Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bullshit

I've been lying in bed for hours now unable to stop crying. My heart aches. It aches for all the magnificent women I know who have been wronged by assholes, even for those I don't know. My heart aches for every girl who is brought up to believe the only thing she can amount to in life is marriage. It aches for every woman who is oblivious of her own self worth, subjecting herself to the will of a man who sees himself entitled to do as he pleases with no repercussions. It aches for all the smart, capable women robbed of opportunities because society doesn't see it fit for a young lady, as to not be too threatening to potential suitors. It aches for every woman who subjects herself to any kind of abuse because she has nowhere else to turn, because her children depend on it, even worse, because she believes she deserves it.

Living in a patriarchal society, women always get the short end of the stick. Even my own parents, who are relatively exceptional in this regard, I feel view me as an accessory. It doesn't matter what I have done, what I have achieved, what I am capable of. All that matters is that I am appealing. The older I get, the more they give up on the idea. Sometimes I feel like an old dog they don't have the heart to put down, so they just continue to feed and shelter me till I die. My whole life, what I can and can't do, is not dictated by morals or principles but by public opinion. I continue to fight tooth and nail but I am seen as unruly, insolent and impertinent.

Do I forever have to live on the sidelines waiting for someone to finally see me as a suitable mate? Is my life eternally on hold until someone puts a ring on my finger? Is my value forever tied to a man?

I have a coworker who gets really peeved when women demand equal rights and still demand being treated as a lady (as if being polite has always somehow been compensation for the rights we don't have). This topic is always a very heated discussion in the office. I work in a heavily male dominated field and I am not one to shy away from a discussion on women's rights. When I stated that it's not right for a grown woman to go from being the responsibility of her father to the responsibility of the husband as if we are eternally children, another coworker expressed sympathy for the poor schmuck who gets stuck with me.

If I am an adult, I don't need a man to tell me what I can and can't do. So long as I live with my father, he has a say in everything. I'm blessed with a father that does listen to reason - so long as social expectation falls within that reason. Yet if I'm married, it is my husband, and at that point my father supposedly stops caring? I entrust my life, my wellbeing, my future, to someone I barely know and that's okay to people? My father has every right to have a say in my life, he gave me life! What right does this stranger have to do so? Especially when all I see is how incompetent men have become in this aspect. They no longer have much regard to anyone but themselves. They make a call based on convenience and impose it. They no longer take accountability for their actions and expect us to accept that. "I can cheat because I'm a man, and even if I get caught, society will forgive me, she will forgive me, and life goes on". What's that? Children born out of wedlock? Shotgun marriages, and second and third and fourth marriages to cover it up? Oh silly Arab man, you're so silly with your wandering penis and total disregard to anyone other than yourself. But here, take our daughters, break their hearts, beak their spirits, break their bones, and bring them back in pieces so they can spend the rest of their lives undoing this damage only to make her realize too late that she can survive without you.

I explained that I refuse to be treated like a child, and marriage does not mean I surrender myself to a man completely. However one of my coworkers seemed to have a problem with that, as if expecting to have a mature relationship with my husband where we make decisions together and he doesn't decide things for me is a preposterous idea. His response was "God help whoever you end up marrying". I refuse to succumb to the pressures of society. Call it whatever you like, I call bullshit. This is all total bullshit. I will continue to do so until my dying day.

P.S. Anyone planning to hit me with a "not all men are like that" can save their breath. I know they're not, it's only the vast majority I'm talking about here.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Pursuit of Fun

There were many moments in my life where I felt myself in a moral dilemma where my decision did not reflect what I thought right to do. Then I convinced myself that the 'right thing to do' is a concept ingrained in your mind as a result of the environment you grew up in, so just do whatever you want because what you want to do is not wrong, then it must be right. But then again I would ask myself; why do I feel so guilty?

This past weekend I had an epiphany of sorts. I flew out to visit family with my sister. Usually these family visits would include our mother, are almost always very brief and rushed, and I always try to make time to do something that I want to do such as see a friend or go to a particular store or cafe. These side activities I do with at least a cousin so I feel I'm still fulfilling my duty of spending time with family while doing what I want, but in that time I am away from the vast majority I supposedly came to see. Allow me to express that I love my family, from the depths of my heart, regardless of how we may differ. Their joy brings me joy and their grief brings me grief; genuine, no-strings-attached love. I have a character flaw in that I want to do too many things with too many people and I never seem to sort myself out well enough to give everyone their due, but don't you dare decide for me - with force - what to do or who to see. I believe I know well enough to fulfill my duties towards the people in my life, but in reality knowing is not enough. I don't do much of what I know I should do. The thought would cross my mind and at that moment I would just rather be doing something else so I put it in the back of my mind. In the words of Mr. Lamar: Bitch, don't kill my vibe.

I've always asked myself whether I am too preoccupied with the pursuit of fun that I am not able to appreciate other things life has to offer. I don't know what happened this past weekend, but I think I managed to crack the case. I managed to spend quality time with the people I loved and have fun doing it. And true to form it was brief and rushed but at least it happened. I came back home with a euphoric feeling, in addition to missing them all immensely. And I realized what made this trip different was that I was more present; my mind wasn't thinking about being back at work in a couple days or that fight I had with my friend before I left or that thing I had to do for my mom when I got back.

