It’s been a year of ups and downs like never before, but 2011 has blessed me with many moments to cherish, many friends to treasure and many opportunities to grasp, and I am grateful for everything I have experienced this year; both good and bad.
Thank you 2011 for starting off on a high with my amazing new job. Throughout the year I have learnt so much, met some incredible people and attended some wonderful events. It has been an honour and a privilege to develop in this role.
Thank you 2011 for once again showing me of the precious and delicate nature of life, and for making me more determined to take every opportunity I am presented with and live each day to the full. I was reminded of my own mortality when I contracted a mystery illness in May, and my eventual recovery made me appreciate my health even more. I also lost a friend of the same age as me in a road accident this year; tragic, shocking and unnecessary. Life is so precious and we must give it the value it deserves.
Thank you 2011 for bringing my 21st birthday in September; quite a landmark. I feel lucky to have reached this age and fully intend to do it justice.
Thank you 2011 for allowing me to travel to pastures new and opening my eyes to new countries and cultures. The scenery, the smells, the food, the air, the travel companions… It has been a brilliant year for holidays. I fell in love with the United Arab Emirates when I visited my friends Malin and Kareem in April, and again when I stayed with my adopted family in October (more about them later)… I explored Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with my ‘sister’, developed an addiction to pao de quaijo and acai, went up the mountain to see ‘the big man’ and danced the nights away to the samba. Unforgettable.
Thank you 2011 for giving me some of the most amazing and special friends I have ever had. I have made and cemented more meaningful friendships this year than in any other year I can remember; people to treasure forever…
Thank you 2011 for being the year I met the Beljaflas. This family has truly changed my life. My sister Hind, my fellow Virgo Reem, my sweet Abdulla… Hessa, Maitha, Ali, Salem, Saleh, Saeed… You are all in my heart forever. The warmest and most welcoming family I have ever had the pleasure of being accepted by. The love, laughter, inspiration, happiness and hope they have provided me with this year is immeasurable in its worth. A7bkm klkm.
Thank you 2011 for uniting me with my TFs (the meaning of which shall remain between us…) Mariam, Fatoom and Ghalya; London feels empty and hollow when you aren’t here. You have given me renewed life in this city and made my last few months here so much fun. Chelsea Burger, poisoned hot saffron and milk, antique pocket knives and pen collections, late night religious YouTube conversion attempts, Made in Chelsea cast stalking (o_O) and Sunday Roast… What would my life be without all this?!
Thank you 2011 for identifying my true friends and enabling me to let go of the ones who were not what they seemed. One of my dearest friends got married, and another of my most precious became a father for the third time. Thank you for being a year of happiness for those friends I care about the most.
Thank you 2011 for teaching me more about love. I learnt to let go, I learnt that true love never dies, I learnt that new love can be found, and I learnt that my heart is even stronger than I realised before.
Thank you 2011 for a year of great music. The Weeknd, Drake and J. Cole are the most prominent on my annual playlist and some of their songs have been added to the soundtrack of my life. This year’s music has helped me through the best and worst of times.
And finally, thank you 2011 for being a year of great opportunity. This year has laid the foundations for me to spread my wings and fly away to build a new home and a new life in Dubai in the new year. I will always be thankful to 2011, and I am so excited for what 2012 will bring.