[Note: Yeah, I couldn’t come up with a more clever way to title this post. Sigh. Please bear with me.]
We all know 2015 was a year filled with tragedies for so many people; lives were lost, people were banished from their homeland, families were torn apart. But this year also taught us the power of endurance of the human spirit. It taught us that people are still kind and generous regardless of what race, creed or religion the helpless belong to. It taught us that our enemies sure can hurt us but they can’t break us. So before going any further, look back to the year and focus on the positive. Focus on the GOOD in humanity. There’s plenty of it in this world 🙂
Now let’s get to why I wanna thank 2015, speaking from personal experience.
When 2014 was nearing the end, I was at the lowest possible point in my life, and I had no clue whatsoever that the coming year will prove to be by far the absolute best year of my entire existence. I was told since I was a kid that when it feels like life SUCKS – that it’s not giving you lemons, it’s throwing huge ass watermelons right at your nose – THAT’S the point where you should be relaxed that things are now gonna turn for the better. I didn’t quite believe it back then but now I’ve learnt that the best thing about a bad patch in your life is that it doesn’t last forever.
Mine didn’t as well, and I am eternally thankful for this year which has been the pinnacle of my personal growth.
Nah, I didn’t land a big job, or get thousands of followers on this blog, or did anything that quantifies material success. What I achieved was far more fulfilling than that. What I feel today, this satisfaction, this hope, this calmness, this can never be achieved by money or fame. Yeah sure, everyone has their own definition of happiness; if money and fame makes someone happy then good for them. Heck, for the past 4 years even I myself used to think of money and success as the ultimate answer. But this year changed me as a person. I am NOTHING like I was a year before, and believe me, that’s a really good thing.
My personal achievements in 2015 might seem laughable to some people, but let’s just say they’re a pretty huge deal for me. 🙂
Alright without further ado, here’s my year in review 😉
(oh snap that rhymed)
1. The Year I Beat the Shit Out of Depression
I’ve never quite talked openly about my chronic depression, but it has been a big player in ruining my mental and physical health for the past 6 years. When people used to say “It’s all in your head, just get over it.” they didn’t know about my sense of worthlessness, the insecurities that consumed me day and night, my severe weight loss which caused other illnesses and weaknesses in my body, the insomnia that was doing the most damage to my brain.
Depression isn’t just something “in your head.” You can’t just wake up one day, snap your fingers and say “Hey, I’m now gonna turn off my Depression-Button.. Annnnnd ta-dah, it’s gone. I’m so happy now. Toodly doo.”
Overcoming depression (without the help of medical assistance) takes… a LOT of work. I can’t tell you what did it for me, because for you the solution might be different. Just know that it’s a personal battle that only YOU have to fight. Figuring out how to overcome my insecurities, surrounding myself with the people who support me, starting a healthy diet to gain a regular body weight, getting the right medical treatment for the other physical weaknesses that I’d developed over the years, getting used to a healthy sleeping pattern; it’s all easier said than done.
It’s not all completely gone – depression doesn’t just vanish suddenly – but it’s definitely at bay for now. I’ve learned how to develop some habits that don’t allow it to get hold of me again.
2. The Year I Stopped Giving A F@#%
I’ve spent the last 4 years just killing myself over being successful at something that’ll make me rich one day. I used to think that maybe material wealth will help me beat my dysthymia and improve my self-confidence. Spending all these years just pouring all my energy into getting good grades, developing the right skills to help me land a fancy job one day… in short just doing anything that adds something to my self-worth.
And then this year, I don’t know how and when I got this epiphany, but I just suddenly stopped giving a f@#% about it.
And it was AMAZING! 😀
This is the year that I’ve learned how to truly enjoy the little things in life. Ditching my assignments to have a good time with my family, bunking my classes to go out and party hard with my friends, instead of investing exhaustive amounts of time on building “skills” I used that time to eat more, go out more, read more and watch more quality entertainment content. And guess what? It has done miracles for my grades as well 😀 I’m performing at my utmost best just because of relaxing my brain. Sure I still keep myself busy – I hate sitting idle – but now I involve myself in things that make me happy, instead of pushing my brain to do the things it doesn’t wanna do.
