A tough year! A tough year, indeed! All was good, and all was bad, and what I was left with in the end was a feeling of exhaustion, more than anything else, which might have been dominated by despair, but had traces of skipped heartbeats, shy smiles and even extreme euphoria.
Using clichés like “I went through a rollercoaster of emotions” is beyond me. It was more like a year-long game of battleship, with each hit representing a happy moment. Anyone who has played battleship knows that the misses outweigh the hits, but the hits make up for the misses, albeit not completely. That is what 2016 was all about for me.
I found friendships in 2016 that I think, will last forever. I thought I almost lost my Labrador Bruno, my baby.(I thank my stars everyday that I didn’t). I took up interesting projects. I wept through the unprecedented number of attacks in various parts of the world. I started writing poetry again, my first love. A little part of me died when Alan Rickman died. I cried tears of laughter in comedy shows I attended on pleasant winter evenings. I cried when a visit to a doctor changed how I would live for the rest of my life. I opened up to someone like I have never opened up before. Then I had to learn to live far away from them. There were a couple of days where I slept for 10 hours straight, but the stretches of all-nighters overshadow that by a mile. For the first time ever, someone threw me a surprise birthday party, inspired by every rom-com ever. For the first time ever, I experienced the pain and horror of watching my dog bleed all over my feet.
But this article is not about that. Why would you be interested in how my year went? You have your own set of problems and happy moments that you might have faced, and the last thing you need is to listen to someone else rant about problems that might be miniscule when compared to yours or a sappy piece about how amazing their 2016 was.
It’s just that, all I want you to know is, if you have had a bad year, it does not mean it will not change. I know you might not believe me now, or next week, or even scoff at this article if you come across it next year, but there will be a time, maybe not in 2017 or even 2020, when you will look back at this year as one that made you stronger, yet more sensitive. It made you more sorted, yet more vulnerable. It made you believe that even when you are down, you find something to hold onto, even if it is your own bravery and independence.
What I said above is rubbish. I don’t believe it.
If you are one of those who get to hear how you are not enough, like me, whether from your parents, friends, or even the own nagging voice in your head, you will not want to feel happy. It will feel like cheating. As for all the ships I sunk in the battleship of 2016, I felt like all of them were because of luck. A fluke. I deserved more misses. Many more. That is how it should be. That is how it always was. It’s scary. In battleship, when you get too many hits, you sink a ship and eventually win the game. I don’t have the energy. I cannot sink a ship. I am not nearly strong enough, neither physically nor mentally. This is the little voice in my head, screaming over the rational one. It seems more real. More convincing.
I don’t know what will happen in 2017. I might get more hits. I might even sink a ship or two. Till then, here’s to setting up my game, positioning my ships, and hoping to God that I muster the strength to accumulate enough hits in 2017 before it drowns me.