25 to 60

as a 25-year-old pre-doctor, there are loads of decisions for me to make. i’m old enough to be a mother, old enough to have retired parents, old enough to have responsibilities that go beyond keeping my room clean and getting good grades. i have to decide where i want to work and that will somewhat determine how much i can contribute to the household expenses, what kind of investments i can save for, which specialty i can work towards. i also have to decide what i want to do with all the other interests i have but are just too lazy or don’t have the resources to seriously pursue.

i wish there was a manual on how to live my life right. i’m good at following instructions – just not so great at clearing out a path of my own.

i spent the day in the car with my parents. they had planned to make the drive down south to visit some relatives and drop me off in batu pahat before heading for a dinner function. during the journey they talked about all sorts of things including how others have chosen to raise their kids and how some parental approaches have failed. i thought about how my parents have done a relatively good job with me and my sister – we’ve never gotten into any serious trouble and we’re both in safe professions. we take our parents’ advice seriously most of the time because we respect them. although this has led to some discontent when we were younger – i used to think my life was boring because i did not make the same mistakes my peers have – we now both realise that our parents were imparting more than rules and regulations…they were imparting wisdom.

and i wondered: where did they learn all this? did it fall from the sky? is there really a how-to guide on life and everything about it?

to be honest, i thought i’d be alot smarter at age 25. i thought i’d have everything figured out – passion for a certain specialty, excellent scholarship-worthy grades, connections with orang atasan, a steadily-growing collection of publications, a long-term boyfriend who will propose anytime now, a cell group or ministry to lead, a solid relationship with God. but i don’t have any of those things now. it’s all either “in progress” or stalled (temporarily, i hope) and i cannot stop thinking about what a disappointment i must be to my parents who were in steady jobs as teachers, married and providing for a family by the time they hit 25.

but then again…if most of my peers and i are in an uncertain place at this age, how can i be sure that my parents weren’t also insecure when they first got hitched? who’s to say they didn’t doubt their ability to be parents when my sister was born? i was a premature baby…my mother must have been as scared as the many mothers i’ve met who went into preterm labour. after all, my parents are human too. surely they didn’t jump from being teachers-in-training to successful parents of two daughters, grandparents of 1 spoilt brat, owners of some property and well-liked people in the community!

the postcard above brought a smile to my face after a long day on the road simply because it is the truth. we don’t get a how-to guide, not right from the start anyway. but if my parents can wing it and reach a good place in their lives after more than 60 years, i’m pretty sure i can do the same. it’s a long wait to see if it comes true…but i guess that’s what life is all about anyway.


One response to “25 to 60

  1. i saw that postcard at postsecret this afternoon and thought abt how true it was…

    at this age, we are certain of some things, we are more sure of what sort of person we are. but there are still a lot of things we do not know, but hey, i’m sure we will figure it on the way to 60. 😉

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