That's when it hit me; the pursuit of fun is merely a distraction. Although it is easy to be present when you are having fun, it's not easy being present all the time or even most of the time, especially during those not-so-pleasant times. It's not that you shouldn't seek to have fun, by all means enjoy yourself! But enjoy the other moments too. Even in times of sorrow, reaching out to someone in their time of need with something as simple as a brief phone call is a moment, enjoy it! Even if you don't know what to say and how to act, be present and let it be genuine, enjoy it! So long as you have the right intentions, I am almost certain whoever is before you will sense that and appreciate it. With every moment, there is potential for connection. Human connection is so vital and we are so starved that we need it from wherever we can find it. Genuine human interactions with genuine emotions. It could be something as simple as complimenting the guy behind the check-out counter on his funky glasses, or laughing with the random woman on the street whose dog decided to sit down in the middle of the road. Just know how much to give to each person.

Don't give too much to those who don't deserve it. Be kind, be polite, be considerate, be friendly, but the real stuff, the go-out-of-your-way-to-make-them-smile stuff is not for everyone. I have reached a point in my life where if I don't believe you deserve certain things of me; I ain't gonna do it. It is such a liberating feeling. And this varies from person to person. One person I would jump through hoops to find the exact kind of chocolate they love, with another person the rope ends at casual conversation when we accidentally bump into each other at the mall. It's nothing personal. All are nice people, but not all nice people deserve my all. Just because I know you and you are a nice person, does not mean I need to remember to wish you a happy birthday every year (for example). Social obligations got too much for me and I could not keep track. So I got sick of feeling guilty for neglecting people in my life who I genuinely did not have the time of day to even think about, nor should I make time! Although I do like these people, and it would please me to see them, I'm just not gonna go out of my way to do it because simply put, I owe them nothing. Others though, I owe them everything. It's a pretty wide spectrum, to the point you could categorize people depending on how close they are. The spectrum is flexible; over time people can move along the spectrum in either direction. It's like a live document that needs regular updating. A good way to look at it is this; if something amazing happened to you, who would you want there to celebrate with you? Even then, who would you want to spend all night on the dance floor with and who do you only want for a dance or two? I genuinely believe that the people who matter in your life most - depending on life circumstances - will almost always be right there for you when it counts, or at least will always want to be there for when life simply does not permit it.


“Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” ― Karl Lagerfeld


Apologies for the digression. Good night for now.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Knight in Shining Armor & the Damsel in Distress

When a certain idea has been continuously shoved at your psyche throughout the years, I can understand how it is difficult to stray from it. The idea of the man being some supreme savior to the poor, helpless woman is one that has been depicted in any and every way, shape and form. It would make sense for both genders to somehow feel obligated to play their respective roles even when it is against their personal nature.

Let's face it, not all men could be classified as a 'knight in shining armor'. They are human, they are flawed, and not each and every man should be expected to somehow fit the bill of the strong protector. And once we all can agree on that, instead of having false expectations of men - and men having false bravado to go with the hardware - we could get along a whole lot better. Likewise, not all women are in need of rescuing, so stop trying to save us. And ladies, stop playing the victim!! Stop waiting around for someone to save you; you are not trapped in a high tower with no way out. You need saving, start by trying to save yourself. Even if you did need saving, and he did save you, he sure as hell doesn't need to know it. You are facing difficulties in your life, as is everyone else, you are an adult and you have learned to deal, and that is what you need to show him. Otherwise, if he has taken you away from a place you do not wish to return, he just might abuse that knowledge and use it against you.

I don't know if it's deliberate, I don't know if it is insecurity, I don't know if it is some unavoidable byproduct of love, but if a man knows he has saved you from what you perceived to be a life of misery, or simply a life you were not too happy with, he somehow will come back around and hang it over your head. Whether directly - in the form of constant reminders - or indirectly - abusing you knowing you have nothing better to go back to - I have seen men use this against women a little too often. Men may do this unknowingly, but it does not make it any less despicable. Regardless of what you did for the person you love, the moment you start keeping score and start resenting your partner for it, you may start saying/doing things you regret.

No one asked you to be the almighty savior, you assigned yourself that role. And if you aren't able to play that part, don't blame it on the damsel. Especially nowadays when damsels are more tolerant to distress and don't need saving as much as before. And ladies don't give yourself entirely to a man expecting he will always put you first, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.

When you love someone, and you need them, it seems all too dangerous to me. Loving them and wanting them in your life seems to be a safer scenario for me. Expectations need to be managed for sure. Don't rush to give too much of yourself to one person; soon enough you will realize you have no more of yourself to give, and nothing left for yourself either. That person needs to prove they are worthy of your time, effort, affection, compassion, love. Otherwise, the love you give so easily could be taken for granted somehow, someway, someday.

