Friday, July 13, 2012

My quarter-life crisis.

                  Best friends who pledged with you to never get married are suddenly talking about birth-control. WHAT! How does such a huge jump happen anyway? You realise that maybe you're the one who is frozen in time and space - stagnant- whereas time seems to whiz past everybody else, transforming their lives. I've hit the age where I'm officially marriage-able. I can marry or get married to someone or have a marriage. I know this because people who are my age in my family are getting engaged to be married, and the most popular girl in my Olevels batch who I would have expected to not get married till she is in her late twenties is engaged! She's not really that different to most other girls, it turns out. That shifts the standard for you-somewhere. If she can do it, then it's probably worth doing? If she can do it, then it's do-able. More importantly, if she can do it, then my ideas about marriage existing in a different world altogether were, perhaps, wrong. And about her, too. If she has changed so much, I wonder what sort of experiences she has been through, for the good and the bad. The familiar regret hits me once again. I'm still living with parents, still studying in the same old city, still not meeting people from new, different cultures. I am a twenty-something. My time is over to wish to be able to do this now. And yet, the time is here for new beginnings. I am nowhere ready to either accept the ending, or to grasp the new beginnings. This is why, perhaps, I feel that I am stagnant.
             And yet, things have changed so much. New friends, a new kinda relationship with your parents, and also, a slightly new sense of self. But they don't feel "new" enough. You're just like 'meh'. I expected more, twenties. The career you thought you'd be so successful at; it's suddenly dawning on you that it is not a booming field to have a job in, just like your dad used to tell you but you never listened to him. You fear being unemployed for a year at stretch, listening to the world's silent "We always knew you couldn't do it" taunts. Hah... certain things don't change, after all. Certain things which should have left you haven't yet. You still crave acceptance, and you still want to be popular. You still want to put on a show for all the audience wanting to see the circus. The inner peace and the confidence that you expected to develop with age hasn't come; you fear this will be the way it will always be, and this is who you'll always be. If you don't like yourself, at least work at the people enjoying the mess?
         There are realisations: the society will never change, not in your lifetime, at least. You will have to bow to some customs that you loathe in order to gain from society what you want. A give and a take- me against everybody else- doesn't place me in a very powerful position. You think to yourself that maybe all the feminist beliefs you have will have to be excused. You realise it's easier than supposed: everything is too precious to compromise till it stands in the way of your own happiness. Glass ceilings will also not break in your lifetime, your gender will stand in your way to success, motherhood will be difficult to juggle with work, just like it was for women before us whom we thought were too old to care about. The soul mate you secretly hoped for probably doesn't exist.
          You don't know whom to love and who to let go. You still don't know how to treat your parents just right. It's sad to know that those we love the most are irreplaceable; so many years wasted with company who will never come close. The irreplaceable ones are few and far in between. To reach out to them, whether to touch them on their cheeks, or offer a needy request from your lips seems too absurd to do. You wish the barriers could be broken but perhaps, that can only be when you all are living in the same city or time. Irreplaceable; it's love and dependency at the same time.
*to be continued sometime later.

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