It’s getting to be that time of year again for me! My birthday is coming up. I shall in 2 weeks be 24 years old!
Can you believe it. nearly a quarter of a century on Earth. Born out of no where onto this planet and survived 24 years.
I was thinking the other day about what was significant for me in these years. Or significant for the world, rather.
A lot of significant things have happened in my lifetime that has shaped me and my view of the world. My parents used to tell me that in their lifetime, there were a lot of new things. TVs, computers, phones, cameras, etc.
But there have been new things in my lifetime too. And to add, I have seen things die down in my lifetime also.
- The invention of smart phones. Quite recent in my lifetime. But still. Very big. I even remember when the smart phones were still in the pipelines, and the first smart device was an iPod touch. Does anyone remember those? It was the first device on which you could surf the internet, download “apps” to play games and connect with others. Huge! Then came the iPhone and Android.
But these things kind of came without any big hoopla about them. Now, it’s an everyday item. For everyone. Even children.
I’m sure in the future, paediatricians will add milestones for babies such as “can handle small electronic device such as phone or tablet” and “can use index finger to open apps on a mobile device” Probably as young as 6 months! Wouldn’t that be something.
- Internet/mobile banking. This was something that came up during my lifetime. No longer did my parents need to “go down to the bank” to carry out tasks such as opening a new account, applying for a card, taking out loans, etc. Again, pretty big.
- E-readers. Invented in my time. My beloved kindle. Can carry thousands of books at once. Your own personal library. Access to so many books at the touch of a screen. You didn’t need to go down to a library or book store to see the most popular books and decide to buy them. Kindle will suggest the most popular books for you, and give you a free sample to try before you buy! Very cool.
- Social networking. When I was very young, there was MSN messenger and Yahoo! messenger. As I grew up, there was bebo, MySpace, and then finally, the pinnacle of it all, Facebook. Then of course there was Twitter and Instagram, etc. But the idea of social networking grew massively in my lifetime. Globalisation was a concept they taught relentlessly in social science at high school. And it really was that. Not only was the world’s newest products, businesses and ideas available to everyone, so are people! The growth of “influencers” on the internet has been exponential in my opinion. You can literally say anything and thousands of people will hear it! People follow strangers and become fans just by watching videos on YouTube or following posts on Instagram. It’s pretty amazing.
- Dating apps. While blind dates and online dating websites were there when I was younger, I hear the word Tinder wayyyy more these days. Again, I’m not too sure when it became so popular, but I definitely know it wasn’t this big a few years ago. And that’s pretty amazing too. I guess it falls in the social networking category, but it’s just so weird to me that you don’t have to make calls or go to a social event to meet new people any more. You have to put up a profile and a blurb about yourself (which by the way I’m not even sure would be true for most people. You’ve got to either talk yourself up too much or too little) and a picture, and boom! You find someone who actually wants to spend a whole evening with you! Who would’ve thought! And it honestly works for a lot of people! I have a feeling this will be one of those things my parents will tell stories about in a few years. “Back in my day, we had to go out and meet people. Not meet them on a phone.”
- Wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi. I was a dial-up kid. Now, my house has fibre optic powered internet. While I used to wait 5 minutes for my computer to make those weird screechy noises before the Yahoo webpage would even come up, these days I complain that my 1080p movie is not loading fast enough on my big screen TV. It’s so bizarre to think about that. My internet would constantly conk out when I was younger. Not that it mattered much then, given I didn’t use the internet as much as I do now. Now, even moving buses have Wi-Fi because it’s so hard to go a few minutes without being connected to the world.
- Cameras. When I was younger, you still had to take your film roll to a photo shop to have the photos developed from photo negatives. Now there are people that don’t understand any part of that sentence. Now there are phones that let you take incredibly zoomed up pictures of the Moon. Now there are phones that have 5 rear cameras. There are DSLR cameras that you can share photos from directly using Wi-Fi. Taking photos and editing them and capturing something stunning and having the photos available instantly has never been easier!
- Movies and TV shows and music. When I was younger, you had to go see a movie in the theatres or watch a show on TV no matter what time it aired at. Or go to your nearest video store and get a tape or CD. Now things like Netflix has changed all that. While people still go to cinemas to watch movies, you can still watch new movies online and stream them to your TV
I also used to be of the time when if an artist released new music, you had to wait in line outside your nearest store to buy the CD, get back home and play it on your stereo, then tell all your friends about it the next day. But these days, you can pre-download songs on your phone, you can take them with you wherever you go, artists tease new music online, everyone experiences it instantly on the go and everyone knows about how good it is straight away. Again, Huge.
