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  • Srividhya Venkat

REFLECTIONS: Looking Back at 2022

Updated: Dec 29, 2022



Hello! Thank you for stopping by! I'm Srividhya Venkat, a children's author who loves to write stories inspired by India, my country of origin. I also like to blog occasionally about my experiences and thoughts. I hope you find some joy or even a ray of light from this blogpost, my first one in nearly four years.


2022 was a year of big changes,

physical and emotional,

for my family and me.


After two endless Covid years (and Singapore's restricted exit/entry policy), I could finally go back home

to meet my family in India

and

breathe

again.



This home was the country

where I was born and raised.

This was the land

where, several years later,

the writer in me

was born and raised.




With spring came time for change.

It was time to pack up

and bid farewell to sunny Singapore,

our home for nine years.

A home

where my children grew up,

where the writer in me grew up,

where my stories grew up

to become books.


A gift of Singapore memories from my dear friend, Evelyn Wong

But it was easier said than done.

For leaving is hard.




ROAAAR...Inside the Merlion at Sentosa, Singapore - 2012







Leaving behind a home (away from home in India).

Leaving behind friends precious.

Leaving behind memories countless.


The lovely East Coast Parkway in Singapore, my walking haven.

We had done this before. So we thought we'd be strong.

But no move is easy.

No move is without agony, a sweet + sour kind. Sweet in excitement for what's ahead. Sour in sadness for what's behind. This was one moment

that we knew would arrive one day.

It was here now.

Millenium Park, Chicago - 2022

We moved back to Chicago

where my children were born and once went to school. A(nother) place filled with memories.

A(nother) place with friends, and family too! A(nother) 'home' away from 'home'.




East Coast Parkway beach, Singapore

Despite everything we were prepared for,

the big change

from the big move

was not easy, even though it didn't seem hard at first.

Re-adjusting to a different lifestyle, different weather,

even in a not-so-new place takes time,

and an emotional toll. And it did.

Back behind the wheel after 9 years!

Covid and ill health,

stress and anxiety. Missing old friends.

Recapping memories of a different life. Comparing the old life with the new. Plenty of nostalgia!




Re-discovering fall after 13 years!

But slowly, we also began to see things better.

There was so much to discover around us.

So much to do.




The joy of volunteer work




Reconnect with old friends,

make new ones,

discover new joys, and forgotten ones.








Focusing on the writing craft kept me going - with kidlit groups and discussions,

webinars and podcasts,

blogs and vlogs.



I worked with a fantastic editor, Joanna,

and a super talented illustrator, Kate Wadsworth,

on my upcoming picture book.





The South Asia Book Award was a huge surprise, bringing fulfillment and inspiration to do more, and be more.



A family reunion, a wedding. brought gratitude and mental peace. And a reminder of life's priorities. To cherish the flowers in the garden and not fret over the weeds.





As the sun sets on 2022,

I look back and think

that I did well - given what was going on in my life, given my state of mind. In many ways,

I am more privileged than I realize it. And I'm grateful for what was 2022.

Especially for everyone in my life.

For family and friends are

what mean the most to me.


I look ahead at 2023

with excitement and hope. To read more,

write more,

connect more.

To try out new things

and get better at others.

To try to make a difference,

in every way I can.

Shadows may be dark, but they show us the importance of light.

As they say, 'Change is the only constant' in life.

No matter how dark the shadows get,

there will always be light

to help us get through the darkness.

We are more resilient than we think.









So take a deep breath,

give yourself a pat on the back, look in the mirror,

smile and say to yourself - "YOU DID GREAT!"







THANK YOU

for your time and support!

Wishing you and yours

Health and Happiness in 2023.

A special memory made with my friend, Monica, in Singapore.

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