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....?

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!