This appeared in The South Asian Times on Saturday.
Life is a journey and u-turns are a part of any journey. Or so I'm telling myself ever since a u-turn hit me like the apple did to Newton. Sure enough, it's led to discoveries. My own discoveries.
Life perhaps decided to be fair to me and let me be one personality type for the most of it. Three decades later, blink and I'm a new person. Looking back, I realize that my primary goal in life was to have fun amidst other trivial goals that are on everyone's wish lists such as a great career, a great family and a good life in general. More socializing than I could endure, more friends than I could handle, more parties than I could attend, more lazing around than was good for my system, more random and disconnected-from-each-other aspirations than time would permit; an excess of it all. The anticipation of the new within the known was exciting while it lasted.
With the new me that I'm getting to know, so far a few aspects have surfaced. It's not like I prefer the tedium of routine or that I've become an introverted detailist or that I've sworn off people around me. Nothing that extreme thankfully. God no. The changes seem to be more subtle. Like a little less of everything random and focusing on things that could prove to be meaningful in my world. From the ping-pong ball that I used to be, bouncing at the slightest touch, I seemed to have turned into one at the bowling alley which requires a little thought, strategizing and introspection. Is it called killing my spirit? Does that make me non-spontaneous, uptight and boring? I'm not sure. But 'being selective' is my new mantra. Just like my grandfather's hearing ability. No there was no disability there. He just chose to hear what he wanted and discard the rest.
Shakespeare famously identified ‘seven ages of man’ so I guess it’s about time I move into my second, considering I do not remember my childhood all that well. Interestingly or sadly, depending on one’s perspective, the personality type that I always ran away from is what I’ve now become. I don’t want to fight it because I seem to like it. It’s easy, gratifying and doable. And it’s fun in its own way too.
I know I’m not alone in experiencing this. Perhaps this is why the 30th birthday is known as ‘the big three o’. It has unforeseen changes in store for you. Good changes. Changes that expand your horizon, that make you think before doing things recklessly, that make you forgive and forget trivial issues and that make you worldly and wise. It’s an adjustment and takes you a couple years to even realize all that.
So if you’re about to celebrate your 30th, dance the night away or do what you do best. It may not last forever. Hire a photographer for the big event so you can remind yourself of how you were although it might take some convincing later on. Peace out.