Two decades and counting

What exactly is it with turning twenty years old? Almost everybody that I've seen turn twenty braced it. And for the most obscure reason at that: it's goodbye to the teenage years, and hello to adulthood, and already it's something very subjective, depending if you're 16, 18 or 21.

As for me, well, I just woke up and received Icka's text message. Flat out midnight.

"Happy birthday!"

"Get ready," I told myself, as I turned off my phone and went back to sleep.

The past few hours haven't been much, really. It's my birthday, sure, but it's not the biggest thing in the world. Before, I was very excited about who'll send me a text message, and who wouldn't, but now, my mind was just to get through the day, and maybe catch up on some sleep. Then there was the trip to the office itself, when I found myself squirming in my seat as the minutes passed on. "Relief," I later told Icka, as I got out the toilet of another office building. "I hope this lasts for the next ten years."

Perhaps I should have paid attention to what she was telling me an hour before. "It sucks," she said, referring to the third decade of one's life. "But you'll get used to it."

Things have gone weirdly today. Against expectations, I was perky, although I wasn't exactly bent on feeling depressed. Let's just say I wasn't expecting much. I wasn't, after all, surrounded by people who genuinely care. There's a difference between Jackie's "thanks for always listening to my frustrations" bit and Kris' "happy birthday" bit, with a smiley face in the end. But one can't help but just look forward to something, especially when you feel that things are going to stack in your favor. For once.

Even just for one day. And then you'll be sorely disappointed.

This is, after all, just the start of the next ten years of your life. It did hit me as I took a bath. The next time something like this will happen, I'm already thirty years old, holding with a stable job that pays for the kids' education. At one point, I've got to make the right decisions. It's actually called pressure, and it's something I haven't had in a while, partly because I've been feeling so serene, so secure about myself, for the past four days. So what if I had this terrible relapse that was expressed only through text messages? Tomorrow, it will all be gone, it will be a fresh new slate, it will be a new chance to do the things you haven't done.

And then, predictably so, you remember why you did the things you've been doing.

Turning twenty is a subtle indicator, really, that it's high time to take responsibility for everything in your life. That is how it feels - more than getting past a certain stage, and losing all the comfort that comes with it, it's a call to arms, to get in charge, to do the things you have to do. Certainly I've been trying my hardest to have a semblance to that - that everything I'm doing has an impact on what I'll be, and what I'll be able to do, tomorrow. It's a justification for the crazy ideas that you've been playing in your head for the world to hear. Heck, I don't care if they hear it and scoff, because despite my supposedly detailed descriptions, they don't even know how it feels to sit in this chair, being surrounded by people typing left and right, ideally isolated, forcefully so. All of this, it's for something that should be coming soon, provided I do the right things - and, of course, I'm bent on doing just that. I'm bent on being head-on in everything, in living through hell and going out stronger, in saying what you feel despite the implications.

But right now, when the usual laughter gets me repulsive? I again thought it was over, but I think it'll be one of the most painful transitions I'll have to go through.

On with the messages, then.

And your responses...

wala akong masabi. hindi ako maka connect. so, belated nalang.

Blogger N.1/10/2009     

Belated... So, finally a yuppie, eh?

Blogger jp1/12/2009     

What does it feel to be 20? Feel a little bit older?
I don't. Although I do feel the heaviness that responsibilities bring. Yuck. And guess what? This year, I'm 21.

Blogger Diandra1/15/2009     

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