So I took a look at my blog posts from last year and…they’re pretty dark, but they also represent the point in my life that I was at. Fast forward to now: I can say three words that I was afraid of saying in the past: I am happy.
I always thought that happiness was something to achieve, something to strive for, but I slowly realized this year that happiness is a state of being, of feeling, for me at least.
This year represented a year of personal growth and overall upliftment for me. It’s amazing how much has changed in my life.
- I got a new job.
I am a journalist at a financial publication called Debtwire. It’s something new and exciting, even though I’ve almost been here a year. I never saw myself doing anything finance-related and yet, here I am. Above all, I get a chance to learn every day and say the words that have been my goal for so long: “I am a journalist in New York.”
- I moved into a new apartment.
I never thought I’d be the kind of person who enjoys living alone, but I do. At times, I miss having someone to talk to when I get home and miss my roommate, but I also feel completely myself alone in my apartment. It was a step I didn’t know that I needed to take to love me for who I am and grow into my own as a young adult.
- I joined a community theater group.
Almost a year ago, I joined AfterWork Theater. I wish words were enough to express the impact that this community has had on me. I genuinely love everyone associated with the organization and believe in its mission of fun, community, and creative self-expression. I found confidence looking inwards for the first time in my life. I found a group of people who welcomed me with open arms, who have become my second family, who make New York feel like home. I found a reason to be content with who I am and where I am in life.
- I started actively volunteering again.
From the age of like seven, I have volunteered every chance I’ve gotten. After moving to New York, I lost that a little bit. I had moments like dancing in the New York Dance Marathon and raising money for my sorority’s philanthropy, but I wasn’t as immersed as I wanted to be. I’m still not. It’s one thing I’m working on. But I joined efforts to raise money for AfterWork and to advise soon-to-be high school graduates through my local Jamatkhana (literally translated to house of the people) as an Ismaili Muslim. They make me feel like me again.
It’s been a challenging journey and a challenging few years, but I wouldn’t change them. I’m not saying that I don’t still break down every now and then or that I don’t have new goals. But I will say that I’m happy and incredibly blessed.