So with a new year just around the corner, I decided to start a new blog. It'll probably just be me rambling about random things, but hopefully my blog entries will be as interesting to read as my fiction. Maybe? lol
Anyway, I'll try to start each entry off with a "song of the day," since I like to share good music that people may be unaware of. I'll start with "START" by Depapepe, since it seems like an appropriate song to start a new blog and a new year with, haha
Since we're on the topic of New Years, I guess I'll start with that for my first entry. Though, rather than talking about the Western notion of "starting anew" that is associated with New Years, I'll talk about the Eastern notion of "getting older" instead.
Traditionally, in East Asia, we tend to count "age" at New Years (or Lunar New Year, whatever) rather than at birthdays; so essentially everyone gets one year older all at the same time on New Years, even the December babies. I guess it makes it easier to classify the "senpai / kouhai" relationship, which is really important in Korea/Japan. Japan has already switched to the Western style of age counting though, and while Korea has switched as well in terms of official/legal terms, the traditional way of age counting is still very much in effect socially and informally. Another little quirk is that the nine months you spend inside your mother is also counted as one year, so when New Years comes around I'd be considered 26 by Asian age standards even though I'm actually 24.
When I was a kid, I'd sometimes use the Asian age standard to feel more "grown up," but now I'm more like... I don't wanna grow up! Haha. I guess the thing is I sometimes don't feel "grown up," so the thought of already being in my mid-twenties really makes me feel like I need to get my kitten together and grow up.
I don't claim to know what it means to be an adult, I'm still young after all, but what I think it all boils down to is responsibility. As a kid, you're allowed to dream big with no fear of consequences. You can dream of becoming a firefighter, an astronaut, a famous singer, or maybe even Hokage. Kids can dream big because they have no responsibilities. In contrast, I think most adult dreams all boil down to this: "I want to protect my precious people." If your childhood dream still allows you to protect your precious people, then great. But sometimes you have to set aside your childhood dreams because your precious people take priority. I come from an immigrant-dense Asian-American community where all of the first-generation adults pretty much threw away their own dreams so that their children could have a better life, so I've seen this every day growing up.
My own childhood dream was to become an astronaut, and I still find myself reaching out to the stars, but I set that dream aside because I had someone I wanted to protect and didn't want to feel powerless. So instead of astrophysics, I went into medical engineering. But at the time, I was just a snot-nosed kid trying to make big adult decisions, so that made the transition from being a kid to an adult tough. As a kid, when I used to get 90% on a test, that would be an "A" grade, fantastic. And if I got less than 90%, then no big deal, doesn't affect anyone else. But now as an adult, if I engineer a medical device or a drug and only get it 90% correct, then people die. It's enough to sometimes feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, especially if your precious people are your world.
Sometimes I see younger guys trying to act "grown up" by trying to be the manliest man amongst men, but that's just not it. It's not about being James Bond or Kamina or Guts. It's about responsibility, and sometimes that means doing things you don't want to do. Sometimes you have to throw away your pride and dreams, sometimes you have to bow down and get on your knees, sometimes you have to drag yourself through the mud. The world of adults can be so full of kitten sometimes, but you deal with it because you have precious people you need to protect. Maybe I'm still a snot-nosed kid, maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I still think that's what it means to be an adult.
After all, love makes the world go round, and with each new turn comes a new year.