3. The Year I Got Closer To God, Family and Friends Than I Ever Was Before
The one thing that has helped me the most in my “rehabilitation” was my ever-growing love for God. My faith helped me save me from myself. Sure I was a regular Muslim since forever but this year I truly began to BEFRIEND the Boss Upstairs. He and I, we’re tight now 😉
He has helped me be at peace, He has helped me in appreciating my relationships with people more, He has helped me love myself again.
I was a very closed off person, I had begun to take my friendships forgranted, I had become anti-social (and most times very mean) and worst of all I was drifting apart from my family. But getting closer to God, learning and pondering upon how to become a better person has spun things around for me.
The more I grew closer to Him, the more I began to fall in love with… EVERYTHING. I’m now open to new experiences, to new relationships, learned to be one with nature, began to love people as my own brothers and sisters. I used to take my own family for granted but all of this reflection and guidance helped me be closer to the people and things that matter.
I finally learned how to BE LOVE.
4. The Year I Made a Best Friend. BOOYAH!!
Oh yeah, this happened almost three weeks ago, and I’m currently the happiest person on Earth 😀 The last best friend I made was like… 7 years ago. That friendship lasted for a year. Unfortunately she turned out to be a raging bitch. At that time a lot of things were happening to me simultaneously. Not just her, I just wasn’t around the right people. I was new in the university and I made the unfortunate mistake of surrounding myself with the wrong group of people. On the other hand my family was going through some really shitty issues. Even spiritually I was in a bad place. Right along that my health was starting to deteriorate. Since then things in my life just started to spiral downwards.
You know the rest.
I had completely seized my ability to open up to people, and it has taken me 6 years to finally allow myself to let someone in my life. Oh yeah, I wasn’t a tough cookie. 😀
So her name is Rabeea, I’ve been in her gang for the past two years now. This group I’m in, these 7 girls, they have… saved my life in more ways than one. They have kept me sane. I was a hopeless mess before I found em and I love them all to bits, but R was the one I wanted to be the closest to (no offense to the rest of the gang) 😛 Today, I’m proud to say I made one of the most awesome decisions of my life when I offered her my “Sistership” and she gladly accepted it with open arms.
She isn’t just charming, smart and funny; she’s the sweetest, kindest and bravest person I’ve ever come across in my life. Seriously, the amount of courage that girl has, oh boy, I wish I’m as strong and courageous as her some day.
R, you have strengthened my ability to trust someone again. I know it’s been only three weeks since we’ve decided to become sisters, but for me it feels like you’ve been there for me since my Day 1 in the gang.
And I also know we’ve only got a month left together in the university, but I believe it with all my heart that this friendship is gonna last a lifetime. 🙂 Sure, you can be a huge pain in the ass sometimes (MOST times actually) 😛 but girl, you’re family now. And I always put my family before anything else.
In the wise words of my dear Leslie Knope…
5. The Year I Met You People
I started this blog almost two years ago, but in that first year I wasn’t quite that “involved” in the community. I used to spam other peoples blogs to invite them over (JESUS!) It was only in this year that I made a comeback and realized what this platform is for me.
I don’t wanna use this to gain any popularity, or monetize it as a regular income source. Sure, it’s a place where I sometimes come and rant on about my opinion on things, but what my basic objective here on WordPress is to be close to you guys. The likes and the traffic don’t matter to me. The people I’ve come to know here are like family to me. And how lucky I feel that I get to have a family that’s spread across the entire globe 😀
(according to the WordPress Annual Report I get visitors from a total of 140 countries)
I feel like a part of your lives; your problems are my own, your joy is my own.
I don’t know what you guys think about me, but not many of you realize that you’re all not just an integral part of my life, you’re an integral part of my happiness.
And I truly, deeply love this little community we have here.
So thank you, guys. Thank you for being one of the most important aspects of this incredible year for me.
Alright, 2015 is about to end in a few hours, let’s finish it by dancing to a few tunes. Here’s my personal favorite pop mashup of the year. Come on now, let’s shake that booty.
Happy New Year everyone, and may 2016 bring insurmountable happiness in all of our lives and may all the sorrows of the world completely disappear. Amen.