Friday, January 4, 2008

After Seven, Comes Eight

It's been a while.

2007 has come and gone. If there was ever a year when my life took a fun some days and not so fun some days rollercoaster ride, it must have been 07. Then again, the universe was created in 7 days. I could even say my life changed in 2007. I'm ever so grateful to have crossed over to 2008 when many couldnt make it, the hundreds of innocent Kenyans who suffered and continue to suffer the sins, wrath and greed of others. The millions of lives still claimed by AIDS, Malaria, road accidents, Pneumonia, Cancer...the thousand of other people whose orbituaries will never be known, those whose important lives werent so important to anyone else. And while some of us toasted slim sleek glasses of champagne on the midnight of, there are still those who spent nights crying in bed, looking out of windows at shattered dreams and remnants of broken hearts. Some spent the night in plastic "blankets" out in cold streets, wondering which venue would have the most leftovers thrown away the following day. Some endured hunger for the night, just to make sure someone else ate. Some might have been at work, others infront of televisions reflecting infront of fireplaces. We all have our struggles, some emotional, others financial, perhaps we struggle with who we really are, maybe we just live the day to day struggles that life brings our way, but we all must have something in common...we must never be too comfortable with being comfortable. Sometimes I wonder how many lives I touched in 07. I know I was touched by many. How many people needed me and I offered a helping hand? How often did I think of anyone else but myself...can someone tell their 07 story and mention my name?

January... Another month, another year. Except this was senior year, the time to procrastinate and get the 4 years over with. Swaziland was the highlight of this month, cant beat that. I love my family. Other than that, Immigration issues and Amarula were still the order of the day.

Feb... when others celebrated Valentines day, I curled up in bed staring at the snow outside and wondering if I was still interested in ever celebrating another valentines day again. Probably not at the time. Anyhow, I think I studied, wished God a happy Valentines and slept most of the day. As for the month--Uneventful except I began to curse myself for taking the classes I did my last semester of college. Oh well. Necessary evils, right.

March - April ... the countdown to graduation begins. As well as the occasional "what am i going to do with my life" freak out sessions. The Highlight was school of public health letters. The lowlight was no money and more brokeness. But I learnt to appreciate my friends more at this point. Jamaican food, arguments, gchat, movies and the occasional amarula saved the day. Still, God was faithful.

May ... My birthday was made special by all the special (and some less important) people in my life. Fun times. I was happy to be done and almost at the end of dream number 1. Finally all my mother's children had completed their degrees. It felt great. 4 years for a piece of paper but my family's smiles were the greatest reward. My eyes were filled with tears on the day, friends and their relatives made me feel lekker too. It was good times. Until packing.

June - Aug ... Prayerful times. Faith took over. It was a fun summer for the most part. People came into my life, some stayed some didnt, i learnt important lessons and missed home. Slept alot, bummed alot, wondered how id make it through some days. I did, by writing, thinking, crying, smiling, praying, laughing and reading. Summer came and went, and it was time for new beginnings.

Sept -Oct ... The journey to a Masters degree begins. Who'd have thought that the end of one drama is the beginning of the next. Still, I took it all in stride. Some days I just couldnt get up to go to class cos I felt demotivated or just bitter (bitterness has since been removed from vocab). Then my anchor took effect and I was constantly reminded of the greater good, the people I feel I represent, the thousands of voices who couldnt even dream of a Masters degree and most of all, the God who brought me there to begin with. Def pulled myself together and studied Biostats, Epidemiology, International Health, Vaccines blah blah and more blah. Academics were more manageable than undergrad. Timing and spacing on the other hand, wasnt. But we still pulled through. I pulled energy from the people around me, and learnt from my own mistakes. Sometimes I was just downright stubborn and had the "whatever" days. At the end of it all, I still remembered I had an anchor who renewed my strength every morning. So first term came and went.

Nov-Dec ... my godchild is supposed to be born. Some exciting news finally. More exciting news came to balance and perhaps overthrow more depressing (depressing also in the works to be removed from vocab) thoughts of "where exactly is my life going, what am i going to do in life, when will i get to my dream point!" before i realized, the dream is NOW. Im living it right now. Because whether the day went great or blah, I still benefit something from it. Im alive. And this is when I start being grateful just to live to see another day. I love my classes, I love my best friends, my family, my boyfriend and everyone else who, in a world where we are often too busy to share a smile, share more than a laugh. More prayerful times, more learning periods, more "personal development exercises (i still dont know how to spell that word)".

And it's now January, apparently the month of new beginnings. I cant say whether or not Im a better person now after the rollercoaster of 07. That may be for other people to judge, but I know Ive grown tremendously by watching role models succeed, and seeing others struggle. Perhaps even alot more by learning how to capitalize on my strengths and stay prayerful abt my weaknesses. Ive also learnt a thing or two about staying positive, genuine smiling and perservering. About never letting go of the dreams that form the very being of who I am. Important as well, are the lessons Ive learnt about love, humility and self worth. That each person I meet is a part of a greater destiny, regardless of how you see them at that point. That we are all strategically placed where we are for a greater purpose. I wont say life is at its best right now, but I'll definitely say that it's worth living no matter the weather.

Happy New Year!