Tag Archives: decisions

The Two Battles

14 May

So, for the past several days, all I have been doing is fighting, and protesting and resisting from miles away.

For one, the school came around and are accepting me into their program (woot woot!! Yayyy!! Yayyy!!). But laid down reappearing my GMAT for 170 points more would grant me the full scholarship I am looking for. So now, I have 3 options to choose from:

– reappear in a month, and get 170 points more and complete my MBA in a year
– impress future employer in the Emirates and live my freedom and start clearing my student loan debt myself (which has to be done in the next few weeks)
– pursue my MBA part-time in Dubai, or get my employer to sponsor my studies elsewhere at a B-school they value.

That is my dilemma. Parents already placed indirect emphasis on me being a burden because I am suddenly so demotivated, concluding they would like to stop supporting me. If that doesn’t make me feel like Hannah from GIRLS but without selfish best friends, I don’t know what will. I mean, when you are limited by your own personal finances, there isn’t much of a choice. Especially when the question comes of how am I going to support myself while in school, as in food and supplies, when I have no legal authorization to work in that country. So, those are my ultimatums.

If I look towards Dubai, I get to share an apartment with my sister, I get to go out when I want and do my shopping when I want and go to the movies and several arcades, basically live the same lifestyle I lived in Chicago – just with a more fulfilling job and more finances available this time. And after a couple of years, pursue my MBA. Is that so bad?

That is my internal battle. As for my external battle, I suddenly developed an overwhelming sense of patriotism. But in the sense, where I will join forces with anyone fighting for something I see as right. And right now, I am helping one of the countries I belong to, Pakistan, to grant its citizens the right to their stolen votes during the May 11 election. And to drive out the thugs that have taken over the city my dad’s family calls home. It is not easy because of lack of international coverage on news channels, so every person in resistance is using his or her own social networks to mass protest from all over the world. And, I am one of them.

It is like the Arab Spring in Pakistan, except where they throw gas bombs to break protests, here they fire bullets. So, I have been busy. Tens and thousands of Pakistanis and half-Pakistanis round the world are trying to get an international news network to cover our stories, but, so far nothing has been done. It is kind of like they do not care, or are paid to ignore us.

Too many battles, too little time. Now I have to figure out my course of life, and kind of just dreading that I would need a driver’s license in Dubai. I cannot express my phobia of road accidents enough.

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The Mind Manipulation Into Fear And Guilt

6 Mar

The flight that was going to take me out of here back to home in 5 hours from now – well, it was cancelled a few hours ago. It was a silent prayer I had made – or not so silent. But it was a prayer I made. And I remember waking up with a feeling that I am not leaving any more, and fifteen minutes later, my parents call and tell me it has been cancelled.

You won’t believe the WHOA moment I had right there. I was in the process of imagining different scenarios of how the goodbye with J will be – both of us had a rough night and he said we should just get married come morning, and it was the fastest yes I have ever said in my life. And this morning, we smiled about how this is a sign we should both get new, better jobs and he should take me right now and marry me, and there will never be anything to worry about – if I leave, I am definitely coming back, and I am coming back to him.

Oh, the fairytale we humans play and replay in our minds. So, I went ahead, and without mentioning J, told my mother we could probably start looking at this as a sign that maybe greater things lie here for me and we should accept this as God’s plan. To which, she denies His plan, and believes it’s how people are jealous of her children and it’s all how bad they have jinxed my success and they are holding me back. Right. I mean, I believe jinxes happen, but then, why would someone jinx me into staying here? This is where I am actually happy. They would do that and send me back to Saudi Arabia, where I will keep struggling to make a place my home again. And, of course, I have a greater believe in God’s plan. He has the ultimate reason for everything He does. He could be giving me more time here to mentally adjust myself to coping with the lifestyle change; He could also be trying to say this is where I will forever be happier than I could be anywhere else. Who knows?

