>And other reasons why I think I must be growing old.

>Or just older. I’m still not on the other side of 30 yet but once you’ve crossed 25 and you’re inching towards that figure, you can sense the subtle changes in and around you. The worldview begins to alter, at first subtly so that you can take it in calmly, and then it comes like a sock in the face, throwing you totally off-balance.

Right now, I think I’m in the middle of those two stages. I still feel young, but so much older than last year: there seem to be more than 12 months that have passed in this last year.

This time last year, we – The Guy and I – were so busy socialising with friends and friends of friends and their friends. But in the last 12 months or so, we’ve unconsciously sorted and sifted from our long list of acquaintances people whom we really care to be with, people whom we can look forward to meeting without thinking of what we should wear. The others have gradually disappeared from our lives without so much as our realising it. Now, it’s more about hanging out with our bunch of friends, having effortless conversations, enjoying the comfortable silence between us or even being reprimanded for getting too drunk! We’re this really social couple, but we don’t care any longer about making new friends. There’s just no time or energy for it now – this long-drawn process of initiating conversations, finding common ground and finally bonding. After a hard day’s work, you want to be with people who know you like white wine better than red or Carlsberg better than Kingfisher.

And the conversations are slowly veering towards investments and children. And diapers, schools, ayahs and child-rearing in general. I don’t even remember what my friends with children used to talk about before they became mums and dads! The Guy and I have no notes to share with them, but we’re still part of those conversations that make us feel like we’re old enough to be parents. When did we stop being young and just-married, footloose and fancy free? When did we start thinking about insurance policies, mutual funds and PPF accounts?

Must have happened around the same time that we started referring to college students as “kids”! In the last week, I’ve attended two parties where the average age of guests was about 20 years. At one of the parties, there was a really cute boy totally checking me out. And I could only look at him and think what a kid he is! It felt horrible to not feel my nerves tingle just a little bit under his glare. It felt horrible that I just didn’t care that he was staring at me so unabashedly and all I could give him back was a patronising look of ‘you-don’t-know-how-much-older-I-am-than-I-look’. Their music is different, their moves are different. And there is a freshness on their face, a sparkle in their eyes that makes me feel old. My exuberance for life seems lacklustre before theirs probably because I’ve seen enough of life to stop dreaming with my eyes open! Remember what I said about growing old, because I no longer can believe in my dreams? It’s true, I think, even when I’m not feeling low.

There are so many other things that no longer seem the same: the clothes I pick up, the shoes I wear, the junk jewellery I can no longer get myself to wear, the funky stuff I still love but relate only to college days… The mellowing down, dispensing advice, speaking from experience – it all reeks of a slow process of aging. It’s the same process that forces you to opt for facials more often, to check your calorie count more carefully and wear the kohl in your eyes a little thinner. It’s more than just in the mind, I say. And you?

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28 responses »

  1. >Lol…well I can’t say I can relate to exactly what u’re saying, but I understand the sentiment. I belong to the much hated early 20s category…so basically i’ve just stopped feeling like a silly teen and actually started enjoying growing up!Anyway, its not so bad. I look forward to the life you have…when u dont even have to bother making new friends :)…that stability only comes with age.

  2. >I am sure the wrinkles and gray hair are NOT a figment of one’s imagination as one grows older but the “should do” and “should not do” definitely is all in the mind!And if you have watched Sex and the City, then you know that actually 40 is the new 30 so 30 must be the new 20. Based on that, you are a teenager.

  3. >@Neha: Not the hated, just the envied 20s! And you’re right about the stability bit.@Solitaire: Right again. So as long as the wrinkles and strands of white are kept away, I only have to fight my mind!@Monika: Thank God there’s someone my age here 😉

  4. >I am 5 years ahead of you! And I totally understand that feeling. Actually I have started feeling it only now…since my friends have all started having kids, and my NEPHEW is about to graduate from college, and I am not the cool maasi anymore, but am the-masi-who-knows-nothing! Just yesterday someone asked me if I was a student. Felt strange, and all I said no, not a student. Not that I graduated sometime when he was in his diapers! What sucks is I never FELT the exhilaration of the 20’s, I kinda feel like I went from teenage to where I am (which I am not telling everyone else here ;)Sigh…now I feel weird.

  5. >no no, it definitely is a little more than in the mind!!!!And of course if everyone around starts going that way, it kind of happens naturally…But then, if one feels otherwise, it could as well be just in the mind!Confused? Never mind.

  6. >Well, you are growing OLDER every moment, but whether or not you are growing OLD is more of an attitude then the number of milliseconds you’ve breathed on this Earth 🙂 These days sometimes I wonder if I am growing old, and then I am like no, not yet…and I am 43!

