Just like that, we’ve completed another revolution around the sun.
At the beginning of 2018, instead of making a New Year resolution, I made myself a promise. To write. To stop self-censoring. To stop being afraid– of failure and of success. To selfishly embark on a mission to find myself, again.
And I did. I finally accept and own the identity– Writer.
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Most amazingly, this mission of selfishness led me to a community of sharing. A band of inspiring, dynamic women, in whose company, I feel understood. Safe. Uplifted. And crazily enough, I haven’t met most of them in person.
2018 for me can be summed up in one scene from Avengers: Infinity War. In this scene, The Scarlet Witch is cornered by Proxima Midnight, one of the Children of Thanos. “You’re going to die alone,” Proxima Midnight tells her. Only to find The Black Widow and Okoye ready to fight for The Scarlet Witch. Here is a link to the scene: https://youtu.be/oun-sgQbssQ.
“She’s not alone.” That line, uttered by The Black Widow, is the definition of 2018 for me.
Because this year, I saw women stand up for each other. Apart from the community of women– from my mother to my best friend, to my new virtual friends, who helped me be better in 2018, it was also a year in which I witnessed women in the public sphere stand up for each other too.
As the #MeToo movement finally picked up steam in India, in late 2018, I felt I was a part of history. It was tragic, and beautiful. Heartbreaking and empowering. Women walked through fire, hand in hand, and emerged stronger.
2018 for me is The Year of Sisterhood.
“Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.”
And all of this makes me look forward to 2019.
It works for me to not make resolutions, I think. That’s too much pressure. A promise to myself, to go in one chosen direction, on whatever path, works better.
I pondered what I should promise myself in 2019. What will help me be better? What will take me closer to larger goals? That’s when I came across Rajeev Masand’s, The Actresses Roundtable for 2018. The roundtable has made the news for Rani Mukherjee’s victim blaming stance with regards to #MeToo, but it was another moment that really got my attention.
It comes towards the end of the discussion, at around the 49:17 mark on the video, linked here: https://youtu.be/EKFLiAztJ5Y.
Alia Bhatt, responding to Masand’s question about the fear that follows success, talks about what her father calls the “once more disease,” wherein when one receives appreciation for something, one is tempted to keep repeating it, leading to one becoming a worse version of oneself. The solution according to Alia, is to simply forget what one has done in the past, and do something new.
This touched a chord with me, because I am living that fear. I have received a lot of appreciation for my writing this year. From general praise, to award nominations to people messaging me telling me that I have motivated or inspired them. And this terrifies me.
And so, I have decided to forget.What I have done in 2018, is irrelevant.
Doing something new. This is my direction for 2019.
2018, I let you go.
2019, what’s next?
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”