Some people certainly love to rub salt into an open wound. When I walked in this morning, somebody asked me, “So how does it feel to be 43?” What is the right answer? A slap on the face perhaps? :D
It’s weird thinking about birthdays after you’ve hit the big four-O. Shouldn’t we stop counting birthdays after age 12? And I can’t help but feel that time is running so fast. At 6, I was wondering how it felt like to be 14 years old and to finally have boobs. Now I have boobs, but I’m starting to wonder how it would be like if I turn back time and re-do the things I regretted doing, starting from age 6.
What if I could?
I probably should have not tried my hardest to ride a bike without balancers…that way, my knees wouldn’t have been so scarred. I should have tried harder to learn how to dance despite my mother’s comments that I didn’t have the grace and rhythm of a dancer. I should have followed my PE teacher’s suggestion of taking up volleyball or any kind of sports instead of reading comics and pocketbooks, and playing dama (Spanish checkers) at the bleachers. I shouldn’t have learned to smoke so I didn’t have to worry about quitting. I should have spent more time with my father when he was alive.
Thing is, I can’t go back.
the evergreen Lake Kabalin-an
Life’s choices are permanent, for better or for worse. What’s done is done. Time machines just aren’t invented yet, so I have to live with my mistakes and see the best in the choices I have made. It’s hard, especially when you get the chance to sit down and look back what you’ve done for the past 40 something years. I can’t help but think of the “what ifs”, and feel sad that I can’t do those things over again and make the right choices.
But I also think about the good stuff, the happy things that happened because of the choices I’ve made.
I realize that falling off over and over again from that bike made me tougher than most kids my age. I realize that I can’t please everybody, especially my mother, and learn to take some things with a grain of salt. The love for reading has enriched my life in ways I can’t imagine, and dama taught me to strategize and gave me confidence around boys---nobody bullied me! Smoking made me realize that life is short and that the residue of my pleasure is but a puff of smoke. I realize that my father loved me anyway despite my imperfections, and losing him early in life taught me about responsibility and self-reliance.
I contemplated at the question I was asked this morning, and my answer is---it feels a lot like 42, only a little more delicate. But really, I'm not 43, I am twenty with 23 years experience!:D
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson