Last year around this time I was dead worried, who wouldn’t be with Board Exams right around the corner yet I didn’t do a thing besides worrying. I didn’t change my habits, I didn’t prioritize and yes, I regret it because all the quotes which go along the lines of “…an exam can’t define your life…” aren’t exactly my kind of principles but as the oxymoron-ic moron I am, I also do not believe that my board results define me. I realised a lot the last year, learned a lot, changed a lot, it was there and back again kind of thing and it wasn’t a very happy year but it was a great spiritual and idealistic war where I answered and found answers to many questions that actually matter.
1. Let the Cynic be
I changed in the last few days of school and like, really changed. I started going out more, having more fun (yeah, I know, bad timing) and living my life. I stored memories as I walked through those last few days and yes, I was happy. I left the cynic behind. I killed the guy who hated everything and hence, I took my first mask off. I was just getting started though and there was a lot of masks to remove.
I realised that I didn’t study and as much as that sucked, I had to accept it as a fault on my part and not the system’s. I (kind of) made a mental note to never fall in that situation again, but the opportunities to prove that didn’t present themselves much. I knew it was my fault but I also knew it wasn’t a mistake I chose to make. It just happened and I was too distracted to even notice that I was falling short on my academics. Accepting the fact helped and I did study more than I thought I could in the end so I pulled myself, at least mentally, out of the zone of denial.
3. The English-72 Fiasco
No metaphors, English is my favourite subject and despite scoring the best in my school for 2 full years, I got a 72/100 in English in my finals which sucked. Big time. It was the most disappointing and heartbreaking thing I had felt and yes, I cried and yes, I blamed. But what had happened, had happened and I couldn’t help it. It was a shocker and a bummer but I had to stop blaming myself or the committees or my colleagues whom I blatantly insulted on Facebook. It was wrong. They had a right to celebrate and they still do. It was just very, very unfortunate for me.
4. You Can’t Start a Business on a Whim (on Facebook)
That is what I learnt when I wanted to start a magazine (I still do) called ‘The Routeen‘. The idea just caved in on its own because it was all on a whim in the first place. I didn’t think nor did my team. We just tried to do something without even trying and yes, we failed terribly but I still believe there is potential only that it is what it is – potential.
5. From my Virtual Cloud 9 to the Real Ground
Getting recognized for blogging at the valediction, getting recognized for my Project Photosphere and stuff like that made me cocky and put me on a pedestal that didn’t exist, at least in everyone else’s version of reality and yes, I did fall and I fell hard. It felt like some random dude called ‘Reality’ kicked me hard in the curb and all I could do was take the hit, which I did. Pretty hard. The virtual success disappeared, someone had become more reality oriented.
6. My Breakup, Redemption and Patch Up
This is the first time I’m literally mentioning my relationship and personal life on my blog which isn’t a surprise because I’ve outgrown that fear too. I had a breakup a few months after school ended and while I was pretty cool with it in the starting weeks, a few weeks later I realised the errors in my ways and there were a lot of them, trust me and I owed my girlfriend that I correct them and then I began an introspection, a week long – probably more, and slowly, gradually I changed myself and brought back the guy who I was before the God Complex kicked in. I became more accepting, open, happy and yes, we did get back together later only after I convinced her that I had changed, which I truly had. I have. It’s the present tense even today.
Architecture at College
College opened new portals. It just has this different aura to it, the feeling is same as school yet a little different. It’s hard to explain really but it’s fun. College was fun before I dropped out and yes, I was doing well in architecture too but let’s save it for a few paragraphs later.
7. The Beginning, the Redundancy and the Rest
College in my town was great. At first. Then it sort of became boring and redundant (and at times, unsatisfying). When I started there was this cool idea that my college was in my town and later while the sentence remained the same, the tone changed to less cool. It was redundant, I saw my school daily on the bus and I was like, “Wow, that’s my school… and a few kilometres ahead, is my college.” Imagine the disappointment. I wish Dehradun were larger.
8. The First (and best) Tour of my Life
We went on a trip to Chandigarh, McLeodganj and Shimla and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I did stuff I never would have and I wasn’t even afraid. I saw things, I woke up on my own. I stayed up nights in groups, talking, playing, doing stuff the serious guy would never do. I had to change. I had to become happy. It was a need now and the best part was that some people taught me happiness wasn’t something you earned. In other words as Leo Tolstoy once said,
“If you want to be happy, be.”
This is exactly what some friends, later my group in college taught me and I am glad they did for now even though I’m alone, without people and I sit at home most of the time, there isn’t that self-pity or sad feeling anymore. I just grew out of those pants, if you want to put it like that. Outgrew those ideas. I am happy now. Just content with whatever I have and yes, I tend to make the most I can when I go out (and even if I stay in and I owe that to a group of very, very fun and crazy people who might or might not forget me.)
The trip wasn’t all fun though, there were serious conversations about everyone and everyone’s ideas and feelings. It was like this assortment of beautiful things that happened for five days. Highs, lows, beautiful places, conversations, fun, studies, laughters, going out of my comfort zone and best of all, happiness. It’s like I could live those five days again and again and I’d never get bored.
9. 18th Birthday Realisation : Friendship
My friends did so much on my 18th birthday. These people have stuck with me since school, they chose to ignore the hurtful sarcastic comments and the rude attitude and always looked at the real me. It isn’t something you find everyday and this group of very, very insane people yet the coolest group I’ve ever had proved to me, on my 18th birthday, that people actually liked me for who I was. They showed me that it was possible and I am very, very grateful to them for sticking with me this far.
10. Dropping Out
As I progressed with my first semester, studying hard and learning harder but not forgetting to have fun I slowly realised that Architecture just wasn’t my thing. Yes, it was interesting but no, it wasn’t something I wanted to be interested in for a long time i.e. my entire life. So, after a very calm and surprisingly understanding discussion with family, I dropped out of Architecture and started my post dropout months. I had six months to do whatever I wanted and I think so far, I’ve gotten pretty much out of them.
11. The Final Realisation – Letting Go
After I dropped out, I just had this slow realisation of everything around me in terms of practicalities which brought me to a point where I realised that my relationship was holding both my girlfriend and me back and that despite the feelings we had for each other and despite all the happy stuff, there lied deep realities that just couldn’t be ignored. Someday, somehow they’d come out and for me, that time was now. I talked to her and we ended us mutually. It was sad, it still is but I still can’t see any way past it and I had to let go. I know she hates me even if we ended things on mutual terms but in the long run, I am quite certain of it, it’ll be better for the both of us.
12. Getting Focused, Prioritising and Moving Ahead
It took a whole year but I am focused now. I don’t have any academics as of now but I’m doing the best I can. I got a great freelancing gig and it’s still on (read here), I have started practising my writing more and I’m just somehow happier about myself, like that feeling of coming back on track. It feels good and I don’t regret anything now. All that happened, taught me things, important things. We can always learn stuff from what happens to us and that’s what I do now. I’m a blank canvas and till there are things left to learn, I will be one.
That ends it, that was how my 2014 was like and 12 big things in one year are enough, I guess. Let’s hope 2015 teaches me something new and I hope you had a good year (and a good read) and, Happy New Year and all the best for 2015!