Monday, June 13, 2016

On Turning 25: Work In Progress.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, June 13, 2016

I turned 25 a little over a week ago. Which is the age for the new midlife crisis, by the way. Funnily enough, I am not very thrilled about it. I might have crossed yet another milestone with the most important people by my side, but the fact that I am turning older is catching up with me. I know 25 is not too old. A writer I know was telling me that turning 30 is far worse. But I am not anticipating the worst yet.

When I was 17, I badly wanted to turn 18. I wanted to belong to the adults club, be eligible to vote and to make my choices. But being my parents' kid, I now realize that making choices and doing things at my accord is still a luxury that I am never receiving. Even at 25.

I thought it was just me, who wanted to do everything, just everything before I turned a certain age. The obsession with remaining young and being able to do myriad things simultaneously isn't something that is mine alone. A lot of us believe that youth is the elixir of our lives. We talk about our college days with a spark in our eyes, nonetheless with a twinge of regret in our voice. "Oh, I wish I did a lot more than what I did when I was in college!" "Everything amazing in my life happened only when I was in my final semester." "I should have fallen in love when I was a teenager." "Life was so easier at 18." These are some of the most common things I hear my friends uttering. Like I already said, mid-life crisis is the new quarter-life crisis. My mother keeps saying that I was a six-year-old child when she was twenty-five and that she had bigger responsibilities in life - like managing a menace of a kid, and taking care of the entire household. (Thank God that our generation has exponentially transformed. We make our lives first before being a part of others lives.) I do not want to dwell on it much, actually, but the previous generations were neither obsessed with remaining young nor were they wary of responsibilities. They, in fact, wanted to grow old pretty fast. Being young, or let me put it this way, being recklessly young is a charming phase of our lives. It is probably one of the fewest phases of life where we are taken care of yet have the freedom to get away with most of our faults claiming that we are still young. Such are the conundrums of life!

The other impediment of growing older is that you begin to count your achievements. On a regular day, I am quite complacent with where I am, though I dream high and push myself a little more each day. But during my birthday, I freak out. I fill my head with inane thoughts. Always wondering if I am enough. If I am going to make it big someday. If I am ever going to see all the places I want to, be more and do more. I guess, after 25, your birthdays are pretty much a reality checker for you.

This birthday has been slightly different. It has not just given me a list of things to accomplish, it has done a lot more. It reminded me that I do not have to rush and fall flat in a hurry. I can walk firmly, enjoying the breeze and the bougainvillea trees around me. That I can stop and stare at the things that catch my gaze, and that I can surely spend my time reading more to grasp the splendour of words and Literature in a more pronounced manner. That I can keep moving forward as long as I am going somewhere. And more importantly, that I am a work in progress and there is a long way to go. Lots of miles to walk. Lots of stories to tell. Lots of lives to live.

Being 25 made me recognize that I'm just a work in progress!


It's me..C /\/ /) U !!!! :) on 13 Jun 2016, 07:31:00 said...

Well Said, Sunaina! I turned 28 last week and I still believe the same. As long as you are going somewhere that's all counts, not the achievements! Just live life your way and ignore the rest. :)

Sunaina Patnaik on 13 Jun 2016, 07:46:00 said...

@Sindhu: Thank you, Sindhu. And dude, you cannot be 28. You barely look 20. :)

sai ramesh on 14 Jun 2016, 03:15:00 said...

There is a fountain of youth: it is our mind, our talents, the creativity we bring to our life and the lives of people we love. When we learn to tap this source, we will truly have defeated age... i really like the way you wrote in it....@sunaina.... cheers

Sunaina Patnaik on 14 Jun 2016, 03:24:00 said...

@Sai Ramesh: Thank you. :)


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