At this time of year, I always reflect on all that I’ve been through and most importantly what I have learned.
I begin to wonder if I will ever have a year where I look back and think ‘hey look, nothing major has happened!’ I guess the only way that could happen would be if I lived in a hole for twelve months.
But isn’t it funny how we can possibly judge what something ‘major’ may actually be? If I lived in a hole, it could be a visit from a spider. We are all a product of circumstance and that’s what shapes us and molds us.
So this year. This blessed year. I have been through so much personally and professionally. It was incredibly hard but I feel like I have learned and grown in so many ways. So I suppose it was all worth it.
Towards the beginning of the year, I had to accept the fact that I will probably never have biological children. We took almost everything science had to offer us, but nothing worked. It was a very bitter pill to swallow. Being a mother was the one thing I thought I knew I wanted. It is so funny how things I never particularly thought about came to me rather easily: a husband, a career, my masters degree; all of which I am fortunate to have. But all I ever really expressed a wish for was to have children. And in a weird twist of fate, it is one of the few things I simply cannot have.

But I am not sad. Now. I was very sad. I was devastated. I am most certain I would have made an excellent mother. An unconventional mother, but a good one. And I had to mourn. I experienced grief for what I would probably never be. At that time I honestly believed I would never be happy again. I am glad to say, it is not the case. I have learned that you may not get what you want in life, but you can still be happy. When my second ivf failed, so many people told me ‘don’t give up! Don’t give up!’ However it was my dad, the only person who spoke some sense to me. And he said plainly: ‘listen…if you want to give up, just give up. This isn’t like you are climbing a mountain and you are being encouraged to press on because you know the top is there somewhere. There may never be a ‘top’. And there is only one you. Take care of you.’

And like that, I realised that although I cannot have children, it did not make me any less of a human being.Even though giving birth to a child will be an undying wish, I have come to the conclusion that maybe this is so for a reason that is bigger than me that I have yet to comprehend. And sometimes we are so clouded by what we think we want that we shut out all other possibilities that could be knocking on our door.

2017 taught me to grab at those possibilities. It also taught me to let go and move on and to accept that the universe will unfold as it will. And that can be a very positive thing.

I also learned about dreams. You can have more than one. And they don’t all have to be fully attainable. You can fulfill half a dream. Or a quarter. Or none at all. Or you can have the dream and it explodes in your face. The thing is, it’s all fine, because out of failed dreams, spawns a new dream that you never thought you could ever have. And you discover a strength you never thought you knew.

This year, I got promoted to nursing officer, or charge nurse, if you prefer the new nomenclature. And the way the system works is that according to your placing during the interview, you get to choose where you will work. If there is a vacancy for charge nurse in your ward, all well and good, providing that nobody who scored higher than you wishes to take that place (this actually happened to me when I became a deputy…there was need for a deputy in my ward, but someone who scored higher than me took the position, bumping me to another ward.) History has a lovely habit of repeating itself, so once again I got bumped out of where I was and I had to dive in to somewhere new.

Being a nursing officer is mega hard, especially in a new ward where nobody knows you and you don’t know them or how they work. The learning curve is steep and the time you have is limited as the ward needs to be run, regardless of if you’re ready or not.

To be honest, I don’t believe anybody is actually ready. And that is another thing 2017 has taught me: if you wait until you are ‘ready’ to do something, you probably would never do it. There is no real such thing as ‘being ready’. I think it’s all just ‘do or die’ and since I have no intention of dying, I do the best I can and bravely face the consequences when I fuck up. And trust me, I do fuck up. But I fuck up once and learn to never let it happen again.

Two years ago, I took up marathon training because it was a dream of mine to run a marathon. I ended up stopping due to fertility treatments and all the paraphernalia that comes along with them. This year, I have decided to pursue it again, without interruption. My progress has been phenomenal, I run well, faster and at longer a distance. And on the 25th of February, I will run that 21k. I won’t come first. But I will do it, mark my words.
2017. Not an easy year. But nothing worth having comes easy. And I’m still standing.
And the most valuable lesson I have learned is that I am a woman of strength. And the world has thrown so much at me that could have broken me, but it didn’t. And in some ways, these experiences have changed me: they have made me even kinder, even more empathetic and have put a fire in my heart to do more good than I have ever done before.
So take that, 2017. You did your worst. But you never anticipated Wonder Woman as an opponent.

Heh. Screw Wonder Woman. You had Marie-Claire. And that broad is as tough as nails.
Happy new year everyone, and all it brings! Lots of love and prosperity and whatever that means to you xxxx