It's so hard to get old without a cause […] So many adventures couldn't happen today. So many songs we forgot to play. So many dreams swinging out of the blue. We'll let them come true. Forever Young. I wanna be, forever young…"

Ah, bless Alphaville for such a song; A nutshell of a song that contains my sentiments (frustrations, mostly) as I turn a year older today. Yep. Today is my birthday.

Happy Birthday!

Rewind. Year: 1998. Place: Venom Bar, Singapore.

Out clubbing (how 90s!) with my friends, I was dancing and boozing the night away. It was, after all, a Friday. The DJ popped Alphaville's Forever Young on the turntable. As the song started to blare, yuppies threw eager wails and mimicked faux epileptic fits on the dance floor. They sang the song as if it were an anthem and danced wildly through it as if it were their last. What gives, I asked? None of my friends knew for sure.

I know now.

They were reliving their youth; Revelling the good, carefree times and rebelling from the routine, work-cuffed life today.

As I turn a year older today, I feel I'm still in a good and carefree time. Untied from big responsibilities, uninvolved in social complications, undaunted by life's challenges, and still unrealistically idealistic. I know these will not last for long. Times change. And so must I.

As I turn a year older today, I'd like to move on. Take risks. Compromise. Dive into the unknown and douse doubts with possibilities. I'd like to discount age to mature ("age is a high price for maturity" — Coelho) and find a betterman in me.

But as I turn a year older today, I'd still like the feeling of being Forever Young to linger on. I'd hate to see myself too serious and work-driven to watch MTV or enjoy theme park rides. I'd hate to part ways with my sneakers for a moccasin pair of shoes (hiyaiks!) or trade in my Low Rise for pleated starched pants (Noooooo!). I'd like to keep some Peter Pan in me as I grow and mature . Besides, if there's anything I put to heart from Nietzsche, it's his take on maturity:

A person's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child — at play".

So happy birthday to me, yeah?

Got to go start and find a cause, make adventures happen, play songs, and turn dreams true to feel forever young!