A Reflection on 2017

Frozen river in the middle of the city

The year 2017 has been extraordinarily different. It has been a year of a lot of things for me. As I write this, I’m sitting on a kitchen table while it’s sunny outside with temperature at -14 degrees Celsius. The snow has been piling up and it’s here to stay. More snow is predicted in the weather forecast. The freshly brewed Colombian coffee on on the table by the right smells great. The living room is still invigorated from the coffee aroma. It intoxicates me as I sit back and type away on my computer. This is not a typical new year eve from the cozy living room of my two-bedroom apartment in Thimphu like the many new year eves I’ve had in the past, bored to go outside in the dreary cold and instead snuggled in by the heater with a book. Sounds boring, right? Yeah it was. The year 2017 was a pretty shitty year!  Both psychologically and physically. It was a year of loss, disappointments, frustration, betrayals, rejection and wild decisions. A year which I’m glad that it’s over, FINALLY!

Actually, the year took off from a great start with lots of travel both abroad and inside Bhutan. I trekked to Phajoding with the sister and a friend and it was a memorable overnight trip. Then came the travel to my maternal grand parents’ place for a cousin’s wedding. It was a great family get-together and a perfect time to escape Thimphu’s cold. I was doing great with my fitness regime, eating healthy and was on track with my reading goals. Then came along the official trip to Philippines and the family vacation at Thailand. We met the brother after eighteen long months. Everything was going great.

Suddenly, the evil cast its shadows. I lost my younger cousin in an accident. He was too young, too good and super talented to have gone too soon. His absence left a huge gap in our life. Grief-stricken, we tried to seek support and comfort from each other in the family. What aches me most is to see his mother’s inability to accept the fact that her son is gone forever. That he won’t be standing at the front door next holiday season, smiling slyly, calling me to ask for pocket money. Even today, after seven months of his departure I feel the fresh pain as if it happened yesterday. My heart goes out to all the mothers who lost their child early in life. After his funeral, I immersed myself in my work like a mad woman and completed all his post-funeral paper works. I lost my interest in fitness and reading. I lost my appetite. Instead, copious amount of coffee was what I survived on and my poor eating habits got me to gastritis. I had no friends around to share my pain and sorrow. Everyone was busy with life. Losing a brother almost my age was hard for me. At times, it felt like giving everything up, run to the jungle and live in a cave because civilization was too torturous, psychologically. Two more deaths followed. I felt suffocated with life.

In July, my best friend returned home after completing her masters. It was a happy reunion. We went on a picnic, long drives, café hopping and lots of eating out happened. I regained my appetite. Gifts were exchanged and too many conversations on books and life happened over coffees and cocktail. Arundhati Roy’s book, The Ministry of utmost happiness was released after 20 long years. We compared her other book and applauded her bold and inspiring work. Life continued. More disappointments and betrayals followed. In the midst of all the heartache and tensions, I received a scholarship to pursue my Master’s degree in the United States. Oh God! My dream of traveling abroad for study was going to be fulfilled finally. In a month’s time, I packed up everything and came to Boston to pursue my study. Traveling across the continent alone, jet-lagged and excessive baggage on the heart wasn’t an easy thing. Soon after arriving here, getting back to school was another roller coaster ride. Trying to fit in, navigating a new continent and returning to the school mood became stressful. Disillusionment continued and the purpose of my life lost its luster. I got entangled in more issues which left me emotionally drained to the extent where counseling support was recommended. I denied it and the support from my bunch of kind and good friends pulled me back.  Just talking to my doctor made me teary eyed and breaking down was the easiest thing for me. I shed tears when someone became kind and said words of encouragement. I cried on sunday mornings listening to the word of God at the church. It pierced me. I cried when some random stranger said how brave I am and that I’ve come this far on my own in a new country. The pain and hurt was too much that crying became the most easiest thing for me.

Notwithstanding, I slugged to cope with my studies and struggled to get good grades. My academic sense rejuvenated and the feeling of slowing immersing back to the world of academic became enthralling.  I got back to reading and completed 5 books. Unfortunately, I couldn’t complete my reading challenge of 30 books, I lost by two. In between school, I explored the city and beyond. I survived the first semester!

There are still some loose strings that needs to be tied early in the year 2018 which will end my emotional rollercoaster ride. Everything will be dusted off. It still hurts to know that human beings are worse than monsters. How can people ever think of taking advantage of people at the cost of somebody’s innocence and privilege? It shudders me just to think of it. But I also know that karma is a BITCH and I don’t have to wait long to witness the consequences. Looking back, I’m super glad that this year is over, seriously! Thanks to my family and friends and my Almighty God, I was able to conquer it. Without you guys, I would have been lost. Without the strength of the Lord in my weakest time, I would have perished and wouldn’t have stood the test of time to write this post. It made me stronger and wiser. 2018, please be kind. Happy New Year to you for reading this. Wishing you a healthy, joyous and a prosperous new year!


2 thoughts on “A Reflection on 2017

  1. Beautifully written dear friend 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of such beautifully written piece of work…Keep up the good work!


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