Looking back and looking forward

Looking back - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

“Guten Rutsch”, a friend greeted me in German for New Year. When I asked what it meant, he said that literally it translates to “A good slide into the New Year” or more like a “Smooth start to the New Year”. A rather interesting way to greet isn’t it? It has been a few days into the new year. I know that perhaps the looking back at the year gone by should have already happened and the goals for this year already set. But of late, I’ve adapted a more relaxed way of approaching things and so here we are looking back at 2022 and looking forward to 2023.

I haven’t posted much here in 2022 and I’ve barely written anything last year. But 2022 has been a memorable one for me. January is usually my favourite month of the year with it offering a new start and also the fact that it is my birthday month. (Gifts are welcome 😛 ) But January of 2022 wasn’t such a great one. With a lot of uncertainty with travelling home because of COVID and then falling sick due to COVID, it wasn’t the kind of January that I could have hoped for. But I just hoped for things to get better.

With things opening up as the COVID situation began to improve, the next few months were spent well catching up with friends whom I hadn’t met in a while. It felt good to have reason to look forward to get out of the house and meet people after having mostly stayed at home for almost 2 years.

Looking back - A picture taken from an airplane of the ground

And then came the big move. With a lot of paperwork ongoing from the beginning of the year, I knew that I would soon be away from my loved ones. But it didn’t sink in until I got on that flight in July! It has been 6 months of staying alone and staying away from family and friends! Yes, it is difficult and it definitely has been an adventure.

I first left home at the age of 22 for work and that was a huge step for me. But then, I was surrounded by friends from college and people I knew from back home. Home was a bus ride away. This time it was a bigger challenge of moving to a different country. Though it was a country that I’d visited before.

In the last six months, I have learned a lot, travelled a lot, smiled a lot and also cried a lot!( Life isn’t all rosy as the ‘gram :D). It hasn’t been easy and I knew that it wouldn’t. Learning a new language, making new friends, learning a whole new way of dealing with things and learning to live on your own with no one to come back to and vent about your day isn’t easy. I wish I could make friends as easily as I could when I was a child but I somehow seem to have become more introverted, thinking too much and talking too little.

There were a lot of things that I wanted to do in 2022 that I didn’t do. I wanted to be more regular with my writing and do something with it. I wanted to be more regular with making videos and posting regularly on Youtube. I wanted to get better at playing the Ukulele. I wanted to write a set of poems inspired by my travel. But I barely did these things. And when I was going on about all the things that I didn’t do and that maybe I hadn’t done enough, a friend reminded me “You are a brave girl for what you’ve done” and I felt a little better and began to focus on things that I did do!

I have focussed more on my health and I can see the changes. I am learning a new language and I can now understand and can have basic conversations. It always makes me happy when I can make a conversation that is fruitful and not frustrating . And the thing that makes me happy the most is that I have been able to travel. I travelled to 6 countries apart from Germany in the last 6 months. And I also discovered a lot of places that bring me joy in the city where I live. I have also been able to reconnect with friends and also make some new friends. And yes, did I brag about how I have read 51 books this year? 😀

Looking forward

I am really grateful for all that 2022 has brought me. I’m grateful for the opportunities, the challenges and the strength to face it all. I don’t have very specific goals for 2023 or maybe I do, only when it comes to reading. In 2023, I would like to do more of what makes me happy and not worry too much about things not under my control. I would continue to focus on my health and maybe try to come out of my comfort zone a little.

I love my routines and they help in the otherwise chaotic existence I might have had balancing my many interests. But then maybe I’d also like to make some room for spontaneity. If I had to perhaps pick a word or rather a phrase to guide me in 2023, it would be “To go with the flow”. It is difficult for someone like me who likes things everything planned out to be spontaneous. But the few times that I have been spontaneous, it has been good for me.

How was 2022 for you? And what are you looking forward to the most in 2023?

7 responses to “Looking back and looking forward”

  1. It was nice reading you after long, Reema. Yes, life away from family can be very lonely and stressful. My older son is is away studying and he finds it very hard in a foreign country. I do see why you feel that sometimes being spontaneous is more rewarding. I do hope that you are able to do the same this year, and do keep taking care of your health. Have a happy 2023!

  2. Nibha says:

    That sounds like a great year you had with some life-changing events. Do share more about living abroad, would really love to read your experiences.
    And 51 books in a year! How to do that? Some tips are surely welcome! 🙂
    Wishing you a great 2023!

  3. Soumya says:

    Hat’s off to you for staying away from your partner and dogs! I would not be able to do that for all the money in the world.

    Happy to see that you have found comfort in your routine there. That is important.

    I hope you get to read and travel more this year!

    Much love!

  4. shalini says:

    It is tough staying away from loved ones and can be very hard not to have someone waiting at home for you. But it also affords you the independence of doing things for yourself and which ones you wish to do. I also had moved away at 22 for work and then at age 27 found a pad for myself and never looked back. I recently moved back home but am living on my own near my parent’s place as I just cant stay with peeps anymore. I really need space and a whole tonne of it 😉

    Hope to see more of you on the blog Reema and wish 2023 brings you loads of happiness and contentment. And yes a very happy belated bday!!

  5. Shilpa Gupte says:

    It must be tough living so far away from your partner, but it’s going to be a life-changing experience for you, Reema. I hope and pray this change brings you peace and joy and fulfilment. Kudos for reading 51 books! Wish you a happy, healthy, and adventurous year ahead!

  6. Vinitha says:

    Living away from loved ones is of course, a difficult change. But it also helps you grow as an individual. Getting to travel 6 countries in 6 months is awesome. Enjoy your life, Reema. Wish you a beautiful 2023 with lots of writing, reading, travelling, youtubing, ukulele-ing, and everything else you wish for. 🙂

  7. Esha says:

    I know how tough it is for you, living so far away from home and family, but you have been a brave girl and I love how you’re making the best out of your stay abroad. Travelling to 6 countries sounds so lovely. I’ve not left home in 3.5 yrs, imagine! I’m sure when you are going to look back on this phase of your life, you’ll feel super proud of yourself and how far you’ve come along on this journey to growing as an individual.
    Keep reading, singing, travelling and sharing your youtube videos, Reema. Wishing you more of everything you wish for in 2023!!

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