AH. It is 2017. Or, will be. Soon. Time flies. Dang. Time flies by fast. I say it every New Year’s Day, and yet, it gets me every single time.
2016 has been full of extremes. An amazing year. The worst, too, in some aspects. But, a learning experience, nonetheless. When doesn’t life give one the opportunity to learn?
I am already laughing, looking back on 2016 and the stupidity that it brought with it. Trying to imagine how much laughter it will bring me five years from now. Ah. Life.
But, I cannot disregard the fact that 2016 bestowed me with some profound life lessons. Gems worth keeping in mind. To think that a year could offer so much to you. You know it never comes without a price.
The first quarter of the year and half of the next – I felt crippled. What was I doing with my life? I felt as if I had no control over anything. And, I didn’t. I had never felt so confused, so helpless before. Decisions which I had taken with confidence seemed to stare back at me, shaking my confidence, making me doubt the faith with which I had taken them. There was only one to whom I could turn to. He has been there forever. He allowed me to survive those crucial months till May. Though, things didn’t look any rosier than before, and I accepted the fact that I would just have to wing it.
Then, came June. The worst was over. Emotionally and mentally. Or, so I thought. June and parts of July saw me eating nothing but rice and yogurt and bananas. Bananas. Don’t get me wrong. Bananas are great. But, you can’t help but go bananas when you have to keep eating bananas.
Sometimes, you just have to let go of what you really like – even if it is food (or cake).
And in the midst of my courting bananas and rejuvenating from a mentally draining first half of the year, we saw a spontaneous visit from my cousin and an equally spontaneous family trip to France. Good times, good times. June also saw me try my hand at formal photography training. I learned not to be swayed by words. Words can deceive. Another important lesson that June taught me was to make sure that you release the handbrake before trying to drive the car, else you will keep pressing your foot down on the accelerator and curse the car for making you work so hard.
If it requires more effort, you probably have the handbrake pulled.
June was June. It’s not over yet. June also saw me come a hairpin short of dismissing a friendship based on misunderstandings and an unintentional, wrongly timed text. Who knew that by the end of 2016, I would have come to despise technology?
Don’t be ambiguous. It ruins relations.
And, if you feel like reaching out, then reach out.
July was equally enlightening. I felt myself strengthening spiritually, gaining the knowledge and strength that I would need to exercise in the coming month to stay smiling even when it would feel easier to just sulk.
There is no love as pure and selfless as that of God.
And, then came August. I felt bad for ruining Daddy’s birthday with news of a so-called failure. I say “so-called” because I can never see something as a failure. I kind of knew it was coming. Not because I thought I could not have “succeeded” if He truly wished me to, but because I felt it. I felt as if God was putting me through a test and that the only way to pass in His test was if I failed in mine. And, boy, was it shocking for everyone else. Though I had an amusing time, I would not have wished it upon myself or anyone else. The incident reminded me of one of my favorite poems, “If” by Rudyard Kipling.
A smile on your face is all it takes to face the world.
Shoulders back, chin up.
August was a turning point. Career wise. I was finally going after what I liked. But, I realized that I would have gained a lot more if I had spent those first few months of the year working even when I was not so passionate about the work. Emotions could have remained on a standstill, but I let them get the better of me. All the same, this only served to further strengthen me spiritually.
God is the all-doer. Nothing happens without His wish. Stay firm in that belief.
September is a blur. What happened in September? I can only recall bits and pieces. But, there is one evening that I remember distinctly and it taught me this…
If you don’t feel like doing something, then don’t do it. You don’t need to provide a reason every time.
And, if you do decide to do it, do it with love and a smile on your face.
Then, came October. And, just the week before life began its journey to teach me some intense lessons, I neglected my diary and my daily ritual of penning down life lessons every night. It is funny how life works. Maybe, if I had those daily lessons written down, I would be able to make sense of stuff easily right now. I would have introspected, then. Figured myself out and whether what I was doing was the right thing. But, I failed myself. Laziness got me.
Ooh. A kite.
And, so, I only have a few life lessons from October. Oh, yes. I remember. October was the month when I realized how fun it was to interact with strangers when you are on your own. People from different age groups. People more experienced than me. People who had loads of stories and lessons to share. I also learned to let go of people. To know that it is perfectly possible to be alone yet not lonely. And, when I let go of the people whom I thought I needed the most, I was given the opportunity to let in strangers who could teach me a lot more. And, this was just within the first couple days of the month. October began with a good start. Not exactly how I would have hoped or imagined but eye-opening nonetheless. I met three amazing people and one interesting person. But, some people are meant to come into your lives only momentarily. They offered me the companionship I needed, and then, we went our own separate ways.
October is still fresh in my memory. So, yes, there is more to it. I was introduced to a certain realm of books in which I would never have willingly set foot, and that made me reassess my reading priorities. October also made me ponder over some of my closest relations. I have one person who though, is the complete opposite to me, can understand me when I do open up to her. We live in two different countries, and we don’t talk often. There are things which I would prefer to leave unsaid here for it brings back much pain. When I felt as if everyone was letting me down, there appeared two gems on whom I had given up hope but who reminded me that of all, it is those who are there when everyone else isn’t whom you should cherish most. But, by mid-November, I realized that while one can be alone and not lonely, one can also be surrounded by people and yet feel lonely. And, by the time November had come to an end, I felt as if I had conquered that. But, the mind is ever erratic. It hates being pushed to do something. It hates indecision. It hates riddles. It hates to be forced into something. And, it hates not being in control. And, that is when, amidst the confusion, it withdraws.
December tops them all, though. I feel as if December was waiting to be the cherry on top. On top of this chaotic last quarter. What happened? I have absolutely no idea. The first week saw me amidst family, where I feel the most myself. I met my three-year old niece for the first time, and we soon struck a friendship. I also reconnected with a couple of school friends, and in the midst of all this, I began my journey, again. The journey that had begun with the knowledge that one can be alone and not lonely; that by letting go of people whom you think you would need, you allow yourself to forge bigger connections. December taught me that I needed to love myself. I needed to be selfish because all I remember is being selfless, and that has certainly not played out as well as I would have hoped. December taught me to go out there and be myself and to be happy merely because I wanted to be. And, no life lesson could have put it better than this one by Dr. Seuss.
I realize though, that sometimes, words are deceptive and technology, even more so.
“…If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools…”
And those who matter may mind… But, then, there is little you can do about it. Because, after a certain point, explaining yourself becomes too tiring when you realize you do not have the right words at your disposal and that even the most sincere of answers can appear condescending.
Communication skills are key.
I have yet to learn that from last year. For this year, I only wish to wholeheartedly dedicate myself to that one goal which I have been striving for since the past five years. If there is one thing that I can stay true to, it is that.
I recognize the lessons during the situation, I do. But, if only I would remember them often enough and at the right times. Draupadi, I can relate. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, thank you for letting me know that sometimes destiny leads you to do stuff you wish you could have avoided. I would hope that those whom I have hurt this past year (for I know a couple) find it in their hearts to forgive me and to understand that what drives one to take certain steps isn’t one small thing but a series of events that just seem beyond one’s control. Draupadi, I can relate.
2016 called for a long post.
To glean the greatest lessons from it.
To unburden myself. Of guilt, of sorrow, of chaos.
And, to cherish the good times. To keep them close.
Here’s wishing you a Happiest New Year 2017.
Stay safe. Stay peaceful. Do your thing. But, be mindful.
Here’s to a year of self-improvement and self-love.
Take care, people. 🙂 ❤
That ended on a sad note. I think. Haha. From laughter to this. Well, back to laughter. Can’t let it go. 😀