As I sit here in the office nursing my still sore knees and ankles from the weekend that was (shut up!), I figured I really must be a late bloomer. Back in KL, I didn’t feel comfortable in high school till late in Form 2 (14). And as fate would have it, I was ripped out of that comfort zone to come live in Perth.
Then in high school here, in addition to the awkwardness of being a teen I had the added anxieties of being one of a few Asians in a predominantly white school (that has changed completely – half the students there now are Asian). There I didn’t feel 100% at ease until year 12 (17) and by then I had to leave for uni.
When I got to uni (18), it was like high school all over again. Not only were there cool kids, there were now *more* of them. And the extra freedom and lack of enforced discipline were liberating and scary at the same time. I had to get to grips with a whole new set of social rules when it came to partying, alcohol and the opposite sex. What I knew from high school was just too daggy to be relevant anymore.
I didn’t start dating till my 3rd yr in uni (20). And although I had clubbed, I didn’t really get into it until my final yr (22). Before I knew it, I was out of uni and was thrust into the “real” world.
Ppl I knew from uni were getting married left, right and centre, and a few years ago, they started popping out babies. Getting called “uncle” by their kids is kinda surreal.
Meanwhile I’m still going out and partying. If and whenever I see my friends who had settled down into parenthood – once or twice a year now would be the norm, I’d be regaling them with stories of my social life.
All my uni friends are at a completely different stage of their lives now. Though we can still converse, there’s almost an invisible barrier between us which prevent us from totally connecting. You could say we’ve drifted apart.
The ppl that I do see regularly these days, not including similar late bloomers like me, are mostly younger. And I feel great about being able to socialise with them. I put it down to the fact that I always had younger ppl around me: there was the time when I shared a house with a bunch of 20yr old girls (26) for 2 years, and there was the time I had my restaurant near UWA (28) where my clientele and waitresses were mostly students.
I’m enjoying clubbing now more than ever because it’s really different when you have more disposable income, and you are confident and completely at ease with who you are. So where to from here (30)? Am I destined to forever be out of sync with my age group? I can’t really say for sure but if this is the secret to feeling young all the time, I don’t mind it at all.