Twenty Four

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Throughout the conversations I have had with fellow travelers in the past years of solo backpacking they always end with a rather personal yet innocuous question – how old are you? Aside from the obvious revelation of me being the younger or the youngest interlocutor, the implicated exclamation as to my outgrown mental capacity does give me a lighthearted disposition to give my honest answer.

‘Twenty [insert a number prior to my current age].’

‘You are so young.’

I smile.

Yet, stepping into the age of 24 has the cognitive development shrunk from a tantalizing state of mind to a tacit call-to-action in proportion to the standard life agenda. Why is it an indicator of erudition to own an apartment in one of the most expensive cities to live in before 30 (just the possession alone, not how and not what else), and why is any success before 30 in general a much acknowledged achievement anyway? I frown – while a 12-year-old kid admit to college is a proud family business and billionaires make their fortunes out of unprecedented concepts and technologies can certainly justify the deep-rooted tenacity in parenthood as college drop-outs (Steve Jobs, Evan Spiegel, Mark Zuckerberg, Tyler Johnson, etc) , the age-acquisition gap as a foundation of modern life goals is a complete fabrication by the media, the main (the most handy) source of information, who disregards the hard work and its corresponding social alienation of the so-called genius and privileged before the ‘overnight’ historical success. If you still remember, there’s such thing called hard-working. And yes, even when you are beyond 30s. I admire John Hanke as much as Tavi Gevinson. And there’s Maria Grazia Chiuri.

Never has there been a more accessible era than what we millennial is experiencing in the pursuit of dreams. The rise of Instagrammers as a job still blows my mind, and the continuous delegation of personal space (aka live shows) as a form of inter-space real time human interaction terrifies me. I guess, after all, human being conquers the geographic barrier and manages to make a living out of such intimacy between you and me. As much as I refuse spending one hour time watching other people’s life instead of living my own, I surmise that the fame as reality celebrities rockets the success in many other aspects. At least, Kylie, the nineteen year-old, has a makeup line.

And I have none.

Model: Yannie So
Photography & text: Hong Hiu Ching