Thirty-One

That’s it. I’m 31. 31 and one day, actually. Three decades of my life gone. I have lived, I have worked, I have toiled, I have loved. I made mistakes, I was naive, I was dumb. I also grew up, got stronger, wiser. I have learned to be grateful, to belittle obstacles with sarcastic jokes. Grateful for the small army of helpers that have emerged: my sister who woke up at 5 to bake me a yummy birthday cake, my not so little anymore cousins, my loving colleagues, my family who have witnessed my whole life from crawling baby to working woman, Sister Niti my spiritual guide, my friends who have patiently listened to my relentless whining… Books, work, career, music, game of thrones, writing…

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What I like to call my Iron Throne Cake
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Made by my sister at 5 in the morning
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“A song of mint kit kat and mnms”

Move from Life Plan A to Life Plan X. Be OK with that. I’ve been through too much to fool myself into believing that I know where I’m going. But I love life, I love me. I love me living my own life. I will do the best I can with it. I will correct my mistakes, polish up my flaws. I will be my best. Happiness is not a life event. It is not becoming the perfect picture of happiness that you have in your mind that will make you happy. When you graduate you will want a good job, when you have a good job, you will want a great job, you will want to marry, have kids. When you want it all you will want time off from all of it. No, happiness is not a life event. Happiness is a subtle state of mind. In fact, it is so subtle that it might sometimes slip out of your understanding’s grasp.

Lately, I have found myself exploring spirituality through meditation. I hope that one day I will be able to master meditation and have full control over my thoughts and emotions. For now, the soothing sensation of emptying your mind and turning your thoughts inwards is relaxing and really helps. Maybe one day, I will grow to become so self-sufficient that I will not feel the need to connect with people. But right now, that sounds like too lonely an experience. It is a really comforting thought however that God put me on this path, and that it is God guiding me out of this storm. Is there a lesson to be learnt from it, is there a higher purpose to it all, is it just reaping bad karma? In any way, when you hit the bottom, the only way you can go is up. That deserves a smile 🙂

So, life at 31 is not even remotely like how I thought it would be. And that’s OK. I will be OK. Eva Longoria got married at 41. There might be hope for the rest of all mortals.  (That’s what I meant by sarcastic jokes)

What Next?


Contemplation

I just turned 30, completed the first year of my part time Masters, have a “good” job, am happily married and … just can’t make up my mind on what to do next. And this inability to make up my mind, while my biological clock is ticking, just drives me nuts.

Any sane person would think I’m plain crazy, and maybe I am. Or maybe this is just the product of a life driven by goals after goals. When the goal is not clear anymore, nothing makes sense. School was for good grades to get into a good university, university was to get a good job, and now what is a good job for? “To be comfortable and content for the rest of my life” would be a sensible answer. I guess… Maybe it is “the rest of my life” part that is particularly scary. And the funny thing is, for once, the source of the pressure is not from family or society, but from myself. An unconscious pressure coming from deep down to do… something more with my life…

Having a stable job is a trap in itself. You work hard to achieve it and when you do, it traps you into thinking you cannot survive without the comforts that salary provides you. Will I be able to afford going for my spa days or spending on average Rs500 each time I step into Intermart (which is almost everyday) or indulging in my yearly overseas trips without that salary? Probably not. But it’s not like these are life necessities. Being financially independent is nice, sure. But the price to pay is corporate slavery. One of my colleagues retired this week after 21 years at the company. I looked at her with envy. To retire early is such a sweet, sweet dream. But to do what?

I think I should have a taken a full gap year to devote to discovering myself. To travel. To think and dream and take my time. Of course, I could not afford that, I did not have the money to travel. Or the patience to sit still for a minute. Well, that was then and this is now. I am 30.

And the options are as follows:

  1. have babies (still have to work to feed them),
  2. write a book (if it sells, quit my job),
  3. attempt CFA (least favourite option),
  4. go abroad for further studies (and more importantly a last free ramble in a new country) (if i win the lottery),
  5. find a genius new business idea (if it works, quit my job),
  6. devote my life to charity (still have to work to feed myself),
  7. try to improve my cooking and housekeeping skills (yawn),
  8. travel the world (if i win the lottery).

I sincerely do not know how our parents did it. They say it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion comes together. The other day I watched a documentary on Daft Punk, how two ordinary guys transformed music from nothing. I want that kind of passion. I doubt whether that’s possible in a finance job. Fulfillment will not come from a 9 to 5 job, that’s as plain as day.

And I hate to settle, so I will keep looking.

FAUVE

FAUVEIn between my roles as a wife, examiner, sister, daughter, friend, writer, 29 going on 30 year old person, I discovered a new French band called FAUVE. I am still deciding whether I like it or not. A girl called Valentina sang one of their songs on The Voice France auditions, and it sort of made me curious about the band. Their style is a sort of rap / slam and the tone is dazed, confused and searching. Just like the way I’m feeling right now. Just the usual, corporate life sucks the life out of me. I need to find a way to generate survival money on my own, it’s just that at 30, you need to feel like you have some marketable skills which do not necessarily require a corporation to enable you to feed yourself. The safest thing is to develop that famous Plan B after work hours, so you keep your day job, while planning the dream job. When Plan B gets sustainable (and profitable), the you make it become Plan A. However, the eight hours of your day job are the eight hours where you are most productive, and around which your life revolves, and afterwards you feel so drained that it does not leave you with much energy to do anything but watch TV like a zombie afterwards. The new plan is to find a solution to unzombify myself after work. Maybe exercise would help, Robin Sharma sure believes it. According to him, the more fit you are, the less hours of sleep you need. Maybe I’ll start with that…

I left for a moment

i flew into an intergalactic journey of infinite miles of freedom to reach towards whichever star that lit my fancy a frenetic fusion dance uniting all that is beautiful the force will be so great that it will create something out of nothing something so extraordinary that it will annihilate all that is around into darkness nothing will matter all that was built up by the system the wheel will stop suddenly and the fingers flying through the waves of this music music of the senses dancing dancing away no need for articulate words all i need is a friend a childhood friend to hold my hand as i walk towards the rainbow light we will walk the skies together and share an imaginary dream a guitar stroke strumming across my fragile heart giving me shivers feels like dying and being reborn into a white star wonderful machine i love you in my loneliness in your darkness in the shadows in the light i don’t need anything but this feeling of never being alone one two three we walk a graceful step a gentle step forward towards each other we fall we fly you heal my head the voices the voices inside the voice… close your eyes glide on the rays of the gentle sun do not give up on the destination of this place that we know exists just push play an old song a new meaning familiar strokes a friend a husky voice Image

come my good friend let us leave together now…