2016 – Final Thoughts

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As I spend the final moments of 2016 reflecting on all that has happened this year, it’s really bitter-sweet and hard to put into words. I am all about focusing on the positive and being thankful for all the good things in our lives, but it hasn’t been an easy thing to do at times.

When this year started, I was aware of the fact that I had a lot of challenges to overcome. Personally, academically and professionally, I had a lot of things to get in order and I remained focused on my goals. The good by far outweighed the bad. I completed law school, passed my attorneys admission exams, got sworn in and admitted as an attorney, traveled, met people who changed my life for the better, had some unexpected surprises, many dreams came true, I discovered more and more about myself and my relationship with myself grew stronger. I am proud of the woman I’ve become and I know I still have work to do, but that’s what the twenties are about… That’s what life is about… The journey of discovery. Making the best of every situation and the most of the time we are given.

2016 has been the biggest roller-coaster of my life… I thought 2015 was a mix of some of the best and worst moments of my life… But then 2016 came along and took the cake. I achieved so much and so many of my dreams came true… But the number of obstacles I have encountered along the way have been more than ever before. With each year that goes by, the stakes are higher, the challenges bigger and I have to step things up and prove myself more and more. Sometimes it frustrates me, but it is what it is and feeling sorry for myself won’t get me anywhere…

Just as I have gained a lot, I have lost too…. I lost people I thought would always be there and I’ve had to learn and remind myself that nothing is guaranteed. Like many others, my life has been touched by death and I have been reminded of my mortality… That is something that drives me to keep going because every day is a blessing and a gift and I don’t want to find that I didn’t honour the fact I got to see another day when many didn’t.

2016 was no walk in the park… Everyone I know can attest to that. It hasn’t been easy for anyone. But no one ever promised us an easy life. No one ever promised us perfection. Those are things many may hope for, but the reality is, sometimes things will be hard. Sometimes we will be brought down to our knees and stripped of all we thought we had to hang on to… Sometimes all we are going to have is ourselves. And we have to find a way for that to be enough.

Solitude is what I’ve been holding on to more than ever before. I have never needed it before in the way that I have this year. Last year I was determined to make myself my main focus in 2016. Pushing the envelope and making my happiness and dreams my top priority while also celebrating my victories and being grateful for the good things in my life. I really believe I worked hard on that. I made breakthroughs. Sometimes a breakdown comes before the breakthrough, but it all contributes to building us and preparing us for what is ahead.

My motto this year was “face your fears, live your dreams”. I did a bit of both. And it feels good to know that. My heart didn’t go cold even though there were times it could have and perhaps even should have. I rediscovered and reconnected with some of my passions and what makes me feel most alive. I have seen very good days and really bad ones. I have cried tears of joy and tears of pain… But at the end of it all, I LIVED… I lived and made it through. And now I’m ready to look ahead. I’m ready to leave behind this year… I am ready to leave behind the disappointments and finish what I started.

2017 will be even more about me. I will not compromise on anything. I will reap the fruits of my labour. I will live, love, work and do all things with my full dedication. I will focus my time and energy on that which is worthy. I will not explain myself or apologize for doing what I need to do to be happy… I will strive to always remain and be a good person even if at times it seems like no one sees or appreciates it. I will dream bigger dreams and believe in my ability to make them come true. I will continue to push through both the good and bad days for as long as there is still breath in my body. I will travel, explore the world around me and put more of my energy on living in the moment. I will set goals and pursue them tirelessly.

I will LIVE life to the fullest and trust the process even though I know some things won’t make much sense at times.

Goodbye 2016… I hope 2017 makes up for all the hardships we all went through this year…

Here’s to a new chapter, new experiences, endless possibilities and living FEARLESSLY.

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Cape Town – Beach Life

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Ever since I can remember, I have always loved the beach. It’s kind of funny seeing as I can’t swim to save my life, but that would never stop me from having all the fun in the water.

The first time I ever dipped my toes in the sand was in November 2011 at the beach in Durban. It was really awesome and liberating, but it was in May 2013 when I first traveled to Cape Town that I truly experienced the beauty of the beach, the sand and the sunset in a way unlike ever before. There is something really fascinating to me about it and it was only natural that I would want to see the sunset there again this year.

After a long, crazy year, I booked my flight and went to visit my friend in Cape Town. It was really fun being away from life as I know it and just having a different view and environment for a few days. I am beginning to enjoy travel more and more with each trip.

What makes Cape Town’s landscape so beautiful to me, among other things, is driving down the road surrounded by beautiful palm trees (which just so happen to be my favorites), how Table Mountain seems to everywhere – pretty much no matter how far you go or where you are, the different beaches that make you feel like you are in completely different places, the calmness, the breeze, the way your feet just sink in the sand, the high tides that catch you by surprise when they hit harder than expected and of course, the sunset. That, to me, is magical.

I played in the water like a carefree child, freezing as it was. Sitting on the beach watching the sun setting, seemingly falling into the ocean is something I could watch over and over again many times and I am pretty sure it would still take my breath away without fail each and every time. I love capturing such moments on camera and having those bits of those moments to carry on with me and look back on. For me, Cape Town represents a getaway and complete tranquility. Living in South Africa is a true blessing. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful countries in the world and there are so many places to visit and explore. Nature is a wonderful thing and the older I get, the more my appreciation grows.

Lunch by the beach side with cocktails and good food and company, walking barefoot in the sand on the beach, getting into the water waiting for the cold waves to hit and seeing the sun set will go down as some of the most beautiful memories I will take from 2016 going forward. I encourage anyone and everyone to visit Cape Town at least once… It’s a place and an experience like no other. Here’s to traveling more and enjoying the beauty of the simpler things in life. Take nothing for granted!

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(© Photography By: GMZee)

New Beginnings – It’s All About Perception

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Lately I’ve been observing the sunset & its astonishing beauty… Something I realized is that it never looks exactly the same as the previous day…
 Call me crazy, but it got me thinking about life & all each day represents… No two days are the same… One day is more gloomy than another… Or more colourful…. And just as we have days that feel harder & more complicated, we also have days that are bright & beautiful…
 It’s up to us to decide when we look up at the sky if we’re going to take forward the beauty & learn from the drama & baggage of ourselves (as well as others), leaving it behind us so as to enjoy a better tomorrow or if we’re just going to go through the motions of the same routine, expecting different results.
 We can all have a “better” tomorrow… A tomorrow without insecurities, fears, doubt in ourselves, our strengths & our value… A tomorrow without unnecessary troubles, things that are toxic & not good for us… A tomorrow that is one sunset away… And of course, there comes a sunrise that will be just as magnificent… And filled with prowess… A more beautiful day. Oftentimes, we’re a choice away from that day…
 I’ve made the choice to look beyond the negative things that can hold me back & instead focus on all the things that are good in my life & the countless possibilities of all the things I can achieve by focusing my mind on the things I really want in life….
 I’m doing things I never thought I would. But I’m thankful for the opportunities to grow & expand my horizons. Yes, I’m thankful & blessed. 2014’s a year for success!!!
 
(© Photography By: GMZee)
(Top: Pretoria Sunset, 9 January 2014)
(Bottom: Pretoria Sunset, 10 January 2014)