Taking the Turn — Crossing the Bridge — Turning 30
There’s a thing about turning 30 and I don’t think it’s because of the pop culture. Maybe it’s just a number. Or maybe, if I am allowed to romanticize, it’s the time to reflect upon the last decade, in fact, the last three decades, because I was too young at 10 and too drunk at 20 to even realize that a DECADE has passed, not that I can’t be drunk on my 30th, but you catch my drift. But is it imperative to reflect? Why can’t I just skip this decade as well and do it at 40? or at 50? Umm…probably because I have a lot of time to think as I am jobless right now and grounded in the incessant Bombay rains.
They say 30 is the new 20. I say THAT is bullshit.
I don’t even remember most of my birthdays now. It felt good till 19 or 20 that I was growing a year older every birthday. Talking back to my parents, listening to rock music, trash talking with friends, getting into a good college, felt like I have arrived on the scene. But no one taught you to be on your own. Sometimes, living on your own can be like being the captain of a ship, caught in a storm. You have to take a decision or you sink. YOU, who wouldn’t eat non-vegetarian food on Tuesdays because your mom said so, HAS TO TAKE A CALL. It’s tough at first, you sink mostly because you don’t take a decision only, you scrape through sometimes and to your own surprise, you succeed a few times as well. I feel I could’ve planned better, to make a better decision, instead of letting Murphy’s law take over. I think Murphy’s law is the truth of life. Now, I have a poster of it in my room, which I look at daily. It reinforces my belief in planning, makes me a slightly better captain of my imaginary ship. By the way, if you’ve never lived on your own, you won’t get it. Period.
I thought I’d have checked some milestones before reaching 30 because that’s what society expects from you, or these days, BuzzFeed. I don’t feel like listing my achievements, not that I have many, because life is NOT a CV. Don’t listen when BuzzFeed, or any website, says TOP 30 THINGS TO DO BEFORE HITTING 30, because I think that’s written by their employees who are in their early 20s, very idealistic. I mean I did quit my job, found my calling (well, sort of), fulfilled my wanderlust a bit, etc. but it’s coming at a cost, at the cost of pissing off the society a bit. I didn’t do an MBA, didn’t get married, didn’t buy a house, didn’t have kids, etc. Nothing that I am particularly proud of but I sort of knew would happen. By the way, I do want all of those, except the MBA. Sometimes I think I am in a constant battle between the society and BuzzFeed, and I am the one who is losing. I wouldn’t say I am confused but I am trying to find the balance, it’s a bit lonely though, nothing that I am not used to, solving my problems myself that is, a HUGE learning from the 20s!
I realized that things will happen for a reason (and the reason might be good some times) and many times, you’ll have to make peace with it (if the reason is not good of course). You don’t do anything to please anyone, not even the society, forget BuzzFeed. It’s very tough to convince the society though, but you do get there eventually. It’s not an ideal world, you convince because you have to live with them.
Also, money will make you do things; things, not illegal or below your dignity, but just things like career choices, college degrees, etc. I do want money but I realized it’s difficult to quantify it. At one point, I wanted enough to surpass what my friends earn, that’s so shallow, isn’t it? I did that. But then I made new friends who were earning more than my previous friends. It’s a trap. Now, I want enough to sustain, pay the rent and put food on the table that is, and focus on becoming good at what I want to become good at. Money shall follow. It’s one of the most difficult thoughts to digest. But it’s true. Not always but mostly. And it’s easier said than done. But till then, I don’t want to live in the pretense that I’ll make it really big some day so it’s okay to struggle now (the phrase ‘making it big’ sounds pretentious in itself). There’s no glory in any struggle really, that’s only on television. I might as well take up a job while I set my priorities for the long term because it really takes years to become an ‘overnight success’, a very recent learning.
Now as I grow old, people expect me to have an opinion also, which is reasonable. But most of the times, I don’t have one, so I just nod in approval. Is it considered intelligent to have an opinion? A lot of things don’t interest me, probably because they don’t affect me directly — identifying with and supporting a cause, politics, Game of Thrones, etc. Maybe I need to make myself more aware of things, form an opinion, because they might be affecting me indirectly. At least I can do more than just the head nod, maybe show some empathy because that’s what people are looking for while discussing things. Not everyone is saving the world, sometimes they just want to vent it out and feel good.
Building trust takes time now. You don’t drink with anyone you meet now, like you used to when you were younger. People aren’t selfish but now, they do have a motive/purpose in talking to you, which in a way is good because at least there’s clarity, clarity of some outcome from the engagement.
On a lighter note, I don’t know how will dating be in the 30s. I mean logistically it’ll be the same, but how will ‘30’ look on my Tinder profile?!, as if the 20s were very amazing on Tinder or in dating in general. Actually, 20s were depressing to be honest. Will women in their 20s be interested in a THIRTY YEAR OLD guy? What will 30+ women on Tinder think of a guy who is 30? Because 20s do evoke a feeling of youth, 30s is more like greying hair. This is such an elitist problem to have, ‘how will 30 look on my Tinder profile?’ I don’t know, maybe I’ll get off Tinder itself. Some people reading this might find it childish but hey, at least I am being honest and putting it out there, taking one for the team.
I will be turning 30 in 2 months time. I am sure nothing big will happen. But we can raise a toast at least to turning 30. Ah wait, I don’t drink now. No hangovers. Yay?!