Maybe this is what it means to get old

I know, i’m only 22.  Who am i to know what it means to get old, right?  But i can’t help feeling old and afraid when i…

…listen to the washing machine perform its usual final rinse.  It’s not gonna sound the same in my Korean apartment.

…gather things to pack, growing wearier and hating myself for being so picky and demanding and attached to familiar objects.  Why can’t i just up and leave with a couple of books and a few changes of clothes?  Why do i need all this other shit to be content?

…catch my dad smiling at me and suddenly remember all the times i was a bad daughter.  I don’t like feigning indifference when i’m on the phone with my parents, only to cry my eyes out afterward, because i really miss them.

It’s getting down to the wire now.  I had to move my flight up by 5 days cos my wisdom teeth decided to grow in rather painfully without warning.  And i’m having all sorts of doubts…  Now that the departure date is quickly approaching (in two days, to be exact), i can’t bear to leave.  I think i’ll miss everything too much, and i’m not sure if this move is worth the distress.  Do i really need to do this?  This isn’t the only way i can have some time and space to myself.  I could have just as easily attained that by getting a job somewhere away from here—just not so drastically far away and different.  But i couldn’t make that kind of commitment—the decision to enter the full-time workforce and head down a career path was too daunting—so i wanted time off.  Am i taking the easy way out?  Instead of the time of self-discovery that i romantically imagine it to be, will this just be another stressful job in a place where i can’t be happy?  I don’t think i could handle another Paris…

I don’t wanna be the kind of person who questions her decisions.  I don’t regret a single thing i’ve done or haven’t done in the past 22 years, so why start regretting anything now?  I know, it’s not a matter of regret, but of letting go.  Still, i can’t admit to myself that i can’t let go, so instead, i start doubting my decisions and look for better alternatives i might have overlooked (but were never there to begin with).  It’s just that i know how difficult the new can be, so i can’t bring myself to leave behind the familiar.  Maybe these thoughts are just a side effect of having everything even more rushed than before—and unexpectedly so—but they’re so strong that they’re hard to ignore.

I wish i could be happy to leave.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Maybe this is what it means to get old

  1. Yvonne

    think about it this way – every time you step out of your comfort zone, you learn something new and grow because of that new knowledge.
    and honestly off the top of my head, anyone who is “happy to leave” must freaking hate their life and family so much that they can’t wait to get rid of them. so in a way it’s good that you don’t want to part with what you have since it’s the things/people who mean the most to you…maybe you are afraid that you will find a new thing or person to love in Korea which would jeopardize your relationship with the things you are leaving behind. just also keep in mind you have a big heart that has the capacity to love many things simultaneously.
    I’m pretty sure you are not the only person who has gone through this – so Naz… grow some damn balls and join the brave souls who have survived this ordeal and maybe over time you will learn to enjoy the thrill :]
    and not be those close minded old ladies who’ve been living in the same country, same state, same town, same house, same room, same bed all their lives.
    Live a little eh?

    • n

      all great advice, yvonne! i felt much better about this whole thing after sleeping on it, and i think i wrote the post not because i needed a reason to feel better about going (because i always had those reasons in sight), but because i needed to admit to myself that i need to work on letting go. i don’t think i’m afraid that the new things will jeopardize my relationship with the things that already mean a lot to me; i think i just have difficulty parting with those things for a while, because it means taking a lot of things out of my hands, and i’m not comfortable with that loss of stability. i also try too hard to take a lot of those things (or things that retain their memory) with me whenever i travel to new places, because i feel like having them would help me ease in more easily to a new, unfamiliar place, and while i don’t think this is necessarily a bad habit, i think the compulsion is a little excessive for me, so i need to work on that, too.

      anyway, thanks for the words of encouragement 🙂 i sure as hell don’t wanna be one of those closed-minded old ladies 😀

  2. Being happy to leave usually involves running away from the past. This, of course, is rarely pleasant.

    • n

      But it also means being excited for the future…

      • To say that longing for a new phase is “running away from the past” is perhaps a crude wording on my part.

        What I meant is that it seems natural to be happy for a change when the current situation is not satisfactory. Excitement for the future, more often than not, also stems from a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the present. No human being would want to go through the drudgery of reconstructing her life when there is no need to; the new can be difficult, as you say.

        Hope things will get better soon.

        • n

          And i think i could have phrased “happy to leave” and “being excited for the future” better, too. What i was really thinking of was being okay with leaving and unafraid of the future. I don’t think i deal with the past or the future too well; i’m very much “stuck in the present,” if that makes any sense. That’s why i have so much trouble making long-term plans.

          Thanks—things were actually better today. Looks like it’ll just be up and down for a while until i get into the rhythm of things.

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