This has been a significant month for Arabian Notes in terms of milestones: this little ol’ blog turned two, and October also marks the two year point since my Dad died from an aggressive brain tumour.
The blog came first, though only mere days before my Dad’s passing. I’m still not entirely sure what was going through my mind when I decided to start blogging in those days, I guess I’d been reflecting about my life and decided that the now was as good as time as any, now was the time to act. I knew I’d always wanted to write, I’d just never really had the nerve before then to ‘put it out there’. I’d always harboured a secret desire to write a book, but a blog was a simpler place to start. I remember that everything suddenly just felt really clear, and feeling as if something inside me had physically switched on, owing to the harsh lesson provided by my father’s illness that far beyond the cliché, life really is too short to let fears and hesitations get in the way.
And it’s not just those two things that changed everything. Earlier this year after 42 hip straining weeks Baby Arabian Notes finally made his entrance into our lives which has been amazing, but certainly not without its challenges! I mean really, it’s nothing short of miraculous! Eight months in and I still can’t quite believe that we have a baby. I still look at him and find it amazing that he’s ours and that the hospital actually let us leave with him with no questions asked! But here we are, frighteningly clueless and in charge of a little person.
And I’m not one for regrets in life, only in that I do everything I can to ensure that I don’t have any (or at least as few as possible) and whilst I don’t regret not having had a family sooner as it was right for us to have him when we did, I do regret the fact that my dad will never get to meet him.
But reflecting on all this helps me realise how much I’ve achieved in two years, both on and off the blog. A lot of things have changed in my life over the past two years, and all – with the exception of losing my Dad – for the better. And even though he was no longer his old self in those final days, I can’t help but feel that he somehow knew, and guided me in this direction.
I have loved all the writing I’ve done and I’m happy to say that Arabian Notes has continued to grow and has led to opportunities that I would never have imagined. So thank you. Thank you to all those who email me for information on moving to Abu Dhabi or what to do and where to go in the city, to those who grab me on the street to say hello and ask me questions, to all those who read my posts just the once or every time, thank you to everyone who’s helped me. Thank you to you all. I can honestly say that I love writing this little blog and I’d do it even if none of you read it at all. So please do keep emailing, saying hello and of course reading (and sharing!) – I hope you find whatever you are after here. And if there’s anything you’d like to see more of please do let me know! It’s quite often the emails and random conversations with you on the streets that inspire my new posts 🙂
Here’s to not being afraid and seizing the day. Here’s to ‘no such word as can’t’ and to following our dreams. Here’s to the future, that’s ours for the making.
carpe diem eh? – Sure beats dithering, and I must warn you – the inclination to dither increases with age.
It doesn’t seem to years since Derek left us, but now is a good time to jot down all those questions you should have asked him, and se if your mum has the answers.
Hi!! I am considering accepting a job as a teacher in Abu Dhabi. I’m reading everything I can find! So happy to come across your blog!
My greatest concern, which probably doesn’t surprise you, is how safe you feel? I will be heading over alone. So much of what I read makes me wonder if this is a step I want to take. Any advice or guidance?
Hi there, great to hear from you, I get a lot of messages like these so I’ve written a fair few posts already hopefully that will be of use to you! Firstly though, don’t worry about feeling safe. I can honestly say that I have always felt far safer here than I ever did when I was living in London (and the same goes for many other big world cities), the crime rate is so low here that safety is the last thing you need to be worrying about, and you don’t have anything to worry about being a woman on your own either – this is the UAE – it’s a very forward thinking, modern country. I could go on and on about this but before I do, have a read of these posts and if you still have questions, please do feel free to email me (lindsey at arabiannotes dot com) or message me via my Facebook page. 1. Frequently Asked Questions about Living in the UAE 2. A Question of Culture 3. Life in Abu Dhabi I hope that helps! Please do feel free to let me know if you still have more questions! 🙂