This should have been written yesterday, an obligatory year end post, significant more so because 2013 has been, what I can only describe as a beautifully insane year. But people wish people wishes weeks after an event even, and I am yet not too late I hope to talk of the year gone by. With Abida Parveen's intoxicating voice in the background and bellies happy with food derived from a century old recipe, we rung in the new year last night. I took a second to reflect how mixed the old year was, though the good, the very good, far over weighed the stressful and the not so good parts. For many reasons, I knew 2013 would be a crucial year, and I was right.
It was the year many things happened. The dreaded month of March passed by safely, perhaps breaking the curse of it on my life permanently. I finally realized that there wasn't anything else I wanted to do in my life except write. And farm. It was a relief to be able to have that clarity, and I promptly resigned from my job, much to the horror of my family, yet again. You would think they'd be used to it by now. Many months later, I have much work to do, a column to myself, good stories and some repute in certain circles. I am happy. That's all I want to ever be. I became a workaholic again.
The months went by swiftly. I made some fantastic new friends, lost a few old ones, re-discovered beloved writers, took to cooking again. I trekked and found my now forever happy place, I won't tell you where. Realized how much I love growing some of my food. I took up Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial arts form from Kerala and continue to enjoy it tremendously, despite the swollen knee and aching bones I struggle to sit with at the moment. I also quietly changed the name of this blog and continue to promise myself that I'll get a new website as well. Soon.
I started learning Arabic. Discovered that having female friends is a basic necessity. Acquired antiques. Gave away half my things and lost the urge to possess things. Started on the path to living differently.
There were many evenings and late nights of precious conversations and music and poetry and priceless stimulation. There were some pre-dawn lemon tea runs. I also discovered in myself the ability to really, truly, fully love again, people, myself, things, life.
I turned 30. It wasn't as depressing as I thought it would be, neither did I wake up to new wisdom the next day. But with me was a bright smile on my face all year around, much laughter and three beautiful beloved people when I brought in a new age. They say the 30s is a fabulous decade for a woman. If the years ahead are anything like the people I spent 2013 with, I will have nothing to complain about. It was also a year of leaving behind the foolishness and mistakes and regrets of my 20s, to start afresh, to make newer mistakes. This was the year I felt like I truly grew up and discovered myself, a lot about who I was and what I wanted to be. I stopped pulling out the lone grey hair atop my head.
I discovered art and it changed my life; I will say so emphatically. I remain overwhelmed by this fantastic world and cannot wait to learn more and ever more. I have a list of personal favourites even! I started learning things again. I opened up. I began singing again while going about my days. I began to write again. I allowed myself to dream again. I smiled a lot. These were my 30th year presents to myself. In return, I was given a dream, a plan that is all I would ask for.
This year I travelled. A few short trips, one long journey. As with all travels, it allowed me insights into myself. And into people I went with. I wouldn't change a thing. This year I also spent feverishly thankful for people and some beginnings and some ends with them.
I realized I didn't want to share much of my life here anymore. It must be growing up. Or perhaps it must be that I am scared of invoking someone's evil eye. Call me superstitious, but after some tumultuous years past, I couldn't be too careful. I deleted my Facebook account and locked up all photos. Made more of my personal life off limits everywhere. And loved it. The reclusiveness of it. There might not be a similar post end of 2014. Or there might. The joy of creating is in not knowing anything for certain.
So, here I am on the first day of a new year wishing you, my dear readers, a great year ahead. Mine last year was laden with love, friendship, music, writing, books, poetry and travel. I hope yours was too and will continue to be so for you and me in 2014. Thank you for being on the other side of these words.