“Look at that face. So full of potential!”
My grandma used to say.
I guess she was right. At the age of 30, I’m now a potential underachiever.
I’ve never been bothered with my age but now that I’m at that well-rounded number, I’m starting to feel all the not yets – not yet married, not yet a house-owner, not yet a mother, not yet a car-owner. To make things worse, my white hair is becoming increasingly noticeable – especially when I’m under the harsh daylight. Stuck in limbo, caught between my die-hard teen spirit and moribund ovaries.
Over Chinese new year I found myself sitting amongst my long-hair-fair-manicured-fake-eye-lashes cousins. And there I sat, tanned-short-hair-pierced and inked with a glass of whiskey in one hand as they masochistically compared one another. My aunts expounded their housewife manifesto by heart- carry this hand bag, drive this car, find a husband, get married by this age, live in this postcode, have kids, buy a family van for road trips, invest in properties, buy shares…etc.
I get the occasional judgmental looks and nosy queries about my love life, career and future plans. Have you bought a house? Not yet. Found a husband? Not Yet. Got your license? Not yet. Bought any properties? Not yet. Started investing? Not yet. Had lunch? Not hungry. Like a outnumbered outcast, a black sheep amongst the milky SKII’s, I started questioning myself. What am I doing? Why don’t I have those things? What do I have to show for? What have I achieved?
But when I honestly look at all my “not yets”, I realize that those aren’t things I want or believe in. I guess you could say, I wasn’t hungry enough.
I’m fine not having a car and cabbing about – I don’t get stressed behind the wheel. I don’t need to pay for car insurance / maintenance / petrol and get frustrated looking for parking. I’m fine not being married – marriage was never part of the solution for solitude or financial security. I have a loving partner, loving family and friends who care for me and that’s enough for me. It’s not like I’m homeless, I just don’t want to be tied down to one place so having a house is more a liability than a necessity – like a heavy anchor that will just weigh me down with mortgage, home loans and what not. No thanks. As for being a mum, I’m still a kid inside, far from ready to have kids of my own so I’ll settle with being the novelty gay aunt and your emergency babysitter – my ovaries will make for a great sand dune to play in.
So yes it’s true, despite not having a fancy car, lavish house and snakeskin handbags, I’m happy with what I already have – I’m compensated with a roof over my head, a comfy bed, telly to unwind to, passionate interests, my notebook, my camera, my passport – and even if it doesn’t sound like a whole lot, it is plenty enough for this 30 year old and I’m happy to extol the fabulous benefits of being an underachiever in our overextended society. There’s so much more going on down here than being caught up there and best of all, I got to live the past 30 years the way I wanted to, and I’m going to continue doing just that.