Hello Blogiverse –

How have you been? I feel like it has been ages since we have spoken. I guess it has.

I am sorry I haven’t been around much lately. It has been a rather….…..interesting, year.

I thought that my 30s would be a turning point in my life and well, I was right, but not in the way I thought. Things I never imagined would happen; have. Things that I expected to happen; haven’t. My 30s have turned my world upside down.

Many times I came onto the pages here on this enormous cyber-land and couldn’t find the words to say. Of all the words in the dictionary I couldn’t find one. Not one to type on this blank page. I didn’t have the strength to share. Blank pages are ominous, especially when you don’t know where to start.

2016 has been a year of astounding change for me. I look back and I don’t know where this year has gone; where my life has gone. The changes that have occurred in my life have made me lose many I care about and gained many others I never knew cared so much for me. Every day has felt like I was dragging myself out of the trenches and frankly, I am exhausted. I am beaten. I am low. I have been forced to start over, when I wasn’t ready to and didn’t know how to.

2016 has been a year of heartbreak but love. This year used me as its personal punching bag and I have come to find that it is because I was the one who hung the chain. I have fought and cried for so many I care about and so many I shouldn’t have. While I drop down from the chains that I have hung from this year, beaten, bruised and bloody; somehow I still keep going. Somehow I carry on. Somehow I still look for love every day. Try to share love every day. Even if it doesn’t look like what I imagined.

2016 has been a year of professional chaos. A job left behind after just one year because of the toxic environment that was taking years off my life by the day. To then move to another which is quite possibly the most challenging role I have ever accepted. I am thankful that someone saw potential in me when others did not. I am blessed to have a job in this current state of America but I have never been more scared to fail at something in my whole life.

2016 has been a year of revelation. Coming to terms with who you are and what you are and where you want to be to be happy is the hardest and most painful journey I have ever taken. It took me 31 years to do it, and I have lost friends and family because of it. But I have also seen people rally behind me that I never expected and also others who have been there all along that are my foundation. I am eternally grateful to those who have stood by me, even if they didn’t understand. I am still learning more every day. 

2016 has been a year of movement. Different movement that I had expected, by taking a leap outside of my comfort zone to immerse myself in my love for fitness, by becoming a dedicated instructor. The feeling of love, energy and fuel from those who take my classes and those who teach with me is something I never want to give up. Also by closing a chapter in my dance career by saying goodbye to a company and dancers I love so dearly. It was my time to step aside but I am truly blessed to have been welcomed into dance in my adult life and I am forever grateful.

2016 has been a year of confusion and deceit. People I never thought would hurt me have hurt me more deeply that I could have ever dreamed. I have made many of my own mistakes, many. Perfection has never been my strong suit and I don’t have the outline for how to make the right choices. Now that I know what it feels like to be abandoned on all levels, to be disowned, set aside and used up. I would never wish those feelings or hurt on anyone or anything. Those feelings of never being enough have haunted me and I strive to only try to be enough for myself; to embrace imperfection as beauty.

2016 has been the year of jealousy and hope. Looking around at the world around you watching people start families and live each day doing exactly what they want has made me feel jealous and empty. My life is not where I thought it would be at this point. It is not with the same people I thought. It does not include a family I thought I would have by now, in every way. Somehow I still have something in me pushing me forward, that hope that one day I will. Not sure how it will happen or when but I have to keep the hope that it will. Eventually.

2016 has been a year of renewed faith. Faith that the universe places me in the situations I am in to learn patience, kindness and silence. I have lived my life by the saying “Maktub” for many years; an Arabic saying meaning “It Is Written”. Trust the process. Trust where the universe places you. 2016 has made me question my beliefs and faith, wondering why I am being placed where I am. Why I am being taught these lessons and how to carry on without crumbling. As a reminder for myself, I had the Arabic saying permanently placed on my right arm to be a constant in my life when everything else seems unstable.

2016 has been a year of makeovers. However silly it may seem, I cut all my hair off. It has made me feel free and strong. Finally feeling like something in my appearance truly represents my personality and is a statement that sometimes you need to shed your literal outer layers to let people get close. My physical appearance has always been a daily struggle for me, as for many women, but my hair has made me feel at home in my own skin.

2016 has been a year of death, loss and illness. Too many in my family have gone in the last year. One of which was closer to me than anyone else. A bond I had since childhood. Too many in my family and friends have fallen ill and from hurt and disease. It reminds me every day to hold onto those I really care about because life is too short, however cliché it may seem. Hold those you love and care about close and make sure they know you adore them.

2016 has been a year of friendship. The friendships I have created, kept, lost and strengthened have been my backbone this year. I have had to create my own family, a new support system. I am blessed that I have learned that family does not always mean blood. It means love. It means support. It means acceptance. Thank you.

I don’t know what 2017 is going to bring. I am not sure that I can handle it. I am not sure that I will be the same person next December. I have learned so much, hurt so much, loved so much, done so much…and still expect to make mistakes. This year was the worst year of my life and yet somehow the best too.

I don’t even know why I decided to share all this now. What possessed me to put this all down on a page. Maybe because it is the Holidays and during the Holidays you are supposed tell the truth. Maybe because I feel like I needed to expose my wounds in order to move forward. Maybe because I just felt the need to get it all out for me. Maybe because I feel like the world deserves to know where the hell I have been this year. I am still learning. I am still crawling out from the trenches, I am still unhooking from those chains, I am still bruised and limping…but I am trying.

Thank you for coming to my little corner of the universe and listening. 

With this next year, I hope that if nothing else it brings peace.

And more time for food recipes <3

With love and hope,

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  1. Fran Gogulski says:

    The very short time I spent knowing you was always a delight. You to me were perfect in so many ways . Who would have ever thought that your past year had so many ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly….
    Your thoughts made me stop and think that life can be pulled in many directions. Happy one minute, sad the next. I truly believe that there will be a happy place for you. My heart goes out to you. No matter where the new year takes you, you will always be perfect to me!!

    • Fran, it is so good to hear from you first off!!! Thank you so much for reaching out and for your kind words. I am grateful for you and your kindness you have always showed to me! Even when I was the new girl in the cube next to you xoxo

  2. Never feel alone. Everyone is battling some sort of fight whether they share it or not. Always remember that everything happens for a reason, whether you understand it at that present moment or not. A few years from now, you may look back and it will click on why things happen and how much you grew because of it. Also, remember that the past is the past for a reason. The person you are at this very moment will not be the same person you are tomorrow. Life is about growing and learning. Always makes sure you put yourself first and that you take care of yourself. In order to make others happy around you and love those closest to you, you have to start with yourself. You may not always be happy with your self since every day is a new battle, but always remember tomorrow is a new day. These are rules that I live by now and it took me a very long time to understand them and see them. They too will help you. We are all fighting unseen battles, but that does not make us weak. It makes us stronger since we continue to put up the fight to better ourselves. I hope that 2017 is a much better year for you.