Love, Loss and Lessons : A Very Happy New Year!

Dear 2016,

You were the year that shook everything up. For me personally and the world in general.

You were the year when someone like Donald Trump actually made it to public office to lead a global superpower. You were the year when Modi took our country by storm by actually using his powers as the Prime Minister towards the benefit of the nation – although the verdict on that is still divided. Humanity reached the depths of despair in Syria. You were the year we said goodbye to Severus Snape, to remember Alan Rickman always even after all this time. Prince and David Bowie have a musical pow wow with Muhammed Ali as Gene Wilder watches on in that place we would like to call heaven for the want of a better name. A lot of famous people decided to call it quits with George Michael and Carrie Fisher kicking the bucket as the year comes to a close. Sonam Gupta became famous for all the wrong reasons. You have been a weird unsettling mixed bag of a year.

For me too. You have been a year of love, loss and lessons. I lost my one of grandmothers and a dear dear friend before his time and that was just the beginning. You were the year I kicked myself out of my emotional and geographical inertia. This was the year I made a poor decision I thought I was above and lived with it. This was the year I packed my bags and decided to uproot my life as I knew it without a plan. It wasn’t that life wasn’t good. Life was good, I had things going. I was happy, superficially though. You were the year that kicked me in the gut and made me make a choice, to take an action without knowing a consequence. I pulled up my total OCD, control freak microcosmic existence and gave it a thorough shaking. And as is my usual style, the paradox that I am – the girl who follows mad impulses but thrives on to do lists – I do like making my own messes and cleaning them. This was the year I left an entire life behind without a plan. Was it hard? Yes. It took a while for it to sink in. I left behind a life I had built, a family I had chosen of friends and blessings. And just like that, I got up and walked away. I scared myself by the clinical yanking of the proverbial band-aid. I was afraid, but I didn’t know how to identify sadness. Years of repressed emotional baggage under the pretext of strength kept me going. Throw in a dark sense of humour I take quite some pride in and you have an almost robot. But I was coming home. You cannot go wrong with that.

You know what happens to you when you move back to your parental home after being away for all of your late teenage and adult life? Chaos. Inside and out. I am blessed. It was the best decision I had taken. But I had no plan. It was also the worst decision I had taken. And I braced myself through it, into it. My family, ever supportive, also working to accommodate me. It was a major adjustment both ways. Still is. They suddenly had their offspring back with them. An offspring, who was an occasional visitor was suddenly a fellow occupant. A 29 year old, single and unattached and unemployed female with some measly source of income with irregular freelance assignments with no clear plans is not the best of feelings – the prodigal daughter,the black sheep had returned. I had left home a scared teenager, thrown into the big bad world and had learned to find ways to hide or cope with the fear to the point of dealing with it so well outwardly, they called it strength. I believed it too. One of the best things to happen to me was moving back – I got my dream job that I had written off. Not very many people are that blessed. And that is a whole different story, but one of the highest points.

You know one of the hardest bits about moving back home is it brings you back to your roots. It is the best and worst thing to happen to you. Noone really grows up you know, we just learn how to blend in better. Sometimes, we just hide the scared child away because we are afraid it won’t be accepted. When I came back I had convinced myself I understood the world, that I had adulted. But you don’t really adult till you make peace with your inner child. And nothing puts you back in touch with your inner child and reminds you of who you really are and what your core needs are like coming back to your roots. And to add to the mix, there was a boy. A boy I had innocuously met, casually. We clicked as friends and I didn’t see it then. I don’t do overly footloose. I might seem it, but I don’t. The friendship that had dwindled got rekindled when I got back. What had terrified me the first time round, made me question my own self sabotage, this time round. The scared teenager who had left was also one who lived in books and imagination. She imagined something of a relationship – a unquestionable friendship, judgment free acceptance, a shared wicked sense of humor, a teammate in life and crime. The teenager with life and all that grew up into a hardened skeptic, cynical and dark and the quiet imaginative bit hid behind a cool, social butterfly. The thing with growing up is we teach ourselves how to forget to feel things. You say you are happy, but you don’t feel it. You think you are sad, which you either deny or hide behind alcohol or you say you feel it because you think it is expected of you. And then I met this boy. This boy who reminded me of me. A goofball, unapologetic, but also a hidden depth that made me question myself. You tell yourself after a few falls that what you imagine is impossible – although my aspirations were never too unreal or princessy – and suddenly it struck me in all the laughter and amusement, this is exactly how I had hoped to feel with someone. You see I had forgotten to feel, to know what it is like to be seen by someone, a friend. As luck and timing would have it, reciprocity is the end game and timing checkmated me. He was alike. Down to the T. Fears, denial, sabotage, the works. You learn with age and kicked in the gut humility that there are some things you can’t and should never force. Love is one of those things. And when you are a friend and you understand, you just hope to make life easier for them. And you learn to let go. Did it hurt? In the gut wrenching variety. Is it okay? Yes it is. Because you learn that love is about that too. And you let it all go and hope for a miracle. For what is yours will find you.

Dear 2016, you have given me a mixed bag of immense changes. You were the year of major changes. You were also the year where I realised that inside the good there is blessings and happiness but it is in the bad that lies the true gift of lessons in awareness and growth. This year I learnt so many things about myself. I met my own self up close and personal, the one I had hidden away and forgotten about – I am getting to know her again.(Sounds a tad schizo but I will roll with that). This was the year I also had the chance to build and invest in my relationships with my family and that has been a blessing. This was the year that amidst all the madness, I found my dream job and identified what I want to do in life.. This was the year I found a person who made me believe that what I want is a possibility and that my cynicism is just the fear of not finding it. This has been the year of learning to be more honest and attentive to my own self and needs and that is something I am grateful for. This is the year, I commit to myself to be more authentic in life and choices. It is the year, I have learnt that you can have a bad day, a terrible week or an abysmal few months, but only you can break it if you sit down and have an honest, humble conversation with yourself. And this is the year I learnt that growth will be the constant test, acceptance and adaptability to change as the only constant is the true test of strength. This was the year, I realised who my true friends and for that I am blessed. This is the year I met myself and we are getting to know each other. Somewhere in the middle. This is the year, I have learnt what love means to me and how important it is to me. This is the year, I have grown tired of being afraid and making excuses for it and so I will work consciously towards being the person I want to be… This was the year of major shifts. This was the year I met me. This was the year that makes me realise that I know who I want to be and from here on that will be first priority. For that I thank you 2016, for being a pain in the ass, hell of a year. I go from here, fond of food, lame and good jokes, laughter,family, love, friendship,travel and to growth and learning forever.

Be kind and good 2017. Welcome!

Signing off,
The Lady Writer.

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