Salutations 2016

My title is so nerdy, but meh, so am I. Honestly, if you didn’t think I was a nerd, but in the cute, quirky way, I doubt you’d be reading this. ANYWAY, its 2016! Helloooo New Year! Happy New Year/Merry Christmas to you and yours, since my last 2015 blog was before those, and I really do hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season. I sure have, but wonderful/crazy tend to merge with my amazing family that I love so much and see too much of during the holidays.

However, this isn’t about how my holidays went. This blog post is here for three reasons. 1, I need to talk about my 3 small resolutions for January. 2, I needed to start off the new year of blogging. 3, one of my best friends, Nishaat (who is also my wifey) was hoping for a new blog. And isn’t that just so cute? I didn’t think anyone actually looked forward to these. It’s more like “oh… I’m bored, might as well read this.”

So much self-confidence I have in myself, right? Nour Sheety is Number 1.

Never mind about that! On to the resolutions!!

Alright, January is pretty simple. January is the month to do everything you wanted to do last year, but after filtering out all the kind of stupid stuff. So, for January I have 3 very easy resolutions.

#1: Pass my parking (which is after tomorrow, eek!) and my driving (TBD) tests, so I can finally drive myself everywhere.

I CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW EXCITED I AM TO SEE HOW CLOSE I AM TO FINISHING MY DRIVING LESSONS. And so terrified to possibly fail them. Driving tests in the U.A.E. are insane. For example, the parking tests? If you re-adjust, you fail. I CAN’T TAKE THIS PRESSURE. But I’m also sort of a perfectionist. I never failed a single test in university, and I’m mostly a B+ to A- student, more towards A’s in my senior year. I feel proud about it, I’m not ashamed or braggy, it’s just something about me. So, I need to pass. I have to do it. Wish me luck!!

#2: Re-join the gym.

How cliché am I right now? But seriously, I started gymming late November, early December. I got a personal trainer and everything. Zumba, Yoga, bla. Then… I went to Lebanon for a week for a visit. Psh, I’m not gonna work out there? You crazy? Then I came back here a week before Christmas. But, dude, it’s Christmas, I can’t work out! Then, there’s only a week till the New Year, and bam it’s 2016. And I’m finally out of excuses. TO THE GYM!

#3: Find a choir group.

If you know me, you know I love singing. I might not be the best at it, but I can keep in tune, and it makes me happy. So, instead of belting out songs in my room, I’m gonna find a choir group I can join in Dubai, and possibly join it with my brother. The possibly isn’t for me though. There is no possibly in these resolutions, I’m doing them. I have to do something with my life.

I was telling one of my friends, that this year is not “New Year, New Me” stuff, although, if that’s you go for it. I hate it when people go “oh let’s get ready for the New Year, New Me bullshit.” Guys, people are allowed to re-invent themselves, if they want to. What’s it to you anyway? They’re not changing anything about you. Anyway, to get back on topic, same me, just better. Same me, just filling up more of my “potential.”

I can’t wait to start this year, to finally do all the stuff I want to do! Who knows if I’ll even stick to this, who knows if I’ll have 3 resolutions every month, but as long as I do things like join a choir, or take ballroom dancing lessons, or just drive wherever I want to, I’ll be happy.

And I haven’t wished for love this year. Love is whatever. I have love, I love all the wonderful people in my life. And I haven’t wished for happiness either, because that’s in my own hands.

What I have wished for? The will to control my own destiny. It’s been a long time coming, around 21 years. It’s time to do it. Better late than never! 2016, let’s start living.

A New Chapter

Yes, I know. The title is so cheesy. But I am really moving into a new chapter of my life.

I’ve moved out. Technically, I’m still living in my parent’s house (in Dubai) but I have moved out of Lebanon. It still hasn’t really hit me. I mean, I unpacked, I’ve said it out loud, I’ve had family (my extended family lives here, too) lunches celebrating my return, and it still hasn’t hit me.

I feel like I’m on vacation. A permanent vacation, maybe. Is one not supposed to be happy with the place they live? Or is that just my Lebanese 6 year experience talking?

In all fairness, and quite shockingly, I miss Lebanon. I don’t miss its problems and how unbelievably bored I was there, but I miss the people. I miss my room (how lame is that? But my room was pretty awesome). I miss the routine I had come up with for the past 6 years. In Dubai, it seems like I’m always rushing to do something. And I don’t have much time to myself. And I love having time to myself. To do whatever I want with it.

