The last twelve months

Twelve months ago today, I met my boyfriend for our annual look-at-the-lights date. The one I always insist upon. Because New York in December is filled with darkness and cold, and I enjoy the reminder that it's also filled with sparkles and artists.

We met at Columbus Center. Made the stops I always request along Fifth Avenue.

Bergdorf. The most stunning windows, every time.
FAO Schwartz. Evaluate the props and discuss what our Muppet selves would be like.
Rockefeller tree selfie.

All the while, unbeknownst to me, he was attempting to execute a delicate plan. It crumbled that night, some of the details didn't come through, a sweat might have been broken. But before the night was over, it had worked out.

It was kind of too exciting to document, but here, grainy phone pictures:

I said yes, and we celebrated all over midtown.

It's bizarre to think that only a year ago we were not even engaged.
That we were living in two separate boroughs (an actual long-distance relationship) and meeting up once in a while at a halfway point.

Sometimes it feels like an age ago.
In the best way.

I had no idea what twelve months later would look like.

- - - - - - - -

One evening in late July, Kristin and I did a recap of the Year's Events In The Life Of Amal, Past and Forthcoming.

Get engaged.
Leave first big-kid apartment.
Leave Harlem.
Move in with future-husband.
Plan wedding.
Get married.
Leave job.
Start new job.
Pack up life in New York.
Say goodbye to all that.
Move to new city.

This list leaves out the details.
The hundred small steps in between each of the big ones. Involving storage units and late-night conversations, big government offices and lots of craft supplies.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend this cram session of life events into any single year for people who enjoy sanity.
But, somehow:

It's been a whirlwind of good.
Really, really good.

- - - - - - - -

One of my favorite parts of wedding planning was choosing the ceremony readings. Two English teachers. Literature always wins.

We each chose one.

I knew it had to be Vonnegut. Cheri read this that day:

Because. Even in the chaos of this year,
which might be the hardest of my life so far,

I still feel that way.

- - - - - - - -

In the last twelve months
I've learned important things.

To leap.
To say yes to scary big stuff.
To take risks.

That important work is really hard.

That I'm getting better at things I'm bad at.

I'm learning.

To depend on others. To ask for help
more than is comfortable.
To say thank you.

That I'm strong. And pretty dang resilient.
(And my breakdowns have been minimal, and justified, and mostly non-psychotic.)

That all of this. All of the things on the list, and not on the list,
for the past twelve months,

are stupidly fortunate.

I'm grateful to have the thought, out loud sometimes: "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Which is not to say, not in the slightest, that I know what's what.
That it's all breezy.

It's just me thinking. Accepting.
Forgiving. Reflecting.
Reliving. Listing. Questioning.
Processing, sort of.

All that can happen in a year.


  1. Once again, I have lived a year by way of your brilliantly literate way of capturing the essence of time well spent. Could I love you any more than I do? Let me count the ways :)

  2. I LOVED your wedding reading and how it stuck in my head long past this summer. I think all your guests would say the same. Thanks Amal. :)

  3. This is a really beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your year. I love your writing and the reading you chose. It's so true! Best of luck to you this next year and for all the ones to come. May they be filled with more growth, love, laughter, and everything under the moon. xoxo