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Judy Balan
Judy Balan

THE F-WORD

Are you 'adulting' gracefully?

mom-child
  • I am talking about this aversion and resistance to any kind of commitment and responsibility so glorified in the current culture; this idea that you can be a teen forever. Here’s what I think: It’s not an idea. It’s a symptom.

I have always been a contrarian—I cannot help but look with suspicion upon anything that the world starts screaming loudly and repeatedly in my ears. So, I turn my focus on the opposite viewpoint. Not because I want to rebel or stand out—as some people have pointed out—but because considering the other extreme, is the only way I know how to find balance in a world that’s constantly shoving its popular (read barely researched) ideas down my throat. Of course, I do take this to weird heights: I still use 2G. Because I am a highly impatient person prone to frequent bouts of craziness from this nagging feeling that time is running out and I don’t think the best way to deal with this non-virtue is by pandering to it. I mean, there is something seriously wrong with a culture that insists I cannot wait a few extra seconds for my page to load. In fact, I think the whole world—save the handful of people whose every second really matters—should switch to 2G (while they still can) and aim for some personal growth for a change. Just imagine a world where people knew how to wait.

But I will come back to that. I have been noticing this growing disdain for children on social media over the years—having them, raising them, travelling with them, you name it—and I think it’s sort of hit a crescendo now; thanks in no small part to pop-culture icons such as Barney Stinson who have influenced a whole generation of misguided individuals into thinking that not growing up is cool. And for me, that is the real issue. Now before you go for my throat with random usage of ‘inner child’ and such, let me say that it is not the refusing to grow up I am talking about. I am talking about this aversion and resistance to any kind of commitment and responsibility so glorified in the current culture; this idea that you can be a teen forever. Here’s what I think: It’s not an idea. It’s a symptom.

You cannot be a teen forever (because, Biology). But growing up is nothing like those ‘Everybody’s getting married and having babies and I am like…’ memes either. I feel the need to spell it out: You can get married, have babies and still do the following: be awesome, decide which country to go to next, continue to care deeply about your pets, have another glass of wine…. I can only hope I have made my point.

I am not trying to convince anybody to get married or have children. I am merely pointing out the possibility that any phobia or aversion for those things might be a symptom of a culture that is so steeped in entitlement—because it’s used to getting everything from khatti rolls to one night stands with the swipe of a finger. What is wrong with that, you ask? Well, nothing, it’s pretty great, actually. But it does sadden me every time a person sees a relationship as the end of personal freedom. Because to me, being in a healthy relationship based on mutual trust and respect is one of the most freeing experiences. There is nothing quite like celebrating your life—and by extension, your freedom—with someone who gets you. Sure, it’s difficult to come by but I would like to think it’s worth waiting for and, most definitely, nothing to be afraid of.

As for parenting, take this from someone who bangs her head on a wall every day because she has no clue how to do it: Raising and influencing another human is a chance you get at turning your attention away from your self in a selfie-obsessed era, thereby countering everything that’s wrong with the world. Sure, you will botch it up in many ways but it’s a chance nonetheless. And it’s precious. It should evoke nothing other than reverential fear in you. Because it’s probably the coolest, most important thing you will ever do.

Unless you are a teacher. Then you might want to switch to 2G and hope for an overnight download of patience.

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The Week

Topics : #opinion | #Judy Balan

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