26 Nov 2006

Nov. 27, My Birthday; I panic

10 hours later, I will be 30, officially. I should be happy for my birthday now, but I don't.

30 is such a depressing number. Confucius said in the Analects(論語): "三十而立". James Legge, the first Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford, translated it as "At thirty, I stood firm". My perception of this phrase is when you reach the age of 30, you should have done something in your life and started to establish yourself well in the society. You are no longer a youngster taking the world as a playground. You are responsible for all your utterances and behaviours. It is time for social responsibility rather than individual ones. True, I totally agree with this saying, but what makes me depressed is that I have not yet achieved what Confucius had taught us, say, being a successful individual who has done good learning and has had clear ideas to establish him/herself well in the society.

Confucius wanted us to realise that 30 is the age we should start considering our social positions, how we could improve ourselves so as to contribute to the overall progression of the society. I have done certain learning to lift up my knowledge, I have done some jobs to gain social experience, and I do have ideas for my lifelong learning and career developmet. However, I feel so lost and uncertain about these. My learning is not useful, my work experience is not helpful, and my ideas for future are not functioning. I cannot see my furture progressing as I planned for myself. I panic because I truly don't know what awaits me ahead. Will the goals I set for myself be achieved? Or I will be just like this for the rest of my life. I am trying so hard to change the current circumstances, and I am so tired of it. Now I am reaching this depressing number, and it worsens my anxiety.

My anxiety is growing to such a scale that I don't know if I can bear it anymore, and this triggers my negative emotions. Thinking of past events is not a positive way of living, but recently, I start to think of my past experience quite often, especially the time when I was in London. We are supposed to live for the furture, not the past. This is not about regret. I don't regret what I have done in the past. It is a case of reminiscene, the one that brings good feelings, the one I yearn for now. It was the time that I did something I considered as living a real life. It was the time that I could fully be myself without fearing for being considered as abnormal and politically incorrect. It was the time I was still naive but happy.

I am unhapppy and I panic. Living in where I am now is not such a big problem, but I constantly feel restrictions that are generated by this city. It makes me feel like a prey trapped in the spider's web. Once I struggle, it tightens up more, and this process suffocates me. But I must struggle so as to reach my goal. Though tired and sad, I believe I have the ability to overcome whatever difficulties. Indeed, thank Buddha for giving me such a strong personality. I believe, through my endeavours, I definitely will achieve the goals I set for myself. This dark phase will be gone soon, and this unavoidable part of my life will complete my journey to be successful.

I am hoping that I will overcome this depressing feeling of being 30 in a short time. If Buddha could truly hear my prayers, his/her responses and supports would be the best present for my thirtieth birthday!

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