What is life if not an accumulation of experiences? And what are experiences if they don’t convert to lessons? Small or big, simple or complex, relatable or vague – here are 27 lessons I’ve learned in 27 years of existing.
At the start of last year, I wrote a blog post on how 2020 was going to be my year of gratitude. But not much longer after I published the above-mentioned article, life as we knew it, changed.
The pandemic hit. Casualties mounted, economies sunk, perceptions shifted and belief systems collapsed…as the very state of our existence dwindled.
For an external point of view – if you think about it – there could be no better year to test one’s endurance and commitment to gratitude than one like 2020, when the world experienced a catastrophe of such a magnitude.
2020 was a difficult year in many ways. But when I look back in retrospect, I see it as a year of learning.
It was the year I learnt I could live away from the city. It was the year I learnt to adapt. It was the year I learnt to let go. But most importantly, it was the year I learnt to incorporate positive changes into my life that led me to become a happier being.
I can’t specifically say what spurred these changes. Maybe because I was in isolation for so long that it gave me an un-interrupted introspective view of my own life. Or maybe because when so much bad happens in the world that it gives you perspective on the important things, that the unnecessary burdens just melt away. OR maybe I was just tired with the monotony of my own existence – that change was inevitable. I don’t know.
Many many years ago when I was much younger and much more trusting an old family friend gifted my parents a piece of art he called ‘a work of genius’. It was a 15” by 12” printed frame with the exact same pattern of coloured dots and petal shapes spread across its surface.
At first we assumed it was the detailing that was the genius part about it. But then, some weeks later that same friend called up to inquire about the artwork. When our answers – revolved around similar phrases of praise, he finally revealed to us that hidden within those dots and shapes was a figure of a dancing Krishna. And that the genius part was to spot that hidden figure within its incredible detailing.
At the end of 2017, I wrote an article about what that year taught me about life. A little over two years now – in the wake of a new decade – here I am, reminding myself of, and implementing those lessons, through a year of gratitude.
The beginning of 2019 was very different from the beginning of 2020; for one, back then, the new year’s messages poured in till almost the 10th. This year, its been barely few days in, and I can already see that the messages and merriment has phased out.
A small part of me believes it’s because people have matured and moved on from the hysteria of overplaying it. But a more dominant part of me believes, it’s because of a universal decline in enthusiasm. I can’t speak on the behalf of the entire world population – but as I see it, and as Joan Didion once said ‘the world as I had understood it, no longer existed.’