Of all the years I’ve managed to survive on this planet, this is the year where I’ve been asked that dreadful question the most ‘How old are you?’, ‘Your age, ma’am?’, or the very subtle ‘You must be under 30, no?’. No, I’m not. I’m 32, mom of a two-year-old, with a mind of my own and the will to be who I want to be. So, this would be a good time to summarize the 23 things I’ve learnt in my 32 young years of being adamantly me.
Disclaimer – Experiences, circumstances and situations mentioned here may not all be mine. Consider them to be random reflections of the 30-somethings in my life, mixing fact with fiction.
When people call you ‘mature‘, it’s not meant to be a compliment. Don’t say ‘thank you‘ and look stupid.
All 25-year-old boys will begin a conversation with you saying that you look like you are under 25. Don’t fall for it.
When two women are talking about age, and end the conversation on a happy note with something on the lines of ‘age is just a number‘, they are going home to an unopened bottle of Sula Chenin Blanc. It’s going to be long, lonely night.
Falling for younger men may seem wilder than falling for other married men, but, either way you are about to fall — make it part of the dance.
Gym instructors appear sexy to every girl, at every age. You are not going through a mid-life crisis and there is nothing to talk about. Learn to enjoy the view.
You may forget your pores and your smile lines, but the HD cameras won’t. If anything, they magnify the effect. So shift your focus from silicone for the breasts to silicone for the face (I mean makeup in the form of pore fillers, not injections).
What you wear inside is how you feel outside. Matching innerwear never goes out of style. Being 30-something doesn’t have to mean that you shop only at Jockey.
I quote my bestie “Getting a bikini wax is like giving birth” — only that, she hasn’t given birth and I have, so I have perspective in the matter. Her dramatized words come close to the real deal, but this necessary evil needs to be a part of your life. It will change it for the better — the best even. Take the leap of faith.
It’s perfectly justified to envy the 23-year-old, successful, bikini bodies of Instagram. Remember, they have yet to walk into the shit that you just cleaned up from underneath your high heels. You’re there already. You made it.
It’s also perfectly normal when random 20-something boys refer to you as ‘baby‘, ‘darling‘, ‘sugar‘ or ‘sweetie‘, in way of conversation. Kids are allowed to make mistakes.
No need to be embarrassed if you don’t know what ‘psy trance’ music means or if you don’t get the hype. We grew up listening to real music, smelling old books, writing letters, and gazing at stars. EDM and psy trance were born after us. After The Beatles.
I know it feels liberating to take your first vacation away from the baby. I also know how it feels to love fiercely and find the will to let go. But, letting go is always better than holding on.
Every good love story began with two people being friends, and turning their friendship into love. But for the life of you, you cannot imagine how you managed to do exactly the opposite of that at age 30. Honey, you aren’t the only brick in the wall. Welcome to a time when things don’t automatically work for you; you work for them.
As you grow older, your bucket list grows longer. Now, it has all these scandalous entries that can’t be written down anywhere. Find a safe place for them in your handy-dandy notebook — the one you keep locked away in your heart.
Being called ‘aunty‘ is not a personal attack on your age. It’s Indian upbringing. Especially when 18-year-old boys who are taller than you, say ‘good evening aunty‘ to you in the elevator — while you muster a smile at them in your little black dress, red lipstick and black pumps. It’s okay, just breathe. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
‘You aren’t the hot type, you are the cute kind‘ — may seem to you like the insult to take all other insults to their grave, but someone meant to be kind when they said that — so allow it to pass. Being cute at 32 is no easy feat. I’m slow clapping for you there.
Your mother and your husband will always tell you that you need to button up that shirt a little higher. Don’t be the rebel and unbutton one down. Have mercy on the poor souls.
Do your tricep dips even if the boobs revert to their pre pregnancy awesomeness — two sizes down, no percievable cleavage. Like someone once told me ‘you don’t need bigger boobs, you need to read better books’, and was kind enough to gift me a book.
It’s all cool walking with your chin up, shoulders squared, chest out, butt out — until the baby has a diaper situation and you are back to looking like a hot mess in a few eventful minutes. The Zara pumps and the dainty curls suddenly don’t seem like good ideas anymore. Not the way you imagined it in your head, is it? Foxy.
When your guy friends tell you about the statistics of one of the most Googled words in the world – MILF, and you can’t help but wonder where you stand. It’s something you not want to want to be. Adult problems, I tell you.
Everybody gets DMs from horny, desperate men on Instagram; you aren’t special. Just because you need to block people, it doesn’t mean you are famous. It only means that men will be men. So block away by all means, but keep the breaking news to yourself.
No matter how old you are, 10 missed calls from mom means that you need to make up some epic lies. And, 10 missed calls from the husband means that you need to get home at lightening speed — before he makes any more drunken calls, and ruins your wedding china wear.
Self-love and gratitude may seem like the ‘things’ to be involved in post 30, but nothing can feel as gratifying as some harmless gossip. So, when your guy friend tells you that he is having an extra marital affair, you feel like you finally have cool friends even after 30. You get excited, you ask questions, you give unsolicited advice — and then you see that familiar smirk. You’ve been told what you want to hear. You have been bamboozled. In broad daylight. Mental note — stick to self-love and gratitude.
I was recently told that my posts are all dark and deep, and that they require a whisky on the rocks for the juice to trickle down the grey matter — that one cannot imagine balloons, butterflies, bubbles and confetti when reading my posts. I may have redeemed myself partially with this post, although this won’t take you to the imaginary world of Tinkerbell! And thank heavens for that.
However, I know that if there is one thing I can do well, it’s being candidly honesty with the words I weave. There is a true reflection of me in every post that has ever featured on my blog and that may never change. I do mix-up people, situations, facts and fantasy, just so the identity of people, their circumstances and personal spaces (including mine) are protected. But finally, if it’s still dark and deep, then so be it.
I like to stay on the dark side of the moon. I have good company.
Until next time, XOXO
Photo credits (and help with concept planning): @vijayanand_celluloids on Instagram