My Contemplation of Being Older (3)

Post script 5 December:

This thread was written under the influence of at least a bottle of champagne and a bottle of Barolo. I just read it again today and have found so many errors and mistakes. I think it is a perfect sign of aging, the uncoordinated between brain and fingers, and eyes and brain.

Every year on my birthday I write about what I have achieved, mentally and spiritually. Mostly it is a summary what I have had for the past 12 months. Looking (reading) back the past two threads, I gladly say that I have become – or at least tried to be – a better person.

And this time, when I started typing the title, I realised this would be my third time in three years. This blog, has been standing for over 3 years. It started in April 2005 and has moved home twice since. It started with one post a month and now I would be panicking if I don’t write anything in a week. It started because I felt so annoyed with a particular person who has been featured several times since. It started as a trash can as I need somewhere to vent, and now… well, it still is….

After doing this twice, it is more difficult to jot down something new but I am trying. In between sipping my early birthday champagne with Stuart and watching 24, here is what I have found.

Being older means accepting that some people are just not meant to be friends.

I have tried to be a better person, like I claimed earlier. But there are some people whom I couldn’t and wouldn’t get along with, no matter how hard I try. There is this particular lady girl I couldn’t stand because I think she is fake. I gave her benefit of the doubt but after several months gritting my teeth and tolerating her strange behaviour and lack of manner, I gave up. However, since then I was wondering if I was being too harsh and didn’t give her more chance, up until I got to talk to someone at my wedding about her, and the pandora box was open. I could see her from different people’s view, which to my surprise, is very similar to mine. That she tried to re-invent herself into somebody else, that she ignored her old friends and tried to be accepted in different groups that probably reflect her new image, and the list was long. All validated what I have felt. I am not choosy in terms of friendships as long as there is a sincerity in the friendship, and I don’t get it from her. Of course I couldn’t blame her that, in return, she doesn’t like me either. She deliberately doesn’t add me in her social network group (but adds my husband and my friend she barely knows), and I know she is taking the piss. On the other hand, I should have thanked her for inspiring me to write two articles: Copycat and ‘Real’ Friends.

I was very grateful when I found some Indonesian ladies living in the same city as I do and I had a high hope that we could be friends. I imagine they would be a copy of Nonie, Ecky, Jeany (picture, left, sandwiching me) and all other friends I have back in Indonesia: the witty, sexy, funny, crazy, loyal, humble, sincere, smart ladies who rub my back when I am down and expect nothing less from me in return. Despite being away from each other in at least 5 different cities, we still manage to keep in touch and feel close to each other. But in this case where everyone lives in the same island, they pay no interest in me and vice versa. I have tried to fit in. I am sure they certainly have tried to at least understand me. But I couldn’t help the funny feeling that keeps bugging me inside my head every time I was being there, that I didn’t belong there. I don’t. Not because they are horrible, but it’s because we simply don’t click. Geography, religion, age, nationality, all has nothing to do with it. So I accept the fact that I only feel close to some, and not all. And I stop feeling guilty of not turning up on events and gatherings after what they have done to me.

Being older means accepting that sometimes you are alone.

In my 20s I’d rather die rather than being caught eating, or going to movies, alone. I simply didn’t want to face the world by myself. Maybe because since I was in uni most of my assignments were in groups. And due to the nature of my work, everything has to be done in a group, by a team, and my colleagues and I were clinging to each other (like the picture, right) and we knew about everything and every one inside out. We met up for breakfast. We went to lunch together. We went to pantry fetching the coffee, together. Sometimes we went to toilet together just because it was more fun rather than going alone. We often finished the night by having dinner, together. We even had a birthday party together. I saw my colleagues more than I saw my family or my then boyfriend. Then I always had my girls with me every time we went out. They held my hair when I was down and I made sure they were home safely. We did everything together: shopping, clubbing, coffee-ing, chasing men, rejecting men, fighting, arguing, everything. I also had my then boyfriend who was ready to accompany me everywhere I wanted to go, especially to bars where men were flirty and gropey. I started eating alone when I was in L’Oreal. I sometimes was too swamped in tasks I only managed to breath after 3PM or even worse, and by that time every one has their second cup of coffee or gone to meetings and I had two choices of eating at desk – which I couldn’t since I was the one who established the rule of not allowing staffs to eat at at desk for safety & hygiene purpose – or finding some fresh air and vision rather than my sad laptop, somewhere else. I usually chose the second one. It felt weird at the first time. I felt the world was staring at me, pitying me. But it was liberating at the same time. Moving here, I had to get used to of doing things by myself alone. I have found out that I prefer to go shopping alone, as going with friends always takes twice as long and results in next to nothing. I don’t have a problem eating, or sitting down at Starbucks and having coffee, alone. I haven’t done the movie alone yet. I will, though. In time.

