It’s a month to my 25th birthday, and I’m still waiting for it to happen. But even being bombarded by ‘things that’ll turn ten this year’ and ‘things that’ll turn twenty this year’ stories hasn’t brought in my quarter-life crisis, so I don’t know what will.
I must have missed the point of childhood, since everyone wants to go back there, whereas I dread this to the very core. Go back to childhood? Sure. I would love to be randomly picked up, touched and smiled at creepily by larger humans. I would love to go back to the time when I was forced into a closed space with children my age and taught about things that would have no relevance in your adult life, such as equality, individual liberty and dignity of labour. Or when I forgot my homework and was led to believe that this is the end of the world. Or when you were constantly told to behave because you’ve grown up now, and then not being given tea and coffee as every grown up deserves. Perhaps people miss the days of being forced in the company of other kids because ‘they’re your age, play with them’? Or being taken to places just because no one knew what else to do with you, and then having to beg to be taken home from there every few minutes?
Maybe it’s the late childhood era that I’m supposed to reminisce about. You know, the one where you realise that you aren’t the centre of the universe because you aren’t cute and little anymore. Or the one where you find out that no one notices/cares about you. Only to eventually catch on to the fact that they are in fact paying attention to you. And now you must worry about what everyone thinks about you and being liked and accepted, all while you’re dealing with the dangerous split of maths between two deadlier streams: algebra and geometry. And lets not even get started about the introduction of team activities in your life. ‘Group project’ are two of the scariest words when used together, second only to ‘extended family’.
Another time period that is popularly adored is the time you spent during college. It probably was a wonderful time when you actually developed a personality and individual thoughts, met some of your closest friends and learnt about life. But then it gets over, and you realise it taught you nothing about real life. It inspired you to pick a major subject that you love, which happens to draw a salary less than the cost of your haircut (unless you went to one of those universities outside of which companies sit to nab you, and then try to drown you in money in return for your soul). Those friends were the ones supported you when your parents and teachers were disappointed in you. You thought this was for life, but it only lasted till they had babies of their own to be disappointed with. And then of course, was the time when you officially were an adult. But it would still be at least a couple of years till people started registering that (mainly because of the way you behave, but still).
The age group of twenties is usually the subject of most psychological studies, and is hated with equal fervour by all other age groups. The only expectation society has from you is to be the subject of disapproval. So as appealing as rewinding to a younger age sounds, I’m quite at peace with my current age. If I wanted to, I could go on an impulsive, life-changing trip because I’m allowed to. And I wouldn’t have to worry about carrying my medication or having back and knee problems, because that’s the beauty of your twenties. But I’m going to do none of this, obviously. I’m going to lie in bed and watch TV series. That’s what all the other kids are doing.