story

40 days to go

The Start of 2018

Every year around this time, I start to get all positive and just analyze my entire year which has gone by and try to make the last chapter, a memorable one. During this time of the year, I make changes which are long-lasting, which tend to define the person I want to be.

So, around this time, I mend things which have gone all wrong. So, if I have had a fight with someone around March this year, I’ll definitely message and make sure that all grudges are dropped, apologies are made and chapters end on a good note and I become open to new possibilities in life. It’s just a very tiny practice but it is also something that makes my life a lot more happy and comfortable for myself and the people around me. That’s my way for having peace within my mind and I feel that if I am peaceful, I have more to offer rather than when I feel chaotic in my own head and skin.

Since I do this every year, analyzing my year and seeing where I have grown up and where I have messed up, I feel that this is one year where I have learned the most.

This year began with my final semester of post-graduation, where I had to work on my dissertation and I remember that it was so much struggle to have a topic finalized for my dissertation because the one I really wanted to work on did not get approved due to the university guidelines and protocol and I had to go for a mainstream topic and put my heart and soul into it. And I clearly remember that eight of my ideas got rejected and while other students have already started working on their project, I was still struggling to get my topic finalized, even after a month of the beginning of the project timeline. That was the first time I cried badly this year and trust me I have cried way too much this year. You’ll know if you continue reading. So, after having my breakdown during that period, I pulled up my sleeves and worked like a proper professional, and aced my dissertation with full marks.

Side Note 1: During my dissertation, I remember developing so much stress that I had several physical ailments, some of which are still there. My dissertation project acknowledgment thanks the one person who invented Paracetamol because that drug saved me literally.

January to April went by sailing through the last semester of post-graduation where I had several breakdowns and emerged with flying colors, trust me I am not bragging, I survived and won the battle I was fighting with myself for myself. I had a job at the end of all the confusion and everything ended on a happy note.

Learning from the first quarter of this year was “Life gets easier when it tests you, when it makes you go through a lot of turmoil, chaos, misery, it also pays you well. All you have to do is to trust the universe, what universe might hold for you often turns out to be better than what you planned for yourself. Sometimes just believing in the goodness and having hope is all it takes.”

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The Year of Meditation Camps

The last day of my post graduation was 7th May 2018 and I had to join office on 15th May 2018. I had a week in between which was spent with my mother at a meditation camp, and that was one positive experience. I learned a lot of things about myself, about the people around me and I would say that one week experience did change me a lot, both for good and bad but at the end of the year when I am writing this, everything happened for good.

There are a lot of things that keep happening and I have always had a habit of burying them somewhere at the back of my mind, not dealing with it, not accepting it either, neither I would come to terms with it, do something about it, they will be just there at the back of my mind, I would not talk about it and when I am either PMSing or having one of the zones when I am overthinking things, they will magnify like monsters and start to consume me. This camp made me more open, it helped me open up to myself rather than anyone else. It made me more of a listener too than I already was and I started analyzing myself as a person a lot. I started questioning my days, myself, my thoughts, people around me, while I was turning into an empath, I was also becoming hard on myself in the process of introspection which I was doing really often after the camp.

During this period I was close to someone whom I would call, mental mirror, a person who had a similar sort of chaos in her head, who thought like me but did not have a simple or sorted or monotonous life like me (Read side note 2), with whom I felt connected to and our bond developed and we were all laughs and cuddles whenever we would meet, it looked unreal at times, people started questioning my sexual orientation at that point, I was assumed to be a lesbian around her and honestly I really didn’t care about that. We both were very much interested in guys and we would gossip a lot. Gossip became a major part of my life because of her, I have always had my life revolve around a certain fixed things and people, I became a part of her chaotic, messy world which was and still is quite happening and full of drama and there came a point that all the laughs and cuddles drained me out, I was not myself anymore, I lost the happy person I used to be. I lost my energies. I was no-where, just lost and turned into a crazy rebel. I absolutely loved this woman and still do but sometimes you have to just have to peace out. A happy friendship became an exhausting relationship.

Side note 2: Drama is good as a filler at times, in long-term, a monotonous life is always better as long as you find joys in simplicity. And as you grow up, you really don’t want drama, you strive for peace. I strive for peace.

