They say it’s a shame to grow older, but I will tell you what I’ve yet to miss: insecurity, rash ego, lack of accomplishment, false friendships, bare wallets, the unknowing. I’m 31 now. 31 years strong, 31 years the older and wiser. And with every year comes more understanding, a deeper appreciation for things that I took for granted every day. When you’re young, you lack the experience to decipher these things. You’re shorted the patience to absorb what really matters. That is, after all, the gift of youth: ignorance and flight and carelessness. It took me decades to realize these were also handicaps.
For over 6 years now, I’ve been traveling back and forth from Hong Kong for work. When I was in my early 20s, I saw this city for it’s calamity and disarray. The sheer numbers of people were staggering, the weather oppressive, the food so greasy, yet ironically hard to swallow. Today I finally got it; I acclimated to the rhythm of the harbor, the diversity, and the unique cultural showcase. Today I saw the infinite buildings and the unpredictable architecture and the density of communities funneled and churning through dank avenues and typhoon-stained corridors. I tasted the food, because I accepted the food, and I learned of the families and generational lessons that prepared the food. And I engaged with the people; a truly engaging people. These were experiences I made unavailable to myself for years, finally revealed because I settled into the humility and patience to surrender.
(photographs by iPhone 4 over the course of last week : Sham Shui Po and Mong Kok, Hong Kong)