Last year in review
By this time last year I had just finished my vacation in Amsterdam with Lalit and was probably prepping for my third visit as a pre-reg. In February, Gabby and I had gotten our first Internet bill after being without a connection for 8 months, which had been a huge struggle for two international students….. so things were looking up.
On March 2nd I attended a conference to prepare me for Stage 2 of my pre-reg, during which I visited Lalit . He had been working over 12 hours a day for his busy season and had grown quite the beard to prove it. At the conference I remember the speaker saying “Pre-reg is very difficult, for many it will be the hardest year of your life, but just remember to enjoy it”. I thought that was quite the juxtaposition. Two days later I had convinced Lalit, Adam and Gabby to hop on a plane with me to Ireland for my birthday, so I suppose the advice must have resonated with me somehow.
Pre-reg drolled on and by April I was in Barbados for the first time in almost a year. The vacation was great until I received a tearful call telling me my landlords wanted all of the tenants to move out in two months. Gabby and I were completely blind-sided – and to be honest little scared at the fact that we might be homeless for a short period of time. Not to mention we had only enjoyed 3 months of Internet service!!! This all occurred within weeks of very important assessments. To top it off they refused to pay us our deposit, leaving us out of pocket. And yes, this was all illegal on their part.
After worrying that we would become a pre-reg horror story, we were blessed enough to find a really nice place in the nick of time. After what will be referred to as a persuasive conversation, or rather, a good “bajan ‘busing” we managed to get our deposit back in May. But it still meant we had to start over, find our bearings, and change our routine over June. If it wasn’t for Lalit holding me up through it I don’t know how I would have coped.
In July Lalit was promoted to manager after two years of dedication to the firm in Birmingham and I couldn’t have been more proud 🙂 . I also decided it was time to “enjoy it” again. The stress level I was under was starting to take a physical toll, so Lalit and I took off to Greece (the word *Optimistic* is in the blog title, remember?). For those 4 days I took the problems and the deadlines that had loomed over me for months, tossed them into the Mediterranean Sea, and watched them sink as I ate a pot of Greek yoghurt. It was one of the best trips, and decisions, we’ve ever made, so we booked another trip to Spain in October.
Mallorca in the fall was tranquil as ever, and the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona is the most distinctive I’ve ever seen. We ate all of the tapas, drank all of the sangria, watched all of the flamenco dancers and drove all over the mountains and beaches. I wish I had found time to make a blog and video about this trip, it deserves more than a few lines, but life happened.
A few days after the trip, in November, Gabby and I finally got our Diplomas for the College of Optometrists. After being battered, bruised and deep-fried, I was officially a fully qualified practitioner.
December brought the excitement of Christmas and going home once again. The last year my parents had come up to spend it in Bath, which was lovely, but a very low-key celebration for a Toppin. I had such an amazing time seeing everyone, I didn’t realize how much I missed them, and how much life had changed since I’d been gone. It was great to catch up, but I did feel a small touch of FOMO. Towards the end of the year I also felt a bit nervous about what was to come, what with Brexit, and the PEOTUS, now I’m finally on the other side of my studies, this shake in the system concerns me that my toughest years might not be over, even if I’m not a native of either country.
Lalit promised me that 2017 would be a much better year, and on January 5th, he got down on one knee and kept that promise when he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. This all happened after a day of nursing me sick on the sofa, which must have made him terribly nervous (in sickness and in health amirite?). By the way…my answer was a resounding “yes”….. followed by an awkward “thanks” when I wasn’t sure how to proceed from there. He surprised me even more by booking the honeymoon suite at Sugar Bay the following day! Sorry ladies, he’s taken!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
We’d been through so much together this last year from personal crises, to personal milestones, to seeing 4 countries, and we’ve held each other up through it all. I couldn’t be more excited to be engaged to someone who’s my best friend and the love of my life. I must admit, I’m glad 2016 is over, but I can’t wait to see what 2017 has to bring.