During this time, I was also getting close to someone I have often addressed as Farishta. Sometimes I wonder how and why I call him a farishta, so I have always been fond of the story of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz and I read in a book called 40 rules of love-

It is as if for years on end you compile a personal dictionary. In it you give your definition of every concept that matters to you such as truth, happiness, beauty. At every major turning point in life, you refer to this dictionary, hardly ever feeling the need to question its premises. Then one day a stranger comes and snatches away your dictionary and throws it away. “All your definitions need to be redefined”, he says. “It is time for you to unlearn everything you know.” And when this happens, a monotonous life with little colors becomes beautiful and goes back to your original colors of love with which you were born, without the barriers of your mind, your heart. Definitions don’t matter then. Love does.
Love cannot be explained.
It can only be experienced.
Love cannot be explained.
Yet it explains all.

So this person changed so many definitions which I have been carrying on with me. He made my life beautiful in an exquisite kind of way. I have never ever in my life come across such a human being. My life had changed for good. No matter how many years come now, this year will always be a life-changing one because of this fact that the universe chose to bless me with the existence of a farishta around me who had managed to change my belief systems, my personal definitions of love, friendship, relationships, family, life and whatnot in a lot many ways. I finally had a torch to light up whenever my inner demons would become dementors from Harry Potter and would suck away my soul from me.

Side Note 3- Nothing comes in this world for free. The universe always makes sure that whenever something too good happens, there has to be a balance to maintain the neutrality of life. Putting a human being you love on a pedestal is the worst thing you could do to them because in the process you forget they are humans too, they too need comfort and support and someone to look after them even if they appear strong. Strongest people often have trivial vulnerabilities and they have a hard time finding their own farishta. It is extremely important to not forget human nature and the joy and pleasures of being a human being. Reversing roles in a friendship or a relationship is extremely important and love, love. I have often quoted that sometimes love is not enough and it is true. It takes more than love to love someone, it takes thought, it takes care and it takes understanding and maturity. It takes the will to learn and the ability to forgive because humans being humans will disappoint and hurt too and when love and understanding overpower that, that’s when you know you have built yourself a home and darling, home is a feeling, not a place.

Within a period of 3 months, my mother took me to another meditation camp which was not so positive when it was happening, I was not ready for a spiritual journey yet. I wanted to go at my own pace and it felt a little bit forced upon, not exactly forced, I went because I did not want to say no to my mother. And I am so glad that I did not. The second visit to the camp made me open up emotionally, and it also taught me to get stable in the longer run. So if initially, I was having a bad morning, I would still be upset in the evening and crib about the same thing for the entire day, nothing would make me happy, the second visit to the camp made me get over my bad moods easily.

So all in all, I am glad and grateful for all the experiences and learnings I took because of the meditation camps. This year I got closer to my mother and there is nothing better than that to have a best friend in your mother. It sure has its downsides at times when your mother behaves like a mother instead of a friend but it is always the best thing I could ask for from the universe.

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The Year of Office Life, Adulthood, and few new hobbies.
The Office Life

I could not be more blessed when it comes to office life. There is so much that I am learning and it is so beautiful, always. Yes, I do have my days when I get bored or feel lost but I could not have asked for a better environment to work in. My office life began with travel and an amazing capacity building tour in the hills during the first month of joining. I have so much love and gratitude for my organization, my boss, my colleagues, and everyone I work with. And yes I do make mistakes, there are times when the office does feel exhausting and sometimes my heart is not into work but at the end of the day when I look at the bigger picture of life, I have so much to thank.

My office life turned me passionate about traveling, photography, freedom and the idea of being an adult. It gave me opportunities and avenues to explore and learn and also make mistakes. And every single day I am learning the art of life, adulthood, and responsibility and what not. There is something new every single day.
Adulthood

The Government of India declared me as an adult when I turned 18, five years ago. Have I understood the concept of adulthood? Have I really learned the art of adulthood? Do I really practice being an adult?

