Today is the last day when I can proudly call myself a 22-year old. It feels oddly strange. I don’t remember loving any other number of my age ever so much, as I did 22. This year gave me a lot, as well as took a lot away. It has been a year of turnarounds, major decisions, growing up, looking out for oneself and much much more. And somehow, I have made peace with the fact that I’m growing up. I do not feel weird about adding +1 to the much coveted 22. Or, so I think. Also, being surrounded by a league of older (even if only slightly!) people has done me a whole deal of good. I don’t get scared of the fact that the years are catching up on me fast. Not anymore. And it is strangely liberating.

Anyway, before I digress any further, I must jot down all the things good and bad, that happened to me in the year that was.

  • Judgement fail. Only a few days into my 22nd, and life gave me a bog shock in the form of a broken friendship. A trusted bond of no less than two years was broken. Okay, that sounded melodramatic. But then, so it was. And I would be lying if I say it hurt me bad. For, it did not. I was happy to let go of the person, because I was friends with my perception of the person, rather than with the person himself. But yeah, I would have liked it to end on a sweeter note. It left a lingering aftertaste too bitter for my liking. Oh well, someday, I shall fix this too.
  • My first job. Yes. January brought with it a whole set of anxieties, for I was clueless about the surprise that the placement season had in store for me. Out of nowhere, the opportunity knocked, and a hurried phone call to dad was all that I needed to convince myself to take it up. Challenging, too real, and a store-house of learning opportunities – it promised to be all this and more, and I have to say this, it proved right to the T.
  • From a student to a working professional. The transition was a shock. And not a mild one. Real world, as they call it, is way too cruel. But finding your way around it can be fun. It’s a roller-coaster ride. And what’s the fun if life doesn’t give you some hard blows and challenges you to fight back? If at all I have a regret, it would be not learning to be diplomatic. Being brutally honest and blunt is a way of life, and I love it thoroughly, but just sometimes, they are moments when I feel it would be awesome to know when to shut up. And what not to say. And weigh my words. And to think twice before speaking. And other such clichés. Also, another interesting and hard-hitting reality struck me in my face. It wasn’t any two-month internship that I was undergoing. Life had been changed forever, and there’s no going back now. Work/job/career feature in my real life now, not just in those dreamy future plans.
  • Living on my own. This was the most courageous and life-altering decision ever taken by yours truly. The girl who had stepped out of the comforts of her home just to be cocooned by a protected microcosmic existence in a haven known as MICA, was suddenly looking at living all by herself as a lifestyle option now. The choice was tough. Yet, alluring. And the sense of adventure beckoned out too loudly to be ignored. The romance flew out of the window in the very first week. House-wifely tasks replaced books to read and movies to watch on my to-do lists. But what an experience it has been. To be the master of your own house. To clean up your own mess, without anyone telling you to do so. Experimental cooking. Being responsible. Being irresponsible and knowing it. Making wrong decisions. Learning from them. Learning to not regret the decisions. Paying the bills. Budgeting. Or, a lack of it. Making a mess of your finances. Checking them doors before sleeping. Grocery-shopping. And what not. My friends joke that in the home that I have built, all I need to bring is a husband, and it will be complete. Go figure.
  • Impulsive decisions, random getaways, and bold moves. I had freedom, and I learnt to took the reins of life in my own hands. Did not make the best or the most correct decisions, but hey, who’s complaining. I had fun. And that’s what matters, right?
  • Random realisations and reaffirmation in my belief-system. I learnt to respect myself all the more, for what I am and what I stand for. I learnt to love myself for the things I believe in. I learnt to be stubborn enough to not be let down by a random jerk. I learnt to accept the fact that believing in your beliefs takes courage. All the more so, when the other people around you do not subscribe to your point of view. But then, ‘to agree to disagree’ is your best friend.
  • Folks and family. Made peace with the fact that you cannot always please thy family. And it’s a wasted effort. No, I do not mean it in a selfish way. However much you try to be on the same plane with the folks, you just cannot. I learnt to accept the fact that some things will never change. And it is better to leave them as they are. As long as it is not a fatal move, it will not kill anyone, right? Communication carries within it a huge degree of mis-communication. So, you cannot trust that bit too. It’s only a matter of coming to terms with the fact that at the end of the day, YOU are an individual. And I have come to terms with it. At least for now.
  • Sorted my life out. In chunks. Majorly. Even if only in my head. Now I know what I want to do, how do I want to live, and what all I want to accomplish in this lifetime. How to go about it is also sorted to a very large extent. It’s doable, achievable and very realistic. No longer I’m afraid of the what ifs, buts, and if nots of life. I have a back-up plan ready. Yes, saying that out loud made me feel cool. There is no back-up plan. But I know how to deal with situations now. And I’m confident of my actions.

Yeah, I guess that’s all about it. Or, all that I remember. It’s been an utterly fulfilling year. And I’m a happy 22-year old today. Even if just for today.

Goodbye 22. Welcome 23.