The Birthday Manifesto

The supposedly dreaded day is here – my 30th birthday. But honestly I really don’t know what the hype/fuss is about. Why must every person turning 30 quake in their boots and fear the day when old age “officially” hits? Such a waste of time and cognition.

Which is not to say that I don’t love birthdays. I love them as much as the next person and try to milk the opportunity as much as possible to get extra attention from the loved ones. The one day when I can be a brat and get away with it! 🙂

The last year has been a tough one personally. Too many weighty matters culminated at once and the result wasn’t pretty. But on the brighter side, I’m finding my old self again. The one that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about all the excessively free floating opinions. The one who is very sure of what she wants and knows that she will get exactly that, nothing less.

Losing sight of what matters is truly scary. Imagine your navigation system screwing up and showing you the wrong route. So you seemingly do everything you‘re supposed to but still don’t turn up where you intended. Talk about feeling/being disoriented!

What I’ve significantly missed in the last few years is taking time out to do the things I love or taking a minute to remind myself what I love about a certain thing or a certain someone. And I’m not the only one. I know there are enough of us out there who wake up in the morning and can’t remember why we’re going to work at all or why we chose the career we did or, worse, who we are outside of the tightly defined ‘daily routine for grown-ups’. Nothing like a reboot to set that right.

At the end of the day, it really is about cutting through all the crap we tell ourselves and others all day long. We’ve all got too many layers on for the world. It’s great to just peel away the unnecessary ones. Life’s too short to spend it pandering to others’ wishes and being unhappy about negativity that inevitably comes your way.

So in light of all the reflecting that I’ve been doing, a birthday manifesto of sorts seems to be in order.

I will:

  1. Write. Not just for clients but also for myself. I was watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara for the zillionth time the other day and one particular scene continues to make me squirm every time. The one where Salman Habib asks Imraan what he does and the latter eagerly says Ad Copywriter. The senior scoffs and says “Apne liye bhi kuchh likhte ho?” or something similar. I’m guessing that line would haunt any creative person who has gotten out of touch with what he/she loves about the craft. It made me realize that I terribly miss writing as a means of self-expression and self-discovery. So that’s that. Back to blogging it is!
  2. Make music. This is something that I specifically labelled as a ‘hobby’ and slowly forgot all about it. So I’m taking it off the shelf, dusting it and reclassifying it as ‘sanity creator’.
  3. Cook. Over the years I’ve got so much grief over what I cook, how I cook, why I cook or don’t cook that it has driven me up the wall. I’m putting a stop to all that and getting back to cooking for the love of flavors and the happiness that a home-made meal brings. Thankfully, the husband is a patient, wonderful person to cook for. Back to mum’s recipe book, it is.
  4. Reach out. Yeah I’m putting an end to that “I’m bad at keeping in touch” bullshit. Enough is enough. Honest efforts henceforth for those who genuinely value my company and want to hear from me (pure gossip-seekers excluded).
  5. Run. So I’ve always had this funny deep-seated urge since school days to train to be a runner. This probably sounds extremely surprising coming from a champion couch potato but I can’t explain it. It’s always been my Everest (considering that I’m extremely flat-footed). I’ve decided that I will get there one way or the other and I will do it now rather than later.
  6. Reconnect. Faith has always been a very very personal thing to me. Dictating that I should pray only in a certain way because I follow a particular religion seems like tyranny to me. Shouldn’t that be between my maker and me? I prefer to believe that my maker will hear me no matter how I choose to communicate. So yeah, the next time you want to tell me that I’m bowing my head wrong or not praying right, chances are that you’ll receive a tight smile and arm’s length distance for a while.

I will NOT:

  • Indulge Negative Nancies. While seeking me out for support and to connect is great, making me the target of your pent up frustrations, disappointments and multi-level political plotting is not. So unless there’s some modicum of respect coming my way, there’s no way I’m making time for energy vampires anymore. The door is firmly shut.
  • Get sucked into the Rat Race. The past year I’ve felt incredible pressure to keep up with the rest of the world. There’s nothing worse to make one feel crappy. We were all meant to be weird and wonderful, not desperately copy and compete. None of that for me anymore.
  • Try to please/ Worry about opinions. This one in particular has been a MASSIVE time-waster for me. Logically, though, it makes no sense. Why would you want people in your life who never seem to be able to accept who you really are? What you see is now what you get. Take it or leave it.
  • Criticize myself till kingdom come. Another horrible habit that’s kicked my ass in the last three decades. We put ourselves through so much scrutiny as it is and then go on to beat ourselves up for not “being perfect” or “having perfect lives like X”. Sheesh. Like Donna and Tom say in Parks and Recreation, “Treat yo’self!”
  • Settle/Compromise. Not in work, relationships or any other facet of daily life. How much time do we all think we have to just squander it away in anything less than what we want?
  • Allow fear to stop me.

So that seems like a nice, long, hopefully executable list for the decades to come 🙂 I’m calling it quits with all the bullshit that is in great abundance these days.

Here’s to more living, loving, learning and blogging!

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