When I got married I began to value those people who were good to my husband. My father had taught me that one must always protect one’s family. So anyone who was not good to Adnan, or dared dislike him, I decided to push out of my life. When I became a mom, my daughter became the center of my world. If someone didn’t love her or see the delight that she was, I couldn’t find any space for them in my heart. You don’t have to dote on them, or spend time with them, but common courtesies matter.

In 2011 I discovered something else. The value of me.

Finally after seven years of marriage I realized that I need to focus on me. 2011 was taxing in many ways. From losing a loved one, a difficult pregnancy, long working hours, husband becoming a weekend novelty, to a complicated delivery that gave me a beautiful baby, 2011 was a constant struggle and an emotional roller coaster. I braved it all, and I’d like to think, I braved it well, strengthened by my friends and my family. My child remained my first priority and my husband remained my true love, and my whining (despite hormones) at a minimum. I learnt that to love others well, I must learn to love myself more, and cherish those who love me. I value more now, the friends who were by my side. These were the friends who would take me to the doctor, sit by my side at the hospital or lent a sympathetic ear. They put me first, they reminded me of my own significance.

You see, no matter how much you love my kid or my husband; you have to love ME too! Sounds very basic, fundamental … but I forgot that for a while. I forgot that I mattered too, and perhaps, sometimes, I matter most.

Sometimes it takes a difficult year to learn the simplest things.

P.S. Due credit goes to my husband who spent seven years of his life advocating the same. Finally, my love, I get it!