Goodbye 2016

Over the past few days, I keep seeing posts on Facebook that talk about how much 2016 sucked. There were definitely some sad and appalling things that happened this year, especially considering media-wise and politically. But it wasn’t all bad! At least not for me.

A year feels like so long, but it can go by in the blink of an eye. And when you look back on the whole year, it can seem so hard to remember what happened in those 365 days.

As I was sitting down to write this post, there were 2 distinct things that were obvious accomplishments for me this year. Other that that, I was drawing a blank on what else happened. But then as I began searching for my goodbye 2015 post, I saw a bunch of posts that reminded me all the other things that happened this year. Thank God for blogging, right?

Last year was an especially difficult one. It was my first year of marriage, my first year of living apart from my family, and my first year of being an adult. There were also 3 major deaths in my family, which I wasn’t present for. It was a year of challenges and struggles.

2016 was also a year of challenges and struggles, but in different ways. There were also lots of really good things that happened in 2016.

We started the year off moving into our first official home. It was so nice to have a place of my own, a place where I could organize and decorate to my heart’s content. I went a little DIY crazy with spray paint and house accents. My husband and I also started to renovate the powder room downstairs, which still sits unfinished, unfortunately.

Soon after that, one of my dreams came true: I got an agent! It was through my other blog, but it was still a dream come true. I spent a few months working with my agent on a book proposal. Unfortunately, the proposal was rejected several times and hasn’t been picked up yet. But I’m still so grateful and thankful to God that I am one step closer to my dream of becoming a published author. Here’s hoping I hear some good news in 2017!

Despite my setback with my nonfiction book, I still decided to self-publish my adult novel Aisha after releasing a chapter every week on my other blog. In fact, it was Aisha that first got my agent’s attention! After the positive feedback, I decided to release it as a Kindle ebook. It hasn’t exactly broken any worldwide records, but it still warms my heart to read the messages and comments from readers who loved the story and related to the characters. Maybe one day it will be released as a physical book…

In terms of baking, I managed to try a few new recipes, but didn’t get around to really sharing that much, unfortunately. But one thing that I did learn to bake that I was most excited about were macarons! I have been obsessed with these French delicacies for a few years now and have been dying to learn how to make them. I took a baking class and brought home a box of my very own handmade macarons that I proceeded to devour in a matter of days. It was such a fun class, and I loved learning all the little tips and tricks that help in taming these difficult-t0-make cookies! I also tried once at home, but wasn’t that successful. I’m definitely planning on trying again soon!

I also picked up a new skill of photography! I still don’t know a lot, but I spent some time practising with my DSLR camera finally and did this with my food- my favourite thing to photograph! It was so much fun to be able to style the pictures and get some professional-ish looking shots that were a thousand times better than my old point and shoot! It’s been a few months since I picked it up, but I’m hoping I get back into it.

Another skill I picked up was brush calligraphy. I sort of became obsessed with this after learning how to form letters to make them beautiful. Eid and birthdays became so much more fun as I loved lettering everyone’s names in calligraphy. It was something I wasn’t so good at in the beginning, but with lots of practice, I definitely got better! It’s something else I haven’t done in a few months, but it’s something that once you know, you remember.

2016 was also the year I found out I’m going to be a mom! I found out in August, but kept the news pretty quiet on social media for a few months. Those were months that were super challenging as I tried to get used to my ever changing body. But nothing about the changes stayed the same; each week was an adventure unto itself! And it still continues that way. But it’s all worth it, especially as I can’t stop daydreaming about holding my baby in my arms in a few short months inshAllah. 🙂 <3

Phew! That was a pretty busy year! To be honest, when I was thinking about what happened this year, I could barely remember anything. But as I went through my old posts, I remembered all the things that I did and that happened throughout this year. Things that I had forgotten, but now that I remember, make me oh-so happy.

As important as it is to look forward, it’s also important to look back at everything you’ve achieved. It’s not a way to be proud, but to think about how far you’ve come. And how much farther you still have to go.

So I hope you all had a fabulous 2016! And an even more fabulous 2017 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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