Sunday, January 09, 2011

Good riddance 2010, hello 2011

Annual flashback time, I suppose. It's funny; I've been wondering about how I would write this post for weeks, but now that it's actually time to write it, I have no idea what to say.

If I was to sum it up, though, I would simply say this: 2010 sucked. Really. I hated the year more than I remember hating any other year of the past 25 years.

Which is not to say that it didn't have its lovely moments. It did. The first two months were rather lovely. The brother, a friend and I went to Jaipur for the Lit Fest and attended the first three days. The parents and the princess joined us on the third day, and we drove back on the Sunday - a road trip with the entire family after ages. I took the GMAT in February, and got a surprisingly awesome score. Which meant that the baby steps I mentioned in last year's annual flashback suddenly became more of a reality. Also, I got me a laptop - something I'd wanted for ages but never got round to doing.

And then I turned 25 in March. I know I've said this several times before, but I really did stress a lot about this. I don't understand it myself. Birthday # 26 is in two months, and I'm okay with that. Just... 25 as a number, as an age, seemed to mean a lot more.

And then I went to Italy. And got robbed. Which is when the year officially started sucking. I won't say I'm someone who never cries - I tend to start crying fairly often, particularly when I'm in a temper. The Italy incident, however, seemed to weaken me. You know how some incidents just make you feel lesser and smaller? This did that to me. Even after I got back, I went through a fairly long stretch of guilt, depression, misery all put together. I'd burst into tears at the smallest provocation (or even without, at times), and was just a pain (more than usual, that is) to be around for the next month or so.

And then in April I got an email from the brother which made me burst into tears for a good half an hour. And has now become my official make-me-feel-better talisman. Yeah, it was that kind of mail.

And then came the rest of the year.

Travel went up this year. Apart from the trips to Italy and Jaipur, Chandigarh was visited for a friend's sister's wedding mid-July. Work-related travel happened to Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata.

The wedding in Chandigarh was tremendous fun, notwithstanding the fact that the gal pals and I were coerced into putting up a performance at the sangeet. And dancing in public is not something I do very voluntarily. I also managed to make a quick visit to Nada Sahib, one of the few religious sites I like to visit - that place always makes me feel extremely peaceful. The trouble was, the mother got hospitalized the day before I was to leave. She still insisted I go, and I made them promise they would keep me updated and tell me if any major developments happened. But... they didn't. And on the second evening, I called the father on the way to the wedding, and was informed that she had been wheeled in for surgery four hours ago. It doesn't help y'know, this keeping things away from people who are far away with the hope of not worrying them.

It also struck me, during this entire episode, that no matter how much I crib about the mother loving the brother more (she DOES), there are some things she will only share with her daughter. And even though she made me go to Chandigarh, she did let it slip once after I came back: "you weren't here when I had my surgery. I needed you." Sigh.

I left for the week in Mumbai almost immediately after that, which was even more difficult. I spent a week there end-July and I have a very strong suspicion that if I ever moved there, I would fall in love with the city. I mean, here, in Gurgaon, when I leave work after dark, it's a scary proposition to look for a rickshaw or even walk to the metro station to get home. I do it often enough, but I know the parents worry when I do. In Mumbai, I was visiting a client who happens to be a BPO. Which meant that I would never leave their office before 8 or 9 PM. Yet, catching an auto and getting back to the hotel never cause a second's concern. It was just so... liberating, y'know? The city clearly loves me - on two out of my four visits there, I had to cancel my flight back and take a later flight.

Work was... messy this year. A lot of issues with people, some altercations, a certain amount of disengagement as well. I've given this job everything I have for two and a half years now. If plans work out, I probably won't be with them this time next year. I still enjoy the work, despite everything. They've been absolutely brilliant to me in many ways - the amount of time off they've given me to deal with my personal issues alone has been incredible. I've learnt a lot from both my bosses, and as a first job, it's been a tremendous experience. But the last six months have been... difficult.

The house had two more fires - the second time, I was home when it happened. Some new friendships were strengthened, some old ones let go of. The brother was very nice to me over the summer - not something I'm used to, but something I could get used to.

The blog was neglected this year. For the first time since I started this blog, I went more than two months without a single post. Too much was happening, and twitter seemed like a sufficient outlet. What was nice though, was that several people actually asked why there hadn't been any new posts. And since you lot never comment here, this was not something I was expecting.

I did get some brilliant news during my week in Mumbai though - a story I'd sent in got selected for publication in Chicken Soup for the Indian College Soul. Considering I grew up reading those books, this was totes exciting stuff. The book should be out this year - much anticipation is felt. Back in June, I'd also entered the post about the father is one of those blog contests - didn't win, but the BlogAdda guys were nice enough to send him a print of the post.

I ran for RAHI Foundation again this year. Unlike last year, this year I tweeted about it, and was incredibly touched by how many people shared my appeal forward. And how many unexpected people came forward to donate.

The last two months became incredibly stressful, with application deadlines looming over my head. Things would have been less stressful if I had procrastinated less, but we shall not head there. I completely neglected my health this year - something I need to get back on track.

Now that I think back, I'm not sure why I hated 2010 so much. I think some of the stressors, while not HUGE, were just prolonged. A lot of the bad stuff was my fault entirely, and could have been avoided. A lot wasn't. Some continue.

New Year's Eve (and Day) were verra naice. Spent with friends, something I really didn't do enough of last year.

The first week of 2011 has been... mixed. Some nice moments, some bad news, some big decisions - it's all happened already. This year is going to be eventful, I know. One way or the other, I'm going to be in a very different place by the end of this year.

I need to start focusing on my health. I need to write more. I need to be nicer to people - both my loved ones and people I can't stand. I need to meet my friends more often.

I'm not making resolutions - just listing things I want to do.

I'm looking forward to this year. And I haven't done that in a long time.

Here's hoping each one of you has a brilliant 2011. :)

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