I turned 32 yesterday, and the occasion was marked by lunch, grocery shopping, and work. In short, it was a day like any other, which is always something to be celebrated.
A chat with a friend reminded me that “wala na kami sa kalendaryo,” an expression which I think refers to a person’s so-called expiration date and which I typically hear used more often with women than men, given that society believes that if women aren’t married before 25, finding a man will only get harder, and if they get pregnant after 30, they will die in childbirth.
At my age, given my living situation, income, and my hobbies, I occasionally wonder if I’m doing this adulthood thing right. And just in time, TJ sent me a link to this video from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.
I read it as a depiction of how a certain form of adulthood is foisted on people whether they like it or it suits them or not, which extinguishes their actual selves and turns them into…everybody else. We’re often told that a certain age, we should be doing certain things already. Get married at this age, have a kid, have another kid after a few years. At your age, you should be a manager already. At your age, you should be earning this much. At your age, you should grow up already. You shouldn’t be doing these things or liking this or that. Do what grown-ups do already.
I don’t mind if people have opted for traditional routes, such as marriage and kids. The important thing is that they are doing it because it’s what they really want, not because, in the case of marrying and starting a family, the woman feels she should be producing offspring or because the man feels that after a certain amount of time, he should be proposing to his girlfriend. There are people who are stuck doing what they are expected to do, believing that because it’s expected, that must automatically mean that it’s right for them, without thinking of what they really want to do.
And that’s basically what I keep learning and relearning in the past year. There is no one correct way to be an adult, and for the foreseeable future, I will continue to enjoy cute things, animated shows, and pop music and artists even as I work towards financial stability and potential homeownership.