- Electric cars. This is still up and coming. But Tesla, and Nissan leaf and other fully electric cars! I am still waiting for the day that petrol becomes obsolete. Because I’ve got to say, prices of fuel are just not helping anybody. I am 100% behind this cause.
I’m sure I could keep going. The advances in the world just in the last 24 years have been numerous. The rate at which things are changes is quite staggering. And I’ve been alive for all of this.
But some things still haven’t changed. Like listening to the radio, using a microwave oven, using a refrigerator, etc.
And not only in technology.
People still have so much appreciation for the world and it’s people. I guess the idea is still to bring everyone closer together and experience everything around the world. And there’s still so much appreciation for history. Just take a trip to Rome or Paris or Greece and you can see how people marvel at old architecture and things.
I guess if this much has changed in just 24 years, I’m in for a lot more surprises over the rest of my lifetime. That’s a lot to think about it.
But for now, I guess I’ll just try to muddle through the current things in my life and be grateful for what I have on my birthday.
You go out and buy yourself a birthday present
Yay new watch! I decided I have finally grown out of using digital watches. It was a big decision. But I made it. And I know I’m old.
You know you’re old when you feel like an arcade is too noisy and you can’t stay there for more than 20 minutes
You know you’re old when bumper cars give you neck pain
You know you’re old when you get sleepy at your own birthday event around 10:30pm.
Haha. I had a great birthday. No really. Some friends in India with little children took me out to dinner and the arcade. Where I engaged in air hockey, shooting hoops and bumper cars like I was age 12.
They then insisted on buying me a cake and making me cut it.
Their little 4 year old boy whispered into his mother’s ear that he wanted to get me a chocolate for my birthday, and made me close my eyes so he could surprise me with it.
I haven’t had a birthday celebration quite like this in years. It was brilliant and special even though I was miles away from home.
Friends from home wished me too. Overall it was an awesome day!
Well. It looks like the Earth has nearly made another rotation around the sun 23 years since I was born.
People keep asking me how old I’m turning this year. Which is fine except it always takes me a few seconds to answer them. I just don’t keep track.
Or maybe because I don’t feel like I’m 23. Obviously because Taylor Swift doesn’t have a song for 23 and so I’d much rather be 22.
Nah. It’s just. Same thing as last year I suppose. The pressure is on to have achieved a lot by this point in life. I’m still in Med school. Woop. People in my class are getting married, having kids, owning houses even.
I say Blech to all of that.
I can barely own my emotions. I can’t stand the company of people for more than a few of hours, and kids frighten me.
I just don’t think I’m mature.
Although now I think I’m not really expected to be. I kind of have one of those “plan” things for the next 2 years in terms of where I should work, etc. That, to me is a BIG achievement. But I am aware every plan is subject to change. I mean, I’m not so naïve as to think everything will work out how I want it to.
Ah. How mature of me.
I’m just a bit tired of life to be honest. I mentioned that it’s really hard to be in your 20s. I’m feeling it a lot these days. How I wish I could quit life and go live on Mars or something. I just cannot be bothered facing the day every day, waiting for something to happen, but it doesn’t. Watching friends move on to bigger and better things and accepting that I’ll see less and less of them soon, dealing with people who are these so called “colleagues” who have a whole different set of rules as to how to deal with them. Like no they’re not your friends. No, they don’t care about how your day is going. They just want you to do whatever it is they need, and they’ll say everything you want to hear to make that happen because they’re sizing you up too.
I’m just not cut out for the fakeness the workforce demands. That’s another big reason I don’t feel old enough to be a 23 year old.
I gotta have thick skin right? Gotta be used to how the world works and not let it affect me. But I just don’t think I can.
Anger is a big poison for me. I get angry at people quite easily. Angry at how they talk to each other and treat each other. Angry when they care so little about things like doing their job right. Angry when they’re so obviously fake.
And the worst part is, I see those opportunists around me who are all those things I mentioned above, but they know how to play the game and they put themselves ahead. Meanwhile, I get angry and probably get left behind. You gotta be that kind of person to get ahead apparently.
Err. This is probably something I’ll get over when I’m 30 right? 40? 65?
