To start with, I define Kid as anyone between the ages 10 and 15. As a Kid, I watched a lot of informative television channels and had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do with my life. My mom always made sure there were enough Essay books at home (pre-internet era) so that I was never hungry for knowledge. I had a few very specific ideas about what was right and what was wrong and many a times voicing my opinions to the grown-ups resulted in lengthy debates that would always end up with a ‘You are a kid, wait till you grow up’. Now, around 15 years later, I think ‘Damn, I was a smart kid!’.
- I will not visit the Temple Regularly: I come from a religious family. As a kid, I remember Dad going to the temple before work every day. But somehow, as traditional as my parents were, they never forced any religious practices on me. I was encouraged to make my own choices provided I could justify them. Today I am as religious as ever but I do not make a regular habit of visiting any place of worship. I go if I feel like it and my relationship with my god is special and I don’t have to justify it to anyone now.
- I will not take a Loan – Ever. I remember a relative scoffing at this idea saying that if I wanted to build a house in future, I would have to go the route a lot of people do. And later in life, I moved to the USA where credit seems to be a way of life. Even dual income families earning over 200K a year live paycheck to paycheck. And somewhere along the way, I ended up buying a Car on a Loan (0% interest – Not that it matters). Not a great decision as I now constantly worry about the 500$ that goes straight to my loan payments and what should happen if there were no payday. Moral of the story – Go with your instincts. Others can shut up.
- I will not have a Great Indian Wedding: As far ago as I can remember, I wanted a court wedding where the bride and groom just sign a piece of paper and it is all over in 10 minutes. I have hated the grandiose that comes with a traditional Indian wedding. The 10 odd costume changes that a bride must undergo in under 2 days is enough to give me a headache. I was told this was a silly feeling and that as I near the marrying age, my views will change. The argument being what girl wouldn’t want a fairy tale wedding. Not this one. I couldn’t get everyone on board with the court marriage but I still had my wish with a ‘Blink and You Miss it’ Wedding ceremony.
- I want to Retire at 35: I remember a conversation I had with a very successful uncle as a kid. He told me very patiently that 35 is not an age to retire as that is the age when I would start to reap the benefits of all the work that I had put towards my career growth. Fast forward 20 years and my opinions have not changed. I still want to retire at 35, travel the world, maybe start a dog creche, or a local youth center etc. Long story short, as much as I love my job (Yes, I work if I am stuck indoors alone with nothing else to do) I do not want to spend all the time that I have left in this world within my cubicle for 40 hrs a week. Thanks to Money Mustache, I have found out that there are a lot of people out there who do this now.
The point of this post is to let myself and others know that it is OK to think differently. Sometimes the opinions you form as a kid guide you throughout your life and it is OK. There will always be thousands who think you are wrong and will make sure that you know their opinion. Sometimes they maybe your loved ones. Sometimes, they aren’t willing to consider that your choices may be right for you. Whenever you come across this scenario, muster up the best THE ROCK expression you can and say ‘Is that what you think? It doesn’t matter what you think! ‘. At the end of the day, as long as you can justify your actions and decisions to the mirror and you do not cause anyone a discomfort, you are free to live by your choices.