When I was at uni, I had a clear vision of the timeline of my life. Kickass job and a doting boyfriend by 25 followed by years of traveling around the world and making new friends. By the time I would reach the ripe old age of 30, I’d have bought a house, making a truckload of money, have set foot on all the 7 continents, and maybe have a daughter!
I turned 30 this week and I have utterly failed the 22-year-old me. I have achieved none of the things I had on my list.
We have all heard (and learned to believe) how age is just a number and you are only as old as you feel, but when you are crossing over to the other side of 30, it dawns on you that you’ll never be 20 something ever again. For a birthday, it doesn’t feel much different from 29 (and I’m guessing 31 too) but the knowledge that you will never be a vicenarian is what triggers the meltdown. At least that’s what happened in my case.
As you go on the
wrong other side of 25 you start realising that your body has suddenly stopped behaving the way it once did – it takes you longer to recover from a night of revelry and you start imagining being curled up in bed during a night out that goes past midnight – among many other such small little things that you learn to accept as a part of adult life.
As I inched towards the end of my 29th year of existence, I started having thoughts about my impending mortality, or rather the slow decline of health that I should now expect. I started thinking about how our time is running out and we must try and cram as much as we can in the coming years. I couldn’t help feel this extreme sadness (nostalgia + longing + grief(?)) about the years that have gone by. It was this nagging illogical emotion that won’t listen to any reasoning.
On my birthday I tried to avoid calls and msgs in an attempt to not be reminded that I’ve just turned 30. Yeah, not a great plan. But I just wanted to put a pause on all these thoughts about the fleeting nature of things for a little while. Speaking to people would only make it more real.
I’m only just starting to feel okay about the whole deal and beginning to accept that *maybe* this heavy feeling won’t go away, I just have to make my peace with it and find a way to be better for it.
Maybe I should use this as a reminder that the clock is ticking and I must appreciate the people around me more, consciously make an effort to do more fulfilling activities, and try to be more mindfully happy every single day – instead of just idly letting the days pass by – because I’m pretty sure in the blink of an eye, 40 will be upon me.