I officially turn 25 tomorrow. Yes, that is a quarter of a century old. Unofficially, however, I feel 13 or maybe 16 though I am leading a life of a 25 year old.
Graduated school – Check.
Job – Check.
Earning money – Check (Note: That doesn’t mean or imply that I am money-ed)
Living alone away from home – Check.
Paying bills – Check. (In fact, I can’t wait to not pay them (gotta love the double negative here!))
Messy house – Check.
Landlord issues – Check.
Boss-hater – Check.
Shifted jobs – Check.
Travelling alone in the city – Check. (Note to self: Not “travel” travelled by myself ever – Must accomplish by 30)
Major illness – Check.
Shopping/ Spending/ Eating out – Oh yes, check.
Sorted in life – Nope.
Marriage plans – As of now, none but I do have a fair idea about what I am going to wear for my wedding and the many Hindu functions so yes, halfway there.
I read this post on a social networking site a while back proclaiming in big bold letters that 25 is the shit because by then one is confident, sure about one’s purpose in life, mature, adult and well essentially, a butterfly (from a caterpillar, you know). I pitted myself/ my life against the parameters in the post and ended up with some surprising results. Turns out, I do know the kind of person I want to be (ooh, the biggest challenge ever – as if it is that difficult to figure out that flirting with your boss is wrong or that it is okay to scream at people and use choice words against them (in your mind)) but I haven’t figured out the “life” bit in terms of the road ahead – my career, what I can do to make a pile of cash, own a house in Mumbai, own a BMW and the usual conundrum facing humanity generally (or so I believe) – do I even like kids and would I want kids? On the eve of my 25th birthday, as I sit listening to Martina McBride sing ‘I Love You’ (OST: The Runaway Bride) with my wrist in a band, a jaw appliance in my mouth writing this post I am transported back in time to 17 when I had just entered Law School. Not much has changed yet so much has since 17.
I had always been pretty academically inclined (In fact, there are times when I yearn to study and crack an exam) and by 15 I was sorted. I had watched enough of Judging Amy, had slept through a major Physics class in tenth grade, hated Math’s gut and while I could stand Biology (though I didn’t quite get the point of Botany) I was sure that Science wasn’t it. I loved Chemistry, was stellar at Science experiments but I was lazy enough to understand that I didn’t want to write detailed answers and then draw diagrams (with all the parts marked). As if I was ever good at art (abstract, maybe) but boy, did I suck at drawing and art. Needless to say, like every Indian kid, I had decided to become a doctor first but since that was out of the window, I turned to Computer Science. It wasn’t ‘Science’ science, it was computing – coding and stuff plus I scored well so why not. I considered Journalism, Arts, Humanities and even Accountancy but thanks to Judging Amy and my Mom’s friend’s daughter (who later dropped Law for Visual Communication or something like that), I decided I was going to pursue Law. Did I know what it would entail and what lawyers do? – Of course not though that didn’t stop me from writing about ‘the juxtaposition between Law and practical reality interposing on policy and social change and whatever’ (I sounded smarter younger than I do now). Before I knew it, I was in Law School and though was accepted into the best BCA program (Bachelor of Computer Applications, thank you very much) I decided to give it a miss. I mean I really didn’t understand how exactly (practically speaking) computers worked and how exactly did the C++ code for a pyramid of stars make that pyramid of stars. At hind sight, I am so very glad that I didn’t venture into computers. Long story short (though I have more or less written most of it) I am glad I chose Law. Now, you see, 17 still counts as “teen”-age but I knew exactly what I wanted and went right after it. I was motivated, driven, focused and well, chubby but all the same I had an ambition, rather, an aim.
Today, I can be counted among those urban vagabonds who is just going through the rituals and has zilch idea where she is headed and whether even there is a road in sight. (I love sounding so pseudo-intellectual!) Briefly, I am having a quarter-of-century-old crisis, an existential one, if you will and I have no idea how I am going to deal with this situation. (That reminds me, never end sentences with a preposition or so said my favourite English teacher) Am I excited where I will be when I am 26? – Yes. Do I want a different job again? – Yes. Do I want to be great? – Yes. Do I want money? – Oh, yes. Do I have dreams of appearing in newspapers and magazines? – Oh, yes (and obituaries don’t count). But do I have the slightest inkling what I going to do next? – No. Some might call it nervous excitement that one is on the precipice of figuring out life but I call it the “sucky” part of life that one has to go through before one exits the dark tunnel and is out there in the sunshine. (It better be!) Actually I don’t blame myself much, I blame the “Law” because of its variety in options. (Speaking of options, how is my WMP playing the best of songs today?! – Moonlight Kiss by Bap Kennedy (OST: Serendipity)) I mean if you, dear reader, also love the Law as much as I do, you have to admit that it is pretty much a full-spread desert buffet out there. You have commercial/ corporate law which brings in the money save for its propensity to bore, then you have constitutional law which is exciting to read but I really don’t know what you can do with it (I mean the Indian Supreme Court itself doesn’t use much constitutional law (http://www.legallyindia.com/Bar-Bench-Litigation/sc-lacks-capacity-to-deliver-proper-jurisprudence-only-7-of-apex-judgments-really-had-anything-to-do-with-the-constitution-in-2014-reveals-research) and my Dad is not a law-person so my chances of getting in some of that action is nil unless I intern for a SC judge but then again what are the chances that my guy will deliver a constitutional law judgment or wait, bigger issue, I can’t live in Delhi again; then there is civil law – safe to practice (includes the divorce lawyer bit) and then criminal – so very exciting and ripe in a place like India (I could never be out of work ever!); and also, there is academics (Will anyone please sponsor me for higher studies already?). The options are the dilemma here and more so the fact that the “nobler” side of the Law will not guarantee money.
So today, on the eve of my 25th birthday, I dedicate my 25th year to sorting out my life, getting rid of my jaw appliance, the wrist band and my negative attitude (haha, well one can try – I love my pessimism – it’s like this dinner table joke kind of a thing – “Oh so you are a glass-half-full kind of a person? I am the glass-half-empty or the glass-doesn’t-exist-kind of a person.”). Oh also, my bucket list has officially stagnated so here’s to filling an entire blog post with things that I aspire to do/ see and achieving none of it.
Looks like my writer’s block has cleared. Nothing like sarcasm to bring on the writer in me.
I could just marry this song – So please, baby please, open your hearts and catch my disease… (Catch my Disease – Ben Lee (OST: Grey’s Anatomy) though that would be one fickle relationship.