Between Calendar Changes

At the stroke of midnight, the year changes from 2021 to 2022. And most of us magically believe that now’s the time for us to reconstruct our lives into the best version ever.

Resolutions, plans, wild ideas & long to-do lists are the flavor of the season. For once, you might convince yourself that you’re going to ace this race.

And that’s exactly where the need for a break comes in…

The flawed idea of New Year New Me is berserk, simply because it’s overwhelming.

Change doesn’t happen overnight.

Routine formation, new ideas, better lifestyle, new habits and the ideal life take time, effort and discipline.

Sometimes life changes through the middle of nowhere, mine certainly did. And that’s the reason to start your year with patience.

Traditionally, there’s always a parting note for the year that has been. But I really cannot figure a word that best describes 2021.

Breakthrough? Transformation? Life changing?

Maybe a little bit of all and yet none of just one.

2021 left me feeling like a whole new and better version!

Here’s what changed in 2021-

Published my first e-book

As a writer who has typically struggled to discipline herself to write and more so procrastinated over the fantasy of writing a book someday, co-writing my first e-book was certainly a breakthrough. In March 2021, we published ‘Learnings from my Travels’ as an e-book with real stories of learning, exploring, love and more with stories by Parichay and me. It is no surprise that I managed to put these stories to words, given how close and personal each of them felt to me. Writing was like reliving and it was also a lot believing in the scheme of the larger things in life. While I am hoping to write more regularly and seriously this year, the first one is always a great reminder of the things that you’re capable of doing.

Started therapy

I’ve always wondered, how does one determine if they need to see a therapist? Mental health has always been a matter of taboo in our society, to the point where no one would really talk about the essentials of it. The last few years may have normalized mental health discussions to an extent. But there’s still uncertainty.

How do you separate sadness from depression? When do you figure it’s not momentary panic but your anxiety creating issues? How do you not gaslight yourself and yet not let elements of your past experiences negatively impact your present and future?

I knew I wanted to help to myself. And I knew I needed a professional to guide me with the process. Personally, it was the most uplifting experience and I intend to continue with it to help myself better.

Decided to get married

Parichay and I have known each other for almost a decade now and we’ve been together for 8 years of the day. We’ve been friends, travelled together, worked together and been through a lot of shit in life. We’ve been in love and we’ve been each other’s best cheerleaders. Getting married, wanting to spend our lives was only as natural as it gets. Obviously, marriages in Asia are not as simple as all the fancy wedding videos. Cultural cross-over wasn’t something that either of our families were against, but it’s the nuances that we all struggled with at some point. We learned that it takes time, communication, overlooking a whole lot of stuff and prioritizing your relationship to keep going. And now we can’t wait to be married (for once)!

Applied for a Master’s course

Amidst all the chaos, I received a very random advice to get myself a master’s degree for my future. As a studious kid, it’s something that I always dreamt of and for some reasons never managed to actually apply to a university for a course of my choice. Somehow, now, 7 years after completing my graduation in Mass Media with a major in Advertising, seemed like the right time to do it. And so I applied for an MSc program in Europe, in a field alien to me and yet promising bright prospects for my future.

Started my MSc studies

Little did I imagine while casually applying that I would be accepted into the program- MSc in Sustainable Development, Management & Policy at the Modul University in Vienna, Austria. There were so many reasons to rejoice-

  • I was fulfilling my dream of getting a Master’s degree from a university abroad
  • I am going to live in Europe at least for the next 3 years
  • I can fund my own education
  • I will be making a career switch, in a field that is so important now more than ever

To be honest, I was also equally petrified and anxious. I mean, I have worked as a film marketer and digital marketer for the last 7 years. I know that well and I can continue to make a living out of it. I am good at my job! So each part of this switch seemed so massive and gutsy in my head! I wasn’t sure I could pull it off.

But hear ye, I am almost past Semester I at this point and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. It’s a breakthrough in every sense!

Moving to Europe

A large part of all that is happening is due to Parichay and my plan to move to Europe. Something that we started working on right before the pandemic. While most of it is still in progress, I took this calculated step of choosing my path forward. While we wait on the paperwork through the crisis called Covid, 2022 will be just the year for us to live this reality!

Picked the learning lifestyle

Now that I look back, I believe I had limited my growth by ignoring the importance of lifelong learning. I picked on doing a lot of things purely based on my understanding of the basics. But 2020-21 have been all about doing the unthinkable. Suddenly, I was investing in stocks, waking up for morning classes, learning German, starting college, picking up newer learning based activities purely out of my current knowledge base. The learner’s mind opened up a world of opportunities. And for a person who loves her independence, this one makes for just the perfect lethal combo!

On to 2022…

Despite everything, these are only just the highlights. There’s so much about 2021 that still makes me miserable. Events, incidences, people that make sad, make me upset and make me remember the time I wanted this year to just disappear. I don’t think life has felt any weirder. But it feels good to look back in retrospect, to celebrate the little wins, to realise your strength, to overcome fear and to learn to put yourself first.

2021 has been a fine reminder of how much I still need to work on me. To be a better version of myself. To deal better with situations beyond my control. To believe more in me and to be more accepting of what’s fated to be my destiny.

2022 is going to be about prioritizing myself. About letting go celebration and pride in toxic routines (botched up sleep schedule, overworking, boundary issues) and most importantly about focusing on discipline. Above all, to finding consistency in all that I do.


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