Our twenties is an age of inevitability. The inevitability of separations, changing paths and drifting apart(s).
(A conversation with a friend who lives out-of-town and had come home for a holiday.)
Friend : This going away (from home) by itself is exciting. But this going away again and again. Makes me think of every leaving after holidays as a going away.
Me: Saying goodbyes again and again takes a toll on me.
Friend : It is draining. Sometimes I don’t know whether the anticipation of coming home is more than the exhaustion of going away.
I am very confused.
They all told me that the twenties were supposed to be an age of freedom. A time of conventionally “living it up”, whatever that means. I don’t know about the rest, but my twenties seem to be all about trying to hold on. Holding on to career dreams, relationships, family and money at all costs. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I felt “free”, whatever that means.
Sometimes, I tell the Universe, “Cut us some slack now, will you?” Then the rational me interjects with a smartass quip. “Instead of talking to the Universe, shouldn’t you be applying to University?”
Let us talk of separations. We are chasing our dreams all over the place, having forgotten where we started from; or where we are going to.
For three years I was in constant transit. Most of my online shopping consisted of flight and train tickets between work and home. One day, I turned to my colleague and said, “I am buying so many tickets but where am I going, really?”
It seemed like I was always going and leaving, but never staying.
I am often called the “nomadic one” among my friends because of my wanderlust. Every time I went home on holiday, there would be this odd mix of happiness and dread. The dread because I knew that I was just passing through my old life back at home. The evening before departure would be the worst. All the goodbyes, the “call, e-mail me, keep in touch” conversations.
There would be the mellow evenings where we would all just sit and talk softly, and laugh and eat. Those would be the evenings with the golden light, the ones that I wished would last forever and then some more. Then we would say our goodbyes and a little bit of my soul would keep clinging to that piece of gold.
There was one last such evening when I realised that my nomadic madness needed to take a break. I was sitting with a friend at this bookstore. The minutes melted into hours and before we realised, the soft winter afternoon had faded into a chilly dusky evening. I had an early flight the next day. Even writing about it now makes me feel strangely desolate inside.
It seems like we are dragging around a sack of uncertainty with us, wherever we go. The moving currents of our lives take us in exciting new directions, towards thrilling encounters, no doubt. Call me a pessimist, but what about the ones we leave behind? The ones we drift apart from, evolve out of and lose touch with? What about that one cousin you were inseparable from a few years ago. Now, your only connection is the odd text or e-mail?
The irony is, there’s no one to blame. We are the parents of our own separations and journeys. We are following our life paths for good causes and with good intentions.
It’s just that I can’t help being a sucker for a Lost Time.