Saturday, October 27, 2007

Life in a Circle (Never Ending, Never Beginning)

Someone asked me if I wished I were younger.

The impulsive answer would have been: “Of course.”

Young is healthy, beautiful, energetic, vibrant, hopeful, dreamy. Young is peak season for work and play and love.

But my perverse nature – I hate giving predictable answers – made me backpedal and chew ever so slowly on the question.

“Hmmmnn?” I cooed instead.

My hmming and hawing took me back to when I was 30.

When I was 30, I was young and dreamy, alright. But also worry-warty, Back then if anyone asked me if I had problems, I’d hold up three fingers -- count them – three. These are keeping my household help, avoiding a fourth pregnancy, and keeping my footloose, barkada-prone husband home at nights and weekends, not necessarily in that order. But these weighed more heavily on me than the heft of the whole universe on Atlas’ rippling shoulders.

At 30, I still rankled from the loss of my secondborn, though on the way to recovery. At 30, I was tentative and insecure -- feeling never fair enough, smart enough, nor kind enuogh. At 30, I had yet to suffer the pain of betrayal, the wasting away of parents and their eventual death, and a major upheaval at work.

So 30 may have been summer, but I remember the storm.

And when finally I said: “No, I don’t really wish to be younger,” I almost meant it.

What I really want -- after more chewing and hmming -- is to be allowed to move at will from 10 to 30 to 50 to 70 -- depending on my needs or whims. To be at the center of things one day and at the fringes the next. Back and forth and forward and the reverse. Gathering wisdom from one season to be factored into the other. Getting second chances, and third and fourth and then some. Hopefully making more sense out of life's jigs and saws.

Wouldn't you also like to live life in a circle -- "never ending, never beginning, like an ever spinning wheel?"


MrsPartyGirl said...

sometimes i wish i were four years old like my daughter. one, so she could have a playmate her age, and two, because everything is just so carefree at that age.

i think the reason why i try to live life to the fullest (well, as much as i can) is so that when i am much older i could look back and not have any regrets. :)

pero if we could jump from one point of our lives to another, that would be interesting! i would do away with the shoulder pads of the 80s for starters, hehe.

myepinoy said...

As you identify less and less with the "me," you will be more at ease with everybody and with everything. Do you know why? Because you are no longer afraid of being hurt or not liked. You no longer desire to impress anyone. Can you imagine the relief when you don't have to impress anybody anymore? Oh, what a relief. Happiness at last! You no longer feel the need or the compulsion to explain things anymore. It's all right. What is there to be explained? And you don't feel the need or compulsion to apologize anymore. I'd much rather hear you say, "I've come awake," than hear you say, "I'm sorry." I'd much rather hear you say to me, "I've come awake since we last met; what I did to you won't happen again," than to hear you say, "I'm so sorry for what I did to you." -- Anthony de Mello

ysrael said...

Hi, it was my first time to make a comment but actually i read your blog for almost a year since I read the finger notes of Juliet (helper sa ISC scrabble) that u r her favorites. Tama naman siya worth reading naman ur blogs.
Let me share w/ u the the seven ages of man:


Leah said...

Such an apt question for me this day.
If only "I knew then what I know now" , I wouldn't mind having the chance to be younger again. But will I do different? Maybe!

Having a life in circle, now that's a thought....hmmn...i'd say I have to see to make sure the circle doesn't have any loop holes."

exskindiver said...

as usual--made me think, Annamanila.
The idea of being younger makes me cringe.
younger in my case, means having less wisdom.
I will keep my almost-41, thanks.
I am trying my hardest to live in the "now" but with all the cobbled wisdom from my younger years.

Lazarus said...

i'd like to be 18 facing my horizon of dreams and carrying my potentials.

i'd like to be 5 when everyone looked at me with a smile, admiring the dimples on my cheeks, and thinking I'm smarter than any kid my age.

