Posted by: sea2stars | September 17, 2009

29 in Taiwan

So today is my birthday and I have deamed it my 29 in Taiwan birthday. According to western standards I’m actually turning 27 but in Taiwan age is counted differently. When you are born you are already 1, then at the new year, in January, you turn 2. After that age is counted on your birthday like it is in the west. So in Taiwan I would have been 1 when I was born and 2 after January, even though I was just under 4 months by western standards.

It makes me think how funny time and age is. Why is age such a big deal anyhow? Why is 30 old, then 40, then 50? Why are we so afraid of getting older? I often wonder why we give age so much power over our lives. People keep reminding me that I’m not old but I fall victim to social standards and am beginning to feel old as I realize I’m suddenly much closer to 30 than to 20.

I keep thinking that getting older should be seen as a beautiful experience, as we work through life and have the wisdom of another day gone by. I love talking to old people and listen to their stories. They still have so much spirit, and the wisdom only one can have from living a long life. Why are we so afraid of that?

Maybe I am feeling old because I’m in a different country or because I have no idea what awaits me in another year. I particularly begin to feel old when I compare myself with my peers, and begin to watch as my friends get careers, houses, married, and start having babies. I know I am not really this kind of person and I much prefer the long scenic road, but somedays I can’t help but wonder if I should want these things too. Maybe I’m afraid that by the time I figure out that I might want some of these things I will be too old.

Either way 27 seems like a big deal, so to get over my fear of growing older I have decided that I’m turning 29 and on the brink of 30. This way when that day actually comes I will be less afraid of the age. Maybe someday soon I will stop having birthday altogether. They don’t really serve much of a purpose, except for feeling old and I’m not sure that is necessary.



  1. This was a very insightful post. I have found that over the years, I would reflect on life past, present and future around the time of my birthday. After the 21st birthday, I think the 30,40,50,60 birthdays are times when people evaluate and refocus. This can be good or bad depending on the situation and goals for that particular individual.

  2. 27 is so young (and so is 29). Don’t rush anything. Soak up every coloful moment. You have plenty, (plenty!) of time to do other things and who knows what that will include. In the meantime, keep savoring the present.

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