Most people are surprised whenever I tell them my age – 22. I usually get gasps and looks of disbelief. Sometimes, those are accompanied by an astonished “But you’re too young to be…” statement.
I’m not really sure what to feel about these reactions. Should I be flattered or concerned? I have no idea. I’ll turn 22 only once so I don’t really have any basis for comparison. But somehow, I’ve gotten used to it – me, being mistaken to be older than I really am.
Back in Bacacay, the only difference between the uniform of female high school students was a ribbon between the collars of the blouse. We had this standard navy blue pleated, below-the-knee-length skirt and a white, round collar, short-sleeved blouse. And of course, the black, leather, whole shoe with white socks. The high school students wore the ribbons the same color as the skirt.
Back it grade 5, whenever I forget to tell the pedicab driver my destination, they never fail to bring me to the high school. Back then I thought it was because of my height. After graduation, I was mistaken to be older than my third sister. By that time, I’ve grown used to such things. My sister and I would smile at each other and she would correct the person.
I’ve never really cared much about these comments until it got more frequent. I’m not concerned about me looking older than I am. I’m more concerned about the way I am acting. A secretary at work commented about how young I am for the work I am doing. My sisters commented about how old I am in seeing things. They said it’s seems like I’ve lived my life and is already tired of it. Then they joked about such perspective perhaps resulted from me learning from all their mistakes and experiences. If that is the case, then I did learn a lot. A sis and also an co-worker was also surprised about my age. Three, I guess is not a coincidence. I haven’t included the reactions of some of my students yet.
I’m not in the least offended. I am curious though. How does one act older?
Perhaps it’s because I grew up in an environment where people were way older than I am? I spent most of my high school days with my aunts. I stopped playing with the neighbors who were my age even before I graduated in elementary. I rarely spent time outside the house (this should have been written in a separate entry entitled Antisocial, I know). To think about it, I don’t know anyone from the neighborhood.
I spent time listening to the older people conversing. I was that child in the corner listening, just listening. I do converse better with older people than those who were my age. I found the topics more interesting. I learned more from those conversations. To people my age, I am boring as I knew nothing about whatever was the in topic in their chats.
What should people be doing at twenty-two? I am grateful for what I know, what I have, and what I am at twenty-two.
However, it does make one wonder, am I setting things in fast forward? Or does each person have their own pace? Am I thinking too old that I’m missing some of the things I should be enjoying at this age?
Or maybe, I should settle with me looking older than my age. That would definitely make things more simple. 🙂