In this time and age, how do we single arab women in our thirties feel? How do we think those around us feel? What experiences do we go through, and how do these experiences affect our singlehood? Inspired from personal experience and of those of all the beautifully fabulous Arab Single Ladies out there, I hope this blog reminds us all just how amazing it is to be single! Or is it....?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Metallic Blue Color!

I coloured my nails a metallic blue color, and somehow, that took away my blue feelings of the past few days.

The story began when I decided to go to the salon, freshen up my nails and blow dry my hair. And as the manicurist asked me to choose my color, I automatically started looking at shades of dark red or light pinks, these being the safest colors to wear with dark suits to the office, and which would match almost anything I’d wear. But for some reason, and at the last minute, I decided that I don’t want a safe color. Almost out-loud, I told myself: You know what? Choose whatever crazy color you would like to wear and forget about what color you should wear..

And so, I turned to a color I never tried before: Metallic Blue. I coloured my nails a metallic blue color, and it made me feel in control.
I coloured my nails a metallic blue color, and I felt liberated for a brief moment, because I simply had the ability to do something that doesn’t even make sense!

I coloured my nails a metallic blue color, and it made me feel sexy, despite my extra kilos and my grown brows. It made me feel unique, special.. Wild..

I coloured my nails a metallic blue color and it made me feel like a rebel over all the other things that I do every day, and excel at, but do not enjoy. I coloured my nails with a color that would make everyone who looks at them squint their eyes in surprise, yet, it would make me feel like I don’t care. Even if I really do.

I coloured my nails a metallic blue color, and decided that from now on, I will look for the little joys of everyday, joys that may not make sense to anyone else but me, but that that is ok. In fact, that is all I want.

Go ahead ladies, and find your own shade, today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things I needed to let off my chest..

I’ve had a very rough weekend.

I had, actually, been looking to the weekend all week long. I had invited the family over, extended family as well, and planned it to be a smooth, relaxing time, for everyone involved. I am a hostess, by nature, and I love having people over.

But the twist of events that took place eventually was so weird that it looks like a scene taken out of a very imaginative brain of a playwright. I do not usually have these ‘scenes’ in my house, and I feel very uncomfortable witnessing one if i had to. And so, needless to say, this weekend left me very disturbed and unsettled.

The thing is, sometimes, i feel i lose control over myself. It is not my actions, but my thoughts, that i lose control over (it takes a whole lot to make me lose control of my actions, but it does happen once every blue moon). And today, i felt i did lose control of my stream of thoughts, and that made me feel extremely annoyed with myself, and everyone around me.

And when i feel that way, i get defensive.

I like to think that i am aware of my faults, since i really believe that that is the first (and only!) way to eventually get over them. And I know I get defensive sometimes, and that I need to get over that as well.

Not sure if I am making any sense.

I also have told myself, and my best friends, so many times before, that i hate being dramatic, or feeling like a victim. Because I know that I still do sometimes, even despite fierce efforts of consciously fighting it. The world is a fierce place, that tries to take everyone down every single day. We go through our lives, with an instinct of survival and a tendency of being happy. But just as we think we had set smooth sail, something or the other bangs us right in the face, and takes it away. Then, with the blessings of God and the miracle of growing up, we pick up the pieces, miraculously, one way or the other, and we try to move on. Then it happens again, and again, and again. Then it gets engraved in our heads and hearts, that it is just the way life is.

Maybe it just is the way I am, maybe i am generalizing. A part of me started this blog to share these crazy thoughts, and see if someone else connects to it. I have over 1,000 likes on facebook now, and that gives me some peace. It makes me feel that some people can miraculously understand what a weird person i am sometimes.

Someone once told me that we need to understand why we think or react in a certain way sometimes. And i try that. I try squeezing my thoughts into trying to remember incidents that i believe may have ended up making me feel the way i feel about a certain thing. But i don’t think i am good at that. And maybe its because I cant understand what the benefit of that would be anyway. I wish someone would tell me that. I wish there was a clear cut manual for that.

I am sitting here on a quiet corner of the beach, with my laptop and a book for back up if i need it. And around me a few little boys playing on the sand. The weather is beautiful, with a light cool breeze, and the chattering of the boys give me peace. I want that ease, and the comfort of throwing sand all over my head, and feeling that that would give me bliss.

How can an intention be so pure, and an outcome be so evil?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gratitude Journal, 8th of March

- I am grateful for the music I heard on my way to the office today, as it gave me a lot of peace that I needed to feel.
- I am grateful for the unexpected but much needed hug my friend gave me today, and the love I felt in that hug.
- I am grateful for the fact that I bumped my car stupidly into another car today, but both cars had no scratches on them.
- I am so very grateful the weekend is just about to start, and I will get to spend time with my family, especially my 4 year old nephew.
- And since it's Women's Day today, I am much grateful for being a woman. I love being one, I love my mom, my sister, my girlfriends, and all the other women that I don't even know.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gratitude Journal, 5th of March

- I am grateful for the serenity I felt tonight, as I sat outside and meditated for some time. Haven't felt this peaceful in a long time.
- I am grateful for the easy day I had, considering it's the first day of my dieting again. It was very smooth and breezy.
- I am grateful for the money I got back from my previous landlord. Completely unexpected, and came as a nice surprise.
- I am grateful for the fact that my long estranged uncle has been loving and warm for the past month, and for the change he is going through. We are spending beautiful times together.
- I am grateful for the company of my cousin these days. We shared some really good laughs today!

