Tag Archives: Age

39 Looks Like This

When was the last time you saw a 30- something look like this? That’s a 30-something pretending to be 20 and you bought it.

We have a mental picture next to each age number till 25. ‘Kid’ gets bigger till it hits ‘Grownup’. ‘OLD’ is a white-bearded, balding man or a toothless, hunched crone leaning on a stick. We are quick with the statement “You don’t look that old at all! You look YOUNG !”. We mean it as a compliment as if being a certain age is the ideal way to be, instead of a natural life stage that everyone passes through for exactly the same time. We decide that young and old are about age bands, rather than a set of factors like experience, exposure, financial independence, emotional maturity, physical fitness, metabolic health, mental stability and attitude. We assume that a ‘Not Young’ person suddenly has a slower pace, less dramatic body language, tighter frame of movements. We assign a limited ABC book image to the binary labels of ‘Young’ and ‘Not Young’. Anyone different may gain temporary membership to the coveted Club of Young.

Being told I look younger is not a compliment. I don’t look 17 because at that age I hadn’t learnt how to manage my allergies & my periods and it showed. I don’t look 24 because then, I was severely underweight from being assaulted and had stretch marks. I don’t look 28 because then I was strapped into a corporate life, weighed down by appropriateness & stress greying. I don’t look 33 because I had water retention & dark circles from an abusive relationship.

I look every minute of my 39 years. The lift in these dusky skinned, bony arms was hard won. The smooth lines of my hair were the result of many negotiations between beauty standards & personal preferences. That tilt of face is measured in the slaps I endured to keep me down. The grace in awkward, clutching fingers took years of accepting my traumas and learning to do so on stage. The feet planted firmly apart have warred against manspreaders and slut-shamers and managed to stay standing. 39 is the story of many wars survived.

Don’t erase my history and tell me that it’s a compliment. 39 looks like this.

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When was the last time you saw a 30- something look like this? Swipe to see. That's a 30-something pretending to be 20 and you bought it. We have a mental picture next to each age number till 25. 'Kid' gets bigger till it hits 'Grownup'. ‘OLD’ is a white-bearded, balding man or a toothless, hunched crone leaning on a stick. We are quick with the statement “You don’t look that old at all! You look YOUNG !”. We mean it as a compliment as if being a certain age is the ideal way to be, instead of a natural life stage that everyone passes through for exactly the same time. We decide that young and old are about age bands, rather than a set of factors like experience, exposure, financial independence, emotional maturity, physical fitness, metabolic health, mental stability and attitude. We assume that a ‘Not Young’ person suddenly has a slower pace, less dramatic body language, tighter frame of movements. We assign a limited ABC book image to the binary labels of ‘Young’ and ‘Not Young’. Anyone different may gain temporary membership to the coveted Club of Young. Being told I look younger is not a compliment. I don’t look 17 because at that age I hadn’t learnt how to manage my allergies & my periods and it showed. I don’t look 24 because then, I was severely underweight from being assaulted and had stretch marks. I don’t look 28 because then I was strapped into a corporate life, weighed down by appropriateness & stress greying. I don’t look 33 because I had water retention & dark circles from an abusive relationship. I look every minute of my 39 years. The lift in these dusky skinned, bony arms was hard won. The smooth lines of my hair were the result of many negotiations between beauty standards & personal preferences. That tilt of face is measured in the slaps I endured to keep me down. The grace in awkward, clutching fingers took years of accepting my traumas and learning to do so on stage. The feet planted firmly apart have warred against manspreaders and slut-shamers and managed to stay standing. 39 is the story of many wars survived. Don’t erase my history and tell me that it’s a compliment. 39 looks like this. 📸: @professor.shonku #theideasmithy

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10 Years Is A Long Time On A Ferris Wheel Called Life

So I did the #10YearChallenge. And this is what I figured out about myself.

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10 Years is a Long Time on a Ferris wheel called Life I've not gained a lot of kilos in ten years. But I have accumulated memories that give me a certain jaded, wary, not-much-impresses-me-anymore look. Let's see – a transformative relationship, a failed engagement, two homes, three careers, two partnerships and one tattoo. Yes, the tattoo you see, was there a decade ago and even then it was an old one. I was simultaneously an aging soul and a newly minted developing human being. 2009 was the year I turned 30 and decided to stop letting numbers, designations, addresses and other such labels define me. As 2019 begins, I'm finding myself at a new crossroads and looking ahead to how I see myself and the most important thing in my life – my relationships. You never stop learning. And I never seem to stop coming of age. The years fool you. Picture edits: @unstable_elemnt #10yearchallenge #glowup #glowupchallenge #glowupchallenge💯 #glowupchallenge👑 #glowupchallenge✨ #howdidagehityouchallenge #the30diaries #turning30 #thethirties #10yearschallenge #timeline #2009vs2019

A post shared by Ramya Pandyan 🏊🏽‍♀️🌱📚 (@ideasmithy) on

I’ve not gained a lot of kilos in ten years. But I have accumulated memories that give me a certain jaded, wary, not-much-impresses-me-anymore look.

Let’s see – a transformative relationship, a failed engagement, two homes, three careers, two partnerships and one tattoo. Yes, the tattoo you see, was there a decade ago and even then it was an old one. I was simultaneously an aging soul and a newly minted developing human being.

2009 was the year I turned 30 and decided to stop letting numbers, designations, addresses and other such labels define me. As 2019 begins, I’m finding myself at a new crossroads and looking ahead to how I see myself and the most important thing in my life – my relationships.

You never stop learning. And I never seem to stop coming of age. The years fool you.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

August Is Good

Birthday month came and passed. The birthday was sweet. I’m now officially in my last year of being able to write The Thirty Diaries. Soon to be officially middle-aged.

