I spent so much of this year living, and doing, and feeling. Now that I have some to sit, breathe, and process, the enormity of this year strikes me like a sledgehammer. A lot has happened. Lessons have been learnt. There have been many endings. There have also been some wonderful and beautiful beginnings.
A list below, to remind myself of what this year has taught me, of what to take with me into the new year, and of what to leave behind for the better.
- I am not just what I do. I am not just what I create. I am not just what I make others feel. I am not just a body or a mind. I am not just who I know. I am not just anything. I am (fortunately, or unfortunately) a sum of all these awkward bits and pieces. I am the dark and the light. I am reminded time and again, that I am a balance, and that I want to achieve balance. And this is not a goal for the coming year or the next. It is the goal of my existence. There is a tattoo on my left wrist that has the root word of karma (“karm”) inscribed in a symmetrical lotus. To always maintain balance in life like a lotus, which flowers even in the most muddiest of waters. A reminder, a reminder.
- My fear is a convenient security blanket. All security blankets must be outgrown with time. They can be looked back with fondness, sometimes even nostalgia. But they cease to serve a purpose over time; they become ragged and obsolete. Discard the fears that you (I) hold onto so closely because you’ve (I’ve) become comfortable with them. If life is to be lived, one has to evolve. One has to thrust aside one’s security blanket and face the outside world. This too, is part of the process.
- Love is easy and hard. Love is giving and taking. Love is being unapologetic and apologetic. Love is tiring and life-giving. Love for another usually is borne from some version of the love we have for ourselves. Sometimes we need to learn how to love ourselves better to love others better. Sometimes we love others and in loving them, we learn to love ourselves better.
- People can take many things from you but never your dignity and grace. There were several incidents this year which I am grateful for, in retrospect, for dealing with more grace than I thought was possible. This is a reminder to me that I have grown, cos the A from years ago would have behaved very differently. Gratitude and grace. Grace and gratitude.
- What is life without learning? Nothing.
- Nature always heals. Nothing is quite like being in the mountains. Be a tree. Be a mountain. Watch the relentless love a sea has for the seashore. See the magnitude of life that this universe contains and be aware that you are a tiny (but irreplaceable) part of this existence. Also be aware that in any man-made institution, you are replaceable. The world can and does spin on its axis without you. But that does not mean your existence is without a purpose. Jewish astrology speaks of the striking of the yod in a person’s life. When the yod is triggered, there is no holding back your seeking, achieving, creating. Create the yod for yourself. You are your yod.
- Sleep well and drink a lot of water and eat healthily and exercise. This is literally all you need to do like clockwork.
- Don’t be rude.
- Take time to be silent if you think your words are not going to be useful to you, to someone else, to a relationship, to a task. The right words will arrive when they must.
- Be kind.