For a long time, especially in the last decade, I was quite apprehensive about growing up. Not so surprisingly, this apprehension did not exist during childhood, which was a time we all looked forward to being older, more mature and most importantly, to be taken seriously. This worry came in at a later stage in life, when things were more settled, independent decisions were being taken, life was being lived on my own terms and in general, everything seemed way too awesome to change.
I am talking of growing up of the shallow kind. Like I remember dancing away at a disco, thinking I need to absorb all this as much as I can right now, because I just loved it so much, but in 10 years, general societal norms wouldn’t let me do this as freely. We would go to pubs, drink beer through the night and look at folks nursing their single malts in a corner, and think why anyone would prefer that over this.
Then there were the spontaneous weekends away – wake up and decide to drive away, because that for sure would be impossible once we had a child. Or spending hours outside the house, mall-hopping, generally sitting around at cafes, watching 4 movies back to back, doing everything but coming back home because that’s what made our weekends. And again, through all of this I wondered how I would live a life which was not this? Would the world and people around me want me to change? More importantly, would I succumb?
Turns out, I needn’t have thought so much at all. Growing up apparently is an evolutionary process, not an overnight change. And I realized this when I realized one fine morning, that I was no longer the person I was 10 years ago, in so many ways. And the best part was, I hadn’t realized the change. And not only did the change creep up on me, I have absolutely no issues with the way I am right now. In fact, I think it’s just gotten better.
Like, reflecting on the disco part, I doubt anyone is going to say anything if I do continue as frequently, but I don’t. I choose not to. Somehow, the idea of a night out is now fine-dining, or even a nice bar playing good music that doesn’t damage my ear drums, something over which I can comfortably talk to my company. Beer has given way to scotch, and while I still love my mug of frothy, chilled goodness, I also love my scotch, on the rocks, just as much. I have grown to love relaxed Sunday brunches, with a glass of Sangria or wine to go with it. And unlimited anything doesn’t excite me anymore.
I still love my road trips, but Zo has just mingled into the schedule like she was born to be part of this. Admitted, things aren’t as spontaneous as before and need a bit more planning, but somehow, the planning doesn’t hurt. There might be fewer back to back movies at the multiplexes now, and a lot more sitcom marathons on Saturday night at home, but they don’t make you miss the former. Yes, we still step out every weekend, but staying back home and lazing around doesn’t seem like a waste of time either.
Fact is, everything has a time, and everything is awesome when done at that time. And you don’t need to be prepared, it just happens. It also helps when the folks you spent your younger days with, are also growing older with you. There is a comfort in sharing life’s stages and problems. I would wonder back then if a decade down the line I would look at the younger folks and envy them for the fun they were having. But when it is happening today, I look at them and go ‘been there, done that’ and get back to whatever is keeping me busy at the moment. There is nostalgia, but there is absolutely no regret for having moved ahead. And all of a sudden all that apprehension seems absolutely unnecessary. And I’m back excitedly looking forward to what’s next.
Eventually, while I admit that being drunk on youth was great fun, turns out that being grown up is a different kind of high, and an awesome one at that.
P.S. This post was brought to you by a thought process triggered by a conversation with the seasoned pretender in the comments section.