Saturday, November 1, 2014

Growing old.. neh, growing "wise."

Double neh, this is a confession about how it feels to turn 30, single/non-committed, and what it feels to look back from this age milestone. So, barring the moments when you get hit by a car and do something like this: 

Betty Rubble with Bambam's club

Or monkeying around like this:

..And acknowledging your demented self before the world, things apparently turn out just fine.

Before you get there, you wonder what 30 feels like. Friends and elders who've been there almost convince you that "age is just a number" while a few others use that opportunity to market their marriage bureau. Then for a while 30 seems to be just a number and you resolve to treat it like the new twenty (boy, who're we kidding!) 

Once you hit it, suddenly you start noticing the crow feet (which you can't figure if they were always there or came up recently - and if it's the sleepless nights of madness that caused them). Thanks to all the hooplah surrounding the "hitting 30s," a lot of your sentences start with "when I was younger," "many years ago," and so on. Something that happened a decade or even half a decade back seems like centuries ago, yet every ongoing year seems to run by a lot faster. Every vacation seems to become shorter. You look at the clock on a Sunday evening wondering how you're like that Garfield who hates Mondays. But come Monday and the workaholic in you takes over. Before you realise, it's happy hump day. Then comes S H I T (So Happy It's Thursday). Finally you hit Friday - which often ocassionally ends up transforming into a "Fry Day." You probably ponder over how your Fridays are turning into Fry Days because some sad person who has nothing to do in his sad life decided to suck innocent little you into his sea of sorrows. You unwittingly sign up for a truckload of urgent tasks on a Friday afternoon when half the office is on holiday and end up with 100 emails in your inbox, each having an action item for you. Finally, instead of clubbing with the girls (or that ocassional random guy), you sink into a bubble bath with effervescing salts enlightening you of new realms of pleasure.

Money matters a lot more, though in a much different way. Yet you don't think twice before performing a gregarious act of overspending on a fancy gadget when you get a "much needed" $20 pay raise. There is scant regard for ethics while sinking your teeth into that delumptious, sugary 2000 calories of the sin that is pumpkin cream brulee.

The laughter tends to become more genuine yet less frequent but effects more lasting. The flaws become a lot more easier to digest. There is an increased assertiveness (or as some judgemental people like calling it stubbornness) but also an increased ability to let go of trivialities. Barring the increasingly infrequent outburst, it is less of an effort to put up with nonsense and care less about what appears to be the stupidity of others. Patience comes a lot easily, and you wonder which zen master's soul walked into your body. You no longer wonder why common sense is called common sense and why it is not called rare sense (and chuckle over the pun). It feels a lot simpler to take off to an unknown place without giving it a second thought (of course after checking three times that the gas tank is full, the cellphone is on full charge, checking work email one last time, then stopping by the store to pick that coffee you'd need to not doze off behind the wheel past 10 pm). The "between the sheets" gets better too - although the voices in your head are still making (and comparing) notes!

The realization suddenly dawns that it has become increasingly tougher to find/make new friends. There is a desire to find more meaningful relationships minus the drama and mind games. There is a newly discovered difference between sacrifice and compromise. Self respect, trust, and transparency become top priorities and there's less of a desire to go out on a date or make a new friend at the cost of pride. Dating becomes akin to fishing in a barrel. Some start to find the true meaning of life through human relationships, by reaching out to stigmatized, or by making best friends with Mr. Sam Adams and Ms. Zinfandel.

Growing up is fun, crazy, intimidating even. It is in many ways similar yet completely different from turning 21. But the catch phrase stays the same: Life has and will forever remain a learning experience. No matter how much we think we have learned and we know, there will constantly be room to learn and know more. Embrace the grays and show off the crow feet. (Just cover those dang tires for now; the forties are yet to come!)

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