sabato 31 dicembre 2016

Thank you 2016

I am sitting on my EY Flight destination Amman (thank you. Technology!!). It is the last day of 2016. A year that was characterized by so many traumatic events around the globe. Wars, terrorism, famine, forced migration, ..., Brexit. No wonder many are waiting for this year to be over. With a little over two hours to go before I land in Jordan - a trip I am dreading for the significant emotional toll that it will bear on me - I am left to ponder about what 2016 meant for me.

Selfishly, 2016 was a good year. A very good year. For the first time in almost three years, Abu Dhabi finally felt like home. This was only possible thanks to the human connections that I established. I have to partially credit myself, in the sense that my craving for genuine human interactions, for friendships, for meaningful relationships pushes me to speak with strangers. Smiling and chatting up people does not always reap the desired results. Some grump. Some send back a synthetic smile. But thanks to the law of large numbers (check wikipedia!) eventually, a smile or a chat sparks a genuine smile back. It triggers a "hello". A "how are you?"

To make a long story short, I am thankful for 2016 as it brought me:
Some new amazing friends and strengthened some newly born friendships. Some relationships were tested, some broke, some lasted. Some are painfully uncertain... To my strong wonder and super duper women out there, near and far, please know that you are in my daily bed time prayer. You ALL are my rock
A fitter, healthier, smoke-free, stronger (not skinnier ....eeeek) version of me! More and more athletic and eager to challenge myself. I conquered fears and completed a desert warrior challenge, a spartan a half marathon (still cannot believe it!)
Adventures on land, mountains, sea and under water! I travelled Asia, America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East! I made memories that will last...
Reunions with loved ones. I managed to share so many great moments with people I love. People from my previous life. People that no matter how far you are, no matter how infrequent our interactions are, our bond stays strong.  Afterall, we are only a whatsapp and skype away...
Quality time with family. Mine, like many, is a complex one. Multicultural and hence multi-problem and multi-headache. But it is family.  I am blessed that I managed to spend my 36th Christmas with my super duper 87 yo gran. This is perhaps the greatest blessing.
Butterflies in the stomach. This year I loved again. Ohhh and it was beautiful. Not long enough. Is it ever? But it was so beautiful. Like spring. It gave me joy and a side kick I thought I would never feel again. It gave me hope, that I could love, and be loved again. It made me think. It made me happy and a little sad. It reminded me that we need to live every moment because you never know when that moment will fade. Sometimes quicker than you wish....
My Bonnie!! My partner in crime. My beautiful bike.

2016 had it share of sad news for me too. It took away someone I loved. A person that I grew up with. A person that life tested him so much. I am not sure if he disappointed life or life disappointed him. Omar, I will miss you dearly. I wish I could have told you how much I loved you my dear cousin. I hope you rest in peace.

Most importantly 2016 was good to me because I was free. I was free to make my choices. To live the life I want to live. To spend time with people I want to spend with. Leave those I wanted to leave. Free to stay. Free to go. Free to let go. I wish for 2017 to everyone to enjoy a life of freedom. Of health. Of peace. Of forgiveness...

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