I suppose a routine will happen sooner or later. I just need to settle in for now. I need to deal with the fact that my university life chapter has closed. I guess that’s the weird part. It’s a cliché to say I’m starting a new chapter of my life, but in those movies/books/other outlets, they never mention how hard it is to close the chapter you were currently in. Yes, every day I wished that chapter would come to an end, but now it has happened and everything is happening so fast and I have to become an adult now?! An actual adult that has a job?

I don’t know how to adult, the concept is so foreign to me. Are there any schools that teach that? No.

To all of you in Lebanon who are/were (that seems sad but it’s going to happen) my friends, know that whenever I hugged you, I hugged you with all my heart. Whenever I said I love you, I meant it, and I always will. I tend to love people for a very long time. And know that even though I might not be with you, all our memories are with me, and I will cherish them till eternity. And it’s never “goodbye”, it’s just a simple “I’ll see you soon.”

No, but seriously, anyone have any tips on adulting?

Guys, let’s be real for a second. Can you really live in a place for 6 years and not have any scars? Any memories? Any people you’d miss? It baffles me when I tell people I’ll miss it, and they go “Oh, but you love Dubai, you’ll be much happier there.” True, but it’s not like I only can love one place. Lebanon was home for a while, which is why it still feels like I’m on vacation. I do love Dubai, I love the place I was born and raised in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hold similar home-y feelings towards Lebanon. I woke up, ate, was educated, and slept there for 5 years. It’s bound to have left its mark on me. If the mark was for better or for worse I can’t determine right now.

Ah, my insecurities. Yes, Lebanon, or rather, Lebanese people, thank you for those. I actually caught a glimpse of my insecurities today, asking my soulmate, who I’ve been best friends with for 11 years now, if she’d get bored of me. Uh, I think we’re past that stage by now. But you can’t shake insecurities as easily as you unpack your clothes. It’s going to be difficult, but I think soon enough, I’ll be a brand new person. Hopefully with less insecurities, and more confidence. But who knows? I might be just the same person I am right now, just in a new chapter of my life.

A Good Cry

Didja miss me, kids?

Funnily enough, I missed writing, which I feel awesome about, and even though I’m currently still at an internet-less home, I decided I must use a hotspot (courtesy of my brother) and write through these dark times.

In short, I need Internet… now.

But enough about those new age woes, let’s take a gander at other woes. In this blog post, I plan to talk about two things, the first is obviously what I think about crying and the other is my “crying” movie, which I believe everyone should have.

I’m a very sensitive person. The slightest of actions can break my spirit and thus my spirit has been broken many times. I want people to care about me, I want them to ask me what’s wrong and to tell me everything will be ok, I’m the type of person that wants to feel wanted, at least by one person. But one thing I don’t want is for anyone to see me cry. Not even just one glistening tear dropping doing my cheek. It’s not just a sign of weakness, I think of crying in front of people as a cry for help, as though I’m giving up and that I’m just done with my current problem or situation. And I try as hard as I can not to cry in front of people.

However, we all have days, or weeks, where shit just keeps piling up, and you don’t know how to deal with it, and facing it could seem like the most terrifying thing to do. So, you sweep it under the rug, and hope that all that sweeping doesn’t turn into a tripping hazard. But, in truth, it always does. And we fall, and we face it. And that’s when the crying starts.

Luckily, I don’t sweep under the rug. Being a sensitive person, I am very in tune with my emotions, and I know when I just need a good sob to get it all out of the way, and to focus on fixing the situation. I believe a good cry is something we all need. As though we get it out of our system until we’re all cried out, like a sort of detox for your sad emotions.

So I lock myself in my room, and I put on what I think is one of the best (and saddest) movies ever, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (hich I will refer to as THoND from now on). To say this movie has moved me on several occasions would be a gross understatement. I remember the first time I watched this movie while being aware of everything that was going on. I was with one of my cousins who was 4 at the time I believe. We popped in this movie and I sat there, sobbing crocodile tears at how heart-wrenchingly beautiful it was. And also how relatable it was. Now, I’m aware that I’m not deformed, neither am I an orphan or being raised to think that I am a monster. But I think we all can relate to Quasimodo at one point or another. I mean, for me, as I mentioned earlier, I want to be wanted by the glorious world I see, but it keeps rejecting me and makes a point to bring out the my flaws and makes me rear my ugly head at it. In THoND, what Quasi wants most is acceptance. Sure, he falls in love with Esmeralda and it’s basically the only Disney movie where the male lead doesn’t get the girl, but I think the beauty in it is that acceptance he receives at the end. Where people realize he’s exactly like them, but even more so because he’s kind, courageous, generous, friendly, honest and basically a wonderful person who we should all aspire to be like.

