A month from today, and twenty will be here.
Twenty years of living with people, trees, food, books, movies, phones, soil and rain.
Not twenty for all though.
I wanted to write something about growing up and spent a lot of time figuring out what and how. And then it occurred. It has been two decades since Nineteen Ninety Six.
Growing up has been a difficult process to put into words. But it has happened so quietly, so subtly, that looking back, you sit stunned at the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years that passed by. You realize that twenty has been quite a long journey.
Some fifty year old or forty year old would laugh.
Look at someone of silly twenty contemplating philosophies of life. What does she know about it? What’s the big deal? She’s neither a grown up nor a kid!
It isn’t easy sometimes, to digest the fact that life’s on a race. Time is faster than ever. I was a preschool student yesterday and now, in six months, I graduate from college. Yesterday, I learnt the ABC and today, I understand what it means to be judged. Yesterday, my teacher in school taught me what friendship is and today, I have friends who are family. It has definitely been a long journey. But a beautiful one nevertheless, worth every bit of it.
Growing up has been amazing.
Because it has not just been about my own growth, but that of the ones around me as well.
I saw my friends, going out of their comfort zones to study, learning to live in a city they’ve never lived in, with people they’ve never met. And when they came back for vacations, they’d grown beyond words. Attitudes changed, thoughts matured, life grew. For a few of us who remained back in the hometown, growth was as fruitful. From college life to new people to bus being the most important part of daily life, the so called ‘comfort zone’ melted away.
College was nothing like school. People weren’t, teachers weren’t, the environment wasn’t. The transition was difficult beyond words. It was like going away from home to some place not liked. But, right people always make things better. And it did.
The pain of being quietly judged was known. The feeling of having to find all the patience you can to deal with people you aren’t allowed to argue with was found. The power of one’s own opinion was formed. The beauty of each day was felt.
Judgement, as we observed from college was the funniest of all.
We are always faced by people who have so many preconceived notions that you can find a character sketch of someone you don’t know in your name, in them. Confusing, yes. As confusing as ‘judgement’ itself. ‘You are that’, You must be this’.’You are all of this!’.
‘I don’t want to know your opinion because it is arrogance to talk, but it is arrogance to keep silence!’
All of that, in small doses, every now and then.
But this helped!
It helped me to know how powerful every individual is. Over time, no matter what, you realize you’re proud of who you are and all what shaped you into who you are. Every person, place and experience, good and bad. Hearts broken, failures felt, things lost.
But then! Memories made, people who stayed, the strength of a wonderful family, the power of writing, books and good music.
I grew. We all did.
It was about giving not a glance to things I cared no more about and caring more fiercely than ever of the things I loved. It was about the beautiful process called growth.
From me, to me.
Strength, love, happiness, passions and dreams become important.
For a change, you become most important to you.
So, twenty years! Yes, twenty wonderful years.
Here’s a thank you.
Thank you, for the ones who left. It was a lesson.
For the ones who stayed,
Growth has been complete with you.