Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Year end post

I don't really remember too much of 2013 as it whooshed past by. While 2012 was all about indulgence, 2013 was all about backbreaking work. I realized this as I was scrubbing out six months of cooking from my stovetop. The first five months were all about my letting the goblins in my head take over and crank up the crazy just a wee bit more to wreak havoc. But I have talked more than enough to anyone who would listen (or really, be in the same room as I am) about this, and so I am going to selectively remember the few good stuff. My official admit came on my 24th birthday. My shoes and coats came to Pittsburgh three days after my admit and then I managed to bring 4x23 KGs of luggage here. I am taking a moment to savor the shopping that happened between March and July. Really, that's all the good stuff in the first part of the year.

2013 was the year I realized how hard it is to fend for one self. I have never realized how terrible and how hard it is to keep up a house. All along, I have waltzed past the concept of living alone armed with maids at my beck and call, who cleaned my house, did my laundry, folded my clothes and took care of me for a paltry salary equal to ten days worth of coffee at Starbucks. I fondly remember the days I used to groan just at the thought of getting up from my bed and letting the maids in to my apartment. 

My background in housekeeping is almost non-existent. In twenty-four years, I have never once taken out the trash. It was something grown ups did and when I had to, it felt so repugnant. At the first attempt, I held on to one corner of the trash bag testily, squealed all the way to the trash room and back. This was just the tip of the household iceberg.

Dishes piled themselves in the sink. I painfully realized that things turn greener and gruesome after a few days of lingering around in moisture and goo. Then came the mystery of missing spoons. I had gotten about three dozen on my first gleeful trip to Walmart and somehow there was never one around when I most needed a spoon. I didn't know that spoons have the propensity to wiggle their way into the bottom of the sink, and create a pyramid of quivering dishes resting on a base made of spoons. Of course, I never make it to the bottom whenever I valiantly set out to do the dishes.  The worst moment of this year was the first time I did reach to the bottom of the pile and realized the ghastliness that my First In Last Out approach was. Decay, squalor and all things slimy and shady characterized my first attempt at truly living alone in 2013.

My peerless house keeping skills resulted in a neatly traced out path from the door to my bed. I have been called as a threat to myself as if it is news, after people almost broke their necks stumbling on innocuous heaps of clothes, which camouflaged deadly heels. I tell them that they just need practice. I bought a sofa as a treat for doing great in an exam. When I wanted to flaunt the wonder that my sofa is to a friend, he looked blankly at the general direction I was waving at. It took him a whole minute to comprehend the presence of a sofa from under the pile of clothes. Personalized robots that can fold clothes and organize boots cannot get here sooner. 

2013 was a year of feeling erudite befitting my latest stint in the academia. Sometimes, I step back from the whiteboards filled with squiggly integrals feeling quite proud of myself. I am exceeding my own expectations just by nudging myself out of my comfort zones. For once, R seems to be easier to handle than Excel, which indicates great personal improvement and less blaspheming (years may pass but spinning beach ball of death in Mac's Excel will never cease).

This year, I have learned the importance of being earnest and of sanity, a pat on the back, a kind word, a genuine grin, a good night's sleep and oh-so-lovely work. I don't think I get to complain about anything. After all, who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. If by mild yoke, a roof caving in, so be it. I shall take the hazing and the assorted cosmic character building endeavors like the manned up, Zen Guru that I am.

Last but not the least, this bit about "a little help from my friends". What would you do if I sing out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me? Apparently, yes.

Here is to 2014 and as Calvin says, the world owes me happiness, fulfillment and success. I am just here to cash in.

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