This morning I ended up reading a depressing blog post on Linkedin by someone who appeared to have made a life commitment to whinery. Fair enough that the poster was in their mid 20s but their worry about not wanting to be a “nobody” at 30 made me panic and question my fate. For the better part of this year I have felt the world on my shoulders as I turn 30 in the next 6 months. I hear people all around me go –“I want to finish my PhD before I turn 30”, “I must have a kid before I’m 30 or it will never happen”, “I must buy a house before I’m 30”, “Fuck! I’m turning 30, we are old”…and so on.
What is this 30? Am I supposed to feel more pressured or get my act together? My act has been together since I was 4 and returned home from Kinder Garten without messing my uniform or even the handkerchief attached to my shirt. Mental pressures are my best friend, I refuse to function without some doomsday party pooping thought on my mind.
Until last year I believed that when I’d turn 30, my life would instantly get easier and more playful. After-all, I deserve this. I have slogged my brain in irrational stresses for the last 29 years, even my Mother can confirm that I was a serious highly intellectual baby adult. At 30, I’m meant to look 22 as I run around celebrating my husband free, child free, mortgage free, incredibly enlightened life. Instead everyone around me is panicking and reminding me that I’m old and these talks about still being a “nobody” at 30 are bothersome.
I spent today thinking about “success”. At 5 I dreamed of my Dad being the President of the World so I could fly anywhere in my private plane and we’d have all the money in the world, stored away like Scrooge McDuck’s treasure. You can’t get more Capricorn than this! At soon to be 30, I don’t have those McDuck’s treasures or a private jet. I am not even famous. Does that mean I’m not successful?
I can’t adhere to conventional wisdom and philosophies about life. Since my 20s, I’ve come a long way. Vanity doesn’t matter to me anymore. In 2011, I moved back from the UK to India and had to get rid of my entire life that I had built over 4 years. The horror I had to undergo to empty my flat was my eye opener. No human should ever need the amount of clothes and shoes I had. You might “want” those many clothes but you can never “need” them. When I moved to Plymouth, I lived off 10 clothes and 1 pair of shoes for 4 months and I did just fine. Does being able to afford Prada and Gucci mean you are successful?
Success is always equated with materialistic things, stuff that can lose value within a day when the aliens take over or we get hit by an asteroid or more realistically, when the war hungry nations and capitalists drive us to dystopia. Once upon a time, diamonds were worthless.
Does success mean being popular? I have a lot of people in my life who are everything to me but nobody to the rest of the world. Does that mean they aren’t successful? 20 years from now, our sense of privacy would have changed completely as everyone continues to build far reaching web identities. I suppose success then will have to detach itself from “popularity”.
Setting goals and fulfilling them feels good. Dreaming ambitiously is good. This world wouldn’t have happened without our animalistic, primal, never give up attitude. fter-all some crazy fucks dreamed of jumping inside metal tubes and flying them across continents. That was success! But so is not putting a gun in your mouth and having the walls plastered with your brain cells. In-fact, I think struggle and success go hand in hand. After each hard day of struggle that passes by and you wake up the next morning still motivated, that to me is a success. If life is meant to be experienced here in the present given that tomorrow has no guarantees, why waste energy bringing yourself down, just assuming that you aren’t successful because your face doesn’t have 3 million followers. Breathing in this moment and appreciating life feels much better than stressing the brain out over things that are in the future, in a reality that hasn’t yet happened, therefore its chances of happening and not are both probable.
If reality is a fragment of our imagination, then so is the number 30. If the sky is blue because we are told it is blue when it can even be pink/green/gray/orange/red, then 30 is just that. An idea we learnt and our brain adopted as its own. When you wake up on your 30th birthday, nothing is going to be different. People have been turning 30 for centuries, it is only commercialisation that has turned it into this giant elephant in the room.
And about success…well I think success should be subjective, something each individual should be allowed to consider for themselves. When did we unanimously decide on what success should be? It shouldn’t be an idea we force down each others throats like an unnaturally large cock in a bad porno. If all our lives and brains are different, then our goals must be too which means our triumphs will be too. But, even the google dictionary defines success as- the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
(brick walls—> head—->bang!)
From my understanding of life and subjective life experiences, success is being at peace with your life and bravely facing tomorrow. Success to me is “moving forward wholeheartedly” even if its only half a step in the grand scheme of your destiny. I am sure that those who attach success to fame, wealth and social status have had different life experiences but can we stop expecting that everyone craves the same things from life? I keep hoping that my hipster generation will challenge these definitions to support the human brain/consciousness evolution.
This is the best and worst time to be alive. Best because we have and know things far beyond anyone would have imagined in the past and worst because the crazy fucks who value their ego attachment over higher brain experiences are bound to drag us down like crabs in a bucket.
So I will be 30 soon and probably still a “nobody” in conventional terms but I have my head up my ass…I think I’m successful.