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From Seventeen To Forty

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Young people, with stars and dreams in their eyes… what happens as they grow older, life happens, and one day, find themselves middle-aged?

I am young, and have stars in my eyes
I need to work hard, and that’s no surprise
I know academic excellence shall pave the way
For a better future that I strive towards every day

I should have my life figured out- I am seventeen
My admission essay should spell out what I have not yet seen-
I should have a clear vision of my future, that’s expected
Being competitive is a trait I have perfected

An Ivy league education followed by a six-figure salary
Are prerequisites to being successful and happy
Ambition and drive I think I have in plenty
A prosperous life for me they should guarantee…


My fortieth birthday I celebrate today
That ambitious adolescent has come a long way
That driven girl of yester-years did achieve
Her professional goals– what is generally perceived
As success, I think I can claim I have in hand

Yet the parameters of happiness, I now understand
Are very different from what I thought they would be
As a seventeen year old aspiring for a college degree
The competitive streak that I had in me
Was not conducive for happiness, I now see
To excel at everything I had been striving for throughout
Be it work, or being a supermom- even at the risk of burnout..

Turning forty, however, has made me evaluate
What I really want from my life, on my plate
I have stopped competing with others around me
I’m trying to focus on my passions, what makes me happy…

By the way, the girl who at the age of seventeen believed
Her life was figured out, at forty, is still trying to figure out her life indeed!

Published here earlier.

Header image is a composite of stills from the movies Darr and Gulab Gang

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