It wouldn’t be called coming of age if it didn’t involve a sudden realisation – a sudden jolt from long-cherished ideals to HD reality.
And it always happens to people like us – the dreamers, the readers, the observers. The ones with a thirst to be more than commonplace in everything we do, whether big or small. We expect to go through the exquisite agony of desiring something/someone unattainable, somehow managing to get it and all of it is supposed to take place through a slo-mo, larger-than-life lens. But fuck that shit, life ain’t like that. The things which you think are gonna be earth-shattering – the first time you kissed or had sex, when you got admitted to that school, landed that job, met that guy, he proposed, got married to him etc, they always turn out to be better in your head than in real life.
So what you do is, little by little you keep burying your dreams and dealing with reality. And you don’t even know that you are, except for that microscopic niggle at the back which tells you something isn’t right. But you rationalise it, re-tweak your expectations and swat the damn bugger away. But hell, each time it comes back, the swatting becomes a little harder.
Cynicism ensues. You become practical (hate that word). And you deal. Till one day, you wake up and you look at the dreams of the 14 year old to the reality of the 26 year old. And then you cry. You cry for all the times you let it go and coped. When you accepted less because you didn’t know if more existed, or where to find it. When you were too goddamn scared of losing what you had, to seek out what you wanted not knowing whether it could be.
And sadly, you realise the book of your life (because essentially, we’re always writing it CONSCIOUSLY) isn’t gonna be a bestseller. It’s gonna be an also-ran. A mediocre piece of literature with nary an original thought. And the shapes of things to come get so clear that you wish that you had stuck by your dreams to escape this ordinary reality.