Posts tagged with "growing old"

29 3/12: The Once Loved

When I look at this pic­ture, I see the flaws. The stretch marks on my back, and espe­cial­ly promi­nent on the side of my ass. Those strange red blem­ish­es on my shoul­der that I don’t remem­ber hav­ing. The lack of junk in the trunk so com­mon in Asian peo­ple. I did­n’t even know I had a mole down there.

I used to have body-image issues. Always think­ing I was too skin­ny, and too ugly.

Self portrait at 29 3/12


Then some­one made me feel dif­fer­ent­ly. She treat­ed every part of my body with as much atten­tion and love as I treat­ed hers. She was the first per­son to ever make me believe that I was attrac­tive too. Some days, I felt as hand­some as she was pret­ty.

I turn 30 in nine months, and now that she’s gone, I won­der if any­one will ever see me that way again.

The Turning 30 Series

29 2/12: The Lachrymologist

I used to be a crier. Any strong emo­tion, good or bad (though more often the lat­ter), could bring on tears like a reflex. Now, I can’t remem­ber the last time I cried, which means it’s been a while. More than a year, I sus­pect.

Getting misty-eyed does­n’t count; that’s too easy. A poignant scene in a movie, the right song at the right moment, even see­ing some­one demon­strate a Tai Chi move­ment with mas­ter­ly detail and pre­ci­sion can cause my heart to swell, but the feel­ing only lasts as long as a few blinks after the blurred vision. When I refer to cry­ing, I mean when the tears are enough to over­flow and leak.

Self portrait at 29 2/12


When I was young, the kids in school would laugh at boys who cried — much less social­ly accept­able in this cul­ture — but I was nev­er embar­rassed about it. I thought it was nat­ur­al, the way some peo­ple are gay or Caucasian. I thought I’d grow out of it, the way one grows out of a fear of the dark grad­u­al­ly and sub­con­scious­ly, but I kept cry­ing well into my 20s.

I’ve always won­dered if my dad has ever cried, even as a child. I can’t pic­ture him doing it, not even when my grand­moth­er dies. He’s so care­free and log­i­cal that I can’t see any­thing affect­ing him emo­tion­al­ly. With my dad as my ear­ly mod­el for a man, I’m sure this is part of the rea­son I don’t feel like an adult yet. Society teach­es us that adults, or male one’s at least, aren’t sup­posed to cry.

I’m not sure why it’s been so long for me. Maybe the ther­a­py, com­bined with my study of Taoism, has evened out my ups and downs, help­ing me acknowl­edge my weak­ness­es (so I’m not as hard on myself), as well as the uncon­trol­lable nature of life. Maybe my life is sta­ble enough now that I did­n’t need that kind of release.

I turn 30 in 10 months, and I won­der when I’ll cry again.

The Turning 30 Series

29 1/12: The Adolescent

A lit­tle while ago, I stopped shav­ing. I had the flu for about five days, and already had a five-day shad­ow devel­oped when that began. Then with a lack of social engage­ments, I decid­ed to let it keep grow­ing, lest I lose such a gen­er­ous head start that only began because I was too lazy when I was sick.

I took this pic­ture, and it was more than three weeks with­out touch­ing a razor at that point.

Self portrait at 29 1/12


Aaron always keeps a neat­ly trimmed beard, so I asked him how he takes care of it; which direc­tion to shave, what length to start trim­ming, etc. It was strange to be seek­ing shav­ing advice from some­one at this point in my life. Most of the hair is around the mouth and on chin, with only an embar­rass­ing half-dozen wires sprout­ing ran­dom­ly from my cheeks, so it required a touch of main­te­nance.

For a long time, I did­n’t know what to think of it, whether I liked it or not. Aaron said to me, “Sometimes, you don’t need to know”, and I went with that for a while. Maybe time would give me an answer.

Soon after, I start­ed shav­ing again. It was­n’t get­ting any thick­er, and I did­n’t think I could pull it off.

I turn 30 in 11 months, and I still can’t grow a beard.

The Turning 30 Series

29: The Child

I turn 30 in 12 months.

But it does­n’t feel like I’m turn­ing 29 today. More like I’m turn­ing a‑year-away-from-30. 29 has always been so incon­se­quen­tial. One step on a stair­case before set­ting foot on a land­ing.

Self portrait at 29


The thing is, I’m not sure what’s sup­posed to hap­pen when hit 30. I expect some­thing big, but I don’t know what exact­ly. Like I have yet to open my eyes to some­thing. Maybe because 30 has always been adult ter­ri­to­ry in my mind, not 18.

So if I still feel like I haven’t grown up yet, is some­thing going to hap­pen in this year? Something to make me feel like an adult by the time November 13 hits in 2010?

I turn 30 in 12 months, and I don’t know what to expect.

The Turning 30 Series

Feeling My Age

So cur­rent­ly it’s:

7:00am — Two mesalamine pills for my col­i­tis and two snorts of cor­ti­cos­teroid for my hayfever
3:00am — Two mesalamine pills for my col­i­tis
7:00pm — Two snorts of cor­ti­cos­teroid for my hayfever
Dinner — One mul­ti­vi­t­a­min to make up for the foods I can’t eat due to col­i­tis
11:00pm — Two mesalamine pills for my col­i­tis and 20mg of cet­i­rizine hydrochlo­ride for my hayfever

I expect to be wear­ing adult dia­pers and using a walk­er any day now.