Archive | April, 2013

April Showers. May Flowers.

29 Apr

I am ready to get out of this country already. I do not know how I have survived the month here. The absence of friends I grew up with, the new work laws – due to which, by the way, me and all the girls I worked with just got laid off. It is like all foreign women in this country are only going to be limited to schools and hospitals. I did not study medicine, and I cannot stand children enough to deal with them on a daily basis, trying to humanize them.

I am all ready to pack my bags and start another adventure. I’m just waiting for my sister to be back so we can visit Dubai, like I have wanted to for years, and meet my brother, and my friends I haven’t seen in forever – literally forever because I have only known them through social networks.

In other news, I wish reality hit me in the face instead of slowly dawning on me. When I confessed to my best friend about how my birthday was ruined, everything else I had bottled inside came rushing out of me, leaving her in utter shock that this was all I was going through. Where once she was among those who loved to see me and J together, and was all excited to be my maid of honor at our wedding, now she consoled me with something that made everything surprisingly clear, filling me with peace of mind:

“I’m really glad you realized it sooner than later! I guess that was your birthday present from God.”

And then it hit me. I had been praying, asking for a sign if J is even worth it. And the more I prayed, the colder I became towards him. So, maybe, after all, how he behaved with me that day slapped a reality check flashback in the face. With only mediocre experience in dating, I wonder what I would do without my friends sometimes. I seem to have gotten quite a few surprises for my birthday lately. And honestly, none of them have disappointed me. I actually laughed when I was informed that we are all getting laid off. With my other life options in front of me, I knew what my friend had said applied to this right here, too. =)

Oh well, I am looking forward to May. I’ll have the next couple of weeks to get any damage incurred during my useless relationship out of my system, and get myself ready for an adventurous and productive weekend away in Dubai with my siblings and friends. I need this.

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Confessions Of A Runaway Girlfriend

28 Apr

Birthday was okay. Could have been better if I did not end up shocked, angry and ultimately crying. All thanks to a boyfriend who I had mistaken to be understanding and supportive of me. I don’t even know if he is my boyfriend anymore, because he said he will never talk to me ever again and I told him to stick to it and leave me alone.

The day before it, he had gotten mad about how I am not at all enthusiastic about actually talking to him rather than just texting. He blamed me for not taking out the time, he established I simply do not care. Never once did he acknowledge that it was his fault as well for not picking up the phone and calling me, until I lost my patience after getting upset to the core that my average birthday had been ruined by ridiculous drama, and ended up telling him to stop being such a B.

My fault with the name calling. I know. I do not tolerate accusations with no evidence, especially on a day where I expect to be catered to and loved, especially by someone who calls himself my boyfriend and his soulmate. So, I completely lost it. I stayed awake past 8 in the morning destroying my brain cells with high amounts of stress before I finally fell asleep for five hours.

We haven’t talked ever since. My friends are urging me to let him go, trying to make me focus on how destructive this relationship is to the both of us. I know we should have done this long time ago. But his presence or absence was not affecting anything for me, I was only playing my part in his life as he wanted.

I know in my head I will probably never go back to him, I am also realizing it is because I do not want to do so. My little bottle of tolerance has popped, and every damage he has done has surfaced. I caused destruction too, to a part. Despite my intensity of love and emotions constantly changing, I had stayed faithful and supportive of him. I tried my best to not disappoint, only to reason. And then I left him even though he said he needed me (which I never understood why because he never explained or showed why – it sounded so scripted) and wanted to just hide me from authorities until we get married. I never explained to him what I wanted out of a marriage and a husband early enough – but I explained it as soon as I learned what I was looking for after how he showed himself to be. He could offer nothing except “crazy about me” as a husband. Even the kind of crazy he was made me nervous and hesitant.

So, well. Here we are. The crazy, stupid love is just stupid after all. Screw Gosling-and-Stone on-screen charm, glorifying stupid love to be good love. But then again, I mistakenly called it love. I never really was in love for more than a few days. It was just crazy, stupid relationship.

Another lesson learned. Another bunch of scars accumulated, another session of self-healing underway.

24.

26 Apr

That is the age I will be, come tomorrow. It would have been a blast in Chicago or Lansing, but Saturday is actually the first day of the work week in Saudi Arabia and by far, the most uninteresting.

ImageI would say, to an extent, this lame quote does apply to me. Age, to me, is a number. But looking back, I know for sure who I am, where I stand, and what I want to do with my life. As sure as I can ever be. The only thing left to do is probably to establish my credibility to become that person, and I am settled thereof building a career I can see myself absolutely happy doing. So, yeah, it took about 23 years for me to figure that out after imagining myself in several other careers.

