It was the eve of my 25th birthday.
Amidst all the revelry of that party, I took a moment to think. A few minutes shy of 25, I decided to rewind and register just how far I'd come in life. More importantly, I decided to take account of how much I'd planned to do in the next 5 years of my life.
All that I wanted to achieve before I turned 30.
Have a certain amount of salary. Travel to certain number of places. Buy a certain car. Save a certain amount. Get a certain home in my name. Marry a certain person.
Be at a certain place both personally and professionally. Basically, be settled.
Now, I'm turning 30. Soon. Very soon.
But I'm nowhere as settled as I thought I'd be. And that's fine. It isn't the end of the world.
We all are encouraged to have a plan for our lives.
Growing up, we have a mind full of dreams and heart full of desires. When school and college end and work takes over, we're supposed to have a set plan in place.
What's your five-year plan? Ten-year plan? Life becomes a race.
A race to beat your colleagues. Friends. Cousins. Every single person on this planet.
You have to start making money. Enough to get married. Enough to take a home loan. Enough to invest in your future.
It's the same pattern for everyone. Except that life is rarely the same for everyone.
It doesn't always turn out the way we wanted, right?
What happens, then? Are we supposed to sit and sulk as failures? Or, get up, face reality and accept that our lives won't be like others?
Just because you didn't end up getting a six-figure salary or a fancy SUV doesn't mean life is over. Because you're not earning as much as your cousin doesn't make you any less of a success.
Every one has a different path. Every one is meant for a different journey.
And sometimes, someone's journey is a bit longer than the others. It has more roadblocks. It's got a few bumps.
The important thing, however, is to continue moving. And to not look on the side.
And who decides this set-pattern for everyone, anyway?
Why is there an age cap for settling down? Is turning 30 also the end of one's dreams and aspirations? Or, the end of all the opportunities one can get?
We've all been conditioned to believe that it's not just important to be successful but successful as fast as we can. But success doesn't always come as planned, right?
And, it's still success even if it comes after a certain age!
I may not be doing as well as I'd like to but that doesn't mean that I won't either on the other side of 30. Just because I'm currently single, it doesn't mean that I won't find anyone after 30.
I mean, I'm just turning 30. It's just an age. A number. Not my death warrant!
Honestly, how many of us really have it all by 30?
To begin with, in the current work scenario, you're never particularly successful till your mid-30s anyway. By the time you turn 30, you've just about figured out a solid path for your career. There's still a while, still few years of hard work for you to reach where you want to.
As for love and relationships, yes, some people are married by this time. Some even have kids. But there are enough and more who aren't. They choose to wait it out for a few more years before settling for holy matrimony.
No matter what you choose, there isn't a right or wrong. It's just how it is.
You're life shouldn't come crashing down just because your journey hasn't been as conventional as society would like it to be.
Life is a journey and not a destination.
You'll always be moving. Heading somewhere. Some journeys are long and some are short. What's important is to enjoy it. Make the most of it. And not sit and analyse it.
You may not be where you thought you'd be. But you are somewhere.
And that is a pretty fabulous place to be too!