Growing Up #17: An Essay That Made Me Think

It’s been a while. It’s been a season of festivities on this side of the world. Festivities has made into one of my best excuses to write less. As a kid I loved festivals, but the older I become, the charm began to fade. Perhaps it’s a memory of its own kind. My resolution to write every Saturday about growing up, because holidays are perfect for overthinking has been toppled. Festivities are even better time to overthink, to react in the secret chambers of your mind. I could not make myself write more.

Each year as the festivities pass, I feel as though it chips away a piece of me. The city stops, and the halt sends a thousand thoughts spiraling down my nerves. I stop from my usual life, peek out into the world and it serves as a stark reminder of – the things I wanted to do but couldn’t, the list of To Dos I gave up on, the things I wished but never had the serendipity of coming across.

Time stops, I stop with it, but my racing heart doesn’t. It runs as though chased by an unseen force into an imaginary chaos I can barely contain. The chaos of insecurity, the chaos of incomprehension, the chaos of desire and description, the chaos of simply being. The chaos I wish I could translate frame for frame into words.

There is some solace in words, and in people who take the excruciating task of opening the doors into their minds through them. Without you, I don’t know how much longer I could have remained in the realm of sanity.

There is some solace in strangers who write and whose words tumble down into your world through the ocean of the internet. Without you, I could not have smiled.

I might have just come across such a work this morning. It’s Never Too Late to Start a Brilliant Career.

All of us know someone, care about someone or love someone who seems stuck in life. The critical thing to remember is that we cannot give up on ourselves or others, even—and especially—if society has made it harder to catch up. Human life spans are lengthening. Most people recently born will live into the 22nd century. The vast majority of us will be better served not by high SAT scores or STEM degrees but by discovering and embracing our true talents. A healthy society needs all of its people to recognize that they can bloom and re-bloom, grow and succeed throughout their lives. – Rich Karlgaard

The Supposed Tos of the world and the age milestones attached with it pours with them a stream of anxiety, bringing in the perhaps forbidden thought, that if we do not have a particular milestone by a predefined time we are undeserving of it, even more never bound to find it. We are not robots, preprogrammed bots to behave in a way that is predefined. We’re humans, with minds, brains, and wonders. And we’re bound to be different, bound to find our music in our own frequencies.

A healthy society needs all of its people to recognize that they can bloom and re-bloom, grow and succeed throughout their lives. This is the last line from Rich Karlgaard’s essay, and perhaps the one that struck a chord with my heart. ‘Throughout their lives” these three words mean even more. We’ll always be growing up.

Growing Up #3: Age is just a number?

Age is just a number, they say.

Maybe they are right, it’s an arbitrary measure of how long you have lived chronologically.  But only if life could be lived in the simple timelines that come ahead. Some days I am 10 years behind, like a kid that I always am. Some days I function like an adult, apt for the time. Some other days I am a toddler, whose insatiable demands leave me heart broken. Some other days I am a philosopher trying her tiny hands at solving problems that may appear 10 years from now.

It does seem age is just a number. Like a river that splits into tributaries that visits different landscapes as it journeys through time, twisted and turned. A part of me lies in the pristine mountains, some other submerged in the waters of the South. Perhaps it would be best to let the streams unwind on their own and be washed into the sea.

No number could ever justify the depth that we have seen amalgamated into one.


Growing Up – a series on well, growing up. Every Saturday because Saturdays are perfect for overthinking.

What is it with age?

The alarm rings and you wake up. Have breakfast and head out for school or work. You impatiently stare at your watch waiting for the lecture to be over; the clock strikes 5 and you are ready to leave work. Come home, all tired and look at the plan for the next day.

You take the paper from the rack and the headlines are covered with young people your age doing wonderful things. You check the age of the latest popstar in town, its less than 20! You search the age of the latest popular TV actors, less than 25 it comes out. The bones in your body suddenly feel week; the straight As suddenly succumb into the dark.

I feel the rush to act, to do something instantly, to rush out of the door and into the sunshine. And the patience inside keeps on sliding away as the days pass on. We get old, and we feel the need to act more, to get something done. The patience is still sliding away.

Its good to have young role models coming up these days. But we got to take it positively for ourselves.

Sometimes I tell myself, that it isn’t about success at a young age, it isn’t about the high paying job at the early 20s, it isn’t about winning the top awards when you age less than 25, its about finding out a dream and then working towards it. That each person’s journey is incomparable to the other. Its about doing something worthwhile, whenever you can, whatever it may be, however small it may be. Its about reminding oneself all these, time and again, just like brushing your teeth every morning and night. Its about holding on, and perhaps not focusing too much on age.

Its about working without focusing too much on the rewards, its about doing the good ‘Karma’, and everything else will fall in place.