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Reflections on 2014: Friendship, Faith, and Focus

I’m ringing in 2015 with absolutely no voice.

I may have had a little too much fun over New Years (not the kind you’re thinking – I’m pretty boring). I had an awful cold and opted for an indoors New Year’s Eve with friends. We spent the evening having dinner, playing board games, arguing about Kanye West, and making fun of Fergie’s outfits on TV. Way too many laughs were had, and I woke up the next morning totally hoarse.

But of course, that wasn’t enough for me to call it quits. I just couldn’t miss out on the family dinner my mom had planned for New Years day. But no one in my family knows how to use their indoor voice, everyone wants to be the centre of attention, and no one actually listens when anyone else is speaking (gee, I wonder where I get it from?) Thus went the final nail into the coffin that held my lost voice.

If talking were an Olympic sport, I would win. So you can imagine that trying rest my voice has been absolute torture. I physically have to remove myself from social situations in order to not speak. So maybe this is a good opportunity to quietly contemplate on the year that has passed.

I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions. But this time last year, I did have some goals for myself. One was to blog more. It was less about achieving a certain number, and more about letting inspiration flow and not being afraid to share my thoughts and opinions. I think I succeeded.

The other goal was to focus on my career. I felt I was becoming complacent and losing sight of some of the things I really wanted to do. Leaving my full time job last year was the hardest and scariest thing I have ever done in my entire life. But it may have been the most rewarding. There were moments this past year where I really struggled with the uncertainty of where life was going to take me. But not once did I feel like I had made the wrong decision. I was learning so much about myself, about the things that I could achieve, and that the opportunities really were endless – IF I went after them.

One of the unintentional occurrences of 2014 was that I became closer to my faith. I’ve never been one to wear my Islam on my sleeve (which may be surprising to you considering the scarf on my head). But I became more comfortable talking about my religion in the public sphere in a way that I never had before. The uncertainty of life also had me holding on a little bit tighter to my faith. There were some rough patches I wouldn’t have been able to get through without my belief in God, and I found that I was always rewarded on the other side. It truly seemed like whenever one door closed, another would open.

Finally, one of the most important and unexpected happenings of this past year was that I made some incredible friendships. 2014 was a year of saying yes to things I normally wouldn’t, and that opened the door to meeting some really amazing people who I am so happy to now call my friends. There are those who I’ve only known for a short time but it feels like forever, and others whose fleeting interactions have impacted me in unexpected ways.

Overall 2014 was a challenging year of changes, uncertainty, and taking risks. But it also brought many lessons, opportunities, and relationships that I’m going to cherish for a long time. And while I’m physically ringing in 2015 with no voice, symbolically I feel like I may have found it.

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About the Author

Ginella Massa is a Canadian journalist, producer, and media trainer. She became Canada's first Hijab-wearing reporter in 2015. Ginella  has worked for CityNews, CTV News, Rogers TV, and NEWSTALK 1010.  She frequently writes about issues affecting Muslims in North America. 

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