There are but four days left to complete this month, but can I just say it has been truly magical? Well, the good-est kind of good, more specifically. I might not have a steady income, anymore (something to do with the place I’ve been writing for) but I’m thinking I’ll figure something else out soon. Oh, new-place-I’ve-pitched-to, come to me. And oh, it isn’t just because it was my ‘birthday month’ though I did reap in some spoils (chocolate cake, two journals, a suitcase-shaped vintage collector’s tin, a few illustrated postcards, a coffee mug and coasters from Penguin Books, books, a personalised water-colour print, a silver teaspoon with an elephant helming the stem, a box of blueberry and vanilla tea from Sri Lanka, Alicia Souza’s 2017-calendar-thingamajig, etc.). Rosé wine. Okay, evidently some of it was because of my birthday! But, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (February 4–12, 2017) happened too — I was so happy to be at this edition, quite possibly because I had missed three years’ worth of the festivals (2014, 2015, 2016) before this. I attended two workshops from the many that they were conducting (something new; it reminded me of the Malhar days) — both, amaze: one was on creating comic panels for children’s stories, and the other was a class in Arabic calligraphy. Apart from that, I also discovered a new artist whose work is LOVE; this in turn led me to note down some interesting places in Bombay to visit (it’s all in her artwork), etc. (Okay, you know what, everything’s been broken into pieces. This post merely is to keep a record of things. For me. Should you be reading this, well — I am not sure of what to tell you.) It’s the past year that gave me this, and I noted it down somewhere — I love copy-writing! Why have I never properly pitched to folks before, or thought to make only writing-related business cards? It’s one of the few things I do best. Perhaps not journalistically so, of course — that’s different. But yeah, content. I get it, it gets me — now, all I wish for is that they pay me. The big fucking bucks. Dollar bills, y’all. Down to the heart of it all, I think it’s been quite thrilling — this journey to thirty. I have never looked more forward to being me. I think that something is to be said of the layers it brings you — your twenties — there’s some learning, and unlearning. Some odd moments. Twists of fate. Leaps of faith. This isn’t the rest of my life yet. No. Nothing has to define you but that which doesn’t give you meaning, you will leave it behind (voluntarily or involuntarily). I know I am right about this. There is more, yes. I am sure there’s more that this new decade will teach me, and I feel even more charged up for forty. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. While I’ve been oddly cynical of enhancing my artistic skills before, only because I didn’t have the money — SPOILER ALERT: I still don’t, etc.; there was no one I could rely on except for myself; I seemed to be learning things on my own (hello, Eureka and Krishnaa) and other reasons, what-have-you— it’s been interesting to discover that that spark hasn’t been doused just as yet. I am ready to try again. I still am very wanting of wanting to do it. To do things. That what is luminescent about thirty is just that there’s no more confusion (there is some, a curable amount of anxieties) — the people you want or like or love or don’t; what you actually seek; and how much everything points back to you. Working on you, building you, growing you. Fuck things that don’t mean much, anymore. Clearing out my closet. Also, the people who really do matter. Being lonely and a loner are quite different. And I like having people around, sometimes. Sacred moments. Those beings that count. Those that don’t. Those friendships or unfriendships that still make me anxious, like acid sloshing around in my stomach. But I can’t help it — I have wasted too much time fixing and focusing on and stressing about and obsessing over relationships that were never there to begin with. They weren’t equal or even worthy. The other part? Erm, the second coming. Coming into my own. I’m me after twelve years of pure struggle, etc. I don’t think I care anymore about disappointing or pleasing people. There are moments, yes, but what can I say? I think it’s time for me to focus on my personal growth too. I don’t know how or why it took this long. I’m lying. There are reasons. The past year has taught me that. The life choices I may want, those that I might never. That’s the beauty, it is a choice — a decisive decision. How it’s okay. It really is. Being happy, healthy — uh, yes, thank you. Very much so. The roughest rough can’t be your lowest low. And moving on, beyond that — a bit forward is the only way ahead. Whatever that path might be. It’s strange how the things I thought I’d be bothered by — having reached this age and not being your typical brand of human being — seem to have gone. And that’s good because it gives me more room. More space. To breathe, to be. Taking a moment and uh, a medium to enjoy this which is thirty. I have been alive (and kicking) for this long. Remarkable. — Also, thank you: Adobe Illustrator — BFF; thejupiterskyeshop.co; Nandini (the rhythm’s going to get you, tonight); other friends. Family members. Skullface! Meow. After-thoughts: I think the best realisations aren’t the ones that come to you, instantly — it is when they have been creeping up on you, and then, you understand, you see what you never saw before. That is a gift. You’ll always be you. You don’t change or transform drastically; you’ll retain some features, lose some but your qualities or traits will grow stronger. The difference being (as you grow old): You ‘bloom’. You make peace with yourself. (God, all of this sounds garbled in ‘type’ — the sentences are forming better in my brain. Oh well, love on the brain.) It’s been making us, this life. And still is.