I have obsessions and I had thought, way back in October, that the first post of the new decade, and on my blog for 2020 would be a birthday post. Since it is an epic birthday, I thought it only fitting that I dedicate an entire blog post to it.
Much of 2019 was spent in discussing with my group of friends, who will all be turning 30 sometime in 2020, about the changes we have felt in ourselves especially when it comes to defining success and what we want for ourselves in the future.
While I have been trying really hard to keep myself in the present, not worry about a nebulous future and telling myself to “come back” as soon as I find my mind drifting off to the future, I did start to wonder why we were feeling this sudden change. Sure we were turning 30 and much like we had felt the change as soon as we had crossed over from 25, we were feeling it now. But this time, the change felt more fundamental – like the very foundation on which we had built our lives was going through an upheaval.
And that is when it struck me. All of my 20s was spent in either living up to or defying or modifying or deviating completely from the vision of “what my life should be” that 18 year old me had had.
As someone who had never spent an ounce of energy in trying to build a future, turning into someone who started to fear the future, then into someone who finally decided to do what she had known she needed to do since she was 5, my 20s were spent in literally breaking out of the jail that 18 year old me had put herself in.
But there was also a boon to this jail because it came with an expiration date. I realized the 18 year old me hadn’t thought beyond 30. Probably because she had thought 30 was so far away. Maybe because at the time, 30 was “the age” where you would have figured life itself.
So for my luck, my 18 year old’s vision of Suchita expired at 29. And now, as I am turning 30, I have in front of me this blank canvas to decide who I am or I will be going forward.
I have learnt my lesson though. Breaking out of that jail was not fun. Fighting with myself, and a stale vision, was not fun. Most of all, it was simply exhausting and terrifying to break my own shackles.
So I have no vision for myself. Or rather I should say, I have no plans. Just a feeling, an idea, a thought – much like how a story emerges from the recesses of the mind till it is concrete and ready to be put down on paper. And rather than upsetting me, it has freed me. I can now make active choices, based on what is happening right now, instead of reacting or pacifying that child who had thought how her life would turn out but it didn’t.
When I was 13, I was given a quote by a math teacher who was leaving school. The quote was simple, “life is a journey, not a destination.” I have come back to that many times, thought about what it meant at various stages of life. I am now convinced that my teacher had been wise, maybe a fairy godmother for giving that to me at an age where though I didn’t understand it, I had an elastic enough memory to remember it.
And as I have grown, the meaning of that quote has grown with me. I cannot wait to see how I will go forward from here. It’s rather exciting…and not at all scary. Well maybe a little. But as I said to my friend, quite wisely quoting Bilbo Baggins,
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
So I am going to step out that door and see where the road sweeps me off to.