Quote of the Week

You don’t get better on the days when you feel like going. You get better on the days when you don’t want to go, but you go anyway. If you can overcome the negative energy coming from your tired body or unmotivated mind, you will grow and become better. It won’t be the best workout you have, you won’t accomplish as much as what you usually do when you actually feel good, but that doesn’t matter. Growth is a long term game, and the crappy days are more important.

-Georges St. Pierre

Sometimes I Wish We Never Met

You were smart, cool and sweet. You’re a breath of fresh air. You’re everything any girl would’ve wanted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d go farther than being friends. But I wanted you in my life. You were my muse. You showed me another positive side of life. Eventually, I trusted you. Then, I loved you.

But what could have happened if we just never met?

Quite certainly, I would’ve saved myself from a tremendous heartache. Did you come in my life to teach me a lesson? If so, I wish you were a lesson I didn’t have to learn. Things weren’t so perfect when you came but I was okay. Still, you were there to cheer me up. Made me look at life from a different view. Said things are going to turn quite well. You offered me wisdom. You helped me become whole again.

Then you broke me just the same.

I’ve been contemplating for a very long time now if you were ever worth the love and time I gave you. Was the joy I felt with you worth this pain? Was it wrong to break my rules for you? Was I so naive to think that I meant something to you? Was it wrong that I trusted you? Or was I a fool for loving you?

If I could turn back time to the night we first kissed and change it all, I will. If only I knew that you’d give me more pain than joy, I would have left it all the way it once were. If only I knew you’d leave me for little mishaps and uncertainties, I shouldn’t have let things went too far.

Perhaps it’s true that everyone we meet in our lives come for a purpose or a reason. None of it is a coincidence. None of it a mistake. It’s been some time now since you did what you did and I’m trying to put them all past me. But some days, it all just comes back, reopens the wound you left me and hurts like hell again.

That is why sometimes, I wish we never met.

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #3 – Day 3

Big thanks to Savvy Raj for tagging me in this Lyrical Challenge last month. Do visit her blog here if you haven’t yet. Lots of stuff to enjoy there.

Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

My final song for this challenge is Ha Ha by Emiliana Torrini. I’m not sure what I like about this song but I certainly like and miss the person who introduced this to me.

Ha Ha by Emiliana Torrini

Anger steaming up your glasses
You’ve been holding parties all your life
‘Cause it’s long gone down
You’re still hanging around
It’s not over till it starts again
Ha ha ha
Hear me laughing
Ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha
It died out long ago
Did you hear me laughing in your head
When I saw you stuck in a rut again
Oh that drink went down smoothly
Just like the one before the last you had
Questions I have answered
You are still asking yourself again
Passed out in the gutter worn out
In your head your voices aren’t clearer now after all
Ha ha ha
Hear me laughing
Ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha
It died out long ago.
Check it out here:

The nominees are:

https://bloggerlifecoach.wordpress.com/

https://queenyasaaawrites.wordpress.com/

https://randomthoughts29056.wordpress.com/

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #3 – Day 2

Big thanks to Savvy Raj for tagging me in this Lyrical Challenge last month. Do visit her blog here if you haven’t yet. Lots of stuff to enjoy there.

Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Today’s song is…

What’s Forever For by Michael Martin Murphy.

I’ve been looking at people
And how they change with the times
And lately all I’ve been seeing are people
Throwing love away and losing their minds

Or maybe it’s me that’s gone crazy
‘Cause I can’t understand why
All these people keep hurting each other
When good love is so hard to come by

So what’s the glory in leaving
Doesn’t anybody ever stay together anymore
And if love never lasts forever
Tell me what’s forever for

I’ve been listening to people
And they say love is the key
And it’s not my way to let them lead me astray
It’s only that I want to believe

But I see love-hungry people
Trying their best to survive
While in their hands is a dying romance
And they’re not even trying to keep it alive

So what’s the glory in leaving
Doesn’t anybody ever stay together anymore
And if love never lasts forever
Tell me what’s forever for.

