When I Was Older

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

“You've grown up from your old town, your old friends, your mom washing dishes, your dad yelling at you - all your fond memories. It's time to move on now. Even though you don't want to, you must. Moving on to your next life is scary, but that's something you have to overcome because if you truly think about it, nothing lasts forever ..."

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If you want to build something that lasts and is real in life, it's really about the decisions that you make to progress, but what should we consider in making the best choices?

I had to make a tough decision lately - take a job offer that would seriously grow my career but in turn would take away a lot of the time I have had to dance, model and travel the world, or reject the job offer and keep riding the wave of my mid 20s - it's been great so far.

When you first come out into the adult world, you think you know it all, but you really only know it from one perspective. You only start to realise this when you age a little, and start to lament this bit of lost youth. Like even though you know you could have many years to go, it hits you like light breeze from a far away oncoming storm.

It is in this progression that we start to triangulate the bigger picture of our entire life. This moment for me was the turn of 26 this month. It was the first birthday where I didn't like the age I was turning. My friends and family told me "26 is young", and I know it is, but for me, it symbolised the beginning of the period of ageing, and in that I already started to see and feel myself when I was older.

And that's exactly why I took the job. When you are a young adult, and especially in the age of social media, euphoria from getting as many people to see and hear your name feels enough. But in already foreseeing our future ageing with fading; youth, attractiveness and trendiness, I started to see these things as nothing more than a castle built on sand.

This triggered a vivid memory from an event where I performed last month in Bangkok. I saw one of the absolute it boys who just two years ago shone brighter than everyone else and seemed to have the whole world in his hand. He was in a much different state now. Supernova-boy. Having aged a bit, he lost his light and no longer had his gravity with people. I saw a deep sadness in him as people drifted away from him without a care in the universe.

On the contrary, there is a much older gentlemen I know in Sydney. Sadly, his mother got quite sick recently, and he had to go take care of her. During this time, he had actually planned on moving house. In his physical absence, his young friends actually packed and moved his entire house for him without a problem.

And I know why they did this. Because this gentlemen had built a life founded on real relationships bolstered with genuine love and respect. He had put so much hard work into amazing career which he used to be generous and really contribute to his loved ones and the community. In his fading youth, people still gravitated toward and loved him.

I realised some people draw the boundary of their contentment and set their foundation so that it encompasses and depends upon trivial things like fame, popularity and vanity. In a generation that loves and respects you on the measure of how strong your Instagram game is, besides our image, what do we have to offer the world?

There is another type of person who knows that these things will fade, and puts their satisfaction in things that are not as dependable like real relationships, a career built on hard work and intellect, and a strong sense of self and purpose which people genuinely respect you for. It was in this contrast that I really understood how to make my decisions.

And bear no doubt, we should still be relishing and cherishing the moment for what it is, but equally think with the mindset - "when I am older". It is across this spectrum which we make our choices, knowing full well that we may have to take a leap of faith, put in even more hard work and even let go in order to age gracefully into a greater future self where we have no regrets and who we are proud of.

For me, my ultimate life goal is to earn the trust and respect of everybody in my character in order that people will listen when I speak and show the love of God to them. What is yours? When I was older ...

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15 comments

  1. ty for sharing. i always enjoy your posts

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and for supporting.

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  2. Congratulations on moving ahead and the new job. Level up!

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    1. Haha - level up indeed. Thank you so much and let's move forward together.

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  3. Nice read. Congrats and all the best for your future! It's never easy but it's definitely worth it. Arise in the face of adversity to reach your potential! ����

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    1. Thank you for reading and the congrats. I realised this is one of the first big adult decisions I had to make, and how tough it is. Hope the moral of the article was helpful for you too.

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  4. Beautiful post. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you, hope it was helpful and/or inspiring ...

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  5. You are so very wise. So very wise.

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    1. Thank you, though I think I have a long way to go and I believe that any perception of the wisdom I have from you and others it but a gift from God.

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  6. I really admire you Jonokwan. Always cheer you.

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  7. Dancing will be your true love always.

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  8. Just one more comment. I am so proud of you. You have great beauty which I know from following you it has required much work and focus, but you also have great intelligence. I am just trying to tell I think you are awesome.

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  9. It was a great article jono. You helped me opened my eyes. What kind of relationships and friendships I should forge. Thank you. God bless you

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    1. Hi Yiwei. Thanks for reading and so glad that it is helping you. God bless.

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