Dear January

Dear January,

I hope you’re doing well. It’s December 31. Again. My 20th December 31.

Somehow, December is always a mess. I don’t know how. I fall out of place in December. Then I find new ways to fall back in again the following month, even though there is nothing special about you. Ever since I learned years, days, months are just artificial organisations of time, I stopped making resolutions. I stopped making resolutions, and I started hoping.

There is nothing inherently special about you my dear January – but that doesn’t mean you don’t bring excitement. Not the excitement of beginning, but of continuing, building and cleaning out old wounds.

Even though there is nothing special about you, I find the slightest bit of comfort in the idea of another year in my not-so-old body. I feel like instilling a sense of hope in it – not a promise or a resolution, but hope that when pain comes, I can learn more resilience and when joy comes, I learn how to savour it. I am learning, I have been learning – I have only spent the past year learning and thinking. Learning and thinking about how to navigate all these new intimacies, ways of holding hands, making friends, building castles, throwing yourself off the tracks, and buying yourself flowers.

December comes with a certain melancholy. Everyone seems to be reflecting on something or the other. I feel the need – no the desire, to reflect – and to let these reflections take over my body, bring tears to my eyes, shivers down my spine and numbness in my feet.

Every year seems to pass me by quicker – we get older, we have more things to do, more people to hurt, more feelings to feel, more friends to make, more films to watch. We got older, and the years seem to be getting bigger, and the pressures seem to be getting stronger. The greater the pressure gets, the more I begin to realise how it disrupts love and relationships. The pressure of the world stops us from giving love more chances. And when the months slow down, you begin to question all the “rational” approaches you took to love and begin to wonder whether all kinds of emotional bonds call for a certain degree of irrationality.

December seems to pause life. Next year will bring with it an old routine that bites me, spites me, and throws me off guard. Next year, it will be time to break life again before life breaks my spine, and to break my body before it breaks me again. And I will be here, waiting, waiting, and waiting.

This year my fatigued little body called for joy and received it gratefully. It’s strange. I feel like I woke up this year, and my bones felt a little different. Less tired, less angry, less fatigued. My memories began to haunt me just a little bit lesser. My body found new ways of being itself and my words picked up on new tenses, tones and colours. Hopefully, next year will bring more.

Dear January – there is nothing special about you, so I won’t make a list. I won’t expect. All I will do is accept. Hopefully, I won’t drag myself around next year. Hopefully, I will get to live another year upside down and the wrong way around. Hopefully, I will find newer ways of falling into place. Dear January, teach me more.

Ansuya Mansukhani is an undergraduate student of Liberal Arts in Pune. She expresses herself through writing and enjoys reading, cooking, photography and everything ordinary.

Featured image: Glen Carrie / Unsplash