With only a couple days left of the year I thought it was time I did my 2014 round-up. This year has brought so many highs and lows and so much to be grateful for. Here is a short summary of how 2014 went for me:
- I started my career as a future attorney in January and found that all my studying was not for nothing because I actually love my job!
- This year I didn’t manage to travel overseas for the first time in quite a long time (for reasons that fall under “Lows”) but I was still able to explore my beautiful home country a little bit more than I have done lately. I have been to Cape Town twice this year, climbed Table Mountain for the first time (normally I take the cable car), enjoyed the nightlife with friends and ate at the Fat Cactus which was honestly the most amazing Mexican food I’ve ever eaten in South Africa. This year I visited Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga for the first time and it was so beautiful that le bf and I just sat in silence and in awe taking in the beauty of our surroundings (see this post for more about that trip). I experienced the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City for the first time this year. I was just excited to lie by the pool and read a book on this trip but it was actually fun to learn more about golf and to walk the course with the players (see more here). On this trip I also went on a couple game drives or “safaris” in the Pilansberg game reserve which is always an extraordinary experience (see here for more). The past couple days I have been on the West Coast in Partenoster for the first time so I will have full posts on that coming up soon! If you have followed my blog for some time now, you will know how much I love to travel so these local trips really and truly have been highlights to my year.
- I received the exciting next that I had graduated my LLM (Master’s degree in Law) cum laude.
- My blog has grown and as a result I have met such incredible people that I would never have met otherwise.
- I started a YouTube channel!!! (See here)
- I held my first styling event with MANGO this year which was such a huge honour and it was also so wonderful to meet a few of you there too! (more here)
- I met Aimee Song from Song of Style this year thanks to Sunglass Hut, Pressroom and Blog Class. What an incredible human being.
- Favourite movies of 2014: Maleficent, the most incredible movie of all time, knocked my socks off. Another favourite was “Chef”, what a feel-good movie!
- Favourite books of 2014: Sooo many to choose from. Once I was able to read again (see “lows”) wow did I go crazy. I think I was so relieved that I read about 10 books in a month. My absolute favourite was “The Bloodletter’s Daughter”. It was amazing and it really reminded me of my time in Prague, Budapest and Vienna. #GirlBoss was another favourite. It was so great for motivation. For similar reasons I really enjoyed “Outliers”. I think one of everyone’s favourites this year was “Fault in Our Stars” which is a precious teen romance which is worth mentioning too.
- I had a stroke. I ended up in ICU for a week and it’s taken 7 months to recover properly along with tons of doctors appointments and stroke therapy. At first I could not read, walk, talk or remember much at all. I actually had the same conversation with my friend, Jennifer, two days in a row because I didn’t remember that I’d already had that conversation with her. How lucky am I that she still laughed and engaged with me the second time around? It’s been such an emotional struggle too. After having gone from studying so hard to not being able to read was terrifying! I didn’t know that I would ever be okay again. It’s at this point that I just have to say a huge thank you to my family, friends, and loving readers. I couldn’t have made such a strong comeback had I not had your support and encouragement every single day of this tough journey. I am so incredibly grateful to all of you. The love that came my way was honestly overwhelming and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
- As a result of the previous, my career was put on hold, right as I was rearing to go. I keep being reassured that I have my whole life to work, but still.
- I missed my Master’s degree graduation due the fact that I was lying in ICU. Not so serious but I was still bummed I didn’t get to wear my fancy robe.
In summary, I’ve actually had a really good year. I have done all the things that mean something to me whether it be travel, work or blog. I’ve worked so hard to recover well this year and it has really paid off. I’ve realised now how strong I can be when I put my mind to something and it’s really something I’m proud of. I’ve also realised that in my life I am surrounded by the most loving people who make my life full and worth living to the fullest every moment.
What’s next for 2015? Health is probably first on the agenda but after that I really hope I get to travel somewhere I’ve never been before next year. I’m thinking Copenhagen or Belgium. Any suggestions? I hope to get back to my career and make it a successful one. As for my blog, it’s always growing and expanding that there are always doors to be opened that excited me and I can’t wait to share Arum Lilea’s journey with you. Thank you so much for all your support throughout 2014. I absolutely love hearing from you, reading your comments on my posts and meeting you in person. Nothing makes me smile more. Thank you so much for reading Arum Lilea. Have a wonderful time ringing in the new year. Stay safe! I will see you in 2015!