I know what my life priorities are, too. I know what each person existing in my life means to me, and the role they all play. I know what interests me, I know what I want to represent. And, I see all these doors slowly opening up for me, presenting me with opportunities I once wished for. It is as if God knew when I will be ready. And I am ready just in time, before I freaked out about the ability to round my age to the higher 5s and still being clueless.

So, that makes me happy.

What is sad is, I am in a long-distance relationship where I do not miss him and still blandly agreed to spend the rest of my life with. Sadder, even, is that I do not feel in love, and I cannot even say “I love you” in a manner that makes it sounds truthful. Hence, I shortened the 3 words to 2 words – “love you“. I think it is safer. Anything and everything and everybody can love him, eh?

Yes, I am a horrible person. And, I cannot feel guilty enough to apologize for it either. Being physically away has allows me to channel my own feelings than absorb and empathize his emotions. It is not that I am self-centered. It is just my tolerance level for crap is low. So, to say, at least the serious dating has made me realize what it is that I want and do not want out of a romantic partner/relationship at the same time. Much progress made.

Now, with the path to a me I can be proud of laid down in front of me, I am excited. And thankful to God for proving His plans for me once again. The only thing I need to still get rid of is the feeling of loneliness that falls on me on my birthdays. I hate that feeling. It has made birthdays miserable. Period.

Mistakes I Made In Love

18 Apr

We all make mistakes throughout life, and we all learn from them and try to do things differently the next time. Lately, with my long-distance relationship with J on rocks, I was forced to look back and evaluate what had happened that we are here now. And, where one side of me wants to accept all the blame and the other side doesn’t want to accept any of it to be my fault, I managed to reach a midpoint where I realized what my mistakes were – mistakes I had made from the moment I decided to be in a relationship at all.

1. He is a good guy; he will make a good boyfriend.

For growing up in the city, it was impressive J never tried any kinds of drugs, never smoked, drank only on extremely rare situations, stayed home with family at nights instead of gang-banging  and he sincerely liked me. He never fooled around with anyone, respected the sanctity of relationships. So overall, he seemed like a nice and different-than-what-I-was-used-to package to have. So, I loved him for that. Those kinds of genetic traits would be great to live with. Other things were ignored – such as the next point.

2. I forgot that good, decent boyfriends should evolve into good, providing husbands.

From time to time, J mentioned about what he would rather be doing with his life. His fear of failure, however, kept him from trying. Deciding what it means to be a caring girlfriend, all I did was try to convince him it is already time to start working on his ambitions. I dug up information about his dream career and present it to him – of how that will benefit him, and benefit the family he hopes to someday have. And I would say it every time he was sick of his current job and said he wants to do something else. Simply TRYING to reach this milestone was something I hoped he would have done before I was to go back, before I was to introduce him to my family, before we were to get married. Show me that he understands it is important to me that he feels fulfilled with his life. Worst case scenario, it could have been a few years of trying before he would have gotten there.

3. I tried to help him.

He had begun to complain about his feelings of incompetency – when I took him to social circles where everyone has at least a Bachelor’s degree, and are applying or already enrolled in Masters and PhD programs. He felt attacked every time someone challenged him, and made him feel they are better than him – when they clearly did not even suggest that. So, through my tough love techniques, I suggested these feelings can disappear if he gets off his ass and does something about it. That is where I became a bitch.

4. I concluded from endless accusations that I am really a selfish bitch, so I apologized, and backed off.

I was not exactly called a bitch per se; it was just implied how I am the villain. I was made to see myself in a different light, where I am selfish and I have changed from what I used to be and how I am obsessively controlling and dominating [I like how it’s perfectly acceptable to be a dominatrix, but a woman dare not have a dominating personality], and how I am driving him to want to die by speaking about my feelings. So I backed off.

Because wanting somebody you thought you would spend the rest of your life with to feel fulfilled in life is so selfish.

5. I realized too late I had no support for my aspirations.

I talked a lot about what I wanted to do – and I tried a lot to get where I want to be. Be it as mean and selfish as it could, I knew I was not going to let an unambitious person in my life stop me from fulfilling my own life’s purpose. I looked into schools all over, I took the GMAT with almost zero time on my hands to study for them, I applied any way, and I kept applying for jobs I wanted a career out of in the meantime too – even those that would cause us to drift apart.

