Samyak's Nook

Turning Twenty Three

It was a strange start to a special day.

I was in a cab back home. I should have reached before 12, but I wasn’t able to. It was mainly to do with my inability to keep my phone’s battery alive when I should be very careful about using it. I got bored on my flight back home, so I used the time to groove to some downloaded songs. My phone went off when I needed it the most.

And here I was: on the fifth of June at 11:59 pm, on a cab back home with my friends video-calling me to wish for my birthday. Spending the first days of being 23 with a cab driver wasn’t what I had planned, but here I was. Throughout my journey, I was thinking about some related themes.

Most of it involved me turning 23(!!!) and adulting. I moved places in Bangalore two days back, and all of a sudden, I felt much older than before. It was a strange feeling: it wasn’t unpleasant but at the same time, there was a bit of anxiety as I realised that I wouldn’t be able to tell anyone that I’m twenty-two anymore.

Chaotic. Adulting. Chaotic adulting. Adulting chaotically.

— brain

It was also this feeling of running into a one-way door where I’ve longed to go for years. But now I’ve finally gone through it, I look back, take a big gulp and keep moving forward, for that’s all I can do now.

I started working full-time starting in June last year. I graduated college last year in August. My family shifted to a new home after six years in December. I moved to Bangalore in January of this year. I got into a proper 2BHK with a flatmate in June of this year. I immediately turned 23.

Wait, what!?

There have been a lot of changes that I’ve been facing. The pace of life has been faster than it has ever been for me. On one hand, I enjoy it. On the other, I wonder if I’ll ever miss being young.

It’s about time: I won’t be called a fresher anymore at work. I’ve even started helping out interns in my company and new people onboard. My sparkling new MacBook has started to collect dust in its crevices. I can’t call myself new to the city anymore.

There’s a comforting sense of naivety in being called new. You feel okay with not knowing stuff, and every new experience is a thing of wonder to you. But as you get used to the ways of working, the routes you take, the people you talk to — the same things that once felt amazing start feeling mundane. I just don’t want that to happen anytime soon.

Maybe that’s most of my concern with being an adult — getting familiar with doing what once seemed spectacular. But another concern would be that my life ahead is mostly unstructured.

You see, I’m not the only one facing dozens of lifestyle changes. Maybe it’s you, the reader, who has already graduated college. Perhaps it’s you who’s figuring out what to do next. Maybe you’ve resigned from a toxic workplace, or have broken up with someone not so right for you, and you wonder, what’s next?

Life in school feels difficult yet structured. You crib about your everyday pains, but at least you know there’s an expiry date to it. You'll be set as soon as you graduate, you say to yourself. But look at you now, how’s adult life treating you? 🙂

Apologies if all I’ve done is scaring you till now. But you see, there’s always an expiry date - to this universe, and even to the school of life. The only thing that’s changed is your play area — if it was a 10x10 foot turf earlier, you now have the entire football field to yourself. You have a lot of room to run but don’t know where to start.

What has worked for me — or should work for me, I believe — is just to keep moving. Crawl, trod, hop or do a full-blown sprint; you must keep moving. If you don’t know which way’s the goal, you pick a side and start marching. You can course correct yourself later. Displacement doesn’t matter here, but the distance you covered indeed will.

Whether you pass or fail, whatever you do will eventually lead to some experience. All you have to do then is write like a madman (yes, me), reflect on where you are heading, and slowly course correct. Where ever you move will lead you to somewhere; the only important thing is to keep moving.

Okay, enough of acting like a know-it-all dork. I’m cringing already as I’m reading the paras above. For now, all I know is that no matter how good or bad things look today, it will all be well someday. Because, in the end, it always gets better.

Or does it? Guess we’ll have to see!

Happy birthday to me!

What a feeling it is to turn twenty-three!

🎧 Here's a cool indie song I recently discovered.