Happy New Year! It’s 2019, and the next phase of my life begins here. My Gap year has come to a close and I stand on the horizon of a new beginning. Come tomorrow I’ll be standing in the different part of the world, doing something new, finishing what I started.
It’s an odd moment, my mind is blank and I am filled with a sense of pride over how far I’ve come. Nothing stops here and I hope everyone continues to be a part of this journey I am on. I thought I wouldn’t be able to sustain the blog, but I feel like this is now a big part of my life, just like everything else.
My bags are packed and it’s surreal, I have been here so many times. I’ve seen these bags and what’s in them, and it’s an old familiar space. I don’t know what awaits my bags and me. But I am confident I can handle anything. I am ready.
2019 came quickly and as I had predicted I slept through the New year countdown and was knocked out cold until seven a.m. on 1st Jan. New Year’s day went by in the haste of packing and prep. The last minute stuff is always a rush. By the evening my Mum and I were just happy that everything was finally done.
This is all very surreal. When we were young, 2019 seemed so far away, we never even considered it. 2019 was the futuristic world of flying cars and robots. But it’s pretty sane as of now. Inventions have improved but nothing too crazy you know? Nothing that we didn’t really expect. I always thought 2019 was something for books to discuss.
We never really take the ‘new’ in New Year seriously do we? I know I don’t. It’s just a turn of phase as far as I am concerned. Over the years the expectation for change has reduced and I think that’s because of the world’s remarkable ability to kill your anticipation and expectations, it delays gratification until it doesn’t excite you anymore.
We shut our hopes away the minute life ignores our ambitions, we give up on them. But every year we hope again, even if for a fraction of a second something in us occurs like an involuntary action. At that moment we can’t identify it but if we consciously think back we’ll find it there somewhere between before and after.
This new year has been busy, I don’t think there’s a better word for it. I was so wrapped up in my chores and to-do lists that I forgot that the world is celebrating something. On the morning of 1st Jan when I turned on my phone it shot a string of notifications at me like a magician’s handkerchief. All of them were wishes from friends and extended family wishing me luck, fulfillment and happiness in 2019.
My social media showed me countdowns, clips from new year parties, people displaying numerous throwbacks to 2018. Some hand-picked pictures from the previous year to post, over ten or twenty of them. I wonder how long it would have taken them. You must really be on holiday if you have gone that far back through your gallery to select photos that capture the year for you. I mean how do you shortlist them and how long does it take?
Purely out of curiosity, I tried to see how many photos I clicked in 2018 and I have clicked roughly over three hundred photos as per Google’s calculations. And most of them are of my face from multiple unflattering angles and weird photos of friends and inanimate objects interrupted by pictures of labels, book covers, bills, documents and signboards.
If you go by social media, 2019 will be the year of enormous happiness for everyone. The optimism is palpable and contagious. But somewhere halfway through the year just like in the past years, there’ll be hashtags of outrage, of intolerance, hate speech, violence filling up your feeds or walls.
During exam time, the teenagers and student community will take to social media to tell the world in less than 140 characters how done they are with 2019 through memes and abbreviations. It’s the millennial first world that leads this cycle of yearly public mood swings online.
I don’t know what 2019 will be like for me. I would also like to be optimistic about it. But I am trying this new thing to ease my anxiety, it’s called taking it one day at a time. I am happy I am feeling better about next year, I am feeling better about myself. This year will be mine I have decided, I will love myself this year and listen to what I have to say. This time I am living for me. I’ve decided success or failure I want to smile.
I’m not going to overcomplicate 2019 by assuming the worst. I am starting this book from the first page this time. As I take off, I’d like to ask you to stick around, sit back and enjoy this show that is my life to which you’ve got a VIP pass. Hope 2019 is as entertaining as last year for all of us. I’m leaving the end for the end and this feels like a beginning.
Stick around for part II of ‘The Untimely Gap Year’! 😉