“He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.”-John Milton
When I was a kid, I believed everything that people said. I never questioned anyone’s authority. I did everything as was told, I truly believed that I was doing the right thing. I wished to be obedient, I wished to follow the rules. This ranged from the basic ones such as ‘don’t go out in the dark’, ‘wash your hands before you eat food’ to the disturbing ones like “you need to lose weight” or “you should be settled before 30”. I don’t have any problems following the rules but I decided to break from this self imposed restriction when it started affecting my sanity.
I went through a whirlwind of emotions after I hit 29. I spent my entire 29th year, dreading the 30’s. According to the society, there are few unspoken, unwritten goals to be achieved before anyone turns 30. You should have a good education, stable job, get married and having a kid is a plus, in the same order. I don’t know who set these rules but they have been deep ingrained in my mind as long as I can remember. This made me feel like an absolute failure for not having achieved some of the ‘so called’ goals before I hit 30. I had an invisible deadline to get my life back on track or be termed as the ‘odd one’.
I dreaded my 30th birthday ever since I turned 29. Can you imagine all the precious time I lost dreading the inevitable? I eventually turned 30 (duh!) without getting the most important thing checked off the ‘society made checklists’ for turning 30, getting married! But I didn’t feel like a failure at all. Instead I felt great, in fact my 30th birthday was the most amazing birthday of my entire life. There are naysayers who try to make me and my family feel scared of the repercussions of not abiding by the ‘redundant rules of life’, but I don’t care. After having wasted an entire year, believing that I was an absolute failure, I don’t have a second to spare on such useless thoughts. Yes, they are useless thoughts!!! They only take unnecessary space in my mind and don’t help in achieving any of the goals or vision I’ve set for my life. Rather they make my life pitiful which I absolutely despise!
Throughout my 29th year, I felt like my time was running out. This compelled me to take few life changing decisions. I turned vegetarian (a wish I had kept for the unforeseeable future), got my house renovated (my childhood dream) and managed to break through a lot of mental barriers I set on myself. As I turned 30, I realized, there’s no right or wrong way to live your life. You set your own rules, you do what’s best for you! Thanks but no thanks society made obsolete rules, you have no space in my life, not anymore!