Monday, December 27, 2021

The Year that was 2021

I still cannot wrap it around my head, that 2021 is coming to an end. Throughout the year, I have been writing and typing 2020 in most of my letters, and I still feel that the past year was 2019 and not 2020. But time surely flies fast.

I have been writing my years' reviews for a while and it is at this time of year, I usually take a moment to pause, reflect what happened and review over where I am headed to.

2021 started with me owning a cat, and like everybody, we started the year 2021 with lockdown and prickling noses for COVID tests. We celebrated New Year’s Eve with families, what most would state, but I was playing with my cat whom I named Penny – yes, after The Big Bang Theory penny. Penny was few months old back then and she was barely three months old when we adopted her.

I saw a change in myself, because never had I owned a pet and never did I have passion to raise one. But Penny and I were stuck together in lockdown, and like they say : You own a dog, you serve a cat. And serve you will, because cats are way too cute not to serve. Cats are also independent animals so, not much work there.

I would keep Penny on my lap and play with her, letting her bite my forefinger. As she grew, it has now become her habit to bite, and she bites everybody that visits us - that's her way of playing. In a way, I am proud. I am proud that she learned something I taught, but I am not so proud of what I taught her. But she’s cute and everything is forgiven, from my side. I just have to apologize to my guests, and apologies are just mere words.

But during my long hours of work, Penny too always stays up and plays around. She kills insects during the summer days and sleeps around heaters during the winter. I nearly cried once, when I first lost her, right after lockdown. Now, I understand the emotions of all those pet owners, who post their pets’ pictures on social media, once they lose their pets. I know, it is a devastating emotion. But raising a pet and befriending one is better, some say loyalty, but I think their companionship is not a profitable one – unlike many people that you know. Your cat will never go around talking shit behind your back, nor will she judge you or connive against you or plot against your doom of career.

So yeah, 2021 was pretty much about raising a cat and playing around her.

On work fronts, it was a rollercoaster. Because, on one end, we were appreciated and on the other, we were demonized. But, maybe folks should understand that projects should be focused more and not characters to be assassinated. Lockdown was interesting, because I was reading a lot of books on Contract Management and it was a journey on its own.

We were awarded a work in one of the remotest places of Bhutan, and it was very interesting to visit. You can build a road with diesel and solar batteries, and never brag about it. It was like a getaway for me, and I loved the place way too much. It brought childhood memories back, when I visited my village each year. Time is different for different places, in villages, it is way too slower and they don’t charge for a cup of tea or for maize – be it roasted or raw. A culture that we easily lose in town.

I also realized that people love free passes and when you are out there doing good for no returns, you are taken for granted. I knew this from young age, but I had never set boundaries, and from hereon I intend to maintain some boundaries. It was an epiphany. We completed two projects and we got some three works, and in professional field, I am content.

The year was good and I hope it will be better in coming days, because I am ready to welcome it with open arms, giving my 100 percent. At times, it is not the appreciation that you dear for, it is just acknowledgement and it takes time to be acknowledged.

I also won a second prize in National Competition for Contemporary Art, paving a way for myself as an artist. And I still don’t do commissioning works, because I don’t want to make art as my profession. It has always been a hobby like writing and the day I make it commercial, I feel that I will lose my zeal to pursue my hobbies. My little brother, whom I miss every day, is growing up. I hope he grows up to be a wise man, and in coming years, I intend to go visit my village.

COVID was curse and blessing, because it taught each one of us, what our priorities should be – like savings, helping one another and taking risks.

I also helped few people and my friends secure works and these, I did without any intention for my personal benefits. It is good to help others, because when it impacts their lives, it also impacts yours – we are all alive to make better changes. I was offered compensation, but that wasn’t something I was ready to receive. I feel that what I earn is sufficient for myself and I intend to help more.

A decade ago, I would write many things about heading towards our difficult days, and as we are here, I would like to write more on fixing these. I know, I am not in a post to address these issues, but I also feel that those who care, can only write. Rest of us, we only think for a day’s meal and that’s very short sighted.

I wish to pursue to make master pieces and it will take time. And thanks to an artist turned shopkeeper, who advised me to not complete art works within a day. I hope in coming years, I fulfill my dreams of writing books. This year, I did three standup comedy shows. I enjoyed few and I regretted some.

All in all, the year didn’t go as we thought it would, but that’s what humans are – to move forward in adversaries.  

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