Tuesday, 15 July 2014

On growing old

Being young is like being a stem cell.You may grow anyway.You have potential. But along with the potential comes the pressure to grow in a certain direction to avoid being pruned. But being older is that you are a sum of your past experiences. The experiences keep adding but so does your cogency to comprehend.

In my teens( and even before that) growing older was not in my scheme of things. It may have something to do with the way a lot of people perceive growing old as something you do to yourself  like tattoos and piercings and not a natural progression of things. If I read about a 'young CEO at 42' I could not fathom how anybody could be young at 42. It was the same obtuseness which made me picture myself in 30s and 40s as an abstracted possibility. Now I look back at the teenage me and I fail to affiliate with that naivete.

My early childhood was not really candies and frills. Infact it was a far cry from customary. I might not have gone beyond denominating red, yellow and blue but I could sense the greys even before I could imbibe the jargon. I could only watch the grey acrid smoke wrap itself around me and had no palpation of the holes that were drilled and fractures that were blown.

The collateral damage extended to my teens and early twenties. I did not have means to comprehend that the baggage I was carrying was a separate entity and not an extra leg or an arm permanently fixed to me. I struggled against the unyielding beliefs I had formed about myself while carrying them on me all the time. And add to the concoction the self-consciousnesses, chaos and struggle to prove myself.

Middle and late twenties were a breath of fresh air. The baggage was now white noise like the buzzing of a noisy refrigerator that ceases to bother you and no longer interferes with the daily grind. I was beginning to get my head out of that grey acrid cloud. I wore my self worth on me more often. But I still lacked awareness. I had enough pretty pictures to hang on the cracks. But it took only one bad day, something trivial for the cloud to slip from under the rug where it was swept and engage me for days.
Now that I am in my thirties the view is much better from here. When I observe myself from here I would dread going back to that age and navigate my way through the red flags without the cushioning of sagacious compass one acquires through experience. From where I stand now I can put my finger on what was wrong where. To some extend I can deconstruct my teenage and twenties. I can identify when I acted out of  the baggage I was carrying and when it was the callousness of my youth. By no way do I want to go back to those years without the cognizance I have accumulated about myself. And that happens only by detaching and with distance either with age or with meditation.

Now in my thirties and still far from perfect I still have a long way to go on a terrain unknown to me and the path that has no road signs. I am learning to enjoy the journey though the bumps still make me cringe. But I also stop by to look at a lone tree or listen to a bird chirping. I do everything I can to make myself my priority. Zits and bad hair days bother me less. I do not dress up to cope up with peer pressure and wish my nose was thinner and skin smoother. I do like to dress well for my self because my body is the temple of my soul. It is my way of showing gratitude for all the work it helps me accomplish in a day.

When I feel I have got so many things figured out that didnt make sense to me earlier or didnt even pose as a problem that called for fixing I am grateful for where I am standing right now. If the view is so refreshing from here I can only wonder how pretty it'll be in my 50s.

No comments:

Post a Comment