Now that the first day of 2012 is past us (to me, the second day has also ended), let’s sit down by the fire and enjoy some quiet moments of contemplation. And I have just realized that my resolutions are already different things and not just the ones I shared in my previous post and it’s only the second day of the new year. And better yet, I’m not going to announce those resolutions here (or say, plans – plan is a safer word because we don’t have to keep plans, we only have to make plans and let them go wrong.)
I have decided to go back to childhood days and what new year was at that time. Things have changed a lot since. And now, January is just the next month after December and it happens to have a new registration number, is all. And since there isn’t an April-May summer vacation to look forward to here in the medical college, unlike school days, life is a synonym for ‘monotonous’ and the early part of the year is insignificant. But when I was a kid, there were many things that mattered when New Year was coming. Like exchange of gifts and new year cards.
My dad has been jobless for as long as I can remember. And our huge house was sold when I was twelve. After a series of rental houses during the next three years, we at last settled in a house where we lived for the next five years. Of course, I got the best schooling, good food and nice clothes and I grew up seeing my mother grow more tired everyday. She was a teacher in a lower primary school. And she ran the family with her earnings and gave us all that she could. The things we missed out on went unacknowledged. Like family hours, talking and daily school updates and sharing of things that mattered. And I constantly fell in love (wasn’t love, I now realize), broke my heart four times in a row, since I was fifteen upto twenty. True, financial crisis can ruin a family, take the fun out of it. But not necessarily. It’s just as easy to avoid. And give your kids what they want, besides what they need. Like time, you know.
I remember how I felt when many of my friends sent me New Year greeting cards and I couldn’t send them any in return. Sometimes, dad bought us cards but it could end up in a fight if the number was odd since I have younger siblings. And I remember how my dad brought a huge card for one Eid and said to my angry little sis that it was for his friend and later gave it to me when she was asleep.
‘It’s for your best friend,’ he said. My then-best friend had sent me a beautiful card that week and I wanted to send back something equally good. That was when I was nine.
A few years from then on, things were real difficult for a girl who was in the stage of making more friends and being social and all that. And there were no more cards. And the compulsory new year gift exchange to a friend chosen by lucky-lots were mostly pens or small diaries. I felt the diary or pen that I was to gift was lame when my friends bought flower vases and timepieces and artificial flowers and showcase items like crystal stuff. But I pretended it was something different, rather than poor. Then I began finding that it was actually brilliant. There wasn’t a better gift than a new diary on New Year, I began believing, because that’s what I would have liked as the writer in me grew, but what I never got from others. (But since it’s so common that other people get the gifts we wish we got, I think it was okay, since they were probably thinking the flower vase I got was a good idea, when I thought how stupid it was, especially since we didn’t have a showcase really [that was uncool] and since it would have to be packed and unpacked as we kept moving from house to house, year after year.)
Soon, I had become more grown up and learnt how to keep my wishes low and demand nothing. And cards were one of those things. Other things included their time and listening. I stopped asking for cards. Instead, I began making cards on my own with papers from my art book and my colour pens and pencils. And somewhere I read that hand-made cards were more connected to feelings than bought ones. And it just made me happier to send self-made cards to friends. And since they thought my drawing was awesome, I repeated it every year until I finished school! (And since it isn’t as awesome as my writing now, I simply stopped it.)
And I was wondering, how the cards came lesser and some other things became more important. I am a rather quiet person in person. Not in writing. But you would probably be really disappointed if we met face to face. I just wouldn’t know what to say, no matter how close we are. And my social circle grew smaller. Just two or three close friends and strictly no boys because I was self conscious and nervous if any boy talked to me (I don’t know why I was like that, but I was like that). I spent more time with books and I had already begun writing and no more copied words from old greeting cards.
That’s when dreams began to change and thoughts began to reform. Cards were no more in fashion. I stopped it long before others did. 😀 (It was easier of course, no kidding!)
And instead of thinking of wishing everybody a great year ahead, I began looking back. Natural, since I had started writing poetry and seriously started taking it seriously.
Ever since, my view has been:
“Last year, Last day, is all but another fallen leaf…
To some it’s a sad goodbye, to some a relief…
To me, it’s another step closer to death….
Another breath closer to my last breath…”
That’s the truth of it. That’s the truth that’s made inconspicuous by drinks, noise and crackers on New Year’s Eve. That’s the truth people consider as rude and pessimistic if expressed. But the fact remains that that’s the truth. And I really believe it. Trust me, you don’t want me to shower flowery words of positivity all over and around you when New Year is such a sad affair. 😀
I would rather give you positive thoughts that deal with some other aspects of life. Like accepting the Truth and being open to more.
By the way, has anyone had trouble making a resolution 2012-just-for-the-heck-of-it yet? If yes, here’s a tip.
*Try to remember what your last year’s resolution was.
* If you still remember it, you are as good as you can be. So skip this year.
* If you didn’t make one last year, decide to make none ever. It doesn’t work anyway. Try dreaming instead.
* If you can’t remember what you had made last year, make it a point to write down this year’s so that you can have a resolution in 2013. (Now that’s what you call ‘a plan’.)
So, have a great day or night or whatever. I know I am going to fold up this box and wash up, pray and go to bed. And I am not too happy, or too sad. Just okay. Today was an okay day as far as the second day of a new year can be.
I am back to writing my novel after it took its Christmas vacation. I have missed you, dear Project! 😦 Anyway, I’m Amidst Sandcastles again… 🙂 So goodnight moonlight. I guess I should’ve gone early to bed. Have been seeing the moon since a bit before 5 PM this evening.
But being me has its disadvantages… 😉