However, mother added I have become too westernised in the sense I like my freedom too much – well, who doesn’t? My parents had always been too strict for the kind of person I was – had to beg my arse off to go to a friend’s birthday party, and I would never be allowed to go for lunch with the gang if I wanted to. So, from that lifestyle, to this, yes, it has been a blessing. I can go to the mall, I can go the movies, I can go to see friends, I can go out for dinner – however, I still have to answer million questions to them about where I am and when I will be home. It sucks, a lot. I always had something inside of me that wanted to do things, but I was always too controlled, and I never learned. It’s so late for so much now.

She went on to say family doesn’t seem to matter to me much – well, I know they love me. I love them. If I am holding back from doing what I could do, it is for the respect I have for them. I could go ahead cut all ties with them, marry away and not care about their blessing, start my own life the way I could and follow my heart – but I am not. I am not because I care about my family, they matter to me. The only thing with the distance I wish was that they were here with me, so I do not have to worry about them being there.

The whole theme of my life is of breaking free. I have forever felt restrained, I have forever felt the fear of disappointing my parents. I just wish they would accept happiness in things that make their children happy. I remember when my sister wanted to go ahead study Public Relations and Broadcasting, they all objected saying it’s a waste of a degree, and there is no scope of success in it. They wanted her to study something all Eastern parents want their children to study – Business, Medicine, Computers, or Engineering. But that is not what made my sister happy. She argued back and forth with them, and even though they still disagree to several degrees, they had no choice but to let her go ahead with it.

So, that is the question I asked them: why would someone jinx me into staying in my happiness? It is not what makes my parents happy, but they are not trying to keep me with them. They are still trying to send me to the Emirates, so I will still be the same – caught up in a busy life, not finding the time to have long conversations with them. They say at least there is peace of mind there. I do not find peace of mind when for sure, after retirement, you have no future in the Middle East. They will deport you off to a war-stricken country where people are now not even safe inside their own homes. So, what peace of mind is that? My mother never replied to that. She knew I was right. What is her ultimate plan? It’s an Eastern family – they do not consider daughters as important as they consider sons because at some point all they want us to do is get married and start calling in-laws mom and dad. And, then they will think they have accomplished success for their daughters. It’s like, I can reach the height of my career, and they will still keep thinking I am unlucky because I am not married. They will say how I am too successful to be appealing for a man. Yes, that is why my mother is probably silently praying I do not get accepted into the PhD program, because I will be too educated to find myself a man.

I know the religious obligations they are facing. It’s the whole thing that worries them that there is no father or brother figure in my life to watch over me. My father said at a point that people are talking, saying things like they sent a girl far away with no supervision, and it’s not right. That is what pisses me off. They give me everything they think I need – food, shelter, their presence be it near or far – but I want several other things to feel complete. I needed the ability to make decisions. I don’t know how they expect me to build a corporate management career when they are making all vital decisions for me that I should just offer them the job because they know decision-making better than I do. So, in several ways, they are limiting my ability to grow. And they are not realizing it. They controlled me so much that when I first had to think on my feet, I could not. I did not know what to do, how to do. I went through several traumatic confidence-building phases, and I have finally learned how to impress during an interview – because I have learned who I am, and how I do things.

Mother said parents in the US kick their kids out at 18 – it is the simplified, stereotyped version of the process of kids getting kicked out at 18. They could send them away for school, the kids could move out because they have found a job and do not want to be a burden to them to them financially. I mean, there could be several reasons. She thinks they pack their bags and kick them out. From what I have seen, kids moved out because they relocated to different states, they started their own families, they got sick of their parents nagging them all the time, and found they grew closer once they lived further away from each other.

So, what do I want to achieve living alone? I love the idea of a place I own. Or rent. But either way, it is under my name. I love being responsible – I am lazy at it because I get tired from long hours at work, but I like it. I like not having to eat home-cooked food all the time because I do not want to dedicate so much time to the kitchen. Either way, yes, I like the grown-up feeling. That is something I wanted since I was a little girl, and that is something I have lived, and never want to go back to the old theme of my life – *wanting to break away*.

So, I have made a decision. When I get home, I will let my parrots free. They stay in cages with us dictating their lives, and everybody yelling at them when they start to chirp or squeal even, I know exactly how they feel. And, I will feel good about myself when I do that. And, somewhere, somehow, they will set me free once again.