To God..

In my head is a prayer that has been trying to transform itself into words for over a week now. I believe in signs, and so last night, when I picked up ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ which I had read a couple of years back, and opened the book to where my favourite part of the story is; when Elizabeth writes her petition to God, I realized it was time for me to start working on my own, in detail.

My prayer is continuous and as large as life. It is difficult to express it so many times, that it stubbornly keeps pushing itself to the back of my head, successfully convincing me that it will come out in due time, in better form, later.. Always later..

But I realize that it doesn’t need to be glamorous, nor polished. It doesn’t need to impress, or flatter. As long as it comes right out of my heart, I would be happy with it.

I have always had a stormy relationship with God, and I realize that although I haven’t always spoken to Him (or Her), or ever been able to rationalize my relationship with Him (which I am ok with, having long ago believed that was impossible), it was always a full relationship. What is a relationship anyway? Isn’t it the ability to connect to someone, no matter on what level, at some point of time? Well, I have always had that. I have always felt close to God, and that we have a secret connection that only we can feel. I don’t understand it, many a times. But I always feel it. Always.

The God I believe in is loving in ways that no one, and definitely myself, can fully absorb. I have often thought of His opinion towards certain decisions of my life. And sometimes, in decisions that I believed deep inside He wouldn’t be so happy about, I believed that He would be compassionate enough to understand them, even more than I do.

I have heard lots of people debating why God would allow certain things to happen. And while I don’t have enough knowledge to debate that, or the ability of nodding my head to ‘things always happen for a reason’ when I can’t see that reason in my ignorance, I find it peaceful to believe that He is merciful enough to accept that I don’t have to know the reasons. I believe, in ways some people are cursed not to understand, that He takes matters into His own hands, and that I don’t have to always understand. I mean, think about it. There are always certain points of time when we feel: you know what, I don’t know how to do this, let someone else do it. And I have always found peace in that idea with things I don’t understand with God. I don’t understand them, but I have peace in the idea of that He does, and He will deal with it, and I don’t have to think about it anymore. And I realize that this peace isn’t for everyone, and that certain people have difficulties grasping that thought. But I, again for reasons I don’t fully comprehend, simply do.

I want to pray to the loving God who loves me, and who I know want what’s best for me. I believe that when I am happy, He is too, and that when I pass through rough patches, it is mostly His work that gets me out of it. Oh dear, I don’t mean to preach. But I just have been experiencing His peace and love so much, that I find it difficult not to dwell on it, and get philosophical.

Now, I also believe prayer isn’t as easy as it sounds. Often, I don’t pray because I am not sure what I want to pray for. Prayer, in my world of thoughts, is not about expressing love to God. That, I do every day. I do it sometimes when I hear beautiful music, or when I experience the peace and joy of spending time with my parents. When such happy moments occur, God is always in my thoughts. I always think of God when I am joyous, and secretly whisper thanks to Him, for His endless love and attention to detail. I also think of Him in times of sorrow, asking Him to look at me in that moment, and lift me up. And He always does. Never did he fail me in any way. And if out of nothing but experience, I have come to trust Him because of that.

But I believe God wants me to pray for what I want, and ask Him for it. I once believed in the idea that I shouldn’t ask Him for specific things that I wanted, as if that would be too arrogant or shallow. But I have come to realize that that is a ridiculous thought! Why shouldn’t I speak to my best confidant about what it is exactly that I want?! And if I believe in His endless and unconditional love for me, why then would I believe He would judge me for asking Him for what I want, regardless of how trivial that may be in the bigger picture of the universe? I believe God wants me to seek Him, in everything, big or small, important or not. I believe what He cares about is establishing a continuous level of communication, because He loves me, and don’t we all love spending time with those we love?

And so I am going to start directing my wants and needs to Him, in every tiny detail. I have just said that He has never failed me, and so my greatest confidence is in the fact that He never will. He will meet every desire I ask Him for. And I will be as detailed and as specific as I can be. I will ask Him relentlessly, and then wait in patience for Him to give. In every religion, He has told me to seek and I shall find, and so I will.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gratitude Journal, 4th of March

- I am grateful for the delicious food that my mom gave me over the weekend, which I cooked today and enjoyed, with my cousin.
- I am grateful for the peaceful time that I spent reading in my backyard.
- I am very grateful for the beautifully cool weather these days, unlike the norm in this time of the year.
- I am grateful for the somewhat relaxed day I had in the office today, after last week's madness.
- I am grateful for the level of closeness I feel to my mom. I adore my mom.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gratitude Journal, 2nd of March

- I am grateful for the relaxing time that I spent with my family today, especially with my brother.
- I am grateful for the fact that my nephew asked me to join him on his fun day out, for the first time :)
- I am grateful that I took my mom shopping and we had a great girl day out
- I am grateful for my hair.. I love my hair..
- I am grateful that I was able to be less tense than I was for the last few days, and instead feel relaxed and at peace.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Gratitude Journal, 1st of March

In the spirit of the moment, here goes!