I'd like to be strong and wise when I'm 70.

lady cess said...

many years ago, i saw an article on the same subject on a broadsheet, i think it was in pdi.i think the writer was in her 50s, and she too, said no, she'd rather not be in her 20s again. ikaw yata nagsulat non :)

i agree with you and that writer. i myself do not wish to go back and be young again. mukha nga akong bata, pero isip bata din. ipagpalagay na natin na babata tayong muli, alangan namang itsura lang ang babata, siyempre pati pag-iisip , babalik din sa dati. i made a lot of ridiculous decisions bec i was young and inexperienced. yikes, ayoko na nga maalala, tapos uulitin ko na naman?!! eew.

besides, i believe i look better now than when i was a teenager. i was cute then, pero im hot now! (pagbigyan mo na ako, hahaha!)

as usual, AM, na-carried away na naman ako sa post mo :)

Gypsy said...

After much chewing and hmm-ing, I think I am okey where I am now and if the option of going back and forth in time is allowed, I would not mind going back to undo some of the mistakes in the past--but then the over-analytical me says that would mean you would be a different (and not necessarily better) person now had you not make those mistakes! Oh well...

Jerry said...

I suppose when you have hurdled big problems, the really nasty ones, you don't want to go back in time to experience them again. I don't want for example to feel again the heartbreak I underwent several years ago and which I have put behind me after at last. No, i won't face them again, thank you.

Annamanila said...


With your blog name, you really come across as someone who lives life to the full. Me, I sometimes feel I am living life only on first gear, especially in earlier, more paranoid times.

Annamanila said...


That is one of the ideas I wanted to put across with this post. That as a woman of a certain age, I have left behind a lot of my fears and hangups. I don't seek so much anymore to please, to impress, to shine in the eyes of others.

Thanks for the de Mello quote. It is on target.

Annamanila said...


Those are so funny and so clever -- the seven ages of men. Thanks.

So we begin with spills (infancy spills). Don't we also end with spills (second childhood spills).

So you play at isc too. Juliet the helper is my friend and so her opinion is a very biased one :) Hey, play you sometime, okay?

Annamanila said...


Yes, it is a good question to chew on one's birthday, where we usually look before and after.

Happy birthday, Leah. I don't think at this stage, you don't have need to wish to be younger or older. You're at your prime! all best today and always.

Annamanila said...


Of course, younger is less wise. But if you are 40 and go back to 20 with bring back to 20 the lessons you learned at 40, then that would make it you a very savvy 20 year old di ba. I hope I make sense. hahaha

Annamanila said...


You posted the upside of beigg 5, 18, 70. You wrote lyrically and perceptively. Thank you.

julie said...

Annamanila, much as I wish for the earlier times when I was younger and more carefree, I would not exchange the hugs, kisses and joys I get from my family.Of course, the "headaches" and "worries" that go with these make life more exciting.

Have a wonderful long weekend. ((hugs)) to your granddaughter. :)

Paolo Mendoza said...

i'd probably prefer being 20 and staying that way. never ending, never beginning but not spinning. :P

niceheart said...

At 40 something, I guess I am what you call a "worry-warty." :) I just can't help it. But reading your perspective of where you are in your life right now, I guess that's one less thing to dread about getting older. :)

snglguy said...

Hmm, wouldn't it be nice if we could to live a life as that old Michel Legrand song suggests? But then again you'd be coming full circle several times and THAT would be boring... :-D

Annamanila said...

Hi Cess!

Did that author also write about wanting to move from one age to another and back again? It is kind of weird I know but as they say life is just one vast continuum with the present, the past and the future existing at same time like many doors or rooms in the same house and we can come in and out of a door to open another etc, and so forth.

I am sorry I think I am rambling. :)

This feeling I now have about wanting to move among seasons in my life ... I don't think I felt it when I was your age. :)

Annamanila said...

Youth is blunder, manhood is struggle, old age a regret. I was thinking if we are allowed to visit the doors as we need them for our best growth and development, then we can be the best 30, 50, 70 year old we can ever be.

If we made mistakes and then later we are able to correct them, it doesn't mean the mistakes didn't happen. The mistakes and the act of correcting bear on the person we become.

Annamanila said...

I am sorry. That counter comment above is for GYPSY.

Annamanila said...

Teacher Julie!

But the way I got it fixed with the Great Fixer, your family at age 30, does not go away. They're still there, still part of you even when you go to 15 or 50. I haven't quite dealt with the mechanics of life on a circle but it should work perfectly. It should.

Annamanila said...


