Happy 2017! The year is still in its infancy and even though I am a little late, I like to believe that all of January is open for wishing people (even though, and let me say it here: it doesn’t really matter!). I often believe that people who like to write love seeing patterns in the way life moves and shifts and folds. Of course, other kinds of people do too but let me stick to writing for my personal purposes.
And so, for me personally, 2016 was a big year. I traveled more than I have ever traveled before- I got to go to Morocco twice! I went deep into the rural heart of India and brushed against a very different way of life there. And I got to visit some new cities in the US. Traveling is an eye-opening experience and I learned a lot from the people I met and the places I visited. I also realized that traveling allows me to become someone I wouldn’t normally be. By displacing me from my comfort zone, it allows me to shed inhibitions and expectations that the structures of daily life impose upon us over time, and I can be a slightly different version of myself. And in the process of course, I do experience long-term change as well. But it isn’t all good- traveling was also harrowing for me. Adjusting and re-adjusting in different cultural environments confuses the brain and the heart and made me feel very vulnerable. I experienced both culture shock, and reverse culture shock. The latter was much stronger when I stepped on Indian soil after a year abroad.
2017 feels different. I feel more grown-up, although I’m still convinced I am faking it. There is more to do- I know more but as is always the case, that always opens my eyes to how little I actually know. I don’t want to take on resolutions but over the past year I have realized that it is possible to change old habits and attitudes- even ones that are ingrained into us, drilled into our very psyche. And so, in 2017 I plan to continue sharpening my critical thinking skills without turning bitter and lonely in this cold, dark world. I want to keep myself alive and open to constant learning and re-learning, even if it comes at the expense of having to shed notions and ideas that I might have grown really close to over the years, if it makes sense to shed them in the light of new information. I am aware that the nature of this goal involves hits and misses due to its vague shape and form, but if pursued long enough, perhaps I will get “better” at it.
If this weird diary-entry bored you, I apologize. I just thought it would be a good idea to spend a (really) short amount of time thinking back and thinking forward on this blog. I will be back again soon!