- I am grateful for the great time I had with my visiting friend.
- I am grateful for my Oprah magazine, and the soothing time I spent with it today.
- I am grateful for the lovely ladies who cleaned my house today, and made it shine & sparkle!
- I am grateful for the relaxed time I spent with my difficult uncle today.
- I am grateful for the weekend which is just about to start!

Good night, world!

An 'Aha' moment of my own!

There is a day every month, that I get super excited.

I subscribed to Oprah's magazine last November, and ever since, the day I get her magazine, I feel like a little girl unwrapping a new Barbie doll, as I look at the magazine cover and see the titles of all the great articles that I know I will enjoy reading.

Now, I am not advertising for Oprah, or her magazine, but I just finished reading a couple of articled in this month's magazine, that made me soak in a reflective mood. It gave me such peace, that I felt I had to vent out this overwhelming feeling of contentment they gave me.

In the first few pages of each issue, is a page called 'The Sparks'. It usually has 4 creative people (writers, dancers, pottery makers...etc) answering a few simple questions (something like: If I were a color, I'd be...). This month, one of the questions was: I often imagine myself...

The 4 answers were:

- Playing an instrument.
- Taking a different road in life. What if I had continued dancing instead of becoming an English major?
- Building floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in every room of my home and filling them with novels, memoirs, and collections of poetry.
- Renovating a little beach house. I day dream about how I'd decorate it.

And as I read these reflections of really successful people, a thought suddenly hit me! These people often imagined (and obviously enjoyed the process of imagining) things that they get to do on their own. I am not sure if this was intended to be noticed, or that my genius genes grasped it all on its own. Regardless, the ides was very exciting and soothing to me.

I have often had days when my entire mood would drastically swing, up and down, in close connection to those around me. A fun day would be a day with people to hang out with. Life would only be perfect with a boyfriend. Work would only be pleasant if there are people to mingle with. And I have recently started realizing that it is so tiring to involve so many people in my state of mind, at all times.

I find it exciting to think of enjoyable things that I can do on my own. Through imagination, (and maybe some imagination), I would be able to come up with a list of things that I can do on my own, not to impress anyone, not to make my parents proud, not to maintain a certain social class, but for the mere bliss of HAVING A GOOD TIME.

And as soon as I read those words, I came here to write this, because this, the writing, is one of the things that I enjoy the most.

Reading was also one of my favorite past times as well. Cooking is another, and so is singing to my karaoke set, alone. A long drive, with good music on. Weirdly, a day in the office on the weekend, when I can achieve so much while no one is around to interrupt, my music is on aloud, and while I can work in jeans and sneakers.

This reminds me of something else that I have seen on Oprah's show last year, and which I had planned to do a long time ago, but like so many other things, I've failed to stick to. Keeping a gratitude journal. Basically, the idea is to come up with 5 things that I feel grateful for, every day. They could be as simple as finding an unexpected parking spot, or as essential as realizing that my best friend is my backbone. And from today onwards, I am going to stick to this journal, and will be posting my gratitude notes here every night, to try to stick to it, and see if this peaceful feeling continues.

We Arab single Arab women have so much to be grateful for. Life does not revolve around hunting for a husband and making babies. It does not revolve around maintaining certain social images that we sometimes feel obligated to keep.

In a very positive sense (a lot more positive than it will sound): Screw the world, I am happy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A good move

I moved houses over the weekend, and I am IN LOVE with my new place.. I had a house-warming gathering over the weekend, a big barbecue lunch, for my parents and my cousins, to celebrate that I now have a backyard and some green spots that I own.. It was very pleasant, and the entire move and the very busy weekend were a change that I really needed.

I am seriously thinking of getting a puppy.. I adore dogs, and I can now get one since I have a little garden.. Yes, a puppy would be nice.

My spirits are picking up again, one way or the other. I want to start focusing on things that make me happy again.. I want to resume my diet, which I have abruptly stopped two weeks ago, and to go to the gym. I still am going for my Italian classes, although I skipped last week. I want to remember that my main new year resolution was to be happy, and to start doing things that move me towards that direction.

To summarize what happened with the Italian, I would say that what he basically wants is very different than what I want. Despite being 42 years, and despite the fact that he told me he wants to have kids (3 actually!) I don’t think he really wants to settle down. I, on the other hand, admit to have had a lot of flings, some of which I really enjoyed at the time. But I am done with them for now. I am looking for something else. Something deep and stable and fulfilling.

