What a year it's been. It really has been a year of changes, with some beautiful things happening and some not so beautiful things happening. A lot has changed for me personally and whilst I'm not going to say it's been my best year it certainly hasn't been my worst. One thing that really carried weight this year both globally and personally was the Arab Spring. It came very close to home (Oman) and it really brought certain things into perspective. I hope that things in the Middle East and North Africa will settle down soon or at least become more stable. Syria and Egypt have always been on my travel list but for now any travels plans have been put on hold. The Middle East really is such a wonderful place and it upsets me when violence tears these beautiful countries apart. My heart will always belong to the Middle East in some shape or form, so what hurts the Middle East hurts me.
The deaths of Osama Bin Laden, Gaddafi and Kim Jong Il this year probably should warrant a few words but I personally think that none of these men deserve any of our time or words anymore. Everything that could be said has already been said. However one voice that will be incredibly missed is Amy Winehouse, too much too young when she still had so much to give. So many other lives have been lost this year or ways of life have been shaken, through terrible tragedies such as the earthquake in Japan, the tornados in the Midwest, the UK riots and the August terror attacks in Norway. Whenever I see images from those events it does take a lot not to cry. This year more so than any other year it seems, really was a test to see how well the world could stick together and if people could be there for each other. Red cross donations, post riot clean ups in London and the immense global support for Norway does show that there is some faith to be had in humanity. One of my favorite quotes from Khalil Gibran seems very applicable to this year: 'Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars'.
For me personally it's been an interesting year, there have been some downs but over all it's been a far more positive year. I'm in a wonderful relationship that is going strong despite the horrendously long distance nature of it. In March we will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary so that is something I'm really looking forward to. Also this year I realised after years of searching for the place that I could call my own 'home', that I want to make the UK my home. Moving away to France in September showed me how at ease I feel in the United Kingdom and how much I really love it. In a strange way the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April had me in tears whilst watching because I was so proud of my 'home country' because I could see how happy people were and how proud they were to be British. I'm not willing to give up my German passport because that's part of my history and identity but I can see myself living and working in the UK and maybe one day even having my own family in the UK. The move to Montpellier in September has been very good for me, it's taken me out of my comfort zone and has made me very appreciative of the life I have back home in Wales. I've remembered what it's like to be slightly more independent again, I was getting a little complacent in Cardiff and relying on my other half a lot, so he will be happy to see that I can stand on my own two feet again. It has really been a learning curve, and I still have 6 more months to go so there will be plenty more adventures.
For the first time in years I feel at peace with myself, many things that didn't make sense at the start of the year now do. I'm the happiest with myself that I have ever been. It's taken a long, long time and lots of talks with various people for me to realise this. What I've learnt is that there is a time for everything: a time to feel sad and a time to be happy. We go through the bad and the challenging to learn, it builds our character and makes us stronger. I'm sure 2012 will bring along a whole new host of challenges but I feel ready to at least try and face them.
Resolutions for 2012:
Resolutions for 2012:
• Smoke less
• Eat less pastry foods/eat healthier
• budget my money better
• go to Paris, Barcelona and Venice
• do more work for university
• get a job in Cardiff
• apply for internships and work experience
• make the best out of 2012
How has 2011 treated you? What were the most memorable things? Will you be making any resolutions?
I hope you all have a wonderful and peaceful start into the New Year with lots of optimism for what the new year can bring. Everything is possible.
Lots of love