Is it just me, or was 1st of January 2018, like, just yesterday? Then, I went to back to sleep and when I woke up, BAM! It's suddenly 31st December 2018. 

And I'm just sitting here wondering where did all that time just disappear? 

 

I started out pretty optimistic. You see, I believe in the whole New Year, New You philosophy - to an extent. 

It's nice that the Universe resets every 365 days to give us yet another chance at living our best lives. 

And that's what I thought I was doing... Till I suddenly wasn't anymore. 

 

It all started with me making a mental checklist of all the goals I'd achieve this year - both, tangible and intangible. Career success, financial security, relationship stability and some sort of clarity about where the future is headed were just some of the things I aimed at accomplishing this year. That was January. 

We're in December, now. I have a great job going for me. Financially, I'm a lot more sorted today than I ever was in the past. For any 20-something, if that isn't a milestone, I don't know what is. 

But, just like most human beings, somewhere down the road, I forgot that life is more than just a successful career and great money. 

 

It's about finding love and happiness in the littlest moments. It's about feeling with all your heart and soul. 

And it's about expressing how you feel to the best of your capabilities. And when I look back, I missed out on that. I wasn't seizing the moments life had presented to me. I was slipping into a darkness I've known for far too long. Worse, I was isolating myself. 

Somewhere, between making a living and making a life, I lost track of time. 

 

From having too many friends to give any time to having maybe 1 person to call my own in my darkest hour; from having all the professional success I could hope for to having almost no one to share it with; and from having enough financial security to realising money really doesn't buy happiness... 

2018 truly has brought me full circle in a lot of ways. It brought me face to face with the greatest battle we ever face - the one that's within us. 

2018 has shown me that my demons are, more often than not, 'staring back at me in the mirror. And there's no worse demon than the one that comes from your own head and tells you you're not worth it. 

 

The scariest part? That it all happened so fast, I didn't get time to breathe.  

Don't get me wrong; 2018 has been one helluva long year. We had a World Cup this year, we had an entire #MeToo movement stem in India, we had so many natural disasters; not to forget our own personal battles. 

But, it just feels like, while I was too busy taking it one day at a time, 365 days just went by without me noticing it. I now have two grey hairs; more money, tons of work experience, a suggestion to see a therapist, a few offers to date, and absolutely no one to share any of this with at the end of every day. 

Did I picture it this way? Nope.  

 

What I did gain in hindsight was realisation that one doesn't need 10 different fair-weathered friends if one true friend will hold the mirror up to reality and stand by us. I realised that money doesn't always buy happiness but it could facilitate a means to help the less fortunate. 

I realised that everyone's timeline is different and that while marriage may not be a milestone; companionship in life should. That friendship is love. 

I also realised that mental health and happiness go hand-in-hand. That caring for others starts with caring for oneself. Because if I'm not okay, I can't help someone else be okay. 

 

But, the most important thing I learned is that life is what we make of the moments that are given to us in the now. 

And I feel like while I didn't entirely do nothing in 2018, I did waste 365 days wallowing in a lot of self-pity and hopelessness when I should have been more grateful for what I have rather than cry over what I don't. 

Yes, 2018 might have been the greatest scam artist I ever came across. But, it was also the eye-opener I needed to get my life together. 

It gave me the reality check I didn't think I needed.  

 

So, here I am going back to the drawing board and rearranging my priorities for 2019. 

Here's looking at you, 2018, the struggles you gave made me stronger than I thought I was. 

 

And 2019, I'm holding a light up to you as I choose love, friendship, family and life for the next 365 days. The rest will follow. 

What about you?