I turn 30 this 18th. What i really wish to do is stand on top of a mountain and fly without the help of a complicated contraption but since technology hasn’t really caught up to my ambition yet, i’ll settle for reflecting for the moment. To be honest, i dont feel 30. Not one bit. There are days when i feel a menopausal 48, and there are days i feel a naive 15. There are also days, quite recently, that i feel a childish 2. Some of you may know what im talking about. But reaching this huge milestone for me has taught me a few things. So pardonez moi as i proceed to heap them onto you.
This first thing i learnt is, age doesnt define your achievements. Although the general consensus might agree otherwise, experience, success, maturity, even mistakes and idiosyncrasies all are not confined to a certain age. Heck, i may not have even gotten most of them ticked yet! Should i panic? Hmmmm…… Nahhhh… Had i achieved most of what i had wanted to very early in life then i wouldnt know what else to do for the rest of it. There are only so much a person can do in one precious lifetime and if we do accomplish them all within the first 2 or 3 decades or so then what in the world are we gonna do for the next 3 or 4 ones. Assuming of course, one could live that long. Rest you say? Well, rest only comes 6 feet under and i aint planning on it. We would have certainly read or heard about the scarce few who have graduated, married or flown in an airplane well into their second half of the century. What if they had believed their merry days are over?
The second thing i learnt so far is that i shouldn’t allow age, any age for that matter, to compel me to feel a certain way. Dressing, personality, opinions, emotion, articulacy are all also not confined to a certain age. They are formed by the way i feel. And the way i feel is formed by my surroundings and circumstances. If i force all the above-mentioned into a square, conventional box, then i am just kidding myself. I dont dress to be, act or show that im 30. I dress to emote. And I am not going to emote my age. That’s just silly. Instead, i simply emote whats inside me. So if any of u readin this is 70 and have a slamming figure, go right ahead and wear that bikini if u want to. You deserve it just for living long enough to be 70. And just because im 30 doesnt mean that i automatically think watching an animated film in a cinema alone is such a shocker. I dont think that we need to alter our opinions just because we turn a certain age. I dont care if none my friends or family are free, i will still stand stubbornly in line and buy tickets and popcorn to watch Finding Dory. So there!…
The last thing i gleaned is that all this is fine as long as our resposibilitites are not being shirked. Responsibilities, unlike all others, are confined to age. As we age, our roles and accountability get weightier and more expansive. Some of what i have perceived these days are the exact opposite. We tend to neglect our duties in struggling to change or achieve everything else. Our responsibilities definitely need to be prioritized but the key to my turning 30 is trying to juggle them while trying; very hard mind you, not to compromise who i really am.
All turning 30 has taught me so far is that I’ve got another 30 or 40 years more to complete ticking all my boxes and get my juggling act together. I still feel 16, with the promise of life still beating so vibrantly in me. Very high possibilities of me feeling the same when i turn 50, hoping by then, i would be able to jump off a cliff and soar. (Somebody really needs to create an app for this!). No matter what age i get, or no matter how creaky my knee caps are, I know i will run and not feel weary and walk and not faint.
By Nitha Nathan