To answer an obvious question, yes, I’m alive. Not only alive, but rolling B-)
It’s been many, many months since A Million Reflections saw my pretty face and I’ve gone from active to not active to pretty much non-existent.
Yet here I am. Where was I, what brings me back?
It’s a little difficult to put the whirlwind events from July 2012 through April 2013 into a few words, but I’ll try to do emotions and experiences justice and give it my best shot. Here goes.
To start us off, let history do the talking:
And if you’re tut-tutting under your breath after reading the date, I’m truly sorry. This blog post should have been published ages ago. But I’ve been avoiding it for a reason.
Life’s flung me far in these few months. In the literal sense, I’ve been ‘flung’ from Abu Dhabi to Karachi to Riyadh, but metaphorically? I’ve moved emotional mountains, swam nostalgic oceans, trekked through the treacherously dark forests of the unknown.
It’s been painful. Scary. Bitter. Enduring nearly 3 months in Karachi was the worst part — a sad case of a non-citizen life-long UAE resident awaiting paperwork for a country she didn’t want to move to. And, Saudi Arabia being Saudi Arabia, the process that was supposedly two weeks long took more than a month. A month too many in Karachi.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the place. [and you should know if you’ve read any of my previous posts! ;)] But home is home. And I could only live as an alien to Pakistani culture for so long.
But with hardship comes ease. And oftentimes they come together.
In this case, what didn’t kill me certainly did make me stronger. Those weeks in Karachi taught me more than I’ve learnt in years. Patience. Perseverance. Gratefulness. Humility. Respect for people from all walks of life. Coming out of my comfort zone. Being organized with the paperwork — believe me, I learnt that the hard way! I could go on, but the crux of what I learnt began to change me. Bit by bit. Like pieces of a puzzle slowly coming together.
After we (finally!) came to Riyadh, realizations began to dawn upon me, one by one. First and foremost, Riyadh is a pretty cool place, seriously! I feel ashamed now to judge this city against stereotypes that were merely ignorant opinions. Sure, in the Abu Dhabi vs Riyadh battle the former wins hands down (ahem!) but living here is nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be. Karachi took care of that 😉
On a more serious note, I realized just how much I needed the change. Not wanting it. Needing it. You see, being born and raised in the same old, same old made me resistant to change. And I’d no idea just how healthy it would be for me. My initial reaction was to whinge and complain about everything. I missed my bedroom of nearly ten years. I missed my friends, feeling the hurt a tiny bit more each time I’d say goodbye to any of them. I missed knowing my way around so well I could trawl Abu Dhabi in my sleep. I missed the multiculturalism. I missed my school. I missed, missed, missed my way through my pain, realizing too late, that, by being stuck in my past, I wasn’t even giving my future half a chance. How much longer could I be stuck in a time which no longer existed?
It was time to move on.
And I’m so glad I did. Here in Riyadh, I have a new bedroom (painted purple, woop! :D). I have new friends — amazing ones too, at that. And each new hello heals the pain of an old goodbye a tiny bit. I have a new city blueprint to learn, new streets to trawl. I have a new school, and though my options may be limited, my teachers are enviably good. And wouldn’t it be a such a shame missing out on all this, had I been home in Abu Dhabi? My missing was replaced with embracing. I learnt to adapt, and to welcome change with open arms. I learnt to loosen up, and to allow myself to be carried by the swelling of the tide.
But, mostly, I learnt to be optimistic. Every tunnel has a light at its end, every mountain has its peak. I’m not saying that your tunnel is short — it may be winding and long. But it has an end, and it is beautifully bright. I’m not saying your mountain will be an easy climb — it may be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done. But it has a peak and the view is gorgeous.
In essence, what I’m saying is this:
My message goes out to all of you crawling you tunnels, climbing your mountains. Hang in there. Keep going. Take it from me — not only will you make it, you’ll make it as a better, stronger person. I certainly did.
As for avoiding my beloved blog, I present before you two excuses:
- I’ve been insanely busy with AS Level! I sometimes don’t have the time to breathe! Even now I’m blogging at the expense of my statistics homework 😛
- In many ways I felt that A Million Reflections was not really relevant anymore. That it’s now a part of my past, part of someone I no longer am.
Maybe this is is goodbye from me at A Million Reflections. Maybe I’ll start a new blog. Begin afresh. I don’t know. One thing is for sure, though. I’ll leave the question hanging until my AS end in June!
Keep on moving. May your journey be as rewarding as mine. ♥