“There are years that ask questions and there are years that answer”
– Zora Neale Hurston
This quote by Zora comes to mind every time I think about 2012. Zora is one of my personal idols, and her book ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ is probably the first novel that made me cry. I relate to both Janie from the book and Zora herself.
Anyways, back to the question. 2012 was a year that asked questions. Some of these questions I was familiar with, some I had never thought I’d have to answer or think about in my life ever. Questions that shook me to my bones, my very foundations. Unfortunately I am still in search of some of these answers.
Who Are You?
What Do You Believe?
What is important?
Do you want to keep living your life this way?
When are you going to start nurturing yourself and stop being a martyr?
When are you going to stop ingesting milk products?
Are you ever going to realise that your health is important too?
When are you going to stop pushing people away?
What reason(s) do you have to be alive? Is it worth it? Are you worth it?
How do you cope with a close acquaintance who’s terminally ill?
I realise that some of these questions may seem out of context and hard to understand. If I was to name the most recurrent word of the year, it will have to be illness. I swear I was so ill this year people stopped believing me when I said I was ill.
The year started with a personal cancer scare, which quickly progressed into tests on end, surgery and many hospital visits. Then there were the fainting episodes, two or three times when the ambulance was called for me because my flat mates were scared about me and then maybe the biggest hurdle of all, mental health issues. And then finding out at the end of the year that someone very close to me has a very serious illness and there’s the possibility of losing them.
This year taught me that when you ask the universe if it can get any worse, it will get worse. It will get worse. It will get worse. Several times in the year, I thought I had landed at rock bottom but a few months later, I would find myself at a much lower place than I was. Those nights with the razor in my hand, furiously scratching myself trying to let go of the hurt or the days I spent crying non-stop (and I really mean non-stop), or the day when I walked to CEX with my iPad and sold it with tears running down my cheeks because I had no more money to survive on. None of these were as rock-bottomy (yes, I made up my own word) as realising I was starting to lose some amazing friends because I was pushing them away or getting my heart-broken for the umpteenth time. But what can I say, the heart wants what it wants and it will throw a tantrum if it does not get it.
But it was not all bad. See, somehow through all of it I managed to complete my masters in Biochemical Engineering with a distinction. I also managed to gain admission for a PhD, and in the process discover what I want to do with my life. In the middle of all this as well, I managed to make friends (I mean real life, ride or die friends). I started the long process towards healing some of the hurt that had been deposited in my life over the years. Most importantly, I found the strength somewhere deep within me to stay alive. This is what I consider to be my most important achievement this year. I discovered I have the strength within me to stay alive.
One Thing Remains
“Higher than the mountains that I face…
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
Your love never fails; it never gives up, never runs out on me,…
In death, in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love…” (One Thing Remains- Jesus Culture)
Through it all, I attribute my survival, my being here to Jesus. Jesus has been so many things to me this year, most of all the quiet still voice telling me there’s hope in the middle of these raging storms, reminding me that I’m loved and valued when I don’t feel so and his forgiving nature assuring me that those times when I go off-course, he loves me through it. He loves me through it.
I’m going to close with something I tweeted on thanksgiving.
“What am I thankful for? Pain, the ability to feel and the God who understands what He’s doing.”
Here’s to a much better 2013.
We will be back here same time tomorrow for a sit-down with Tomi the roving engineer. See you 🙂