Oh wow. Hello there old friend. I have no clue how this is supposed to go down but I am feeling absolutely giddy about this. I have not been this excited about writing something in so long. Elton John’s Tiny Dancer is playing and life is good. Let’s see, 2017 has probably been the most amazing year of my entire life, the year of a 180 flip and so many milestones that it’s so difficult to believe that all this has happened within what feels like yesterday, the year when I reclaimed myself and let me tell you, it feels damn good. Exactly one year ago, I had the loveliest dinner with some of the people closest to my heart but I was in reality so miserable during that period of time it was insane. Of course you probably wouldn’t have noticed if you knew me because I am so good with my smiley poker face you would never suspect a thing. I was about to start work at the Online Project in a few days time, January 2nd to be exact and to say that I was nervous is an understatement. This was my third job within a 3 month period and it was like, this is it Raja’, you need to stick with this or your CV is messed up for life. To start off, one of the loveliest things to happen to me was Hadeel Al Jbour. She actually sat me down for more interviews than she usually does with people who are applying to TOP just to talk to me about trying to figure my life out and finding out what it was that I wanted to do exactly. I think she thought this girl is so flaky but I can see a world of potential in her so let’s just do it, let’s take a chance on the flaky full of potential girl (yes I am redoing the scene from the Devil Wears Prada). I hope I wasn’t a disappointment to her. I don’t think I was, but she still felt like I was the flaky girl. Anyways, Hudz, you’re the first person to be mentioned in this very long post and you know how thankful I am for everything you’ve done for me, I will forever be grateful. Anyways, back to TOP. No probation period ever was this awaited to actually end. The day I finished my 3 month probation period was a celebration. Ino khalaaas. Life could move on smoothly afterwards. It could take me forever to talk about TOP so I’m not going to do that and I’m just going to make it sweet and short. The 9 months spent at TOP were absolutely life altering for me. I was someone who hated being at UJ so much and I used to post throughout so if you’re a follower from a while back you’re probably all too familiar with my goodbye/good riddance post to UJ. Point is, I never actually got to have the university life where I’d actually meet people and going into TOP was exactly that. They were actually mostly PSUT graduates for some reason there’s so many of them I don’t get it????? The best thing is when people hear that you’ve graduated from UJ and they try to be pretentious to you. No. Just no. I hated that place but I had some of the greatest professors on earth (who equally hated UJ as well) so don’t you dare ever be pretentious to me because I’ve graduated from UJ. Ahaa it seems like I am going to keep going from topic to topic so back to TOP. It also happened that everyone at TOP is so close in age so it all just felt like a huge family. Throughout I made some friends who are going to be there for life, I just know it. I’m not going to mention you each on your own, you all know yourselves. I never thought I could love a group of people so much or find them to be so genuine and beautiful inside out. Not to mention so damn weird. I love weird and I love each and every one of you so much. Putting that aside, first reclamation of myself was in April. It included a bunch of solo drives and trips as well with a lot of Ingrid Michaelson and tears like no tomorrow, but it felt amazing. For the first time ever I could understand this thing I’d read about butterflies and how the process of it actually turning from a caterpillar into a butterfly actually hurts like hell. Doctora Rula’s death was the ultimate turning point. I think everyone thought I was going through a break up or something at the time because of how emotional all my posts were but it was actually all because of her. The night I found out I just got into my car and drove to school and cried my eyes out there. Then got a lot of ice cream from Gerard but yes. I’d made her a promise once and after she died I started thinking about how angry she would be if she knew that I had not been working on it yet, and so I started working on it. I think she would still tell me to get my shit together if she saw me today but I think she’d be proud, I hope so at least. My friend and I were talking about her the other day and she told me the funniest story about Dr Rula. She hadn’t ever taught her but my friend was really good friends with her and she would spend so much time at her office, so once she was telling Dr Rula about how bad she was feeling and how difficult it was for her to fit into the UJ society and she started quoting something by Whitman and Dr Rula just goes ‘Don’t go into the Romantic era just because you’re depressed.” It’s so funny because we were thinking of the huge discrepancy, Dr Rula trying to save the Jordanian society and the world in general from inequality and sexual harassment and there Rania was, complaining about her depressing UJ life. I could really just imagine her being like “Rania cut your bullshit I don’t have time for this” I love how she used to really care about whatever you’d say and make anyone feel valuable but then if you really knew her she would be so blunt to you that she could be razor sharp. Anyways. I obviously can’t talk about everything because you’d get bored as hell, and I can’t just air out all my dirty laundry although I really don’t mind but I don’t think it’s socially acceptable. Too bad, that would’ve been fun to share. Overall what this year has been is an entire rollercoaster ride, but one that just seemed to get better and better each day hamdillah and has ultimately peaked this December, it’s given me faith in a really good 2018. Wow my birthday is going to be such a cool date this year, 8/2/2018 wow juju bravo juju bravo calendars bravo numbers bravo life. Il muhem I need to focus dammit, I think the highlight of the year for me was meeting people who have genuinely affected me so much, the good, the bad, the completely shitty, the lovely, the intelligent, the ones who made me see things in a whole new perspective and just burst my bubbles about so many things (Razan Zedd dass you), the annoying, the unexpected (Didi that’s you loser) and the honestly just plain cruel. All in all, it’s so much better than a stagnant boring life, and it’s been an amazing ride, and all it’s done is make me more resilient, a bit less emotional and a bit detached from everything but myself but you know, you can’t have a storm without some aftermath. I love you all for being here and for reading, sorry this series of posts has been long as hell but it had to happen. Sorry if you find me annoying and shukran if you enjoy reading what I write. I honestly wish you all a very lovely 2018 where all your dreams come true, make them happen. Good luck to us all.