Friday, August 28, 2015

And then she crossed the line...

I turned 30 this year. 

No, not today. In May. I moved to a new country and for the first time, was alone on my birthday. My husband had to work and since we didn't have a car, I cooked the birthday meal, something which I hate doing on my special day, because we couldn't go out. Before anyone feels sorry for me, let me clarify that my husband made the weekend special for me by taking me out to a sea-facing restaurant, with all my favorite food, and two glasses of my much-loved Red Wine Sangria. The gloom of being alone in a land far far away was too much to make me write until today. 

But this post is not about how I spent my 30th birthday. It's how I feel now that I am no longer in my 20s. 30s is supposed to be when you get wise, you become mature, in most cases, you have children and are too busy to even bother about what's happening around you. For me, 30 is just a number, but a number that kind of rings a bell. There's so much that I haven't done yet and no it's not just about not having kids. 

This birthday was special, as few friends and family reminded me that I am still childless, as if I don't know that. I have crossed THE line. My time is running out, my biological clock is ticking. I know all that. 

For an Indian women, by 30's if you haven't had a child, you are considered a rebel, or worse, you have health issues, which people make it a point to ask and give free advice too. For Indian women, having children is everyone's business. Your mother, your mother-in-law, your friends, your aunts, your neighbors, your distant relatives, your doodhwala, your bhajiwala and so on. Nobody asks you - Do you and your husband want to have children? Are you physically, mentally, and financially capable of taking a responsibility of your lifetime?

This assumption that since I am married for 5 years and now crossed the ripe age of fertility, I should be popping out kids is preposterous. I lament because majority of times, I am the one who goes thru the torment, not my husband. As if his part is so minuscule that it doesn't matter whether he is ready or not. I don't remember his father asking him about his plans to have a baby. Fine, I am a carrier, but isn't his contribution required? The worse part is, it's not even like we don't want a baby, it's just that we want it when we want it, not when the world wants it or because we are crossing an age limit or because our biological clocks are ticking. A point to be taken into consideration - it's only my biological clock ticking, not my husband's. I don't see his mother worried for him. I don't see his brother advising him to make babies. This is the stark difference that's so culturally ingrained in us, that we don't even stop to think as to why only a woman is harassed and I chose the word deliberately, harassed over having a baby.  

Before I am being considered rude for saying things like these, I would like to make it clear that I understand the love and concern of my loved ones. What I fail to understand and maybe make people realize is that life is not a time table. I am a 30 year old woman and if I count the things that I have done, the list of things that I haven't done is bigger. All internet articles tell you to make bucket lists of things that you must do before you are 30. I didn't have a bucket list, neither did I make one after realizing I missed a decade of my youth. What I did do, I am happy with. I didn't travel a lot, I didn't see my own country, I didn't go for treks, I didn't learn Yoga, I didn't live alone (biggest regret of my life), I never actually became independent even though I was earning quite well. 

As I cross the line from the 20s to the 30s, I want my life to be much more than having a baby. I want to be peaceful and happy in my relationship with my husband. I want to spend time decorating my home the way I always wanted. I want to cook and experiment with food to satisfy my palette and make my husband happy with his simple waran bhat. I want to read and write a lot more. I am already working, but I want to pursue a hobby, maybe think of learning a new skill. In my 20's my dream was to spend more time on my writing, learn, read, see new places, talk to people, and have a good time when I reach 30s. That's it, that was my goal - to have a good time and that's what I want to do now that I am 30 - have a good time in my life. Whether I have a baby or not, whether I change my life or not, whether I switch my career or not, all I want to do is have a good time.