Being older means accepting your body is changing.

Granny pants rather than G-strings. Flat ballerinas rather than stilettos. Anti-aging cream and mask. The era of undergarment that helps me to lift my bum up, press my stomach, flatten my thighs, enhance and enlarge my chests up, and everything else the industry can invent. Prada said my jeans was 26 and a half. The lady who assisted me said her size was 24. She was at least 10 years older and 15 cm taller. Bugger. I guess Nonie’s wedding (picture left, with Tamara and Neil) would be the last time I could proudly wandering around without anything stuck underneath. After that I might have to wear full body corset. And it is going downhill from there…

Being older means accepting the disappointment gracefully.

Compares to most of my friends, I have had gone through a lot. Of course I imagine everything was smooth sailing like calm sea, but I am never delusional. I know that some are blessed with very simple and beautiful lives without having experienced major mistakes in their lives, but I have had gone through corners and crossroads and cul-de-sac before reaching my destination.This year I have learned to be more humble. That some unfortunate is destined to happen, no matter how ready and prepared we are. That 1000 good deeds are easily forgotten if you do 1 bad thing. That so-called family could hurt us more than anyone else in the world. That someone you thought were smart and intelligent could possess a mouth (or hands) of a sailorman. That what you have been expecting the most has not turned up yet. That something you really want is at the corner but seems so far away.

I guess the champagne has kicked in. It is a perfect time for me to say thank you for being with me for the past 3 years. I wouldn’t have made it without you.

Further reading:






  1. I agree on every points you made except on the fact that I have never been a fan of Gstring or those sexy lingeries. What’s comfy is the most important for me although it doesn’t always mean granny pants but maybe I should stop now before I reveal too much information here :)

    the writers last blog post..100% Dansk

  2. @thewriter: no no, it’s never too much information. Carry on 😛

  3. Anita,
    Yup, you’re right, getting older means a lot of changes.
    Thank you for reminds me to do my contemplation :-)

    Happy Birthday anyway,
    Wish you a looot of happiness, and beautiful moment everyday :-)

    tere616s last blog post..Which City Do I Belong …. A Quiz

  4. Scene: Me bringing you birthday cake (dessert from Bebek Bengil uhm… did you remember that?) and start to sing Happy birthday to you.. happy birthday to you.. happy birthday dear Anita… happy birthday to you… hip hip horray… Kissing and hugging Anita

    eckys last blog post..Malaysian fatwa agency forbids Yoga for Muslims

  5. Happy belated bday Anita! My best wishes for you :)

    Devi Girsangs last blog post..Recipe for Successful Personal Blogging

  6. Nit,

    All acceptations you mentioned above, go along with getting older and wiser. Happy Birthday! Sorry, for the late wishes.

    Lorraines last blog post..Partir est mourir, un peu…

  7. Bugger. I knew I’d missed your birthday as soon as I opened Plurk. Truly sorry! Hope you had a great day (read what Mr. Mckay did, that was vayyy romantic!!). Do not worry about getting old etc., we love you for your thoughts and opinions, and sooner or later our breasts will sag and granny pants will be the options, whether we like them or not – hell, even I’ve started to wear those granny pants as well (what, they’re comfy!) LOL.