And he blamed me, and resented me for doing this. It was like, he rather I stay the way I am and we will build a life out of where we were. I was never encouraged. I was made to feel guilty because I wanted time alone to study, because I did not hesitate in stating that I will move if education and career opportunities arise in a different corner of the world.

So, I added he is more than welcome to come with me. He said I don’t care what he wants. “What do you want?” and he replied, “to stay here where I am!”

6. Somewhere along the line, of the constant fighting and guilt-tripping each other, I realized I lost respect for him. And yet, I stayed.

So well, I am now the bitch. When we are going to fall through, he will go around telling his friends and family and future girlfriends how I never let him breathe, how I suffocated him by throwing his dreams at him. I would be the selfish ex who cares only about what I want to do with my life, and for wanting things out of his life.

And, because of his several declarations stating how much he needs me, I do not know how to tell it to him that a break would be best for us. I don’t know how to explain to him that while I do still probably love him, I forgot how to miss him. I do not have the feeling of being in love anymore. I do not live feeling an empty feeling, I do not go to bed smiling about him, and I do not wake up thinking of him. I actually believe there is no cure for his procrastination in his life. I actually believed for a while there I am obsessively controlling, until I was jolted into the reality that I never pushed anything on him. Merely suggested.

7. I evaluated us in a serious-relationship context way too late.

One of the worst things we women do is tell our girlfriends to take it easy, to go with the flow when we start a new relationship. What we are really supposed to do is know that relationships are supposed to get serious at some point – and if they are not getting there, then there is a problem.

Speaking generally, we all want a faithful and successful husband; a man successful enough to be happy with his life, and to be able to provide for the family. But when it comes to a boyfriend, financial stability doesn’t matter. How the chemistry feels is the main concern. And, of course, we plan on not caring, and not thinking too much of where we are and where we are going.

This is THE stupidest idea. Because, sooner or later, one of us is going to fall in love with the other, and soon plans to be together forever are going to have to be made. And then, little things are going to start mattering.

I mean, I knew what I always wanted in a man. I figured I will evaluate J in that manner when the time comes. I figured that when he will be in love with me, he will slowly start to see me in a manner where he would just magically want to TRY to give me the stars and the moon, like he always said he wanted to – because I deserved it.

How effin’ romantic!

But, that never came to happen. All I got was a “Back off! Then I will be happier. The happier I am, the less I will cheat, too.” That is what it came down to. It came down to, in his own words, calming down my personality to suit his needs. Ouch.

Good, Better… Bitter.

11 Apr

Long-distance relationships… I’ve actually oddly enjoyed that idea. For one, and most important, you understand the value of communication. You understand if there is that connection you need to last a lifetime. You have time, and you have space to be your own person. It also tests your level of loyalty and commitment to each other.

However, if there were any problems that existed before distance came, those problems tend to magnify. And lately, that is what has been happening with me.

I am someone who needs to keep working on something. To find a solution to avoid any sudden bad surprises. As a business person, those qualities are highly desirable. Planning ahead, having an insight on areas that need continuous improvements. At the same time, I’m starting to doubt if those qualities are actually healthy in personal life.

I used to think yes. I used to think if we have a problem, we should speak up, clear the air and figure out a solution together. But then, you come across people who do not want to believe anything is wrong. Maybe because I was never able to say them earlier because either I did not not think the time was right, or because when I started to speak, I was shut quiet. Whatever the case, lately, it has been downhill. There were things I held inside too long, and they come rushing out now, and the timing is highly inappropriate. And even though I didn’t mean it to be harsh, more than anything I meant it to be apologetic, it came out as mean and angry. That’s the problem with written communication. We moved away from voice and video calls because his silence made it awkward and I couldn’t stop pointing out we need better communication. Texting kept us in a better state.

One thing led to another, and it got bitter. I tried apologizing for something I never did, he agreed and accused me further, making the apology harder. And then I exploded with frustration and he snapped to give him a break, and that was it.

I was never given the time to voice my concerns before. If I did, we wouldn’t be here. We are opposites, and I believed they attract. Where I tried to make sure we are not trying to hurt each other, he says it’s natural to get hurt so I can just deal with it.

Yeah, I did not even know what to do after that. Because I get angry rather than get hurt. I do not want to be the victim. I hate that spot, I’ll jump off and put the other there. There was only this much I could take, or wanted to take. I don’t know yet what our current state of silence means, but I do not know why I’m not so upset either. Something inside me makes me so cold towards feeling emotions it’s scary. I’m okay with whichever way this goes, because I’ve planned it both ways. And will plan a third way in 2 minutes it I have to.

