Sujata is an architect by profession and has a passion for writing. She shares her life experiences through writing, hoping to be of help.
The year 2021 has been an absolute roller coaster ride.
Not just on a personal note, but on a global level. On one hand where we were just getting over the whole lockdown scenario due to Covid-19, we all got hit by its second wave that took away so many lives and created a havoc worldwide. We all struggled through it. Many of us were lucky to have suffered and survived this storm and to be going strong now.
It’s the 3rd year running of the pandemic with all its uncertainties, and amidst all the conversation about the pandemic everywhere, we might have forgotten to be grateful for the little things that has made our lives better and made the world a better place to live in. The year 2020 and 2021 seems to be so monotonous, we might have ignored the little joys that we were a part of.
When I looked back at 2021, I found numerous reasons to be grateful for. First and foremost, to have come out of Covid-19 alive. But also, to have learnt so much and to have so much to be grateful for.
So here goes my insights from the “The year gone by – 2021 it is!”.
Amidst the pandemic, we might have forgotten to appreciate the life that we have. We have forgotten to look around – to Look Around and Find All the Miracles. It might sound cliché or too dramatic, but honestly, if we pay attention there is so much of miracles everywhere and 2021 taught me that really well. I, on a personal note, encountered many of such magical events.
It was in April 2021. While the entire country was going through curfews and lockdowns, Assam was still not there yet. My brother was supposed to be getting married then, but curfew was declared due to Covid-19. Luckily, the curfew was imposed a day after the wedding. I call that magic – a magical power who is making sure everything turns out to be okay and hassle-free.
Additionally, I also find magic in the way people, old and new, are brought into our lives. Really unexpected turn of events, but all falls into place and solves the entire puzzle. How can I not call that magic! Amidst the pandemic, to be able to make a career move is a tough decision, and when it suffices you know the magic is created. We got to believe that someone out there is holding the magic wand for us. We just got to believe them and allow the magic to flow into our lives.
As adults, we have become used to being taken for granted and we get so comfortable with it, we forget to value ourselves enough. But we need to know our value. We should Be Aware of our Worth. 2021 taught to value myself enough and know what I bring to the table, whether at work or into my personal relations. I was taught to be confident of myself and have enough respect for myself to be able to deliver my worthiness to the world outside.
Moving on, being an amalgamation of a workaholic and a lazy person myself, it never occurred to me how much efforts and consistency matter. History of starting numerous projects of my own and leaving it halfway through has been my specialty, I can say. But 2021 has been a year where all I did was stay put. And am still staying put on all of them, even this year. It can get tiring and I do feel demotivated a lot of times, but Efforts and Consistency does Make a Difference. With dedication over an extended period of time, we do see results and improve productivity, not immediately but eventually. Of course, having someone to constantly motivate us and someone to be accountable to, helps, to a great extent. The idea lies in being patient and putting in consistent efforts, a little more every day, to be closer to what we desire and deserve.
There is no ideal time. Get it Done, If It’s On Your Mind. Say it if you want to and do it if you want to. But doing is essential. How would we know how things would turn out to be if we do not execute what is on our minds! Like the famous saying goes, “If you do not ask, the answer is always no”. With so much of unpredictability in 2021, I have understood that I would rather get the things I want to do done, say what I feel rather than live in regret thinking how turn of events would have been if I would have executed what I was thinking. Because there is no ideal time and situation that we keep playing in our heads.
I have had regrets on my missed opportunities. I would not continue on waiting for that “Ideal” anymore. There is absolutely no “right” time or opportunity. Every “right” is exactly when we are handed the opportunity whenever and however. I have learnt to utilize all the moments that I am given and make the most of it. Appreciate whenever I want to, apologize when I need to, say what I feel like and do what I want to. No regrets!
In our daily struggle with work and personal lives, we forget to take care of ourselves. And by take care I mean both physically and mentally. 2021 has been the year I really decided to Take Care Of Myself – Physically and Mentally. To understand and read our physical and emotional needs and to tend to them with care is essential, for today and for the years that we live. Our sedentary lifestyle and on top of that, work from home now, has made us extremely unhealthy and unfit physically. We barely have any opportunity to move ourselves. And that eventually leads to breakdown of emotional health as well. But we need to come in terms with the fact that, being healthy overall is of utmost importance. It boosts our moral, builds our confidence and makes us more aware and liable to ourselves.