The nominees are:

https://thepoeticmeblog.wordpress.com/

https://inspirechange27.wordpress.com/

https://invisiblyme.com/

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #3 – Day 1

Big thanks to Savvy Raj for tagging me in this Lyrical Challenge last month. Sorry that it took me quite some time to accept but here it is now! Do visit her blog here if you haven’t yet.

Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Today’s song is I Still by the Backstreet Boys. Yes, I’m a huge fan! It’s the kind of music I miss these days. The kind of music I’ll never get tired of listening to…

I Still – Backstreet Boys

Who are you now?
Are you still the same
Or did you change somehow?
What do you do
At this very moment when I think of you?
And when I’m looking back
How we were young and stupid
Do you remember that?

No matter how I fight it
Can’t deny it
Just can’t let you go

I still need you
I still care about you
Though everything’s been said and done
I still feel you
Like I’m right beside you
But still no word from you

Now look at me
Instead of moving on, I refuse to see
That I keep coming back
And I’m stuck in a moment
That wasn’t meant to last (to last)

I’ve tried to fight it
Can’t deny it
You don’t even know

That I still need you
I still care about you
Though everything’s been said and done
I still feel you
Like I’m right beside you
But still no word from you

No no
I wish I could find you
Just like you found me
Then I would never let you go (without you)

Though everything’s been said and done (yeah)
I still feel you (I still feel you)
Like I’m right beside you (like I’m right beside you)
But still no (still no word) word from you

Today I nominate:

https://readnewweb.wordpress.com/

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/

https://mariamshittu.com/

Quote of the Week

People try to get away from it all — to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful — more free of interruptions — than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquility.

-Marcus Aurelius

When It Comes To You

People come and go.

Some stay for some time,

Some stay longer.

Either way,

They’re not there forever.

They come, they leave.

Some love us,

Others hurt us.

Some make us whole,

And when we’re lucky,

They stay.

Others break us though,

Then leave.

But eventually,

We get up again

And put all the broken pieces together.

We get used to them gone.

But why when it comes to you,

I’m finding it hard to get used to?

When It Finally Sinks In

As I stroll through dusty lanes early this morning, it suddenly felt real. After the planning, the urgent moving, the changes and everything, I am, in the end, left alone.

Why has it hit me just now?

It just seems like yesterday when I first set foot in the company premises to attend the job interview. Time flies. Seven unbelievable, wonderful and enriching years have gone by and I am grateful to still be here. It’s just that I am left alone now. Everyone I worked with when we first opened the branch office has said goodbye. The last among them left today.

As it happens to everyone, we have tons of good times and some really bad times.  Things we think we should have been more involved with before or things we should have just ended at some point early on. I don’t really regret anything but I feel like I should have left the first time I wanted to. I would have been someone and somewhere else by now, who knows, and probably wouldn’t feel so alone today.

Perhaps there comes a time in every person’s life when it finally sinks in. To understand the subtle shift from an almost fantasy world to real life. I think I crossed that line today — I just no longer live in my own head now but in a very real new world.

Some Lessons Learned From My Most Spontaneous Travel

I first started traveling one destination at a time where I make a research of what places to see, what things to do, what stuff to try, what foods to eat, etc. I usually spend almost a month in one country exploring its different provinces. Then I tried dividing my vacation days to two countries. It was better. My most recent vacation though was something I didn’t really have time to plan about. My vacation was cancelled a few times the last two years and I almost have given up thinking about it. When schedules were finalized and I can really go on leave, I wasn’t sure where to go. First Jordan. Then Qatar and Jordan. Then Qatar and Georgia. Or just Georgia. I ended up traveling to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Qatar and Jordan.

