New Year's Eve 2010. As I prepare to ring in the new year, I can't help but reflect on the year that's passed. The ups and downs that have "made me who I am".
It's been a really difficult yet wonderful year in many ways. It's the first full year I've spent living in London with my British husband.
This was the year I felt incredibly lonely and afraid in a new city, having left the comfort of family and friends behind. This is the year I felt stripped of everything that I thought was good about myself and had to rebuild and rediscover "me"in order to live with and make the most of my decisions.
It's the year that my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and looked back on that very happy day and then the chaos that unfolded soon after in September 2009. It's the year that, despite many difficulties, we decided to fight hard for our relationship...and proved that love does conquer all things. This was the year I truly understood the meaning of loving unconditionally and, finally, exhaled.
This was the year I focused my energies on establishing myself in my professional life and carved a unique role for myself within my company.
This is the year I've started figuring out where my strengths lie, what my passions are and what my priorities are now, as opposed to holding onto the past and who I was back when life was "easy".
This was the year my mom had an emergency triple bypass and terrified my brother and me. This is also the year that I've seen her healthier and more energetic than she's been in years.
This is the year I've seen my mom's heart breaking, and felt mine breaking for her. This is the year I vowed to make sure that I do everything in my power to keep her as happy, healthy and safe as possible.
This is the year my husband and I moved to Notting Hill, and discovered a beautiful community in the heart of London in which we can fondly call home.
This is the year that I've started regaining my confidence. I've started seeing that woman who I knew was always there but got lost for a bit. I've started being proud of myself again and setting goals that challenge me physically and mentally.
This is the year that I've depended on the belief that with every bad or unhappy circumstance, a better and happier circumstance is soon to follow. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
I look ahead to 2011 with love, joy and excitement. I plan to take control of the things I can, to let go of those I can't and make the most of every experience. I plan to exhaust myself with possibilities and have faith that a little hope and a lot of love does achieve greatness.