A reflective post…

So, a year ago today I landed in London with a one-way ticket, no responsibilities and lots of excitement for the summer holiday ahead of me.

A month before, I’d quit my job and wanted to figure out what to do with my life next. Fortunately, I’d had several job offers (including one the night before I left) so I wasn’t worried about if I’d be able to find a job when I got back to Dubai.

I was happy, relieved and ready to enjoy some freedom.

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Looking back, I would honestly love to just rewind back to that day and live those two months in London all over again. Though I’m only – almost – 25, the past year has been the most turbulent and life-changing, both in good and bad ways.

However, it has taught me a lot. The main thing it has taught me is that change is always going to happen, and it’ll also probably happen when you least expect it. Nothing at all can prepare you for it, and nothing can be done to stop it.

For example, the chairman/founder of the company I used to work for tragically passed away five months ago. I feel like he was one of the few people to fully believe in me, he was one of the kindest souls I’ve met and I keep saying I don’t think I’ll meet many people like him again. He enjoyed seeing people succeed, he enjoyed motivating them to succeed, he was honest and could see through people, and he was always wanting to help people. Just a few days before he passed away, I spoke to him in his office and told him I had an exciting new idea, but I said ‘It’s a bit busy on the magazine at the moment Dom, so I’ll tell you all about it soon’. He said he was proud and pleased that I was thinking about new ideas and ways for me to create my own publication. Sadly, he had a heart attack just a few days later, and I never was able to tell him about this idea. Nor was I able to ever speak to him or see him again. I remember the morning I read the email where I found out. I had just woken up at 5am and was due to head to the airport to pick my brother up, who had flown over for the Christmas holidays. I was scrolling through my emails on my phone came across an email from HR, I opened it, read the news and just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. The person I’d seen a day before, laughing and smiling in the office, would never be there again. Nothing could have prepared me for that day, and though it’s left me with a lot of regrets, it’s taught me another valuable lesson: never take anyone or anything for granted because things can change in a moment, a month or a year.

It’s the same with the holiday to London last year, which has left me reflecting about it all today. I’m astonished at how different my life was this time last year, and thought some of the things that have happened have been horribly sad, I’m trying to believe that everything happens for the best. My boyfriend told me last night, that when something doesn’t work out, something better is likely to come along. It’s just waiting for it to happen, I suppose.

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So, though this post had minimal purpose, other than to mainly allow me to reflect, it has made me realise a few things. As I mentioned before, I’m slowly learning not to take any moment for granted. Whether it’s a simple chat with my dad, a fun day out or an opportunity/experience that I’ve had the chance to be a part of. Those two months last year also taught me a lot. In the months prior to it, I had been keen to leave a job I was no longer enjoying, but I was also terrified that I would never find a journalism job again – irrational or what! In the months I was away, however, I realised a job wasn’t the be all and end all. I was young and needed to enjoy my life too.

Another important thing I’ve learnt is that your twenties are the years where you can take risks, be spontaneous, make mistakes, have the freedom to be selfish and make decisions with barely any repercussions for anyone other than yourself and to just have fun. I’m trying to make the most of that finally, because I started my twenties feeling like the most important thing in the world was to get a job, make money, save money, be responsible and prepare for your future. And though I still strongly believe that now is the time to start putting things in place to ensure my life is more comfortable in the future, it is certainly not the be all and end all. However, I am still extremely work-driven and ambitious, and I am struggling to completely take some time out for myself. I constantly feel guilty if I’m not working or blogging, but I’m trying to find a balance at the moment where I blog some days, freelance other days and just take some time out to get my head together!

And, excitingly, though I may not be jetting off to lovely London today (I’m ridiculously homesick at the moment and would fly back in an instant if I could), I have just booked a holiday to Thailand with my mum, brother, boyfriend and his lovely mum too!

The most perfect holiday bag that I spotted in Kate Spade!

The most perfect holiday bag that I spotted in Kate Spade!

Going forward, I’ve now learnt to make the most of everything and avoiding taking things for granted. At 24/25 I’m absolutely no expert on life, but I have learnt a lot of lessons through my experiences so far. I’m trying to live in the moment more, and though it’s almost impossible for me, I’m trying my best to worry less. Everything almost always does have a weird way of working out, some things have worked out fantastically for me, others haven’t…yet. I’ve also realised I can’t control everything, though I can do my best to try and protect myself and those around me, it is impossible to protect yourself from things out of your control. Life is not and can not always be happy, cheerful and problem-free, but it does allow you to enjoy the good times SO much more :).

Writing this post has allowed me to realise a lot of things while I was getting all of my jumbled thoughts out of my head and onto this blog. I feel like my blog is becoming a little bit therapeutic for me again, and I hope it’s been – even slightly – interesting/helpful for you too.

Thanks for reading!

Surena x

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1 Comment

  1. 22nd May 2016 / 9:16 AM

    Your comments on Dom are spot on. As well as being a great friend to me for over two decades, he was the most inspirational boss I’ve ever worked for/with. As the company grew he became more serious out of necessity, but the early days of CPI were a roller-coaster ride where we survived by the sheer power of his personality. One day, for me, sums it all up – it was the run-up to the large IT show Gitex where we traditionally launched new titles and made enough revenues to see us through leaner years.At the end of one day on the phone pulling names and numbers from the chaotic heap on his desk – no CRM then! – by 5pm he’d sold about $35k and was ready to go home. “What about Europe, Dom?” I reminded him. “It’s still open.” He sat down, picked up the phone and sold about another $10k in the next two hours. He began packing up again. “The US?” I reminded him. “They’re just starting…” He began cold calling IT companies in the US, who ha no idea who CPI was, what Gitex was about or even if they had the support mechanisms in place to deal with Middle Eastern customers. Two hours later, he’d booked another $15-20k, hust cold calling. Unbelievable, but that was the man. An inspiration to work with and I miss him every day, despite the fact we used to argue like idiots…

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