I’m participating in this blogathon challenge starting with this post and the prompt for today’s post is introspection 2013. And it works perfectly for me because my birthday is on Dec 30th and I have been meaning to write down a post analyzing the past year..
So as I sit down and reflect on the past year, my initial response is that it was a bad year. A lot of things happened that I didn’t like and some of them are ongoing and affecting me even now. But in an attempt to look at the positive side of things (living upto my new year resolutions yay!), I’d first like to remember and be thankful for the good things in 2013. So here’s a quick recap of 2013 with emphasis on all the good things! 🙂
In the beginning of the year, I traveled to India to renew my visa and planned it to coincide with my friends’ weddings. So while the visa renewal took a lot of time and was stressful, a big advantage was that I was able to attend weddings of 2 of my best friends! 🙂 (who also happen to be my only girl friends from college :P!) Apart from the fun I had, it meant a lot to to be able to attend my closest friends’ weddings. The cherry on the cake was that one of the weddings was outside Delhi and I had an awesome road trip with friends! Between the weddings and all the shopping, I had a lot of fun with friends and spent some quality time with my mum, sis 2 and BIL 2..
A few months after I came back, my parents and Sis 1 and BIL 1 visited me in April end for a week. It was fun showing them around Pittsburgh and the campus and we also went to Niagara Falls.. Once again, I was spell bound by the beauty and enormity of the falls and my parents absolutely loved it! Mum stayed with me for almost 2 and a half months in the summer and we had a good time.. It was quite an experience adjusting to living with her again and I also felt responsible for ensuring that she was comfortable and happy here. Though we seem to have a lot more conflicts now, it was nice to have her here and spend time with her and share several special moments..
During the summer, I also mentored an undergraduate student in the lab and it was a challenging yet fun experience. Sometimes, it was hard to manage my own work and pressure because of the upcoming committee meeting but I really enjoyed the mentoring experience. For me, the best part was explaining the scientific concepts behind the experiments and techniques we used in the lab. It reinforced my belief that I will enjoy teaching students at the undergraduate level!
I also started seeing a new therapist this summer and she has been practicing the emotional method of psychological counseling with me which has been a very different experience.. Though it’s been difficult to confront and accept deep emotions behind my thoughts and actions, I think this has been helping me understand and deal a lot better with life. I also started attending a support group for graduate students. Initially, I didn’t like the idea and felt uncomfortable in the group. But over time, the group has become a trustworthy sounding board for my thoughts and is helping me as I struggle with my PhD degree. Also, the group is also helping me speak up for things I feel strongly about and learn from other people’s experiences.
In September end, I met Sis 1 and BIL 1 in New York City! Though I’ve been there several times, this trip was a lot of fun because all three of us were together and I really enjoy their company and love spending time with them! Usually when I visit a new city, I’m very high on adrenaline and love to explore as much as I can.. But they wanted a more relaxing trip, and that’s what we did – so that was a new experience for me!
AB’s birthday was in October and since he is finally drinking now, we went to a couple of bars to celebrate! In an attempt to get him drunk, I drank a little too much and didn’t enjoy that part of the night! So I learnt how much I can handle and when to stop drinking!
I also went to this awesome painting class with a friend.. It was a casual drink and paint class where the artist taught us how to make a painting step by step and we could take our finished painting home! 🙂 I really liked the experience and the painting also turned out pretty decent! (take a peek below ;))
And then it was time for Diwali! 🙂 I and AB went to Edmonton to visit Sis1 and BIL1 in early November.. I did that last year for the first time and loved to be able to spend the festival with family.. So we dressed up, ate good food, drank quite a bit, and had lots of fun! 🙂
And November end took us to Miami, Florida for Thanksgiving.. And I have to say that I absolutely love beaches and water.. We went to a couple of beaches – Key Bisquene and Miami/South beach. They were were very different from each other and were awesome experiences. It was also a celebratory trip for my close friend M who just graduated (yay!)and we (AB, M, and I) visited a close friend S and her husband. I totally loved Miami and would love to live there or another similar warm beachy city!
To end the year, I decided to visit S1 and BIL1 at the last minute for my birthday and New Year’s! It was an uneventful and relaxing trip and I think I’ve come back recharged for the year ahead!
Having focused on all the good things, there were also a lot of things that were wrong with this year.. Research in lab was very frustrating in the first half of the year and I’m getting more and more disillusioned by research as a career. Mine and AB’s relationship has been complicated forever and we are nowhere close to figuring anything out.. My dad was forced into retirement and my parents haven’t been taking it well, leading to a lot of drama and emotional stress for the entire family.. Mine and mum’s relationship has been affected by all of this and I miss the bond we shared.. The stay at home in the beginning of the year was suffocating and restrictive and I’m not sure if I can deal with such a long one anymore.. The biggest change has been that I behave like some sort of a rebellious teenager – I just have so many disagreements with my family in India that I feel like I’m drifting away from them.. And I don’t really like that feeling.. And also, I’ve become very sad from inside.. I dread major celebrations or holidays like Christmas, my birthday, new year’s, etc.. I noticed that I was totally depressed and sad the moment the clock struck midnight and it was very hard to push myself out of that mood.. But I’d like to change that in 2014 and that is one of my new year resolutions.. I want to be a happier person in 2014!! 🙂
All in all, I believe that these experiences helped me become stronger this year. I think I’ve become more mature and I am able to better identify how and why I react to things the way I do.. I am more in touch with my emotions and feelings and also realize that I’d like to change certain things in my life.. I’m also willing to accept that I have/ do screw up certain things and I will need to work much harder to change it.. And I’m willing to work on these things! So here’s to a better me and a better 2014, cheers!! 🙂