I usually say that I am not looking for marriage... That, as a matter of fact, I yearn for companionship. And I still feel that way. I want a relationship with someone with whom I can be entirely myself at all times, and with whom I can have fun with. I also really and desperately want to be with someone I can rely on. A person I can trust to love me always. If that comes in the form of marriage, then so be it. That is what I have always said.

But, on some level, I do want a marriage too. Not only for the trivial reasons of a wedding (I have chosen the dress, the theme, the center pieces, the songs..etc a couple of years ago), but because on some level, and even though I don’t like admitting this, I am programmed to believe that that is what a long real relationship is defined as. Of course, being an Arab woman as well, and despite having an open-minded and an understanding family, it is difficult to have a relationship with this ‘companion’ and share experiences in the open, unless it is defined by marriage. Practically speaking, then, I do want to get married.

A part of me is always scared to admit that, because I am scared of admitting to want something that I have no control over. I can dream of a great career, or a healthy & fit body, because I can work my way towards these goals. To admit that I want a marriage brings me to the realization that I can’t actually ‘work’ on that. I can’t do anything about it, really, because I can’t even settle for anyone who proposes through traditional marriage. I am not settling. This, I am so sure of.

So what do we, Arab women, do then?

I dream.

I have mentioned before that I am a believer in The Secret, and the power of positive thinking. And this, I have control over. I can and I want to dream. About what I want, in detail. I want to be positive, and to BELIEVE. I want to stop asking for things shyly, or making excuses for things because I am too scared to believe that I will get them.
I want to get married, some day. And I want it to be a great, loving marriage.
I am going to stop (for a while) thinking about miserable marriages that I seem to be seeing everywhere around me, and notice, rather, those happy ones. I am going to look for these, and positively say to myself: I want this, too.
I am going to keep looking for wedding stuff, and enjoy the process, without dwelling about never knowing when will I ever get to actually use them..

It may all seem silly and unrealistic to some people, and even for me in my bad days. But then again, I have always been an advocate for positive thinking, and at the end of the day if I end up enjoying the process, I would be having fun either way, wouldn’t I?

I have no internet at home yet, and I am only connected through my phone’s hotspot, which makes me want to scream. I want to write so much more, but if I go on, I will end up smashing my laptop at the wall..

I am filled with love tonight.. Towards everything around me, I feel love...
Except to my internet connection!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Valentine..

I went to Virgin Mega Stores last night, and spent a fortune.. I bought some very good CDs though.. I love the music collection they have.. I love the song 'La vie en rose' by Edith Piaf, and I found a new version:

And it just gave me a feeling of peace, of being uplifted somehow.. I loved it..

And tomorrow, I am moving houses, to a new place, with a small garden that I will call mine, and a living room wall that I have painted bright lime-green color.. Tomorrow, I will sleep in a different place, and I will hopefully have different dreams..

I am done sulking, and I am done moping and pouting. Today, horrible horrible Valentine's Day, where disgusting show offs flash around their roses and pretend they are surprised (oh, give me a break, I'll be nice next year!) and then tilt their heads and tell you how 'different' their love is, how strong, how sincere.. How this and how that, while you politely nod your head in agreement.. I HATE this day, especially so this year. But today, I decided to be my own Valentine. I will go for a massage, read a good book, sitting on the floor of my still empty new house, and meditate on the line-green wall. Today, I will give myself that good shake that I need, and move on..

Happy (ugh!) Valentine's Day everyone..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hell of a weekend...

I haven't felt as down as I feel these days, in a very long time.

It isn't about the Italian, as much as it is this feeling of being tired, exhausted, consumed, all the time. I can't talk to my friends. In fact, I have been playing a game of avoidance, all week long. I just have no strength, nor ability, to have conversations.

Messages are easier, they can't sense my tone, or see facial expressions. It is actual conversations that I can't seem to bear. At the same time, I have a constant feeling of feeling guilty towards them. The, being my best friend, my cousin with whom I have been staying for a week now, people at work. I feel guilty because people are being nice to me, and I do like that, I enjoy it.. But I can't be nice back, or talk, or feel better.

The pills I took to quit smoking are probably the reason. I know these are the side effects, and even though it has been 8 days since I stopped them, I still am suffering of the effects.. It'll pass, everything does.

Yesterday, at a social commitment that I couldn't possibly escape, I got stuck in a car with a couple that I know. The woman was being extremely irritating! For starters, she talks non-stop. Her husband was driving, and she was literally giving a continuous stream of driving rules: Take a right, avoid that car, what's that stupid guy doing, give a signal, straighten your back.. I swear, it was non-stop! The husband took it, as naturally as she was giving it. It was obvious that he was so used to it, that he probably didn't notice it anymore. For the entire evening we spent together, the wife was giving the man continuous orders and instructions about this, that or the other.

And I was thinking, this horrible depressing sad thought: How could she be in a relationship, and how could I be single?!!

I know this is an illogical question, and that there are no answers to such questions, nor any comfort that comes from it. I know also, that she probably is a nice woman, and that she deserves to be happy as much as anyone does. I know that I am being childishly selfish and that I am wallowing in self-pity..

