Thursday, 29 December 2016

Your Year (2016)

In January, you were anxious. It was the official start of life ‘back in school’ and you were anxious to know what obstacles lay ahead. You were starting off on another course completely and your mind was ablaze with questions: Would it be easy? Would it be difficult? Would you get some sleep? You were anxious because of How to be A Person. You thought that you may be too busy to find time for those stories even though they meant so much to you.
In February, you were sleepless. You were not sleepless because you had important stuff to do through the night, you were sleepless because you could not sleep. It was the worst that it had ever been in your life. You got vertigo and the world was swirling around you. You also had a seminar to present and you were ready, but the vertigo made sure you could not move a muscle without falling to the ground, like you were perpetually drunk. The vertigo disappeared eventually, and you were back to normal. You made your seminar presentation and it was not the best presentation you had ever made in your life, however, you were content. It was not that bad.
In March, you were doubtful. You had exams coming up and you were doubtful. Had you prepared enough? Was it going to be tough? Was the vertigo going to come back? You thought a lot about How to be a Person, but it was quite difficult to write anything because you hardly even had time for yourself. School work was taking everything from you. You did not mind too much: you asked for it. Nobody put a gun to your head and said go and start an MPH.
In April, you were studious. Exams came and went and they weren’t so bad that you would not do well, you imagined. After, you had about a month of schoolessness and so you decided to continue working on How to be a Person. It felt like you had left the stories on their own for so long, they had also left you; and so you stared at your computer and your stories stared at you like they had never seen you before and they wanted to have nothing to do with you for the remainder of their lives. You did not know where to turn, what to write. You were stuck.
In May, you were playful. It was all about poetry, music and Google for you in May. You turned your back on your stories as they had decided to turn their backs on you. They lay fallow in their folder assured that you would never touch them again and you played away resignedly, assured that all those stories you love so much would be another victim of your recycle bin. It sucked but you drowned yourself in Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. You wanted to master all the stanzas and all one hundred and something lines, as if doing that will make it better to live with yourself.
In June, you were happy. It was your birthday month and it was a milestone age and so you felt happy and thankful that you were alive. Also, you were happy because you were getting back to the process of making progress with How to be a person. You began by editing some of the stories you had finished and from there you continued with some of those you stopped abruptly. On your birthday you went for a walk and then you went to the mall where you met someone who broke your breakup record. Life was bright and beautiful for the first time in 2016.
In July, you were broken. You stopped being friends with someone you did not think you knew how to not be friends with. You did that a lot this year, you lost more friends this year than you had your whole life, put together. It is important to say here: there is nothing more suffocating than holding on to a friendship that has let go of you. It was in July also that you finished The Harry Potter Series, it was one of your new year resolutions to start and finish all seven Harry Potter Books. They were phenomenal, those stories. You fell in love with J.K. Rowling.
In August, you were lazy. Exams were coming but you were lazy. You wanted to keep reading fiction and poetry as you had been doing for most of the year. You had Writer’s Block and everything irritated you.  You finished My Sister’s Keeper early in August and you were closest to shedding a tear as you had ever been after reading fiction. You decided that fiction is better than non-fiction. That fiction can teach you so much more than non-fiction. You thought about marriage, you saw the best quote on marriage you had ever seen and it went “The older couples, the ones sporting wedding bands that wink with their silverware, eat without the pepper of conversation. Is it because they are so comfortable, they already know what the other is thinking? Or is it because after a certain point, there is simply nothing left to say?” you decided that it was because of the later.
In September, you were scared. Your exams for your second semester came and went and they were okay in that average way that you had told yourself that you would not be associated with anymore. You were down a bit and so after the last exam you had to find silly excuses to disappear, you disappeared for a few minutes. For some reason, you felt that those minutes you disappeared for were very important, it was hard because you had developed the kind of company for which disappearing was difficult and for the first time in your whole life, you did not mind that much. You drowned yourself in reading. How to be a person was teaching you all over again that writing is hard. You wanted to write. You wanted to talk. But at the same time, you wanted to be alone and do nothing.
In October, you were thinking. You began a field posting that you thought you would find interesting but it ended up not being all that. Donald Trump was worrying you like a bad dream worries a child. His rhetoric was difficult to come to terms with.  It was hard to understand how such a sucio, an asshole would get so close to the most important office in the whole world and what was worse: he was being cheered on. You read books and you wrote stories. You read about Adolf Hitler’s rise in Nazi Germany in the 40s and the similarities were so striking with the rise of Trump. You began to pray that even if Trump became president of America, the world would not have any course to remember Adolf Hitler.
In November, you were astounded. Donald Trump became president elect of the United States of America and you were astounded. You sat in front of the television and repeatedly told yourself that you would wake up from this bad dream in thirty minutes and you would sigh and smile and say ‘Damn, I just had the worst nightmare.’ But it was not a dream. Donald Trump was to become president of America after the first Black president: somebody on CNN called it a ‘white-lash’ and you could not agree more. You were sad. You were also astounded because it seemed as though the whole world was going insane. We were rationalizing everything. There was a lynching in Nigeria and we were trying to rationalize it, the insurgency in the north east peaked and many people died and we were trying to rationalize it and we were saying ‘soft targets’, the worst was Aleppo- we were mute.
In December, you are hoping. You are hoping for a better 2017 because honestly 2016 has not been such a good year, especially compared to 2015. There is a lot you intend to achieve in the coming year and you are hoping. You are calm, too because that is about the best thing you can do. You can only be calm as you hope, you can’t be anything else.

*Thank you for reading my blog this year. May 2017 be better!

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