2016 In Review… Part I

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This year has had it’s ups and downs for us all. For many, 2016 can suck it.  I can’t say that I blame them. I don’t even want to think about what America will look and feel like come Jan 21, 2017. But that is for another post.

It’s coming down to the wire. This block will close in May and 10 years of doing this thing (off an on) will come to an end). For now, I am reflecting on this year as I do at the end of everyone. I’m trying really hard to count my blessings and not be too sour about what didn’t work out as planned. In doing this I am acknowledging the things that are awesome about me that I take for granted.

Writing for a lot of people is not a release. I say this as grad school application season is upon us and I have become ad-hoc admissions advisor to some. It’s real gift to be able to express oneself clearly with written words, and typos aside, I can do that. So Alhamdullilah. Writing is the way I lay my burdens down. Now, moreso in my private journal than on this public blog, but it’s all the same. I had some real frustrations in the last entry, but now, looking at it, it doesn’t feel like me.

I mean, I am completely cognizant of the fact that I felt that way, and sting and frustration of that moment has not completely left me… but writing about it helped calm me. I think I need to dedicate more time in 2017 to writing. Especially once this space closes, especially if it’s just letters to my future self.

I made the reverse switch and came back to America this year. When I started 2016 I had no idea how it was all gonna pull together. But something that I kind of just gave up on is what in the end fell into place. It’s almost as whirlwind like as when I up and moved to the UAE. Except, I am not the same person I was then, so some of the wonder if gone, as is my trust in human beings (to be real), but I embraced it all the same. Honestly a transAtlantic trip has its rough parts, as does starting a new job in a new place where you have to (try to) make friends, understand what your duties are and strategize my future plans as THE POC on your team… ha ha (I kid, but not really ;-/)

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On a happier/prouder note, I also stood up for myself a little more this year, which was very, very good. I am not sure I blogged about it, but a married man in my friend group in the UAE kissed me in public (and of course without my permission!) just feet away from people who knew the both of us and his wife. He then had the gumption to message me out of the blue and inform me that he had always had a crush on me (double eww—).

I was happy to put it plainly and succinctly that his advances were unwelcome, his “secret” crush was no secret at all and he should stop messaging me. This was a big deal because I would normally just ignore the message (much like I changed my lifestyle to avoid him at all costs during my last few months… and he took no hints!… ha ha).  It was a year where I cut off quite a few people who don’t help bring the best out of me… (and give me food for thought for doing the same to some more in 2017).

On an even happier/prouder note, my mother graduated from college this year! It’s an accomplishment I am so proud of her for taking on and finishing well. I haven’t made a post about it because it’s hard to describe/talk about. It’s awesome that she was able to do this, that she didn’t give up, that she did something a lot of folk with a lot less responsibility and baggage aren’t able to do. Three cheers for mama Gazelle!

There is still a lot to figure out in these last few days of 2016. Here’s to figuring it all out…. eventually!

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