There is no 'but' to follow this sentence. I just wanted to state that I know, all of the above.

Am I going to die alone?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just some random thoughts

My mom and dad will be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary in a week, and I have no idea what to give them. By now, I know they like gifts that have personal touches to them, something personalized.. Maybe I will prepare a big photo collage and frame it..

Work is very dull these days. My team requested a meeting with me yesterday, and 'nicely' told me that I have been bitching them around for the last week or so. I apologized, and will buy them lunch today. They did have a point, I know.

My cousin stepped in yesterday. She picked me up after work, and we went for a nice long lunch, somewhere beautiful, overlooking the sea. Then she took me to my house, packed me a bag, and took me back to her place where she decided I was going to stay with her that week. Girlfriends are good humans.

I have to start dieting again. My cousin is getting married in April, and I know that when I don't feel good about how I look, the whole thing becomes an ordeal. So.. One thing to think of..

I need to take slow steps, I know. I am a big girl, and I will go through whatever it is that I am going through these days. I just need to focus on a day at a time. A minute at a time. I don't think about him, and it doesn't hurt if I do. It hurts though when I think of how pathetic it is, having to strengthen myself time and time again, dare to believe it will beautiful one day, then get disappointed time after time, even without explanations sometimes. Like there is someone crazy mocking me out there..

One day at a time, that was what I was saying. I just want to switch off the thinking for now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dear Diary,

Today, I cried all day long. That's all I did, all day long.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Of breakups, and their horrid aftermaths..

Things with the Italian had a rather 'abrupt' ending this week.

I am not sure if I want to think about it, or talk about it just yet, so until I am, I won't. But I am thinking about breakups, in general.

Breakups are not easy, that is a given. However, what I find logical and what I actually feel often clash. I am trying to organize my thoughts, and to get to the root of certain thoughts that are surfacing these days.

Why do I feel shame, when I go through a breakup?

Ok, logically, it doesn't make sense. If I am the one initiating the breakup, then I would have reasons for it, I want it, and I got what I wanted, so there should be no confusion there.

If I am being broken up with, then, LOGICALLY, this means that the guy doesn't really love me, for whatever deep or trivial reason he may have, and would I really want him to stay with me, if he doesn't want to? Logically, I don't. Logically, I want to be with someone who wants to pursue me and make me happy and feeling wanted for the rest of my life. So logically, logically, logically: I should be on some level ok, as a 30 year old mature woman, to accept the fact that this is not the man who will grant me what I want.

Sadness, I understand. Shame, I don't.

I feel sad after a breakup, because I tend to draw a pink picture during the relationship, and think of a million steps ahead (despite being a very wise adviser to my friends about NOT doing that). I also enjoy the feeling of being wanted and watched after. And so, regardless of who it is that I am dating, I do feel sad and empty after a relationship (that feeling usually being relevant to how deep & significant that relationship was). I mourn it, and I feel sad that those dreams that I had won't be fulfilled, and that I have to be single again.

Shame.. Why do I feel ashamed when going through a breakup?? It triggers feelings of 'not being good enough' for a guy to stick around, and makes me feel that a guy would never want to build a lifetime with me. It makes me dwell in self-pity and with sad thoughts of a lonely future. It makes me feel like a failure at relationships, and that there must be something that I am doing wrong to make it happen, again and again and again.

The mind of a woman is a very complex place, I think. If a friend of mine was honest enough to share these thoughts with me, I would immediately snap at her, tell her what she thinking is absolute rubbish, and remind her of all the women who aren't as smart, pretty, successful, mentally balanced, mature, thin, brave, intellectual, and a million other things, as she is, who are in relationships. Yet, I can't be as sincere saying that to myself! Isn't that just plain ridiculous, considering I know myself and all my strengths and good qualities better than I know those of any of my friends?

Sometimes, I feel that maybe only I have these thoughts. I mean, some of my girlfriends never express shame after a break up, and so I don't really know if these thoughts are ones that only I have, or not. But, I am such a good bluffer myself, that I seldom mention them to anyone (except for my best friend).

Maybe I have self confidence issues.

I am sad, very very sad. I haven't allowed myself to consider a relationship and take it seriously in a long long time. And mourning this is difficult. I know, through unfortunate experience, that it will pass, and that somehow I will find my strength again, and that I will be ok. But even that thought depresses me now. It makes me think: Life is so damn cruel, because we have absolutely no control over anything. And I HATE that.

I am allowed to bitch, I just went through a breakup.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The weird sides of a character..

For some reason, and since I moved to this boring boring city a couple of years ago, I have a constant feeling of waiting for something to happen. I am not sure what it is though, and so I am scared that 'it' may actually happen and that I wouldn't recognize it..

I am complex, I know that..

I am very social by nature, and having no friends here has been a struggle. I do have the occasional cup of coffee or a dinner with colleagues every once in a while. But what I truly miss are my friends with whom I can be completely myself, and enjoy a relaxed laid back conversation with. And maybe that is what I am waiting for. Friends who will urge me to leave my bed and laptop, and move my car across town WILLINGLY, to actually meet them. And be happy about it!

