Lima Al-Azzeh

The start of a beautiful friendship, and the end of a good year.

In Vancouver Culture & Community on December 29, 2010 at 1:50 am

My sister, Lama, and I as bridesmaids*

A few days ago, my sister and I happened upon a wad of photos comprising a mixed bag of memories from our childhoods, my mom’s youth, and even photos documenting the birth of my adorable cousins. It couldn’t have been a better timed discovery, because as it happens, I absolutely love to reminisce and the end of the year is typically a great time to completely indulge in this hobby.

I’m the kind of person who likes to take stock of the last 365 days or so and think about the ups, the downs and the “what could I do better next years”. I suppose you could call these all fodder for resolutions, but I prefer to think of them as small cogs in the process of bettering myself. A major lesson from this year: be grateful. Very, very grateful. And so, dear friends, I humbly express my sincere and deep gratitude for your support over this past blogging year, my first of many I hope (well, I intend). In the spirit of reminiscing, learning and growing ever wiser here’s a short retrospective of the things I’ve learned this year.

1. Home is a feeling, more so than a physical place, although it helps to tap into that feeling when you’re celebrating where you are and the moment you’re in.

2. People will often surprise you, defy your expectations and even teach you something about yourself, especially in relation to others. Avoiding turning complex people into simple stereotypes or caricatures of your previous hangups will help you to move forward faster. You just have to let them.

3. Borrowing the immortal words of Mitch Hedberg: “I don’t care if they’re black, white, green or purple” – those who dance together, stay together.

4. Everybody cheats somehow, including myself. It’s how you make amends that counts.

5. If somebody loves you, and you love them, you will try for one another.

6. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and never fear reaching out to those who do.

7. Challenge yourself to do things you don’t believe are possible … and then make them possible.

8. Remember your roots.

9. Selfishness and self preservation are two very different things.

10. Be grateful. Pass it on.

Thanks to everyone for making this one hell of a memorable year! What’s made this year memorable for you?

* Some good ol’ nostalgia … This photo is of my sister and I, age 7 and 4 respectively, wearing our matching white swan bridesmaids dresses for my aunt’s wedding (which was the event of the decade, and one that has made a lasting, permanent impression into my memory despite my having attended at a very young age). According to friends and family, neither of us seem to have changed a bit. It’s one of my all-time favourite photos of us.

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