Everything happens for a reason.
I’ve spent the last three years telling myself that. Since I’m writing this in the last few hours of 2019, I can’t help but indulge in some retrospection. Life’s not been my friend every single day of the last decade, especially the last year. It was a full spectrum consisting of my highest highs and my lowest lows.
This decade gave me my first kiss, and also my first, devastating heartbreak. It gave me my first job, and then a second one. I made my life’s most expensive Android and Apple purchases (so far) and paid for it in full. Having spoken about these retail indulgences, I am also proud to say that I learned about and started practicing slow living.
I looked at things more closely and for longer, and saw things that we can only see when we slow down.
I learned about stillness. Being still is magical—it can take you to places within you and show you what sits at the root of your emotions.
2019 was also a year of finding out what my real support-system looked like. When everything else failed, they cushioned me against the blows.
2019 was the year when I saw parts of me that only my current, beaten up version could see.
Travel did not happen to me this year, but a journey inwards did happen. I met with my best and my worst parts, and I accepted myself with every bit of myself.
I realised that having my two-year-old neighbour around was my therapy during times when I struggled to keep my spirits up. Now, I can clearly identify my emotional triggers and know exactly what I need to do to not make my demons feel unwelcomed. 2019 was a year of realising that I am the kind of person who lives in the extremes—one of those with-all-my-heart kinds.
I care, love, and also stop loving with all my heart.
2019 was a year of less reading and even lesser writing. But it was also a year of journaling. I got myself a five-year memory journal and I journaled daily. Even on days when life seemed as dull as an overcast sky, I’d pour myself dry on the pages of my journal.
2019 was also replete with emotionally, intellectually and politically stimulating conversations. It’s funny how steadily and profoundly I got sucked into understanding the nuances of fascism, communism, feminism, social privilege, and the lack of it. I even signed up for a Master’s program in Political Sciences.
2019 was a year of brunches and house parties. I’ve made peace with the fact that even though I’m 25, I feel too old to be “chilling” in overcrowded and painfully noisy clubs. If I can’t hear what the person across my table is speaking, I’m already regretting my decision of being at that terrible place.
2019 was the year of finally washing the taste of his name off my lips.
It was also the year of watching him get married and watch my friends go through heartbreaks. It was about hearing them out patiently and letting them grieve. It was about helping them without really helping them—by simply being by their side, by being completely present whenever they needed me. While some heartbreaks happened, 2019 also gave some of my friends their companions for life!
2019 was the year when my parents barely bothered me with the big M word—marriage (thank God for that!). It was also the year when I decided that I really don’t care about it, and what I do care about is pursuing the one dream that keeps me hopeful and sane. It was also the year I noticed my parents grow old. The occasional blood tests, waking up in the middle of the night because the pain in their joints was unbearable, buying medicines for them—the tables have turned now.
2019 was also a year of muting certain noises. It was about setting and prioritizing boundaries. It was a year of realising that some social media influencers are less of influencers and more of influenza viruses, causing damage by attacking the minds of the masses. I learned that having a louder voice doesn’t really mean anything if you’re not saying things that need to be said.
I also learned that we need to think and question everything before we learn it—choose our heroes wisely and consciously select every piece of content we consume.
2019 was a year of taking action. I took four major decisions this year that forced me out of my comfort zone. It was a year of unlearning things and unf*cking myself—of going back to who I was before certain experiences happened to me.
As the new decade begins, the answer to “what do I want to do with my life?” seems to be closer to me than ever before. I’ve decided that 2020 is going to be a year of being selfish—of putting my mental peace, my opinions, my dreams, and my plans before anybody else’s idea of what I should be doing at 26.
I discovered that my greatest strength is endurance, and my greatest fear is to be forgotten by those who are important to me.
You know what else I realised? I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for the cumulative impact of everything that happened to me, the good and the bad, in all this time. I know that everything happens for a reason, and I have the strength to face it no matter how hard it gets.