Oh God I do not want to have to deal with people for that long.
I bet I sound like a cynical 50 year old right now. Saying I hate people and wanting to live somewhere on my own. But it’s not all bad. Truly there are some awesome people in the world and life has some great aspects.
I’m just in a not so great stage of it I think.
As Ed Sheeran says: I’m well aware of certain things that will destroy a man like me. But with that said, give me one more.
Really liking that song.
Oh birthday plans! Didn’t talk about those! Probably because I don’t have any. I’m in another continent from the people I usually hang out with for my birthday. This year I’ll be at the rural hospital on my birthday, seeing patients. And then maybe I’ll get some cake or something. Or I’ll reward myself with a lot of sleep.
Living the wild life, Abracadabra
Today is quite a special day. I’ve mentioned HD a few times on this blog. HD is the man with the killer angle sense for photography (that I’m forever jealous of), the funny, yet deep and thoughtful quotes about life that have more than once made me think for a long time and appreciate enough to write about on this blog, and the astonishing personality. But more importantly, HD is the reason I started blogging and continue to do so. And for that, this entry will be dedicated to him on his birthday.
It’s quite rare to come across someone who is so unique in everything they do. I’ve never met someone quite so different. And it is even more rare to meet someone who is capable of surprising you the more you get to know them. Even though you’ve known them for a considerable amount of time.
To call HD talented, would be an understatement. Actually, it would be an insult. He’s more than just talented. I’ve talked about his heightened skills in photography. He just knows what would look good in a picture. The frame, the angle, etc. But aside from this, he’s an artist. He paints, draws, designs and creates with the same patience and care he does everything with. He could open an art gallery filled only with his abstract paintings. Don’t take my word for it, he once sold a painting he had done a while ago, online as a legitimate wall painting. Apparently the owner of the painting adores it and has hung it proudly on a wall of their house. HD- famous artist. But of course something has to be sold in a certain way. And I have no doubt that the description of the painting had some part in its sale.
Because, HD is a writer. This is another understatement. He is an amazing writer. I am a reader. I’ve read a lot of books in my time and from a lot of different authors. Since taking up blogging I’ve had the privilege of reading some great blogs on this website. People write in all different ways. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. They can be clever, thoughtful, deep, purposeful and convincing. But HDs’ writing, has spirit. The way he writes, you can literally feel the spirit. It’s soulful. It seems to have a realism and passion such that when you read his work, you relate to it on another level. If that makes sense. Again, don’t take my word for it. Aside from excelling in English writing in highschool, HD used to blog. This blog had a very large number of followers to the point where they actually became ‘fans’. Many of his ‘fans’ would write to him saying how inspirational his writing was and how grateful they were for his blog. I am one of his fans. I regret deeply that this blog is no longer active. I cannot explain how much. Great pieces of writing should be treasured. Everyone should have a chance to read it. His writing is what inspired me and this blog. I think all his readers would agree that he writes in a special way.
Oh and he also writes lyrics. Some people are just born with the ability to write poetry. HD is. Somehow, intuitively, he can put words, one after the other in a way that comes together to be a full song. With hidden meanings, catchy rhyming words, and a real feel to it.
Of the million things I am jealous of HD for, his musical talent is something I would kill for. He plays the guitar, does percussion and writes songs. Oh, and he can sing. He’ll tell you he can’t do any of these things. I can sing and play the guitar but I am a true beginner. I know what sounds good and what doesn’t. With HD, he has an ingrained sense for music. He can hear a song and recreate it on the guitar. This song could have been played on a theremin for all he cares. He would know when to play the guitar to it and make it sound good. What’s more, he can write lyrics and hear the music that would fit with it in his head. Then he would compose. Honestly, this is how great composers are made.
What goes along with this music, photography thing are his beyond amazing skills of making home videos. They’re mostly music videos and mock trailers starring one character. But I swear they’re as professional as any short film production company could have put together. Spot on editing, lighting, cinematography etc etc etc. And the clever little additions that tell a story of their own, are perfection.
Okay so I’ve gone on enough about his talents, but it would be unfair to leave it at that. HD oozes originality. Everything he does seems to have his signature. I’ve never known him to half-ass anything. He has the conviction to do even the smallest things right. Even if it’s just a picture of his notes, he’ll make sure the lighting is good, the letters are in focus, and the frame is such that nothing unintentional or unnecessary is captured. Nothing is too small to put effort and care into for HD. Others (including myself) might say it doesn’t matter. But HD never would. He would do everything to the best of his ability. The pride he has in his work is his signature. You’ll know something is done by HD when it’s completed to a high standard with sophistication, and has something unique. Something no one else thought of or noticed. That, is HDs’ work.
