As the new year set in, I was feeling mixed emotions. Sitting in my balcony and enjoying the sun while sipping Jasmine Tea on the cold afternoon of 1st January, I began to think about turning 27 in 3 days. I like to think of myself as an overgrown teen, and like any other person in their mid 20s, I too dread ageing- not because of under eye circles, grey hair or decreased metabolism that may set in in a couple of years; but because I’m essentially scared of not having it all figured out. I absolutely hate people who laugh off the subject with the cliché – “Age is just a number”; because the mirror tells you differently, your body tells you differently, and relatives sure don’t leave a chance to remind how you should be married with kids by 27.
It’s the most confusing, most scary time of my life, I thought to myself. I thought about some of my friends who were ageing along with me. Kabir, at 27, seemed to have his priorities in order- work, work and work. Sanvi was enjoying her life at 29 without a husband and kids. Anand had recently turned 30- single and fabulous. But then there was a school friend- Kim, who was married to a loving husband and had two kids just at 26. Shweta, an ex-colleague was running marathons and was a fitness star on Instagram at the age of 24. A college friend- Sahir was creating waves in Bollywood at the age of 28. What was I doing? What had I done in all the past 27 years? – I could not stop thinking.
It started to seem to me like I was on a deadline; like I needed to do something to change how things were going. But what could I really do? At this point in my life, where I was meeting and talking to new and interesting men- who wanted to take things slow; my relatives insisted on me quickly getting hitched to one. My mind, slowly, was realising the importance of saving money, investing money- but my heart just wanted to go out and shop as usual- ‘buy that dress, eat that cake, travel the world, let’s spend all that we have!’- My heart whispered. My body certainly could use some working out, but still refused to get out of the cosy blanket every morning.
I wondered what were these conflicts all about? Did men my age really not want to get married yet? Or was I looking at the wrong kind of men? Or looking for them at the wrong places? Was ‘saving money’ really a dying concept as my heart wanted to believe? Was it wise to spend it all and live it up? Was fitness overrated too? Or was it just an excuse to sleep for a little while longer every morning? I was surely confused; and had lost my ability to think clearly.
But then I came across this on my Facebook Timeline; and I believe it was totally a sign from god- no matter how cheesy that may sound.
Indeed! It’s true! What I was completely missing out on, was the most important point- Life isn’t a race and I’m not someone else or in the same situation as theirs to compare myself with them. Instead, life is a journey- a beautiful one. And as days unfold, I can only work harder, stretch my boundaries, try to be a better person, believe in a beautiful tomorrow and appreciate the little things. I can’t stop growing older, but I can choose to become wiser, and enjoy this very journey of life.
So here I am, making peace, with my 27 year old self, and assuring myself to be a better version of myself 1 year from now- irrespective of my relationship or financial status. Cheers to turning 27; Cheers to life.