Like million others, I’m sitting down today to reflect upon
the happenings of the year 2013. I can safely say, this year has
been a year of changes; I have undergone mental, physical, geographical and
life-style changes. This is the third time that I have undergone such a major
change in my life. The first time was in 2007 whereby I had re-learnt how to
live and revised my way of living after the demise of my mother. I had to
inculcate new qualities within my being, had to accept new roles and responsibilities
in order to get by. After 4 years of sharpening my then newly acquired tactics
of life, I decided to undergo a geographical change and moved to Dubai where I
started a new life. I learnt how to live without the people I loved the most, how to
cope with situations on my own, and basically, how to begin again, slowly and
steadily! Now that I look back, it seems that moving to Dubai was a preparatory
lesson given to me for the changes I had to undergo in 2013. Here’s a quick
look of my year.
First month of a fresh year handed me a list of fresh new
priorities alongside managing the old ones. Without doubt it can be said that
this month was all about planning and research. There were hours and hours of
skype session cutting the distance between me and my soon-to-be. Our hot topic
of discussions were “Court marriage in Dubai” and our “Nikkah Ceremony”. We had
to find out the legal requirements that we had to take care of, it may sound
very simple at the moment, but it was anything but simple. We had to coordinate
shopping agendas, schedule dates for blood test, halls, flights and much more. Alongside coordination, I was managing previous plannings' implementation also. I visited Karachi this month to take care of all the shopping that needed to be done for the upcoming event. Needless to say I had an amazing time in Karachi with friends and family alongside shopping.
This was the month of my Nikah with my then very-soon-to-be.
By second week of Feb I had taken holidays from work to sort out things that
had to be done for the event. My google history shows contacting all kinds of
photographers, beauticians and hotels in Dubai to get this event sorted. By
now, my soon-to-be had also landed in Dubai. We both were running around like
mad cows and I guess all the running around paid off ‘cause the event itself
was a job well done!
I was told a long time ago that I would have to take the
Dutch language exam in order to complete the process of my marriage. This is
the month when I had to start taking my Dutch course seriously. So I started
from the very basic and moved my way up. Slowly and painfully.
Dutch can’t go this slowly! My test was due in May, so I had
to take it very seriously! Alongside my day job which was keeping me in Dubai,
I had online night classes with my official to-be on skype. So, after full day
at work I’d come home exhausted (because I’d hardly slept the night before)
have my cup of tea with spinney’s cookie (which was my fav) then I’d have a little nap followed by a family dinner in
which I’d tell everyone how exhausting my days are. And then I’d hop online and
suffer through the newness of all the Dutch sounds. Study sessions would last
till around 2 to 3 in the morning, it was quite challenging to manage full time
work, sleep deprivation and a long distance relationship at the same time.
First half of this month was terrible. All the sleeplessness
and over-exertion gave me a skin condition. It took me a while to notice that
something was happening to me, and then when I did, it freaked me out.
Everytime I look back on situations, I wish I was a calmer and not a fanatic
about things. Even though, honestly, the white spots on my skin as a condition
of the disease were seriously freaky. The thing is, I had no choice but to let
time heal it for me. I had to let go of it and concentrate on the exam that was
coming up. Boy, that was a huge challenge for me.
Turns out, no matter how much fuss I make out of every
situation, I do end up as a winner. Aced my Dutch test and never touched the
Dutch books again. Meanwhile, skin white spots healed on their own as the
doctor promised. End of may was a start of a happy me again.
P.S. I was gona go to Malaysia in May, had to cancel the
ticket thanks to Dutch. Oh the sacrifices!
I was given a heart attack that the wedding will be in
August. Most of the month went fighting for it to be after august.
July was fun. Sisters had come to Dubai so every day after
work I used to take them all around Dubai and have fun. From thrilling rides at
Sega Republic to indulgence in gourmet food experiences; we got it all covered.
A fun month for sure.
August was exciting. I travelled to Hong Kong and China for
work. Loved every bit of it. Travelling teaches you a lot of thing that nothing
else can teach. Also, it’s a lot of fun exploring new cities, especially when
all the expenses are paid for! :P I was in Kowloon, it’s a busy and beautiful city. You will always
find people running around, everyone is busy getting by it seemed.
It was that time of the year that I packed my bag and got
ready to travel to my home country for one last time. (its not really the LAST
time im sure, but the last time as a single person). September was about shopping
for wedding, meeting old friends and basically wrapping up my life in Pakistan.
I think I had very less time there, so wasn’t able to do all I had planned to
do. But I’m glad I got to visit. Sadly, my one and only wish of visiting my
mom’s grave didn’t come true due to instable political conditions in the
So much happened in Oct, I can write 2000 words on it if I go
in the paragraph form, so I will just give pointers, this is how the month
Meeting all members of immediate family.
Implementation of wedding planning.
Last day at Dubai office.
Anxiety and fear of the unknown.
End of an era.
Nope, the month hasn’t ended yet:
Conquering new territories on the honeymoon:
Banyan Trees, RAK, UAE.
Etihad Jumeirah Toweres, ABU DHABI, UAE.
A month of farewell. It’s time to leave and bid farewell to
the family, farewell to Dubai, farewell to being single, farewell to the old
life. Farewell to skyscrapers, farewell to the excitement of Dubai. Yes, this
is the month in which I moved to Amsterdam! This marks as an adaptation period
for me, mental adaptation to a new (and so loving) family. Physical adaptation
to a cold country, style adaptation to wearing scarves, jackets and boots
(small thing but influences). To be honest, I’m still adapting.
December marks the end of the year however for me, nothing
about December seems to be an end. It’s still the very start of my new life. I
spent December trying to settle down in Amsterdam. It’s a starter’s month for
me. I got my library pass made so I have something to do around here. From
casual walks to hard-core interviews with local companies; I indulged in
everything that feel a tad more at home in this land of The Dutch.
So this was The Year 2013; THE HAPPENING YEAR!