It seems like it was just yesterday that we were welcoming in the brand new year of 2017, and look! Here we are already at the beginning of 2018 and it’s like ‘woah’, where is time actually going?
To be honest, I didn’t enter 2017 in the best place within myself. I had just had our daughter a couple of weeks earlier, in a brand new country, with no family or friends around; I was struggling with breastfeeding and just felt really alone, unhappy and exhausted. Anyone who knows me knows how I always try my best to stay positive, but back then I felt like I was really battling with how I was feeling against forcing myself to keep positive. I guess it was just a bad case of the baby blues and thankfully it did pass – as everything does – and overall, 2017 turned out to be another pretty decent year for me personally, with the Universe definitely showing me that things happen in your life exactly when they are meant to. I achieved a few things this year that I have wanted to do for so long, but didn’t happen, as there were other plans for me at that time. I guess that’s why sometimes you just have to let go and trust in the powers that are out there.
Here are 10 of my highlights of 2017…
As I mentioned above, I was really struggling with breastfeeding my daughter and was experiencing some of the same issues I had had a few years earlier with my son, one being getting mastitis. With my son, I was so determined not to give up but this time around, I came so very dangerously close to giving in, as the pain was just too much to bear sometimes. Thankfully, God sent me an angel in the form of an old high school friend who gave me so much love, support and encouragement (thank you Fahmina!) and with the help of nipple shields (what an amazing invention – seriously), a lot of patience, and self-love, I managed to pull through! We’re still going strong, albeit just on one breast, a year later.
2. Writing for News on Sunday, Mauritius
I recommenced writing for Mauritius’ biggest English newspaper with my own conscious weekly feature called ‘Sabah Says’ as well as introducing a brand new weekly feature called ‘Meet the Expats’ in which my husband and I interview expats living on the island. Honestly, some of the emails and messages I’ve received on social media have been so heartwarming and humbling, with one person even telling me that ‘Sabah Says’ is a blessing for the people of Mauritius. I’m so, so thankful.
3. Connecting with people from all walks of life
Writing for the paper opened up a whole new world of opportunity and through it I have met, interviewed and connected with some absolutely amazing people doing incredible things; establishing relationships with people who I would never have had the opportunity to do so with otherwise – people of different ages, colours, cultures, religions, countries, languages… the experience has been so enriching for both the mind and soul and I am looking forward to connecting with more wonderful souls this year.
4. Made a lot of art!
I created some beautiful pieces of art in 2017 that I am really proud of, especially focussing my attention on creating mandalas. At the same time, a lot of ideas to do with my artwork flowed through to me and I plan on making those ideas a reality in 2018. Also this year, on Instagram myself and @designsbynn (who has come to be a great ‘digital friend’ :D) started our own spin-off of the yearly Inktober drawing challenge that we called #hennainktober, which was a great success!
5. Became confident with cooking
2017 was the year that I learnt to cook without feeling overwhelmed or panicked by it all (thanks especially to my wonderful big sister and the amazing creation that is Whatsapp!). I can now make a pretty mean curry and for the first time ever, I cooked a roast chicken dinner on Christmas and a roast beef dinner on New Years Eve, which both went down a treat. Yay!
6. Got my website made
I’ve written about this in a whole separate post which you can read here, but yes, at the beginning of December I launched this brand new, beautiful blog/website which I am absolutely in love with. For over 6 years I’ve been saying that I need to have my website created and after all this time, I’m so grateful that now it’s finally done.
7. Got my art professionally printed for the very first time
Walking into the art printers and collecting the first ever prints made of my mandala artwork was a beautiful feeling, honestly. Even now, writing about it, I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty choked up as it’s something I have wanted for such a long time. Framing them and then actually going on to sell some was absolutely incredible – I was literally floating on cloud nine.
8. Did my first Christmas market
Everything really does have its time and this experience really brought that home to me. Back in 2015, I paid a lot of money to do a big Christmas market in Manchester but my son fell really ill and we ended up staying in hospital for three weeks, meaning that I wasn’t able to prepare for the market. The family behind the market was horribly rude and unprofessional and made getting my money back a hellish experience and overall, it was just a really horrible time. Anyway, fast-forward to December 9th 2017, and I had my own table filled with my artwork at a Christmas market right here in Mauritius. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling, there were good vibes all around and I was beaming, as it was the first time I was holding a stall where the focus was on my artwork rather than my henna body art, and of course, it was my first ever Christmas market. I met some wonderful people that day, made some great sales and heard compliment after compliment from people admiring work that I had put so much of myself into. It was a really beautiful day.
9. Read some amazing and life-changing books
At the end of 2016, I told myself that in 2017 I would read more. Well, that happened. I’ve had Khaled Hosseini’s ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and ‘The Kite-Runner’ sitting collecting dust on my shelf for years. I don’t even know how I allowed that to happen because after reading them as well as Hosseini’s latest offering I can quite honestly say they are some of the most gripping, heart-wrenching fictional books I have ever read. Other reads include Anita Moorjani’s ‘Dying to be me’ (post coming soon) and I am no longer a Dr. Wayne Dyer book virgin – two authors whose words have and are changing my life.
10. Created my second ever spoken word poetry video
YouTube has been something that I have done on and off since 2011. After having my son in 2013, I felt like I completely lost myself and I kind of stopped doing everything I loved. In March 2016, I started a new YouTube channel and I was absolutely loving the journey until bam, I fell pregnant and decided to move countries. And then after having my daughter, I felt like I lost myself again and all those dreams I had would just remain dreams and YouTube was on hold AGAIN. Anyway, now I am determined more than ever to create content, get back on there and make this dream a reality – so I started on 31st December 2017, by uploading my second ever spoken word poetry piece looking back over the events of 2017. It could have been so much better than it is, but I’m just so glad that I pushed myself and made sure I got something out. Here’s to making my YouTube channel everything that I want it to be and more in 2018.
So there we have it, 10 highlights from my 2017. I feel like the year just passed is the year that I finally began to begin truly believing in myself, my talents, my passions and the messages I have to share with the world. I just know 2018 is going to be amazing with God by my side and Love in my heart. Here’s to a happy, healthy, conscious and beautiful year filled with lessons and growth for all. Happy 2018!