So, anyway, from the scene where the lights are streaming through the clouds (the beginning, if you haven’t seen it) till the ending credits, my tears are flowing down my face and I’m through my second tissue box probably. Afterwards, I feel a little sad at how cruel the world can be, but perhaps an hour or two later, or maybe the next morning, I feel a whole lot better, like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t understand people who won’t cry, even by themselves, just for the sake of their pride or whatever. Get over it, we all need to cry sometimes. We all need to get it out because Life is unfair, and sometimes majorly to one person all in the course of a few days.

If I were to give you advice in this blog post, it’s to find a crying movie, and save it for when you need to let it all out. We’re not superhumans, none of us are. Some of us are just trying to get through life day by day. And some days suck, and we have to deal with it, while acknowledging the things get better. Trust me.

Adaptation

Here’s a little something about me: I hate where I live.

Consider this, I was born and raised in one place for 15 years, then I moved with half my family to another place and I’m still currently there. I hate change, even though I know it’s inevitable, and I’m shy and introverted. Change scares me, and therefore, Life scares me. But, to make the best out of a bad situation, I made my comfort zone my shell and like a turtle, carried that everywhere with me. It was hard to make friends, but I did the best I could and I found that some people are worth letting into your bubble, even if they don’t intend to stay. Sometimes, they change you for the better.

Anyway, this blog post isn’t about my amazing transformation from ugly shy duckling into beautiful outgoing swan. I’m still as introverted as ever. I just wanted to show my readers, and anyone else who’s randomly listening, what my writing style is like, and I decided to show one of my pieces (a prose piece) which I wrote around 2 years ago about what being on the outside is like. And how badly I want to fit in but I seemingly cannot.
*

Don’t speak. Don’t move. Just listen. All the birds are singing the same tune. Perfect harmony. If you just listen, you can hear all the peace in the world. Imagine all that’s right, and pray that all that’s wrong was imagined.

Now listen again.

That damned bird. That one bird that’s chirping a different tune. Disrupting the peace, ruining the harmony. Why would it do that?

Listen some more.

It’s a cry for help. It’s not a song, its a confused whimper. Falling, crashing, hoping for some help. “Please help me sing your song,” it says, “I’ve been in the dark for so long.” The bird wants to fit in, but has been out of the loop for so long. Can it? Will it? Is the bird too different?

Perhaps it’s like a rock, wedged in the sea, waves constantly crashing and taking away. The waves lose nothing, but the rock’s sharp and witty edges are withering away. Do the waves care? No. They have been set in their ways. Since the beginning of time, the moon has been pulling and pushing the tide. Who is this lowly rock to tell the moon that it’s wrong?

The rock, though it may take time, will smooth over. The rock will have perfect edges, and will not draw blood from those who stand up on it. Will not speak unless spoken to, will not breath till the waves allow it to. The bird will hum the tune of it’s people now.

The spindle of life is still turning. As humans, we see something sharp and we must touch it. No matter how many times we are told not to touch the cactus, it’s very enticing to us. We have pricked our fingers on the spindle of life and we’ve fallen into a deep sleep. A sleep called contentment. We’re all fine, and we can’t complain, and life’s grand. And we’re asleep, and there’s no prince and there’s no way out? The walls are closing in.

No, I refuse to accept this. It’s not happiness, it’s pseudo-contentment. Fine is not good, we can’t complain because we’ll be branded ungrateful and life’s grand because well at least we’ve got out health. This pseudo-contentment is all we’ve got, and we stay there because… we do. We stay because every time we see a cactus, we prick our fingers. We stay because we make the same mistakes. We stay although we’ve got nothing to lose. The bird stays, and learns the new song. The rock stays and loses, day after day. We don’t plan to move away. Sometimes, we can’t. Sometimes, it’s not our choice. Who are we to uproot our lives and move? Who is a person without their roots?

Why do I stay in the arms of pseudo-contentment? What have I got to lose?

*

Well… I felt like that was kind of intense. I hope you enjoyed it. It’s one of the pieces I’m proud of. Also, to continue a story and not leave you with questions, I have changed. I’m different than the person who lived in one place all her life, but I’ve kept the qualities that make me the person I am. So, maybe I have changed for the better for adapting. It’s not always easy to admit that a place you hate was good for you, but I think it builds character or something of the sort. Let your experiences guide your personality. It might surprise you.

