Sunday, March 20, 2011

An open letter to the year 2010

Remember the unfinished post I mentioned a few days ago?

The one that was meant to be a look back on 2010, that then turned into a look back on 1 year spent in Goa?

Well here it finally is:

Dear 2010,

You were a year of variety. Of rapid change. Of several happenings. Of adjustment, learning, moving on and coming into my own. Of a rapid succession of events, that often left me feeling like I was just left sliding through, trying to get a grip. Yet, I am thankful for it all. For everything that happened. The course my life has taken, and everything it has brought to me. Because it made me see that its better to be sliding through than sitting on the bench.

This year began with a move to a new city. While it was physically just a shift of base, in the larger picture that is life itself, this move signified a shift within time. From one phase into another. From one kind fo person into another. And in that sense, it has been probably the single most life-changing decision I have made in recent times.

Queue post in which I feel somewhat like a super hero upon looking back on the year gone by, since I moved to Goa. So if these things don’t all seem like a big deal to you, please note that they really were for me. Because most cases stated below were “first times” for me.

So why was 2010 such an awesome year?

Because 2010 taught me to be brave and take the plunge and do something I have shied away from all my life. To move out of my comfort zone. To break away from all things familiar, that I have cocooned myself in. Comfortable, dependent on routine and mundanities, unable to break away and move on.

Because 2010 taught me to take charge of my life, and develop the courage to live it on my own terms. And with that it taught me to face up to difficult situations all by myself. It taught me to look in the face of loneliness, unemployment, unpredictability, ill-health and figure a way out.

It was in 2010 that I discovered I had a domestic, home-loving, nurturing side to myself. This is something I didn’t even have the slightest inclination to, and therefore never imagined I would in the least be able to manage having a home. From someone who couldn’t boil a packet of milk without having it spill over, to someone who dived into the kitchen and learnt how to make whole meals from scratch, I have not only discovered I can do it, but I can do it well. And the biggest surprise of all: I enjoy it.

2010 gave me the opportunity to bring out the girl in me. The girl that likes a tidy home. The girl that takes pleasure in maintaining a well-stocked kitchen, plans her meals in advance, takes care to make sure there’s just the right amount of veggies and proteins in her meals. The girl who likes to change sheets, dust corners and enjoys being at home.

2010 gave me 10 long months in which to revel in the world of self-employment, to juggle multiple things, work at any od hour I pleased, anywhere I pleased, and most importantly: enjoy the moments in between.

2010 helped me discover the kind of work I truly enjoy. The kind of work that captures your mind completely and engulfs you within, without realizing how 6 hours whizzed by. The satisfaction that it brings is tremendous. 2010 let me taste that kind of satisfaction at having completed meaningful and truly enjoyable work. In a sense 2010 helped me find what I love.

2010 showed me what it is to be utterly and totally broke, and not know where your next meal is going to come from. But 2010 also showed me how to come out of it.

2010 showed me that it is when you are away from those you love that you realise who matters and who doesn’t. Which of your friends are true friends, and which ones FB friends.

2010 was about feeling closer to my parents than I ever have. It was about travelling a distance to actually develop closer bonds. It was about my parents turning into support+friends+guides+mentors all rolled into one.

The biggest learning from 2010 has been enjoying my own company. Somehow the loneliness just disappeared when I started doing that. When I restarted reading, painting, developed an interest in cooking, blogging, food blogging, photography and so much more. I was no longer lonely. And this is something I am going to find very difficult to give up.

2010 also brought me back to employment. I was lucky to have this opportunity in a city where writers have almost no work. And even though I got off to a shaky start, 2010 ended on a positive note, steadying my foothold at work.

2010 showed turned my marriage into a marriage. From roomies in love to husband and wife, with a home of our own, VC and I have come a long way. 2010 has strengthened what we have in so many ways. 2010 was a year of so few fights, and so much togetherness. A year of discovering ourselves as individuals and as a couple. Of etching out in our minds the kind of life we envision for ourselves, the way we want to steer our individual lives and the choices we want to make. 2010 was really about us.

2010 was about thinking hard and choosing wisely. 2010 was about making few, but meaningful friends.

2010 was about coming out of my shell and coming into my own. Of planting my feet firmly in the ground, in an area that now feels like home. It has taught me so much, through the varied moments of ecstacy, uncontrollable joy, despair, being down in the doldrums, the tears, the hysterical laughter, the beaches, the long drives, the solitude, the quest for answers, the love for life. It has been a priceless year here in Goa. Hopefully just the beginning of many more.

2010 taught me to love my life, and treat everyday like an invaluable span of time that will never come back. 2010 brought me back to life, and showed me how to live. 2010 brought me to Goa, taught me how to love it and make a life here.

2010 was about a dream finally coming true.

And for all that and more, I am humbled and ever indebted.

Thank you, 2010.
2011, bring it.