January 05, 2011


So, another year has gone by and time for my next year ender. This year has also whizzed by, and again through all the madness and craziness, it’s been eventful in all spheres, and at the end of it, I've learnt a lot.

When I started writing last year’s one, it started off as just a random compilation of thoughts that ended up sounding nice enough to publish. So, then I decided to do it every year. But during the last month, the thought would keep coming up, 'Oh, what do I write about this year?' and it just doesn’t come as easily.

And this brings me to point number one- So many times this year I realised that list or no list, the things I was most likely to accomplish were things that I subconsciously really wanted to do. It’s like my subconscious thought is much more convincing than my conscious one. I think my subconscious thought has more drive, more spirit, more self, countering the laziness, the distractions that my conscious self faces. It applies a lot to my college work. The best designs were the ones that came randomly out of the blue and not the ones which were the outcome of forcing myself to sit and work. I even wrote an article about it- Hyperactive Minds.

The year never starts out good for me, at least not for the last 2 years. I mean something big hits and it then takes me the rest of the year to sit, recover, analyse and rediscover myself. This year it was a big, big failure. And it’s not like I've never failed an exam before. In fact, the only time I passed all my exams in 11th and 12th was my finals. But this was different. I failed the most important subject in my semester exams. Everyone fails. But this was different. It was out of plain stupidity. I didn’t lack quality of work, didn’t lack quantity. In fact, I still don’t know what was going on in my head. I wasn’t listening to conscious or subconscious self. I worked like mad, and the madness got to me. Anyway, it hit hard. It hit really hard. But one thing I did learn from the experience was keeping myself in touch with reality. And it struck me many times in the year. I can’t rely on luck. I can’t take things (anything) for granted before it turns around and bites me back. In trying to keep up with my life's goal: being and staying happy, this was a hard obstacle.

I dealt with frustration like never before this year. And by dealing, it includes in a bad and a good way. Actually for most of the year, I dealt with it in bad way. I let life take control of me. I let petty situations drag me into the dirt with them. I let normal (by normal I mean, things that just happen that are not in my control) circumstances scrape the joy out of me. Sounds extreme, I know. But, it’s true. I let them chomp away at my mind, so much that it affected the way I treated everything else around me. What made it even worse, was that even if I found an escape route, I didn’t run. I wanted to be there, I wanted to let it engulf me. In the movie, Elizabethtown she says, 'You have 5 minutes to wallow in the delicious misery. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Discard it. And proceed.' I'm still working at getting it down to 5 minutes.

In the last 4 years of my architecture course, I learnt a lot about space, dimension, tangents, and perspective. But the course hasn’t taught me what I've learnt in the past year about these words.

This year I learnt about space. I learnt about how people need their own space. I learnt about how I need my own space. I also learnt that space does heal, but that there are some things that space cannot heal.

Another thing I learnt about space was that I need to evenly space out the good activities in between the boring ones. I've realised that I can easily get bugged and need releases from the mundane. I can’t get though an entire semester of only work or an entire holiday with nothing productive.

I learnt about perspective. I knew the importance of looking at things from different perspectives. I learnt this before this year. But I did learn that sometimes even when I put in a lot of effort to look at things from multiple perspectives, I may still be wrong. Also, sometimes, selfishness gets in my way, and I chose what to decipher from the perspectives I look at. So, ultimately, I'm not really looking at things from different perspectives, but finding different viewports for the things I want to see, and ignoring the rest. Not a good thing to discover about myself.

Speaking of perspectives, my article 'A Matter of Perspective' got published in the Zonasa magazine (#17. Get something published) *clap clap for me. :)

About tangents; I had to write an article about tangents (lots of article writing this year!) and it made me think a lot about how the mind works (not just my mind). Most people think in tangents. Thoughts drift from one thing to another shooting off in different directions, having only a point of contact with the previous thought. I always thought of this as one of my inabilities- unable to concentrate, keep focus- a typical day dreamer. But while writing this article, I learnt that almost every idea, every invention is a result of tangential thinking. So, it’s not such a bad thing after all.

So far most of what I've written has been pretty negative. But what I learnt about dimension has been most fulfilling. I was thinking about the things that I had achieved in my life, and the ones that stood out were nothing to do with academic grades. So if the things that are most fulfilling in my life are not my exam marks, then I should definitely do more of those other things- the things that I measure my life by. So, I took my own advice and as a result, Brownie Points was started. So basically, what is most important in this stage of my life (yes, finishing college and getting my degree) is not necessarily the most accomplishing or satisfying. Definitely an interesting dimension to my life.

In case you don’t already know, Brownie points is a company that I am part of. It is a dream that was waiting to be achieved and one that I couldn’t possible have done by myself. It has taught me that:
1.     All big dreams need a small start. All dreams need a push.
2.     I can pursue more than one career in life.
3.     I can always make time for things I want to do.
4.     Not everything is a success from day 1.
5.     Motivation is my sustenance.
6.     Putting effort into pursuing something will never leave me with regrets.

It brings to mind the words of the song 'Dive' by Steven Curtis Chapman, '...sink or swim, I'm diving in!'
If I look back years from now at this year, this definitely stands out in big bold neon flashing letters.

I learnt that sticking up for someone requires more doing than saying. And it is doing till you know you can do no more. I often realise that I am the most selfish person I know and as a result I do so much less for other people than I can. But I learnt to accept that fact this year, and it has definitely helped me.

I learnt how to stand up for myself. I wasn’t so sure how to before or whether it was okay to be so defensive about myself. But, over the last year, I've concluded that standing up for myself is proof that I value myself (which is a good thing) But, standing up for myself doesn't mean becoming blind to my faults or oblivious to other opinions.

What inspires me? For some its nature, art, other people, etc. For me, it’s 'the negative' Strange, I know. But, I'll explain. Looking at badly designed buildings is probably what inspired me to want to study architecture (as appose to being marvelled by amazing works of architecture) When I go for weddings with 'scary' decorations and outrageous dresses, I think, 'Never ever in my wedding!' (Yes, go on, laugh! 'Tanisha is thinking about her wedding') Anyway, you get the general point. I see something that I don’t like and use it to my benefit. This is probably why I am writing this too. I over analyse myself, and then try and draw conclusions to every negative issue concerning myself and then decide to do things differently.

One of the best words in the dictionary is trust. I am fascinated by the idea of complete surrender and faith. But I am still unsure of how to use it. Its limits are boundless, and it’s hard to comprehend that because the trust I know and use has boundaries. Why does it have to be so dependent on time and circumstance?

I sometimes forget that there is someone up there watching, someone in control of my future, who lets things happen because there is a reason. I've struggled to see things in the big picture. Struggled to understand 'why?' and 'why not?' But my struggle is not futile, because I am slowly beginning to understand.

I know that I am not on earth by chance and that I am not supposed to just 'get through' life. But I have to keep reminding myself of that fact. It’s easy to forget. But by forgetting, I will have a life with no substance, and then it becomes much harder to be and stay happy.

Amidst all the ups and downs of the year, I still wish that time would freeze in this period of my life, where everything is perfect- perfect in all areas- college, church, family, friends. I am more than just content.

But since that is not happening, the whole 'time freezing' thing, I better just look forward to 2011.
Con ti partiro. Adios 2010.


P.S. Like I said last time, if I've mentioned you here, you have made my year special. Thank you. :)

P.P.S. Yes, I know I've written lots, 1782 words to be exact. (I have an obsession with the 'word count' button) I just had lots to say. Lots of gratitude if you managed to read ‘til the end. 

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