Life Update // Comparing the Last Year to Now

As we’re in the last quarter of this year, I find myself reflecting on how it was different from last year.

Last year was extremely challenging. There were more unpleasant life events than good ones. And these were huge things. For starters, in March I stopped giving fitness classes at a gym I had been teaching in for 4 years. I stopped because of mistreatment by management. It was a tough decision to walk away as that meant saying goodbye to a lot of wonderful students. 

I was so depressed. I put on weight. It took me a long time to find another gym where I was happy teaching. After many months I finally started teaching regularly again.

Then on June 5, our beloved cat Snarf passed away. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I’ve never had a pet pass away. The grief was like the biggest weight on my chest, crushing me with its heaviness. I couldn't stop crying and had terrible nightmares each night. I just couldn't believe he was gone so suddenly. 

You might wonder why I never spoke about his passing on my blog or any of my social channels last year. It’s because every time I thought about posting anything, my eyes would swim with tears. I just couldn't bring myself to write anything about him. It was the hardest thing I have had to cope with. It took me a long time to heal and for the nightmares to stop. 

{The nightmares actually stopped only when we adopted a new kitten. Then we had to give him away after a few weeks as our adult cat was not accepting him. That was another terrible life event. Urrrghhh.}

One amazing thing that happened in 2018, though, was that I moved my business from a home office to an office space. Plus I was {and still am} sharing the office space with some of my best friends who are some of the most amazing people I know. So that was an achievement and a pleasant change. 

Unfortunately, all of this happened at the same time Snarf passed away, so it was the biggest challenge to handle everything - the devastating grief and the office move. It was a lot to handle. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I had no other choice but to suck it up and be strong. I couldn't abandon my business and cry all day, no matter how much I wanted to. Today, I feel like dealing with all that has made me tougher and more compassionate. 

This year

Comparing all of those challenging situations to this year, this year has been incredible. A lot of great things happened. 

My business expanded exponentially with different projects, clients and departments this year. I have the loveliest and most talented team. It's insane how much I love working with them. We laugh every day and take on new challenges in the most badass ways. 

Another work-related goal was doing up the interiors of my office. It was such a happy experience. From picking out the furniture {YAY for Ikea opening here last year!} to the wallpaper to the decor, I did it all. And it was so much fun! It has been a long-cherished dream of mine to have my own office and do it up exactly how I want to.

As for my fitness classes, I'm now teaching at gyms I really like. I give classes mainly in five-star hotel gyms now, which is a step up. I experiment and have fun with different group exercise classes. I even teach free sessions in my building gym only for the ladies living there, and we have a blast. Looking back, leaving the old gym and my familiar routine helped me spark my creativity and pushed me out of my comfort zone.  
This year I had to get a lot of dental work done. It’s never a pleasant experience going to the dentist every week but because of it, my smile has become so much better. It's something I have wanted for a long, long time and I am so happy with the way my teeth look now. It gives me so much more confidence. 
Another area that gives me more confidence is my clothes collection. My style has evolved to become more elegant and bolder. I wanted one-of-a-kind pieces that are from sustainable sources, made from high-quality materials. Saji's Couture really delivers on this need and now my entire wardrobe is filled with personalized, customized couture from them. All the pieces are very 'me' which is why I'm completely in love with ALL the clothes hanging in my cupboard. There's no piece that doesn't spark joy. Getting dressed every day in my beautiful clothes is such a pleasure. 

Decluttering last year using the KonMari method for my clothes {and everything else} really helped me have a wardrobe in which every single piece sparks joy, and it has continued until today because I make sure every new piece I get also sparks joy. I'll soon write a blog on how you can do this, too. 
Coming to my personal life, I made one new close friend since last year and that friendship makes me so happy. I've also pushed myself to attend more social gatherings and make more friends. This is difficult for an introvert like me, but it's necessary to avoid feeling lonely and to have people around when you need them the most. And of course, I have the absolute best family who I love living with. This includes two cats that are at war with each other. 
Clothes: Saji's Couture, Bag, Jewellery, Watch: Parfois, Shoes: Aldo

All in all, life has been amazing so far this year. I'm having the best time of my life in all areas. I feel at peace with myself, which is the ultimate goal. 

I can't wait to see what the next year brings. 

Until next time,

Shabana Feroze

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[name=About Me] [img=] [description=I'm an entrepreneur, published author, fitness instructor and artist. But most of all, I'm me. And I LOVE being me. Through this blog, I want to inspire you to love being you, too. I enjoy dressing up, chasing my passions, travelling the world, staying fit and encouraging others to do the same. If you'd like to know more, click the Who I Am tab on the top of the site! Thank you for reading my blog!] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (bloglovin= (pinterest=