EDITOR’S NOTE
YOU’VE CHANGED, MAN
- JANE CARYN THOMAS
Bio
Jane is a student majoring in Journalism, Psychology, and English at CHRIST (Deemed to be University). She loves the art of storytelling in all its different forms as she believes stories have the power to change. When she’s not writing, Jane is watching movies, baking, or playing her guitar.




“I guess the only thing that actually stays the same is that things are always changing.”
 - Penny, The Big Bang Theory

When I was young(er), I dreamed my adult self would be tall, fair, and beautiful - a stark contrast to 8 year-old me, who was brown-skinned, short in stature for her age, and didn’t really
fit into the constructed standards of beauty at the time. My grown-up version became an ideal for me to aspire towards, an escape from reality. She was the picture-perfect protagonist who would make heads turn as she walked down the road, ride a KTM, and as I grew older, she would live
in a perfect little studio apartment complete with a balcony garden.

Inching towards adulthood, I am hit with the realisation that none of the items are ticked
off this ideal checklist - reality is a far cry from it. I’m still quite short, the chocolate hasn’t left my skin, and wouldn’t like to label myself as any kind of ‘beautiful’. I can’t ride a cycle to save my life, and the prospect of me living in a house by myself is laughable - have you seen the rent prices in Bangalore? But rarely have I been unsatisfied with the kind of person I’m becoming.

‘Work in progress’ is a beautiful way to describe the state of youth. We’re constantly oscillating between adolescence and adulthood, conflicted between asking your parents for more pocket money, putting your heart and soul into following your dreams (which may not promise money) or not risking it by taking on a more ‘practical’ job. “None of us are perfect beings,” I recall the words of my professor as I get ready to navigate through the chaotic maze that is
adulthood. Through my years living in a hostel, I’ve realised that adulting may not be the pinnacle of self-actualisation as I’d expected. Cooking three meals a day is no joke, neither is
keeping track of your accounts. My money always seems to magically vanish long before the 30th of each month.

One thing I’ve learnt as a new adult is that crisis is the only constant. From changing roommates to passing opportunities, the past few years have been a constant reminder of the fleeting nature of everything in my life. I feel like a freshwater fish going with the flow, my surroundings forever in flux. Home has taken on a new meaning since I moved out, friendships have come and faded into the background like music from the early 2000s, and comfort is something you’re never allowed to get used to.

Life is full of surprises, but I believe it is up to us to choose to look at it as a Pandora's box or a Christmas present. Sometimes it’s both. When asked to describe herself, my friend once declared, ‘I am art in the making’. I am not the same person I was yesterday. If forgetting my homework at home was a nightmare once, today it’s the crippling fear of ‘Where do I go from here?’

Sometimes, living is about making it to the end of the day. We do what we do best - adapt. Looking back, my younger self was nowhere close to perfect, and neither am I now. But if we happened to cross paths on a park bench somewhere where time intersects, I think she’d be happy with the kind of person I’m becoming. I know I am.








Oh Starry Night Wind of Change, Prasad Kumar Swain,2006-2011, India, Mixed media on wood, Panel 1: H. 201 cm, W. 119 cm; Panel 2: H. 201.5 cm, W. 119 cm Panel 3: H. 201.5 cm, W. 99 cm, MAC.00243. Courtesy of the Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru



Note
My idea behind this reflective piece is looking back on my childhood self’s definition of adulthood, and how I pictured myself as a grown up until a few years ago. I contrast this with the reality of adulthood that dawns on me as I get ready to step into it. It might not have been all I imagined, but something that I’ve learnt to make peace with is that change is the only constant. At the end of the day, we must learn to adapt and believe that it’s gonna be okay. That’s the message I’d like you to take away. If I had a chance to meet my childhood self today, I know I might not be all she wished for, but we’d certainly be happy with who I’m becoming.

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