2016. A leap year. A horrible year. A perfect year.
Can you tell me which is the odd one out?
Obviously, the last option.
2016 has become synonymous with all things dark. (“Except dark chocolate,” butts in fabulus)
Too many disastrous news articles. Too many earth-shattering decisions. Too many instances of people showing lack of basic humanity.
Entire Sensex earnings wiped out. Layoffs at top companies. A Flipkart delivery boy murdered.
It was a strange year, and yet I turned 18 and live to tell the tale.
A handful of beautiful things happened to me this year. But the joke is, almost all of them are directly related to some sad incidents in my life.
You could say that I finally learnt to put my blue-tinted glasses away, and started to see the world for what it really is.
Or you could say that I finally learnt to accept myself the way I am, with all my limitations and weird features.
Here’s a roundup of all the lessons I’ve learnt in 2016.
- Things happen in cycles, and every thing has a cycle, and hence things that were bad will somersault back into their happy position. I know, this sounds very similar to that metaphor of ‘life is like seasons of the year’. But I want to attach the word ‘somersault’ to this philosophy. Why?
Have you ever noticed a gymnast perform a somersault? The entire act is done with grace, beauty, and not even for one second does their face show anything but a smile.
I hope you’ve got my point.
- Just when you think that the year can’t get worse, it gets worst. Amen.
- Never depend on people for your happiness. Depend, instead, on books, yourself, chocolate cake. Maybe this is an introverted way of looking at life. Maybe this statement will not strike a chord with extroverts. But I personally feel that people NEED to stop hanging onto others for every damn thing. Like, really. It’s friendship dude, not a symbiotic relationship. (“Yes, After three years of commerce, I still remember science basics. Whoopie.”)
I understand the need for friendship (having experienced nothing like that in my 18 years of life), the need to feel validated (thank you Twitter polls), the need to have a group of friends to hang out with (’nuff said). All I’m saying, is that don’t be the earth to someone else’s sun. Who knows, that sun could probably grow up to be a supernova.
- There are some problems that have to be solved alone, and taking symptahy from others won’t solve those problems. These problems are related to the ones that revolve around you: why you feel sad, what triggers you, what sets you off, why you feel inferior/superior, why you need to grow up.
Of course, there are some problems that cannot be solved alone, and you MUST talk to near and dear ones about them. The problem that arises here, is that sometimes we forget how to distinguish between problems that are real problems, and problems that are created due to our own hyperactive imagination. The former can be solved through discussion, 3am talks, but the latter cannot be solved unless you take it up as your own responsibility and be your own best friend. (“However much I hate that cliched sentence, ‘be your own best friend’ is actually a good policy.”)
- You can cry for the silliest reason ever. And still cry about it 47 days later. Give me a Hallelujah if you agree with me on this one.
- There comes an enormous freedom when you realise that you don’t have to fit in. You don’t have to rock straight hair every day. Curly, messy hair is just fine. You don’t need to wear girly tops and ripped jeans every day. Wearing a polo t-shirt and blue jeans is just fine. You don’t need to sit with a gang of ‘cool’ friends in the canteen, sharing one plate of Manchurian Rice with everyone. Sitting alone and gorging on that Manchurian Rice alone is just fine. (“Just a passing note, but I LOVE the Manchurian Rice I get in the college canteen. Thank goodness that I can still eat it, even with my braces and everything.”)
- I am a writer, and my words have power. Hence, I must use them judiciously. Ranting online about some stupid book I read, needlessly adding fuel to existing fires by replying to negative comments or trolls, wondering aloud if the world is gone crazy, doesn’t do anything but make me misuse my talent. I’d rather write something useful and better the lives of people who follow me, than post negative statuses about things no one cares about.
- I have made many mistakes, and I dare say that I have learnt from them. I can only say that I am too scared to make the same mistakes again. Case in point: I recently posted a fiction post that sounded pretty good in my head, but didn’t come out very fluently in writing. I am a bit nervous about writing another story like that again, as I have realised that writing emotionally charged stories is not my cup of Iced Tea.
I guess I’m more of a humorous person. Or someone who likes to draw analogies among things that are miles apart from each other.
(Dropping a bomb here: I will NOT be publishing my debut novel ‘The Blue Crises’. I would request you to not needle me about the reason why I have taken this decision, but just accept me as I am, a blubbering teenager with a humorous opinion about anything and everything in this world.) I will be focusing on the blog 100%, and maybe when I feel ready to write something fiction, I’ll give it a go.
- Not everyone is your cheerleader.
- There’s a good side in everyone, even in the so-called villains. You need to have exceptionally good observational skills and a tolerant behaviour to understand what that good side is.
- A good movie can help you forget everything, and drown you into a pool that’s shock wave free, clean from any germs of worry and anxiety, and full of warm happiness and smiles. The best movie I watched this year? Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
- Adulting is a joke. We never grow up. We only have to start taking responsibility for the same actions that once earned claps and laughter from a mesmerized audience.
- You have got to take responsibility for your actions. Whether you’ve decided to cut ties of friendship with someone, or decided to do something for yourself for the first time, you’ve got to stand by it. Vacillating in indecision is only going to ruin your health, and cause you to lose focus. All in all, don’t be a drama queen / king about doing something that you feel like doing. It may be the best / worst thing you’ll ever do, but life is nothing but an experiment.
- It’s not always easy, trying to transform your pain into a work of art, without revealing anything about the feelings you are feeling. But it is necessary to be a bit opaque sometimes, because not everything can or must be shared with everyone.
On the humorous side of it, I learnt that one crore has seven zeroes in it. I never could remember this earlier. Once I entered grad school and had to work with crores of imaginary money, I couldn’t afford to miss even one zero! A tip for anyone else suffering from the same problem: One crore= hundred lakh.
I also learnt an awesome #Mumbaikar lesson : Never sit on the ‘window seat’ of a Virar local, lest you want people to give you gaalis in their mind (or aloud). The Mumbaiyah people know what I’m talking about.
2016 has managed to break me, glue me back up, break me again, mould me in a better way, changed my outlook towards things I used to believe were important.
And though the process was horrible, I like what 2016 has done to me. I’ve achieved the things I hoped for, in ways I couldn’t even imagine.
And for that, I’m grateful.
At the risk of repeating myself, 2016 has been horrible. But I would like to invite you to focus on at least three things that happened in your life, that made you smile. Moments that made you happy. I’m sure there was some goodness in the villain of 2016.
Let’s usher in the new year with positivity, knowing that some events of 2016 may continue to bother us in 2017.
Be brave, be strong, keep the negativity where it belongs:
Happy New Year 2017!
P.S.: Don’t forget to note down who your qualtagh is 🙂 #AtoZChallenge16 #Throwback
This post is linked to @blogchatter’s prompt for a New Year Themed post. Since I do not make resolutions (never have, never will), I decided to do a round up post. Go check out the awesome posts on the same theme at this place.
This post is also linked to Friday Reflections over at Sanch’s blog. It’s the last Friday Reflections for 2016!