Twenty Eighteen, Oh Twenty Eighteen. What a year you’ve been! We’re only a couple of hours away from entering a new year so I guess it’s safe to talk about this one in the past. Twenty Eighteen started on a very good note. Before I tell you how please allow me to go back a bit and tell you how I ended Twenty Seventeen. For the first time in 5 years, my family was reunited for the holidays. My siblings and I traveled to Addis Ababa where my parents lived. It felt so good hugging mama and papa on NYE and dancing with them. I remember we were dancing on Habesha music we understood nothing from and everyone around us was laughing at our Eskista moves. We had fun. You can read all about my vacay in Addis here.
Those were the vibes I brought in twenty eighteen. It was to be an amazing year. I was to move to Toronto, go back to Burundi after 4 years for my traditional wedding, my sister to graduate, my cousin to get married, I mean… I was ready for a LIT year. I moved to Toronto in January and started a new job. That was exciting but challenging somehow because bonjour life outside my comfort zone!
Then out of nowhere, in April, we learned that Papa had some sort of throat tumor but that we shouldn’t be worried. Say what? You can imagine how shocking that was for us and it obviously quickly changed all the plans we had. Dang life! Fast forward in October, papa went on a one way trip to Heaven and where he’s been chilling since then. There is absolutely nothing that we can compare to the pain of losing a dad or a close one. I still can’t find words to describe how I feel and best believe that’s the most asked question: How do you feel? And I am here wondering if I’m even able to feel anymore.
Twenty Eighteen felt like being on a rollercoaster for twelve long months and not even having a second to breathe in and all the wind is blowing in your face, and everyone is screaming around you. For twelve months! But in the midst of all the bad stuff, we still laughed, danced and partied when my cousin got married in September and when my sister graduated. I got to see my grandmother a.k.a mamy and other members of my family I haven’t seen in so long.
Going back home (in Burundi) for papa’s funeral sucked. It was another weird rollercoaster of emotions: happiness and sadness all combined and not being able to control any of those. Oh! That was draining. But after all, I would be lying if I say that I wasn’t beautifully surprised by all the love we received from close family, friends, people we’ve never seen before, old classmates. But mostly, I felt good seeing how much papa had impacted so many lives and yet, we had no idea until he left us. We had one of those “in loving memory” book for people to write their stories involving papa and it was so touching to read them all at the end of the day and smiling, thinking he wasn’t just our hero.
I don’t know if I am excited for twenty nineteen after all. I am happy this one is over but I still have mixed feelings about the next one. I guess we will see. If like me, you felt like you were on a twelve-month rollercoaster, I hope you still find ways to celebrate life and see the good through the bad. Because it is right there. Hard to find sometimes, but it’s right there.
And one last thing, thanks to you for sticking around during this thing called life and always finding time to read. I couldn’t write as much as I wanted to this year but be ready for me in twenty nineteen (insert wink emoji).
Happy New Year,