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.