Monday, December 31, 2012

4 Lessons for 2012.

Its been a while. But I can't help it, the year was running by too fast, and I could barely keep up! This year has been one of tremendous transition for me. I've lost friends, gained friends, re-evaluated my life and priorities, made big decisions, I fell in love, had my heart broken and that cathartic experience taught me  to forgive, to let go, and at the end of this exhausting journey, I'm left with the general feeling that my life is on a better and more positive path than it was in January 2012.

Now that's a lot don't you think?

So its time for the inventory. To stare down the mistakes I've made and to catalog the things I've learnt. And here's what I figured out:

1. Sometimes you just have to let those pesky emotions in.

It took me a long time, but I finally figured that putting a wall between your intellect and your emotions is quite idiotic. I'm not sure when it happened, but one morning I woke up with the realization that my emotions are not like memories. It was like a switch had been flicked on in my head.

After all, you can forget certain events, but emotions have a habit of resurfacing- usually at inconvenient moments. And the more you suppress them, the more you will end up doing something spectacularly stupid, like eating a triple scoop chocolate laden ice-cream sundae for every day of the week because you were craving sugar. Or bursting into tears while running on the treadmill (and getting half the gym rushing to your side thinking you busted something).

In case you were wondering- the bursting into tears at the gym thing actually happened to me in November. My dignity took a big hit, but I felt cleansed at the end of it.

Emotions aren't things you can throw under the rug. And when you give them credence, and let them out the normal way, it feels better. Like a release. This year, I finally found the courage to roll up my sleeves, and deal with them. I let myself get angry, I let myself cry, and I let myself laugh with unbridled joy. It felt liberating.

2. Assign Credit where's it due, and the same applies to Blame.

I'm hardly perfect, and I'll be the first to admit it. But this year, I was finally able to look back at my past, and the bad experiences, of being bullied in school or at work and having friendships go sour. I always felt awkwardly a step behind everyone else for much of my life since my early teens. I think its because I always believed, in my heart of hearts, that it was all my fault.

This year, I finally came to accept that it wasn't entirely my fault. I wasn't a terrible friend, or a horrible student, or a worthless employee. I wasn't the sole wrong-doer in that relationship to merit the kind of treatment I was given by the people who hurt me.  

It helped me to forgive myself, forgive the ones who hurt me (in my own head of course), and finally, forgive the circumstances.

And that act of forgiveness opened my eyes to the fact that those 'horrible' times weren't all bad, and there were moments and people who made it worthwhile. Happiness at best, is a state of mind, made up of fleeting moments of joy we can dwell on. Its about how we choose to spin the narrative of our lives. And with new eyes, I was able to accept that there is nothing I really want to change about my past because it made me a better, stronger and kinder person today.

3. You can lean on the ones you love.

This year, I thought I'd found that significant other. It didn't work out of course, but then shit happens. What I discovered in the interim, are those family and friends who loved me through those times when I got mean, when I got pathetic and sat in bed reading depressing Russian novels about women who fell in love with inappropriate men, and cried over trashy Hindi movies, the birds at the window, and pretty much everything else.

You know the kind- they'd send you WhatsApp messages from New York at 5AM to see if you're okay, or text you on G-Talk at work so you can vent. They'd hug you and tell you you deserve better and they'd open up and talk about their heartbreaks and foibles so you don't feel so fucking alone in this world.

I think its because they see us differently. They see the good, bad, perfection, flaws, beauty, ugliness, pristine-ness and damage. And they bring objectivity to our lives when its needed the most, and they can see the forest for the trees. They'll tell you things about you that you never realized and they'll help you reach an important stage in your healing.

I was told to have standards in men, to stop trusting and giving my heart away so easily, and to stop thinking that the bottom feeders are my lot in life. I was told to be happy, to think I deserve better and just be happy. 

I finally listened, and learnt my lesson. Yes I know its 3 years after they told me but hey I not exactly the fastest learner when it came to important life lessons.

4. You can be totally uncool.

Yes. I have no problem now telling people that the Will-I-Am and Britney collaboration Scream and Shout is one of the best pop songs ever written. I proudly sing along to Bon Jovi, and Muse making up lyrics as I go along, and there are days when all I want to hear is Nina Simone's alto warbling about sinning men.

I read novels with stupid titles, and I read heavy tomes on history. I dress like a cross between a goth hippie and Christina Hendricks, and like scarves and candy colored bags.

And yes, I like to bake. I like to cook, and I like to do it in my free time, which include Friday nights and Public Holidays.

I just see myself as cool and that's the end of it. If you want to accept it, fine, if you don't and want to call me ditzy, its fine too. I think being 'cool' is a lot like being 'decent'- its just a state of mind.

But if I was honest, I just can't be arsed to convince people I am 'cool' or whatever arbitrary thing I needed to do to get folk to 'accept' me. I just head off, deal with my curfews and my crazy family, I sip my dry martinis and do things to keep me sane. I think the real story here is that I now accept myself for who I am, I think I'm pretty awesome. I think that's all I need for now. ;)

And that's it. The four big lessons I learnt for 2012. And while the year ran by and had its highs and lows, I'm looking forward to 2013. I think its going to be pretty awesome.

So I'll see you next year, which by my reckoning, is just a little over 12 hours away. ;)


Caustic Yoda said...

You have matured, and it even shows in the writing. Good luck.

deviousdiv said...

Thanks CY.

I think this is the first time I wrote as myself and not deviousDiv. It felt more real to me. Maybe maturity is knowing that the vision of yourself you had when you were 14 now feels overwraught and trite.

Or maturity is just feeling good about being just Div.

Either way, I'm at peace with myself. And my parents think I am respectable now- which is a surefire sign that they take you more seriously.