Hello ^^, It’s been a while since I last updated my abandoned blog and I figured why not make one last post for this year, and share a brief summary of this time in my life.
I’m not very keen of the new year new me sort of thing, I believe our milestones in life have nothing to do with the dates in the calendar, yet this year was too special to go unnoticed, and the fact that a new year is on the way helps give some sort of a perspective to what is coming.
If I could describe 2015 with one sentence I would say that it was _hands down_ the hardest year of my entire life. I don’t think I’ve ever been through so many ups and downs in such a short time. It was when I understood so many things that I knew and was told for a long time but was never really given the chance to grasp. To each one of us there is a time when you’re forced to step outside of your comfort zone, and when that happens it marks your entire life with unforgettable memories and valuable lessons, for me this was it ! I learned, or saw with my own eyes to be precise; that it doesn’t matter how much you plan and wish and prepare, what’s meant to be yours will eventually find its way to you at the right time, and we can’t always prepare ourselves for what might come in the future, life has a way of surprising us beyond our highest expectations, and until this very moment life continues to surprise me.
In the past twelve months I laughed and cried, suffered and celebrated, but more than anything, I grew and learned.
I learned this year that some hardships in life are inevitable, no matter how scary, hopeless and helpless they could make us feel, they’re necessary for our growth, and at the end it is always worth all the pain, life doesn’t have to be about giving and taking, but sometimes it takes something from you to give you something equally precious, we don’t always know why things happen the way they do, but there is a precise goal for every step we make and wisdom behind every breath we take, it took me a while to learn how to grasp that fact and just let go. In the first weeks of moving to my new home, I hated every single thing about the whole experience, it truly felt like a huge mishap, a bad dream that I so desperately wanted to wake up from, but that’s kind of the traditional start of every outstanding new chapter in one’s life, needless to say I didn’t know my pain carried a blessing in disguise, as cliché as that may sound.
I once heard a saying that the best things in life happen after the moment we say everything is over, God knows how many times in just this one year did I feel like giving up, sometimes we might hit a bump which threatens our determination and almost kills our hope, but at the end no effort goes to waste and one must be rewarded sooner or later. This year was a year of waiting, hoping and wishing, many things happened that defined what I was destined to do next, so there was a lot of stress, lots of doubt and hard work to be able to get what I wanted for a long time. When I look back, there were more accomplishments than failures, yes it took sacrifice, and it took a great deal of strength and patience, but no matter what stage in life we’re in, it is temporary, and like they say the only thing that’s permanent in life is change.
Change is a concept that I was yet to be introduced to in 2015. I’ve had moments before when many things changed in my life, but this year my world literally shifted, and that left me confused and lacking the feeling of security and stability for a long time, as I’m a person who tends to get attached easily, who craves stability and prefers to live a life that’s not shadowed by limitations of time, place, goodbyes and separation, yet those four words are exactly what my year was about, those four words were very hard to deal with especially for someone like me, I usually get homesick not just for places, but for people, moments and memories, now I’m slowly realizing that it’s not just about this year or the next, it’s our whole life that’s limited by time, that’s not meant to be spent in one place, and that must put us in situations where we’d be separated from those we grew to love. It’s a scary fact, terrifying even, but it made me learn that security comes from within, we shouldn’t count on people or places to make us feel home, otherwise we will never truly belong anywhere, once you learn that you’re okay and you will be okay even if you’re forced to step outside of your comfort zone, that is when you’ll start looking at the gifts God gave you with a look of gratitude and not a look of fear. I don’t know what the next year holds for me, I don’t know how many friends I still need to say goodbye to, or how many moments of agonizing homesickness still wait for me, but I know that it’s smarter to focus on the gift than waste time being afraid of losing it.
One of the hardest lessons I also learned this year is that our deep scars and hidden wounds, can not be run away from, they can not be hidden or left behind, the only way to heal is to face whatever is bothering you, to deal with it and to forgive; whether it is to forgive yourself or someone else. This marked a new jump for me, when I finally got over things I avoided even thinking about for years, not realizing that the fear was nurturing my issues and giving them a stronger hold on me, while the solution was right there. This one in particular sounds random, I surely did not see it coming, but everything happens for a reason and sometimes we need to make peace with parts of the past to be able to step into the future.
Moving to a different country has so many facets to it, it can open your mind to the furthest _if you allow it_ it can also make you feel older, richer, and wiser, because every place we go to, every person we meet, has a story to tell, and whether we learn the whole story or not, inevitably; a part of it becomes ours, that’s how humans connect, or disconnect for that matter, some things stick with us longer than the others, and what began as someone else’s story, becomes a part of ours, eventually shaping us and adding to our own experiences.
This year I’ve met so many new friends and acquaintances, and what strikes me is not how numbered they are, but how different ! with every conversation, every point of view and every story, I became more convinced of the fact that the differences are what makes this world so rich and beautiful, I was raised in a conservative society and I did cross roads with people with narrowed minds and closed beliefs, I’ve met people who took pride in their religion and their traditions but have no respect for what is outside of those beliefs, and I can’t be grateful enough for not turning out to be that way. Your religion, cultural heritage, education, race..etc have absolutely no value if you’re not tolerant toward other people regardless of whether they’re like you or not, living a life based on certain rules doesn’t make you better than other people, believing in something doesn’t make you better than someone who doesn’t believe in the same thing, this is something I always believed in but lately I saw why it is extremely important to stay open, because there is really no way to live peacefully in this world with a heart full of hate.
This year also taught me a lot about friendship, I have the most amazing people in my life, which is another reason for me to be extremely grateful, but recently this friendship was put through the test of goodbye and separation, and to be here right now, very far away from my best friend, yet seeing that nothing has changed, if anything this whole experience and all the maturity it gave us, has added more to this friendship, this makes my heart full with pride and gratitude, I’ve always loved my friends and cherished them, but lately I learned that true friends really are family, and that is something I will never take for granted.
The year of 2015 was filled with hard moments, it holds sad and happy memories, there are days that I want to carve into my memory for the rest of my life and I wish I were able to relive whenever I want to, and there are other days that I want nothing more than to erase them from my mind. This year is about to be over forever, and with that I’m choosing to focus on the good it brought me, to stay grateful for every last bit of it, to take all the lessons it gave me and leave the past sorrows in the past, where they should always belong.
I hope everyone who’s reading this can benefit even a little from my experience, I also hope you’ve had a happy year, and if it wasn’t then it must have been a constructive one, both are good reasons to celebrate, may the next year be happier, filled with unconditional love, success and endless joy. Stay positive and believe in yourself.
Happy new year 🙂