Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 - An year in rewind!

So.. An year has rolled by swiftly, pushing a truckload of memories, triumphs, pitfalls, moments of cheers and tears onto my arms. The year 2017 has been a roller-coaster much like any other year. However, this year will be cherished as an important year because I did so much more than what I've done in the last 27 years of existence. I want to put the essence of it all into a write-up, so that maybe, two or three decades later I'll come back and read these thoughts with a smile twitching on my face. The older me would perhaps want to pat myself on the back for thinking so much for this age, compared to what came much later. As the saying goes.. Every level upped in life demands a different version of you. True to that, I discovered a different me in this year. I have done my best to condense the life that I lived and the learning that came with it. 

Lesson # 1 - Take the risks. The great adventure is out there. 

At the start of the year, I bid the most stubborn Goodbye to my ex-company. Not many would know the back-story: Driven by my wounded self-esteem, I had put my papers in my former organization and had started looking out during the three-months notice period. I was lucky enough to find a company/ a team which took me in, believing me when I myself wasn't able to see my worth. When the notice period was officially up, I went to Bangalore shortly before Pongal and formally closed the chapter with the ex-organization. Unlike the TCS chapter, where I welled up and cried all the way home on the last working day and the next day, this was a dry, uneventful farewell. Oh, I didn't even get a cake. I was glad I was done with this part of my career, and I suspect to this day that they were equally relieved too. 

When you're brave enough to say a Goodbye, life rewards you with an unexpected Hello! 

That's how my new company opened up to me. The initial days/ months were tough. It was a new job and a new role - which demanded a new me. I was still shaky and doubtful of myself, as from the older days. My self-doubt hadn't completely vanished. I would still get nightmares from my time with the old org where I was told time and again that I wasn't good. In my new position, I have dealt with some important / hair-pulling/ amusing/ exasperating assignments in the last eleven months. The work basket was never short of variety. With all the assignments, I learned and grew. I was noticed as the new chic in the block. I was slowly but surely getting my confidence and the self-assured air back. A year can do wonders when you're in the right place, with the right set of people, doing what works best for you. I am glad I took the risk and dived head-first without knowing what was coming. It's paid off, and well! 

Lesson # 2 - It's all about timing. 

I kept solo-company with myself in the new org for the initial six months. A video-making exercise brought me close to a group of team folks/ friends who hung out together. I was invited to join them, and slowly.. I became a part of the gang. Personally, I believe this is the best group dynamics friendship which happened to me after DAMN in TCS. Good friends at work make you look forward to coming to work, for the company and assurances, for the care and support you derive, and to sit and talk the problems out - if nothing else can help. Work sometimes gets so unreasonable and irritating. I still dress up and come to work anyway because I can talk with my lifelines at office. (you know who you are!) I didn't chase to be a part of this group from Day-1. I was fine by my own company. I didn't look around, though this might shock anyone used to being around in groups. I gradually and casually became a part of the gang when the time came. It took me 6-7 months to thaw in and I am grateful I managed to do that. 

Everything comes to you when the time is right. Be patient

People who make me want to come to work no matter what! 

Lesson # 3 - Life's too short. Do the things that you love. 

This is the first year where I put my inhibitions aside. One of the best compliments received from the Aatha was: I see a different you now. I don't see you being scared to take decisions any more. You've always worried if you're doing it right or wrong in the past. Today, I see none of that restlessness. I see a calm, self-confident person in front of me. 

I entertained my intuitions and made/ joined impromptu trips and plans. I vacationed for a short while at Delhi, which is the farthest I've ever traveled in my life - leave alone the fact that I went solo. The Delhi trip was an invigorating experience, spiced with some unexpected jolts and twists like the red-flowers blooming at the Taj Mahal (wink wink). I went to visit my best friend in Bangalore, then as part of the office gang I visited Shimoga, joined an informal gang trip to Pondicherry.. The list can be extrapolated to record some more significant memories, but I'll stop here. Every travel experience came with a bag of amazing moments and treasured memories. I am positive that I will have more such travel experiences to record for 2018. #BringItON

Hello, Taj Mahal! 

One fine day, I suddenly had this distinct desire to have full-on mehendi for my hands and that's what I got done too. I walked around to amused people asking if I'd gotten engaged, went for a family function or a friend's wedding for which I patiently said No, and smiled. 

I shopped within my limits at Pantheon Road. Visited Sowcarpet for the first time and did food-hopping there. Made myself happy by buying a new phone to record quality photos. Welcomed Aatha into the world of Facebook, WhatsApp and smartphones. Taped a tempered glass on to phone by myself (new skill, bro!). Discovered some refreshing and soul-stirring music from Naveen, Roopa Revathi, Sabareesh Prabhakar et al. Watched many good movies which were critically acclaimed and lesser known to the box office. Started reading books with an intent to continue reading for pleasure. It was a year filled with impulse-driven acts. 

Sowcarpet Trails! 

Lesson # 4 - The importance of being with and contributing to family. 

An important plane to everyone's existence is their family and the upbringing. I am no different. We work, earn and aspire for the Good Life - just so that we're happy with whomever we identify as family. One of the prime reasons for my job shift this year was the slightest possibility of returning back to Bangalore on the old job. After 1.5 years spent on a professional life that I wasn't exactly excited with, a probable relocation back to Bangalore was the proverbial last straw which broke the camel's back. 2017 was a year spent fully and well with family. Being in those shoes, my responsibilities never ceased. I played an important role in stabilizing their health and wellness, yet again. Every time things go right on the health front at the home ministry, I feel rewarded. I know I've made a contribution for the right cause. Sometimes, I do my part begrudgingly feeling over burdened by the duties. Some things go my way; Some don't. I learned to plod on this time, because tough situations can change and family support doesn't. I am happy for being present and being part of the highs and lows, nevertheless. 

Lesson # 5 - It's good to fail. 

There's an experience close to my heart, which needs to be spoken. Not because it's heavy, but because I'm glad of who I am and what I did. I told someone that I liked them, only to hear their rejection at the prospect of the idea. I am mighty proud of the act, never mind the consequences. It is the single most thrilling and the least expected act I did for this year, what with the adrenaline rush. It took me a few days of moping from there on, to finally learn to let go and lift the sensation off. It will be amusing how the days ahead pan out. 

While I was crushed by the verdict, hearing it out loud did me good, for I no longer go through the delirium of what-if's. I feel clear now that I've discussed the idea, the possibility with him. Sitting and thinking now, I wonder how I did it - to go there and put it out in the open. That's really not me. I'm the lady who harbors hope and wishes against all odds that it somehow works out without making the first move. I am the one constantly harboring hopes. What I did was an act of courage and an attempt to clear the grey clouds hovering in my head. For all that it was, it was worth it. Nobody warned me the aftermath would be painful and it'll take some time to feel better. I am allowing the wound to heal and close by itself with time. It's his loss, not mine. That's what I constantly reassure myself. Life's too short to keep everything pent up within. I don't want to be that person. I will use the chances I have to get the results I'm looking for. Sometimes, I trundle into unexpected corners, but that's OK. It's important to keep trying; to keep looking. This year was about stepping on to the light at the end of the tunnel. 

With so much of what has happened this year, I sign off on 2017 with plenty of peace. My soul feels relaxed for the good things that happened and acts of courage executed, and I await more experiences in 2018 with open arms. Good vibes and positive thoughts only! 

Until I see you in another post, I am signing off. Happy New Year 2018, everyone! 

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