Thursday, 11 January 2018

Best of 2017

I'm usually very cynical about new years and only see them as a number and not a supernatural occurrence that suddenly changes the course of my life. For the past couple of years, it seemed like I was stuck in a rut, and although I travelled quite a bit within India, I did see it taking over my life. I saw it as a vacation. It took 2017 to make me realise that my fate changes because of my decisions and in order to be happier, I need to constantly keep myself from getting into a rut.

So here it is. A post I never thought I'd do. Looking at the 10 best moments of 2017. Some I may have blogged about.

Turning 25 and not panicking

I think that's a win and I should elaborate. Growing up in India means that there are certain requirements for life associated with age. You are expected to have sorted your shit out by a particular age. And considering the fact that I just chose to go back to school, clearly I didn't have my shit sorted at 25. I still don't. But, I stayed calm. I was waiting to hear back from colleges. Which in itself is quite strange to me because it's become almost a birthday ritual for me to have a panic attack.

It was also the first year I willingly celebrated my birthday. We had lunch. At Smoke House Deli in Bangalore. Because I love their ambience and they had vegan food for DRD.

Moving to New York

I think my biggest achievement to date is uprooting my life and moving across the seven seas (and a couple of oceans.) It was daunting at first. I knew no one here or their way of life. Only what I saw in the movies and that doesn't tell you everything. But I did it and it's been great for me. Although, I didn't think much of it, I've been told that it was a pretty ballsy move. So I'm rolling with it. For the first time in my life I was ballsy and that's commendable as I'm never ballsy.

New York has changed me for the better. I am who I always wanted to be, living in the city that I'd always wanted to live in, doing what I'm good at, and I'm happy. It's a milestone.

Making Friends

In all the time that I've spent on this planet, I've never been good at making friends. I've always wanted a close group of friends but that was never me. I usually had one or two people in my circle and as comforting as that was, I always wanted more.

Moving to a different city meant that I had to start my life over which was a boon and a curse. Going back to school meant that I would be surrounded by like-minded people, giving me the opportunity to make friends. But as always, I made a few friends and kept them close. In my heart of hearts I know that acquaintances will slip away after graduation and I'll be left with the handful of friends that I have. I'm content, though, because I did step out of my comfort zone (quite a feat for an introvert) and make friends openly. It was harder than I can ever express in words.

Also, VINA helped. VINA is Tinder for friends and it can be handy in big cities with fleeting personalities.

A Tiny Bit of Travel

My year began in India with a trip to Belur, then Hampi, then Coorg, and then Chennai [read about it here], and then the big move to New York. I thought that would be a long vacation but it didn't end there. Thanks to my overpopulated family tree, I got to visit Boston and Cambridge and also, more recently, Chicago. This is where I sit writing this post - on a warm couch that also serves as my bed at night, in a beautiful apartment, in snow-covered Chicago on a sunny day.

Of all the things I do, travel gives me the greatest joy. I get to go places and try new things and photograph seemingly mundane landscapes from my perspective. I look forward to more of that in 2018!

The Camera - My Pride and Joy

Like most people on Earth, I am somewhat materialistic. Unlike most people, I'm not afraid to admit. I began my move to NYC without a camera in hand and that nearly killed me. I recently purchased one and it never leaves my side. The camera is one of my primary means of expression. I cannot do without it. And now that I have one with me, 2018 will be vibrant on and off the blog. Also, the blog will have more content. That's a plus!

I got the Canon Eos 70D bundle from Amazon which came with a whole bunch of accessories and a couple of lenses. As expected, I'm like a kid in a candy store.

What was the highlight of your 2017?

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