A new dawn, a new year…

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Confession: this wasn’t actually taken on New Year’s Day – I was in the mountains and fast asleep for that sunrise! This snap is of yesterday’s beautiful sunrise.

  1. Apologies to anyone I worried by vanishing after my post on depression, and huge gratitude to those of you who have checked up on me and are still reading the blog. ❤
  2. I’m back, for good. No more mystery disappearances… it’s a promise!
  3. There have been a lot of changes since I last posted – the most major is that I’m no longer at school. I’m interrupting my studies until September to work on my health and deal with these issues once and for all.
  4. Banana hammock. 😉
  5. I plan to change the direction of my blog slightly, to help me rediscover my passions. More on this later.
  6. I will shortly be posting my resolutions for change… I’ve been thinking long and hard about these and I’m quite excited to share them, because it’s a step closer to achieving them.
  7. Originally I thought using bullet-points would stop me being too wordy in this post, but now I’ve run out of things to say here. Fortunately the food is still to come…
  8. Sometimes short and sweet is good.
  9. Most of all… Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2011 is your best year yet, full of joyful moments, lessons of wisdom and goals accomplished 😀

soraya nulliah year review 1

source.

My blog didn’t exist at the the start of 2010, and by the end of January I’d lost the scrap of paper I’d written my New Year’s Resolutions on. But it doesn’t matter that I don’t have specific goals to look back on – 2010 held some definite positives.

Food.

I made progress away from eating disordered thinking and started to enjoy food – and I mean *really* enjoy it. I’ve always loved food, which perhaps is reflected in the nature of the eating disorder I developed, but I’ve realised that there’s more to enjoying food than taste. It’s about the anticipation, the preparation, the knowledge and the nutrition. It’s about feeling good before I eat, while I eat and after I eat. It’s about knowing that I made a choice, whether it was to nourish myself or satisfy a craving, or sometimes just to cheer myself up with some chocolate. It’s about realising it’s OK to do that sometimes, even now. It’s about knowing that I don’t have to eat the perfect balance to achieve health – so long as the goal of health is in mind before I take a bite, I can enjoy it.

Creativity.

This has been a very recent revelation and many things including my blog – the writing, the design, the photos for it – have contributed to it. I am a creative person. When I was at school (particularly in art and music classes) I was told I should concentrate on my strengths – science and other less abstract subjects. I’ve been influenced to follow a mostly scientific career path and always neglected my creative side in favour of this. I don’t begrudge this, but I have found it is time to really let that side loose. I love painting, photography, graphic design, singing, dancing, creative writing, cooking, baking, experimenting… And these things deserve a place in my life. It doesn’t matter what other people have said in the past or how I’ve felt about my skills/lack of – it is my right to enjoy these pursuits, regardless of ‘talent’. And who knows, I may just find myself getting better with practise!

Relationship.

I spent 2010 with my soulmate. Things haven’t been smooth sailing all through the year, and we’ve spent time apart – not just physically but actually called off the relationship at one point. But we’ve grown closer and stronger for it, and I can honestly say I love him with all my heart. Before I met Allin, I had never truly been in love and I was beginning to think I was just destined to enjoy singledom more than being in a relationship. While there are a couple of freedoms I miss, I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything. Knowing that I can feel this strongly about someone has been one of the most satisfying things about this year. I don’t know if we’re destined to share the rest of our lives together (I can hope though!) but I know that sharing 2010 with him has been incredible. I hope that 2011 just builds on that happiness.

Acceptance.

Over the last 10 years I have experienced several depressive episodes and an eating disorder. Previously, I have struggled through alone, afraid to admit my ‘weakness’ to others. Being open about these things has been hard and exhausting. But already I’m beginning to see it’s worth it. If I deny my problems, I leave myself alone with them. Being honest with people, particularly my family and loved ones, has been tough because I hate to worry them. Seeing the pain on their faces is more difficult than bottling things up and putting on a mask of okayness. But to heal, I must admit and accept.  There’s a long way to go, but the first steps have been made. I don’t have to stay in this cage of misery – there is so much more out there, and as Marianne Williamson asks – who am I not to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

In a year’s time, I plan to be sitting down with a specific list and many many positives. But for this year, these things make me smile. Brunch at 4pm also makes me grin!

I slept in a bit and wasn’t hungry when I got up, so this was first food of the day…

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It really hit the spot – roasted veggies (butternut, sweet potato, green beans, red onion, white onion & bell pepper) with some leftover mashed potatoes and a perfectly poached egg. I went away and forgot about the veggies, so half of them came out rather too brûléed to eat but the ones that made it were delicious. I didn’t think to use a smaller plate, so it looks a bit spaced out and lonely… but hey ho, it’s certainly not lonely in my tummy!

Dinner was a spicy treat. Since coming back from France, things have been a bit hectic around here, so the family opted for a quick-fix dinner of curry from Asda…

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Butternut squash pakora and a coconut chicken triangle to nibble on while the rest heated.

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To get in some more vegetables, I heaped my plate with spinach before chucking various dishes on top – sweet potato & red pepper dhansak, bombay potatoes, diwani handi (vegetable balti), lamb rogan josh and chicken bhuna plus some pilau rice. I had a chunk of garlic and corriander naan bread to dip in the sauces, mmmm! Corriander is one of my favourite herbs. With the meat dishes, I had one piece of meat from each – one thing I find it hard to adjust to when I visit, is the amount of meat my family eat. But it was a delicious monster of a meal, so full of flavours!

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And as if I needed more food after that, I finished it all off with a couple of pieces of Rolo cookie – I couldn’t manage a whole one!

So they were my eats for the day. The evening wasn’t entirely uneventful after dinner, but that’s a story for tomorrow morning (yes, I’m gonna leave you hanging!) – now it’s flip-a-coin-chillaxing-time; read a book or watch a movie?!  Before we part, tell me, lovelies… What made you smile most in 2010?

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4 Responses to A new dawn, a new year…

  1. Ffion says:

    After your comment on my blog this morning I decided to check yours out… Hello! Reading about the progress you’ve made this in year in all aspects of your life was really interesting, and a quick guide for me in getting to now you in a few sentences! Hopefully you’ll be even more successful in the coming year!

  2. Glad you’re back! And what a lovely picture to start this post with, whenever it was taken 🙂
    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved and happy 2011! xx

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