Remembering 2016 And How It Made Me Adult - Major News Break Somewhere In There

Year 2016 will go down the pages of history for reasons more than one. We have enough memes making the rounds to prove that this was no ordinary year across the globe and will not be remembered as such.

On a personal level, 2016 was the most happening year of my life, yet. And that is quite something, considering there was a year when I spent six months in Europe as an exchange student and another year when I got married. Both were huge deals, dramatically exciting types, and still, none of the those equal the variety of happenings in 2016. 

So I have picked out 6 of the most enlightening decisions/discoveries that defined this year for me and will talk about how they led to serious adulting in my life. Lettuce go then!

Moving To Saudi Arabia 

The year started with the first major move of our married life materializing. Husband left for Jeddah in January after various bollywood inspired good-bye scenes at the house. I refused to go to the airport to drop him off and instead chose to go to work to distract myself. Not going to go into the hows and whys of this decis
ion, already talked about all the emotional drama of the move in detail here.

We all know life is unpredictable and there is only so much we can plan. Sometimes God twists and turns your life story in ways you had least expected and you’re presented with options you had never considered. Before you know it, life has taken a 360 degree turn and you’re left wondering if this was ever a part of your plan? In times likes these, it is best to ease up that control-freak in you, use your head and heart to take the decision that seems like the best bet and then let things be, for your own sake. The way this move worked out for us strengthened my belief in the fact that we plan, and Allah plans, and indeed, He is the best of planners.

Discovering A New Dimension To My Relationship With Mr. Husband

Husband and I had to endure three and half months of long-distance, thanks to visa processing and stuff. The first time we were going to be apart after marriage. Sure we weren't too excited about it but we also did not expect to turn into cranky little kids throwing tantrums because someone had taken away our candy.

It wasn’t like we were new love-birds still stuck in our honeymoon phase. Ours was a relationship that had matured over years and we were confident of handling this short span of time with the same maturity. Wrong. We realized that long-distance is just not our thing. It makes us unreasonable and we start behaving like two strangers who have never known each other.

My conclusion after those 3 months was that we are the happiest and our best selves when we are together. Contrary to what most people would assume, generally those who handle long-distance very well, this does not imply that the relationship is weak. Because if it was and being apart had taken a significant toll on it, we would not have instantly bounced back to being normal the day we got back together. In our case, it just means that both of us have equally terrible ways of expressing how much we hate being apart. Still have to figure out how to deal with this before we are up against our next long-distance challenge!

Learning To Value Myself and Letting Things Go

I got accepted into one of the most prestigious universities of the world, the kind that makes the most bitter and distant family members associate themselves with you with pride. It was a dream come true, in the most real sense. But, I had to let the opportunity go. And I did. It was the hardest decision one could be asked to take after tasting a huge triumph.

I had applied for a highly competitive graduate program with a profile that was way below their average class profile.
 I was only trying my luck I would say. Since the day I had downloaded the application form, I knew I could only pursue this path if I secured a scholarship, the chances of which were extremely slim for my chosen program. But who was going to get accepted anyways so why fret over it?

Turned out I had immensely underestimated myself. Not only was my family ecstatic at the achievement, I had genuinely impressed myself for once, it felt unreal. Fast-forward to decision time, I did not secure the required scholarship and after exhaustive analysis, it was evident that spending a fortune from my pocket or taking loans would not be a wise choice at that point. Everyone aware of the circumstances assured me that it was the rational decision and it made absolute practical sense to decline the offer without the scholarship. But none of that made it any easier to accept that I had to let go.

For quite some time (it may have been months), I mulled over all the sleepless nights I had spent to study for GMAT, to somehow meet the application deadline and to prepare for the interview. I doubted my decision countless times. Until one day, I looked at it from a different perspective. The way I would have looked at another person for having achieved what I had. I had managed to prepare an application package that was good enough to impress a judging panel as stringent as it gets around the world. That too, alongside a full-time corporate job. And that was only the easier part. The difficult part was to be sensible enough to let rationale prevail over emotion when the time came. If there was one thing to feel, it was to feel proud of myself. So that’s what I did, from then on.

