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2016: A Year in Review

We did it, guys. We survived 2016.

Like many of you, I am drained by and done with this tumultuous year. 2016 was a harsh wake-up call for humanity, and 2017 will be the real test for us all. With hard work and heart, I truly believe we can and will weather the storms ahead.

Despite all the chaos, I did have some personal highlights worth mentioning, including traveling to Paris, meeting new people, accomplishing long-held goals, and listening to a lot of good new music. As I gear up to say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2016, I’d like to share the moments that made this year one to remember in a celebratory way.

Throughout the year, I’ve been compiling a page of memories from 2016—including notable experiences I had, concerts I attended, music I listened to, movies I watched, television shows I  followed, and books I read—and now the time capsule is complete! Check it out here at Scrapbook 2016.

Featured image by Robert Wiedemann.
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My Super Sweet 2016

“Sixteen candles make a lovely light.”

In my teenage dreams, I was always anxiously looking ahead to the next chapter – finishing middle school, getting past that nerve-wracking freshman year of high school, and culminating in the grand Sweet Sixteen celebration, when all of my awkwardness and terrors would be vanquished once I turned 16 and graduated into that pre-adulthood stage of life.

Of course, things didn’t turn out quite that way. I’m well into my twenties now and still have my fair share of insecurities, uncertainties, and fears (spoiler alert – no matter what age you are, that never goes away).

But as I sit here to reflect on the past and consider my goals for the present, I’m realizing that these past two years have been exponential times of personal and professional growth for me. Confident, courageous, and happy aren’t words I could have used to describe myself at the beginning of 2014, but I can say so now. And I think that calls for a celebration, damnit!

2014 was all about surviving the quarter-life crisis and starting my career. 2015 was all about ‘making it happen’ and streamlining myself for the future. In 2016, I want to continue to broaden my horizons, in areas like travel, career, volunteering, education, fitness, home, creativity, and friendship, and just follow the yellow brick road towards learning and experience. In addition to that, I also want to make it a top priority to celebrate both my ongoing discoveries and accomplishments, as well as extend that congratulatory and celebratory spirit to others. Too often, we forget to give ourselves a much-deserved pat on the back, but acknowledging ourselves and each other is an important element of attaining satisfaction.

With that being said, My Super Sweet 2016 is going to be all about making this year a time for celebration, along with adventure, playful indulgence, weird wonderfulness, and treatin’ yo self. 

What’s your grand vision for your 2016?

2015: A Year in Review

Everything that transpired in 2015 ties back to my mission of being more focused on and involved in shaping who I want to be and steering myself closer towards where I want to go.

By challenging myself to Make it Happen – to lean in, live in the here and now, and bypass my fears by taking progressive risks – I strengthened my confidence, initiative, productivity, and overall well-being. Nothing is a better example of the positive benefits of daring greatly than my solo trip to London in April. It was audaciously outside of my comfort zone, but man, was it ever worth it! Make it happen? I made it happen in 2015!

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One on One

“You’ll never be lonely if you learn to befriend yourself.”

I used to live religiously by this adage. Now, I’m not so sure I believe it’s wholly true.

I find comfort in solitude. I thrive in moments of self-reflection. I don’t mind going to concerts, movies, and dinner solo. I am an independent woman to the core. But as at ease as I am and empowered as I feel when I have myself as company, I don’t desire going through life completely alone. I believe you need conversation, laughter, and shared experiences with people in order to feel fulfilled, content, and alive.

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The Real And Honest Truth

I accepted an Instagram challenge (started by Nicole Mehl and Annie Cline of Beauty in the Light) from my big sis, Tania Hussain, to tell the #realandhonesttruth. Throughout the course of three days, I revealed three things about myself that I usually keep concealed. On our social media channels, we tend to post only the good, the happy, and the pretty sides of our lives, and filter out the bad, the sad, and the downright ugly. But in doing so, we are not presenting our full and authentic selves. As Brene Brown asserts in her works, embracing and implementing a balance with the positives, the negatives, and the grey areas is the key to living wholeheartedly, and when we share our stories of harsh reality, we are able to better relate to and find compassionate connection with others. Through vulnerability, we can be stronger and be united, and ultimately make our day-to-day lives so much more bearable and worthwhile.

Here are my three stories of beauty, family, and death (and if you’d like to do this challenge too, join in).

Continue reading “The Real And Honest Truth”