January 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
I have been living away from my family for the past 7 years and spending New Years with friends is not new. However, this year I chose to spend quality time with myself and just think about the year that passed by and every impressionable memory. As human beings all of us build walls or draw boundaries around us which in many ways protect us from certain harm or experience. In the past year I had made a conscious decision to let people in and trust them even if I had known them for a short period. Sometimes that proved to be an enjoyable experience but most often it turned out to be a nightmare. For those who know me will be aware of the fact that this past year has been a challenging one in terms of both professionally and personally.
I relocated to a new country and had to learn to practice my profession to suit their context. Lemme elaborate a little more on this for those who may not know. I work as a Social Worker and also in Human Rights/ Women empowerment and advocacy related activities. Moving to a different country in many professions maybe not be as challenging as it can be for a social worker. I had to understand the country and its people from their cultural, religious and economic perspective. I had to learn this as soon as possible and to be fair my work place has provided me that platform to grow and learn. I have fallen in love with my job and I truly enjoy the work that I do. This has been a learning and an adventure. Along the way I met amazing people and especially two women (L & S) with whom I have become good friends. All three of us are extremely different and every time we order drinks we wonder how we became friends. I love a good glass of Red Wine and the other two like Beer and Vodka. I love delicate pendants, Taylor Swift and lace/glitter and L likes Gothic/bohemian stuff and tattoos. I always felt S is the link between us, she is the balance that keeps us neutral. But weirdly they both don’t like Star Wars (Yes!! I know!! Shocking right?) and both support Liverpool..UGH!!! But one thing we all have in common is that we dislike the same people:) Well to be fair we do have a lot more in common. I still remember sobbing on my way back home when it was the last day for L as she was moving on in a different direction. I usually never get close to people but 2015 was the year I let people in so it hurt. But good thing is I knew we would meet her and also we pretty much chat every day. Two days back we had dinner and she kept distracting me by inhaling truffle fries that was being served to the table next to us ( I know what you are thinking and YES, she actually did the whole innnhaaalllee exxhallle exercise every time the waiter passed our table with a tray of fries but she did not want to order one). Then we had ice-cream and on our way back we starred at the same woman because she was wearing a beautiful skirt and top..Okay, someday I will talk about these stories..
Now back to my life!
Personally, relocating to another country meant I had to let new people in and spend another couple of years away from those who love me but I knew this was something I wanted to explore and learn. Sometimes past relationships make us stronger and more determined but for me my past relationship had left me cautious and guarded. My trust level is not always the best but it is something I have been working on for many years and I was willing to take the risk and let new people and experiences in. Along the way I also learnt that sometimes being open does not necessarily mean letting everyone in. I also learnt that sometimes those you meet for a few hours end up being more trustworthy than someone who have known for years. The past year is significant in many ways, I learnt valuable lessons for life some the happy way and some the hard way. One of my biggest challenges was to maintain my close friendship with my best friends in London and I can proudly say that we have not drifted apart rather become closer. I also learnt that being a good friend doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing to everything someone asks of you and convince yourself that is what friends do and cause irreversible harm and danger to self. But at every point I had a strong group of people to lean on and trust.
Overall I would say 2015 has been a bitter sweet journey, old wounds healed and scars disappeared but new ones appeared!! Now I wonder what is in store for 2016, I feel excited but also nervous like a child entering school for the first time not knowing what lies ahead but always knowing that loved ones are just a step behind cheering you on. Recently I have started listening to a lot of music especially since my morning commute is around 45 mins. Couple of days back I listened to a song by Mary J Blige called ‘Doubt’. As I listened to the lyrics it struck a cord and would like to share a few lines.
“I made it to the end
I nearly paid the cost
I lost a lot of friends
I sacrificed a lot
I’d do it all again
‘Cause I made it to the top
But I can’t keep doubting myself anymore
You think you know
But you don’t know the half
You think you beat me down
But I’ll have the last laugh
I’ll keep getting up
‘Cause that’s what I’m gonna do yea
I’m gonna be the best me”
I was deeply affected by these lyrics, in no way have I made it to the top or even come half way in fulfilling my ambitions but I do know that I am on the right track. The lyrics brought back a lot of memories of my journey till date. So many rooted for me to fall down and fail in life, but every time with the help of a very few I walked through rough paths and testing times. There were days when I just wanted to give up and go back home but the very thought of giving up made me sick and I never wanted to prove anything to anyone but I wanted to prove to myself because I am my biggest motivator and also doubter. In the lyrics the singer probably is referring to an external factor/person but for me I always felt that external factors and people affect me but not to the extent of my own fears and doubts. I am aware that my biggest challenge is overcoming self doubt and the fear of being average. I am working on making those two challenges not hinder me but rather motivate me and so far it is working well. Mistakes are bound to happen and I will fall down but I firmly believe that I will rise up and continue my journey as I have done numerous times in the past.
So am I excited for this year? YES YES!! Oh one more thing I am a little superstitious and so I may not reveal all my plans but I have brilliant plans in store. I have set short term goals professionally and personally and the very thought of my journey is exciting. This year I will surround myself with those who motivate me and also be a positive influence. 2015 is over and so are the memories but I will always remember the laughter, scars, wounds and experience because that is what makes me who I am today!! So,thank you to everyone and heartfelt apologies to those that I may have hurt along the way! This is my year of moving forward and choosing to be happy and positive and be the best version of me.
“When you are thrown onto the ground,
you have to get back up, for no one can live your life but you,or stop you from getting what you want.
The love, The will, The strength, The fight is what keeps you alive.”