We made it!
We are finally done with this strange year. And what a year it has been, right?
We dared dejection, rejection, terrifying events/news, epidemics, emotional traumas, death, hunger, lack, limitations, long spells of despondency. The list is endless. At some point, everything in between was a blur. It felt like the future would come with more troubles in her kit. Personally, I oscillated between steadying my wings and braving the whirlwinds. That felt like digging my heels into quicksand.
Looking back, I realise that this year vacuumed out of us every last drop of an in-between– we had only extremities to hold on to – the good felt insanely good, too good to be true and the bad was downright excruciating, terrifying, heart wrenching, hell! Moments when our bodies felt loomed over, day in and day out; our spirits felt split open, exposed, vulnerable much, and bewildered.
But let’s set all that aside. We survived anyway. It is what it is. We’ve made it this far. And we have another 365 days to anticipate right now. Another 365 days to roll up our sleeves, grab our tools, and once again, try and sculpt into something meaningful.
Today, before we bid bye to 2021 and welcome in a brand-new year, I thought of listing down four important things I learned this year.
I LEARNED INVOLVEMENT
I started 2021 with resolving to be more social and given to people oriented activities much against my usual reserved lifestyle. I did just that.
I learned that offering parts of myself to others does not mean I am skimping on integrity. The argument that one needs to either be ALL in or ALL out discounts the need to set boundaries when one has to, and not lose oneself in the need to please all others. I found myself the happiest this year when I chose to offer others what I could and not what I “should have”. This meant selective intellectual and emotional engagement – sometimes both, sometimes either, and sometimes neither.
What I came to realise is that not only was I conserving an astounding amount of energy but also exhibiting a happier, sunnier side whenever around people. Honestly, who would have thought – a little bit in and a little bit out can be as miraculous as all in or all out.
I LEARNED STRENGTH
My heart copes haphazardly. And there’s strength in acknowledging that. There have been times this past year when I’ve bumped into forgotten pangs and crippling heartbreaks. Then there have also been times when I’ve pulled through extremely trying situations with more resilience than I thought I would. I’ve surprised myself with my responses to the highs and lows that 2021 presented to me. I ran into strong and weak moments unsuspectingly and unexpectedly, but resilience and intentionally kept me afloat like a bridge over stormy waters.
I LEARNED PREFERENCES
I met a lot of new people this year and some of them made me realise that social effort feels the easiest when you’re left wondering if you made any.
This year reminded me how much I love surrounding myself with people who are unassuming – people who know that the world is a strange, mad, confusing place and all we can do is gently explain to each other how we’re all going to stumble every now and then– and non-stereotypical– people who tear down stereotypes that box others into limiting spaces.
I learned to be choosy with such people, and sift everyone who ooze any form of negative energy with careless ease.
I LEARNED CONTINUITY
This year taught me to look for continuity in things – to understand that the unpleasant eventually passes us by despite impact of gloomy happenstances, unsuspected bereavements, and crippling heartaches.
Endings are difficult but I learnt to get by and move on, with the assurance that everything good will come. And come did they!
I had rejections, but started a new course and finished good.
I ended a toxic relationship and left behind a circumstantial and conditional intimacy, and stepped into a beautiful intimate relationship.
I fought lack, limitation and losses like a brave one-man army.
I coped with comings and goings of people, things, places. In other words, I embraced continuity (sometimes with much difficulty, but I did) in it all.
Because really, it continues. Life continues. We continue to live, to love, to laugh, to labour too, until results come floating drapped in rainbow colours of deserved success.
I hope there was something in this blog post that felt reassuring – that reminded you that you are not a lone. We are in this together. Don’t forget, you’re loved, and you belong here.
Happy new year, 2022, in advance!