What a year !! 2018 has been super eventful, fruitful, and by all means remarkable.
It was the year of pursuit, pursuit of happiness, success, connections, spirtuality, sustainability, and love.
Where shall I start ?
Early 2018, I was being headhunted by a a tech giant, for a tech leadership position, I had to say no to them because I was still trying to focus on myself post-op and post transition, and being kind to myself, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with the stresses of a new job, relocation, etc.
But that headhunting gave me a prespective which I always took forgranted, my true worth and value in the industry (more on that later), and I started talking to my boss that I want to pursue a more fulfilling career.
By March 2018, I started to seek romantic relationships, following breaking up with my partener (for reasons not related to my transtion), that didn’t work out well, BUT I learned a lot about myself, and what’s good for me what’s not.
By April, I was assigned the role of Trans* Advisor within Vodafone’s LGBT+ Friends network in the UK, which is amazing, and means that I can drive (ot at least influence) more long-sought changes in the business and the workplace regarding trans inclusion.
I went on to speak across different forums (national and international) about trans inclusion, driving cultural changes, and my personal story.
Check those out:
Pride Business Forum 2018 – Prague : https://www.pridebusinessforum.com/pride-business-forum-20181.html
Stonewall Workplace Conference 2018 – Manchester – https://www.stonewall.org.uk/events/stonewall-workplace-conference-manchester-2018
Business Forums International 2018 – London – https://bfi.co.uk/2nd-supporting-lgbt-in-the-workplace-summit–london-24518/
I also took part of a joint venture training by Vodafone and Google for LGBT+ leaders to drive a more inclusive workplace – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vodafone-joined-forces-google-my-personal-account-nour-shaker/
Also this pressrelease was a direct result of the work we worked internally by the network to improve customer care for our trans custoemrs: https://www.thegayuk.com/vodafone-is-doing-something-amazing-for-trans-customers/
I also went to few prides this year, London, Prague (I drove to there from home and back – crazy I know), Brighton, and Lincoln.
I also got the chance to meet the beautifully awesome Amy ❤ ❤
Amy and I were feeling a bit sassy 😀 😀
I even went to comic con and cosplayed as Wenry (Fullmetal Alchemist) !!! can you believe it ?!! 😀 😀
But 2018 wasn’t all happy, fluffy and dandy, I had a huge financial setback when I was forced to move out at very short notice, and I didn’t have the financial means to support this move.
I was new at a new role (more on that later on) and it was very demanding at the beginning, and to top it all up, I had a major accident where my car was a total loss.
I really loved this car SOOO much, she was very dear to me, but she saved me well, and I walked out of that accident with nothing but a broken nail, and bump on the head !! No injuries whatsoever.
All these things happened within the course of 4 weeks, so it took me quite a while to be able to recover from that, and I’m going to still pay off the loan I took till August 2019.
This accident made me realize that I life too short to waste, and too fragile. And made me realize that I could have passed away with no one knowing anything at all. I learned from that accident few lessons that I cannot unlearn.
But it also helped me realize how much I was loved by few people, and for them I’m thankful, and eternally grateful.
So I moved out, and for the 1st time since forever (literally forever) I’m living on my own, in a place for my own, not shared with anyone.
I never lived alone before !!! and it taught me so much about myself !! And I’m starting to like it 🙂
As soon as I moved in, a cat decided to make itself welcome at my place, I would say it adopted me 😀 😀
I called the J, I don’t know if it’s a he or a she, so I’m sticking to J 🙂
J would walk in as soon as I open the door, mews at me for food, and them comes to sit on lap for a cuddle and a bit of petting, and then goes to his special corner near the hot water tank, and sleeps, and at night J would come and sleep next to me !!!
Just like that, I found myself owned by a cat 😀 😀
Anyhow, In terms of career progression, the headhunt made more aware of my strengthes and value in the business and the IT industry in general.
So after quite few heated conversations with my boss, and going few levels above him, I managed to move to another role, way more challenging, hands-on, and we’re literally doing things that has never been attempted on this planet before, which is so freakin’ AWESOME 😀 😀 We’re even planning to apply for our own patents !!!! SWEEEEEET !!!
I finally managed to start some letters exchanges with my daughters, and I have to say, it’s heart-wrenching, no matter how much, and how hard you try to express your feeling through words, it’s never enough. There will always be the longing, the missing, the fact that I’m not able to see, hear, and touch my girls and hold them in my arms.
The most painful point was when I went shopping for them, and realized how much taller the must have grown 😦 And I wasn’t there to see it, and I can’t even talk to them on the phone.
But on the bright side, they’re doing great !!!
The eldest won 3rd place in 500m free-style swimming compitition !!! WOW, I KNOW !!!
The younger, oh dear oh dear, what a diva !!! She’s all into dancing, singing, and drawing !!!
I long and pray for the day I can see them and look them in the eye and tell them how much I love them.
Speaking of prayers, One of the things that I wanted to pursue for the last couple of years is spirtuality, and my relation to God.
And if I didn’t achieve anything this year, this is by far the most important thing I believe I ever achieved this year.
I believe I finally found my faith, and that helped my reconsile my past, my faith, my identity, my struggles, and also my future.
And a fortnight ago I had sort of ravalation, a moment of pure peace and trenquility, after which I was able to find forgiveness, forgiveness for everyone who ever hurt me in the past.
All those who thought wrong or less of me, those who disrespected me, those who caused me harm, those who looked at me with utter desdain, those who took away from me the right to see and talk to my kids, those who threatened to kill me, those who spat on me, those who promsied, vowed, and tried to turn my life into living hell.
I forgive them all, unconditionally.
I found in myself a capacity to love and to forgive beyond my imagination. I say it’s a true blessing.
2018 has been a true blessing, in so many ways despite the pain (emotional, physical, and financial), it was a smashing success in so many aspects, I can write pages upon pages on what happened throughout 2018, but those were the main highlights, the highlights that will shape how 2019 will look like.
If I can ever recap the past 5 years:
Joining Vodafone in 2013 gave me hope in my own being, capacity, and a launchpad to accept myself.
Embarcing myself back in 2014 allowed me to be whoever I am.
Transitioning (2015-2017) gave my identity a face and a sound.
Moving to the UK (2015) gave me hope, acceptance, safety, and a chance to live.
And in 2018, my faith crowned it all by reconciling everything with peace, love, and forgiveness.
I’m so excited about how 2019 will be 🙂
I’m truly blessed.