2015 – Year In Review

2015 has sure been an eventful and amazing year. The pivotal year of 2014 set the scene for a new reality for me in 2015. The two big things this year have been changes in love and wealth. I also did a lot more travelling in 2015 and started really focusing on becoming a better tutor and a better songwriter/producer. I also seem to have had a lot of afternoon tea.

Bavarians

Becoming Bavarian for a day in Nottingham

As my relationship with my girlfriend developed through the months I experienced companionship, love and intimacy. I had a bigger and more expanded social circle and family as I got to know many of my girlfriend’s friends and I met her parents. She met my mother and siblings a few times too. I got to appreciate that when two people come together, it is about both people finding new friends and a new family. As I got to know her parents more and went to visit them I had a comforting feeling of belonging to another family. Sadly this came to an end in August as we split up. Splitting up, like being in a relationship was a new experience to me. I’ve taken a lot of positive things from being in the relationship and I matured a lot. I am glad I got into a relationship at all. With this part of my life handled for much of 2015, I focused on my career with true drive and conviction, and continue to do so.

The Little Mermaid Copenhagen

In Copenhagen by the little mermaid

And it has paid off! Paid off in money. I am so happy that this year I’ve made more money than I have done so in any year, and more than when I had a full time job. All while being self employed, working on my own terms and doing something I really love doing! It’s taken me a few years to get to this point. 2015 can be split up into two school academic years, Jan to July 2015 and September to December 2015. My decision to tutor less and less outside London has been a very wise one. This year a switch flipped in my mind and I hit a tipping point. The more money I made the more confident I got at selling myself as a tutor, the better I got at selling myself the more money I made. And a positive self perpetuating cycle was has been formed now. Millionaire by 2017 surely? Feel free to invest in Atul Rana inc!

Ion particle accelerator at CERN

I saw the Ion Particle Accelerator in action at CERN

The 2015-2016 school year has seen me take my tutoring to a new level. Around half my income is now from online tutoring and I have well and truly embraced it. It’s a really exciting time for me career wise. Having more money has meant I could invest in myself too, I started attending tutoring and songwriting courses and bought new things.

On a more solem note, 2015 has been a really tough year for my extended family in rural India. My younger uncle had a minor stroke and my other uncle also fell seriously ill, my aunt also suffered from a brain injury. I’ve felt helpless from this distance and unable to do much. I’ve been able to send some money to them as they and kept giving them support and advising them as much as I could. As of now they are all on the road to recovery.

DonkeyBox

Winning a battle of the bands heat with DonkeyBox

So here are my key events of 2015:

  • Ate a lot of cheese, it started on New Year’s Day 2015
  • Afternoon teas and an amazing Valentine’s Day on the river
  • Discovered Musicals! I saw the The Kinks musical, American Idiot Green Day musical, Sweeney Todd and Kill Me Now. That’s more musicals in one year than I’ve seen in my entire life
  • Trips to Brighton, Liverpool, Chester, Grassington, Denmark, France and Switzerland
  • Did some crazy white-water rafting stuff
  • Stag dos and weddings, and I performed a re-written version of Crap Day at one of the weddings, and man it was fun!
  • Went to Roskilde Festival in Denmark after years of thinking about it, and saw Paul McCartney play loads of Beatles classics
  • I saw CERN in Geneva, a Physics tutor’s dream come true, and I still don’t stop talking about it to my students!
  • My band DonkeyBox won its first ever battle of the bands contest. I started doing fewer open mic nights and focused more on songwriting and production
  • I decided not to visit India in 2015
  • Bought a brand new electro acoustic guitar – my last guitar purchase was in 1997
  • Bought a new phone
  • I started reading a lot more fiction, finished reading White Tiger, Transmission and Catcher in The Rye
  • Thanks to Spotify I discovered two incredible new bands – Eve 6 and As It Is

Apparently there was a UK general election too in 2015, did anyone notice? Making money aside, my favourite story of 2015 is one of goodwill and humanity in London. Here’s a post I put up on my Facebook wall in late May:

Two days ago I lost my diary on the tube, and with it I lost my entire schedule for my half term tutoring (which involves travelling to student’s homes all over London, Skype tutoring and billing info). Some good soul found it on the tube and then emailed me! And given its importance to me they were then kind enough to email me my schedule for the next few days while the diary arrives in the post. There’s some good humanity in London!!

Isn’t that just amazing? Here’s to an even better 2016!

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