2022: Upon Reflection

[I revised this blog on 27/02/23]

Readers we have come to the end of 2022! I feel like I blinked and just like that the year passed by! Though it’s passed by quick, 2022 has probably been one of my most favourite years. It’s been a year filled with hard work and marked with successes and moments of joy which have meant the world to me.

If I had to pick a word to describe 2022, it would be: busy.

2022 has been so busy for me that in truth, early in the year I hadn’t to the best of my ability given myself the time to reflect nor express gratitude for the blessings I have in my life.

But unusual as this sounds, a few weeks ago God/the Universe sent me a sign. He disturbed everything I was doing to speak to me. As if to say: “Slow down for a minute now Fahmida. I’m going to need you to open your eyes. I’m going to need you to reflect”.

At the time I was on holiday in Istanbul, having the time of my life and that’s when out of nowhere, I saw something which reminded me of such a painful chapter of my life. It caught me so off guard and completely took the wind out of my sails.

Suddenly I felt nauseous. And readers, you know the lump you get at the back of your throat when you’re going to cry? That happened…and then I started crying.

(I feel sorry for my taxi driver – that guy probably wanted to do a quick drop off and call it a day. Instead he got a teary, nauseous looking, non-Turkish speaking passenger and every possibility that she could, at any moment puke in his car.

I might have been teary but that man was STRESSED. Ah, what a long day 😭).

Fast-forward to about a week later (and no, I didn’t puke in the poor man’s car), when I’ve flown back from Istanbul and am at home reflecting. I sit down and think about the overwhelming feeling I felt in Istanbul.

I don’t know about you readers but personally, I don’t believe in dumb luck, nor do I believe in sheer coincidence.

So I realise that whatever it is that I saw in Istanbul – no matter how momentarily – I was meant to see. And it was a sign from God/universe imploring me to reflect.

You might be reading this and thinking: “What were you meant to reflect on, Fahmida”?

I was meant to reflect on the present moment, readers. I was meant to reflect on life as it is right now, in this moment.

And where was I in this moment?

Physically, I’m on a family holiday that I have been able to take my whole family on. And mentally – in life, in my own journey – I am happy and successful.

I’ve been happy and successful for a minute now and this year in particular, has been one of the best years of my life. I set myself goals, smashed them, chuckled at myself for a moment and then I got busy and preoccupied over certain new goals that I want to achieve in the future.

But so busy was I, that I hadn’t taken time to appreciate the present moment.

I hadn’t been as grateful as I should have been, for the present moment and for the answered prayers that I am currently living in.

I started this blog by saying that in 2022, I was busy. But you’re never too busy to reflect and you’re never too busy to show gratitude. We count our blessings over here Fahmida…we should know this by now.

So upon reflection, on 2022 I feel lots of gratitude. I’m grateful for growth and for all of the love that is in my life. And, for how kind God has been to me.

In the main, I am grateful for the way that a few years ago, God helped teach me how to let go while at the same time (unbeknownst to me), he was helping me make space for blessings that were about to come my way.

In fact, when I think about the memory of the past that I saw in Istanbul, I am reminded of an ayah from Surah Ad-Duhaa. In it, God says: “Indeed what is to come will be better for you than what has gone by” (93:4).

And sure enough, God is showing me that.

Reflecting has helped me understand and put a fresh perspective on my goals for 2023.

Here they are…my goals for 2023: we’re working hard, enjoying the blessings, practicing gratitude and giving back.

And Allah? No doubt you’re watching me blog right now. A request for the next time you wish to send me a sign: can it be a gentler sign next time? I am not your strongest soldier – I will simply drop on the floor and collapse. Maybe some gentler signs from now on pls x

From a VERY grateful Fahmida x

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