There is nothing quite like a rollercoaster year. It’s the kind that swoops in and changes pretty much everything you ever thought was possible. I’m guessing that everyone is allocated one or two such years every decade or so……2013 must have been one of them for me.
I mean, the considerable lot of GOODs, some pretty crappy BADs, the *^%!*^~% UGLYs, some never-in-a-million-years SURPRISEs, some rib-crackingly brilliant FUNNYs, a few downright Should-Never-Do-That-Again-But-Probably-Will ADVENTUREs, some High Definition UNFORGETTABLEs, the completely unexpected and pleasant MEETs, the surprisingly fulfilling and a few epic fail RESOLUTIONS.
I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could. Not even one.
And I thank God.
Mainly because, as I speak, He sees it fit to continue saving a spot for lil ol’ me in this happening thing called Life. I assume it is all for good reason- that which I must strive to find out with every waking moment.
While striving, I ought to be grateful. Actually, I must be grateful- for the people, situations, experiences and things that make my time on earth a worthwhile journey.
So here goes: a particularly special mention to the affect-ors of my 2013 that I would be foolish to not be thankful for.
The people I call family that I have nothing but unconditional love for; the team of walking blessings that could never get enough of me even when they really wanted to. And the new family members that joined what I thought would remain my reality for a bit longer. The ones discovered, ones not quite fully discovered yet and that precious little one born :).
The long-time friends that gave their blood, sweat or brains to cater to a chastisable me: during my panic-y whims and some clearly self-induced disasters. Without them having my back, I would be nothing; a mere pathetic mortal. They lent me wings, superhero tights, armours or simply- much-needed reality slaps.
The new people that were serendipitously sent me towards; people with whom I found myself connecting to effortlessly as though we had known each other forever and those that would confirm me as brain-dead if I let them leave as fast as they came into my life.
The wonderful strokes of brilliance that my bosses and workmates inspired in me at any one time during this past year; each of these moments made me question my ideals and (at times) my ridiculous theories in ways that are hard to explain but will stay with me for years to come.
The moments of despair that spiralled from losing my job as a not-so-indispensable founder of a start-up; and the moments of enlightenment that followed right after. From teaming up with old friends (AIESECers) in order to create our own start-up to everything else that followed thereafter: planning challenges, new partnerships, lost partnerships, some epic fails, empty bank accounts, our first employee and to the uncertain, scary but exciting future. It’s such an honour.
The moments of unrivalled freedom and carefree adventures with friends and non-friends alike; the kind that made me feel a tiny bit guilty and a tinsy winsy bit careless…but certainly the ones that kept me sane and made me feel alive.
The one absolutely life-threatening experience of being punched in the face; and by a woman (or was she?) who certainly did not punch like a girl. It was a package deal: a bruised ego and a small scar to show for it. I became a victim of size abuse all because I stood up for myself (in the wrong way). I will never forget you Kisumu ‘puncher-in-the-facer’. You taught me that I need to know which battles are mine for the taking and which ones are mine for the walking……AWAY. And forget about giving the other cheek; am fine with just walking away.
The fortitude to achieve some once-spooky resolutions; biggest ones being- fighting the resistance to chop my hair off in order to go natural and cutting out 90% of sugar from my diet; now on to my next experiments.
The scared-as-hell depressing moments when I didn’t want to get out of bed; particularly after the Westgate attack in Nairobi- when life seemed too unfair to fathom and at the same time, too short to waste.
The terminal obsession I am doomed with for the rest of my life: AIESEC. And the reason I am where I am today- both literally (It is how I got to Venezuela) and life-changing-ly (It made ALL the difference between who I was and who I am). Even as an alumna, the opportunities continued to be of galaxy-like limitless-ness. By far, the most fulfilling of these were the chances when I got to motivate members to reach for more….and some of them actually did!
The travel genies: all the people who were kind enough to grant me the three wishes of shelter, fun and new knowledge while I was in far-away lands; whose family and friends invited me to their homes and lives with such selflessness. To them I say: хвала!; asante!; obrigada!; gracias!
Every new thing that waltzed into my already over-populated brain, disorganised things and decided to stay; be it a new piece of knowledge, an inspiration, a theory or a new skill. In particular, am thankful for the large amount of brain disruption caused by the Spanish words that were fighting for equality if not domination.
The things planned for 2014 and the things I should not and cannot plan for.
The person (that elusive person) that I can still become.
So here’s to 2014.