His life is a pretty good example of that. He surprises people everyday with his perseverance. HD was a top student in his first degree at uni. He had a promising career in his field. He was an extraordinary professional who was marveled at by colleagues and supervisors alike. He then chose to complete a second degree and is currently excelling at it. I’ve heard people talk for days about what a brilliant student he is and how they want to be just like him. He’s in a position where he could quit. He doesn’t need his second degree to go on and be successful in life. But he sticks with it. And for his level, he doesn’t need to put in effort to pass the stages of his second degree. He has enough knowledge and experience to pass. But he works hard, strives, and won’t settle for anything less than a high level of achievement. He will complete everything to a high standard. As though he loved all of it. He doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. And that saddens me greatly. But that never stops him from giving his best every time. He doesn’t give up. That quality, is rare. It’s motivational, really. With this quality, I just know he’s going to be so successful some day at whatever he ends up doing.
HD is cool. He’s got style. When HD walks into a room, you can hear the base guitar from pumped up kicks playing in the background, and everything from his body language to his outfit demands respect. He can pull off everything from cool professional (people mistake him for a doctor all the time), to hipster, to even rockstar. Sometimes I wonder if he actually does these things intentionally. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ve heard others compliment his appearance and attire even in casual situations. I guess HD is just cool.
HD is somewhat of a rebel. Maybe that’s where his sense of style comes from. He’s not one to lie down and take anything. That’s another quality I take inspiration from. He’s met some pretty awful people in his life and when he was in a situation where a supervisor bullied him and had the power to ruin his career, HD did not bow down. Even if it kills him, he’ll never let them know. Not only did he stand up to the supervisor and refuse to carry out menial tasks given to him, he was also commended by the university for doing so without quitting, when other students before him had. He’s the kind of person who, when told his next registrar is not the nicest, he’d turn around and say “that’s alright. I can handle it”. He’s not a quitter. I admire that.
You can trust HD to give it to you straight. If it’s wrong, he’ll tell you. I said he’s met some awful people in his life. But that doesn’t stop him from persevering. He’ll go a long way for you. When you least expect it. Sometimes his honesty will shock you. But that’s exactly what you needed to hear. There are times when he’ll be so positive and so encouraging. It’s just what you need.
One of the best things about HD is the kid inside. The one that gets excited about sunsets, the one that still watches his favourite childhood cartoon to relax, the one that remembers every single dialogue from his favourite movie in perfect order including the pauses. That’s what makes HD, HD. And it’s a quality that should be treasured.
If HD read all this, he’d say none of it were true. I wish somehow he would realise that he’s a pretty spectacular human. And accept his great qualities and treasure them. I am so grateful that I had the chance to get to know HD.
And if you’ve read this far, thank you for doing so. I want to ask my readers to wish him a happy birthday. Not any specific way. Just as you’re reading this in your mind, wish it. I hope many good thoughts head his way.
I wish him a Happy Birthday.
Does anyone remember these?
We used to call them “rockets” when I was in primary school. Or “rolly biscuits”. I’m sure there’s some form of sophisticated name for them. Like wafer rolls or something. But they’ll always be known as rockets to me.
Why are they on this blog, you may ask? Well I spent my birthday indoors reading a book. It was actually very relaxing, don’t worry. I was content. And I was replying to birthday wishes all day. But I felt the general mood was lower than last year. Which is fine because as I’ve said, 22 is a pretty meh age. And there’s not much hype about it. But it did make me feel terribly old, as my friends seemed to be too busy adult-ing to spend ages talking to me on my birthday.
But what did happen on the day following my birthday is that I got a chance to catch up with some friends and we found ourselves in a rather low key, but fancy enough restaurant. One of those ‘hidden treasures’ as they say. And it was indeed that for me, because when I ordered dessert, lo and behold they brought me a piece of my childhood!!
I can’t explain my feelings when I saw the rocket. I was overcome with excitement such that I didn’t take a moment to photograph it. I hadn’t eaten or even seen one in years. Instantly when I bit into it, I was transported back to my childhood when I would spend lunchtimes with my friends arguing about what super power would suit us best while munching on a couple of rockets, straight out of a round tin full of them. Trying to eat all of it without the crumbs falling down. And if any did, it was one of life’s biggest disappointments.
