New year, Better me

I am one of those people who rarely go out to celebrate New Year’s eve. Most of my life, I’ve fallen asleep even before the clock struck midnight. But after entering the somewhat grown up phase of life, I began to see it is for what it is – a reason to celebrate the start of something new. It is also a great way to assess what you did last year, look for growth opportunities, let go of the bad habits or cutback on them and have a rough draft of how you want the upcoming year to look like. The beginning of a new year gives you an opportunity to have something to look forward to for the rest of the year. Well, I may be late to the party, but here I am!

Ditching the new year clich├ęs like ‘New year, new me’, I now look forward to ‘New year, better me’. This entails that with the start of a new year, I don’t need to change into a completely different version of myself. A lot of us don’t really want to turn into a whole different person. I would rather do things that would turn me into a better version of myself and even if you like where you are at right now, there’s always an opportunity to learn, to grow.

Previously, a new year meant creating multiple resolutions that I generally lost track of in the first two weeks itself. Most of the times, I didn’t even bother to get back to them fearing it was already too late to begin. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts, this blog itself had lost track because I had failed to follow-through on my yearly resolutions to write more. However, a few years later, I realized that all I needed was a start. Even if it wasn’t on the first day of the year, what mattered was to write, to finish an article and post it. Once I got into the rhythm of it, the next step was consistency.

Even today, procrastination gets the better of me on a lot of days. But let me tell you a secret, sometimes, all that matters is showing up. Build little by little. Because at the end of the day, even a small step means you’re improving, going ahead rather than being stagnant. I still dream of posting at least one blog every day. Even though I haven’t gotten there, I have also realized it’s okay to take small breaks or even long ones. What matters is, not letting go of the things that you really want in life. Which is why, here I am again, hoping to write more this year!

Here’s to looking forward to a healthier (COVID-free), happier (inside-out) and flourishing year ahead!

Life of a dreamer

A friend of mine sent me a slam book entry I had written in her book which read, “Life goal: To become a computer engineer”. I had written down this goal probably when I was in the 5th grade. Back then, computers were the new thing and I was fascinated by them. The only related job I knew back then was becoming a computer engineer. My friend also pointed out, how that dream of mine eventually did come true!

Pondering over it made me realize I did manage to achieve my dream without even acknowledging it. I have been a huge nerd my whole life. Though there was a moment in my life, where I stopped running behind grades (the nerd in me still exists!). Today, it reminds me about the amount of efforts I used to put in, the sleepless nights, the influx on information, the drive to study as much as I can to get my degree. I slogged really hard and seeing your hard work being reflected on report cards gave me a great feeling back then.

It also made me realize that with the same attitude, if I really put in all my honest work into achieving my other dreams, I can achieve them as well. Because I am that hard working kid. I had the headstrong determination and drive to become a computer engineer. Now, that same kid has different goals, but the sheer thrill of going after my goals still excites me. Life doesn’t need to be limited by a single dream. This was a beautiful reminder that when you start manifesting your dreams and do all the groundwork, even though it may take some time or even longer, but one day, you will get there. Keep going!

What would you settle for?

I was watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix and I came across this dialogue where the protagonist’s mother says to her daughter -“It takes a strong woman to stay by herself in a world where people will settle for anything, just to say they have something”. I feel it holds true for men and women both. We tend to settle not just in terms of people, but things, places, goals and dreams as well. In most cases, it happens so because you go for the easy choice or what society deems ideal for you. We are just so keen on having something to call ours that we forget to question ourselves – Do I even want it? Can I do better? Do I want to do better?

This also has a lot to do with circumstances that force us into settling. But it also takes a lot of courage to fight for what you want despite the circumstances. In the end, it’s really about choosing the battles you’re willing to fight for and dropping your weapons and armor to the ground for some. Don’t ever believe anyone who tells you that you don’t deserve something. No one. Not even yourself! Just because you’ve set your standards high doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a shot at what’s best for you.

To not settle for less also means being able to realize and recognize your own value. To not be afraid of your own shadow. In life, there won’t always be another person making you realize your worth. But it will be the person you see when you stand in front of the mirror everyday. You need to decide what is best for you. And you don’t have to lowball yourself just to be with someone or for the sense of some kind of accomplishment. Think about how many times before you choose other people are you willing to choose yourself. Remember, the pursuit of happiness always begins with you.