6 Things I Realize as I Turn 26

  1. Whatever your mom advised you ever since you were young, you’ll realize now… that she was right. Moms are always right. They just are. That “nanti dah besar, dah jadi mak, ah nanti baru faham ape mama cakap” (“just you wait and see, when you’re older and become a mom yourself, you’ll know what I’m talking about”) will hit you in the face with a resounding “SLAP!”. If my mom was still alive, I would have run to her now to give her a big fat hug and tell her “Yes, Ma, you were right. My fashion sense was mortifying. I live in your favourite neutral, earthy colours now. Sorry I said you only wear boring colours. Turns out I do too. Oh and I can cook. I never realized this until you were gone. You were right. If only I tried.”
  2. You tend to be more straightforward and you care less about what people think. When guys randomly start talking to you and ask unnecessary questions that aren’t urgent or are impertinent to any task at hand then you’d ask “do you like me or what” or “are you interested in making me your wife or nah” because if not, you simply cut all communications to save your time, save your heart and save yourself from unnecessary hurt. You grow wiser basically. Aint nobody got time to play stupid games with boys. Your time is far too precious to be wasted on frivolous matters. Which also means you grow more confident with your unpopular opinion. You embrace being different, being strange, and you start to fully accept yourself.
  3. Nothing excites you more than grocery shopping (!?!?!?!) It’s that therapeutic feeling which sends electric shivers down your spine and your eyes automatically widen, scanning the shelves of dairy products, scouring through the organic section, spending hours at the biscuits and snacks aisle. Best place in the world! Second to libraries, of course. But anyway this shopping for the kitchen addiction is real, guys. I would actually consider going to JB one day to buy my groceries (a ritual I often questioned my mom with an exasperated look whenever she’d travel on Saturday just to buy kitchen things…) I could almost feel the stab in my chest when I calculated the amount I could save if I shopped across the causeway. You start to realize the country you were born in has always been expensive as heck. It hurts to adult.
  4. You cherish lazy weekends. The lazier the better. Forget hitting the town and cleaving through the insufferable crowds and trying to soak up the night life or whatever “fun” there is! Give me a well-made bed and a stack of good books with an inactive cat curled up on the floor and I’m good. Living life on the edge. Of my bed. Wild. Dangerous. Risky behaviour.
  5. You gradually fall out of touch from the trends, the young people slang and whathaveyous. You are no longer in the loop, no longer hip, no longer KEWL. You’re that awkward parent in your child’s get-together party with friends and if you try to be cool and “in” you’ll end up being a laughing stock. So you’d rather shut up and mind your own business. Perhaps I’m getting too old for this, you’ll find yourself sighing.
  6. You’re finally getting your priorities right. And rightly so. You’re older, you have more responsibilities, your death date is nearer, so it’s only apt that you lay your priorities straight so you won’t be on your death bed feeling utterly regretful. You learn to be more thankful, more patient, more contented with this life that He has granted you. You learn to say Alhamdulillah ala kulli hal in the face of a positive or a negative situation. You hold stronger to the rope of Allah. You must hold stronger to the rope of Allah. You want to get your priorities right because ultimately, you know, you want to go Home.
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