July has just begun. It is as anti-climactic as it could be for anyone else. For me though, this week is the culmination of everything that I was up to for the last six months. So, I thought, why not start living life on a half-year basis from now on?
I know it sounds a bit absurd but these last six months made me realise that I have never had short-term goals up until now. I have never had to look forward to something that was going to happen really soon. Somewhere around December-January, I started a lot of things and most of them ended right before July began.
So, instead of doing a New Year Roundup, I decided to do a Half-Year Roundup now only because of the sheer quantity of realisations, lessons and things that came to me.
Instead of points though, like every year, let’s take things in a more cohesive way.
I learned this year that most things, people and situations could be left. This was when I came across the idea of decluttering and minimalism. That happened because I was on a streak to embed good things into my life. Things that add value, things that bring food for thought, things that make me excited and, get me moving. A perfect combination of physical and mental activity.
So, in a quest for self-improvement, I started reading and podcasts came into the picture as well. Podcasts brought me to minimalism. That brought me to becoming open about letting go. I learned that things that weigh in on our heads are mostly nothing at all. I also felt the feeling of starting something new when I enrolled myself in the Udacity Android Basics Nanodegree. Learning new things with a friend was the highlight of the past six months. I also learned that my day had twenty-four hours in it and it was a lot if I allowed it to be.
All that self-improvement, hours of code, classes and personal struggles made me realise the need for having a routine and a calendar. I liked having a rough idea of what was going to happen during my day. Even if it was coffee with friends. I didn’t become a snob and everything was flexible. However, still having a picture of how the day looks is oddly comforting.
As the months progressed, I started a few projects with my life. These are what you’d call self-improvement on steroids. The first one was Project 333. I still have to write about a detailed experience on the blog but it’s better if I do that when I’m done with the project. I have a month or so left even now. Basically, I locked all my clothes except 33 things I really wanted to wear. Result? More time, more satisfaction, more compliments, more happiness.
The second was weekday vegetarianism or reducetarianism. After watching a TED talk by Graham Hill, I could not shake the idea that I did want to cut my meat consumption irrespective of those around me so I diligently followed this concept. It’s been over a month, inching toward the second and it’s easier than I thought. From eating some sort of meat in some meal every day to only eating meat on the weekends is an easier transition than it seems.
As I started looking in on my diet, I also realised that most diet plans and ideas are a variation of eating less, moving more. This was put into words by the great Youtuber and philosopher, exurb1a. But it makes sense and I did lose a few kilogrammes. As I lost a little winter’s weight, I realised that I was happier if I had more control over my body and knowing how it works. Overall, I became happier on the outside and inside.
With that contentment and an overall, lightness. I could easily forgive those who had wronged me actively or passively so bonds were strengthened and new ones were formed.
With all that focus on the self, I became a little selfish which was good. So, I started living by a strict priority list that is always subject to change. The strict part is only in its following. The first priority is family, the second is you. Everything else changes with life. The else will include your close friends, romantic partners, jobs, classes and so on so forth.
The selfishness also gave rise to a personal website called DeepanshKhurana.com. It’s more of a whatever I do or will do, you can find it here sort of place. This is because I realised that if my life was about trying as many things as I could, then maybe I need all of that to stay in one place.
With that sense of selfishness came an epiphany that we only really have two choices in life. I wrote about it on the blog’s Instagram as I packed a bag and came back home.
Often, we find ourselves in situations where we have two clear choices and often, these fall in two categories. The first is generally accepting the situation, status-quo or whatever you like to call it. It’s simple. If you can’t do anything about it, stop cribbing about it. While the second is the extreme sibling of the first one. It’s usually a simple “I’m done with this. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” but is often dumbed down and dubbed to – fuck this shit. Both of these choices are correct in their own right. The thing that matters though is that at some point you have to stop, take a look at the situation, make one of them and stick with it. Sylvia Plath once said, “Indecision and reveries are the anesthetics of constructive action”, and that says more than what I’ll ever be able to do.
Another lesson was that being a romantic at heart is alright. If it’s how you’re wired, that’s how you’re wired. However, you still have control over the hopeless part. No one owes you love and the vice versa is true too. However, still love everyone without expecting it in return. There is a sheer lack of it.
Around May, I realised that stressing about exams after studying as hard as you could have was a fool’s errand so I played a little game where I left all halls before halftime. My GPA dipped obviously but not by a lot and that’s alright.
I also started a little project called The World Under My Sneakers. It’s an Instagram page. It’s as random as stuff can get but I had not begun a project, albeit personal, since ages now.
As my structured routine became more of an obligation, I realised that I had barely given any time to my friends in college and that we’ll only have this year together. So, I know, for a fact, that I’m going to be better at managing both my personal and professional selves this year.
Everything started culminating in June and that’s when I realised that I can top all of this with a trip to Mumbai. I stayed there for a week. It was surreal. I came back a couple of days ago with lessons, memories and an overall centred self.
Lastly, I forgave myself and acknowledged how far I’ve come. Looking in the mirror is not so annoying now. I also made it a resolve to not stay in the shadows of one achievement and explore life, opportunities and myself as much as I can.
At that point, I realised that living life on a half-year basis is going to be my next experiment. It began coincidentally but it’ll end voluntarily and that’s the gist of how my year has been so far. How was yours?