Tomorrow, I turn 20. Tomorrow, I involuntarily quit my teenhood, moving on to years where a pinch of maturity is expected of me whether I like it or not, whether I want it in me or not. I cannot be young again, the time is past. I will have moved one step away from my childhood years, but this time, it seems to be a big step. Rather, a leap. I, ladies and gentlemen, am an adult. And I’m not happy about it. You can’t ask me why. Gone are the days when… oh, I’ll just leave it like that, and you should know what I mean. Gone are the days. I always knew I’d be here one day, but you know how it’s like when the day finally dawns. You always thought it would be part of your future, something that always happened tomorrow and not today, not now. Like it was a question you had asked but didn’t want answered. But now, the answer’s here. Now, I’m sitting cosily in a bean-bag, drowning in the inevitability of the moment. No promises broken, no back tracks: that’s the worst part. You have no one to blame. It’s just that you had your time, and now is when you move on, leaving your actions to be judged by those who will come before you. You were handed a canvas in history, and you painted on it. You scribbled, you doodled, you produced a masterpiece. Well, time’s up. Happy birthday.
But, as my parents would say, these are experiences that just mould you. You’re a genius when you’re 80 only if you’re a bundle of experiences. All those proverbs, soliloquies, fables, morals and all the other advices and lessons you learnt, now come the moments wherein you use them. I guess this is what life is about: you learn, and then you teach. You can’t learn all your life. I will be paying for my mistakes now also, but I’ll be paying up with my head held high. I’m me now, and that has been decided. Like when you’re in school and physics seems so easy. One fine day, you’ve passed your tests, and now, physics sucks; like when you’re in college but not worried, when all of a sudden, the sun dawns and you have your job interview. They just never seem to happen, but they do. People always say, “live in the moment”, “speak the truth”, “take things slowly” and much more. But only when you’re living it do you know what it takes to live. “Live in the moment”: there’s so much to do, so much to decide, so many people to face, so many responsibilities. so many expectations to live up to. You’re not alone in this world, and that may seem comforting during the occasional rough patch. But you have promises to keep, “miles to go before you sleep”. “Speak the truth”: a conflict at times will have you taking sides, choosing for yourself what is right and what is wrong. Inevitably, it will come to bite you later on. But perhaps, this is what sculpts your maturity. “Take things slowly”: the worst of all. When you’re not faced with the big picture, taking things slowly will have you making impulsive decisions later, when you finally realise what’s going on. But having a big picture when you’re young can leave you dazed as to the magnanimity of it all, good as well as bad. Ultimately, it all comes down to you. There so no absolute here: you do what seems right to you. All the advice will amount to nothing more than supplementing your decisions, but those decisions are your call.
I don’t know where I’m going with this post, but it just seems to be flowing. There seem to be so many complaints. so many regrets, so many opportunities missed, so many more stolen, and so few earned, so many tears shed, so many smiles borne, so many frowns suffered, so many downfalls experienced, so many wake-up calls heard, and it’s all one big bundle to look back and smile about. You weren’t told you were packing your bags all these years for one long journey. And you didn’t take care to leave a few things out, a book, a photograph, out just to look at and revisit. Maybe this is not the ideal Birthday Eve recollection as it were, but it seems like the death of my past. And it’s only natural that my life is flashing before my eyes. Tomorrow, the 23rd of December, 2008, I will be 20. Wish me luck!