That means you\re happy the way your life is going now. But I guess you'd get bored sooner and later and yearn for adventures and challenges of growing older but then when you get really old you would sometimes look back mistyeyed to salad days. Ay, sabi nga, our reach exceeds our grasp or is it the other way round?

Annamanila said...


You got it. If its only a choice between my life now and my life at 30, I'd prefer my now. I am so quietly content. But life on a circle seems to tease me.

Annamanila said...

Sngl guy!

You come to full circle several times but each one with a different perspective and different lessons and different degree of perfection in the quest of what i would call nirvana for want of a better term.

Annamanila said...


Aha, that is why given the choices, I would choose my life now when the bigger crisese of my life are behind me.

MyGoodFinds said...

Hi Tita Anna,
Thanks for the greetings and voting. I will let you know when I'll have another contest again.

It's great to hear that you are loving your maturity. :).

Take care,

Annamanila said...


I can't vote more than twice, can I?

Can non-bloggers vote too?

Thanks for coming over and reading how interesting this life after midlife phase feels.

houseband00 said...

I like this post, Anna. =)

Being 41 never changed me. I'm basically still the same person. Though, I do admit I'm a bit more introspective than what I used to be but it's not because of my age, really; it's more of what life served up that brought it about.

rhodora said...

Live life in circles... yes, I guess I would love that. I would love to be 16 with no insecurities, to be 30 without worries, to be 60 without cranky knees. :)

Abaniko said...

As for me, I want to be 20 and filthy rich. And when I get to my age now, I want to be filthy richer. Haha. Seriously, this post reminds me of one of my favorite songs "The Circle Game."

Annamanila said...


No, we are not the same person 10 years ago, last year, yesterday. It just feels that way. Physically and otherly, we change, evolve, grow (sana). That's what my truth tells me. :)

Annamanila said...


Yes, how nice to be 60 without the cranky knees and cranky temperament. I think you still have happy knees and temperament. Tingin ko lang ha. All best, Rhoda.

Annamanila said...


You sound as though you're fetishy with fesos. I know to you money doesnt matter much as long as you can blog, chat, take great photos with your state of the art gyzmos, play badminton, travel, mountain climb, drink beer, eat in style and be with the love of your life. Such modest aspirations!! hehehe just teasing. I love you, abaniko.

pining said...

I wish that sometimes, especially if I was given a chance to do a thing which I haven't done when I was younger... but still, life could get worse :-)

Anonymous said...

true, i also miss my youth, not all of it though. i wouldn't have become what i am now if not for the rollercoaster years. had i known the consequences of my actions then, i wouldn't have made unwise decisions in my life. but that is life and that's how we learn.

ScroochChronicles said...

I just posted a comment earlier and just when I hit the publish button, nawalan kami ng kuryente!! Bwisit!! So, I'll try to repost the same comment.

If only to have the people I lost back, yes I want to be younger. But it is because of all the loss, mistakes and trials that life becomes richer and more memorable. So maybe being older isn't such a bad idea after all. But then again if it means 20 pounds less and a tighter butt..hell yeah!!

Uuy, if mag-double post, paki-delete na lang ha. Mwah :)

Toe said...

Oh wow! You did have a lot of storms when you were 30. But that just means that life gets better and better each year for you Annamanila!

chateau said...

Hey hey hey!
I like that song, the last line...

Hmmm.. Out of your three worries when you were 30, I only worry of the 1st one. hehe. I hope husband's life won't begin when he reaches forty so that I'd be worrying of the 3rd!

And why do I feel young after reading this? thanks for the sweet, gentle reminder. :)

Miss you! I went to baguio, but I shall confess to you now: wala akong banana bread for you :(

Annamanila said...


That's what I constantly tell myself too -- that I could have done worse.

But then I could have done better too.

C'est la vie.

Annamanila said...


Very well said. We learn best from our mistakes and our failures. Who was it who said that our life, any life is perfect at any given moment?! This life in a circle idea is a wild one that comes to me every now and then ... in some moments when i find myself plugging for the moon.

Annamanila said...

Cookie scrooch!

Thanks for being patient with my comment box. You're a cookie, kewpie doll.

If you were 20 pounds lighter, you'd look like a hungry malnourished child in Biafra, yung nakalabas ang rib cage. haha

I know what you mean about how the downs combined with the ups make a rich tapestry of our lives.