With keeping all this in mind, a crucial lesson I got to know is the concept of Accepting Ourselves. We humans, being social animals, are always bogged down by our societal and peer norms. We try hard to fit into the ideal and so called “normal” ideologies of what everyone says. It is hard for us to see ourselves as individuals and understand that our perceptions can be different than how the crowd perceives, and it is okay. As long as we accept what we do and as long as that is what elevates us as individuals, it is alright. Some people will understand us, and someone will not, the prime focus should be we accepting ourselves as we are. The sooner we welcome ourselves, the sooner the Universe aligns us with the likeminded other individuals, who gets us and accepts us the we are.
And then comes the whole role of overthinking. I am not sure who has been able to get over it, but not me. I am an avid overthinker. But 2021 has showed me enough to believe that I need to Let Go Of Overthinking, Because Real Life is Beautiful. As an overthinker, I exaggerated every situation in my head. But I have come to terms that overthinking ruins the good things that the real life has to offer us. It took me few months, but eventually now it comes almost effortlessly to understand and appreciate what the real life has to offer. It took me a while, but a lot of events, situations and moments in real life assisted me in managing my overthinking pattern to a great extent. Of course, I still go into that space in my head where I cannot control my overthinking, but it is much more effortless for me to get it back on track and appreciate the beauty that the real life is putting forward.
Moving on, like overthinking, once we step into adulthood, we also build trust issues. I have had major trust issues. My difficulty with trusting people I already know is a deal, let alone the strangers. Our past experiences and traumas keep hovering over us. But I was privileged enough to have come across some amazing souls in the past year who taught me to Trust Again, It Always Does Not Hurt. I learned to rebuild the concept of trusting people again – to value the actions over words and believe that this tough and harsh world still has humble and kind souls who are trustworthy and kind towards fellow human beings. I still have my doubts, and I still have conflicting thoughts when it comes to having confidence in someone else. But I am at a much better space now because I found reasons and actions enough to build my trust in people again.
Introverted personalities have their own issues altogether. Communicating! Being an introvert, I barely open up to people I am not close to. And if I have the slightest of doubt that I am not being heard (Trust issues acting up I guess), I just do not talk. My ideology is simple, if the other person is not interested in listening, why bother. But it was only towards the end of last year, I realized I am being heard. I am being listened to. Everything that I blabber does not fall on deaf ears. And I realized it is important to Communicate, Because People are Usually Listening, whether we know it or not. Maybe not everyone, but someone is listening and remembers what I am saying. And maybe someone else is getting inspired. So, I have just started communicating, to the ones I know, and feel are listening and are not judging. Honestly, that feels a lot liberating.
And then comes the whole concept of perfection. I have, for the longest period of time, not understood that the idea of perfect is a very individual concept. And being a creative professional, this is something I should have grasped at the beginning of my career. Any design solution that I find perfect, might not be ideal for another. But I am a slow learner. And it took me this long. But better late than never, I finally learnt to Let Go Of Perfection, not only professionally but personally as well. My whole stubborn idea of things should be the way I want it to be, has taken a back seat now. All of us, as individuals, take decisions and live our lives based on our own share of memories and experiences. We build our beliefs and inhibitions based on that and act on what we feel is right based on that. And that is perfect for us considering our life and situation. Our ideas of perfect is usually society and peer decided. But I learnt to leave these defined ideologies of “perfect solution” or “perfect way” behind and follow what my gut says to be right.
We are all grown up individuals now. And many of us are still friends and close with our college and school friends, or the people we have known for many years now. And that is a great feeling to have same people in all stages of our life. But it is also not a bad idea to Let New People In. It might seem to be a difficult task but if we naturally click with them, it is okay to let them in. It can be an unknown zone and we will have to expose ourselves to the unknown, but just how I learnt to trust people again, I have also learnt to let new people in – slowly, steadily – and that is absolutely alright. Getting to know new people not only adds to our circle, but it also introduces us to new perspectives, not only about the worldly things but also gives us new perspectives about ourselves. And sometimes introduces fresh things about us to us. Embracing new people in our lives can be a good idea sometimes, and it could mean a whole new reviving experience in its entirety.
And last but definitely not the least, 2021 taught me to Count My Blessings, every single one of them and every single day. When life starts to get tough, we tend to overlook all our blessings that we have been showered with every day of our lives and focus too much on what is not going right. But we need to be more patient with our lives and learn to see the brighter sides every day that we have had – in the form of people, in the form of memories, in the form of situations or maybe any other form. Blessings have always been there. And the sooner we learn to be grateful for our blessings, the sooner they will multiply.
Now that it is 2022 already, and the situations are not always the way we picturized it to be, I am hoping that my reflections of 2021 allow me to keep my sanity and helps me to be grateful and patient every day. I hope these reflections holds me consistently throughout and turns the magic wand it is holding.
© 2022 Sujata Hazarika