A rush of age to the head

I’ve been feeling older lately. Heh. My more senior readers such as Kelly or Alec might find this post funny, so pardon me, sirs. 🙂

This is a rather personal post that touches on a party, a blog battle and a missed message. Somehow they all made this so-called “Quarter Life Crisis” more real.

I was at a former student’s party last Friday and it felt strange somehow. I’ve handled her batch two years ago and I’d like to think it was only just yesterday, but somehow it felt like the two years it really was. They all look more mature and their tastes have changed. The party last year was more a kid’s party, but now it felt like one of my old college ones. You know: you hit the venue, consume all the food, and politely participate in the activities, then you get the heck out of there and into the bars and bistros. My. What a year does!

And as for me? They used to call me “the life of the party” but now I didn’t know what — in the life of me — I was doing in the party. Well, I ate, of course. Then I talked shop with my more senior co-teachers. (Yeah, you are who you hang out with.) And worse, when the dancing hit, I found the music a little loud. Oh darn. The games were fun though, and it was just entertaining to see all my former students letting loose. That hoola hoop exhibition was insane! (And if it were a year ago, I’d go for that game. Parts of me wanted to. Hehe.)

When I got home after the party, I had to deal with some stuff in this blog. There was that thing with Bencard and Rego where, looking back, I became what I didn’t like. I’ll be honest and say that I was just getting annoyed with the guy, so my fault is letting that get to me. I know I could’ve taken him (peace, Bencard! ^_^). Hehe. But reading my tirade again now, I sounded like those more senior commenters I used to fight years ago. I was terrified when I realized that, and so I did the honorable thing and apologized. That was the real shocker for me, I guess, when I sounded like a grumpy old man.

And lastly, I forgot that a friend texted me during the party. I haven’t seen her in a while and we used to be really close. When I woke up the next morning, I received an instant message from her saying that she misses me. Strange thing is, I didn’t. Or at least, I didn’t tell her that too. I’ve become really good at distancing myself from people I feel I don’t have to be around, especially when they can hurt you. We could call this denial; I’m afraid I call it being pragmatic. We can say that I’m not being honest, but I think there really is nothing to say. I can be a very committed man, but over the years I’ve also become lethally good at letting go.

And when you bring all these together with other random feelings such as beer losing its allure, reading books as a fun way to pass the time, and thinking about the future, I just can’t help but feel a little older. Thus I can’t imagine what it would be like when I start including loan, insurance, mortgage and educational plan in my vocabulary. *Shudders*

I know that age is all in the head. But what I don’t know is if it’s because I’ve been doing a lot of growing up lately (that happens when you work with kids, er… teens), or because I’m beginning to look at what’s coming up in my life. It’s most likely a combination of both.

Yet I also know — and this is also in my head, ironically — is that I have my whole life ahead of me. July just ended and I realize that in one year, I could be in a totally different place in my life. Whether this is a metaphor or a literal ‘different place’ remains to be seen though. I refuse to say for now.

But let’s go easy on the head. Age is in the body too. I miss playing badminton, to be honest. That game really kept me fit and trim in a way that regular work outs at the gym can’t. And now that I can’t even get regular work outs… sigh. I really try to fit a work out in my schedule but work can be really taxing, especially this year when I can’t seem to run out of things to do. I just hope I can work out my work so I can work out. Man. That word is stressing.

Anyway, I hope my older readers would forgive me for this. If you have any coping advice too, that would be great.

I’ve always been the kind of guy who just does the best he can in everything he does. It’s just that lately I’ve been doing a whole lot more than I used to. It’s been great and I continue to feel passionate for what I do, and yet I am often reminded of my limits. I know it doesn’t get any “better” from here, but I want to prepare myself because I know that from here, it only gets more worth it.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Martin.
    Thanks for looking me up.
    Simply, age to me is just a number. It reminds you how long you’ve been in existence. For me, what counts deeper is the wisdom & knowledge one accumulates all thru these years filled with different valleys & crests, different ebbs & flows.
    For me, there is no quarter -life, mid-life crisis. These are just lame excuses resulting from insufficient management of one’s own expectations. If you keep them in mind, then a crisis is inevitable since you helped shape them. You’re only good as what you think of yourself. Stay focused yet keeping feet well embedded & closed to the ground.
    You were doing great prior to the “great debate”. I was not really able to keep track after my comment due to a business trip. I could sense that that “debate” have affected you somehow. The mistake I thought was emotions getting along the way of an argument you have started well. I guess you know what my next advice is- yes, learn from this mistake, manage emotions better next time and move on. Don’t worry, you’re just starting and yes have a lot of good years ahead. Emotions really have its way of putting a good man down… I guess you know that since history will tell.
    Again, let’s simplify things and get closer to the ground. You feel old because you’re mostly with people at least 10 years your junior . No brainer there; par for the course. You need to adjust and be flexible to them since you need to be understood and be with them. But this should not derail you a bit but instead pick up the experience as building block towards what you want to be of yourself. Soon, you will find yourself in company of people your age or even older…the wisdom you’ll treasure from these experiences will come handy as you continue to move on.
    Actually, Martin, I can go on and on. But it would be better for us to meet over coffee or beer and share thoughts. It’ll make you feel young again as well. I’ll let you know when some time soon. Hope this is ok with you.
    Meanwhile, as coping mechanism? Look at both extreme ends in managing expectations. Manage your emotions better and know when to use it…replying to that lady friend who texted might be worthwhile. Be open & be flexible to this kind. Also, translate your teaching passion equally for yourself no matter how difficult it is. You need to find time for yourself constantly to be ready for the long haul. It was my mistake when I was younger. I too tried accomplishing a lot at a young age. Activities you enjoy most- gym, badminton,etc should be given time as well. These are good ways to keep out of the jungle just to smell the flowers on ground.
    Cheers and see you soon.

  2. Old? You’re earning in a full-time job. You’re able to vote. You’re older than most people in the facility. And you’re bald. And you’re still young. Hehe, enjoy age and agelessness.

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