Twenty-fifteen

First off, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to your and yours. I really hope it’s all been well so far and that 2015 will be a special year for you, as I plan for it to be a special year for me. I know we all wish for this year to be better than the last, and it’s usually always false, but I’m betting on myself this year. I’m injecting all the good karma I can into the world and if it repays me, fine. If not, I’m happy I could help someone else. Also, my favorite number is 15 and I really hope 15 likes me back!

Ok, I would like to apologize for not writing in a very long time, but, after all, it has been the holidays and before that I was stressed with exams and choir rehearsal and all these many busy body things and I actually haven’t had a chance to sit down and properly relax until now. And instead of that, here I am writing a blog post. So… dedication? I think so.

But anyway, I’m not giving myself any free passes. So because of this long hiatus, I will be writing a very long blog post for you today, and I will tell you someone about myself concerning the holidays (and very specifically these holidays) AND something I think is worth talking about. So, stick around!!

Christmas, New Years and everything in between.

So I landed in Dubai (where I’ve spent all my Christmases and 15 years of my 20 year old life) on the 24th, Christmas Eve. Now, to understand how weird this is, you must first understand my family. We’re all for Christmas Day and all, but Christmas Eve is the real celebration for us. We invite everyone we know over, and we buy presents for EVERYONE, and we have caterers, barmen, all these la-de-da things everywhere around us, and we also open presents on Christmas Eve at midnight. So I arrive, and quick-as-a-whip, I have to prepare things. My mother, being the supermom she is, is taking care of everything parents do (as is my dad). So what do I do? Well, every year, my brother and I prepare a concert for our guests. They’ve become a (tiresome) tradition over the years and while no one pays attention to us while we sing, they’d riot against us not having one. So we rehearse and rehearse till my voice is coarse. You see, I had just finished 2 Christmas choir concerts without ever being sick and skipping a single rehearsal since September of last year (2014). Everyone in choir had gotten sick, everyone. But not me, I was there every rehearsal, and there every concert. And after that, my immune system just wanted to take a break, just a small break. But, nope, Christmas Eve would not let it (And I still haven’t gotten sick by the way, touchwood) and so we had our performance. And, as fate would have it, our sound system was shit, and the music was louder than I was and… yup. That was Christmas Eve. Also, I had a bit of a sob fest because I felt all alone but I called my best friend (who also lives in the U.A.E) and I felt better and all that.

Now on to Christmas Day. Christmas Day is very important to us as well. For as long as I can remember, a more intimate (by intimate I mean 15 people because it’s only family but hey I’ve got a big family) gathering is held at the Marriott for their special Christmas Brunch. I love this day because we all get dressed up and we’re all happy and stress-free because x-mas eve is over. And damn, do the Marriott have good food. And this year I got to see one of my closest friends there (he’s 14 and more of a family friend) which wasn’t planned and it was amazing because truthfully I love him. I cannot spend more than 5 minutes with him without us laughing or creating a new inside joke. And that’s Christmas.

But is that the end of the family gatherings?
Oh, no no no, silly reader.
To take a count, over the course of 11 days (24th of December till Jan 3rd) I saw my big family 7 times. SEVEN.
And yes I love them and everything but… a girl needs this time to sleep and recover from university, people! Give a girl a break!

Anyway, New Year’s Eve started as a disaster. My hair wasn’t working, the outfit I picked was too dark for a New Year (yes I can be superficial) and everything was turning to shit but you’d be surprised that it all turned around and I had a fantastic New Year’s party spent with my (you guessed it!) family, and I laughed and danced till my sides/feet were sore. And as we counted down the seconds till the new year (twice because the DJ was early) I was all smiles and joyful. Hopefully, I will relive that feeling all through the new year.

Then, New Year’s Day happened, and I saw my family. Yeah. Want to know why? Because my uncle is born on the 1st of Jan. Happy Birthday to you, Khalo (Khalo is what you say to your uncle from your mom’s side of the family in arabic).

Anyway, enough of my endless family stories and shenanigans over the holidays. Let’s get down to business (to defeat the huns — if you get this, I love you).

Something happened to me today. I had been moping for quite a while about a person (let’s name this person X) walking out my life. And I would be really sad about it, my friends would try to cheer me up and I was really upset about the fact that X would not be part of 2015, while X was such a big part of 2014.

