While I was turning 20, I was aimless and clueless about my life. Surprising, isn’t it? But I was. I had just joined my college for graduation, came out of my cocoon, adapted myself to a new environment, lost some weight, made new friends and became independent. I had a number of half-baked notions about life, love, my future, theory of success and whether the world actually existed or not. And now it’s all-different!! In a month’s time, I will be 29 and completing my last leg of 20s. Turning 30 is bit scary but I am glad to grow little wiser and older and happier. To be honest I am still bit childish, stubborn and crazy, but I am glad to be more responsible and less pretentious. I’ve changed a lot in these 10 years and for better I suppose. I don’t get so baffled and chaotic and clueless anymore. I have a ripe thinking, finished my doctorate, happily married to a sailor who love me to bits, have a caring bunch of friends and family, been round the world and managed to write some good stuff, something I never could have predicted.
In today’s instant world, it’s easy to forget that few changes do not occur immediately. They evolve over a period of time, while we are still ignorant of what’s happening. We don’t just wake up one fine day to notice certain life-altering changes in ourselves. It’s only today when I look back I can notice all of the histrionic changes that have taken place. My 20s certainly were dramatic, but also the best time of my life. I learnt many things and had some experiences, which help me, sail smoothly now. Some of them are:
Go with the flow: Follow this principle and you’ll be better-off in the long run. When something happens which you don’t like or didn’t expect, ask yourself what you can learn from the incident. Because every mistake or an unwanted situation also teaches you a lot and there’s always something to be grateful for.
Time is the biggest teacher: While we are young, we think our utmost strength is our talent, our ideas, and our personality. But that’s not true. Out biggest asset is time. Time gives us the opportunity to take biggest risks and make biggest blunders. We can just pack our bags, bunk classes, skip meetings, move to a new city with friends, sit in a coffee shop whole day doing nothing and afford a break up almost everyday. Why? Because we are young and have nothing to lose. But with time comes responsibilities and understanding and mellowness. Remember those hush-hush love affairs, which made your mother go crazy, a cool venture idea with your friend, which later turned into nothing but a pyramid story. It’s those fiascos that now helped us set up our life down the line. Best lessons of life.
Friendships can’t be created: True!! I am sure everyone must have experienced this. We basically make two types of friends, one who don’t change even if you are back after years and second, whom you might see everyday but still feel the change. Many of my closest friends then, hardly bother to call me now. And, some of my more off-the-cuff connections and people whom I met later became the best and most loved ones. It’s not that those people were evil or bad friends. Its just life and its this way.
Break the rules: We all did this sometime or the other. Isn’t it? It was kind of fun that time to go against the rulebooks. Bunking classes, going on secret outings, sneaking out of the hostel, fooling around the warden, false stomach aches to miss schools, group studies turning out to be movie and gossip nights, skipping tuitions for a birthday party or a cricket match…. these make greatest memories of our twenties. And guess what, this also taught us one thing, that there is no harm to be little playful in life.
Everybody is just running after same: While in 20s, I spotted most of the people worrying about common things in life. Food, money, job and family. Everyone wants to look cool and attractive and intelligent. Want to feel important. They might be doing their best but still have insecurities and apprehensions that plague them. Everybody is afraid of letdown and looking stupid. Everyone loves their friends and family yet gets most irritated by them.
Not every boyfriend or girlfriend you make will grow old with you: Isn’t it? This is like hilarious but the bitterest truth of that stage. We can’t and won’t marry every other hot guy or girl we have a crush on or fall in love with. They all are part of our fantasy world, which eventually falls apart. We cry and soak ourselves in the bucket full of tears. But now when we look back we cant help laughing at our own hopeless and pathetic affairs.
What the hell I am doing: Huh!! With all those high school and college pressures we really didn’t know what we were doing with our lives. Choosing a stream and then college and career and job. Making it to the top. Then getting married. And if you fail somewhere, you feel like you screwed up your entire life and now you’re destined for nothing but to be a loser, scrounging and drinking vodka on park benches. But the truth is, nobody knows what they were doing and just working off of their best.
Nobody actually cares: Oh yes!! We think we are so damn important and people cant do without us, but that’s an illusion. No one remembers what we do or what we were. Nobody cares what you say or do with your life. And this is actually good. You can get away with lot of stupid shit and you will be forgiven and forgotten. You can be really messy but no one is bothered. So you can be what you really are or you want to be. Absolutely no pretentions. No spouse, no boss, no bankers, no neighbours to judge you. You are a free bird and can enjoy the most unobstructed time of your life.
There nothing so scary about the world outside: This is the time when we go out, explore, meet more people and realize its not that bad either. Away from home there is a world full of opportunities, good and bad people, experiences and lovely places. And this is something I would suggest everyone while they are in 20s, travel more, talk to people, clear your doubts, interact with them, and explore as much as you can. There are no extremes when you’re still young and receptive.
You have really cool and best parents: And finally, the most disheartening realization of your 20s is that your mom and dad are not as unbearable and uptight authoritarians like you thought them to be as a teenager. They were just two careworn people doing their best to make you capable enough to face life and do your best.
Go easy on yourself: There will be times in your 20s when you feel fizzled and collapsed and you’d simply like to recreate everything or rewind!! But keep in mind you’re not a machine; you’re human and have intricate feelings. So hang in there and believe in yourself. You’re a unique and wonderful individual.
So, this was what I faced and learnt during my divine twenties. Period of my life, I enjoyed most, learned most and gained most!!
But like it happens with all software and system upgrades, there are still bugs that keep arising and need to be fixed!! As of now, enjoy the moment, what you have and live life to the fullest 🙂