Do this with me. Take a deep breath. Go on. Just pause for a minute. A big, deep breath in and hold…hold… and relax, let it all out.

See all that? That was all the gross stuff of 2014 escaping your body (feel free to take a few more breaths and get the rest of it out).

2014 was a huge year for me. I decided to start Unveiled Thought, and your love and support has resulted in me publishing 60 articles. Most excitingly, I was published on Mamamia and Coming of Faith and had an article written about me in the Daily Mail. It’s still crazy to me that I have a logo and app! With over 200 new readers a day, hundreds of comments, emails, Facebook messages and Tweets, you have engaged with me on so many issues. Many of you have sent messages of love and support and I thank you so much for that. Some of you started out with some angry, bigoted views but were willing to have a respectful discussion. We may not agree on everything, but the fact that you’re willing to come to me with your questions is overwhelmingly beautiful, and I request that this continues into the new year. I promise to bring you more content and discuss more issues in 2015.

Earlier in 2014, my life was completely flipped upside down. I took a blow that was emotionally and physically draining; like nothing I could have ever expected or even braced for. I took my own advice and focused all my energy on looking after myself and accepting love from my friends, family, coworkers and you guys. I learned a couple of very valuable lessons:

1. I can handle much more than I ever thought I could.

2. I should always trust my instincts and take the time to listen to the creeping doubt in my head. It’s always right.

3. No one will have a greater interest in my well being than I do.

4. I am surrounded by amazing, loving people who will sometimes have all the right words. When they don’t, they will wait for me to pull it together.

20141129_074439So this was the year that I took control of my life and threw myself into doing things I needed to do for myself. I let go of all the baggage holding my back. I finally moved into an apartment that wasn’t a huge hole and I’ve taken the time to turn the place into a home. My friends are constantly coming over for dinner – it’s a bit of a hub of love, security and happiness! My sanctuary.

I enrolled in a post-graduate law degree and did amazingly in my first semester. Sure, it might take four or five years for me to finish, but it’ll be a nice complement to my medical science degree. I’ve met some amazing new people and can’t wait to see where this little journey takes me.

I’ve been invited to speak at events, join panels and write opinion pieces on important matters, including interfaith harmony, multicultural support services, domestic violence, Islamic and youth affairs. Through these opportunities I have worked with some incredible people, and I promise you that 2015 will bring some exciting projects where the Unveiled Thought brand will play an important role.

I think it’s important to be acknowledge the awful events that have happened in Australia this year that had the potential to divide us. Instead, I watched as my fellow Australians united to reject extremism and violence that threatened us – whether it was ‘in the name of Islam’ or ‘in the name of saving Australia’. I am so proud of the way that wider society has reacted to these events and I pray that we remain united as we move into the future. I will continue to be a voice of reason in the wave of anger and hatred that ebbs and flows from both sides.

As the year comes to a close, I have to acknowledge the amazing people I met this year who have already become so important to me. To you I say welcome and thank you for everything. I have also said goodbye to people who were holding me back and weighing me down. To you I say goodbye and thank you for everything.

I hope that you all have a fantastic new year. I’ll see you on the flip-side for another year of shenanigans.

Ciao, 2014!

Happy New Year!

Lots and lots of halal love to you all.

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