Saturday, February 07, 2009

Live to Tell

I wonder when the obsession with getting older starts for most people. There are those lucky few who never think about it. They age without seeming to get old, get laugh lines instead of getting worry lines, and look dignified instead of stale.

I didn't think turning thirty was such a big deal. That is, I didn't think it was such a big deal until I actually turned thirty. Now it seems as if time has passed me by and that no matter how much I scramble and scrape, it will forever be out of reach. It seems as if I will never lose this feeling of having let it go without giving my all to grab it, corral it and dominate it for the rest of my life. There are so many things that I wanted to do, but never got an opportunity - or made one. And then I think, hey I'm only thirty, not sixty. I still have enough time to sing those songs, write those books, direct those movies and climb those peaks.

Then comes this gnawing realization that I'm probably no closer to achieving any of those things than I was five years ago and the added frustration of being a part of the rat race. I wasn't designed to be a 9 to 5 kind of guy. Carpe Diem they say in Latin. Well, I didn't and with each day that passes I feel more entrenched in the rat race. Age brings responsibility, and the added burden of expectation. We are expected to follow the usual road - education, job, marriage, kids, savings, retirement. And with each day that passes without carpeing the diem there are fewer exits to get off that road.

Such is the agony and ecstasy of living in the United States. Whereas in India I would have likely not even entertained thoughts of breaking from the pack, here I feel the ecstasy of limitless potential - and the agony of being an alien who is not allowed by law to reach it.

Despite the doom and gloom nature of this post, however, I am an optimist. My nature is to chip away. Chip away at a block of stone and soon there will be a beautiful sculpture. Where others see a block of stone, the sculptor sees a Madonna and child. All I have to do is chip away.

Word of the day: Stability