Dear 2016

Dear 2016

Thank you.

Thank you for giving me a community service post that was not at all what I had anticipated. Working in the clinics for a year was so challenging, and there were probably hundreds of times when I felt like I was ready to throw in the towel. Many tears were shed, many expletives were uttered and many times I wondered what the reason was that I was working in a busy, ill-stocked clinic in the middle of Soweto. I’m still not really sure of the reason to be honest. But I do feel like in my short time there I made a difference within the community. I met people who changed my life forever. I now truly understand how clinics work, and when I get a referral from a clinic and the patient hasn’t had necessary investigations done I know it’s (usually) not because the referring doctor was too lazy to do them but because they just aren’t available. Every experience, good and bad, shapes you into who you eventually become. I feel like this experience has made a different doctor. Not necessarily better or worse, but with a better understanding of where my patients are coming from. And for that I am grateful.

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Thank you for introducing me to yoga. I had no idea I would love it so much, and that it would help me to feel strong and healthy again. For someone who is a serious overthinker, spending time on the mat brings quiet to my mind and an inner peace I hadn’t known possible. It’s taught me the importance of meditation and breathing, which helps (most of the time) when I’m stuck behind a taxi driving terribly. And honestly, it just brings me more joy than I could have ever thought.

Thank you for friendships, old and new. There is no problem too great that can’t be solved by a cup of tea (or glass of wine) shared with a good friend. I’m so beyond grateful for all my wonderful girlfriends, you know who you are ❀

Thank you for giving me not one, but two phenomenal overseas trips. The first was to beautiful Edinburgh, where I was able to spend time with special family members, including my beloved grandfather who recently passed away. It is such an incredible part of the world, and having the opportunity to visit it again made me feel really lucky. The other trip was with my best friend to Greece, and for two weeks we ate too much cheese, drank too much ouzo and bad wine, and laughed non-stop. It was the best thing for our friendship and our souls, and we made memories for life for which I am so grateful.

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Thank you for reminding me how much I love to write, and despite being a bit inconsistent with it, I rediscovered blogging. It brought me so much happiness to sit with my laptop and put my thoughts onto (virtual) paper. It made me realise that there is so much I can do outside of medicine, and that it’s important to take time out to do things that I love.

Of course, I’m only writing down the good things that 2016 brought me. But really, I’m grateful for all of it, good and bad. I learnt and grew and stretched and traveled, I laughed and cried and rested and struggled, and all of it was worth it.

So, 2016. Thank you.

I can’t wait to see where 2017 will take me ❀

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