Contributed by: Sumayya Tobah, Freelance journalist

Get to know her on Twitter/instagram

Story from: Washington DC, USA

Let me start by saying, I don’t believe in New Year Resolutions. I’ve always been of the mind that every milestone, every moment worth noting in your life is one worthy of reflection. But this year was one of the hardest of my life.


This has been the year of extremes; extreme happiness, devastation, stress, calm, like an insane merry-go-round that I was forbidden to get off. I made strides towards becoming the woman I always wanted to be, but at the same time feel like I’ve fallen more behind than ever. Balance and stability were never my strong points; I always dive headfirst and think later. Needless to say, I’m now feeling extremely burned out.

But the crazy thing is, as I sit here, on the afternoon of December 31st 2018, writing this article, I can’t remember all the unhappiness endured over the past 12 months.

All that stands out for me from the past 12 months is the love -- and love is all I want to bring with me into the new year.

It may sound cliche but I have no interest in carrying the negativity of this year into the new year.

I’m leaving it in 2018. Every hardship was a lesson and I am consciously separating the two. I am leaving the sadness behind and bringing with me only the outcome, the stronger version of myself that emerged.


Have you ever seen an insect molt? It’s pretty disgusting. The exterior of the insect is a dark grey, it looks almost rotten. It stop moving, except for a little tick, coming from within. Suddenly, the skin splits, and a second head emerges from just above where the dark grey, lifeless head sits. It starts to pull itself out of its old skin, colours vibrant. The insect bends backwards, and if it has wings, they quickly unfurl, bigger and stronger than they were before.  The Insect climbs out of its own skin and seems to dance on top of it as it finds its footing.

Like I said, it’s pretty gross. But when you think about what’s actually happening, it’s so amazing. It’s a reminder from God; the lowest creatures on the planet literally outgrow what they are regularly. They don’t feel any pain, they simply realize they are too much to be contained in their current skin, so they outgrow it and leave it behind. It’s a grotesque show of magic.

So today, I made a conscious effort to molt. I sat and thought to myself about this past year: What am I shedding? What ugliness can I leave behind?

More importantly, what do I want to bring with me into the new year? What are my wings, my vibrant colors?

With the extreme hours and stress, I wouldn’t have made it if not for the support and love of my husband by my side. When I had to work 1 am shifts, he would pack me a breakfast and drop me off in middle of the night. He would be by my side at events I didn’t really want to attend and my cheerleader at every fighting moment.


The love of my family,  every moment in my life is one whatsapp group away from encouraged, celebrated or mocked (depending on the moment). When I’m afraid to share my personal and profession milestones with the world, they are always unconditionally happy for me.

And finally, the love of a girl gang -- this year brought with it the love and support of a core group of fierce, driven and incredible women who understand both my professional and personal struggles. These women remind me that I’m not alone and I’m exactly where I need to be.

So try it. Take a moment to sit on your own and think about how you spent the last year. Think about the moments that made life worth living, where you felt the most safe, the most alive, the happiest you’ve ever been. Hold on to those moments.

Then think about the things you outgrew, the anger, the disappointments, the things that made you question who you are and what you stand for. The times you knew you deserved better, the times you felt overlooked, the times you didn’t know where you were going and it terrified you. Think on all that you endured over the last 12 months.

Now shed that shit.

Shed it and start the New Year with wings, completely reborn.

Thank u, next.