It has dawned on me that life passes by in seasons just like the TV shows I love to watch. It is not a big realization. Mythology and history have always emphasized phases of life and what to do in each one of them. My life’s seasons, so far, are not that drastic. Maybe an apt comparison is to Smallville – a number of seasons to allow Clark Kent to embrace his destiny as Superman, but more than a 100 episodes later also Superman doesn’t learn to fly. Clark Kent is yet to turn into Superman.
So why am I thinking about seasons of life? Because even though the passing years add to my age, I have always found the number at odds with me. I turned 30 early this year. 30! It’s that age when in Friends they had pledged to marry their back-up friend if they hadn’t already found someone. It’s also the age that lazywiz thinks Kareena Kapoor looks her most gorgeous.
By 30 you would think the female was a woman, only I still felt like a girl. Addressed myself as a girl. In my thoughts, I was a girl. Until recently.
Then why suddenly, you might ask, this coming of age? The numbers have been catching up. Maybe there was a lag. Like a bad internet connection which fixes itself after you restart the modem (I have no idea why that trick seems to work more often than not). It is slowing rendering crystal clear HD quality clear pixels now. A woman, that’s what I am. Whatever the word means.
So what is a thing a woman does, or rather, what’s the thing this woman did? Take risk. A new adventure.
Harry Potter has taught me many things, and I would severely digress if I dwelt into those. The relevant one here is that Harry had to forgo the familiar and step into the unknown and relatively alone as life has him grow up to become what he is meant to be.
Remember your grandparents, parents, even you (if that is how your career is).. the same job until retirement. Same routine, same neighbours. Same office and colleagues year after year. In my line of work, more precisely, in my kind of company, this stability is unheard of. Its stagnation, which isn’t entirely a good thing. 3 years and you are a long timer.
Speaking of retirement though, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have retirement plans in place. Above all, securing your financial future is crucial. I am only 30 and I am already starting to make plans.
Nowadays, there has never been more freedom of choice when it comes to retirement planning. For example, I know of quite a few people who have opened individual retirement accounts. You can learn more about IRAs by checking out this IRA calculator on the SoFi website. Ultimately, if you are reaching retirement age, or simply planning for the future, it is fundamental that you consider all of your options.
As for my own career path though, I lasted 7 years in a job I did not enjoy because I was scared of change. I was also fearful of the financial repercussions of leaving. What would happen to my retirement plans? I joined when I was 23. Young, wide-eyed with wonder. It should have been a give away when I looked around and the people who were my seniors in tenure were gone. When I was one of the most experienced ones around. Over the years, new people had replaced the old ones, not just in my office area, but also in my heart. Young people. I smile while writing this. Another realization that I am no longer part of this common noun – “young people”.
Anyway, so I have finally and firmly said bye to the familiar and plunged into the new. No longer the 23 year old girl but a more knowledgeable and hopefully more efficient woman.
I know… I know.. if you are older than me and reading this, then you’ll probably laugh or object (and roll your eyes) saying am still young. Thank you for saying that. I truly hope I am still that. Young. More importantly, that I can find moments of that carefree youth, unjaded excitement and unapologetic happiness.
When I read YA novels now (my latest craze in Glass of Throne.. it is good and I plan to write about all the hot guys in it!). I realize I don’t react like Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen anymore. I am no longer like Jace or June. I can’t be Scout anymore and can only hope for Atticus Finch-like dignity. It used to fascinate me that James Bond wasn’t a 20 year old, but more like 40. Well, there is some hope in that.
As there is hope that after all the life-altering months of trivial and not-so-trivial distractions am back to writing. Here’s to many more years of being me and discovering the woman that I am meant to be.
This article was first published in September, 2018.
indrani robbinsSeptember 2, 2018 at 10:21 am
lovely change of life moment piece, rhea. i just watched rachel’s 30th birthday episode on friends last night. so, of course i thought of it and the horror of decade three coming at the denizens of the twenties, and you in the middle of it with your very own vignette featuring lazywiz, spock, the artificially intelligent new girl friend of yours, and the challenges of managing a two continent life. then along came superman, kareena k, harry potter, atticus and james. hadn’t bargained for that, added much to my enjoyment of your wonderings.
i have been noticing your quiet for a while. unsettling times these, hmmm? when i was six, i used to look forward to the wonder of ten, somewhere in the middle of my teens i think i started fantasizing about 40, seemed like a major milestone to me, an exciting, let’s settle it once and for all i am here and i am not budging kind of age, a pretty supermannish age, or maybe it was mr bond all along that made four oh seem so snazzy, just that i hadn’t thought of it consciously. but i definitely had a thing for forty.
thirty on the other hand, never registered. it was only much later that i realised that the thirties were perhaps my most unsettled, weird years. especially the early ones. though i moved to bangalore which i loved, started my career as a copywriter, then more and more changes in our lives, all seemingly for the better and possibly they were, but oh i was not my happiest, best self. yet maybe all of it had to be there, had to happen for me to get to the next and the next.
i hope your thirties take you to you and the most of you, the best of you every second. there is a gorgeous beauty in the twenties, yes… for a lot of people at least, rachel’s almost 25 boyfriend, remember? a jawline, remember?… the beauty of the thirties is a little different, and at every stage i think i have resisted growing up, till it’s come and hammered me on the head and insisted on being part of my life, but the me within and the you within, do they change essentially?
looking forward to your next piece. and yes, young in the physical sense, dammit too good.
rhea sinhaSeptember 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm
Felt good to have a long comment from you Indi di after writing a post after this long. When I write these kinds of articles I wonder if all the hops and skips of my mind and heart when put down in words would make sense to someone reading or not. That you caught on and listed out many of the references made me smile. Kindred spirit huh? Even if we have our own moments that jawline has made us become friends for hamesha.. and even if the guy has gone and lost his jawline its been so worth it right.
Unsettling times? Yes. First it was a lot of visitors and travel, but mostly because of work. Leaving my old team and moving to a new has been a revelation of self and the world which in some face is forcing me to “grow up” in some aspects. Not a bad thing so far. Just needed to ramble and sort through it.
I can see all your Friends discussions popping up. Haha its a delightful show isnt it? My very good friends from college and after love the show. There is such a nice mix of relatable, entertaining and often surprisingly inspiring in it. I mean who doesn’t dream of such friends and not just going off on crazy adventures with them but just living life with them. Aging. I never gave it a thought. But to age and have people with you on the journey is such a new feeling.
WIll write more and often starting now! So you can leave many more long comments dearest Indi di.
indrani robbinsSeptember 12, 2018 at 8:35 am
make sense. we worry too much about that i think these days. as long as something “makes feel” it’s valuable, it’s got that something. this insistence on linear logic, you know machines operate like that. it’s the makes no sense part that is so peculiarly human, don’t you think? that ability to enter what can’t be completely understood or categorised but which we have access to, which perhaps only we can glean, and fly about in.
ramble, dear one. and age, no it’s not just a number, it’s a mark of our shenanigans on this crazy planet, on a trip we call life. and really, it’s fascinating.