December 31, 2009

This Year...

This year...

365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months,... it all goes so fast. But we tend to say that at the end of every year. It goes the same for this year, but the difference here is that from the blur of the year, there have been so so many things that I've learnt.

This year started a bit differently than most other years. Most of the time, Christmas and new years happens after exams and there's lots of fun and excitement till we're back in class. But since I've been in college, we have exams and vivas in January, so that means the festive season is not really that festive anymore. Even if I chuck work and go carol singing, it’s always waiting for me when I get back. Sigh.

To add to the sadness of last December, Varun died. Definitely not the perfect way to bring in the New Year. I'd never felt 'fear of the truth' as much as I did on that December 31. This was the first funeral that I cried tears for myself. In the days that followed, there were times when phrases like' “God is in control” and “God doesn't make mistakes”, things that I had made myself believe for years, became a little hard to swallow. And I learnt that being strong for others is often much easier than being strong for yourself.

But if there is anything good that can come out of his death, it’s the little things that happened in the months to follow.
First of all, it changed us (“the biogang”) as a whole. We realised that our friendship was more of a formality. We met up a couple of times a year for a meal and talked about our school days, and nothing else. That changed. We would do anything now to make sure that those haunting thoughts of, “I wish we were closer, wish we talked more, wish I called more often....etc” would never have to repeat itself in our circle. We began conference calls once a week. We caught up on each others lives and learnt things about each other that we were surprised we didn’t know. We made an effort to open up and actually began to 'talk'. And then we actually became friends! It was that happy-sad feeling on our trip to Coorg when I said that this trip would not have happened had it not been.

College life this year has been, well... as college life should be. Days when we felt like killing ourselves and days when we died of laughter. Need I say more?

This year has brought into focus my thoughts on life and death. A bit deep, I know. But now, a lot of things make sense to me!

I've learnt that the only aim I need to have for my life is to be happy. It's as simple as that. If I can figure out all the things that will keep me happy, I've pretty much got my life figured out. I actually figured this out before this year, but practicing what you preach makes it real, which is why, I made conscious efforts so many times this year to keep myself happy. (Its not that easy, I must say) I realised all this because, ultimately, when someone dies, to the people that matter, the only thing that matters is if he/she died happily.

The first step, I learned, is to figure out what type of person I am. I only knew that I knew the answer(s) to that complex question- 'What kind of person am I?' when other people questioned me about my personality.

Then I learned that in order to keep myself free of worry or regret, I need to know my list of priorities at all times (which, I learnt, is destined to change from time to time) But I know for a fact that, whether or not things get interchanged in the list, number one will stay GOD (which is another key to my being/staying happy).

I used to boast about how I was never afraid of death. I always knew that if I had to go, I had to go. But now I think of that as an extremely selfish thought- not being afraid of death. I mean, the actual “death” is nothing I'm afraid of, but this year I've seen a new perspective of it. I know what death does to the people who are still alive. I figured out that since I've been fortunate enough to have an amazing circle of family and friends, my death is unfortunately going to be more terrible. Now, I'm scared of dying. But to sort of reduce that fear, I need to stay happy and make sure that they know that (in the unlikely, but possible, event of me dying (me and my morbid thoughts!)).

I've learned that I need goals because both trying to succeed and actually succeeding bring happiness, but success is definitely not required for my happiness. I've learned that there is no place in my life for regret, grudges, pessimism. This one was a bit depressing to learn- but no one notices when I am feeling sorry for myself. So, what’s the point?! But I've also learnt that it’s not good for me to keep all my anger and pain inside, because there is a limit to the amount I can hold. So, in order to avoid myself bursting at unwanted times, I've learnt that, once in a while, I need to let it all out. (It might be telling by someone all about it, or just sitting on the bathroom counter and crying it all out).

