Age is not just a number

I recently saw a video shared on a social networking site, where two women fight over the same seat at a theater/auditorium. A boy sitting nearby suggests the older one of them could sit down. They both start being extremely considerate to each other refusing the seat. The joke being, a woman would never want to share her age or accept that she is old(er)
I never understood this. What’s the big deal about one’s age? It is what it is. You could be hesitant to share the other details of your life, but what is wrong with being as old as you are? It’s not something you can or could have controlled. You were born when you were. I get annoyed when people start the question of asking my age with, “I know it’s rude, please don’t mind…” Frankly, if you know it’s rude, why are you doing it? But, I don’t care about saying it out aloud.
 I AM 33 YEARS OLD!!! BIG EFFING DEAL!!
Behold! I said it and did not drop dead!
Honestly, I am happy to be in my 30s. You still have the youthful excitement with a bucket load of maturity and some financial freedom. You have a clearer picture of where you are going. Clearer… not know for sure. This picture would remain hazy for life, and you would know you are doing something right if it gets clearer year after year and you don’t mind the image. Also, hopefully you have your set of friends you are the most comfortable with. This more often than not, would be people close to your age group.
It’s not that people of the same age have a specific, secret language which no one else can understand. It’s more to do with shared experiences and milestones in life. A bunch of friends from college are still very good friends of ours. My husband, I and all of them studied in the same college. All, except one, even from the same class. We all got married around the same time and had kids around the same time too. We shared common grounds whether we spoke about college, ex classmates, teachers, drinking; to life after marriage, in laws, extended families to pregnancies, diaper changes, breast feeding to schooling, child development and vacations.

Another fun group of friends are, us some moms from my son’s class. We all have found our common interests which has made us all good friends but its our kids who brought us together. 

It’s easier to bond with people who know where you are coming from and know what it is to live the life you are living. Like the various support groups, for people battling addictions or trauma. And, what are friends, if not your support group? But, the same age or not, everyone is not exactly the same.  Even if they had the same/similar experiences people will have different levels of maturity and understanding of different situations.
Once, an erstwhile friend who I had considered to be wise and smart beyond his years, after an argument, had called me loving, selfless and mature. And no. It didn’t sound like a praise. I am still confused.
Even people of the same age and group sometimes start being left out of a circle because they are not at the same milestones as the others. This is not intentional. The singles get tired of the love sick newly dating or married or weirded out of the nappy rash and breast feeding woes. But, at the same time, we need a break from conversations which are a part of our daily lives.
I was completely homebound for almost 3 years during pregnancy and post childbirth. When I could finally get out again, I wanted to dress up, head out, have a drink and a meal. But, this wasn’t possible because all my other friends were also busy with their babies. Everyone didn’t have the luxury I had, of leaving them home with someone. Fortunately for me, at the same time, I reconnected with an old friend and then to another bunch of people. They were some absolute fun times. Carefree parties and people just hanging out, not talking about anything specific. This was a big break for me. Refreshing that I didn’t have to talk about kids or home.
A few of these friends were much younger than me. Nevertheless, they became a big part of my life. And thanks to them, I was introduced to some new genres of music, some weird videos, phrases etc etc. Hanging out with them, watching them compliment or comment on other’s appearances, I realized I didn’t know and hadn’t cared about make up or fashion much. Finally I learnt to put eyeliner at 31!!! My sister had been trying to teach me for years, but I was finally motivated now. I still suck at it, but usually its dark and people can’t tell.
At the same time, this relationship was extremely chaotic. I never understood why it was so difficult with these people. I have never had such complicated relationships with friends before. Now, I know. We were just not at the same level of understanding. Things I found not worth a second thought were a matter of pride and ego for them. Things which according to me were a matter of principle, were just “Deepika overreacting” for them. I am sure I was a bit like them when I was their age. But, that’s the beauty of growing up. What’s the point of getting older if you can’t brush off or laugh away certain behaviors and reactions of yourselves, a few years down the lane? 
There was this someone I noticed for a while, almost a decade younger than me.  I had to constantly remind myself that, so that I don’t snap at them. Sometimes, my patience running threadbare. I noticed an exaggerated sense of self-worth, no hesitation when it came to self-praise, hypocrisy in dealing with people, quick and ever ready to criticize and comment. Above all, intense tantrum throwing sessions with parents. The first time I saw that, I knew that if my son ever even uttered a single word like that, I would break his teeth. And, I haven’t hit my child ever.
I pushed this behavior aside to being a part and parcel of being young. But then, it got me wondering. I don’t remember doing any of that when I was that young. Of course I threw fits when I was a teenager, my parents ‘can tell you. I was a horrendous teenager. But not when I was much older. When I was at the same age as this person, I had finished my masters, was working, living by myself, and had saved up enough for my wedding, so my parents didn’t have to lose their life savings.( Still, they almost did. Topic for another post) Let’s not think that I have a heightened sense of self-worth. Far from it. I thought back about all my friends. No one was like that. Which forced me to think if it was not just about age but also about the generation you were born in.
The people in their 20s now, I call them the Whatsapp generation. Everything is just like the conversations on this app. Relationships, feelings, principles and beliefs. Quick to start and end. Ever changing. Looking for just instant gratification and a momentary sense of being right and happy. Romantic relationships or friendships and in some cases even professionally. There isn’t a general sense of wanting to have a balanced life. Keeping all that you care for, with you, around you.
X makes me happy, so I will just stick to X. ❤ ❤
Y came in and I prefer Y over X, so time to forget about X’s existence. 😉
OMG!! Z is here!! ROFLMAO!! I adore u!! WTF is Y?!! :* :*
It sometimes makes me question their integrity. It’s beyond me that you can’t stand someone, but would go out for movies alone with them. But then, call and crib about the whole thing only to go out for dinner the next day. Is it because, it’s all about what you want? You want someone to hang out with, so whoever is available should make do. Because it’s about you feeling happy, then and there. The kind of people you are with is of little importance? If that’s the case, stop bitching. Just do what you want and have fun!
I am not saying each and every one of them is the same. I know some incredible people, much younger than me but so mature. Serious with their work, they respect relationships, people and life. There are so many of them I can talk about. One of them, part of the same circle, but so much more relaxed. Professional but knows to have fun and let go. Another, has been a rock to me, no questions asked, just been there.
And, my favourite person ever, Tanay. (He doesn’t mind being mentioned here. :D) So sorted and smart. Another pillar of my strength, he doesn’t pretend to know and understand everything. But, he empathizes. If he can’t, he just laughs. Isn’t that’s what being friends means? You be there, you lighten up the mood when needed and just have fun.
I am not here to solve the mystery of why some people are so poles apart than the other. There are various factors which make us what we are. But, we can’t deny that age is a big one.  
Age is not just a number. It is a treasure chest of experiences, mistakes and learnings, memories and stories, people lost and found. So, embrace it. Be proud of all that you have learnt and all that you are going to. I might not know to differentiate deep house from electro house but I know the difference between death metal and Gothic metal, and I know if a song is right for salsa or cha cha. And, this is just a tiny percentage of what this 33 year old knows.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Good one Deepika.”One of the best things of getting older is, before a person speaks you know he is an a*****e”. Nice blog, appreciate your attitude towards life.

    Like

  2. Deepika Rao says:

    Thank you Sanjana. 🙂

    Like

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