This month I turned 40. Saying that number out loud sounded worse with the sound of my voice, than in my head. When I was in my 20s, 40 seemed so distant. It was the age of my parents. Being 40 at that time meant being old and responsible. They seemed to be too busy working to enjoy life. I didn’t know what I would be like when I reached 40, but I knew the life I would lead would be vastly different than theirs. At that time, it was too far off in the distance, an intangible age that was difficult to imagine where I would be and what I would be doing.
Then one day, it crept up like a blink of an eye. I woke up and I was 40. In Cambodia of all places. It’s not only the significance of a new decade that has left me reflecting on my personal journey, but also my country and how in many ways we paralleled each other.