Jul 27, 2010
I was chatting with my close friend and cousin the other day when she said, “Bro, I had a serious quarterlife crisis last week.” I didn’t understand, so she explained, “Arre yaar, 25 years of life have gone by and I don’t know what to do.” A bolt of thunder struck my balding head and did some damage to the already receding hairline. I realized that I too was 25 once and had a similar problem but blamed it on fate, destiny, earth, sun, moon and other things our ancestors made up. To pacify her I said, “Don’t worry girl, everything is going to be fine.” After all, hope is the only thing which drives people.
I did not feel anything when I turned 25 as I was the youngest in my family and so I guess it wasn’t such a big deal, but when I came to the UK, most of my friends where between 21 to 24 years of age and they all freaked out whenever they celebrated their birthdays. It was like Joey’s (from the popular TV series ‘Friends’) “God, why us, we had a deal.” This made me realize, “OMG, I’m older than them...what the hell!” Slowly and silently I thought about it and began to realize that age is in one’s mind, if you think about it, it will kill you, but if you don’t, you will kill it. I feel young at heart.
It’s a general perception that with age people mature, just like wine - older the better. I was actually asked in one of my interviews, “Do you think you have changed your reading habits as you have grown older?” Inside my tiny brain I was wondering, “What the hell, I still like reading Tinkle, Chacha Chaudhary and love watching Tom and Jerry,” but to impress the gorgeous lady in front of me, I had to lie, “Yes madam, age reflects on one’s behavior, for e.g., I used to read Archie Comics (I was in love with the sexy Betty) when I was young, but now as I have become more mature I read more of intellectual novels and autobiographies.” CRAPPPP. I cleared the interview with flying colors. Maybe this is what age does!
I don’t understand why people especially girls worry so much about age. I have a very dear friend who is the youngest and the bubbliest in our group here, and one who freaks out the most when we talk about age. If she had a magic lamp, I am sure she would tell the genie “make me younger.” But the lady knows more about life than the rest of us, throwing all theories of age and maturity into the bin. She is the one to whom we go in a crisis. I will miss her...there are girls who do all sorts of things to look young or younger, ranging from facials, pedicure, manicure to other things which I don’t even want to mention. I can write a couple more sentences which will surely make the women readers angry. But I certainly don’t want to apologize in public.
Now coming back to actual quarterlife crisis specific to relationships, once a guy turns 25, the first thing which comes to his so-called enlightened mind is MARRIAGE. If one is single, then, “My god, what am I doing? Twenty-five years and still no girlfriend…what was I doing all this time?!” and “Oh God, will any sane father give his daughter to me?” and then, “Can I get a better job so that I can save enough for my future?” or even, “Will I ever get a job?” If the guy is committed, then, “What gift shall I give her next week?” or “Will she accept my proposal?” If it is more advanced then, “How can I convince her to have/not have the child?” or “How can I convince my parents that he is going to be their son-in-law?”
In my case quarterlife crisis began only after I realized that others around me were younger to me. But as I said earlier (if I have), I do not think age matters unless you think your life is over. Shahrukh Khan started his career in the film industry when he was 27 years old, Sidney Sheldon stared writing novels when he was over 40. LATE BLOOMERS. This is my way of thinking, maybe when I am 40 I will think about all those people who started doing things when they were 60. Sometimes I too am worried about my age, only sometimes, especially when it comes to marriage and finances. And then I think of all the above things I wrote in the previous paragraph except the last two sentences.
Something for the women too, though I do not know much about them and how they cope with the so-called quarterlife crisis. I think both girls and guys have the same kind of predicament. When a girl turns 25-30, everyone expects her to get married and start having babies. Moreover, some ladies have loans to pay off, parents to take care of, no money to get married, their biological clock will be ticking and people start thinking of all possible reasons for their maidenhood.
I have no idea what other people think, but as my friend said to me, one of the few advantages of dividing life into quarters is you know when to step up or step down or whatever. I don’t completely agree with her. I prefer living life as it comes - follow your dreams and try to fulfill them, if a dream is difficult, the next logical step would be to have another dream, a simpler one. If one doesn’t think about age, I guess one will live longer. Another close friend of mine when asked about her age on her birthday replied, “I am 18 at heart.” The clever person who asked her the question replied, “Why not 16?” My friend, the smart ass that she is, promptly replied, “16 is not a legal age.” Way to go girl.
There are a lot of quotes about age and the best among the lot is ‘age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter’ by Mark Twain. Everything inside the head. People think too much and complicate simple things. Some readers might be wondering what this article is all about - it starts with crisis, then age, then dreams. Full of confusion. Now that is what I call quarterlife crisis.
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