If you have all this pent up love waiting for the right person to just dump it all on, I have a solution for you. Look around. Look at the many people in your life; from family to friends to acquaintances to the guy at Starbucks you see every time you get your morning coffee. All those people won't say no to a little love. So rather than bottling it up for the next girl/guy who holds your hand, spread the love. When I say love here I mean it in the human, universal sense; the kind of love you find in a genuine smile. It is healthier to distribute your love and with it your attention than to have it solely focused on one person. No one person can possibly live up to all that attention without disappointing you and hurting you in the process.

For starter's, you are less likely to scare that person off, not everyone wants to get suffocated like that. Also, you are less likely to get sick of each other. You don't lose touch with the important people already in your life. You don't resent each other down the line when you realize you've been so caught up and cut off that the rest of your world has moved on without you.

A person distracting you from your troubles doesn't spell 'happily ever after' to me. When you're looking for someone to love, try to focus less on the distress and more on finding someone who makes you a better version of yourself, whether directly or indirectly, and for that betterment to be mutual. We are all in need of saving in one way or another, it should not be held against us, ever, least of all by the people we love. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The XX Supremecy

I'm a believer in Karma, which leads me to believe I must have caused someone severe heart ache for me to be going through it myself right now. The weird thing is it has been broken by someone before it was ever theirs to break.

For well over a year, I've been going through some sort of existential crisis because of this. It hit me way out of left field. I did not want it to happen, I did not enjoy it, I miss the person I was and that person would be disgusted at my current state. It was a bubble of emotional confusion, and I'm still struggling to make sense of it all, even more so to just get over it.

I don't know why or how, but I developed what I assume are feelings for someone. I assume because I can't and don't want to say with absolute certainty that it was so. I had no reason to feel for this person, in the sense that he gave me no window to do so. The sad/odd part is I genuinely didn't expect him to feel the same way; all I wanted was for him to let me care for him even if that meant he didn't care for me, I didn't need him to care. I tried to deny it, resist it, convince myself otherwise, forget about it, resolve it, confront it, hide from it, distract myself, run away, talk about it, cry about it, sing about it, and now I'm writing about it, all in an effort to understand. My friends are more than fed up about it all, I can see it. If only they knew just how exponentially fed up I was about it.

Every time I feel myself getting  better, I spontaneously break down for what usually is no reason at all other than perhaps the sporadic pang of heart ache. I don't know what I could possibly have done to someone to feel this hurt for this long. I don't think I've ever felt so inexplicably drawn to someone yet simultaneously feel so dejected and wildly unwanted by the same person. All the advice I've ever given anyone regarding these issues I know and believe in wholeheartedly yet it won't make the pain go away.

I've struggled spiritually, professionally, socially, mentally, physically, just to try to understand and make sense of how I feel; for starters why him? Why this strong? Why so long? It got to the point where I started to think to myself well maybe it's because I'm not pretty enough or not smart enough or not slim enough or not tall enough or not old enough or too old or not wealthy enough or not fit enough or not white enough or not dark enough.

It was at this point that the words "well, FUCK YOU" exploded out of me. Fuck you for making me feel this way. Fuck you making me doubt my awesomeness. Fuck you for making me feel less than I am. Fuck you for every time I cried over you. Fuck you for every effort I mistakenly made to reach out to you. And fuck me for caring. I stupidly thought it was worth it, that deep down there is a good, honest man, that he was worth it. And I stupidly let him prove to me time and time again that he really isn't worth a fraction of it, yet still I managed to persuade myself by using every possible excuse known to man; he has been deeply hurt, he is deeply stressed, he is deeply depressed, he is recluse, he is shy, he is stupid, he is busy, he is tired, he is sick, he is the Fucking president of the United States deciding the fate of nations while attending a charity event to sponsor those he himself decided to leave in destruction, famine, and turmoil in favor of creating chaos elsewhere to drain their resources while nobody was looking yet where everybody can see!!!

I hate men for this very reason. Listen here gentlemen, don't take a woman's love for granted thinking that you are the shit. All. Women. Settle. At least the ones who are straight. No man is worth half what women are willing and able to give to them, but women give it because they are nurturing by nature, and cannot leave a poor soul - like that of a man - be left to wander alone. But you know what ladies, it's our fault for settling. It's because we've been settling all along, we've been making it too easy for them so they just progressively try less and less. I think it's high time for a revolution ladies, but it will only work if ALL women agree to do this. We must stop settling. We must make the man work to prove himself; work on himself, on his life, on his relationships, on his career, on his health and most importantly on his mind.... everything, to prove he is worthy of our love. No more excuses, no more cutting corners, no more enabling men to be lesser versions of themselves. They. Must. Work! Otherwise I'm gonna dig up my receipt and go straight to the corner store for a refund. We've put up with far more than enough, I imagine. It's high time they step aside and we show them how we, women, run things. We are made to be the weaker, inferior half of society. Bull. Shit. Women are not equal to men at all because they are, in fact, far more superior. We are able to create life inside our own bodies for 9 months; a creature feeding off all our energy and still you see us running around getting shit done just like the men are doing. That ability alone is proof. No need to bring out the list of evidence - long long list I may add-  I believe that alone is enough to win the case.

So ....ladies.....you in? 😁

To be continued.....enough bitter truths for one evening.