  7. >:)i would agree with what Solitaire said! and plus every age brings its own pros and cons! what was happening 2 years aggo, maybe totally uncool today!! thats ok! its a ntural progression!nothing to fret about so much! cheers!abha

  8. >Well, i can totally understand what you are feeling..i got out of university 2 yrs back and things have change so much for me too..the way i used to talk, that carefree nature, the way of dressing..everything has changed..when i see college goin ppl i think of my old good days..see the old word here has come as if i was in college in last decade..well i am scared to get marry coz it will make me really feel old.. :)am trying hard..well ya its in the mind that effects and ppl around us also make us realize what we dont want to…

  9. >@Aneri: Oh yes, the nieces and nephews make you feel older than your years!@Chandni: I shall try to decipher that!@globalindyan: Yeah, I agree. I don;t think I’m growing any wiser!@IHM: 🙂 True.@Mama-Mia: Yes, this whole thing about 30s being the new 20s is very consolatory. @insane: It does happen at all stages in life, doesn’t it?@Piper: My sister’s just as old. And I don’t think she’s any of that. I don’t think you would be either!

  10. >Man…I’m totally feeling you there but the fact that I still say ‘totally’ might mean that there is hope for me yet :PI think i have landslided into this life of mortgages, marriage and reponsibilities that I have forgottne that these times are also meant to be the ones where you do meet new people, try new things, go new places. Yet at times I just can’t be bothered. LOL.Growing up is a bitch… 🙂

  11. >Aww sweets, I feel horrible this is happening to you!Yes, I guess it’s all real. I feel a little stupid now, for wanting to be 25 already.Hang in there… if nothing else, these thoughts will leave your mind soon.*hug*

  12. >Sweety what you are going through is quarter life crisis!!If its any consolation ,we all have been there and past it…you are as old as you believe yourself to be..its definitely in the mind though the body tries its level best to remind you!!And I agree 40 is the new 30…so u have along way to go babes!!

  13. >OMG if u people start feeling like that I will become ancient and antique in no time:)U r as old or as young as u feel in ur heart,and i am very young at heart:)

  14. >@Silvara: Oh yes, it is!@Unsung: Cold comfort in waiting. @my space: The skin tells all, even if I don’t want to think about the age!@sansmerci: Pleasure :)@renu: Oh no, not at all! I mean I look at my mum and think I would love to be there, have my children married and be done with all my responsibilities. I’d be so young at heart then!

  15. >lots of similarities here except for the cute boy checking you out.if it was a cute young girl checking me out, i would have just, you know, “sighed” :-)))

  16. >:) hey you’re from lucknow. I lived there at age 6 for a year – went to cathedral convent in hazratganj! Thanks for commenting on my blog. And yes, I keep watching myself in terms of how I dress/think/party to find signs of the 30-year old I soon will be!

  17. >You speak to my soul, ya know. I’m inching towards the dreaded two figure number too. And most of my friends are married. Ugh. And one of them was talking about children the other day. I got so scared I burnt my tongue with the coffee. At least that got him to stop talking about “babies”.

  18. >hey c’mon, you don’t even look 25…and that is, i’m sure, one of the most important things!baaki talking about kids, schools etc…well when you’re in college you talk about career, in school it’s crushes etc etc…its not about growing up only, its about circumstances also. So chill, think what you didn’t have when you were ‘younger’ and haev now, enjoy every stage and love life!and ofcourse, it is all in the mind 🙂

  19. >@Arjun: Like you. At least you’re not sitting on the fence any more.@Zypsy: Lol!@Thinking cramps: Really? Lucknow’s changed in a BIG way since then.@Ramby: So you know what I’m talking about!@Nisha: Thanks 🙂 I love you!I think the one thing I love at this age is my freedom when it’s not fettered by my mind.

  20. >as i was reading it, it felt like you were narrating my thoughts … the whole idea of contentment with stability as opposed to it was a few years ago …. but there’s always that will to do something big and better, isn’t there? that will has its base strongly fixed in the contentment with other aspects of life. with contentment from stability comes the strength to pursue dreams that we’d once put away thinking we’re too old. once we become comfortable with who we are, we reopen that dream basket and start working again …. do i make sense. never mind me. hehe i philosophize too much. :p

  21. >:) wonderfully written…who on earth likes growing old?! Being in late twenties myself, I can relate to this post a lot!As time passes our interests change, priorities change.. If things were the same as they were day after day, then whats’ fun about life?We have just crossed the ‘quarter century’ mark..there is a long way to go!! So lets look fwd to that and hope that the ‘magic 3-o’ doesn’t dawn soon 🙂

  22. >oooooh! I SO know what you mean! Blogged about it myself a couple of weeks back.Needless to say – I agree. With so much of what you said! And I think it does have to do with a little more than being just a state of mind.G turns thirty next Jan, and of course, I do not stop taking his trip on it. But I know if it was me who was turning 30 this soon, I’d be freaking out in all probability!

  23. >20s & 30s, and talking of growing old….you people must be joking. I am 56 years young with a wife in her last year before 50; we're about to become grand parents….and feel absolutely fine and full of zest for life. Like 'indian home maker' said it is more of an ATTITUDE to life. Enjoy it as long as you can – and you can as long as think you can. It's all in the mind. Keep living, and stay young

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