9 minute read

Tonights marks the 5th of February of a Brand New Year – 2023.

The year that took the world by incipient storm. A year that no one asked for, but the one that gradually and unanimously showed up at our doorsteps, uninvited in the deep dark but cloaked in the shadows of greatness, with the carrying aura and grace that reminds one of a traveling salesman and a 19th century Gothic poet all neatly rolled into one: promising everything, possessing near to nothing – not a single whit to its name; it would have been almost comical, had there not been a pending foreclosure riding on its coattails, like a shadow looming overhead, threatening to swallow us whole and blot out the ever-darkening clouds for good measure.

With its sheer force of commandeering presence vested by its ignoble seat and tenuous perch from within the deep of eventide and waxing dark, 2023 demanded the status of an honored guest, ousting an already-aging and crippled soldier and a seasoned veteran – 2022 – from within the safety and confines of the four walls of home. And who were we, but the gracious hosts, voluntold by a shadowed and umbrella force unbeknownst to all involved, into bending over backwards in a servile manner and made to attend to its every whim. Exactly as shadow puppets dancing around on a string, 2023 played us like a prodigious puppet-master still growing into its role, into the incumbent seat of power.

Add to that boiling cauldron of a certifiable “hot mess”, now comes a budding yet firmly persistent realization that Valentine’s Day is – quite literally – right around the corner. If one listens attentively enough, it can be heard knocking ever so faintly on the door. Tip tap. Tip tap. Won’t anyone answer the door, at the very least? Put your eye to the keyhole, and the unspoken question lingering on your lips will be answered before the need to give it voice ever arises.

Valentine’s Day is certainly – an interesting holiday and a meaningful occasion for lovers of all kinds, regardless of age and other determining factors.

Hearts and kisses abounding, and hugs and gift-wrapped chocolates, and the vestiges of everything good and generous remaining in this tortuous world. An embracing warmth, like layering oneself in a heated blanket next to an electric fireplace while a snowstorm is in full swing outdoors; or the most-welcome heat of someone hugging you in the heart of a February winter, in the midst of a biting and relentless cold; or an incredible warmth that comes over all at once, like the raging heat of a burning furnace pouring over the bitter, resolute ice-cold steel of a man’s heart – consuming it but not seeking to destroy it, instead boldening and tempering it, driving it to new heights and reinforcing its form.

To sum up, Valentine’s Day was historically meant to be a day of silent and informal celebration, of spending time with one’s lover or loved ones close by and within arm’s reach. It’s meant to be a time of joy and spreading love – be it intimate, brotherly, or familial, and so on. And hey, whatever happened to the hungering quest for world peace? Love makes the world go around and breathes new meaning to youth and life, after all – or purportedly so, at any rate.

And yet, it’s never been a holiday that I’ve ever been partial to, or ever celebrated in any deeply-meaningful or satisfactory manner. And now, at my age with my teenage years far behind me in the rear-view mirror and with the prime of my youth winding down and marching interminably on to its sunset era, Valentine’s Day serves only to make my heart grow fainter and my spirit unbelievably sadder with the thought pressed firmly and entrenched in my mind. Each day that passes by and contributes to the countdown in my mind, is a further nail driven deep into the coffers of my psyche. The worst part of it, I know exactly why – down to the exact T, in fact.

To sum up, Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers to spend time together. And me saying that, makes me realize that it’s actually the entire point and topic of me taking the time and precious effort into writing and chronicling my thoughts down here. It actually cements and validates the purpose of me pouring heart and soul into this blog article – focuses my desire and intent and hones it into a fine-edged sword if you will, razor-sharp and battle-ready.

Let it be clear: my desire and intent is both singular by nature. By that extension, I only have a singular goal and resolution for the New Year – 2023. It’s no secret, and it’s nothing novel in any manner. It actually can be likened to the oldest trick in the book; the simple card trick that skirts the edge between deceit and honest talent.

I only have *one* singular goal this year, in 2023: and that is to find my one true lover, wherever she (or he?) exists in this ever-dreary realm and wide-sweeping plane of existence.

Speaking in a plain and candid manner, I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I never have, at least no to the extent that others seem to adhere to it, or appear to resolve it in their minds to follow through on a set, hard and fast goal.

