Thoughts on turning 27!

There’s something called as The 27 Club in music. It’s quite an illustrious club; members include Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse and then three true greats — Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison. If I die on one of the next 360 days, I could apply for membership to the club but I’m no Harry Potter and this club is no Hogwarts. And so, I won’t be accepted.

27 years old is the wrong side of the wrong side of the age of 25. You should be well past the quintessential quarter life crisis but you’re actually not. The crisis has entered the plural form and now, you have crises. And trust me, they are as complex as the Middle East situation. Like most folks, claiming to be geosociopoliticoeconomic scholars from behind those fancy spectacles and in those fancy clothes, try to tell everyone that they understand what’s happening in the Middle East, you, at the ripe old age of 27, have a similar coterie of what I like to call The Personal Youth Advisory Committee. The members of this august committee seem to have an opinion about everything that you do and you don’t do. They know you don’t care but they have an opinion about that too. With time and the sudden emergence of those couple of strands of grey hair, you learn how to live with them. Actually, scratch “live” and make that “co-exist”.

You neither have the gay abandon of the early 20s nor the sage-like wisdom of the 30s. You are forever in that timetrap between who you are and who you want to be. The trap is actually what other folks want you to be.

However, all isn’t lost when you’re 27. The good thing at this age is you seem to have developed that highly elusive ability to reflect. You certainly can’t put a finger on when it happened but happened it has and you’re grateful that it has. While nursing a peg of rum or scotch, or while fiddling with a smoke, you can look back at the days, the months, and the years gone by and make some sense out of them. It doesn’t sound exciting but trust me, you’ll never regret that you can think about stuff in a little more detail than you ever could.

27 is also a good time to discover where your calling lies. I don’t mean to say that it can’t happen before or after this but it can surely start happening at 27 since you’ve seen how this world functions and you’ve been able to develop some sense of right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice. You may not be able to follow your dreams but you surely do begin to get a sense of where they’ll take you. Of course, your dreams may turn out to be mirages and you may have to restart at square one. But once you have the ability to dream, there aren’t many forces which can take this away from you.

27 is also probably your Last Chance Saloon for making friends for a lifetime. Beyond this age, there’s a good chance that relationships will be of a very need — based nature which isn’t a bad thing to happen per se. But by 27, you know that the best friends are those who you’re friends with for absolutely no apparent reason.

27 is also the age when most of the intangible stuff starts making sense to you to some extent, in some depth. This includes art, books, films, people and their ways of thinking, music etc. What passed off as just another something before your eyes earlier starts to reveal hitherto unknown shades to you. You wonder why you didn’t realize those shades earlier but that inner discussion is pointless. Like for most good things in life, you got to give this enough time.

27 could perhaps also be the golden age to travel. Wanderlust, as we know, isn’t a prisoner to things like money and time. But by 27, you do know how to make the most of travel and how to do travel for maximum satisfaction. That, in itself, is nothing short of a gift.

If there’s an age to have the most fun while just killing time with friends from the days gone by, this is probably it. You have all kinds of stories to tell by now — sad ones, happy ones, funny ones, boring ones, the ones that everybody wants to listen to and the ones people couldn’t care less about. Not only will these stories fade away slowly but also the opportunities to kill time with friends will be few and far in between.

27 is also the age where you have four to five firm groups of friends. You have friends from school and friends from your undergraduation. Some folks go on to milk the education system more by doing postgraduation too and so there’s another set of friends from there. Then there are friends from work, friends you met at a watering hole, friends who are friends of friends. The realization dawns on you that you’re probably a different person in all these different groups. At first, it might be unsettling and you question your own genuiness as a human being but soon enough, you reconcile to this. And there’s nothing to worry as all your friends go through the same mental ordeal.

Well, I hear you say that many or all of these things are true for almost any age. You are right and at 27, you also know that everyone who is not saying what you are saying isn’t saying something completely opposite to what you’re saying. This acceptance is perhaps what makes 28 and beyond worth living.

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