As luck would have it, X had decided to speak to me again today, and it brought happiness back into my life. Do you see my first mistake? I let it go as if bygones had been bygones. But this was wrong. I had thought about the minute X would rejoin my life and I thought I would handle it with grace and poise, and let X know what X did was wrong, and that X should really consider what X had done and think about whether X really wanted to come back into my life, or if X was just dicking around and would leave and soon as X pleased.
But no. I spent most of the day talking to X actually, reliving the joy I felt in X’s company, feeling happy that X had decided to talk to /me/ out of all people.

Friends, family, and readers I don’t know: Don’t let anyone take advantage of you this way. Don’t let anyone waltz into your life and waltz out without another word, to come and go as they please. Life, well… Life sucks, and it will push you around and kick you when you’re down. So you don’t need other people to come and do the same. You pick yourself up, you stand your ground and you make them listen. Make them remember you, and make them want — no NEED — to come back to you. And above all else, don’t sell yourself short.

Now X may not be a bad person. But, by not questioning the waltzing, I just let anyone back into my life, and it’s like I don’t really care about myself, or my heart or my health. People affect me too much, and if they do you as well, you shouldn’t be like me. I tend to help people without them asking for it, so if someone asks I will be there as soon as I possibly can. I enjoy helping people, because I enjoy making people smile or laugh, or just to get a bit of the light back in their eyes.

However, people see this as a sign of weakness, and those who know you well (not everyone) will use it to their advantage to reel you back in and make it seem like they never left. Like all is right with the world because you’re in their company again.

Don’t sell yourself short. Because you are bigger and stronger than you know. If they need you, they know where to find you. But as far as I’m concerned, we don’t need them.

‘Till next Saturday, faithful readers. Hope you enjoyed yourself this winter break (if you had one) and I will continue to write every Saturday from now on.

Thump Thump

It has recently come to my attention that the world revolves around heartbreak. And that they’re are several forms of heartbreak, so I don’t mean that the world revolves around love. Yes, the Beatles sang about how all you need is love, love, love is all you need, and maybe that’s true for some people (I honestly think you need more) but I’m talking about the pain.

I believe anything could break your heart, and that there are degrees of shattering. Also, I don’t mean to belittle the earth-shattering end of a romantic relationship that at times doesn’t seem to get better. I think that would be the most prominent form and rightfully so. How many of us have cried over love, requited or unrequited.

However, to get to the point, I’m going to talk about other forms. For example, children can break their mothers’ hearts in a matter of minutes. It takes a few words, a few unanswered questions, a few ungrateful replies. In my experience (as a child) a mother’s whole world is her children, no matter what else is on her mind, the children will always have a place there, and are always a priority. So, it makes sense that we’re also in her heart, at all times. So, imagine, if you will, a person who has taken care of you before you were even born, till adulthood and even further. Imagine now what place you hold in that heart. Imagine saying something that could hurt that person, and in turn, that heart. Shatter.

As Phil Collins says in one of my favorite songs (You’ll Be In My Heart) “No words describe a mother’s tears, no words can heal a broken heart” In that passage, he’s not talking about the romantic type of love.

Another form of heart break that I experience a lot is the hurt that happens when I fight with a friend. Mostly it’s my “soulmate” (best friend) and I love her to bits. She’s probably my favorite person that’s not family, but we fight a lot, no doubt. And every time we fight, my heart breaks a little bit. And I’m not saying that I’m innocent in all of this, not at all. The problem is we know everything about each other, so we know exactly what to say to hit that heart ache, even though we don’t mean to. Just those little words that stay with you, and boom, clap, the sound of my heart… breaking.

There are many forms, not getting the thing you wanted, not achieving your goals, getting angry at something you’ve created (you are your biggest critic, I would know), having a terrible day. As I said, degrees of shattering, and, depending on the degree, you have to learn how to patch it up now.

I think that heartbreak is a part of life, and a very big part. Because, we love, we make friends, we yell at people, we break up, we feel things. Emotions are a part of life, which includes hurt. I relate hurt to heartbreak because it only hurts if it affects your heart, right? But, since heartbreak is a part of life, we grow because of it, we build character, we learn from our mistakes.

I know most of us try to shove out the hurt. “No, I’m not hurting. Are you kidding? I’m fine!” But, it’s natural to feel broken, and like there’s no one to talk to and there’s no one who feels like you do. And it’s normal to not want to talk about it right now. But recognize that people want to help you and want you to talk to them, so help them help you, and don’t bottle it up for too long. After all, it’s only life.

Sorry this post was late guys, got a lot on my plate! Enjoy the video, and I’ll be back with a post on Saturday 🙂

Adieu till later, my friends.