A selfie with 2017

The best part about December is our hardwiring to revise our past and reflect in hopes to reform our future. Much like filing taxes at the end of financial year—I dig into this year expecting returns and reasons.

Below are 5 personal reforms from 2017 in no particular order.

1. Off the training wheels!

Original writing is like throwing random logs of thought into the ocean. Hoping they will float. Editing is a conscious and laborious effort of carving these logs into a boat.

To make the process of editing easier I had to evolve production of logs. A simple mutation in the process of writing that assisted me was—turning off the live spell-check, auto-correct and word-prediction. It helped me to avoid distractions, carry a chain of thought, improve live editing and made me less likely to repeat mistakes. If you decide to do it, remember to do a proofread in the end.

2. Learning to say No!

I have turned down a few travel invites, dates, meet-ups and plans this year (sorry, if it happened to you too, it was hard to do so but I had to do it). I know the adage, opportunity doesn’t knock twice, but I also believe, absolute attention is like a prayer and I had to focus. No FOMO!

3. Becoming a supporting actor!

There is a beautiful word I came across a few years back—sonder. It is the realization that each passerby, everyone around us, has a life as complicated and vivid as our own. At the start of the year, I decided to take part in these stories, where I am not a protagonist but a supporting cast.

Actively doing so, exposed me to a lot of new roles this year. I didn’t have to control the outcome of a story when I can simply observe distantly, lend an ear, or be a wingman. I will start talking about these stories as I slowly warm up in future blogs.

4. Believe in something!

If you haven’t found it yet—keep looking.

5. Let there be confusions!

Confusions can be comical, tragic or frustrating. Believe it or not, it happens when we try to reason things that weren’t intentional but rather automatic.

Confusions showcase our quirks. It is fun to watch the bewilderment or joy our irrationality can spark in a fellow human (and vice-versa). It has been a guilty pleasure of mine to do it or let it happen intentionally, for science (and for literature), a few times this year.

Innovation is often a serendipitous collision of ideas; confusion is when other kinds collide.

Stay Amused!