So I won’t be doing a recap of all the books and recipes I made this year, mostly because I didn’t read or make very many. This year was a very different year in my life. It was probably one of the most difficult years of my life but also the happiest. Is that possible?
I know, it’s kind of a paradox. How can such a difficult year be the happiest as well?
This was one of the years in my life where I felt like I had the least amount of control of my destiny. As a Muslim, I’ve always believed in God having a plan for me and for everyone, but this year my faith in this was truly tested. There was so little I had control over and it was so hard for me to accept. I was a miserable grump for a chunk of the year and I still can’t believe my family put up with me for such a long time when I wasn’t very fun to be around.
Speaking of family, I think this is the first time I’ve ever truly appreciated my parents and all that they have done and continue to do for me. Their selfless love for me has kept me going this past year and I know that I would be nowhere without their endless love and support. I know they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also puts things into perspective for you. It took me a year to actually realise how many times I took them and their love for granted, especially after being away from them. I am so blessed to have them, alhamdulilah.
You all know how much I love books and reading, especially stories with romance in them. I had been dreaming of a grand love story my whole life and this was the year my own love story began. I had all these notions about love and marriage and relationships, many of which were shaken up these past year. It was a year of discovering love and understanding another person so wholly different from me. It was also a year of understanding that there really is no such thing as ‘happily ever after’ but instead little moments of happiness in every day, little things that another person can do that can fill your heart with so much love and joy that you feel like it might explode. It was a year of beginning. It was a year of falling in love.
2015 is also the year I think I’ve grown up the most. At 25 years old, I thought I had it all figured out when the year began. I’m the oldest in my immediate family, and then also among all my cousins. I’ve been known as ‘Baji’ (older sister) my whole life. But it’s been a year of realising and accepting all the things I don’t know. I’ve had to face the fact that maybe I’m not so knowledgeable or mature as I thought, and come to terms with growing up. A lot. Being in a relationship does that to you. It forces you to examine all the ugly parts inside of yourself that you hope the other person never sees. It’s the year I realise how much father I have to go.
It was also the year of deaths. There have been 3 close deaths in my family this year: my nanaji (maternal grandpa), eldest mamu (mom’s brother), and phupoh (dad’s sister). My dad’s sister lived in Pakistan, and so I only met her a handful of times, but the death still shook my family, especially my dad. But the deaths of my uncle and grandpa shook me to my core. Mostly because I wasn’t there when they died, wasn’t there to say goodbye, wasn’t there to grieve and weep with my family. Being separated from my family on both counts made me miss them even more. It made me realise how lucky I was to have the love of my elders as I was growing up, and especially in the major turning points in my life. Last year, at this time, on this exact date, I remember celebrating with them both and being caught in their infectious happiness, not realising that less than a year later they would be taken from me. I am so lucky to have good memories with them, but it’s just been hard knowing I didn’t say goodbye.
2015 has been a wonderful, amazing, challenging, and stressful year. There have been so many good things to happen this year, but they’ve been peppered with sad and difficult things too. But that’s life, I suppose. Good and bad. Happy and sad. So it’s just made me realise that I need to enjoy the good times as much as I can, and enjoy the time I have with my loved ones as much as I can. Because I never know when things can change.
May 2016 be a good year, inshAllah.
As always, thanks for reading,