So here I am, having completed a cool three decades in life. Many of you younger folks might be wondering how it feels. Do I feel weird, old, jaded, do I think I’ve seen it all and done it all? Do I feel that life has nothing new to offer me? Do I “suddenly start howling at the full moon and turn into a werewolf, or start having these strange fetishes for senile people”? Do I immediately act like a middle aged person and start dishing out advice to all and sundry? Do I suddenly develop aches and pains and ulcers in the remote corners of my body? Do I feel sad because I am not married and “nula senior” jokes and snide comments will follow me like a faithful puppy?
Of course not. Whoever it was who first said “Age is just a number” was absolutely right. The morning after the big day I looked into the mirror, more closely than I ever did, and inspected myself for signs of damage and aging. I wouldn’t lie and say I looked seventeen but I didn’t look too bad. No visible wrinkles, no grey hair, just the same old face staring back at me. I got dressed and discovered my five year old jeans still fit, I didn’t develop a sudden desire to wear frumpy dresses and didn’t rush out to buy anti-wrinkle creams and age defying miracle lotions or make appointments at posh beauty clinics. I didn't feel old at all. Life went on just as before.
Mentally, I’ve never felt better. I’ve made enough mistakes and committed enough crimes to be cautious and look carefully before I step into anything and not blindly jump without looking. I have better judgment of people, of things, and am able to see the bigger picture in life. I'm more confident, more self assured, and more positive. I've learned to enjoy and appreciate the little things. And the biggest discovery of them all? Life has so much to offer, there is so much to learn every day I don’t think I could ever feel old or learned or experienced. Life humbles. Every day is a new day, a new beginning.
Living away from home has its advantages. You don’t have nosy people poking their noses into your affairs and asking you when you are getting married, or if you're getting married at all. Out here you do get these questions once in a while but it’s different. Nobody spends their time analyzing why you are such an old maid, they just accept you as you are. But of course as long there is a Mizo community in your city you cannot escape the “nula senior” tag, and I’ve heard enough jokes to last me ten lifetimes. You want to crack one more joke at my expense? Go on punk, make my day. You feel I’ve been “around for a long time?” Keep it to yourself; I’ve heard it so many times from other juveniles like you. Ok I am not going to rant and rave about this “nula/tlangval senior” issue or the Mizo society; enough has been said already by other people.
Finally, a message to all you twenty somethings. Don’t be afraid of turning 30, it’s no big deal. Life will not stop, and contrary to what you think, it’s not downhill from here. I would say it’s just the opposite. I feel reborn, redeemed, vindicated, and that life has given me a second chance to correct all the mistakes I've made. In fact, you should be looking forward to it.