    About eating alone… I used to do that a lot during college. I felt pathetic, and felt even more pathetic to think that eating alone could be pathetic, because it couldn’t. It’s normal and no one should be judged for eating alone by themselves :)

    There are some people who can’t live without their 50 sociable friends; me, I prefer to have only 3 or five that I can be myself with :)

    therrys last blog post..Mirror on the Wall

  8. Happy Belated B’day Anita. We’re truly on the same boat.
    Udah tua nihhh.. damn it!

    About friends, I could never live without them. Like therry, I have only a handful of friends that I can call real friends, I think all in all there are like 10 of them.. but I am grateful for what I have..

    rima fauzis last blog post..Unqualified Indonesian civil servants?

  9. selamat ulang tahun Anita….

    Am with the writer on the undies :). I’m with you also with fitting in with the Indonesian ladies. I’ve stopped trying to be friends with everyone and it’s so much better without the politics!

    katadias last blog post..To the J, to the M, to the in-ver-ted U

  10. I’m late. Sorry.

    Though I’m an expert, by experience, on being older, you obviously, being so young and vigorous, are the wiser one. But let me tell you at least this: the older one gets, the better it gets. The best is still to come.

    colsons last blog post..A Mean Surrogate Mother

  11. kutuloncat says:

    Don’t know when exactly is your b’day, but judging from your ole’ pal comments, it’s definitely not today.:-)
    Happy belated b’day. May God bless you always. May your dream come true.
    Since we can’t turn back the time enjoy your life to the fullest whereever you are. Journey begin everyday when you get up from your bed every morning…
    Getting older?? WHO said that?? Remember life begins at 40’s, so we still have few years to prepare…. ha ha

  12. Folks, sorry for late reply, I have been busy lately. Thank you all for very nice birthday wishes. I really do hope what opa Colson said is true, that the best is yet to come. Katadia, I sometimes still feel guilty for not participating and involving enough in Indonesian community and I certainly know what they say about me (sombong, sok elit, lebih milih berkawan sama expat etc etc but what can I do, I wouldn’t sit down in a coffee shop and bore myself to death hearing them talking about someone I don’t know or even a celebrity I don’t care). And kutuloncat, I’m waaaay behind 40 so yes I have more than enough time to prepare LOL.

    Thank you again, you all are terrific friends.

  13. First of all, happy birthday!

    I’m intrigued by one of your point: accepting that your body is changing. Those things you said, can be fought, at least, slow it down. Yes, your metabolism is slower and that cause fat stored in some places, but that doesn’t have to be if we care enough about our diet and exercise. Entering the age 41, I am amazed how discipline and hard work in the gym for 1 year and good diet change my body. So, accept that you are aging but you can do something about it. The guy next door in my office, he is 56 and you will think that he’s in his late 40s. He goes to the gym everyday and watch his diet. And supplements are essential.

    For me, I have no difficulties in the department of fat but what I have to accept is how I have to back off a bit when reading the menu in the restaurant or read text messages because my eyes are getting worse. Or my memory is not as good as before, and I have to write down things more often. And my body just cannot deal with alcohol as it used to and hang overs are worse than 10 years ago. And, early nights.

    One thing I feel as I age is that I am easier to myself. In the sense that I don’t do what I don’t like to do, or do things just to make others happy. It’s sort of difficult to do that living in Jakarta, and coming from a Sumatran family. For example, if there is a family gathering and I don’t feel like attending, I just don’t go. It feels like I know more about myself and feeling more content about my life.

    Just my two cents.

    parvitas last blog post..Death: A Lesson for Those Alive from the Dying

  14. Happy belated bday, Anita!! Kok gw bisa miss post yg ini ya kemaren2.
    Getting older is natural …. just enjoy what we’re having, as next year we will find more white hairs and wrinkles LOL

    santi ds last blog post..Joseph’s Therapy and Frenchified Teaching Approach

  15. Parvita: thanks for your two cents ;). I agree with doing the work out. I’ve got the chance to see many old(er) ladies in my gym who have fantastic bodies and I hope I can just keep up with them!

    Santi: no white hair and wrinkle yet but very soon I guess!

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