The worst comment someone can make though is: But you don't go out, how will you meet people and make friends, then?

To me, that is just plain stupid. Because let's imagine it: I go out to a nice decent coffee shop, on my own. And I see at the next table a nice crowd of people whom I can tell, even from a distance, that we will be BFFs. What's the next step, in this very realistic scenario? I mean honestly, should I walk up to their table, introduce myself, and ask to be friends with?

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

So I live for my weekends, when I get the chance to go 'home' and meet my family and my real friends.. But I get so bored during the week. And I despise the weekends that I have to work, because I have no plans after hours.

Last year, I tried knitting. I'm serious.

I read a lot, and I watch series, and I have been using my treadmill at long last. But aren't we social creatures?

What am I waiting for.. Aside from friends?

I think I am going to read "The Passion Test", again and again and again. I love this book, and I for sure know it works, because amazing things have happened to me to prove it.. I need a refreshment dose.

I get off my medication, and hopefully my blues, next week! I literally can't wait! I may have destroyed a few things along the way though..

But I am not smoking anymore, and so it is definitely worth it.

I don't want to talk about the Italian today. I don't want to think about him today, either.

But I am thinking about him, right?

Ughhhh, who am I kidding...

Well, he's still busy, and I am applying the I-can-be-busy too technique, and not enjoying the process at all.

I met a great woman last night, with whom I think I can easily become friends with by the way.. And she was telling me about a friend of hers, who is having problems with her boyfriend because she's always busy and isn't the type of person who can make plans, while her boyfriend is the exact opposite.

I almost suggested switching boyfriends.. But hey, I didn't!

I love me. This is who I am. And if gritting my teeth (that he can't see considering he's thousands of miles away) and pretending to be busy and not thinking about him (while secretly boiling on the inside) is what makes me happy, then I am doing that. And I won't judge me. It's ok.. We all have our weirdo sides, I suppose.

This is getting too crazy :)

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Blues

I have been feeling down, oh so down, lately..

I am on the anti-smoking medication, and have successfully started my 5th week as a non smoker this morning. I know a lot of my depression is because of the medication, so I try not to make a big deal out of it, but I am still depressed at the end of the day. And I have been avoiding writing, or even talking with my best friend, because I want to not think about things. But I am overwhelmed, and I need to vent out. Maybe if I do, the depression will seep out, slowly.

Things with the Italian are settling down, and the fact is he is there, and I am here, and that this is not easy. He obviously is a very busy man too. So, we do touch base every once in a while, but the fact is that long term relationships suck. They absolutely do, and a lot of the 'normal' relationship stuff are not doable.

But, I am giving it a shot, since it is beautiful and unique. I have absolutely no clue where it is heading though.

My cousin just got engaged, and I am very excited for her. She is 38 years old, and has been waiting for it to happen for quiet some time. Her fiance is 10 years younger than she is, though. Personally, I have always liked older guys. I am not sure how she feels about it though, because most women follow the roles they have to follow. You get engaged, you dress up, and smile. Does she have concerns that are weighing down on her, and that she cannot share with anyone? Are these the normal concerns every bride-to-be has, or is it worse, because of the age difference? And does she feel she settled for less than she deserves, because she ran out of options? I don't know the answers. Who says the guy needs to be older, anyway? Do I really like older guys, or was I programmed to like them, since this usually is the case?

I just hope she is happy.

On another note, I was going through my facebook profile last night, when I noticed an ex-colleague of mine had uploaded a new photo album. She is a filipina, and I, out of boredom, flipped through the album.. Soon enough, looking at the pictures, I was crying. I know it probably is the medicine, but I still think it was very sad.

The bride was getting ready for her wedding in her very simple looking room, aka house. Her girl friends were there, applying her make up, doing her hair and nails for her. Her dress, an extremely simple one, is being sown by her friends in that room. She obviously is very poor, and she is very happy.

The pictures then are in some consulate or something, with dozens of filipino couples, all being married together. There are no celebrations of any sort, but the couples, though very poor looking, seem to be very happy.

I do not know this woman, she's a friend of my ex-colleague who uploaded the photos. I do wish her all the happiness there is in the world, though. As I looked at the pictures, I hoped that despite the extreme poverty she is in, that she feels her knight has arrived, and that for the rest of her life, someone will love her and consider her his companion. She will go to sleep every night knowing that someone will be there, no matter what. She will imagine her older years, and someone else will be in that picture..

Love.. I so badly miss love.

There are days when I am happy with my singlehood, and I don't want it changed. There are other days though that I feel I pretend I do, because I have no other choice. I will not settle, of that I am very sure. But, I find it difficult sometimes to be ok with the idea of not knowing what is going to happen. If only I can know, I will come to terms with it. By not knowing, I switch from one mood to another, from being strong, to needing someone, to cursing all men that God had ever created..

I have the blues.. And I wish for someone to share them with.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The relationship that changed it all!

