When I was young (read 20), I often used to wonder how life would be at 40. What would I look like? Where would I be? What would I be wearing? How my parents would age? How my siblings will grow by then? Who would my husband be? How my married life would be? Will I be married? Or single? Will I have kids and a husband, and a middle class life like my mother? Will I be this house-maker and celebrate my kids’ birthday and go to every party in my social circle? Will I be a working woman trotting in my formals and commanding every other person in the office? I imagined it all, as weirdly and wildly as possible. I imagined a labyrinth of life scenarios I could find myself in. And wondered will there actually be a day when I will be 40. Just the way I sometimes imagine my 60s now.
All thought and imagined, here I am today at the unveiling of life at 40. Evolving from a lost teenager to a lost woman in 40s. It can be both scary and funny. Life looks pretty okay even if not perfect. And I say a little hello to the girl who is just 20. We both are still the same, and a little different.
The best part about ageing is you learn to take everything in your stride and laugh a lot of things off. Just like I am laughing off the number 40. The four decades on this planet have been very special. And beautiful.
The best things of my life are god-given. The blessings in which I have no role to play. My parents, for instance, that were given to me by the Almighty. No words can describe what they are and their unconditional love. Everything I know today is because of them. Every single learning. To be born in a family like mine was god’s wish for which I am eternally grateful. Similarly for the siblings life chose for me, the man I married and the family I got married into. All the things bestowed upon me by the Almighty have been priceless. I thank God for it every day.
The rest of the life that was left for me to weave turned out to be quite okay. Plain, basic, simple, mundane. Just what I had worked for. Nothing extraordinary, but somewhat questionable. Because I will never know what the other half of it would have looked like if I had made different choices and asked for different things. Remaining single for instance. Or marrying early, or choosing a high-profile career, settling abroad, planning deftly to be rich financially, or even a decent steady income stream and so on. All these different choices will remain what if.
One thing, however, I can vouch for. I got what I wanted and manifested unknowingly. A slow, simple and happy life. I also got many other things that I never wanted and manifested. A dwindling career, the weight gain, lack of purpose in life, unresolved relationships, and lack of clarity about many things in life. There is never a “I-have-arrived phase” in life. Be wary of it. Life is an ever-changing landscape of wants and expectations. Sometimes this, sometimes that.
One thing stands out among this mercurial life, and that is ——The Truth itself. It is what it is. Like they say, there are three views of every situation—-my view—–the other view ——and the truth. Inside of our hearts, we all know the truth. Some accept it, some resist, some work towards changing it. But inside, we all are aware of it, the truth of our lives. What we do with it is our prerogative. Everything is relative in life. No black and white, and lots of greys.
What I am writing now may hold no truth a second later. To spill a little secret, while writing this post, I shifted position four times. From bedroom to living room to puja room to another corner. And with every shift, my perspective shifted. Sometimes, I weighed my positives over my negatives, and sometimes, the other way round. So, life to you is what it’s in your head. What you chose to remember and how to remember. All is relative and my perspective. But it is not the truth. The truth is what it is. Beyond our definitions and explanations. My search for that truth is on. It’s at a snail’s pace but it is there. I want that deeper meaning to my life.
A major grounding force in life has been my husband A. The realism that I learnt from him is priceless. He gave me an entirely different perspective about life. The one I was unaware of. He is the root while I was that branch that aspires to touch the sky. He taught me the value of hard work, and piousness. And being stoic. He is my anchor that shields me from the world for choosing weird life choices.
Forty is a good number to reach given the immortality of our existence. I am happy to have lived these years with the people I love. To have all the love I have. Love and good vibes is all I want and that is all I have received. So, here’s a bow to the life, a simple life, a slow life, a balanced life, a blessed life, an imperfect life, an unclear life, a settling life, an unsettling life, a full life and an empty life. At this juncture, all I have is gratitude! Immense gratitude towards the universe, the existence. Life is beautiful with its ugliness. Life is complete in itself. Dear life! Thank you for taking me to 40! What a blessing! What a journey!