In retrospect, I believe God had only put me in that situation so I could learn to value myself and gauge what I'm capable of. I came out feeling more self-assured of my abilities than I had ever been.

Spending The Best Ramadan Of My Life

I was raised in a household where skipping a fast was never an option, unless there was a serious medical reason. So fasting in the Holy Month was always a given practice, no ifs and buts. But connecting with God, now that is another story altogether.

The Ramzan of 2016 was the first of its kind for me. For the first time, I felt that I did not just fast, I was able to connect with my Creator on some basic level. There is obviously no way to prove this but the fact that I was living so close to Ka’aba and got the opportunity to visit both the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madina during the month must have had its impact. I felt a sense of 
peace and joy that I had never experienced before.Throughout the month, I looked forward to praying and staying up at nights, without even having my mom around to prompt me, because I was genuinely enjoying it. There was just something in the air here that I had never felt in Pakistan. Whatever it was, I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it. Never had I felt so sad and empty on the month of Ramadan ending.

I resolved to continue with some of the practices I had adopted during the month for the rest of the year, something that I promise to do each year but then that promise falls flat on its face within the first month. Not this time though. This time I continued, in fact, I still am, alhamdulillah! 

Transforming A House Into A Home

The house in Taif was our fourth in just two years of marriage. We had lived at two different places in Islamabad and then we had my husband’s family home in Lahore where we lived for a a few months before moving to Saudia. But each of those places had been a temporary living arrangement and we never really put our heart into setting them up. Both of us worked full-time jobs and all we needed was a place to crash at the end of the day.

But our lifestyle was going to be different here in Saudia. There were no friends to hang out with till late at night and we realized that most of our time would be spent lounging in front of the TV. Hence came the motivation to set up a completely personalized and cosy place that we would be happy to call home.

It was a month long task to get the basics done and involved countless trips to Ikea and other home shopping centres. By the end of the month, some of the sales staff at our regular shopping points knew me by face and showed no hesitation in giving me looks that said: “Here you are, again?”

Husband and I took equal interest in everything that was to enter the house, be it a piece of furniture or kitchen utensil, and that did not make the job any easier. There were numerous disagreements on the dimensions of the sofas, the pattern of the rugs and the color combination of the coffee mugs. But nothing was purchased without mutual agreement. The result, not only did we set up a vibrant place that we love coming back to after a long vacation or a short road-trip, we also made some hilarious memories of how we put it all together. I don’t know how long we’ll be living in this house for, but I’m certain it’ll be one of our favorites for life. Our first true home. 

The BIGGIE Of The Year

Cannot keep this one in any longer so going to make it short and crisp.


Say Inshallah & Mashallah :)

Essenitally, 2016 was the big daddy of all things adulting for us. Matlab Allah Mian didn’t leave anything out to convey that it is in fact time to grow up. And He blessed us with the most precious responsibility to show that He trusts our ability to take it.

Here’s to a 2017 which will change our lives forever, for the better!

If you enjoyed reading this post, please say a prayer for the well-being of my family. If you didn’t enjoy, don’t be a kanjoos and still say the prayer, these things have a tendency to come back at you :)


  1. Congratulations!!! Loved reading the post :) And Inshallah and Mashallah :)

  2. Thanks Ramsha and welcome to the blog :)

  3. Omg I don't know how i missed this post before, I only saw the one on your insta. Love it! How we choose to perceive major events in our life makes such a huge differnce :)

  4. 2016 deserves the award of the most challenging year for me as well as my family. Fast forward to 2017, the challenges are still there but they have taught us how to put a brave front and leave it all to the Higher Being and strengthen our faith in the time of adversity.

  5. Though it's an old post but it's never too late to cherish someone's achievements :)
    I love your posts and your personality❤

  6. Maryam Haqqui3 May 2017 at 02:48

    Just discovered your blog Anum!
    And reading your journey and your perspective on adulting made me so so happy!!! :D
    Even though we very briefly knew each other in school, still getting to know you are this strong inspirational woman today, made me really really happy!
    All the very best for the life ahead and love to your family!
    A big Masha Allah for you all. :)

    1. Such a heart warming compliment Maryam, thank you so much!! :D


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