2016, i.e. my first year of being married to a man I found on the internet

Since my track record seems to be 2 blog posts per month, this will most likely be my last blog post of the year. I wanted to make sure that I got a good “2016: Year in Review” post in before 2017 barges her way in and makes any attempt to do so a futile endeavour, so here goes:

2016 has been a life-changing year for me.

  • I started blogging again and have seen the most success this time around than I ever had in my 13+ years of blogging. So much so, I bought a domain! And now I tell people I am a writer whether they ask or not! ;)
  • I permanently moved away from my parents’ home
  • I traveled by myself (twice) to a destination that was not an immediate family member’s house. Sure, it was within the U.S. and the first time was to see a friend who my family knows. But still, this is me we’re talking about.
  • Oh, and yeah, I got married

Technically, it was in 2015. So that’s why I forgot ;)

In less than 5 days, it will be my FIRST year anniversary. My husband and I will be visiting my home country of Canadia to celebrate. 4 days in Montreal, a city I’ve been to for a few hours, and Toronto, the city that I was born in and later forced to leave when I was a child (okay, my entire family immigrated to the States in 1998, but it wasn’t my decision).

While I am certainly looking forward to having a second honeymoon, I’ve been in reflective mode for the past few days. I cannot offer a reflection here on all that has transpired in the past 12 months, mostly because it would be an infringement of privacy. But I have found myself in new territory many, many times and I was sure to make a note of it, somewhere. Those who follow me on social media have seen all the silly antics of Mr. Rafia and I – and there have been many great moments – but none of you have seen the many tears I’ve also cried.

Marriage, I have learned, is not for everyone. It’s not because I think some people aren’t capable of being married, but I do think that many have difficulty extending beyond their previous limits of sacrifice. It’s different for every couple, so I could never think to offer wholesale advice. I can say this though: no matter how prepared you think you are, you will be shocked. But you must learn to adapt. You may question your decision sometimes, but if you married someone with a good heart, you will find your cake at the end of the tunnel.

Compatibility is great – Mr. Rafia and I are both silly billies – but our personalities are different. I’m more quiet and like to write my feelings. Mr. Rafia, on the other hand, likes to talk his feelings and he’s very good at talking to pretty much anyone. I wasn’t used to this. In fact, Mr. Rafia is probably the first man I ever had a deep conversation with. It was a trait I secretly yearned for in my future husband, but I clearly wasn’t prepared for it. I’ve had to learn on the job, if you will, and I am still learning.

I know I could have just said that I married my soulmate and post a lovey-dovey photo montage of us, and though it’s true and I will, this is my blog, i.e. it is NOT Facebook. The truth is, no marriage is perfect. It’s the union of two imperfect individuals. If we are successful, we become a little less imperfect, but we never achieve perfection. If that’s what you’re looking for, let me ask you: DO YOU NOT LIVE ON THIS PLANET? Your life wasn’t perfect before you got married and it ain’t gonna get perfect after! Still, reminding myself that Mr. Rafia has and will continue to support my efforts in being a better Rafia (and I, vice versa – I’ve got my work cut out for me, folks ;) is what I shall take with me in 2017, as we enter our second year of marriage, God-willing.


Happy New Year! :)

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