The Battle Between ‘What-If’ and ‘So-What’

12 Oct

Sometimes, I really don’t know what I’m doing and why. It’s like, I see the end but I hang on to “what if“. I still feel torn between what I want, what I should want, and what everybody who loves me wants for me, from me. And they all want different things for me.

It makes me resistant to change. It also puts me on guilt trips and surrendering. I have tried to explain myself when I try to take a stand for myself. All in vain. I have more guilt in my conscience than pride.

My exam is in two weeks, and I can see myself needing to repeat. Just to get a better score in Math. I feel like I am surrounded by spite. It’s not just an instinct, it’s a definite. It shouldn’t bother me, and normally it doesn’t. But their spite is turning into actions against me, and here I am, trying to find a way out forever.

Different opportunities are arising from different corners of the world, but I find myself hanging on to where I am. And I don’t even know why. I hate almost everything about it.

I was left speechlessly in shock when nobody knew why I obsessively freaked out that a body lotion had urea in its ingredients, because they had never heard of the term urea.

It continously bothers me they are living sponges to everything TV tells them, but not sponge enough to absorb what’s between the lines, what it hides behind all its faces.

Ignorance of every single person makes me want to put a bullet through my head. And with how busy life is here, I feel horrible being the last one to get the news that is making headlines around the world.

I don’t want to become this person. There is so little, but at the same time so much, going on I keep losing sight of things. Maybe I’ll be ready when the real time for change will finally come along. And it’s getting close.

It would have been so simple. I just drag on with the same job to survive the next few months. Come January, I go on that reunion trip with my girls, and then back here, pack everything and return home. And await a reply from the programs I applied to. And meantime, start work there and figure it out from there.

Except now, I let people in. I let myself become somebody to someone before I could become me. Maybe it’s healthier to grow with someone to increase in compatibility, than grow up and then find someone who is hopefully compatible. So now, at this stage, I cannot eliminate him from big life decisions when he is starting to see me in his.

But the end of January next year is still hanging over our heads. With trying to live the moment, making the most of what we for sure have together, it’s all good for him because he is a one-step-at-a-time kind of person. I am more of a planner. I need to know what I am taking with me, what I’m leaving behind, so I can have less things to worry about.

I didn’t have to say or ask, he made his feelings for me clear and I know I have his word. If I am in, he’d do anything to stay with me. It’s just me, and my unsure future. I am keeping my emotions on hold till I know.

I admit, I hate to want to miss out on being appreciated and adored and loved. It has come in my life after so many years. He’s so much above all the useless guys and their useless intentions, and yeah, I shall be all girlie-girl about it and admit I love the feeling of meaning so much to someone that I actually find his cheesiness kinda cute sometimes.

In the end, I know I have one of the folowing choices to make.

1. To go back home to my family who I do miss but to a life I don’t think I can live anymore after being on my own for so many years. And move to New Zealand or Dubai from there in case I do not get in the schools here.

2. To come back here when I get in school and I am set from making any big life decisions for the next 5 years.

3. To do the hard thing and tell my parents about this boy who will convert to my religion if that is what it takes to be with me, and then figure out my career from there.

4. To mysteriously disappear when my landlords decide to use me as their ritualistic blood sacrifice. And then I won’t have anything to worry about when I’m gone.

And who would have thought… all decisions revolve around my career. I can hear those voices say I am gonna lose everything chasing a career which I might never even have, because I am leaving behind what my real meaning of life should be, what my legacy is supposed to be… (taken from the movie premier of Sinister I saw last night, which is hella scary – you should watch!) But, who is to say if I do not take a chance?

And the other voices that say I am not yet 30, I am only a woman and I should just marry into something financially stable (but which I know will be a financially stable arsehole) and then settle in a good enough career.

No, it’s not about money. When I think about it, it’s all about giving my parents the joy of seeing their children being successful and happy. I will do whatever and not complain because I am not really sure most of the time if I like something or if I hate something… most of the time I could care less about having an opinion about everything. All I know is, I just want to be happy. And at this stage where I have only hit 2 milestones of my life – high school and college graduation – I am still figuring out what really does make me happy.

