cares?
“Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives”.
Ultimately, I think, what matters is not how old you are or how far you’ve come. What matters is, you’re still here and you’re still trying.