It’s not a drama queen syndrome I’m suffering from either. If anything, it is give-a-chance syndrome that causes all the problems. I’m skeptical and cynical about dating, yet I go ahead with it, because finding a suitable mate is a genetic, primitively evolutionary desire. I stayed pleasantly surprised and loving it, and now it’s the stage where problems appear and need to be dealt with.

It all started last night when he said he feels we are living a fantasy, and I agreed. Maybe that is the reason why we are acting this way? It is in our subconscious and we do not want to deal with it? I’m addressing the problems I had always seen, he is able to say as many mean things to me as he wants to. I do not want to come to this.

But for now, it’s just best to give each other the space and silent treatment. I want a chance to feel I can miss him.

A Message From A Muslim Feminist

6 Apr

Femen. The word has become a nightmare in a matter of a couple of days. A nightmare for not just Muslims, Muslim women, but for several feminists around the world.

One of the first words I use to describe myself is none other than a feminist. I don’t have much means as of now, other than writing, to show my support for women’s rights. But I pray that in a few years, I’ll have money to put towards NGOs and organize campaigns in support for the cause.

Oppression… What does it mean these days? There seems to be a new definition for it, when it comes to the Muslim world – modestly dressed. Any woman covering her hair or face is oppressed and doing so against her freewill, because men have told her to do so, because man has created a religion with laws that make her fear the consequences of disobeying her family.

It’s a continuous battle. Fighting for what you believe in, fighting for the right to believe in what you want. The need to defend yourself against the attacks of the world, at the same time trying to not feel hurt, trying to not get angry.

See, I’m not just a feminist. I am also a Muslim. And, both go hand in hand, both cannot be separated from the other. Both together fit to make me the person I am. And, why do they go hand in hand? Islamophobes say religion only suppresses women. So, how is a Muslim feminist not an oxymoron?

So, to begin, I’ll tell you what rights are given to women in my religion. It is simple: equal to that of men. Both are human beings, both deserve respect, both are instructed to be as educated as they possibly can by whatever means available, both are also to be punished the same way for the same crime.

If you have not heard of Soraya M., she was an Iranian woman who was wrongfully accused of adultery by her abusive husband, and was stoned to death. The movie is very graphic, very horrifyingly tragic – that left me crying into the night at the injustice. So, when her story was told to the journalist, it was not to speak against stoning, but to speak against death sentences for a crime that was committed by her husband several times, but men of the village did not care about it, but only that of a rumour against a woman. It was to bring attention to the grave sin of bearing a false witness. It was, a true crime of violence against women, because the men were not being stoned to death the same way as women were, when the God they did it under the name of has ordered for the same punishment to be applied to men as well.

It is such religious hypocrisy of men that has ill-reputed Islam, that has now brought us Muslim women to fight for our religion, defend ourselves against the extremism of activists like Femen. It is when little girls in Pakistan are shot because they want to go to school that goes against a simple message of Islam to all Muslims: seek knowledge from cradle to grave.

So what does it mean to be a Muslim feminist? It means to be the voice of these oppressed women, who are abused by their men, who are not allowed to go to school, who still have to pay heavy amounts of dowry to have their hands accepted in marriage, who are killed because of false accusations and false witnesses, and who get no justice when they are subjected to rape and assault. And at the same time, doing so by strengthening their belief in God, by helping them gain back their self-respect and self-appreciation, by helping them love themselves.

Personally, I do not cover my face. I barely ever cover my head. I have revealed much skin sometimes. But, I am not going to stand some Femen tell a woman in hijab to take it off, to take off her shirt as well, to write on her breasts and run on the street. That is an absolute return to barbarianism.

Once upon a time, the more clothes a person wore, the higher his or her status was. As men evolved in intelligence, they also clothed better. So, clothes were respect. So why then is nudity not oppression? How is it freedom?

Captured girls are trafficked and spend most of their time naked and being abused, so how is nudity liberation?

Women who did not go to school, who could find no means to make money, had to resort to stripping selling their bodies for some cash. So how then, is nudity intelligent? Educated?

Why does feminism have to be distorted to such a degree than it denies all religions? Isn’t feminism about helping women and letting them have their own identities? Why does it get twisted from fighting for women to hating on religion? How can you imagine gaining support from Muslim women when you are telling them that their religion is wrong, and their bare breasts will bring them freedom?

