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365 Days.

And just like that, there goes another 365 days around the sun. As per human nature, your inner self will be hell bent on looking back on this year as a terrible one, perhaps with good reason. You will be inclined to consider how many nights you stayed up with piles of problems that you knew you could not solve lingering on your mind, to consider how many tears you cried when it got hard. And the tears you cried when it got harder. And the ones you cried when it got even harder. Your inner self will seduce you into staring at the bruises on your skin, the invisible lacerations on your heart and have you count how many battles you fought and lost, how many times you felt as though good fortune had at long last shut her ears to all your cries. You will be tempted to consider all the unticked entries on your 2021 Goals list, all the things you tried and failed at. You will lured into numbering the prayers that went seemingly unanswered, how many times you felt as though Heaven had shut its doors from you. Your inner self, with a strong case, will entice you to call this past year a horrid year.

And while all that might be completely valid, I implore you to not forget that though they might have been few and far between, there were some good moments too; that there were times when the sun bashed against your skin and you felt alive, moments when the moon smiled at you and you felt at peace; there were moments you felt as though you had become Heaven's favourite child; there were moments so pure that made you smiled an ear-wide grin, moments so funny that they left you gasping for air, moments that made your heart so full; that while there were tanks of tears, there were also buckets of joy and laughter; there were moments in which you thought to yourself, “Man, I never want this feeling to fade.”; there were moments when you were simply happy.

Remember that you fought 365 different battles. On some days, perhaps on most days, this life beat you to a pulp. On some days, you lost. But there were some victories too, perhaps small and seemingly insignificant, but victories nevertheless; there were days when you felt a tingle of pride crawl through you because you knew you had gotten the better of life, days when you came out on top. Perhaps there are a thousand things you could not get done, a thousand things you could not become, a thousand things you could not change. But there are also 10s of things you did tick off your list. There were miniscule changes that you did make; there were the slightest hints of progress, of growth, of learning, of being better. All those matter too.

And so yes, this might have been a year mired in all the things that you wish you had not lived through. It might have been tainted by inexplicable hardships and pain and loss. But please do not forget that there was some good too, that there was, in the midst of it all, some moments of victory, of hope, of love, of pride, of joy, of fulfillment. Do not cut those out of your montage. Do not call it a bad year without acknowledging those as well, without being thankful for them.

And maybe that’s what living really is. Maybe we will never be without problems. Maybe the happiest people are not those without troubles, but those who count their 10 blessings in spite of their 100 problems, those who celebrate their 2 wins despite their 5 losses. Maybe to truly live is to learn to cling onto a tiny spark when encompassed by darkness, to rummage through the rubble of our broken hearts, our crushed dreams, our fallen worlds to find little pearls with which to create new hearts, dream new dreams and build new worlds. Maybe to truly live is to take the good and the bad as it comes, and make a conscious effort to focus more on the former while we simply acknowledging and learning from the latter.

Having said that, you are still here. You went through it all and you are still here. Nothing matters more. You get a fresh start, a clean slate. Go make the best out of it, champ.

Happy New Year.

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