Reflecting on 2017
The last year has taught me how much life can change from day to day. Even more so the number of peaks and valleys that can exist through the course of a year.
I could sit here and write through every little thing that happened, because SO MANY things happened, but I want to take a moment to outline (chronologically by month) the things that were most memorable to me, at least as I sit here and write it out on the first Wednesday morning in 2018.
This is not to say there were not many many more wonderful and not-so-wonderful moments, but these are the things that come to mind when I think about the year.
Without further ado, here’s a list of some memorable-to-me stuff that happened in 2017.
My first dress fitting after having found my dream gown and measurements taken the previous October. My big sister turned 30. My family lost an angel to a long battle with cancer.
I had a homemade sushi night with an Amsterdam bestie. Our venue announced with less than a month to go that there would be restoration work/scaffolding placed at the time of our wedding.
A piece I wrote was published. I married the love of my life in a private, family ceremony on the date we agreed on when we got engaged, despite everything life has thrown at us. We threw a pre-wedding-family-dinner party at our favourite Turkish kebab shop with a group of 40. We had the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to (maybe I’m biased but damn) at the 150 year old Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam with 100+ guests. We slept in the Presidential Suite at said hotel, where many an important person has stayed. We rented a lunch boat for 36 and cruised around Amsterdam with my family as newlyweds. My now-husband turned 28.
I celebrated my 26th year on this floating rock thingy we call Earth. I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, a life changing experience in my creative life. I met my London bestie IRL when she came to visit. I explored Amsterdam with said bestie. I got to talk about my writing at the English Writing Festival in The Hague and participate in a panel discussion with 4 published memoirists. I started my YouTube channel.
We went to a botanical garden with over 2800+ species of tulips. Our budding obsession with Star Trek TNG almost led us to buying tickets for FedCon in Germany. A Toronto bestie came to stay for a few days and I was reminded of how amazing my friends are. We finally went to Zaanse Schaans.
We spent a day at my in-laws’ garden. An event I planned at my University from conception, all while not being a student quite yet, went on without a hitch. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice and gave up after 35 pages.
We went on an adventure to Hengelo for a friend’s birthday. I came off prednisone. I got to go to home to Canada for the first time since Christmas 2014. My mom-in-law got on a plane for the first time ever! An old hospital roommate (who was my husband’s age) passed away due to post-transplantation complications.
I got a nasty bite from my dog after accidentally stepping on his foot. Had to spend a day at the closest stem cell transplant centre to make sure that the bite didn’t lead to an infection. I finally got a (beautiful!) Kate Spade bag and wallet, courtesy of my wonderful husband. I fell in love with Tommy Hilfiger.
My two year diagnosis day came and went. I said goodbye to yet another outpatient hematologist as his fellowship post with the stem cell transplantation team was done. I went back to University after a 2 year hiatus. I spent a week in hospital, on oxygen, because of a common cold.
I wrote my first back-to-University exam. I went on a mini-holiday to London to see my bestie all by myself. I went to a 20th anniversary New Found Glory show by myself and cried my eyes out.
I participated in and won NaNoWriMo in a total of 19 writing days. I discovered and began attending write-ins with my writer’s group. Momma came to visit and helped us declutter and deep clean our home. Leyla came to visit. I dealt with news and new information about my current health status that scared the hell out of me. This subsequently reminded me why I fight so hard for what I have. Through my mom’s unwavering perseverence, I was able to be in contact with some of the world’s specialists in my specific health condition (which I will talk about in a post, soon) and make plans to visit the leading European centre in Germany. I got my early Christmas present from Mom: a Canon G7x mark 2, the dream vlogging camera!
I started Reiki sessions with my amazing healer. I realized that I need to put myself and my health first. I wrote my second exam in my back-to-Uni career. I learned the value of the Dutch education system. I stayed in Amsterdam for the holidays and had 4 Christmasses (Sissy Christmas was the best of all 4, just sayin’). I had many serious emotionally taxing days as I began to understand the depth and energy my healing process will require moving forward. I went to dim sum with some Amsterdam besties at Sea Palace (finally!). We rung in the New Year in the comfort of our own home and set off our own fireworks.
When I set out to start writing this an hour ago, I didn’t realize it was going to take this long, or that I would have so much to be grateful for.
I hope that you, reader, had just as many if not more memorable-to-you moments in 2017. Feel free to share in the comments!