The last few years have flown by and before I realized, I am nearing 30. A friend looked at my old photos, taken 4 years ago, and commented ‘You look different; you look…. younger’; all this while I had been thinking that I look the same.
Now that I stop and look at myself – my actions, my thoughts, my beliefs – there has been an ocean of change. At times, I look at teenagers and people in their twenties, and I can no longer relate to them. It’s hard to convince myself that I was them just 4-7 years back. We belong to the same generation and yet I consider them belonging to another. To some extent, this gap has made me more conscious of my age and the progress of time.
Let’s start with food. I used to be a total desi; refused to like any continental / English stuff. McDonald’s was all I could cope with. Now I am all for continental food. I have been brutal in tasting oysters, beef, all kinds of fish, squids & all types of meats in all forms. Guess, I have become bolder.
I have started worrying more (does that explain the numerous grey hair?). When I shifted to Surat or Aurangabad during the last 5 years, I did not get anxious about where I would stay, how and with whom. I was willing to accept any roommate, any house with whatever furnishings it could offer. But shifting to Barodawas different. I fretted and worried about the badly painted walls, about the rent, about the unknown roommate, about the maid & about everything else. Why am I suddenly afraid of the unknown? Why isn’t life an adventure anymore? There is more remorse of the past – of the time lost, and the future – what will happen, than there is enjoyment of the present.
My space has become more precious. Though my friend list has become 10 times longer, my own private, individual space has become wider and more important. The curse of being independent? I am holding on to my freedom like it is my own child and am afraid it would be snatched away from me. I am not willing to share the space with anyone which is quite a dangerous thing to believe in!
There was a time when I was supposed to be a charmer. I could charm any guy. I used my charms on guy and enjoyed their attention. I had more male friends than female (it was a common joke that even if any new girl joined at work or came into neighbourhood, it could be conveniently predicted that she would never become my friend). Now, I am plain cynical. I do not enjoy male attention. I do not trust men. I have more female friends and few male friends. I do not even respond to male colleagues properly because I do not trust them and am convinced that what I see isn’t real.
Ok, so I no longer am carefree; I do not forgive easily; I am paranoid, cynical & suspicious. Surely something good also must have happened in the last 4-5 years? Sure, they did! I earned friends. So many friends. I am glued to my Blackberry all the time because there are so many friends to talk to everyday. There are friends who will come to help me, guide me, and support me at one phone call or message. This has been my biggest reward. I have learnt new things, visited new places, altered my dressing style, tried and enjoyed different cuisines, heard new artists, tried my hand at blogging, gardening, photographyand cooking. Can’t say that things have turned for the worse, can I? Some of my hair has greyed but my clothes are better. My face looks tired but there is a renewed hope of pursuing my dreams. I am nearing the dreaded age of 30 but my friends count is forever increasing.
The outside world has changed. We have become more dependent on technology. We have become global. Our boundaries have expanded. The old saying ‘Change is the only constant thing’ still holds true. It was pure coincidence that a friend forwarded this message today:
Ah. So well written. So inspiring. It is time to put my cynical thoughts out of my mind and embrace life with passion. It is time to look at the rose and not at the thorns.