As December comes to a close, I found it fit to reflect and realise what massive changes I have experienced over the year. Many of you may go through this closer to the end of the year but regardless of when you do, feel free to share your thoughts on whether 2017 was your year or not, and what you’re looking forward to in the new year.
My year began with massive ambiguities and as an obsessive planner, it came to a point where I felt like I was not even sure whether I was able to achieve my goals. I came into this year expecting to be at home, probably working in a law firm and hanging out with my best friend. What I experienced was the furtherest thing from it – for starters, I ended up moving country (South Africa to be specific) and I was thrown into an atmosphere completely unfamiliar with me. Aside from Botswana, I lived in the UK for a number of years and so living in South Africa was completely out of my comfort zone. I experienced A LOT over the year – new home, new people, new zip code and new ambitions. I was extremely naive at the beginning of the year and I probably still am, but if there is one thing I have learned is that no matter what you do or who you meet, you are responsible for your own actions – a somewhat cynical approach but probably the best perspective for me personally. I think expectations lead to a lot of disappoint and when lines get crossed, it is hard to walk back over the same line in the same manner as before. It doesn’t mean I am going to burn a bridge – no, it means I am not going to allow myself to be in that position again so I will tread carefully and from a distance.
I often get asked: “Why did you choose to go to Cape Town and not just go back to Leicester?” Well, that is the thing, I was not a fan of Leicester – the place mostly! The people/my family are probably half the reason why I made it through my years in the UK. Majority of the time, the weather and the environment just made me feel constricted. The fashion and shopping in the UK is something out of this world and I will always love the shopping there, but I needed a fresh change. Cape Town provided a fresh perspective for me, and the fact that it has sun was the added advantage! I love it here and I honestly feel like I have grown more into myself being here. The fact that there are more halaal food options, more activities and more opportunities makes me feel open to new adventures! (Watch this space). The place where you live can have such an influence on your outlook as well; I have actually grown to love my degree and shockingly like the administrative staff in the faculty (I have had horrible experiences in the past during my undergraduate). Besides, go google Cape Town and tell me if it doesn’t look amazing!
I think one thing I am most proud of myself this year is my yearning to educate myself more on my religion. I won’t babble too much about this because I prefer to keep things personal but this year allowed me to appreciate my religion through educating myself. I grew up reading our holy book (Quraan) in Arabic without understanding a word. This year I have taken it upon myself to read a translation, which is giving me so much more than I expected. The current translation can be found here. Whether you are Muslim or not, this translation really opens up one’s view on religion because of the way it deals with things in so much detail. I would most definitely recommend it and luckily, this a free pdf! Another thing I knew but needed reminding of is to place my reliance on God and to be mindful of that through good or bad times. I often get into this bad habit of relying on God only when I have something major going on, when I should be talking to Him on the regular. It has given me a sense of inner peace and something which I hope grows even more with the new year.
Those who know me know that I have always aspired to be a lawyer in the corporate world. After my undergraduate degree, I aimed at working and just flowing into the adult world – which I did for some time. I had no intention of doing my masters mainly because I felt like I needed a gap or at least some time off studying. Strangely enough, as I was working, I was encouraged to actually pursue my masters because of my passion for research. With the seed planted, I ended up doing my masters and that is how everything took off. Going into my masters, I wanted to study knowing it would be a once off degree with three added letters to my name. However, it sparked my passion for academia and that is one area I never imagined I would want to tread.
Those are just a few of the changes that took place in my life and whilst they may not seem so big writing them down, it was a rollercoaster. With my supporting family back in Botswana, I overcame a lot and it made me realise the true value of learning beyond the books! Although I cannot speak for the future, I can say that I hope to work harder, stronger and even more motivated than this year in getting closer to where I am meant to be. I aim to pray more and have faith in myself but most of all have faith in God through it all. I hope to blog more (now that I have got the hang of it) and explore more of my creative side.
Here’s to good people, supportive families, and new opportunities (God willing!)
Keep an eye out on my social media sites where I will be sharing more moments through Instagram!