Every year, it seems as if New Year's Eve comes back quicker and quicker. It's a bit scary actually, when you look back at everything that happened in an entire year that felt more like a few months. Our lives, no matter how mundane at the moment, have no limits. As a collective human existence, if we were to write a list of everything that happened in 2014, we would easily faint and go mental because our brain doesn't have the capacity to comprehend how great and mysterious the universe is and how it works. But if we grab a microscope and look into one existence -- our own-- we might find that we are living. Things happen, situations are made, we change, the people around us change, things fall a part, people are brought together, cakes are made, flowers are picked, people are born and loved ones die. Every moment in life is an experience, isn't it? Well, before I get even more dramatic, here's how my year went. I'm no celebrity or Twitter sensation or super fabulous blogger... I'm just a person. And we're cool enough to have a life worth sharing! (lol)
1. My brother got engaged. This kind of stuff is especially exciting because the big day isn't here yet so every dull moment in life is interrupted by your inclination to look forward to the wedding chaos.
2. My grandmother, Nunni, passed away. In February when we got the phone call at 5am from India, I went numb. But over the course of the days after, I had been trying to acknowledge things. I slowed down and allowed myself to feel whatever I wanted to feel because they're my feelings and I have the right to feel them. Do you ever think about how many emotions we actually have the ability to express? And maybe we have all of them because in life we need to use them? I don't think anyone is ever okay with losing a loved one. It isn't easy to comprehend in the first place and then you have to accept the reality of moving on. It makes you angry and hopeless. For the start of the year, it was a lot to bounce back from. My mom lost her mother, and no amount of words or hugs can prepare you for witnessing that pain.
3. The past Spring semester, I took a fantasy literature class on Harry Potter. And the exact words "I'm taking a fantasy literature class on Harry Potter!" became the bane of my existence. YES it was as magical and enlightening as one would imagine. But more than discovering the deeper details of J.K Rowling's work and spending each Friday morning discussing any new revelations we've come across since rereading HP for the 2819th time-- I understood what 'connecting' might actually mean. Since the class wasn't a major-exclusive course, it meant that my classmates weren't all journalism students. In fact, I was the only one. My class best friend was a dance major, my class acquaintances were actors, animators, screen-writers, graphic designers and "I'll figure it out" art-school souls like us all. It was so exciting to peek inside their lives while coming together to talk about something that could easily define an era. Whenever I feel alone, I think of that class and remember how similar we all really have the potential to be.
4. I turned 21 in March! Woot. Really though, somehow I feel like I stopped at 17. I just refuse to grow up! And these days it feels like young people are becoming successful so fast; they're landing record deals, gigantic lead roles, writing novels, winning singing competitions and funding start-ups (among many many other things). It's overwhelming for someone like me, who is trudging the old-fashioned route of Journalism school, unpaid internships, school newspaper, retail job on the side...etc. You find yourself asking, "am I even headed where I want to end up?" I'm young and I've got the drive, but this year, I've officially understood that I am certainly not the only one who is young and ambitious. We all have dream jobs, and mine is shared by so many it's frightening. Someone will land that job.... why not me?
5. My cousin got married to his best friend and it was a beautiful thing to witness. It's foreign and nerve wracking, but also incredibly refreshing to welcome a new member to a tight-knit family. She's one of us now and it is true.... in Indian families, you indeed marry the family too.
6. I got my wisdom teeth taken out two weeks before I got a root canal. I really don't think any of that needs any explanation. It sucked, it sucked, it sucked. There.
7. Summer 2014: Road trip to The Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. AHhhhhh it was life-changing. Fresh air, mountain tops, trees, sweet-soft wind, horseback riding, nature hikes, cowboy hats and fried oreos and then further down to my cousin's farm in North Carolina where chickens are plenty and sheep are fluffy-- what more could a summer offer? I especially hang onto this memory from our trip; in Gatlinburg, TN we went up a sky-lift with the most breathtaking view. An invisible magical camera takes your picture which you can buy at the gift shop. I looked up to pay for ours and--- I AM NOT KIDDING, this is what came out of my mouth after staring into his soul for a whole minute, "wow um you." *swallows* *laughs awkwardly and fumbles around with wallet* The end.
Note to past-self: If ever you happen to look up at a complete stranger and lock eyes (with their deep blue sparkly eyes) and then fall into a heart-crushing smile.... probably you shouldn't leave Gatlinburg just yet because maybe you just missed out on your soulmate.
If there's one thing I wish 2015 has in store, it's adventure. That's all I want. I want to explore and continue to fall in love with the human race when we're at our best.
8. My best friend in the whole entire world died. My grandma, my dadi, my secret-keeper. Alzheimer's had snatched her away little by little, until it took her away completely. It felt like one moment erased all the life that was lived over the entire year. It's been the hardest thing I've ever experienced, a feeling that words don't even have a word for. I hate looking in her room and not seeing her, I still hate that "Dadi, hug!" isn't the first things I say when I come home from school. When I sit on the arm of the long couch, I no longer dangle my legs in her wheelchair while she hugs them tightly.
2014 was as beautiful and charming as it was heart-breaking and morose. I lost both of my grandmas, and my parents each lost their mom. All in one year. When I look back, sometimes I can't believe we made it. And even though a giant part of us will be empty forever, we're happy again. We're okay.
Happy New Year, everyone! Let's resolve to live.