At 28, life seems to have just begun. Coz 16, 18, 21 have all been like any other. Like a signboard you see outside a shop, on a journey. You see them passing by, but they have nothing much to do with your trip. They’re not like milestones that tell you “you’ve reached here”. Funny because, they are meant to be milestones. Because that’s when a sense of independence crawls in. The urge to break free, the restlessness to do more, the anxiety to know what’s in store for you – everything makes you look at life from a whole new perspective. One that’s got only you in it. Life begins to run parallel to that of your family but never seem to meet anywhere. Late nights never seem too late and weekends never seem to end. Such, would have been the life of many an 18 or 21 year old. Strangely, not mine.
Looking back, I realize that life had a lot to offer. An awesome childhood with some really good friends (Many of whom are still my best buddies), an equally exciting campus life, an awesome mom and a terrific dad as parents, an affectionate elder sister, crushes, true love, all of it. But what I didn’t seem to have was the feeling to be independent. I never felt the need to stay away from home. I didn’t think I had to live life on my own terms. I never dreamt of being alone in a new city, where nobody knew me, so that I had nobody to stop me from living my life.
While most of my peers eagerly waited to fly free, the thought of staying away from home gave me sleepless nights. But if life were to be such at 21, so be it. Thinking so, I packed my bags and started for a new life. Away from home for higher studies. I was by myself. And I was miserable.
I felt suffocated in my independent life. Nothing was the same. I never went out. I did nothing that I didn’t do back home. I was on a constant guilt trip. Every time I tried my hand at something new, I’d feel a chill down my spine. To me, doing what I wished, without my parents being around, was wrong. Such a bore, I swear!
And so set back. To home sweet home. With mom and dad and nothing to worry. Life was safe and blissful. No more risks. No more lies. And life went on.
Not too far, however. As I entered the late twenties, life began to take a new turn. New ideas started taking shape. New perspectives were formed. Questions raised. Explanations demanded. An age-long siesta was coming to an end.
Today, I look back and wonder if there’s something I’ve missed. And all I do is nod my head. At a time when I had the choice to grab life by its bars, I parked it aside. Safe and sound. And today, when I wish I had the freedom to surge ahead and not look back, I know it’s too late. All that I once thought was luxury, have today become my necessity. I guess if I’d lived life differently then, I’d be happy where I am today. I wish I could look back and tell myself, wow what a ride. Sadly, I think, the ride’s just started. And will soon have to see its end.
Optimism tells me there are still miles to go. Pessimism tells me I slept through my journey.