I’m actually only thirteen…

Phil 13

I turned 30 yesterday. I’m not really freaking out though. Aside from not being able to use the excuse “well I’m in my twenties” to explain why my life is still so unsettled, and the fact that I won’t be able to apply all those wonderful thoughtcatalogue and elitedaily articles telling me 23 things I should’ve done in my twenties.. I see life just going on. In many ways, I actually feel oddly young (to my parents displeasure surely), and I think that’s because.. I’m really only about 13 years old.

If you are in your mid-late twenties, hell, even in your 30s, and you still feel lost, confused where it all goes, what it all means, and that you need more time.. I think it’s because we actually haven’t had that much time to figure things out. Our minds are much younger than our body. I still feel young despite turning 30 because I’ve only had like 13 years of fully registered, cognizant, self-aware life. Do you feel the same? If not, lemme explain…

Years 10-20
These were your awkward prepubescent years, turning you into an angst filled teen, transforming into a young adult. The first half of the decade are pretty fuzzy to me, iono about you, but I don’t know what my day to day was like when I was 10 or even 13, not like how I know 20 or 23 were. Generally yes, school, afternoons watching tv, summer trips.. but let’s be honest, can you really say you grasped your life at that age? Even into high school, sure I have very clear memories and cognition of my feelings and choices, but my world was still very limited. It wasn’t until maybe Junior year (16) that my head and heart really started to gain control of my life.

Years 0-10
Man, we couldn’t even poo on our own for the first 2 years much less really know we were living a finite life. These years shouldn’t count toward our age, honestly. I’m starting to believe that those first 10-15 years of our life, we existed more as a life challenge for our parents. An accessory/extension to them that developed and shaped their lives, through the shaping of ours. We didn’t truly live for ourselves as a kid running amuck, and definitely not as a baby or toddler. We lived to teach and grow our parents if you think about it. To be like, ‘You will learn through me and my wailing and feces what real love is. In exchange you get to dress me up in cute costumes, and pose me next to monuments and share those pictures with your friends.’

Now, 3 decades in, the number of years truly living for myself?.. 13, maybe 14. So all these pressures of turning 30, that just doesn’t make sense. I’m a freaking preteen, <voice cracking> What do you want from me, man??

28 thoughts on “I’m actually only thirteen…

  1. Hey Phil, thanks for posting this. I turn the big 2-3 in three hours (Chicago Time), and it’s just another year for me to find myself. I just graduated, I recently got a new job, I’m learning about family, friends, and even intimate relationships in a different perspective. Hell, are people gonna like me when I’m 23?! (Blink 182 reference haha). But this is just thought that nothing is set, though on the contrary with family it should be. Thanks again and happy belated birthday!

  2. Happy 30 Phil! I’m only 18 (almost 19😦 ), so if I go back 16 years, I have nothing to reflect upon haha. But, I do feel thirteen inside. I don’t feel like I’m ready to embrace whatever “adult” duties come with turning 18 — then again it’s college so we don’t have too much responsibility yet either. I can only hope that I can do in my 20s what you guys and countless other Asian Youtubers have done — do something significant that affects change and progress within the community. Final thought…I think I’ve only lived 2 or 3 years at best…didn’t spend my first 15 years thinking or doing much LOL.

  3. have a Happy Birthday , request have strong health , there is the progress in the work and have one’s hopes fulfilled for what , wish every the points .
    I live in Thailand you live in LA, but I’d like to meet you. I can not come to you. What I want is I want you to come to Thailand. Thailand has a lot of amusement parks, zoos and what you need. Please come to Thailand

  4. Your theory and argumentation was very interesting to read. I guess that’s how life works. Being in your twenties means really searching for what you want in life for the first time. Aging is a journey and you don’t know the outcome yet and that’s scary. But you will grow and learn a lot about yourself on this journey and that’s the most important thing. When your life is still unsettled it means that you are not resticted and endless opportunies are still ahead of you.

  5. Happy Birthday Phil, I’m pretty sure you are just thirteen. *Joking* I haven’t got the chance to meet you in any events whenever you visit Malaysia. Please do visit more. Malaysian foods are waiting for you. LOL. Looking foward to WongFu’s Movies.

  6. Blessed belated birthday Phil.. u’re 13 .. then i am 14!

    But truly.. thanks for WF Production! You guys are amazing!

  7. Happy birthday phil. I don’t know what it feels like to be 30 because I havestill long way to be there !! But like your post. I can take some reference from that !!

  8. I am getting more n more n more inspiration from you. From your thoughts, till now.. I’m turning 33 soon ~ I’m still feel lost in my life. I am looking in it again n again… still couldn’t find myself. I understand your 13 thoughts, at least you turn to 13… and me… I don’t know where am I turn to.

    Happy Birthday to You!

  9. Hi Phil,
    a smile painted on my face as i read your post, hahahhaa u know that feeling when you found out that “hey im not alone” kind of thing.
    Im turning 27 on nov but i dun feel like i am 27 at all. It’s just numbers. Calculating (hmmm ) i think i felt like i am 13 too(hahahah)…

    Love your ideas Phil.
    God bless u always.
    Smile🙂

  10. Hi Phil,
    Birthdays are a new start; fresh beginnings, a time to start new endeavors with new goals. Move forward with fresh confidence and courage. You are a special person, may you have an amazing today and year!
    Now that you’ve turned thirty, you’ll get a lot more respect than you did at 29. Enjoy it! Happy birthday!

    I’m 31 years old🙂

  11. First of all, Happy birthday to you, Phil!!

    And I like your theory about how-old-are-you-exactly
    I’m 24 and I think I’m 10. As you said, we didn’t even know our self when we were younger. When you start thinking clearly of your life, and for your self, that’s the moment you can tell that you’re alive.