As a woman, and of my personal experience and of the ones of the women I know, I have come to believe that regardless how old or young we are, where we come from, what social status we are at, we have all passed through a relationship that has changed our perspective on relationships, for ever. Mostly, to the worst.

The details would change, of course, and the perspective we gain differs, from one experience to the other. What we share though is our firm belief in whatever it is that we learn from that experience. It is firmer than the physics theories we learnt at school, and is so deeply rooted into our subconscious that it affects us even when we don't know it is. Even when we hear of stories that may contradict those beliefs, we explain that to ourselves by saying that that story is the exception. We never tell ourselves though, that what we may have passed through was the exception. We are so convinced that that is the norm, never the exception.

In my current fairy tale, details of a previous fairy tale that ended horribly impose themselves on me every day. It consumes me, physically and emotionally, to try to push them away. Despite the fact that 5 years have passed since that story ended, it still shadows my thoughts today. Even though I have tell myself that I have matured since then, that I am strong woman who wouldn't fall into the same traps again, that I read 'Love Smart' by Dr. Phil religiously, that I have herd so many stories and passed through so much since then to help me avoid ever being in that situation ever again, I still am terrified that one day, one horrible horrible day, I may actually wake up and realize it is happening all over again.

Because the details are not important, I will just say that I was in love for the first time, and it was magical and fluffy and perfect. And then out of the blue, out of absolutely nowhere, the man decided to disappear. Simple as that. He decided to just not be there anymore, and in his decision, he had forgotten the tiny little detail of informing me. During our 'relationship', I was madly in love (and I still miss that feeling!) and I changed a lot of things in my life (practically speaking) for him, that cost me much on so many levels.

Then he disappeared.

Of course, I went through the phases: disbelief, shock, rage, bargaining, humiliations, and anger. And I am still angry to this very day.

The reasons for my anger differed over the years. There was a time I was angry why we weren't together, whereas I am now angry because of the effects that relationship had on me, and any relationship that I have tried to have since then.

Nowadays, I am more aware of this thought, as I find myself panicking every time the Italian is busy, even when he actually tells me he is. I find myself recalling the horrific moments of realizing that the man I had been in love with was not hit by a car (how stupidly naive was I!!!) or was in an area of no connection at all (God knows where that is!) but that he actually decided to end the relationship we had, not even bothering to tell me! The anger! The shame! The horror!

And so since then, I have indeed changed. Because in my head, there is a constant conversation of: There is no way this is ever going to happen to me again! I will dump and disappear before anyone else ever dares dump or disappear! Never will I allow myself to go through that, every again!

And every woman I know, has a similar story and similar residuals. And I want to tell them all, because it is easier than telling myself, that it is not your fault. Even if it was, it is not. Because no sin is worth paying for in a way that affects the rest of your life, and because no one said you only get one chance at love. And because there may be good men out there, very few, agreed, but look harder.

I want to be free of that relationship. It is mind boggling to me that it ended 5 years ago, and that I am still where I was that day.

I want to believe that I have the right to be loved and to be desired. I want to believe that it is actually me, and not a fairy tale, that the Italian pursues and travels to spend time with. I want to love me on every level, every day. I want to believe that that relationship does not control me and does not define me.

And I will get there, even if I spend every single day of my life trying..

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Italian Experience... (so far!)

I haven't mentioned a lot about the Italian chef, lately, on purpose. The reason being that I don't want to think about it myself. Of course, I am a continuously-thinking creature, and it didn't really help not writing about it..

The Italian is very much a gentleman. He knows what to say, how to say it and when to say it. I can be silly around him, and I can also talk to him about the things that really matter to me. All in all, I believe that we can and are connecting on some important levels.

Having said that, he is a very busy man. He in in Rome one day, Milan the next, Prague for a few days, Paris for a week, and is always on the run. These are all fabulous places, but in reality, I am here, and he is not. Regardless of where he is.

That's point number one.

In all fairness, when we last met back home, he had opened up about how he wants to make a family, and that he wants to have 3 kids, and how he feels that is weird since he is already 42 years old. He did say that he knows he is always busy, in an exceptional way, and that he barely has time for anything in his life aside from work.

So maybe he does think about it. Or maybe it's a line men use when they want to woo a woman into a relationship?

I try to be as pleasant as I can be, especially that it is one of my resolutions this year to do whatever it takes for me to be happy, FOR ME. And so I keep myself busy, doing things I enjoy or that are good for me. Last week, the Italian and I did not get to talk the whole day, because of his very busy schedule again, and in order to be pleasant, the only thing I did was send a simple 'good night' message before I went to bed. Usually, the messages are sweeter and with smileys. And to express my annoyance, I decided to deprive him of the smiley that night.

The next morning, he sent me a good morning poem, and he asked me to skype, for the first time. And so we started skyping, and he calls me every day, for a few minutes, to catch up and talk about our day.

Which is very sweet.

Then comes another day like yesterday, where he again disappears the whole day (and in fairness he did tell me he was going to be busy) and my alarm bells go off again.

