Tuesday, 19 July 2011

You're not nineteen forever, pull yourself together!

Today is my birthday. I'm 20. I'm no longer a teenager!

I don't really know how to feel, should I be happy? But what am I celebrating? Another year of my life has passed. So I decided to look back on the year to see what's happened, to reminisce the highs and the lows:

July 2010- the bad health month

I remember just being lazy and enjoying the holidays. I was also suffering from really bad back pain which I initially thought was just prolonged time-of-the-month pain. I went to the Doctor's and was sent to the Emergency Department of the hospital. After a long wait and lots of tests I'd rather forget I had to have, I was given some painkillers and booked an MRI scan for 4 weeks later. I also changed vocations from science (trying for medicine) to Economics. I also swung into the hyper-thyroid range, which came as a shock. I was also suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and got a diagnosis for that.

August 2010, the pain continues

I got a new haircut (no pictures, obviously!) ;) . I welcomed Ramadhan with open arms, but after two or three fasts, the back pain was too much and I realised I could not fast as I needed to take pain killers every 4 hours. I had to undergo nerve conduction tests (much to the amusement of my Mother!) to assess the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It showed that it was worse in my right hand, and although the results were confusing and inconclusive, my Consultant still agreed to operate. My surgery was booked for next month. I also volunteered for Muslim Aid with their street collections in aid of the Pakistan floods. I also unveiled my signature purple rose hijab.

September 2010, a rollercoaster ride

On the first of September, I had Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery on my left hand. A few days later, I had my MRI scan, which was quite scary. The machine was so noisy and it comes quite close to your face. By this time, my back pain had subsided anyway. I was told there was no slipped disc and was given more painkillers . I celebrated Eid with my bandage still on! I was then told I was hypo-thyroid, so this meant another dose change! :( Meanwhile, I enrolled at my new university which was a little daunting but not too bad, since my sister showed me the ropes. I was really looking forward to my new course. I summed up Fresher's week in this post. I quickly began to miss my old uni friends, and the city, oddly enough.

October 2010, a month of big changes

I joined the gym with my friend. I had been pondering doing this for a long time, and I finally decided to be brave and bite the bullet. I began to go twice a week at first, and slowly built it up from there. I was excited for the new series of BBC Apprentice, and actually picked the winner! I was unsure about whether or not to attend a family-friend's wedding, but went in the end. I blogged about the issue of femininity and what it means  to me. I started a small venture where I bought and re-sold perfumes on eBay.

November 2010, nothing much happens

Was a pretty quiet month. I blogged a thyroid update; to sum it up I just didn't feel right. I blogged about celebrities with thyroid disease. I had a few tests and essays at uni, they were going ok but I felt as if I could have been doing better. I suspected the dose change was taking its toll on my work.

December 2010, things start looking up

Winter was well and truly in full swing, as it began to snow. I blogged about a situation involving being asked to spare some change. I blogged more snow pictures. I watched Miral and wrote a review. I had my other hand operated on, and was less nervous this time since I knew what to expect. We celebrated my little sister's birthday, and I blogged a cartoon-style "holiday blues."

January 2011; new year, new me?

I wished you all a Happy New Year, and wrote about my "new years' resolutions." I helped a blind man onto the bus, and I went clothes & ring shopping. I held a giveaway to celebrate a year of blogging, and asked you to share with me your favourite quotes. I celebrated my blogaversary, set up a weight loss blog called "Overcoming Obstacles", and announced the winners of my giveaway. My thyroid at this point was good, my levels were adjusted and I was looking forward to being well again.

February 2011, a turning point

I asked a question regarding Islamophobia: is it just our turn? and I attend the ISOC relationships talk. I asked you why it took us to see somebody disadvantaged to be thankful for what we have. Things began to look up at university; grades-wise, which I was happy about, especially in maths. My cousin got married, but I wasn't able to attend since she lives in London, as I had tests coming up after the weekend she was due to marry! :(

March 2011

I got writers' block, watched Big Momma's House, and got two blog awards. I wrote about my relationship with make-up, and celebrated three years since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, for which I made a YouTube video. I overheard an interesting (to say the least) conversation on the bus.

April 2011, the calm before the storm

We cooked my Mum a meal for Mothers' Day, and I wrote about the conflicting ideals between religion and culture. I told you about my social awkwardness, and shared a video about the Royal Wedding. I watched a local-made film called South Asian Whispers, and wrote a review. I finished University for the year and began revising for my final year exams; I had four next month. We also went (as a family) on a trip to the Lake District.

May 2011, exam time

I spent most of my life at home, in the library, or at the gym to relieve stress. I was revising for and sitting my final summer exams. I was determined to do the best I could. During this time, I blogged about receiving attention from an alien species! I finished my exams on May 25th, and started working straight away. This was the first ever job I'd had, and I blogged about how I was finding it so far.  I blogged about Beyonce and the so-called empowerment of women in music.

June 2011, Summer begins

For most of this month, I was attempting to juggle home life with work, which was pretty difficult. I was just becoming so exhausted. Anyway, I was really inspired after watching the video about Beyonce, that I decided to write up a Summer reading list, containing books on feminism and capitalism. The first book I decided to read is called The Equality Illusion, as part of the feminism series. I blogged about the past, re-defining myself, and coming to terms with thyroid disease. I quit my job at the end of June, I just couldn't do it any more, it was exhausting plus the employers were not being honest. I enjoyed the experience and the fact that I got to work with non-Muslims which sparked some interesting conversations.

July 2011

I had a blood test and found out I was hypo-thyroid, I didn't have enough thyroid hormone. I attended my friend's wedding, which was weird for me because I can't imagine getting married at 20, but I wish her all the best. I am keeping busy by reading The Equality Illusion, and looking after my baby brother as well as cooking and doing the housework; much to my Mother's approval! Today is my birthday, as well as my elder sister's graduation! Unfortunately I won't be able to attend the ceremony as we didn't manage to get extra tickets, but Mum & Dad are going, InshaAllah. And later this week I should be receiving a nice pay cheque for the job I left.

Needless to say I've had quite a year! I pray that Allah grants me another eventful year, and I particularly hope I come out of my shell more at university, and continue to get good grades, inshaAllah. Whatever happens I know will be for the best, and I hope that I can draw upon my experiences to gain more strength and Iman. Ameen. 

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