Unlike popular sentiment on the internet, I had a pretty amazing 2016. I can even go as far as to say that this was the best year of my life, yet. It started out brilliantly and is ending on a pretty amazing note as well.
If you’ve watched Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey, you will know how happy one tends to get when they start saying “Yes” for everything. You will also know how chaotic it tends to become. That was 2016 for me – a year of saying “Yes”.
The year started out with Counter-Strike Global Offensive publishing my sticker collection, Team Roles. That little achievement foreshadowed what transpired in my life throughout the last twelve months. I had given up hope on the collection after a while so when it got in, 8 months later after publishing, I did not even know what to feel. Waking up to that notification is something I’ll always remember.
I spent most of last year trying to figure out how to exactly handle the fact that I was in a financially stable state and the magnitude was way larger than the normal. I helped my family as much as I could and as much as they let me. I learned to pay taxes. I learned to keep myself happy and I scratched a few things off my wish list without going crazy. I also got a little free, mentally. That was the “Yes” part.
Things started going a little haywire after a while.
“With great power, comes great responsibility” is probably the best explanation I have for the bigger half of 2016. Somewhere in the middle of all that good that was happening, I got complacent. I started blogging less, the writing became non-existent and freelancing stopped.
Amidst all that boasting from those who knew and all that effort to avoid climbing cloud nine, I worsened all relations with those who were close. It wasn’t a crisis. It was more like, a teaser for what happens when you grow up and start doing grown up things and start making grown up mistakes. All in all, most of my friends did not want to talk to me.
Along with that, I was caught up in a situation I could not explain to anyone I knew. I was paying taxes, coming home and watching anime and the template I had for growing up and the process was failing. It was ironical. Playing Pokémon and visiting the bank every week. I still cannot put it in words as nicely as I’d want to and as nicely as someone would expect.
With all of that, I had also started saying “Yes” for almost everything and that had started to overwhelm me. I was succumbing to a lot of peer pressure and honestly, I did half the things I didn’t wanted to do and while it was fun in the beginning, it sucked by the end. Going to hangouts I didn’t want to, eating in places I didn’t want to and taking up courses I didn’t want to.
Those were weird months.
During the last two months, I found a workable balance between the things that were overwhelming me. I still haven’t figured it out but I’m in a better place now. I’m slowly learning to be a little more responsible but not too serious, finding the correct midpoint in between those two extremes.
I made things better with most people I had pissed off completely. There was a lot of honest apologizing involved. Ultimately, I did lose a few people because this is not a movie and people leave. I also learned to deal with the aftermath of saying hurtful things to people or disregarding their welfare.
However, I also realized that I had to stop saying Yes and agreeing for everything. I finally took a few steps where my peers were not exactly happy but my point got through and they did see the fine line between invitation and peer pressure. So, the peer pressure problem was ultimately solved. It was a simple formula once I got the guts to say No again, “In a sitcom, no character appears in all episodes.”
Finally, I decided to go back to my roots and started reading again. I also made it an initiative to pursue more writing and I’m practicing the art now. More than I’ve ever done. I’ve already completed two first drafts for two completely different stories. I think I’ll get somewhere if I keep at it.
In hindsight, every year in the last few years has had an underlying theme. 2014 was about change, 2015 was about individuality and 2016 was about happiness. Here’s hoping 2017 will bring something new to the table. Wishing everyone a very happy new year!