Another of the questions that sometimes got me thinking was, “If I found out that I was going to die in a month, would I change the way I live?” I kept asking myself this and if the answer was ever 'Yes, there are things that I would change' it just meant that I wasn’t living life as I should be. But usually when people used to ask me that question, I would say, 'Yes, I would quit college, go on a world tour... sail the seas, explore the mountains, etc etc.' But then I thought, 'Are those the things that really make me happy or would I just want to spend my last days being with my family, friends at college and at church?' And if I still dream of world tours and the likes then there must be something that I need to add to my life. True. Much as my life revolves around family and friends, I learned that to complete it, I need to do things for myself. Now, obviously, there are days that don’t go as well as others, but overall, I'm learning to LIVE life, by living each day if I would die tomorrow! But then again, there will be boring days, but I know that those days need to be there. That’s part of my life too.

I've learned that lists can help me through life! Yes, lists! I make lists for things that need to be done, lists of things I want to do, things I've done... (when I'm bored, I like making lists of my likes and dislikes) It's my way of organising my life. Sometimes there are too many things to be done, so I make a list. Sometimes, my life is dead boring, then I make a list of things that I can do. I don’t always finish everything on the list (I don’t want to live a list-dependant life by doing things just because they made it to the list), but the ones I do finish, I like to cross off with a thick marker. This is one way that I can depend on for some self-satisfaction (even if it's just striking off “clear out cupboard”, I do it with pride!)

I've learned that the reason for me not liking anyone is no fault of theirs. It’s my lack of forgiveness, my inability to overlook flaws, my pride and my not-so-cool talent of being judgemental. I know that often, the reason for my unhappiness is my dislike for certain people, but now I've learnt that I can control that. BUT, I've learnt that this reason is definitely not completely valid for wondering why someone doesn’t like me. 'Vice-Versa' doesn’t necessarily work in this case. People not liking me is something I can have control over.

Much as I like to call myself independent, I've learnt that I am not designed to live by myself. I need people. Whether it means, people who listen to me blabber on and on about my weekend, or yell at me for being an idiot, or ask me how my day/week was, or make me a hot chocolate when I'm working late, or laugh with me, or send me that 'good night' message or forwards that I never reply to, or whatever other things. People who do so so many little things for me that I don’t notice (sometimes big things too that I don’t notice) or just people who are just there. Often, it’s just their presence that I need. I know that I'm not the best person to make the people I need know that I need them, but that doesn’t change the fact that I do.

BUT. One of the most important things that I am still learning is that I can’t control my life. All the plans I make for myself, the many lists I write, the number of rules I make for my life, and all that is one thing, but I have to be open to the fact that there may come a day when I just lose myself and my plans go haywire and I tear up my lists and break all my rules. I am human, after all. And there’s no point having only other humans to fall back on because, we're all the same. I know for a fact, that I can only make it through by trusting my life in God's control. After all, the scientist knows best the working of his invention.

The thing I have leaned though, is that in order to guarantee that I'll have enough faith when times are not so good is by working on that trust ever day. I'm not saying that God is my back-up plan. I’m saying that that, in a way, I am the architect of my life (pun intended). I can chose and plan what I want from life, but He's the one that’s making sure that it works. I have to run my plans by Him to ensure self-confidence. If part of my building falls, I need someone to tell me that it'll work if I do it another way. I may have the tendency for taking credit for my accomplishments, but my building is not standing by my own efforts.

What else have I learned? I've learned how to make pasta from scratch, how to use Photoshop (enough to format my sheets), I attempted learning to ride a scooter (I think that’s an achievement, so stop laughing) And, I learned how to solve the Rubik's cube :D

So, that was 2009. Bring it on, 2010!!! :)

I started writing this as something for myself, something that would remain in a sub folder of a folder in my documents. Then I thought, 'My blog has been crying for some new posts for months, so I'll put it there (anyway, I don’t think anyone reads my blog)' Then I thought again, 'What am I scared or shy of?' maybe I'll just put it on my notes on Facebook, for the entire world to see! Why should I care?!! (I'm trying not to be selfish here, so thanks for reading and maybe, just maybe, you'll learn something too!)

P.P.S. If I've mentioned you here, thank you for making my year special ;)

1 comment:

Shawty said...

People do read ;0) very deep nostalgia ...