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Young revert living the cutie life while trying to keep her heart as soft as possible, iA.

Reflecting on the Past and Looking towards the Future

2020 is gone and we're already four months into a year and with Ramadan a breath away and about to grace our homes and hearts, I thought it'd be a good idea to reflect on things. While 2020 was definitely a nightmare and nothing like the year we wanted, it definitely taught us some very important things. I think it's shaped a lot of people and for better or for worse, I don't think we can really go back to the person we were before the pandemic. I know I certainly can't. 

It taught me that we should appreciate what we have and not take the good times for granted, because as fast as you can blink, it can all change. I know that I personally took going out and being able to be around others as nothing special. At times I wished I could just stay home, but after the lockdown and being forced to stay home and the loneliness that swept over all of us, I found myself looking back on past events with a sense of longing and bitterness. I felt like I didn't take in these happy times as I should have. I didn't relish in the warmth of being able to be physically close to someone and only when our house had gone into lockdown last March, did I truly appreciate it.

I feel blessed since my Darling was able to get us tickets to see Cirque du Soleil only two days before everything was shut down. As the grim new reality and fearfulness settled in, we were able to look back on that one magical night and draw warmth and happiness from it. It was like a plump, juicy fruit that we took energy from to sustain us through the dark winter months. Just last month, my Darling showed up in his Cirque du Soleil hat and told me that he had been feeling down until he'd seen it and immediately felt better. He'd relived that night, the acrobatics, fire-breathing, dancing, the BOOM RATA-TAT-TATS from the massive drums that had shaken his whole core with every beat, the clowns that had jumped off the stage and run straight into the crowds so close to us that they'd almost brushed up against us. And he'd also relived the long drive searching for the circus seemingly in vain until out of the night sky, the blue and white tent had appeared out of nowhere as if beckoning us.

While telling me all of us this, his eyes had glowed and sparkled and a smile had spread across from ear to ear. 'One day,' he'd told me excitedly, 'We must go back again! We must go back to see it!'

In that moment, he wasn't the ever-exhausted and stressed man that seemed weighed down by the weight of everything. Instead, he was the man I'd spent four happy years with, who would smile and burst out into laughter with any little thing. The one who would drive us for hours just so I could look at the window, the one that sat through musicals and dreary period-dramas, because he knew I enjoyed them. And seeing him so happy and back to his old self made me feel lighter and happier too. "Yes," I'd agreed, "we'll go back one day, in sha Allah."

From that day forward, he's worn his Cirque du Soleil hat whenever he goes out and it seems like a life jacket in this chaotic storm we've found ourselves in. Throughout the struggles and the stress and anxiety, we've both found strength by looking back at the things we once took for granted. Perhaps more importantly, we've found hope in looking towards the future to a sense of normalcy. This past year was spent going to work and straight home, only recently have we started to cautiously go out a little more.

I used to take for granted that my Darling took us out to lunch or dinner once a week. Even if it was the highlight of my week, it was something that I grew to expect, especially since we tended to go to the same restaurant every week. The same with going out for a drive. Before, I would look at my phone or take a nap, but now I find myself ecstatic to get out even if it's just a short thirty minute drive. As more and more vaccinations roll out, we can only hope and pray that things will cautiously move towards something more reminiscent of life pre-pandemic. I know one thing for certain: I'll try my hardest to cherish and fully take in every moment going out and experiencing new memories. And while I can't say exactly when we'll get to go back to Cirque du Soleil, I know that when that time comes (whenever that may be), it'll be like the ending of this nightmare and the beginning of a new chapter, in sha Allah.

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