You know, when you are young, you always think that by the time you are 21-22, you will have your world sorted and you would know what the entire brouhaha about growing up is about. You imagine growing up to be a natural process that would just happen overnight. You hope that as soon as you hit early 20s, responsibility and maturity will just fall on your head from the heaven above and that you will emerge as the next rising star. Sadly, none of that happens and worse, nobody tells you the truth. Maybe because by the time they realize it, they are past that phase and it doesn’t prick as much.
Nobody ever tells you that it’s a conscious effort that would suck in every ounce of the lazy blood in your body. Nobody tells you that it’s like a constant struggle, wherein you are expected to act you age whilst you are still caught up in the complacency of your mental age. Nobody tells you that struggles like waking up on your own, cooking your own meal and shopping for groceries are real!
You fantasize about landing up with your dream job in that big city. Nobody tells you that amount of growing up that comes bundled along. You plan of independence and a life wherein you will be the sole decision maker; nobody tells you that you shall be made to pay the cost for each of those. And, there you go, all alone, fighting your personal insecurities, your fears and pushing comfort zones.
Before you know, you are trotting like that Little Miss Perfect, applying kohl in your eyes, hoping it will make you look, well grown up. All this, while you are still learning to cross the road and walk without skipping. While you wash the reds and whites together in laundry and forget the deposit the cheques. You sit and rue when your entire facebook feed is full of happy couples, families vacationing in exotic locations and couples honeymoon-ing. And there you are, getting all worked up because you are sick and there’s no one to serve you a cup of Tea. There are times when all you really want to do is run to your parents and hug them, for now you realize what all you had taken for granted.
However, like most things in life, over time, it grows on you, this independence and this habit of watching your own back. You become smarter. Simple things like enjoying a cup of coffee while devouring your favourite book. Cooking your own meal and then sinking in your good old bean bag while watching your favorite movie. Nobody to judge you when you sleep through the day, listen to woeful music and croak along like a frog. Soon, you figure out a way to co-exist peacefully with yourself, your mood swings, insecurities and even persistent health issues. It’s like preparing an operative manual on “how to handle self”. It works on just fine, over time. Frankly, it gets better.
With a few mental checks, you discover a pattern exclusive to self. You remind yourself to recheck the regulator to ensure there are no gas leaks. You remember the grocery list by heart, you run back to check locks and switches. Even though you still enjoy retail therapy, you value money a bit more. And before you know it, Voila, you “grow up”.
It’s like learning to swim, when the water is deep; your limbs figure out a way to keep you afloat. Until then, well, just keep bubbling and flapping along …!