December 31, 2015

2015 Recap & Everything I Learned

kolkata, christmas, park street, allen park, kolkata christmas festival 2015

I suppose the last few months flew by a bit too fast for me. Or maybe it's because I was finally beginning to enjoy 2015. I was meeting people, ticking off things from my bucket list, doing things I love, and I before I knew, BOOM! Hello, December 31.

So ofcourse, I'm going to do the mandatory recap of 2015 because, HEYYOH it's a fresh new shiny year tomorrow and we'll be starting fresh again and, isn't this what we're supposed to do anyway? Think back to good 'ol 2015 and all our accomplishments and mistakes and failures? Ofcourse, we do.

I can't describe 2015 in a word, but it was definitely a year of lessons for me. When I blogged about my 2015 goals, I put a lot of silly goals in it. But that's alright. I figured we could all do with some laugh at the end of the year.

Read 60 books

Unfortunately, I read only 51 books. I'm currently reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, which is technically my 52nd and last book of 2015, but I'll never finish it by tonight. And even if I do, it won't change the fact that I didn't hit my reading goal. But that's alright. I read some really good books this year.

Learn hula-hooping

This was probably the most challenging goal I ever set myself because I had no clue whatsoever about it. I never hula-hooped in my life. EVER. So around September, I finally ordered a hoop online, followed a bunch of hoopers on Instagram and watched a bunch of YouTube lessons. Let's just say I'm still embarrassingly horrible at it.

Flying for the first time.

I flew on a plane for the first time in my life during our Kashmir vacation. And then, we flew on a helicopter too! Both of them were totally unplanned decisions, but ohmygod, WE. FLEW. And everything around us was blue and green and yellow and so so beautiful. *gasps*

Reach level 100 in Candy Crush Saga

Before you tell me that this is not resolution/goal-worthy, let me tell you that Candy Crush has evidently taken over my life. It is very much possible that Candy Crush will be the death of me because I've been stuck in level 91 for past 6 months. No, I'm not exaggerating. I've been stuck in level 91 since maybe July. Seriously, can anyone help me solve this stupid level?

Eat something new

I had quite a few new dishes this year. Like that time I visited Kashmir and tasted their kahwa, pulao and kebabs (you can read my Kashmiri foodie experience here). Or say, a couple of days ago when my friend and I tried a fine cheese paratha. I'd give my "2015 eat something new" experience a 6/10. Not too bad, eh?

food, kashmiri food, kashmiri cuisine, kahwa, seekh kebab, cheese paratha, bon appetit, kashmiri pulao

Pass Second Year with decent marks

I scored a clean 78% in my exams, hoo-hah. I have never felt so relieved in my life because I was 200% I wouldn't get a First Class (60%) in my exams. *awkward laugh*

Take the DELF exam

FYI, DELF (Diplôme d'études en Langue Française) literally stands for Diploma in French Studies. It's a French certification exam for non-native French speakers. Think of it like a very French version of IELTS or TOEFL. I've been learning French for almost a year now, and I had planned to take the DELF this December. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware when they started distributing the exam forms, and I missed it. So obviously, I couldn't sit for the exam either. And the next DELF isn't until March 2016. *sigh*

Intern at a newspaper

This is possibly my biggest highlight of 2015, and something I'm personally proud to have achieved. I had the opportunity to intern at The Asian Age for a month (Nov-Dec). Although it's a national newspaper, I interned at their Kolkata bureau. It was one of my life goals AND dreams to intern at a newspaper. It's all I ever wanted to do, and to have finally done it. AHHH HAPPINESS.

Have an article published in a newspaper.

The joy of seeing your name in the newspaper for the first time is something I can't explain in words. I remember laughing hysterically like a lunatic when my senior handed me the newspaper and said my story had come out. I kept laughing because it was too surreal for me. I got 3 more bylines since then, and a few other general assignments published. But the joy, oh the joy.

Blog atleast 4x every month

I have no shame in admitting that 2015 was a HORRIBLE blogging year for me. I blogged twice every month (sometimes once); I took a 5 months blogging break; I suffered from a big bad blogging burnout. Let's just say, I sucked at being a blogger this year.

Reach 1000 Twitter followers + 500 Instagram followers + 100 Bloglovin followers

Once again, let's just assume that my suckiness also involved getting off and away from the blogging radar. I stopped interacting with other blogs, reading other blogs, taking part in Twitter chats. #FAIL. So instead I'm ending this year with 640 Twitter followers, 507 Instagram followers and 41 Bloglovin followers.

Write more book reviews

I didn't end up writing as many book reviews I planned to, but atleast it's a start. I was comparatively more regular on Goodreads with my reviews, but I'm making my blog a priority in 2016. So YAY.

BergerXP Indiblogger Meet, Kolkata 2015

I suppose since I'm listing my 2015 blog goals, I should briefly mention this (even though I never saw this coming). This was my first blogger meet (and the first time I came out as a blogger to my parents). I was a bundle of nerves that day because I knew no one. But long story short, I had the best time ever and I met a bunch of really wonderful bloggers. You can read my whole experience here.

Redesign my blog

This design isn't much but I like it SO much better than the last one. This involved a bit more HTML and coding and err, a lot of Picmonkey and Pixlr. But I love how it turned out anyway.

Visiting Kashmir

This wasn't part of my 2015 goal, but I'm so glad it happened anyway. I've ALWAYS wanted to visit Kashmir. It's one of my life (travel) goals actually. And this October, my parents and I finally visited it. It's so beautiful, and we had the most wonderful time there. You can read my Kashmir travelogue here.

kashmir, srinagar, shikara, india, boathouse, dal lake

Visiting Amritsar

We stayed at Amritsar briefly before returning to Kolkata. We visited the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh and Wagha Border (India-Pakistan border). I'm yet to blog about my Amritsar trip so y'know, keep an eye out. *wink*

amritsar, golden temple, india, punjab

But like I mentioned before, this was definitely a year of lessons for me. I learned to have faith in me. I learned to cope with rejections and failures. That sometimes, things may not work out the way I want them to (hello, real life). But most of all, I suppose I learned to be proud of myself and accept myself for who I am and that my flaws aren't something to be ashamed of.

I'm awesome (and so are you)!

How was your 2015?

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