Life is unpredictable. Last Christmas I was deeply in love with someone who was not a part of my life when I celebrated the recent Christmas. A year is a long time, and a lot of things can change during this long period of time. I am taking some time out to recall and reflect on the happenings from the year 2023. Overall, the year has been a mix of all emotions for me so far. I experienced love, loss, pain, and joy. I achieved. I felt proud. I hoped. I learned and I changed. It was a wonderful journey which is about to end this week.

The year 2023 started with immense happiness as I took a leap of faith and did something which I probably would never do again. I travelled back and forth for almost 24 hours to meet and spend a few hours with someone I had never met before in person. It was quite awkward, but I am glad I invested that time which gave me an unforgettable memory for life. I was happy and full of love after the meetup took place. The happiness turned into sadness when I lost our little kitten “Tingu” over the night unexpectedly. He just disappeared into thin air making us shocked and sad. Life keeps going no matter what and we welcomed new kittens a month later. Thanks to our loving cat “Chhotu”. One of them died in the dogs attack and lefts us with other two. We named them Goku and Chingi.

The first half of the year was amazing. We purchased a new house in the same city which was a proud moment for all of us. The feeling of owning a house is very special and I am glad we took the move making purchase decision in quick time. During the same period, I got rid of a health issue I was facing for the last 2-3 years. I was taking homeopathy treatment for some food allergy which proven to be effective taking the issue away. I felt so happy and relaxed knowing that I won’t have to think twice before eating anything. Food restrictions is a curse that I wish no one should get in their entire lifetime. It becomes so painful to align your eating diet to your body’s requrements. So, be happy if you can eat anything. 😉

Sometime in the month of April I got promoted at work and became a team leader. It was truly an achievement for me as I had been waiting to get this role for so many years. My professional journey hasn’t been great, but such milestones do count. I have been preparing myself for this role for a long time and I began to transform myself at work to be able to perform well in this new role. I got to learn many new things being a leader. One of the important things I had to change was my thought process from “Me” to “We”. I attended a few courses which taught me the essentials of being a good leader. I am trying my best to be the best of myself in this role to transform work experience of my team.

While I was having a good time at work, it was quite a task to maintain the friendships and relationships in my personal life. I lost my years-long love interest as the months passed by. It was a long-distance friendship I was struggling with, and we ended up losing on conversations and ultimately the friendship. I gave up on a few more people this year as the only person who was putting efforts into friendships was me so when I stopped, the bond broke automatically. No more being a GIVER here onwards. I am all for equal efforts from both sides now and if someone doesn’t want to do that, they are free to leave. One sided friendships / relationships are a total waste of time and energy. I would ask all to look for red flags and stop if you see many in them. You can communicate with them if you are badly in love but if they act deaf, leave them as soon as possible.

While I was giving up on people there came a time, I had to make one harsh decision. I had to give up on “Linux” to save some space in my laptop. It was hard to uninstall the operating system that I love very much. But, let me be honest that I wasn’t getting enough time to spend on the OS and it had become tough to create a workflow and shuffle in between Linux and Windows. I had to choose one and Windows won. No bad feelings for Linux but I don’t need it right now.

One fine month I encountered love again. Though for a short period of time, I felt the magic of love. The girl showed me what it feels like to be in love and being loved back. We bonded very quickly and shared all kinds of conversations. We talked. We laughed. We loved. And we decided to stop as we both knew there was no future for us together. I don’t know why but it felt like the God-sent learning for me. I think the God wanted me to see how the love feels like when gets reciprocated and want me to choose people wisely to love in future. This phase of my life taught me to keep self-respect higher than anything else. Any relationship without respect for each other doesn’t last long. I am not forgetting this in my entire lifetime now.

In the later half of the year, I lost both “Chingi” and “Goku” due to the contagious decease spread in the rainy season. I watched our kitten dying and I can’t explain the pain that I felt that day. I was sad and helpless. I had tears in my eyes, and I literally cried over the loss. It was Chingi to leave us first followed by Goku, a couple of months later. The love and affection these furry animals bring to our life is so precious. I always feel so grateful for the unconditional love they gave me over the years. I have always tried my best to return the love back to them and would continue to do so till my time comes. The rainy season which brought sadness became the reason for smiles later when I took a small trip in nature along with my friends and strangers. Yes, we took the one-day trip with strangers to see the water falls at a nearby place. It was nice to see people in their sixties taking this trip solo on their own. I felt the much-needed calmness in the lap of nature and as the raindrop touched my body, all I experienced was peace. It was a wonderful experience overall. The gray clouds, little sunshine, cool breeze, the rain, and green trees, is all I need to be happy in this life.

In the month of September, I gave up on a career opportunity. It would have landed me in a good place financially but would have harmed my work-life balance equation. It was a tough decision to make but as I recall it now, I think it was a good leave. I am open to new and better opportunities now and confident that the next year will be the one for me. I celebrated my 35th birthday at the end of September and cherished the constants in my life. My family, a few close friends and some lovely well wishers make my life beautiful. Some people didn’t wish me this year on my birthday, and I was not surprised. I stuck to my learning and didn’t wish them on their birthdays. And guess what, the world didn’t fall apart.

There are some things that I have spent this year doing. One of them is watering my plants. I just water them and they produce these beautiful flowers. So colorful and magical they look in the morning! I have captured many pictures of flowers and each time I see and click them, I feel a new joy. The other thing I did this year was to relax and watch movies. Yes, watching movies is the best mood changer for me. I sit, relax, and watch movies at home. I enjoyed watching all types of movies this year including romance, Sci-Fi, adventure, and drama. The list is very long but I will share it at the end of this post later next week. And finally, the most important thing I did this year was eating. I ate yummy and delicious food throughout the year. The home cooked as well as hotel food, I didn’t bother to make my tummy feel overloaded. My food apps data would tell how much of a habit it has become for me to eat hotel cooked food. The new year resolutions are coming so I am thinking of dealing with this habit in there.

As the year comes to an end, I am happy to see my family and I are in a positive frame of mind, looking to start a new chapter of our lives at a new place soon. I am grateful to have a few close friends standing by my side and a kitten who pours love into my life without any condition. My search for romantic love is still on and I am glad I was able to keep my faith in the love alive despite the unexpected happenings in the year. My workplace is filled with full of drama, chaos, and personalities but I am glad to have some very nice people around who make the place better.

The year 2023 wasn’t easy but I managed to make the most of it. I learned a few lessons this year which I will share with you all in my next write-up. One of the sad things about 2023 was the lack of inspiration to write. Hopefully, I won’t lack it here onwards and continue to write.

Life wasn’t easy and never will be. There will be challenges, surprises and shocks waiting for you in the year 2024. So, spend these last few days of this year with a smile on your face and get ready for the brand new one. I wish you and your family a very happy new year. May 2024 bring good health, handsome money, and a lot of love in your life.

Pratik Akkawar

I am occasionally a poet, blogger and an amateur writer, trying to put my thoughts into words and sometimes words into poems.

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