Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The Time of Confrontation

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It had been too long since the indoors took over. There was no point in waiting anymore, it being well established that the normal we had known wouldn't be restored for quite some time. And so, coupled with the inefficient handling of semester finals and hurried online evaluations came the inadequate goodbyes of my final year. 

But here I was secretly thrilled for not having to attend courtesy farewell parties. Sitting through video calls wouldn't be half as bad now, would it? I was wrong. What was meant to be a time to reminisce over the good times turned out to be a reminder of all things unaccomplished. What was meant to evoke fond memories instead evoked the dreaded ones. I found myself cutting off midway from the call and letting my self-imposed disappointment sink in. Until I decided to pick up my phone and text a friend.

"Hi. I'm feeling sad."

And there began the confrontation. Admitting to the pretense of fitting in. To not being the person I thought I should be. Accepting what I hadn't achieved, but also what I had, and understanding what really mattered.

Endings tend to do that to you. It makes you introspect. Like the end of every year when you look back and assess the have-beens and plan the is-to-be's. It's when you finally confront what you may have been dodging from until then. But 2020 gave us enough time to introspect much before it reached its end. 

And so, I spent ample time doing the same over the last year - evaluating how far I'd come, where I stood at the moment, and where I'd wanted to be. Not that I found all the answers, but a few pieces did fall into place in the end.

My personal milestone of the year was my e-book 'An Ode to the Self'. It was not so much about having written a book than it was about confronting my deepest fears in it. I cannot say that writing them down transformed me. But I can say that it has sowed a seed in me. It has given me perspective, thoughtful conversations with people I care about, and it has led to positive consequences.

I have learned, for instance, that the ones who I believed to be far different from the way I am, think the same thoughts that I think. I have learned that it is possible for both ends of an argument to be correct if only either side were willing to listen.  And I have learned that it is extremely difficult, albeit rewarding, to be able to accept the shortcomings of one's own and work on them, especially when pointed out by another.

I have walked away from what were called 'opportunities' over the years. But I've learned how only I know best which opportunities of the kind do me good and which ones don't. It is liberating to know what is best suited for you, to be able to discern what you do or do not need. I am learning to trust myself a little more. 

The last year has given us an excuse to slow down and take a breath. With the fast-paced world being forced into a staggering halt, and now slowly gaining back its momentum, many of us have been privileged to stay afloat or even fare well. So for all that I have today, I am grateful. 2020 may have been a frustrating year, but I believe we have all learned to appreciate what we have a little more.

Although we've entered a new year, I have no new resolutions in mind. 2020 has already put me on track. It has brought me face to face with several truths that I'd previously dismissed. I'm working on myself. I'm telling myself that I'm doing enough. I have a long way to go, yes. But I am happy with where I am right now and the pace at which I'm going. To me, that is more than enough.

What has your year-end confrontation been like?

This blog post is a part of the Welcome 2021 Blog Hop hosted by Swarnali Nath.

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