    Anyway, I believe you’re still 13 and not made this up just to say you’re still young.
    No… I mean, yeah…. I believe you :)) #chuckles

  12. Happy birthday!! you know, the older I get the younger I feel. I’m hitting quarter life in 2 months, but when I was a teen, I thought people in their 20s were so mature. But now that I’m in my 20s, I feel like we’re all just kids trying to handle life being thrown at us. I always imagine myself in my 30s and how “mature” they all seem to be.. with their marriage, houses, maybe children.. but I know that probably when I get to that stage in life myself, I will feel the same.. still young but with more responsibilities, trying to handle everything. I’m not sure when I’ll get to the age where I’ll feel like “I got it, I’m finally ready”. Maybe never. Maybe we all just continuously admire people who are a decade older. Because I thought I would’ve hit that “maturity” stage by the time I was 22 when I was only 18. Clearly not! haha, 22 as we all know, is young as hell! Anyway, interesting post🙂 got me thinking.

  13. Ha – oh the reflections of #lifeatthirty. Yes, there are hashtags for people like us. Anyway, when I turned 30 I felt like I was able to do ANYTHING. There was a different sense of freedom I couldn’t explain, even though I lived the latter part of my 20’s already traveling and living in a new city. Can’t explain it, but I think you see it. We are teenagers who are finding our voices in the messed up world of junior high😉 Keep up the great writing and happy birthday!

  14. Happy Birthday Phil! I really enjoyed reading your posts. Keep it up.🙂
    I’m turning 30 next year and I actually had the same thought as you! It’s only in the past decade that I actually think more of “what is life, where are we going”. Not that anyone has said it to me, but i feel it’s unfair if being 30 comes with the expectation that I supposed to have 3 decades of solid experience which should have help me figure out everything. Funny thing is even myself, when i was in teenage years, age 30 means i will be a mature woman with everything nicely planned out. I mean i take on responsibilities and everything now but somehow it doesn’t give me the feeling of “mature adult”. For some reason back then i thought at some point in life one will automatically be an adult. Still waiting for that day🙂 .
    Anyway, i think it’s a very good thing to feel young inside. Keeps us young and fun on the outside!

  15. Thanks for that! I will be 32 in a month and i still feel (and some say also look) like a teenager.
    I feel so sad about it (not).
    Feliz cumpleaños!

  16. Your post reminds me of a quote from the movie Liberal Arts: “Nobody feels like a adult. It’s the world’s dirty secret.”
    I hope you’re as fearless as a teenager as well; happy belated birthday.

  17. actually, our biological bodies are never older then 10 years. true fact. we regenerate, replace and renew our physical existence constantly. the cells you were made of a year ago are different from what you are made of right now! plus, age is overrated. i try to see my birthdays as “another completed year of a journey around the sun” and then it gets exciting!!!😀 everyday is a birthday, since its the “first day of the rest of your life”! happy b day, Phil🙂

  18. 30 is still 8 months away, but since I’m just now settling into the life I chased after for the better part of 29, I’m starting to think that 30 was supposed to feel like 13 all along… and it’s only 13 year olds who aren’t in on the secret. We’ll just have to wait and see what 40 feels like.🙂 happy 2015 travels.

  19. kkkk~~~ i am having the same thought right now. for some reason i just reread my posts of 2006-2008 and 2011-2013. then i got the feeling that i didnt really become mature or like a 28. part of my thoughts fit what man would expect for a 28 years old. but deep inside i am feeling i am still the girl 18 years/ 13 years/ 9 years/ or 4/ 2 years back (if not exaggerate more than 20 years back). a part of me did not grow. i still can not figure out how can i get out of this circle or trap. out of family reason, as a kid i was like the most kid-unlike child, the same in my teenage year, and then i stopped growing from that time. i am still hoping/trying to find/chasing something i believe i lack. and the longer it gets, the less i belive in a positive outcome. either the method was wrong, or it was just wrong. once i have deeply believed it would be the thing. then drama happened, literally drama, like the most commen korean drama. when i look back, it is like there are a lot of signs that this would happen, that this would eitherway be the final.

    1. psychologically, most of one’s character/thoughts/behaviour pattern can be tranced back to his/her childhood. and one needs to be clever enough to get out of the negative influence. for the ones who are not that lucky, they may be trapped be it in their entire lifetime. many repeat the same pattern/circle (the negative ones) for a long time for the reason they would be able to explain, though they may want to get out/ get rid of it. i know a lot of stories of my grandparents/aunts/parents/friends (on this point, i am really thankful of my pareants/expeirence/or anything and anyone contributed to it), and at some level i can tell why this happens to this person, as an observer. but i still can not get out of my own problem. i maybe able to tell why i am who and how i am, but can not become the one i want to be. my problems hold me back from the solutions/searching for “professional” help (definitely i have trust issues at least😄 )/taking a step further/ or searching for the right(!!) helper.

      1. kind of forgot what i wanted to write at the firs place, will stop here….. i started reading your Reality becomes Fiction, still on the first page, it’s really long:))) chinese is my first lanuage, i don’t know if i understand you fully right or i explain my points fully right~But anyway, THANK YOU SO MUCH PHIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT YOU SHARE YOUR THOUGHT WITH UNKOWN PEOPLE ON INTERNET AND I CAN SHARE MY THOUGHT WITH YOU~~~~~~

  20. Hi Phil, I hope you get this and I hope you respond (too much to ask for within the next 5 days?) I have two students who are 14 year old boys. All I see is spoil and ignorance, though I try to stay patient through it all. What is a fourteen year old boy really longing for?

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