Dear 30th birthday,
Welcome! Against the widespread emotion of fear and panic that people associate with you, I welcome you with open arms. You don’t sprout any feeling other than the feeling of content, satisfaction, accomplishment and happiness. It’s not that I do not have any flaws in my life, or there is nothing I could have done better, But today, as I come face to face with you, I realize that I am content with where I am. Thank you for coming at the right time. Thank you for giving me this chance to stop and reflect.
Sure 30 is a big number. But what difference does it make? After all its just a number. It does not represent my experience, It does not represent my maturity, it does not represent success or failure, my health or even my mental makeup. Considering the average life span for humans, it looks like I am half way through. Now THAT can be a little discomforting thought. May be this is the reason of panic among many, the realization that hardly half the life is left, that too, not the best years, but for some reason, it’s not bothering me 🙂
I think the first 30 years (mainly last ten) were to build the foundation and the coming years will be mostly reaping the benefits. Life is a constant battle, but still, at least the basics are in place now. I am happy and satisfied with most of the decisions I made so far. I kept quite good command of my life even in reckless years, I had great time as kid, in school, in college, university, at my work, home and somehow managed to gain respect and love instead of rivalry and hate (to most part). I have a pretty good understanding on what I want in my life and I am well on the way to achieve that. I am not running behind the rat race, I recognize and appreciate the good things in life. So you see my Dear 30th birthday, I have my life pretty much figured out.
As I look back on life so far, there are few things that stand out. Some building blocks that helped shape my life and some small achievement that make me feel content. A wonderful childhood tops the list. Filled with memories to cherish throughout my life, it was undoubtedly the most carefree phase. Growing up in a middle class family, we (I and my two elder siblings) did not have access to luxuries that are part of routine life now, but we had a fabulous family life overloaded with love, warmth and happiness. All thanks to Papa Mumma for that! 🙂
I am thankful and proud at the same time for the relationships I have formed and received. I have a wonderful support system from my family and friends. Looking at number of people in my friend list, it may not look like a lot, but I share a unique camaraderie with each and every one. Be it my school/ college friends with whom I have spent years or be it a new friend I made during a flight. I feel so privileged and lucky to have the family I have. I feel saddened when I see people not even in talking terms with their family. I see sisters behaving as arch enemies, I see mother’s aloof from their kid’s life, I see father’s turning a blind eye to a dysfunctional family. I feel sad and sorry for them, they don’t know what they are missing at. Looking at all this, I have learned to value emotions, the unspoken language of love, the frugality of life, the respect for different point of views, looking above small disagreements and seeking for the greater meaning of it all. I have a clear understanding to what family and relations mean to me and so far I have managed to keep the dear ones near me. In childhood we had countless fights and there were times when me and my brother couldn’t have a conversation without yelling and screaming at each other (typical sibling behavior), Parents had to intervene to ‘solve’ our fights, and here are times when we talk to each other almost every day, being 2 time zones away, we stay connected fairly well. I share a special bond with my sister and more so with my brother-in-law and their two little devils. 🙂
Way before reaching 30 year mark, I completed two college degrees (It is quite an achievement for an average student like me 😉 ) and built a good position in my professional life. It could have not been possible without guidance and support from the 3 most influential men in my life, my father, brother and hubby. They steered me in right direction, trusted me, supported me, encouraged me, even in the times when I gave up. The educational backbone is pretty significant asset, pairing it with years of experience boost my morals. I do love my work and totally enjoy my role, at the same time, I believe work is a means to provide for life, work is not life.
Not a very long time ago, I paid off my education loan and currently completely debt free. Many big things are yet to come in life and I foresee myself in debt again, but I also foresee that we will manage it.
Though I can never repay my parents for all the love, care and support they have given me throughout these years, I do try to take my turn at the provider role through materialistic (but emotionally decided) gifts. This may not sound that big a deal or milestone, but I always felt (and still continue to) the need to give those things to my parents which they couldn’t afford because they were too busy providing for us. Only thing I haven’t been able to give them in past eight years, is the happiness of spending time together. There are times when I break out, yell, and hang up the call, But it is not more than the times when I tell them ‘I love you’, ‘I miss you’ in our countless hours of conversation.
Finding that one right person in this whole wide world to call your life partner is nerve wrecking for all of us. No doubt, finding my Mr. Perfect is one of the most critical tasks I have done so far and I did it quite well in time. Today as I meet my 30th birthday, I have already celebrated my 3rd wedding anniversary with the super intelligent and amazing person I have as my husband. Unlike most Indian girls, I took command of my life partner search in my own hands. We both were actively looking for that one right person and found each other. It was a well thought, analyzed, explored, decision paired with a hint of love. I knew what I wanted from my life partner and my family trusted my judgement. I took the best decision I could, based on my understanding of life and understanding of myself and with each passing day, my confidence in that decision grows stronger.
I never make new year resolutions, but I sure have a huge to do list. In addition to millions of small things like recipes to try, crafts to do and trips to make, I would like to spend more time in my spiritual uplifting, be more involved in charity work and social work, dedicate more time to wiki project Jainism, transcribe/translate more Ted videos, reduce or at least maintain my wardrobe and shoe collection (handbag, jewelry and cosmetics are not at that crazy stage yet). I have some far-fetched ideas of learning Sanskrit and learning to play a musical instrument. Huh, as I read through my to do list, it sounds way too mature and boring, but well, you can’t blame me, I am 30 now, remember? 😉
Life is beautiful. Thanks to all my friends and family for playing their part in this journey. I am looking forward to the coming years and new experiences it will bring along.
Happy 30th to me! 🙂