This annual reflection of-sorts has always been something I’ve looked forward to — I find that I’m the kind of person who forgets the in-betweens, the details, the intricate stitching of what gives the year its own brand of softness, of lightness, of love.
I’ve always said that 2016 wasn’t an easy year for me, but if I were to look at it in a different light… 2016 was indeed a glass half-filled, a glass full of potential and things on a clean slate and a palimpsest in which I could rewrite/overwrite my narrative of being twenty. Ultimately, it was a really good year of growing up, learning from myself and from the people around me who came, stayed & left — and from books, and a wonderful time of big scary changes and the little things that made it what it was.
I’ve loved, lost, felt the immense effect of the slow disintegration of what felt like love and the subsequent convalescence (this word was indeed a recurring theme of my 2016); changed my goals and changed my schools and refocused on what I wanted to do in the future with still a singular shrug of “err I’m not too sure oops anything?”, been to conferences and met interesting people and formed new connections, changed to a university hall and got cast in a musical production that involved a collective 200+ people, sang and danced and acted on a stage, and studied a range of strange courses that had me look at life with a sort of naive brightness and felt myself change and change and drift with an amalgamation of the nostalgic past and present, and to this end, I am brimming with a soft contentment and happiness.
To me: stop chasing that all too elusive idea of happiness — as though happiness is an end goal to be met on the daily. Stop letting yourself be taken with what on the surface to be golden, bright and wonderful, and in the process neglect what makes you want to glow from the inside, and what makes you smile with a softness and authenticity and quietness. Stop trying to make yourself feel small and stop holding back from what you want. Stop trying to do everything even though you’re a huge proponent for leaning in, looking forward, and taking where the tide takes you — even if you feel immense pressure in trying to be perfect, trying to look the best, study the best, write the best, and be the best in absolutely everything… you just can’t have it all, and it’s okay, it is perfectly fine, and it is supposed to be.
Again, I have to stop living as though the highest point in my life can be found somewhere on the ephemeral horizon, and I have to stop living as though days are meant to be trudged through, and I have to learn to lean back and be still and be quiet and know that my control on the universe’s motion is negligible and yet important all at once. I can in fact live my life with a quiet consciousness where I can experience and share fully without excessive concern of what others may think, where I find fullness in reading strange & wonderful things, writing about myself & other people & running running running, building something I can call my own, and just let myself live without expectation, and let myself enjoy this whole growing up experience without making myself feel like I have to do something and be someone and prove myself worthy… because at the end of the sunset I am already someone, and as long as I put in quantifiable effort in the things that are precious and important to me… it is enough.
I am enough, and there is no more.
May 2017 be big and wonderful and unabashed for everyone. And may I study harder for both semesters and learn to love the pains & pleasure of project work, tutorials, and hall life. It’s been a great break, but it’s time to get back into the grind!