I’m Doing Okay | 2015

That is such a great sentence to type. As we’re coming to the end of the year, obviously I’m reminiscing a lot on the past 12 months, as I like to do. I’ve written incredibly long end of year posts in the past two years I’ve been writing on this blog, you can read about 2014 and 2013 if you’d like to.

Reading the end of my 2013 post feels incredibly bittersweet, 19 year old Rukaya was so full of hope for the new year without a clue what was going to happen, but I’m happy to report it feels like I’ve come full circle in a way, and 21 year old Rukaya ending 2015 feels just as optimistic as she did two years ago. Universe, don’t take that as a hint for it to all fall apart again, please and thanks in advance.

2015 has been more of a mixed bag than recent years – rather than it all being about theatre (which don’t get me wrong, I still love), I’ve done a wonderful amount of travelling and exploring, and had a bloody good time while doing so. Let me bombard you with posts for just one moment – the incredible places I’ve been this year have been: Edinburgh, Iceland, Barcelona, ParisIreland, New York City (part one | part two), Niagara Falls and Washington D.C., phewww! It’s been incredible. Travelling really does teach you so much and I hope to have as many international adventures next year!

Another new(ish) thing this year is my exploring the realm of YouTube and video editing a hell of a lot more. It’s really fun, I enjoy creating more visual and personal content online and with travelling as well it’s nice to have it documented further than photos.

At the start of this year I embarked on the 52 Weeks Project, as a way to keep myself taking photos and writing on this blog, and yes I may have technically failed that by ceasing those posts, but the way I see it I haven’t failed because I carried on that creativity simply on another platform. And 38 out of 52 weeks? That ain’t bad.

It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to get a balance between blogging and video making, I really enjoy both but weirdly enough I sometimes prefer the thought of filming and editing a video rather than writing a blog, isn’t that odd? It doesn’t matter though, as long as I keep creative that’s all I care about. Video production is something I definitely want to pursue more in 2016 though, I’ve got lots of ideas in my noggin that I want to make a reality!

I’ve ended up having 3 (sort of 4) jobs this year, which has been exciting! My time at Milton Keynes Theatre came to an end in April, while I really enjoyed it there the hours weren’t enough considering it was my only job, so I then began working at Costa. This was a great challenge as being a barista is something I’d only briefly done previously at the theatre, to learn this new skill was exciting. Sadly it got to a point where working was eating away at the time I could be using to develop in other aspects of my life that could become potential careers, so I took a risk and entered the world of unemployment.

It was like the universe saw this act of (brave?) stupidity and thought “Okay, let’s give her this,” because not long after I was volunteering at TheatreCraft (words | video) and having an absolute blast. A few days after I received an email from Society of London Theatre with Christmas job opportunities, and a few days after that I had an amazing job lined up and was moving to London for the majority of December. Talk about a whirlwind! I’m sad that job has come to an end, but it’s filled me with a lot of hope and knowledge for the new year, and I’m very excited to crack on with a job search.

Let’s go back to actual theatre shall we? I’ve yet again been incredibly lucky to see a lot of shows this year. New, old, fringe, West End, a good healthy mix! Also for the first time, Broadway theatre too! I’ve spoken in a video about my favourite theatre moments of 2015, putting it down to 5 events. Considering travel has been a big thing this year as well I haven’t been to the theatre quite as much as in previous years, though I’m sure my friends and family would disagree with that statement…

Now for the emotional stuff.

IMG_6895A6BEA2FE-C901-4743-AE41-19F8F39CA09CGoing into another new year without my mum is hard. We visited the pier today, where we scattered her ashes, and it really brought it all back for me. I’ve been needing a good cry about it for a while (and it’s healthy to cry anyway) so I’m glad we did head down there, despite the gale force wind and eventual rain. I wish I were more spiritual and/or religious but instead what I have is this gut feeling that I know no matter what, she’d be so proud of how I’m doing. It’s not the same as her being there to tell me in person obviously, but just that sense of emotional success will do for me.

I’m proud of how I’ve grown as an individual this year. I’ve learnt so much and I’m ready for whatever 2016 has to throw at me. I think it’s going to be a really exciting year. I hope so anyway!

I’m going to wrap this up now, don’t want to get too soppy. I wouldn’t have made it through this year and the year before without my incredible family and friends, so if you’re reading this – thank you so so so much. You are my rocks, and you’re diamonds for putting up with me.

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