I’m not even a fortnight into my ‘scarier side’ of twenties and I already feel like I have such an insight into the years ahead of me. And I am quite excited about how life is shaping up. This post is about the transition from the foolish and child-like person that I was to being the responsible woman that I am growing very fond of, today! Obviously, I’m a long way from perfecting these 10 pointers.
1. I have always had a million friends all around me, all the freaking time. I still do. But I am beginning to understand that there are only a few I can be goofy, sing aloud in public and bare my soul with. These are the friends you would be growing old with, choose them wisely and cherish them.
2. I had always believed we never remember the nights that we got a full 10 hours of sleep. We are going to remember the crazy things we did when we were supposed to be sleeping instead. However, the idea of staying out late on a Tuesday night when I know I have to go to work the next day seems tiresome. Isn’t that what weekends are for, anyways! Hangovers are better on Sundays than on Monday mornings.
3. As a kid, Mahabharata and Ramayana were just comics my Dad bought for me along with Archie’s Digests. At 26, they seem to answer the finer questions of my life. It’s comforting to have some connection with the Almighty, however faint it might seem right now. Make a start and consciously try to build on it.
4. At 21, I could eat a large pizza while watching a movie and still not put on any weight! At 26, I eat a slice of pizza after a great amount of deliberation followed by an even greater amount of guilt. Take care of your body. It needs a lot more attention as you grow older. Exercise more often and eat right.
5. When I was younger, I felt powerful, and confident that I could change the world, make a difference. And now I believe to have learnt the biggest lesson. If I just about help myself, I’ll do good. Unlike few years ago when I saw the world in black or white, today, I am willing to make space for the grays. This is not selfishness or cynicism. Accepting few realities of life is a part of growing up.
6. At 21, love was all about romance, candle-light dinners, knights and their shining armors. It seemed easy to fall in love. Easy because he was the football team’s captain or the Students’ magazine’s editor. I was expecting something from all of them that couldn’t last, wouldn’t last, no matter how perfect it might have seemed at that moment. If a guy understands you, cares for you, loves you and if you feel safe with him, he is a keeper.
7. Growing up, family was weird or embarrassing and I was ‘too cool’ to spend time with them. Today, I think I’ve realized family is everything. Your family is the only set of people that will love you unconditionally, no matter what. Love them back, selflessly. You’ll never regret a moment of it.
8. At 26, do all the things you had wanted to do as a 21-year old. Travel more. Go skydiving. Enroll for piano lessons. Learn to ride horses. Say what you want to say. Forgive the ones that hurt you. Because you are braver than you were ever before. It’s time to recognize that you have far more power than you utilize.
9. Choosing a job, fresh out of college wasn’t about how much it paid. It was more about what it did to my spirit, the creative bubble inside me. After having worked in both private and corporate sectors for all these years, I have realized my job is just that, a job. It puts food on my table, pays for my college loans and gives me the liberty of getting my nails done. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t landed your dream job by 26.
10. In my early 20s, I was very sure about what I wanted from life. At 26, not so much. But I am enjoying the ride. It might not seem like it now, but journey is just every bit as much fun as the destination.
Turning 26 needn’t be all that scary, after all!