“Baar baar din yeh aaye” is the familiar happy birthday song no matter how old the person is turning. Sure enough your birthday comes every year but why are some more special?
One year old is significant because you are sure the baby is for real and has made its mark into the world. Then comes the 6 year old, which is entry into school, then 12 or 13, which means entry into teenage hood and finally 18 completion of childhood. 21 is more of a show off birthday to remind you that the child is now an adult.
As adults become too cute to celebrate birthdays, they start to celebrate milestones. In case you didn’t notice a year in birthday is a year closer to death.
Ok, no need to be doom and gloom about I am plus 30 and life is beautiful, so tackle the myth of 40 is the new 20.
First, so many of my friends and family are turning 40 this year and as I look at them I do feel it is the new 20. Here’s why.
When we were 20 on the cusp of adulthood we really are clueless still about life. We are curious, silly, petty, genius; it is a mixed bag of emotions and actions. You are either struggling or enjoying the last few years in college or university. Or you may have started working at a job you really dislike but you need the money, or really you have found your talent and are discovering new things about yourself and life is good. Before you know it you have either dated, dumped, stayed totally singled, gotten married, had one child or none. Basically you don’t really know what’s going on in your life, it is just moving and takes only one stop at 30.
The 30 is scary for many reasons more for women than men. Yes unfortunately a lady unmarried at 30 is stale, too independent, fussy, demanding or something is wrong with her. Very few in the society are open-minded and look at her with a warmer eye of admiration, strength and ambition. For the men, I think they are just figuring out where their hormones lie and they may be settled at work but life is still a blur and full of koroga nights, reminiscing school days and watching football, cricket or women still.
Finally we come to 40. I will go in four sections. The first, a single man at 40 means, he has much to accomplish and hasn’t found a suitable intellectual partner whom to share his success or failures with. Or he could just be very well be gay. The second, a married man at 40 already has two if not one child and is toiling away at work and just maybe is questioning his life. Why did I get married, why do I have children, why am I not the boss of my company? Or maybe he just happily married, father and good dedicated worker.
The third, a single woman at 40 is considered demanding, too independent and sad. Here’s the truth. She knows what she wants, she didn’t waste her time on useless frogs, and she is ambitious about her career because her education was important to her. Her independence is not abused freedom but a careful selection of choices to be happy for herself, not depend on any man especially to provide love food but to be strong, caring and loving to others. Don’t mistake this for pity because it really isn’t.
The fourth, a married woman at 40 also possibly having two or one child and maybe a job. Her challenges are more, family, in-laws, bosses, schoolteachers and the list goes on. Chances are high; she is doing all that she can to keep the strings attached. She is a complete mother and wife.
So imagine, if any of the above are at 40, why would it be the new 20 for them?
They could easily have gone back made better choices or learnt from the experience so far and make their current life better, bigger and brighter. This is by the way not for the sake of society but for them. You have passed bad or good jobs, relationships and your own identity takes a finer shape.
It is new, enjoy it.