Yesterday I asked a friend if he’d let me know when I started looking old. He paused and said, “Uh okay, if you want me to.” I said yes, I did. I had about as much trouble dealing with the natural fact of ageing as the average person. But I never wanted to be that old person who still thought they were young. That’s all I want to say about Im-feeling-old.

August has been very nice but then it is the month of Leo and this sign is always good to me – with its people and with how it manifests in my own life. I’ve started a couple of new projects. It feels good to feel productive and I’ll admit it, I have missed the nerdy ordinariness of being an office worker. The glamour of entrepreneurship or creative fields have never been their draw for me. And I tired of that very quickly, not the least of which is people’s crazy perceptions about it. “You have such a glamorous life! You’re so lucky to have a talent.” – Sigh, no, it’s a whole lot of grit and hard work, just like any other job. “How irresponsible to quit a respectable job to do this..what is it that you do?” – No more irresponsible than starting a marriage based on other people’s decisions or having a baby because it’s the thing to do and yet here we are Mrs.Motherhood-is-so-haaaard. Oh well, I can flash a little bit of respectability now as needed.

I spent a lovely Sunday dipping into different conversations, events and people’s lives. A literary gathering devoid of the pressure to manage or create or even, well socialise. This is so tiring now. The more I’ve written and performed, the less I find I need to talk to people. I’m quieter inside and outside now, the more expressive I get online and on stage. Another friend catchup disguised as a workshop. And then a party that was unlike anything I’ve attended at least in the last few years. Maybe proximity to the sea does that.

I’ve been meeting more friends and few colleagues or fellow poets. I’ve been letting myself feel the ache of stress in my shoulders, my stomach and my uterus. I’ve been allowing the possibility of crushes or even fleeting interest to breeze through my day. And they pass. August is good, so good. I just wish it weren’t so ephemeral. But maybe that is the beauty of it.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Ageist

 

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Travelling Light

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

I Miss…

I miss my anonymity. I miss the nondescriptness of a tacky, one-of-the-available-six templates of my blog. I miss the charm of, “So who is Ideasmith really?”-“I’m just a faceless voice. I’m just a statistic” conversations.

I miss the lightness of being unknown. I miss the comfort of merging into the masses. I miss being average. I miss having an unenviable life and one that people who do listen, are willing to commiserate with.

I miss the striving and the unawareness of drudgery. I miss the struggles from before they became stressful. I miss the gentleness of meaningless fantasies, cheap & plentiful like soap bubbles. Also just as pretty and joyful.

I miss being in my twenties. Come to think of it, I missed them the first time round too. Or maybe not. You don’t get to thirty-one (soon 32) without passing through 20, 21, 22…and so on. Even if you didn’t live them as you think you should have, even if you didn’t relish the meal, it did go down your throat, past your heart and right into you.

I wonder what 32 tastes like.

Thoughtless Youth. Cynical Age.
Unsure Youth. Insecure Age.

Yet the ‘twain shall meet.

Maturity Is An Age Thing

On one hand, it seems like adulthood is getting younger. Six-year-olds are taking computer lessons, twelve-year-olds own mobilephones and seventeen-year-olds are entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it feels like maturity is an endangered species. Oh sure, there’s the whole ‘maturity has nothing to do with age’ argument. I’ve used it myself. But I’m coming to change my mind.

Specifically, in the area of the internet, since this is where the age limits are vanishing the fastest, this is visible. Programming, web design and social media are all populated by younger and younger people who match or even surpass older peo ple in skillset. However, the deeper ramifications of each action appear to be lost on them. Indeed, several such things are shrugged off as ‘old-fashioned behaviour’.

What’s worrisome is that the controls of things with far-reaching consequences are in the hands of several people who may not even consider the ramifications of their actions. The MMS scandals are one alarming fallout of powerful technology in the hands of those who are not yet ready to take responsibility for their actions. And yet, look at the damaging consequences of a mistake.

Three times in the recent past, my privacy has been invaded. Recently, I’ve had another two encounters. In the first case, I went out with a bunch of people, friends and their friends. One of them later went out and said something about my ‘hot date’, referring to a friend who had travelled with me. By the time this news got back to me, it had become my ‘happening love life’. Haven’t kids today heard of the saying, ‘Loose lips sink ships‘?

The second relates to an interview for a media piece. A friend gave out my personal details to someone who in turn, circulated it to someone else. The first I heard of it, was when I received an email from a total stranger who said he knew ‘a friend of a friend’, had my phone number but had been asked to ‘appease’ me before calling.

When I protest in such situations, the responses are predictable. Occasionally someone is apologetic and the common refrain is,

I didn’t realise you would mind!

Really? Is that not obvious? A phone number is personal. So is an email address unless it is freely available on the person’s online profile (blog, Facebook, Twitter etc). If it’s personal, it’s for a reason. If you have it, don’t share it without asking. What happened to the smartness of kids?

And this is the good news, that a few people are at least contrite. The larger majority takes offense (!) and tosses it back with a,

You’re the one who’s making a big deal out of it, loser.

Of course that’s just arrogance. And arrogance and thoughtlessness both indicate a lack of maturity.

I know I’ve showed both of these traits (and perhaps I still do). I’ve learnt from lessons by older people and
by making mistakes and being pulled up. My motivations and references have changed over time. I’ve figured out the battles I want to fight and also where it’s okay to lay down my arms. I react differently to things, I think before doing certain things. My attitude and hence I, have evolved. This is my maturing (still in progress) and it happens over time. It cannot be rushed or shrunk back.

You can put a kid on the fast track but you can’t make him an adult before his time. Unfortunately, considering that the world is getting younger, we’re now in the unenviable position of passengers in a powerful vehicle being driven by an underage driver. We’re hurtling into the future along with them. It’s anyone’s guess where we’ll all end up.

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