Ah. ‘Twas a simpler time.
It’s funny how happy this little thing made me. I felt no longer 22. I enjoyed being 8 in those few moments. It reminded me just how sticky the mind can be. It seems to latch on so vividly to little things. And when triggered, releases such a huge wave of emotions just like that. Good and bad. But if it’s good, it’s really good.
I enjoyed this birthday in a way I never thought I would. And I’m grateful. Even if I am 22, I’m pretty sure I’m 8 whenever I see a rocket.
In 3 weeks I shall be 22 years old. 2 decades and a bit on a little ol’ planet in the middle of a small solar system in a smallish galaxy in a rather large universe. How bizarre to think.
Birthdays don’t bother me too much. I’ve never fretted about becoming older, nor have I yearned to attain a certain age. I simply look forward to who I’ll get to talk to on the day. (Because in this day and age, the only time you hear from people you haven’t heard from in years, is on that day that facebook notifies them it’s your birthday). I also seem to get the same questions I do from all my friends. I am the oldest among my school friends, so every year they ask me “how it feels” to become that age. Every year, I say the same thing (“I still feel 12”) and every year I ask myself what’s changed, if anything. Every year previously, nothing had. But this year I think things have changed quite a bit.
Last year when I turned 21, I told people I still feel like I’m 12. Nothing’s changed. Nothing feels different. But I think I also meant that I didn’t feel particularly like a 21-year-old. Everyone says turning 21 is a big deal (I’m really not sure why?) I don’t get any special privileges.. I can already vote, drive and buy alcohol. I still can’t gamble till I’m 25 or rent a car. So for me, there was nothing special about 21. Also, I felt I seriously lacked the maturity to be a 21-year-old. I remember when I was about 5 or 7, I used to think of people who were 21, as adults. Like BIG adults. Like they’re essentially done with life. Not that they’re ready to die, but more that they would have seen a lot, experienced a lot, have a plan and direction, and just be put together enough that little kids would look up to them and think “I wanna be like you when I grow up!” But now that I’m 21, I see how wrong I was. I felt like I was a 12 year old. I was still in school, still living at home, still spending my spare time reading, watching TV, playing guitar, talking to friends and stressing about fights and wondering when things will start going my way. Not that any of these are necessarily bad things, because like I said, I’m still a very small kid inside that gets happy when my mum cooks one of my favourite meals even though I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself. But it’s just very different to the view I had of someone my age when I was younger.
Now, 22. What’s different? Well I feel like I’ve aged about 10 years in 1 year. Not physically of course (thank goodness). And not in filling any of those categories before about having direction, etc (eugh). But emotionally. It’s the kind of thing you feel when you realise songs like Adele’s Million years ago and Ed Sheeran’s Castle On the Hill actually apply to your life. You start identifying with the themes they sing about and you feel that emotion vividly when you sing along.
1 day, 1 person, 1 year, 1 incident can change literally everything about you and how you view yourself and the world around you. In this year, I’ve realised who matters to me and who does not. Who cares about me and how they choose to show it. I’ve realised what -potentially fatal- weaknesses I posses and how latent they have been for so long. Have I conquered those weaknesses? Nope. Perhaps I shall spend my 22nd year doing that. But I’m aware of them. Which is a start. Yes all of this can happen in 1 year. I feel emotionally much older. Experiences don’t really correlate with age, I don’t think. That’s why I find it a bit silly when people who are just about 30 etc. say that they’re so much older and mature than I am. Well, if you really were that mature, you wouldn’t keep saying it, now would you? I think maturity is that quality you find in yourself that allows you to be in peace and find happiness without causing any harm to anyone else in everything you say and do.
In saying that, I’m still insanely immature. I don’t feel ready to be 22 and face the realities to come. But time stops for no one I suppose!
Another interesting thought is that if I live to 84, I have completed a quarter of my life already! Don’t worry, I’m not one of the people that think with every birthday they’re getting closer to death! I’m more of a live-in-the-moment-and-don’t-worry-about-the-future, kind of person. (Think that’s immature? probably). May then next 3/4 of my life be more productive on the tiny little 3rd planet from the smallest star in our itty bitty galaxy in the gigantic universe.