The end of a year is usually a time for introspection and rounding up. Given the fact that I introspect non-stop, round the year, and often without even realising I am doing it, in this respect at least, I am one step ahead of most resolution-makers.
2009 was a year that taught me to teach, live in unexpected places, fight, makeup, sulk, party, gain weight, lose my curls, read, drink, feel sad, feel grateful, feel humble, feel mutinous, feel anchored, feel confused, and finally, feel ready to make things change.
Teaching was definitely a lot of fun, and quite uncharacteristically, I say this - for everyone concerned. I have learnt to be stable and consistent, for a maverick teacher does not really inspire confidence. I have been known to be sarcastic, throw people out for misbehaviour, watch like a hawk at exam time, and whoop unprofessionally upon completing the syllabus. I also ensure I spend more energy getting the teacher-look right, which is ironical given how I looked when I was actually in an environment where people gave a damn.
I have lived this year, out of suitcases, boxes and cupboards, in rat infested Walthamstow and posh Harrow-on-the-Hill and two homes in good old Kolkata. I get by amidst all the confusion with the aid of a lot of lists, therapeutic shopping, last minute scrambling around, and Mom and S to hold the fort when I collapse. I have complained, but mostly, I have been happy with this makeshift arrangement. I know I shall miss this phase when I am settled in one place again.
A far cry from the normally quiet and reclusive me, but I have learnt to speak up and not turn myself into a pressure cooker. I think, the present company I keep had a huge role to play in that regard, but I am grateful for this. It was very long overdue.
A lot of partying has happened, and again, this has to do with the company I keep. I have approached partying methodically and competitively, like I do everything else. But this has not yielded the desired results. S has suggested dancing lessons, at home or even paid ones, but I am determined to master this obscure art of "letting my hair down" and "having a blast" in my own way. I suppose 25 years of sitting at home reading, and watching the telly on New Year's eve with Mom and Grandmom, would need some time to rework. But ultimately, I have no doubt in my mind, that I shall prevail.
This apart, I read some seriously good books and some not so laudable but very enjoyable ones. Reading remains my anchor, my source of solace and the only real cure to boredom. I remain moody, and prone to whining, but so far, my friends and loved ones have hung in there and I am not in danger of losing my social life - yet.
I still envy confident people who are comfortable in their own skin. I would like to think, the coming of age thing has not really happened for me yet. At close to completing three decades, this is sometimes a cause of distress and despair. But then, I have always been a late bloomer, so one has to learn to be more patient.
2009 has been tame. Consequently, I think I am now ready for a year of mayhem.