Year after year, time after time

Aaaaand, right on cue, it happened all over again. Just like it does. Every year. Bang on time. Come April, the weird jitters creep up on me. Digging their miniscule tendrils deep into my skin, and sticking there like clammy moss that spreads too fast.

Come April, I realise turning yet another year older is closer than it has ever been. It’s just a date I tell myself and behave outwardly cool. And yet at the back of my mind there is this little crazy woman waving her arms wildly and mouthing the words OMG! YOU’RE GOING TO BE A WHOLE YEAR OLDER, just not too subtly. And not in a way that makes me worry about the first signs of aging a la Olay, or that my biological clock is ticking too fast for its own good, but more in a way that makes me increasingly aware of just how fast time is speeding by. And how much there is still left to be done. It makes me want to open up that old diary with a list of must-visit places. It makes me go back to my goals for the year and reassess. It makes me want to simplify my life even more. It makes me want to slow down, breathe and get with the program!

It doesn’t help that I spent the last few months thinking Ohno, 28 is upon me, 28 is upon me, 28 is upon me. And in the customary-transfer-of-panic-on-to-amma call last week, I hyperventilated, “Amma ya! I’m going to be twenty eightttt!” Stretching the last two words out like some unfamiliar, uncomfortable cloak I have to now put on. And get used to.

Amma, being amma with her cool as a cucumber tone uttered just one sentence, that shaved off 365 days from my carefully reserved stock of time.

“You’re going to be twenty nine,” she corrected.

Cue: more self-induced panic.

It’s silly really, because every now and then there are little signs here and there that tell me yes, time is passing by. Things that make me feel grown up-ish catch me by surprise. Moments that make me realise I have come closer to understanding many things I didn’t one year ago. Surely, that is part of this whole inching closer to the big 3-0 business.

If last year my life felt like a series of missing links with fraying edges, and I was filled with strife and angst, in many ways this year I have mended some things, closed some loops that needed winding up, and found some stillnes. The restlessness that was 2012, made way for some wonderful epiphanies and making peace with some truths. Along with that came the joy of self-discovery and finding forgotten love, and the realisation that this curve is an unending one. That the hunt to choose happiness, find satisfaction, live joyfully is perennial.

Suddenly it dawns on me that none of this change is overnight. I didn’t just wake up one day and realise with utmost clarity, what I wanted for myself. Most people don’t. Most change, big or small, takes time. Year after year, time after time, we plod on. Bumbling about and mucking around this thing called life. Often fretting, sometimes languishing, but all the time trying. It is equal parts terrifying and amazing and I can’t decide which part I like more. So if this is what the passage of time means, and if this is what growing up is, then I’m okay with saying goodbye to 29 and stepping into the 30th, I suppose.

I guess it’s time to stop being the girl that I am 97.65% of the time. To stop panicking about things I have no control over. Namely, the speed of time and the aging of cells. It’s time to chin up and face it. To grow up. Okay, maybe just a little. Just until next April, when the really big panic attack is sure to strike.

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33 Replies to “Year after year, time after time”

  1. Happpppy Birthday. Well, what to say, Even I feel the same about April. :/ I am finishing 25. :'( It is difficult for a single unmarried girl to enter 26th year :P

  2. This problem kind of sorts itself out when you turn 30 (it did for me). You kind of give up on the numbers and stop asking yourself how the hell did you ever get to 30 so quickly. I mean the last time I was at the doctor’s, she asked me which college I went to. So that # 30 doesn’t make any sense I kept telling myself. You’ll go in circles about that and then give up. 31, 32, 33 .. nothing will mean anything. I guess until you get to 40. That’s how it’s working for me. It’s kind of like that. After 30 .. the 1,2,3 that follow it are kind of meaningless :P

    1. Oh but its hardly a problem :P I was just being self-deprecatory.. I really think age is all in the head. My panic with turning a year older is never so much about how “old” I’m getting but about how time is passing me by, and how much I am yet to accomplish :P So I’d rather acknowledge that, even if it is with some mild panic, if it gets me going and doing things!

      1. I would have said touché except that every extra year reminds me of how tired I am getting! And the mirror sometimes has a wicked way of showing u that mercilessly!

  3. I love my birthday. Mainly because I think it gives me the license to act like a five year old and expect parties and presents (yup, am so not gracefully sailing into middle age)

    Have a blast!

    1. Hahaha yay, so Im not the only one fighting all odds to “grow up”. Yes, I like presents, but minus the hungama usually surrounding birthdays..

  4. As always wonderful write up. Age and growing up scares the shit out of me. One advice: Never lose the child in you and be a girl, sweet and innocent:)
    Vishal

  5. I think once I get to 30, I’ll feel a bit better. It is scary thinking about it but if you want to make yourself feel better, just ask your mother how it feels. They are the best mirrors.

    1. Oh Im not *actually* depressed about turning older. This is just customary panic, which is shortlived. I’ll forget about it soon, until next April teehee.. And asking my mother might actually send me into a tizzy. By the time she was my current age she had two babies, a set home and was well on her way to figuring her career out. COmpared to me, she was sorted!

  6. Happy B’day in advance :-) I love b’days but had lost touch with celebrating them properly. Now with my 5 year old (she turned 5 on the 9th of April) they are back to being big celebrations. Both of us insist on sleeping in tiaras the night before our b’day (this is a childhood habit of mine).
    Though i agree with the list of things to do. On my 30 b’day, I realized was not happy with the way I had lost part of my identity and set a 12 month goal to start working on what I want my life to be like. Let’s just say I really celebrated my 31st. Though I’m far from where I want to be, I’m at least on my way there :-)

  7. As someone who is way way older than you can I just say, your 30s are going to be a blast – for one thing you know yourself better, for another, you stop caring about what 98% of the world thinks about you. Life just gets better, baby!! Come over to the dark side we promise you a great time :)

      1. Photoshop ka kamaal hai!! And I call it the dark side since I started doing some stuff that’s not necessarily what “good” Tam Brahm girls do :)

  8. hahaha…really nice post..i m 38 ..and next month another year add into my life, but by heart,,,,i m somewhere between 15 to 21…untill someone (A jealous person) remind me abt age….But ..huh…i am evergreen ..lol

  9. LOL. Lovely post! “I guess it’s time to stop being the girl that I am 97.65% of the time. ” – Tell me if you’re successful in doing that and if so, tell me the secret :) I don’t think there’s a way to changing the person we are. I often think I need to ‘grow up’ as you put it! But sigh, some things are just too ingrained in us *secretly happy grin*

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