Saturday, January 26, 2013

A very belated "ooh it's a new year" post

Well, if blogging more regularly was to have been a goal for 2013, we can just forget all about it, can't we? If it makes things any better, this one is only 26 (well, technically 27) days late, as opposed to last year's annual recap being an entire 31 days late. Although maybe I should have just done the 40 questions deal and be done with it.

Oh well, this post's been in the works for a while, so let's see how it turns out.

For the first time in a while, I'm writing my annual year-in-retrospect post knowing - sort of - what the year ahead holds for me, and where I'll be - vaguely - this time, next year.

2012 was... strange. It had parts that sucked, it had parts that were awesome, it had parts that were utterly stressful just like 2011 but which were manageable because other stresses from 2011 went away. I seem to have lost a few very precious people, formed friendships that have helped me survive the year, and learned more about myself in the process.

A large part of the year involved a fairly irritating job search. As mentioned several times previously, I suck at the whole networking nonsense that is a necessary evil in B-schools in the Yoo Ess. Ergo, getting a job I wanted was traumatic and tough. Add to that a fairly awful living situation, a friend circle that I had more fallen into than chosen, and getting used to the whole being away from everything that is loved and familiar, my first few months at B-school - and the last few months of 2011 - had been... difficult.

2012 changed that. Like I said in last year's annual flashback post, the mother's visit over winter break bought my two worlds together, and in a way reminded me of who I am, why I had chosen to move half a world away, and what was important to me.

It was easier, after that, to hang out with the people I liked and wanted to get to know better, rather than people I seemed to have fallen in with. To take the decision to make the most of a fairly horrendous living situation for the rest of my first year, but to look at living alone for the next year.

My apartment got robbed, in February. My poor luck with international travel isn't restricted to Europe, it seems. I visited India for two weeks on a school consulting project trip in March with a group of my classmates, and got to see the country very differently. Just two days at home is woefully short, though. I got an internship - eventually. It wasn't what I would have liked, ideally, or what I  thought I wanted to do full-time, but it was something I knew would give me valuable experience and help me make up my mind about a full-time role, and so I took it.

I think I truly began to enjoy school and life in the US once that internship was secured. That last term of six weeks - I had classes I was enjoying, I didn't have to network any more, I no longer gave a rat's ass about pretending to be someone I wasn't for people I didn't give two hoots about, and I had a whole month at home coming up. I found friends I cared about, and who cared about me, who offered help when I needed it the most, and who were just... incredible.

May. I came home. I spent nearly four weeks in India, packed in quite a bit of travel and eating and reading and watching TV shows, met up with people I loved, and discovered some people didn't want to meet me. A fabulous family holiday in gorgeous Kasauli.

And then Chicago. For three months. And less than a week into my time there, one of those it-can-only-happen-to-me type incidents happened, involving my passport, a very by-the-book HR person (no wonder people don't like HR), an extremely helpful Indian consulate, and a lot of trauma and drama. I kid you not. Maybe some day a blog post all about this incident will happen.

The summer was a lot of fun, teaching me a lot, about the work I don't want to do, the things I don't do well professionally, and the kind of people you can trust. Also what a good thing it is that I am a mix of utterly stingy and impulsively extravagant.

And then I came back to school. School this year was definitely about why I had come here. The job search stress was there, yes, but it was better this year because I put to good use the one big thing I learned during my internship - it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to reach out to people - and as a result did a better job of the whole networking thing.

I was a lot more social this year - even if it was with the same people mostly. That totally counts, despite what certain friends (and readers of this blog) might say. I got my freaking driving license. I first got wait-listed for going on exchange, and then managed to get signed up for London. I learned to live alone - which is SO perfect for an introvert like me, but SO terrible for trying to be more social.

I gained back all the weight I had lost when I first got to the US, and then some. I substantially improved my tolerance for alcohol. I bought a new laptop. I started wearing dresses, and even make-up. I went to Puerto Rico with friends over fall break and had the most fabulous time doing nothing but eat, drink, and lie on the beach. I got a freaking job, one I actually wanted.

I was home for the last two weeks in December (although more passport issues made that questionable for a while), and then two weeks into the new year. The new year was brought in like old times - at home with the parents, squabbling over what to watch on TV, with some chips and coke, and gummy bears for the princess. And for the first time since moving away from home, I left without knowing when I would be back.

Some relationships were renewed and strengthened, some ties of friendship loosened. Some loved ones died, some grew old and fragile. Friends got engaged. The princess began to feel her age.

I grew comfortable with myself this year, but impatient with my life. I gave up on some people who used to be very important to me, but refused to continue to entertain those who meant nothing to me. I made attempts to be more social - even hosting my first Diwali get-together ever - but stuck to staying in when I really wanted to.

All in all, it was a good year, 2012 was. And 2013 holds good things. Two months in London, two months back in school before graduation, a summer of who-knows-what, and then back to the working world.

Yes, good things lie ahead. Mostly. I think.


antiglam superstar! said...

Have you been referring to 2012 as 2013?

a traveller said...

Er... now that you point it out, yes. Also I seem to have referred to 2011 as 2013 as well at one point. Allow me to go and fix this.

Puneet said...

On to new beginnings! The one point we have in common: letting go of randoms who we don't care much about. Amazing what that can do to you.