Annamanila said...


That's me a survivor of storms and holocausts. hahaha Am fine!

Annamanila said...


Aha, I am glad you don't have to worry about my No. 3. They're all behind me now. See?

Ay, wala akong banana bread from Baguio? Okay lang wala ka ding butterscotch from Iloilo. Even steven. Hahaha parang bata, parang high school.

Annamanila said...

Hey, did you have a great time ... a cool vacation? Great, great, great.

Gina said...

Binasa ko ito noong isang araw, binasa ko na naman ngayon.
Binasa ko rin ang lahat ng comments.
Napa-ahh, ic, oyes, hmmm ako.
Pero hanggang ngayon ,i'm still thinking, ano bang maisasagot ko sa napakalalim na tanong na 'to. =)

I'll keep thinking.

Annamanila said...


What a honest comment, Gina.

Hmmm don't mind me too much. I sometimes have my crazy moments. You don't have to agree or disagree. You don't even have to say it doesn't make sense . hahaha It's enough that you listen. Thanks, Gina.

Adel said...

It is a beautiful and haunting song. Windmills of Your Mind. I knew there are profound messages in that song.

I am still trying to decide whether I want to live life without beginning, without end.

Annamanila said...


If I am not mistaken "Windmills of Your Mind" was selected song of the year in that bygone era. And, according to snglguy, was composed by Legrand.

I believe that the human soul never dies.

intsik said...

and windmills of your mind was beautifully renedered also by swing out sisters... hehehehe

how are u dear? if i were older, id likeit lived like how ur living ur life now...

rowena said...

Hi Annamanila, ok post mo ha, napa esep-esep na naman ako...I want to look the way I looked 10 years ago (when my market value is so high pa, he he), and have the experience and knowledge that I have now, so less mistakes in life na...

Heart of Rachel said...

This is a very insightful post. I also learned more about you. I'm sorry about the storms that you experienced in life. I'm glad that you were able to survive them.

Often times, I wish I was younger. I would go over my past mistakes and do things differently but the thought of messing up what I have now scares me too. It would be nice to be able to come back to happy times and experience them again without fear that the present will be affected.

Thank you again for your support on KK's contest. I really appreciate it. Take care and God bless.

chelyn said...


Annamanila said...


Thanks, sweetie. I am good and content at this point. But you should do better! God bless!

Annamanila said...


Many agree that a woman looks and feels her best at 35-40. See, for you, the best is yet to come. :)

Annamanila said...


Thanks. I think the worst is behind me now. That is why I hesitate to say categorically I wanna be younger. Manhood/womanhood is really a struggle. But I am not spending my old age in regret. :)

Hey did you win the contest? Will I find out from your site. Lemme go and check. :)

Annamanila said...


That is so tickling and I am so ticklish. Thanks.

What can I say? Hmmm maybe you might try to share your extraordinary experiences -- not only those that happen in the external circumstnces of your life but also those that take place inside (in your mind and heart). Maybe you can narrate ordinary experiences in an extraordinary way -- meaning find an angle that is not so obvious and use that angle to best advantage. Maybe you can try to be funny -- people love it when you laugh and most of all when you laugh at yourself. Maybe you can end an ordinary story with an extraordinary twist, ala O. Henry. Will try to think of more. Meanwhile, blog on. Will visit. Thanks again.

Jap said...

Anna, that's a scary power to have. =) Time travel has its consequences. Sneeze in the past and you change your future hehehe You got me thinking there. I'm turning 30 in six months and I feel like I don't have much time anymore.

dimaks said...

life could have been better as we venture into imagination. but then, it can't be any better than how it was designed :)

Annamanila said...


Is it? Scary? Only because we are in the linear-time mode with linear-time cause and effect consequences. What I am trying to say is ... what am I trying to say nga ba? Ah, basta, a deal that won't be chaotic. Something that would be exciting, full of learning, but still neat and cool.

Annamanila said...


Hmmmm ... this perfect God has already designed a perfect world?! Well ... he has made me to hope or wish for me. That is also part of my design. hmmmm

Annamanila said...


I meant He has made or designed me to hope and wish for MORE. haha fat fingers.

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