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 #15: Alternate Lives

The week before last week, or last last week as the 12 year old me would say, I was in
conversation with a wise friend. Our conversation shifted to domain names, and the ubiquitous nature of them – always unavailable. My friend says it’s about being quick – finding alternatives. I say it’s about being lucky.

Perhaps it’s both, or neither. Either ways ‘unavailable’ is a tag attached unto many. And perhaps lucky enough to find an alternative is the next best thing there is. If so, then we must be a collection of alternative happenings, for a perfect collinearity of reality and want is a myth, existent only in the boxes of geometry.

If so, then we must be a wayward jumble of alternatives – shaped by all the things we couldn’t have. Thinking of ourselves as the next best alternative is rather strange, like looking at oneself not in the mirror but from the other side of the mirror.


Week 15 of writing a snippet a week, mostly on a Saturday. There are some cheat weeks of course, like  Monday or a Tuesday.