Dear 2011,

you were one of the longest years of my life, or so it felt anyway. I thought I knew what awaited me but apparently I was wrong. I was suppose to take my drivings license, publish papers, go to more conferences, exercize more, go to Nattis wedding, go to Kroatia, but I didn't. Instead you brought me heartache, broken friendships, exhaustion, countless tears, and finally, the one that caused this all, Langerhans cell histiocytosis. 

Looking back it's been without a shadow of a doubt one of the toughest years of my life. I thought I had it tough before, batteling batteling an eating disorder for years on end, batteling my parents who I didn't feel understood me or believed in me, batteling teachers who didn't believe in me (who infact urged me to quit several times over), and dealing with a lot if insecurities along the way.

I realized however that all the battles in the past made me battle you, too. Everyday, no matter how much I was told to give up by doctors, no matter how many nights I spend crying myself to sleep, no matter how much stuff I had to deal with people around me, with family, with work, with colleagues, with everything, I refused to give up. Why? Because that's just not who I am. You gave me the toughest battle I could imagine, batteling for my health. You made me realize that my health and my LIFE should not be taken for granted. Instead, I decided to turn this battle into a learning experience, just like I did with everything else in my life. I learnt more about myself than I ever thought I could at this point. I gained more strength than I ever thought I had. I learnt the value of my life, my health, and everything else that I take (and most people) take for granted. 

When we say don't take family, friends, and your health for granted, do we really believe it? Do we really change our ways? Do we really change our lives? Do we really do ANYTHING that lasts long enough to fulfill the meaning of not taking anyone or anything for granted? And how long do people's new years resolutions last? A day? A week? A month? Why is it so easy for people to forget this particular feeling? What do you REALLY have to go through to NOT take something or someone for granted? How many life lessons does it take? Because let's face it, how much and how many things and people don't we take for granted? Do we really have to go through a life crisis to really learn this lesson? Well, all I can say is that 2011, you taught me just that. Nothing and noone is for granted. I thought I was grateful before, but my worldview, my life, my everything has changed. I guess I just had to lose a couple of things and people on the way to realize that.

One thing that I have also learned however is to not let people take ME for granted. I'm not for granted and I think that I give off a good impression that I am. I'm there when people REALLY need me. I do things for people because I want to help. I've come to realize however that when the tables turn, the rules change. Maybe it's the situation I'm in, maybe I have taken for granted that friendships and family relationships are reciprocal. Maybe they're not, I don't know. I don't know if it matters anymore because I'm so use to just taking care of myself (and most people around me for that matter haha.)

So life lesson to anyone reading, stop! STOP taking everyone and everything for granted. They could disappear in a minute, and honestly so can you. Unfortunately 90% of people reading this will try to live by these words for a week, or maybe even two, then it will slowly fade out. 5% of you will follow this for a bit longer, and then it will fade out. The remaining 5% won't even take this into consideration or on the other side of the pole, already live by these words. 

So, 2011, I'm not sad to see you go because you did hurt me a lot, but I will still gracefully thank you for everything that you've taught me, all the strength that you gave me, all the things you taught me, and all the fights that I faught and won. Even though you were a bitch of a year, you are still the most important year of my life, and you always will be. Thank you and goodbye. I'm ready for 2012 and all he has to give me.

Wishing you all a loving, healthy, and caring 2012.

All my love, H xxx


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