At the age of 12, I often thought about how my life would be at 24. It’s a random age to pick but I was very curious about how my life was going to be at this age. I had a dream about all the things it was going to be.
The age that I couldn’t wait to be, was 18. Every year I was glad to count one more candle on my cake. It brought me closer to 18.
I couldnt wait to drive, vote, be allowed to sign MY cheques for MY bank account. On the parental level, I was promised permission for rock concerts, stay overs and a CAR!
For a girl like me that was all that I wanted, at that point in time that is. On my 18th birthday I was exhilarated with anticipation. I got all that I wanted. But I didn’t feel fantastically independent like I’d imagined. I still was chubby and I was still my parents’ little girl (they wanted names and phone numbers everytime I went for a stay over or a concert)
But I had two fab friends, a super enthusiastic group of friends in college and a fabulous life in general. After 18, every additional candle felt weird. It took me away from my fabulous age. Being 18 then meant a license to be a baby when you want and be an adult when you want (Eg: Mom please please buy me that new watch! or I am going yaar Mom, I’m old enough to take care of myself) I didn’t want to move away from that age. There came a lot of stuff after I turned 18 which toughened me up but at 18 there was a magic about the crises even. In fact, crises were adventures. Sigh
This week, I blew 24 candles, and suddenly remembered the dreams I’d had back at 12. I am nothin like that girl was supposed to be an yet everything I want to be. I am not a hotshot MBA who has a fancy car and an awesome boyfriend. I don’t sing and write songs for a rock band in my free time.
In fact, I am no different than the girl I was in college or school. I still cry in the movies, I still sing along to my favourite songs, I still love my friends and go out of the way to be there for them and happily so. The friends are different though. I still ask my parents for their opinion before I make a decision. I still love my sister but I have learned to love our crazy fights.I still like to eat but I have found joy in exercising.
I am still me. A slightly different version, but the soul remains the same.
How stupid was I to have wanted to be all that was not me.
And yet so lucky to have found the people who love me and people I love. People who’re not blood relatives but thicker than ever with me. They love me for me and not because they have to. And some that I am just glad to have as family…
Nani, Om, Pannu, Satam, Lathi, Shefali, Shetty, Mariam, Sneha, Jugal, Parnil, Urvashi… A treasure trove of love I have scouted and will preserve for life.
After all someone’s already said ‘the only real difference between you now and you back then is the people and circumstances around you.’