It’s the last days of the year and as usual things are still fairly busy and stressful. Travel preparations in need of being made, New Year’s Eve tomorrow and a couple of other responsibilities that need to be done before the end of the week. So let’s take a moment to sit down, breathe, relax and look back at the year 2015 as it heads closer and closer towards its end! Because, boy, has it been one of the most eventful years I’ve ever had, loaded with more milestones than I could have imagined before!
The first of these of course takes place rather early in the year. The moment had been approaching for a while, but during the second half of February I actually began moving into my new place. It was the first time ever I’d really be living on my own and it was an incredibly emotional process. I’d been living for three years in a student house that had become a home to me, with the amazing people I met there and now I was returning to the city I had lived most of my life. Especially in the beginning it was really tough and I didn’t want to go. Over the following months, though, through support of my friends and family and a massive chunk of resolve, I slowly began to get used to my new place. And now, while I still miss ‘the old place’ with its people and memories (with whom I’m thankfully still in contact), I’ve really come to feel at home in my little studio.
A few months into my new/old living environment I also actually found work! Sure, it’s not a paid job and it’s only two days a week, but work is work! My time as volunteer at the book section of my local secondhand store has been a very enjoyable one. I have nice and helpful colleagues, I’m learning, I feel I’m really contributing something and of course I’ve gotten tons of books for hardly anything at all! Like I’ve said in an earlier post, I should be looking for a bookcase there to house them all! While I’m still looking for and hoping to find a paid job in the near future, in the meanwhile I definitely won’t mind spending some more time here.
After having a lot of my knowledge of it ebb away after the third year of my life and never quite getting around to picking it up again, this year I finally decided: now I’m finally going to learn Arabic again! And so I did. I signed up with the beginner’s class of a teacher my mother had also been to and I started! Keeping up wasn’t always easy, particularly with the other things I had to do running around like mad, but over about three months I had a really fun time with the teacher and fellow students and I learned a lot! I managed to learn to read and write all letters of the Arabic alphabet and quite a bit to hold at least a basic conversation. I’m making quite a bit of progress and will be starting the next class when I return from vacation in January. I’m really looking forward to it! Who knows, I might just actually be talking with my family in Lebanon soon!
You’ve seen plenty of this during the previous month, but my participation and victory in this year’s NaNoWriMo definitely deserves to be revisited. I mean, for the first time in my life I’ve actually finished a book I started! I have a real draft for a real novel sitting here on my computer! Finished in thirty days! I’ve said before how much of a major accomplishment this is for me and I’ll repeat it here again. This was a moment that has strengthened and inspired me and my will and desire to write, that has given me hope I will be able to one day get a book of my own finished and published! Without a doubt one of my biggest moments in my writing life!
Planning trip to Japan
Finally the plan that had been lying there for years only to be shoved aside every time, is coming to fruition. This year my friends and I finally made sure that trip to the Land of the Rising Sun was going to become a reality! We were going to Japan! It’s been a few months since got our tickets and hotels booked and now it’s only less than a week away before we’re stepping on the plane and head East! Pretty much everything aside from the final preparations is settled. I’ll admit I’m more than a little nervous, but this is just insanely exciting and I am brimming with anticipation! I’ll of course make sure to get pictures and stories of our experiences on here, if not during the trip, than certainly when I get back! It’s happening!
Has Anyone Seen My Hair?
Somewhere between five and ten years ago (it’s a bit fuzzy) I had a full head of hair. I was greying fairly early, but I didn’t really mind that. I actually liked it and imagined that by the time I was thirty I’d have a long great white or silver mane that would put many a rockstar to shame! Alas, it was not to be. At some point the hair on top started to slowly turn thinner while on the sides it continued to grow. I was hoping things would turn alright again. It, did not. I started to comb part of my hair sideways to cover up the balding parts, but even that did not work. By then I had long hair for at least ten years and letting it go, well… NO! My hair was a part of who I was and cutting it was not an option. This? This was pretty close to a nightmare. Thankfully, a conversation with a dear friend about balding eventually made me come to terms a bit with it all and finally, a couple of months before this post, when looking into the mirror, I made a bold (hah!) decision. Every month I would have my hair cut a bit shorter until at the end of the year it was either all gone or as close as it could be. Last Friday marked the final step in what had been a very rough, but, I will admit in the end refreshing process. My hair is now shorter than it has ever been and a year ago I would have laughed at myself for even thinking this, but, I’m quite liking it. Will I continue to? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure… I’m going to have to change that avatar! ^_^
Two year anniversary/500 posts!
And nearing the end of the year we have yet another milestone a bit closer to home! I began the Ashukahwa Archives in December of 2013 with the prospect of sharing, with all who would read them, my stories, my poems and all those other writings my crazy (but lovable) mind has produced. As my blog grew over the years, so did the community of people liking and following my work. Every single like, follow and comment has filled me with joy and excitement! It meant that someone out there read one of my writings, ravings or other brainchildren, that they enjoyed it and that they came back for more! And two years into my blog that’s still happening! What an incredibly awesome and inspiring feeling that is! I even managed to make some friends this way! Wow! How great is that?! And after two years of blogging, over 300 followers and tons of likes and comments, last Monday, the latest installment of Order 66. Another Side, Another Story did another incredible thing! It created nothing less than another anniversary by becoming post number
Five hundred! That’s just, wow! It’s hard to get the right words out to do justice to how excited I’m feeling with having reached that incredible number! One thing I can say, I have said before and will continue to say, is that all of you, reading, following, liking, commenting here on the Ashukahwa Archives have made it possible and inspired this little writer here to achieve what he has achieved! For that I will forever be grateful! Creating this blog has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and you have played a major part in that! Thank you all so much!
What A Year!
What a year, indeed! The year 2015 has been an incredible one in many respects, with the ones above only being the most prominent ones! If 2016 is going to be even half as insane, wild, overwhelming and awesome as 2015, I’m going to have one heck of a year ahead of me! With New Year’s Eve coming up tomorrow I may not have a post tomorrow, so I’ll be wishing you all a fun, exciting and safe turn of the year and all the best in the upcoming year!
See you in 2016, everyone! ^_^