Blogger's diary, nostalgia, Ranting

Turning 30, having babies, and other big plans…

30kmIN ABOUT two weeks, I’ll be turning 30 and, I’d be lying if I said that I am not looking forward to it. I am not among those, who shy away from getting older. I like to celebrate that day, sometimes ridiculously and embarrassingly in grand fashion. In that department, I’m still a five-year-old. Those close to me would know, how my birthday has me excited at least two months ahead of time. Of course, now, with age and work, that countdown process seems rather tedious. Between ‘work-eating-gym-again more work-eating-sleep’ time, my brain finds little space for ‘50 days to go’ reminders. These days, my girlfriends do that job for me, and I’m like, “Aah, yes! Is it?”

Point is, it’s finally happening — That Big Three Oh. And, I am not dreading it. But, the mind has to day-dream, ponder and rue occasionally. During one such contemplative moment, I looked back to the start of the decade, one that’s soon ending. And, that’s when I figured that as happy as I am now, my 21-year-old self wouldn’t have liked this version of me. Naah! Not at all! In fact, she’d hate and resist me!

When I was 20, I had big plans, like really, really big plans for a woman of my age. Tell me, which person would otherwise have their life chalked out so clearly, year for year, date for date. I remember once, how my mum had broached marriage talk, and I defiantly said, “I am not going to get into this jhamela until I am 25”. Then, to make my stand very clear, I doled out juvenile predictions: Marriage by 26. One kid by 27. And, another may be, just before I hit 30. Quit job at 35, freelance soon after. I was also going to have a house of my own, a big Xmas Tree (irrelevant how this detail was important) and an awesome make-believe life in Canada or Australia. So, typical, right!

Of course, I had conveniently forgotten to fit a lot of things into this ‘big plan’ – like what would my career look like, would I ever be able to rustle up a meal for myself [let alone for my family], how would I deal with rejections in love or any unexpected failure in life.

Living like I had, fresh out of college, naive, inexperienced, sucker for mush and fairytale endings with crazy maternal-instincts brimming, I thought I could conquer my fantasies at the snap of my fingers, when and how I wished.

But, it’s this same immaturity that saw me through my 20s. The desire to have all that I had wished for – earnestly hoping each birthday that this year would be different from the last – only made me more purposeful. Surprisingly, this goal set me up on another, unforeseen plane.

Some two years ago, when I dived into a pool from the perilous edge of a mountain, while undertaking a rather, brave canyoning trip in Oman, I thought all my plans were going to come undone. In that moment of sinking deep and hitting the rocky crevices of the natural pool, I feared I would break my leg and never rise again. But, I did wade up and swim back to the surface.

Now, that I am here, safe and out of danger, I realised that in between wanting to have a dreamy wedding and so many babies, I had also written a book, moved countries, churned inspiring bylines, cooked meals in the kitchen, walked down the cobblestone pathways of Greece, trekked through the mountains, broken my heart (probably unknowingly broken someone else’s), bought a car, chatted with my favourite writers, introduced hundreds of young girls to the world of journalism, returned to my first love Mumbai and made many, many new soul friends.  One of the other bigger lessons I learnt in my 20s, was to stop resisting or opposing the idea of something, no matter how much I disliked it.

And, because this 21-year-old version of me had never thought that this decade would pan out like this, she would look down at this life with great trepidation. She’d think I had been defeated and lost. Obviously, then, she wouldn’t have known that I was hoarding beautiful, little memories that I would eventually hang on that big Xmas Tree — the one I wished to have someday.

Until then, I am making new plans for the 30s. And, I probably already know it will look different when I turn 40.


12 thoughts on “Turning 30, having babies, and other big plans…

  1. 🙂

    Your plan was mundane. As much as you cherish it. What happened instead was brilliant! I don’t know about 20-year-old-Jane but 20-year-old-Tess would have been in awe of you and wanted to emulate you in many ways.

    The old saying goes that “Man proposes, but God disposes” and we are living examples of how true it is. And if it is true that God always gives you what ultimately works out for the best then I am glad that you didn’t get married by 25 and have two kids by now. I don’t know how that Jane would have turned out but from what I can see, this 30-year-old-Tess adores, admires and abso(effing)lutely loves you.

    And probably 10 years down the line you’ll begin to see and respect yourself the way we do now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I woke up this morning, and felt so blessed, when I read this message. The best part about having a plan, was seeing to it that the bonds I formed before my 20s, stayed with me and blossomed as I grew. I am so glad that you happened to me. If there is something that I cherish most about this decade, it’s the tumult of our friendship. It’s been the sweetest success.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nishath says:

    I think you did a prettt decent job until now. And i feel you will do a pretty kickass job beyond the big three-o!

    And as rightly put forth by you, one does not define life, it defines you. I am glad that i was able to be a teensy weensy part of your grand memories, and i eagerly look forward to even more of your adventures in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were a major part of my life mister. You were partially responsible for my decision to shift base to Muscat. That experience was the most enriching one of this decade. Thank you for being such a lovely friend.


    • Hi Juhi, So nice to hear from somebody new to this blog. Yes, of course, I think i have put together a fine life for myself. And, there would have been nothing more comforting than my 21-year-self acknowledging that… I don’t know if she would have understood though. I guess, experience teaches you that. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aunty Jane!
    Aunty Jane!
    Aunty Jane!

    I think you’ve done fabulously well for yourself these past 10 years. These things that eventually happened may not have been in your grand plan, but it makes you who you are at three-o. I’m so glad I was present somewhere around every year you grew wiser, better, sexier and closer to the awesomesaucery you are right now. And I can’t wait to be part of your journey for the coming years (irrespective of whether you want me to be or not :P).

    Love how you can just sit and jot down these amazing thoughts, introspect and make us all think what we were like when we just started out (all together). Though I’ve not had any of these marriage, babies, freelance job etc plans for myself, they do resonate with many women who wish to carve a life at their own pace/time, while God has better plans. Always…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Saby borges says:

    Wow, just learnt how words can be so expressive when it comes to you. Just wanted to let you know how proud we are of you and trust me no word in d world could describe how precious you are to me. You made my childhood worth living. Love you sis 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to berate myself when I was younger for not having hit the milestones until a much younger cousin of mine said that I was a role model for her- being independent, having a career, and taking decisions that otherwise would be deemed as unwomanly. We all have different paths.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, thank you so much for dropping by. It always feels nice to have someone new on the blog. I do agree with you. And as I grow older, I feel most certainly that we don’t have to follow the paths set out for us.


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