I still have some Resolutions for this Year. Ho-hum. Just the stock ones really, plus some ones of the personal achievement front thrown into the mix, chiefly to keep things interesting and rolling along in a timely manner, that doesn’t leave anyone scratching their heads and wondering if someone fell asleep at the ol’ factory production line. I do most certainly have to deliver and live life to the fullest extent possible while I am still granted possession of the reins of my youth, and a strong, eager mind to go hand-in-hand with it. It’s like riding and taming a wild horse that threatens to buck you off at an instant’s notice – I for one intend to hold on for dear life, for as long as humanly possible, and then some.

Anyways, here are my Resolutions or Goals looking ahead to the full launch of the New Year – 2023 – in order of priority or personally dictated, drop-of-the-hat whim, the choice is yours:

  • Go out into the reluctant embrace of the wide and treacherous world, in a heartfelt effort to find and secure a lover, which is just a fancy and modern way of saying a friend with extra benefits.
  • Make a dive (or splash?) into the wide world of cooking, and learn to make a relatively simple dish in a proficient and repeatable manner. For example, Lemon Rice is a traditional Indian dish – relevant to my culture – which it perchance might be worth it for me to look into attempting, and then later perfecting it.
  • Pursue – in earnest – a Master’s in Computer Science at George Mason. This leads directly off my recent admission to the university’s graduate program for this Spring semester – yay!
  • Continue moving the needle on the personal improvement front, and attend any social and worthwhile events on Meetup, as and when time allows. Also, go into this with absolutely zero expectations; I’ve found that the best overall approach is to keep an open mind and heart, free from judgements and pre-conceptions – even though that’s most assuredly easier said than done!

Well, that’s mostly all the Resolutions I have for this Year. I would’ve kept the list shorter, and honestly my primary focus and drive will be on the first point above. If being perfectly candid, I don’t care overmuch if the other avenues don’t pan out or work for me in the end – it will be a great loss, but not a monumental one by any means. However, I still feel it’s good to have a rounded out list of Goals and Resolutions, at least once the New Year comes into full-swing as it has now in February.

I still perceive (the month of) January as a “soft launch” for the Year 2023 – a time when it was still growing into its shoes. It was still running around the block on its training wheels. Most of us didn’t know what to make of 2023. It was like the new kid in the neighborhood, who had its own peculiar tendencies.

To tell the truth, I really don’t know what to make of 2023 myself. I mean, it’s the uncertainty of what the year will bring that scares me. I can put my foot down and say, I liked 2022. It was a solid year, and a surefire number. When things were in full swing and in the prime of ‘22, I was happy. I was content. But I was also, like others, consumed by a sea of loneliness, manufactured not entirely of my own will.

It is ever so strange. I consider it a fascinating case study that in the youth of last year, 2022, one could live in relative ignorance and with the pain of ephemeral rats and other vermin gnawing away at their earlobes, and still exist in a strange sort of wandering, hazy bliss. As if there were not a single shred of doubt it were an utterly normal occurrence. It’s like a existing within the sordid confines of a literal house of cards, sitting quiet as a tree stump at a dining table with the plates set, while the paper walls smolder and catch fire in short order all around you, burning faster than a forest fire could ever dream of and hope to aspire to.

I consider this case study as proof therein, that the human mind is capable of withstanding truly incredulous amounts of slow torture and anguish, be that mental, physical, or even spiritual.

Y’know, everyone says that 2023 is just a slow year in general. I mean, it was slow to get started, to get up and running. Quite a few people’s mindsets are still in 2022. Because that was a great year all around. 2023 is like a sleeper cell – you know, it’s waiting, right around the corner.

On a closing note, I realized that I haven’t been adding posts in a timely manner. And well, that’s on me. But honestly, I don’t feel the gravitational pull anymore. I don’t know. I mean, I only do this thing on the side. I do it in my free time. I do it for fun, in a sweet and sickly sort of way – so the unspoken hope there is that I should derive at least some form of enjoyment from it, y’know?

Anyways, I’ll have to wave adieu for now, and take my exit from the stage, front and center. I’ll probably tack on more to this post based on my experiences so far this year of 2023, but until then, I’ll try to keep this post short (or as short as can be) and to the point for now.

Till next time – farewell 2022, and let’s give a warm and much-awaited welcome to our honorary guest at present, 2023!