Reflecting on the past year I am suddenly overwhelmed with happiness, sadness, frustrations, remorse, elation, it was not an easy journey. I have become aware of what makes me upset, what calms me up and what motivates me to keep going. I had the opportunity to travel, venturing into new cities and countries and finding hope in the eyes of children and comfort in the wisdom of strangers and my grandmother, even though she is no longer with us, her favorite scent is my favorite flower. I have learned that God is Greater than all of our sorrows, that home lies in mother, that friendship is felt and not seen, that everyone is fighting a war inside, that words can heal the loneliest of hearts, that you must forgive others because they are only human and you are only human, you must forgive yourself. Be grateful for the heartbreaks, the hurt, the mistakes, the lessons. Understand the past, prepare for the future and cherish the present. Twenty thirteen, a year where memories of grandmother in Sudan pass, where loved ones are no longer amongst us, where birth of new life is given, where smiles linger between bones and tears have dried out. A year I witnessed lovers unite in matrimony, a year where I walked into journey, into new self. Into a person I have spent years creating. A person who is stronger, wiser, a person who no longer apologizes for being human. Twenty thirteen highlights college graduation, Peace Corps in Tanzania, travels to Kenya, to Paris, to Sudan, to Amsterdam, to Cairo. A year where I met strangers who became family, friends who turned into enemies, lovers admired from a distance. During this year, I fell in love with far too many laughter and photographs and shared cups of coffee, and strangers eyes, reunited with old friends and learned the art of forgiveness. Two thousand fourteen, marks the beginning of a new era. New country. New mission. New journey to self-discovery. Perhaps a continuation of a journey I have been on for quite some time now. Though this time is different. This time I am starting the year with the love of my life. A man who I will spend the rest of my life with. A fiancé who challenges me to be my better self, to venture the world, to find my life’s calling. The beginning of many wonderful moments and not so wonderful moments together. I am welcoming the New Year with an open heart and an open-mind with all its challenges, happiness, sadness, frustrations, remorse, elation. A new journey to self-discovery.