Every Time I Try To Be Strong…

9 Jul

… something happens and I come undone.

I have been frustrated. I don’t even know how much fun I will be when my friends come down. I am so shut down, I don’t know if I will be able to talk about what has been going on. I have all kinds of walls up, I don’t know if I will be able to let them down to show what I have been feeling. I am sick of being put on the hot seat, questioned, tested, analyzed, judged, and then having a picture of my future painted right in front of me.

And now they have made me angry. I haaate being angry. It’s probably the only feeling that makes me act on impulse in some dire need to prove something to someone, where I say and do things without thinking, which further makes me angry at myself for letting myself feel anger in the first place. I am sometimes scared of my own anger.

Of course, at every turn, there is going to be someone who has something negative to say about any and every step I decide to take. Everyone has some opinion and somehow just know what the perfect thing for me to do is. I should stop putting my faith where it should be, and instead go along with whatever suggestion whatever immoral source has for me.

Where my usual reaction is to just roll my eyes and keep doing what I am doing, when stuff finally gets to me, it crashes into me. I have a mini outburst as I start to realize I had been wrong when I refused to believe “20% of people don’t care about your problems and 80% are glad you have them”.

It kind of sucks when you just don’t want to trust anyone because of a few blows from places where you shouldn’t have put your trust in but did anyways. And then you go ahead calling yourself stupid before anyone else can do it for you, and let your life become a joke for your “friends” to laugh along at.

Because I refused to ask for help when I was in a fix a few days ago, and when they showed me how my life appears  to them, I snapped back at them that I can take care of me by myself – and I was in return reminded without any hesitation of how that decision is a wrong decision too.

And, that is where I started to shut down from the outside world, again. Since I can’t differentiate much between who really cares and who really doesn’t anymore. I shall let them talk, I shall let them look at me how they want to, I shall let them decide what they want to about who I am and let them paint all possible futures for me too. I don’t think they deserve any effort from my side to prove why I do what I do, and why I don’t do what they think I should do.

A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor, and while some have said the sea is no place for someone like me, well… I still know some people who will tell me to go all the way, as far as I can. So well, all storms welcome.

For now, I pursue change with saying goodbye to my roommate today, later dying my hair again, and then awaiting the arrival of a new roommate. Whenever that shall be.

The Building Blocks

22 Apr

A friend recently said that happiness is a facade. To me, it’s a state of mind I have reached and fallen out of for reasons I am unaware, at times when I should be feeling the opposite.

It’s like, when one area of my life starts playing out as smoothly as I wanted it, another obviously is not able to reach that stage, when I had just started with the perfect plan to get there.

So, well… I have been looking for my own place since God knows when. And now, I have all I need to be able to make that possible – the strongest reason being I live too far from where I work and the night commutes are not working out. But…!!! The day I find potential apartments and make plans to contact the places the next day, guess what I encounter?

Obstacles.

Not that these obstacles are my concern, not for most of the part anyways, but it’s my undefeatable instinct to show empathy is what gets in the way of having my world my way.

So all I am hoping is other miracles happen so I am not bound to be stuck here with someone who said and done what they did recently and have forever lost my concern for their situation.

Family is complicated. Well, at least I feel so. I have been on my own for so long now, I am unable to find myself fitting in at all. I feel obligated to build relationships and maintain contact with people I don’t even want to. I don’t want to share a piece of my day with them, but I am forced to try and make conversation.

All I know is, as I repeat to myself everyday, it’s not the end if things are not in place. There is so much beauty in imperfection, an overwhelming feeling of success after all the struggling to get to your destination. The best of things in life are going to come with time anyway, if they are meant to.

Such is my hope for me to be able to be me 24/7 without being moulded into something others desire of me. Guess I still have 7 more years to finally navigate myself onto the road I been wanting to travel down for so long, where I will be able to have those 5minutes of awareness that all areas of my life are just the way I had pictured them to be.