Sunday, September 1, 2013

365 Days of Aadil's Life

I take a photo every single day that represents a moment which serves as a mnemonic device for me to remember every single one of my yesterdays. I post these photos on my personal Facebook page. I call this project '365 Days of Aadil's Life".

Today was the last day.

What a remarkable 365 days it has been. From playing Scrabble to haircuts, staying in bed to long walks, meeting new people to saying goodbye to old, witnessing love to seeing hatred, suffering sickness to seeing others suffer worse, becoming an uncle to remember those uncles I’ve lost – every glimpse, every thought, every moment, every photo captured in the last 365 days overwhelms me with emotion and humility.

I started the album on September 2nd, 2012 as a completely different person, with no idea that the upcoming year would bring both the best and worst days I’ve ever lived. My idea of the future was limited to graduating and starting college. Those were my only hopes. My only legitimate dreams and desires. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that I would accept an award and speak in front of 700+ people on Day 196, or that I'd speak on a televised Senate Education Hearing in front of state legislators on Day 201, or see my face on the front page of a newspaper on Day 202. I never expected to work for the Senator on Day 303.

I never would have thought that I would witness the worst day of my life on Day 114. I never expected to say goodbye to my best friend Haider on Day 241. I didn’t think I would have the courage to move on and start on Day 281. And I never imagined for an even worse day than Day 114 to arrive, but it did on Days 327 and 330 when my mother suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized.

I never expected myself to grow so much, see so much, and become who I am today. And despite all the struggles, I wouldn't have the past 365 days any other way.

It’s been a quite a ride.

Each day, each photo invokes so many emotions and thoughts and memories. Each photo shares a lesson learned, and motivates me to continue striving to create better yesterdays. Alhamdulillah, I am reminded again and again through obstacles and achievements how blessed I am to live the life I live.

I’ve learned so much from doing 365 Days of Aadil’s Life. I am constantly humbled by the amount of support, love, and kindness all of you who followed me on this journey have shared. I’m indebted in gratitude.

When I first started this photo project, it was designed for me to learn how to accept the ends of things. How to let go of my past and continue moving towards the future. Yet what I’ve learned through this entire experience is nothing ever really "ends", every single thing remains – alive for us to witness and alive as we remember.

What a beauty it is to live.

Thank you all for being in my life. For making this year one of the best I will ever live.

Here’s to a better yesterday. Here’s to imagining a better tomorrow. Here’s to living a better today.

Here's to 365 Days of Aadil’s Life. Until next time.


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