The truth of the matter is, women are going to remain objectified. There are too many men who will pay anything to a woman to take off her shirt, which can be witnessed by the whole world, accessible to kids, which in return activates their sexuality early, and so on the cycle continues.

It’s not fair. Seeing nude women standing in front of mosques, burning flags, writing hateful things towards having morals – well, these morals also teach us tolerance and patience. If they didn’t, it would have taken no time for some radical Islamist to end the lives of these women. Honestly.

So all I have left to say to Femens that I have not already told them on twitter and facebook, is pretty simple: hate Islam all you want, fear it all you want. You cannot do anything to stop the hundreds of people who revert to Islam everyday, all around the world, especially in the West. And what you have done is nothing more than open a passage for men and women to learn about Islam. You have inspired them to be curious as to why Muslim women hate what you are doing, and when they will ask and learn from their Muslim friends, you will be left all alone how you started when born… naked and ashamed.

And Then Appeared a Sign…

3 Apr

image

That’s the text from my boyfriend I just received. That’s the family he always talks about having, and he saw them right when I was talking to him like I am losing all hope.

I like how much he believes in us. But then, I just watched 500 Days of Summer and he seems to be just as hopeful and sure as Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in the movie. And it scares me. What if that is what we become?

Nevertheless, the text made me smile, and seemed to be some sort of sign that appears right at the moment I am giving up, telling me to keep holding on.

Or, the devil in me says that was going to be my life, but someone leaped to the future, took my life, and made it theirs in the past.

Is time travel secretly possible yet even?

Hello, I Just Woke Up In Soviet Union

1 Apr

… You know, the one in the Middle East.

To summarize the article I read today, Saudi Arabia now wants monitoring access to the free applications that allow families and friends to communicate worldwide, such as Skype and WhatsApp and Viber. Or it will go ahead ban the use of these apps in the country.

Keeping in mind the uproar when previous interruptions in communication happened, when they wanted to monitor Blackberry Messaging, I am hopelessly hoping it will not come to this. With a ban in our right to communicate with our loved ones, or the continuous monitoring of our conversation, what is this part of the world going to come to?

No real explanation has been given as to why they want to monitor these conversations themselves. Are they facing threats of international spies? You mean to say, the Iranians? Well, I am sure these spies will not be stupid enough to use such free applications, where the developers will be able to access them. I mean, seriously.

Then, they say it is because of loss of revenue because we do not use Saudi Telecom’s voice and text services. Hold on right there. Are we not using your data network, subscribing to your data packages, using your Wi-Fi networks, to be able to use these applications? And what are you giving us? Not even 1GB of internet – you are giving us 3G and HSPA data speed connection in packages of Megabytes. And we still buy them. We still spend SAR 5.00 for 24 hours of 100 free minutes, 100 free texts, and 100MB of internet. So, explain how are you losing your business? Saudi Telecom is a government owned company, and the government owns yet another company which generates over $300bn annually for them – Saudi Aramco. So, again, where is the loss?

Outside interest in the phenomenon has largely focused on how (Twitter) has allowed Saudis to express themselves in a public forum on social or political issues in an unprecedented way.

Yes, because well, freedom of speech is not a right granted to us. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of twitter users around the world, and you know why that is? Because the country doesn’t give us anything else to do!! It comes up with threatening laws and regulations, it doesn’t let us talk about them, and hence we use social media to express our views about them. What is so wrong about that? Saudi Arabia does not give us activities to keep busy either, like something fun and adventurous, so we tweet whatever comes to mind. If we had places to explore, arcades and amusement parks to go to, we would be busy having a life than creating one online. So, who is to blame for the massive number of Saudi Arabian tweeters?

Exactly.

And now, they want to monitor our Skype conversations. So now, women have to sit in front of the computer with their Abayas and Hijabs because some remote strange man is likely masturbating somewhere looking at a woman’s face, or getting aroused just hearing a woman’s voice even. So now, I also cannot receive pictures of my friends’ weddings without some stranger eyeing the bride.

So what is it that you really want Saudi Arabia? Access to our conversations, or the revenue you are losing? Why do you not make your reasons clear before you jeopardize the sanctity of the women in Saudi Arabia you so publically enforce? Does it fit your Shar’iah law for allowing this access, invading someone’s privacy, eavesdropping into the homes and problems of people?

Way to secure your reign as the Arabic Soviet Union. Way to go. We can only count on a massive protest from the whole population, which is the only thing that can save us and our right to our lives. Till then…