2015 flew by really fast for me. It’s December 1st, 2015 today. We are just days away from the end 2015. This time of year, for most people, is a time of reflection. And I guess, when you are approaching the end, you start thinking about the beginning.
This year, I’ve written several posts that reflected my thoughts on a lot of things. Most of them are personal struggles, i.e. my future, family, etc, that I’m dealing with or have dealt with. Some I’ve posted, some are still in Drafts, some I’ve taken off.
This past year, it goes without saying, has been tough. I felt lost. I had a dark phase and it was bad. I had to face a lot of new challenges. I had to make a lot of important decisions. I had my plans, my life plans all shaken up.
For years, I had it all planned out. I was gonna finish my degree, do my Master’s, finish Master’s by age 24, work at a school then when I have enough money, do my PhD.
But when I got to the end of Phase 1 (finish degree), I realised that I might have planned it all wrong. There’s a saying that goes “it’s always the idiots that are so sure about every damn thing they are doing in their lives.” And I was that idiot.
I mean, the plan might’ve work flawlessly for other people but it doesn’t feel right for me. It took me a lot of tears and depressed nights but I’ve come to accept that. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my plan might need a little adjustment. I need to be patient and I need to find myself again.
I lived these past few years with this myopic vision of what my future should be like. I was so sure that teaching is gonna be great and all that. I mean, everybody said it’s the most noble profession there is. I thought I’ll be satisfied with that. How naive of me~ but what’s even more naive is the fact that I made all of these decisions without actually having any experiences as a teacher. I don’t have the slightest clue of what it’s gonna be like. Every information I have about this profession comes from other people (which in retrospect, wasn’t very promising at all). And I thought that was enough. I was so damn sure of it.
And now I’m not.
Trying to handle all of these things, these thoughts, that I’ve never dealt with before is quite tricky. I could never know whether what I was doing is right or wrong. And everyone seemed to have contrasting ideas of what I should do. So I tried to take a step back. I withdrew myself from people and situations that gave me negative vibes. It was a conscious decision that I made to help myself figure things out. And yes, it left me with a lingering sense of guilt, and I’m deeply sorry for it.
I felt like I’ve done a lot of growing up in the last couple of years. I think that’s what society expects from you when you’re around my age. But I think growing up has nothing to do with age. I believe that people grow up through the obstacles that they went through and in turn, these obstacles give you a deeper empathy for people with similar struggles and help you mature and grow.
But this year, I feel like I’ve grown so much more. I learnt a lot of things about myself. My thoughts, my opinions, my priorities have changed. I’ve learnt about my strengths and my weaknesses. My gifts and my flaws. In many ways I think I have matured.
An example of this is I used to judge those who drink or smoke. I used to judge those who party and those who do not go to college. Those who get married early and those who are clingy to their partners. I could never understand why anyone would do anything like that. I mean the society & social media have clearly ruled those things to be ‘unacceptable’.
But I got to know people with these isssues, Bahiyah & I made friends with them, and it gave us a new perspective. I remember how people used to think I was a bad person because I did not wear hijab. There was an underlying reason behind it that people know nothing about. And I believe that all of these people have reasons that I know nothing about too. It might not be a good reason. Heck it might not even be a religiously correct reason. But we are humans. And we have weaknesses and flaws.
So yes, it has been a tough year. The troubles and the scars run deeper than what I can put into words. But 2015 changed me. It helped me grow. And I am glad I made through all of it.
By all means, I am still not done dealing with all of these things. Every day is a new challenge. I always have new things that I have to deal with. It’s an ongoing process and I’m proud of myself with all of the positive growth I’ve made and all of the mental strength I’ve developed.
I think the most valuable thing I’ve gained out of this year is the knowledge of how supportive certain people can be. I cannot be more thankful for the people who supported me endlessly, which I know had been very tiring and difficult. And even when Bahiyah is mad at me for whining about things, I know that it comes from a place of love and concern. And when I look back at 2015, these are the wonderful things that I think about.
So cheers to a great life!