I don’t have clear-cut answers to these questions. All I have learned is that we mature with time and adulthood gets complex with each passing year. I have often felt like a mature person among the group of people I was surrounded with in college, I always felt like I am too mature for my age and then this year I started feeling exactly opposite the moment I began my office life. I always felt like a kid, inefficient, immature and under the pretext of not being adult enough, I did some really stupid stuff knowingly as well. I was hiding behind my insecurity and the fear of taking up responsibilities at the family front, professional front and in personal life too.

And it does not take a year to learn, all it takes is some self-talk, few experiences, and certain realizations. One may not behave like a mature adult at the age of 40 and one may behave like a mature adult at the age of 16. So it’s all about your state of mind and the experiences you gain. I see certain kids who are too mature for their age and I see certain adults who behave in a childish fashion. Yes, experiences do add a lot but mostly it comes down to our own state of mind, our thoughts, our experiences, the people we meet, the books we read and the habits we follow. One day I might feel extremely sorted and the other day I might feel at my lowest point and there may or may not be a strong reason for such feelings, we just have to keep a check on ourselves and our thoughts and when the time comes, we all are mature. The necessities of life and situations make us adults. And having a comfort zone and privileges because of our families and friends make us childish and rebellious in situations, where we are aware that we should be adults but don’t behave like one because we can afford to be the way we want to be.

With adulthood, comes a lot of freedom as well as responsibilities and with time we all get there where we have to be.
…did I say travel?

2018 began with a trip to Taj Mahal, Agra with family.

May 2018- Meditation Camp

June 2018- Office Trip-A capacity building tour to Jibhi, Tirthan Valley

July 2018- Office Trip-Field Visit to Ranchi-Wrote stories on Farmers

August 2018- Meditation Camp Part 2

October 2018- Tripping with Miss Guide You

and maybe one more trip before 2018 ends.

There is so much I want to write here but I think I should wait. All of my traveling experiences this year have been quite overwhelming that I really don’t feel like writing about in detail because I feel it would kill the charm and the memories because each of my travel experience has been so heartwarming and the October trip has certain exclusive memories which are better left exclusive. Let’s just say that one of my new year resolutions which I have been making since 2015 became real. And no, I did not lose weight. This resolution to lose weight continues in 2019 too. Hopefully, this year I will finally join the gym and resolve my commitment issues.

Well yeah, this year I did explore quite a few hobbies- doodling or drawing or photography or singing as a matter of fact.

All in all, it has been one hell of a year which has so much positivity and love attached to it.

And there are a few people I want to thank because, during this year, they were the ones who brought hope, inspiration, drama, dreams to reality and love to my life.

My crazy family-mom, dad, bhai, Paridhi Sabharwal, Sonal Agarwal, Arushi Sharma, Varun Rustagi, Eshita Hatwal, Vedika Kaushik, Shiv Mishra, Atif Khan, Gurpreet Singh Tikku, Kriti Bisht, Kavita Indapurkar Mam, Amit Sir, Kamal Sir, Himanshi Saini, Parisha, Surya Sir and other office colleagues, Aditya Bhayana, Aashish Pahwa, Ashish Godara, Prabhu Tiwari, Shachi and a couple of other people who accompanied me on the trip, Sakshi Gogia, Kamakshi, Sarthak Chaudhary and a couple of other people who have made me smile at some point and I am forgetting their names at the moment.

Thanks to everyone who made this year such a beautiful treat.

Here’s a collage of a really few pictures to conclude this year- Glimpses from some of the happiest days of 2018.

WhatsApp Image 2018-11-21 at 10.46.34 PM

And to every single reader who took out time to read this very long post, I really want to thank you first, for reading this. Honestly, when I write, it is not for anyone else but myself but I also feel that sometimes our stories do make people happy and if all my experiences help someway or in another way to make someone smile, my work is done. I also wanted to write about this year because I really don’t want any of it to fade away with time. Because 2019 will bring new experiences, new people and new days and new issues, the learnings I have had this year will and should help me get through ahead in life and if some of my learnings are useful to you at some point, I feel blessed.

So now we all have 40 days left with us, and I wish and pray for each one of you that may these 40 days be the game changer or the happiest days of your life and even if you are in a crisis at this point, just hold on to this universe and hope and love in life and be with your dear ones, you too will find your way.

Much love,

Neha.

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