This is my last blog post of 2016 and it's going up late. Sorry about that, but I have been sitting at my desk, sometimes giggling and sometimes going "awww" while going through all my blog posts this year. This is the second New Year I'll be celebrating with you guys but the first time I'll be sharing something of this sort. I'm going to share a list of my favourite blog posts from this year with tiny little blurbs. I couldn't do this last year because attempting to recap all the blog posts from a particular year when it hadn't even been a year since I started blogging seemed ridiculous to me. But now, it's time. For those of you who've been with me since the beginning of this year, this post is going to be like a fun little walk down memory lane. And for those of you who joined me later, this post might expose you to a few other posts that you might enjoy. I hope this rewind of my happy year of blogging brings a smile to your face, as it did to mine :)
Tweaking the Spiritual Side: This was written soon after a rough patch which involved my falling out with my family. From the time I was born, they taught me the importance of reciting hymns, of bowing my head and pressing my palms together in prayer, and of never questioning the authority of God, lest I invite misfortune upon myself. In this blog post, I discover what spirituality means to me now that I've outgrown many aspects of my childhood.
The Cringe: This is where I share my attempt to stay sane during arguments and keep my peace while others completely lose their shit. I never wanted to find myself in a position of conflict where I scream at someone or attack their character to win an argument. This strategy has really helped me to avoid sleepless nights, over-thinking and general lack of peace.
The Equilibrium: A funny account of how Shane and I found an equilibrium of cheesiness and awkwardness in our relationship, with him being a hopeless romantic and me choking on my puke every time he does his thaaaang.
New Google Opportunity: What can be called my turning point in blogging. 6 months into blogging, I got this amazing recognition and there's been no looking back. I'm forever grateful for it and sometimes feel the need to pinch myself in order to ascertain that all this is not just a fairytale.
The Things I have Seen: It's a good thing I write mostly for me and Shane, and I write in a way that makes us laugh because we both have a weird sense of humour. 'Cos I laughed really hard when I went back and read this post. It's an account of all the abuse Shane's ONE pair of spectacles have endured over time. And it's written from the perspective of spexy.
A Big Fat Boat in the Ocean: The first time you guys heard my voice on the internet. I was so uncomfortable with this at first, and to think that I just released the final episode of the first season of my podcast yesterday. But this is worse because Shane and I sing in this one. Enjoy!
The Two-Syllable Word: The first time I discuss our "fight-ritual". This is still how we fight although I must say that we've been progressively fighting a lot less over time, not that we fought a lot to begin with. I think it's what happens as you grow as a couple. I don't know, I'm still learning and you're learning with me :)
One Year: A post celebrating our one year wedding anniversary, which was also our 5th anniversary of being in love. We got married on our fourth relationship anniversary. This one's a love letter to Shane, telling him all the things I've learned and grown to love even more about him in our first year of living together.
Day 3 - Netley (SOU 2016): This documents our third day from the week we spent in Southampton to celebrate our first anniversary. I'm so grateful that I record these little things because that day was arguably one of the best days of my life, and being able to go back and re-live it through this blog post is priceless.
The Juice: One of the first times you get a glimpse into Shane's (often inappropriate) sense of humour. He's pretty good with puns and accents, I must say ;)
A Braindump: My first ever braindump which had CLARE! comment "Believe it or not, I made up my mind to not react the way you predicted after reading the post (What did I just waste my time reading). And, I promptly lost track of things as I read along to your *braindung, mentally nodding and cheering and returning bear hugs. And? when I came right at the end of it I disappointed myself by thinking "so what did I just read about?"*. That comment made me proud.
The Shoes I Outgrew: A short story that helped me heal in a weird way.
The best part of this job: This is where I share what a brat I am, how anti-social I can get and how I've been taking baby steps to grow out of that. But most of all, I talk about how it became possible because of you guys. How I realised that I never felt anti-social towards my readers, and how interacting with them helped me break out of a pretty lonely shell. Once again, THANK YOU!
Things I learned on a Camping Trip: 2016 was the year I said yes to go camping for the first time in my life, and fell in love with the whole idea of it. This post is very dear to my heart as it not only relates the things I learned on my first camping trip but also shares fond memories and stories that I wish to cherish forever.
Going with the Flow: This is where I documented all the things I did with Punchy in London over a long weekend I spent with her by myself. It was the first time I was traveling without Shane since we got married, and the last time I was going to be spending quality time with my best friend in London before she left. Those were some of the happiest days of my life, but also the saddest. I laughed with her till my tummy heart but also cried bitter tears when I said goodbye to her.
My first week in Greece: The things I learned: We spent 21 days in Greece this year and here, I document all the wonderful things I learned in my first week there. So many fond memories and mouth-watering details of food. I want to go back and get myself a bougatza!
A logbook of love: When I went back and dug up old pictures from when Shane and I first started dating, I couldn't resist the urge to document them here. Be prepared for ugly braces, bad hair days, and many images from our cheesy couple diary that we maintained for a while.
Desi Outsiders: Another milestone. The day we released the podcast after months of planning and hard work. Never did I even imagine at the beginning of this year that something of this proportion would happen. Thank you for all the love :)
30 Random Facts About Me: I was not sure if this post would be interesting to you guys when I wrote it, but it's one of my blog posts that did really well this year. I received endless emails from you guys where you painstakingly listed all the points that you have in common with me. I cherish those emails and love you so much for letting me be a part of your lives too! This is one of those posts that brought out many similarities between me and the community of people who read this blog :)
25 Thoughts on my 25th: I love my birthdays and I've always made a big deal out of them. And the one I celebrated this year was my 25th! It was another important milestone and I shared 25 things I learned in 25 years of my life. This post came straight from the heart and sometimes when I feel down, I go back and read this one, just to make sure I never lose sight of my ground values.
25 Things to Remember from your 25th: is what a still 24-year-old Shane wrote for me on my birthday. He captures the funny, silly and downright ridiculous aspects of my birthday, and thus helps me document what was by far my best birthday till date :)
Birmingham 2016 Hughlights: A holiday of firsts. First raw oyster, first Ethiopian feast, first time visiting Shakespeare's birthplace, first time eating the best Chinese food evaaaaaaa and not to mention, the first time I visited the city :)
November 2016 - Week 3: After a severe burnout, I got showered with love from all sides. So much love. This is where I thanked you guys for what you do for me every day. I'm a very lucky girl to have you!
The story of a suicidal 3-year-old: You'll see that I've had quite a wiiiiild childhood after reading this post. I've done some pretty crazy things. Also, this one is not for the faint of heart ;)
How gamer nerds tell you they love you: When the romantic one in the relationship does things that to him, seem pretty normal but to me, seem like I don't deserve him. He tells me that he loves me in a million ways each day, and this is just one of those times when I decided to record it.
2nd Engagement Anniversary: And we celebrated it in the most boring way imaginable. Mostly because we forgot it was an important day, but also because we were having way too much fun to do anything else to make the day more interesting.
I wrote 230 posts this year, this one being the last, and these are just 26 of them. But I know so many of you who've read all 230 of them immediately after they got published. I could list all of you here but that's a list for another day. THANK YOU for making this year amazing for me. Thank you for reading, sharing and being with me on this journey. I hope to make this another yearly tradition where I give a recap of some of my favourite blog posts every year. To another 230 posts with you in 2017!