If you’re reading this, you’ve survived another year, kudos to you. Welcome to my 2017 year-end recap. The one post I write every year because we all know my blog is just my public diary at this point.
2017 was possibly the most convoluted year of my life. I have never been more confused, more sure, sadder or happier in my life than in 2017. I look back and wonder how I survived this year, when I came close to giving up so, so many times.
I rang in the new year with my best friends at our annual sleepover that will take place over Skype this year, so we started out just fine. January was a pretty uneventful month except for the knowledge that I was entering my last few months at Xavier’s, without a clue of what I would be doing post May. I went to Khandala for a French presentation with two of my best friends, and that was a really nice way to begin this horrendous year.
I started watching my first k-drama in January, and looking back, Goblin was probably the thing that influenced me so much so that I obsessively got into k-pop & k-dramas later in the year.
I turned twenty in February, and began a month-long internship at a publishing company, which was my first experience in something I want to do as a career. I also made a film called Kairos, along with a couple friends but we haven’t posted it anywhere. We made it as part of our assessment for our final lit paper, on being flaneur. I also had my college farewell in the last week of Feb, and that really made it real. That I would be leaving this place I’d called home for five years, I’d be done with college. (What actually helped was the knowledge that I would never have to give any CIAs again, bless).
March marked the end of my college days, for real this time. Other than my end sems, there wasn’t much I did in March. I did meet Caspar Lee at the Youtube FanFest which was pretty darn amazing.
April was a particularly happy month for me. I went to Goa with my best friends, as a graduation trip and it was one of the best trips of my life. AmazingPhil thanked me for watching his live show on YouNow, I passed all my finals with flying colours (except French), went to The Li’l Flea with friends, had a wonderful Easter with my best friends and did well on my IELTS (oh, did I not mention, I had decided to apply for my Masters to the UK, to Exeter & Durham, sometime in March). But yeah, Goa was undoubtedly the highlight of the month.
May brought along applications and writing samples for grad school. I hadn’t written anything in two years so I had to try harder than usual to get the words out. It was a huge difference from last May, when I grappled with depression and couldn’t write anything because I mentally and emotionally couldn’t come to terms with failure.
In June, I got accepted into the University of Exeter for Masters in Creative Writing. It was is a huge gamble, choosing to spend so much money on a degree most of society would scoff at but I couldn’t bear the idea of doing more lit in such an intense way.
I officially graduated in June. It was also the last time I saw all of my friends in one place.
July was an uneventful month compared to the others. I mostly spent it filling out forms and paying fees. Xavier’s gave me a scholarship for highest score among catholic students for my course, which still has me bewildered.
Of course, July was the start of my descent into my bts (bangtan sonyeondan) and k-pop in general. I spent time trying to master the choreography for As If It’s Your Last by Blackpink and remember my dad laughing and telling me not to bust my knees.
I don’t really remember August to be honest, not past the first week. I lost my dad on 4th August, and buried him on 5th. The rest of month, I remember being awake, but not really. I know I did things, went out and actually breathed but I can’t remember most of it.
I wrote about losing my dad, because writing is one of the only ways I know how to express my feelings. If you’d like to read it – the final goodbye.
We moved in September. My mom and my brother relocated to Doha. My brother transferred schools and I left home, cold and unyielding ten days earlier than I wanted to. I met my friends for the last time as they saw me off.
I arrived in Exeter mid-September, this was my first foray into the West. It’s nice, it’s a small town and mercifully in the South, so I’m not totally freezing to death because of the cold. I’ve made some really lovely friends, people who are kind and cool and really welcoming.
I went out and socialized more in October than I have my entire life. So that was a fun aspect of October, other than writing more than I’m used to because of my course.
I went to visit a friend in Birmingham in November, it was the first trip I’d taken without family or best friends and just for the sake of travelling, really. I think I want to travel more in 2018, to just be in a place where no one knows me or anything about me.
And here we are, in December. I went back to Doha for a quiet Christmas. The first in twenty years without my dad, and the first one not in India. I’m back in Exeter now, and I will ring in the new year by either watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine or sleeping.
It’s been a fucked-up year, I’ll be honest. I have lost way too much and gained too little in comparison. Last year, I said my only goal was to be happy and I tried, I swear, but it didn’t work as well I wanted to. But I was happy enough, so that counts.
A special note, I would not have survived this year without my friends. I have never felt more loved and appreciated. I have taken for granted in the past just how unequivocally my friends have had my back. But I am so grateful, so very grateful.
For those who came to help in August, for those who just text me when I’m feeling low, for those who let me stay with them in a new city, for those who send me books they love, for those who I video call late at night, for those who write me postcards, for those who keep encouraging my writing, for those who discourse with me, for those who offer their friendship and their homes and their love, I am grateful.
Thank you for helping me survive 2017. I hope we all survive 2018 & maybe find small moments of happiness to keep going.
Until next time,