When wordpress sent me their annual report on new years day, I couldn’t help but glance at the statistics of my blog posts last year to notice one particular article soaring the charts with the maximum number of views during the year. I guess I never did actually realize how many 30 unmarried Indian women are out there. It made me want to write about my thoughts on one year later but what has really changed? (Original blog post – http://wp.me/p16Ayv-L)
A few years ago, I made a list, I wrote it down on a piece of paper with a pink marker and the title was “Things to do before I turn 30” (a less depressing bucket list if you will) and no 14 on that list was “Marry an amazing man”. I am sure many women (and men) have that up on their mental list even if they don’t jot it down on a piece of paper like me. When I made this list many years ago, I was that type of person who would plan a lot, I wanted to graduate by a certain age, own my first house by a certain age, get married at a certain age, and have babies at a certain age and pretty much die at a certain age too. Years of mistakes and changing my mind umpteen number of times later, I stopped making plans revolving around my age. After all, what was the point? Will turning the big 3 O actually make me sit up and realize that oops I haven’t fulfilled no 14 on my list and I must cross it out hence I’ll marry the next man that walks in (even if he isn’t so amazing). If it does then well, what was the point of waiting this long in the first place?
But what age does really mean to a person I wonder –
Why do they say finish high school at 16?
Umm, because everyone else finishes high school at 16?
Okay then what about people who go back to high school to finish in their mid twenties/thirties/forties?
Oh they are losers.
What about the biological ticking clock for women then?
Well now thanks to modern medicine, women don’t have to get married before 30 just to have babies!
Yes but who wants to have babies in their 40’s and look like a grandmother while watching their 21-year-old son graduate from college?
One of my favorite author, Jane Austen, has always revolved her books around the central theme of finding a spouse – how to find your spouse, when to find him, where to find him, why to find him and well you get my point. Sure her books were written in the 1800’s but I don’t agree much has really changed since then; while Jane Austen thought the ideal age to get married back then was 15-19, right about now its 25-29. So two centuries has brought us 10 years of time but then again it all boils down to age again doesn’t it?
It’s not easy to keep hearing from your friends and family that don’t rush into a decision because of your age but then again reminded in that same breath “But it’s high time now don’t you think?”. On one hand you think, no its wrong so what if I am turning 31, I still look under 25 so I still have a lot of time on my hands and on the other hand, you know there is a little grey root tucked sneakily behind your hair waiting to spring out reminding you of how old you truly are. But if not age, then what other better measure of time is out there? What better measure reminding you of all your achievements and all your failures at a particular point in your life. Why else do people go crazy at 50 and buy a brand new Ferrari or a brand new Rolex on their 30th birthday? It’s all to add to their list of achievements at that point in time. But then again, buying something materialistic is a lot easier than deciding to spend a whole life time with someone (duh).
At the end of it, you can choose to look at your age the way you want to. You can look at your age and brood over the achievements you didn’t manage to make that many other people did or you can look at your age and swell with pride with that glittering new Rolex you were able to afford or by celebrating with friends and family who love you. You can look at your age and realize there were some things you didn’t take as seriously as you should have or you can look at your age and realize that you wasted your younger years looking at everything so seriously that now it was time to just kick back and relax because in the end everything does turn out a-okay.
So one year later, I stare at the number 1 next to the number 3 on my birthday cake (because let’s face it 31 individual candles gets too crowded on a cake) and scratch off the title of my list to rename it “Things to do before I turn 35” because after all I look at age for what it truly is – just a number.