It was a free and sunny Sunday. I planned to go on a trip by myself just the usual way I take myself around the Chicago downtown every nice weekend.
It was the middle of January if I remember right. The supposed Chicago Winter was particularly mild this year with a lot of warm winter days hoping in and out of our dreary winter months. This was one such day. I was glad that I didn’t have to layer and bundle up myself in lots of clothes. I picked one from my favorite summer/fall outfits, found a matching pair of earring and bracelet and headed to the mirror for the beautification phase.
I am not really particular about having an ironed hair every day. It is not because I don’t like the clean look of it or that I have a gorgeous hair. I am just a bit too lazy for that kind of work everyday plus a slight fear of ruining the hair from heat. Today, I was a bit into the “I will iron my hair today!!” feel. I started parting my hair with Taylor Swift singing on my HTC helping me keep up the chirpy, bubbly Sunday ME. My Iron beeped at 360 deg announcing it was ready to make my hair gorgeous for the day. I kept planning on shop hopping, hitting the beach and even trying a free eye-makeup at Sephora on my way.I was done with one portion of my hair and headed to the next. I did a clean brush and sweep of my hair to get the next partition. My hair was shiny and I thought the Sun was particularly bright that day. But then, it happened…. I saw that one hair..one strand was not loosing it’s shine no matter whichever way I turned my head. It was silvery. I leaned towards the mirror and slowly parted that strand from the rest.
That moment I still remember as one of the most unexplainable in my life till then. I was astonished, felt a weird lurch in my tummy. I could see myself staring wide into the mirror, at my strand of hair…..which was white…white like the snow I had seen yesterday on the roads, white like the milk I just drank half an hour back and white like the ones I see on my parent’s and grandparent’s head..That kind of white hair which made me feel sad when I saw it on my brother’s head and made me realize he had become a big man…and at that moment, I realized we were growing together into our lives. My mind just immediately told me my birth year and all was clear. I was waiting for my 25th birthday this year. There was a whole wave of realizations that gushed into my head in that tiniest fraction of a second that seemed like forever. I felt like my mental mathematics had not been working much lately. The maths had taken on a dreamy and literature stance for years now. It never realized the importance of the increasing numbers in my life until then.
It dawned on me that am 25.
AAhh..who cares..just another number, am still young and lively, baby for my parents and a kiddo for my brother. So, who cares…I CARE…My life was taking it’s pace down the lane and what did I have to do about it…I wondered as I walked away from the mirror almost dressed the way I wanted to just few minutes back, only not as perfect.
I did not feel bothered exactly about age or as the old adage goes..”Never ask a woman her age” that mattered to me. If that bothered me, I wouldn’t be shouting out my age on the World Wide Web, but what mattered to me was blurry too..
I am in good academic position now, doing my Masters in a well-reputed college, earning well enough to save my student loan..All is well as far as I could perceive..But, something was missing.. I missed a little bit of fun in me, I missed that I-get-close-to-people-easily me, I missed that I-will-fly-one-day feel that had changed to I-need-to-fly-now-or-it’s-never feel. I missed that carefree feel about everything.
What I felt angry about was…Every single day I was small and dependent on my parents, I thought I will grow a wing of my own, stand on my own and then travel around and be like those big girls around me, having fun with friends and roaming around independently. But, as I grew up, I knew the wings, I knew they had grown and they were strong, I knew it could take me anywhere, but I also knew how to put constraints to those by myself to keep me working harder and walking on the lane that was to be walked on for stability. I had to keep myself stable without even having the choice to feel the fun of being wobbly.
When we were small, we could blame our issues on our parents or anyone around us, but as we grow up, all that happens are to be blamed on ourselves.
Every time I feel like taking off like a free bird, there is the reality lover in me, that stops me and makes me think practically. It makes me stay put…work more and never play harder. And the Jack inside me stays put.
“Don’t worry, YOU can do it later..you have enough time..” I started hating that sentence instantly.