I am 36…almost 37 years old. Assuming that 70 is the average life span, I have already lived half my life.
For me and many I know, 30s have been the loveliest years, in terms of learning, evolving and figuring out the person one really is beneath the multitude of roles we all must play. Life has not been all rosy, there have been challenges, but in the end it’s all been good.
But. I am afraid of growing older.
The clock is ticking and I am afraid of turning 70 or even 50 a bit too soon. My hair has been greying for a while now but that does not give me sleepless nights. The thought that I may end up not doing the things I want to do because they did not fit into the plans of people around me leaves me exasperated often.
Not listening to my heart’s desire while I can, not doing aimless road trips, not watching plays or musical performances, not gazing at paintings I don’t understand, not sitting beside a chaiwala for a conversation. Letting life pass me by and not finding the time, the courage, the stubbornness to do things that please my soul, or just being simply too lazy waiting for favorable circumstances. And then looking back 2o years down the line rueing it all. That sort of creates a lump in my throat.
Even then, there is a beauty in this fear. Because my partner is also simlutaneously, slowly waking up to the realization that he does not want to spend the prime of his life simply trying to sustain an upper middle class life for himself and his family, missing out while his only child grows up and moves out.
And that realization now directly affects the minutest ways of our life. How we raise our child, how we spend our evenings and how we choose to spend our money. Sometimes fear can do some real good.
I want to LIVE, and not just exist to fulfill responsibilities, to pay home loan instalments or to hoard for a future I am not even sure I will see. Growing old without having done the silly stuff that my person wants to do. Growing old into a bored, grumpy old person who just kept waiting for the right time to follow their heart.
That’s what I am afraid of. And I hope you are too.
I hope you are reaching that restless, curious, stubborn place in your life where experiences count more than acquisitions.
As the two of us have found, it takes hard work to stay at this place, and we are still learning the ropes. But once you reach there, it’s a place you will never want to leave.