Do I want a long distance relationship?

It is not ideal, and I can't enjoy the little every day details. It's not like we can spontaneously decide to go watch a movie or grab a bite! A part of me wants to decide that I can't do this, that it is difficult, and that I will never ever survive him disappearing on me (I And I will get back to this in a while).

And another part says: Are you crazy? Here is a guy who meets you on a train in the most romantic city of the world, and decides to pursue you and follow you to the other end of the world, and you want to say no to that?! Stupid! (Or stupida, I learnt that in my Italian class!)

I wish I was a man sometimes, in the way they can so easily switch off their thoughts sometimes!

Anyway, every time I get stuck in these thoughts, I end the 'conversation' by telling myself that I don't have to take a decision right now, that maybe I should just allow time to pass, and see where this will lead to. And when I talk to him and see his smile, I am happy with that decision, and think it's a good one.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Summary of 2011

Happy New Year!

In the past few days, and similar to the final days of every year, thoughts of the new year's resolutions would slowly form in my head, as well as thoughts of that ending year, and the memories I have gathered through it..

And, like every year, I start the year with high hopes of a better year to come, and of good times that will take place. This year, I was lucky enough to actually say that 2011 was a very good year for me, personally.

There are years that stick out (2005 still is my worst year, ever!), and I believe that 2011 is going to be one of these years. I found myself repeating this thoughts to myself often in the past few days, until I finally decided to come here, and write down what I remember of it, and what made these 365 days very special.

Well, for starters, I turned 30, and that is an age that I will always remember, because of it's 'sound'. All in all, I am excited to be stepping into my thirties, because I have never known myself or trusted myself more than I do now. I like to think that the twenties are actually a rehearsal for what the 'real thing' is, the Grand Thirties, and what makes it so special is that I have gone through so much in my twenties, gone through that right of passage from innocence and naivety to maturity and clarity, that I believe the thirties would be somewhat easier. Because I will see certain things, and I will think: I know how this will end, I have been there already, and make my decisions accordingly.

Having said that, there are also new experiences that I believe this decade will bring, and realistically speaking, some of which may not be pleasant, but I will have my friends, (those I have screened during the last decade and who I know are my real ones now), and my family,(now that I am done with the why-are-you-suffocating-me-let-me-be phase), a career that I have built and love, my independence that teaches me I am truly my own best friend, and all the other wonderful things that the twenties have (not so easily) given me.

Aside from turning thirty, I have gained a life-time friend this year. She was always a close friend, but this year, we hit a milestone in our friendship, and although the trigger was a difficult situation, the closeness that we now share is worth more than that, and will last until the last day of our lives. It is refreshing, as most ladies would know, to sit in your pajamas with your girlfriend and gossip and laugh and cry until the wee hours of the morning.

I have also lost a friend, unfortunately, one who was very close to me for the past 10 years. I have no grudges against him though, and I do understand that as we have matured over the past few years, we both have realized we are not the same people we were back in university days.. Yet, the impact of losing such a friend is not an easy one.

Still on friendship, I went through a very difficult experience last summer, with someone I trusted a lot and to whom I looked up to. My opinions of this lady were very high, and I have always hoped that I would get to be as peaceful and as 'Zen' as she was. Until I made the mistake of visiting her (she lives in another country) and realized that underneath that surface was a very aggressive and disturbed person. This again will be one of the memories that I know I will remember, but hopefully, by time, the pain will be less, and the lessons learnt will surpass it.

Well, I also met my Italian chef (who by the way will be visiting me again in 2 weeks) and I am sure all of you ladies understand the impact that a cute sexy guy pursuing has on life in general. Regardless of where this story would lead to, I know I will always remember this year, and remember the feeling of living a fairy tale: meeting a cute cute CUTE man on train in Venice.. Ah, isn't that just perfect?

I have also changed jobs this year, and I am blessed to be working where I am now, and I enjoy my work very much. I have gone through my share of horrible bosses and lousy companies to work for, and I have finally found a place where I can thrive. And I know that isn't easy in this time and day.

Although I only started this in the last few days of 2011, I believe I can still count it: I am quitting smoking, and I feel amazing about it already! Those close to me know that I was a very heavy smoker, and I have been using Champix (an amazing medication for quitting smoking for 9 days now) and have smoked less than 9 cigarettes in those 9 days. I am hoping to be entirely nicotine-free by next week, so wish me luck!

I am going to the gym regularly, and eating healthy, and that also makes me feel great about where I am right now. Because I feel I am on the right track, and fully prepared for all the beautiful things that 2012 is just about to bring me.

I wish you all a great year, and I hope that you chose what to remember of the past one carefully. One of my resolutions for this year is to try to see the full half of the cup this year, since I have realized that everything is a matter of perspective. So, I am shifting mine to the good scenes, to the bright spots. I am going to be happier and calmer and motivated. Because I am going to have to go through 2012 anyway (fingers crossed!) and so I choose to do so in the right mindset..

Wish me luck!