Among my main goals while traveling are to indulge myself in alcohol and suffice my palate with dishes I have never tried before and eat every pork dishes available in the place. 😅 (I’ve been living in Kuwait for the past nine years and a half, alcohol and pork are prohibited here.) And over the years, I’ve learned that one of the best things about travel is not merely about the places you’d be visiting or the food you get to taste the first time but the things you learn while traveling. Of course I can only speak for myself and so as far as I’m concerned, traveling has taught me a lot of things about people, culture, tradition, food, places, history and life in general. It also has taught me a lot of things about myself.

Most of my travels in the Philippines were spontaneous ones. I get to go to provinces three hours or more away from my hometown with just an hour notice. When I started traveling to other countries though, I had to research and make a list of things to do, places to go to, where to stay, etc. It was okay at first but following a certain schedule while traveling makes me feel my options are limited. I felt like I’m not getting the most of it so I went back to traveling without having everything planned. Today, I want to share some lessons I’ve learned from my most spontaneous vacation.

Decisions.

It’s very important to be very flexible with your plans so when forced to make last minute decisions, it won’t turn out so bad. Even the most indecisive person can change and learn how to make spontaneous decisions while traveling. Your plans could totally change but roll with the changes and discover other ways to enjoy.

You need not be multilingual.

While knowing a second (or more) language can really be very helpful while on the road, I have never been trapped in a situation where I badly needed to have known one. It’s sometimes embarrassing that the people I meet are bilingual but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying their company. And I was never in trouble for knowing just one.

Strangers can be the best guide books and they can be the best of friends you’ll ever meet.

While there are a lot of ways that could be of help when traveling alone like Google maps and stuff, strangers can still be the best guide books ever. I once asked a stranger how to go to this particular restaurant that serves traditional dishes while in Vietnam. He helped me find the place but suggested an even better place! And when I visited the place he recommended, I’ve met several other people there as well, a few of the best people I’ve met while traveling. Every stranger I’ve met has lead me from one place to another and each place was definitely a worthwhile experience.

Unplanned travel escapades are where the fondest of memories are.

I’ve always find spontaneity a lot more rewarding than a carefully planned life. Since I moved out of my parents’ home when I was 18, almost everything that happened in my life were unplanned. Same thing when I travel. The many instances where I wasn’t prepared during the trip turned out to be the best and where the fondest of memories were made. I’m not a big fan of surprises but I am always amazed where my love for spontaneity leads me. Unplanned escapades are usually short but in my experience, it’s never short of thrill and excitement! These memories are the ones I relive again and again. It never fades. The memory of each unplanned adventure never gets old.

It’s not always about where you go. It’s also about the people you’re with and things you do together wherever it leads you to.

No matter where I go to when I travel, one thing happens for sure, even if I don’t initially notice it, I come back a better person than who I was when I left. I gain more positivity and courage so thanks to the people I meet along the way. Every person I meet is unique and has something to offer which adds to the excitement. Never in my life have I thought of going on an escapade with marijuana smokers and learning a lot about life from them. Turns out, they’re a few of the kindest of people I’ve met.

It’s okay if things go wrong.

My parents, my mom specially, raised my brothers and I to always follow the rules. If we follow the rules, nothing could go wrong she said. Sure, generally she’s right but following the rules all the time is not fun. Following what the guide books say, it leaves us with little chance for spontaneity. It limits us from appreciating the beauty of the unexpected. When things don’t go according to plan, be okay with it. More often than not, it leads to better and more exciting adventures.

Inform your bank.

It is important to inform your bank about your travels because during my recent trip, they put my card on hold because of suspicious transactions. Know that when your bank notices something unusual on your transactions, they have the right to put it on hold. For my bank, there’s an option when you log-in online where you can inform the bank of your travel dates so they wouldn’t suspect your future transactions. It’ll be hell to have no money while in a foreign country so consider this.

Overpacking sucks.

This is a serious pain in the ass. For years, packing my things is what my travel nightmares are made of, I’ve never learned to travel light until my most recent escapade. Having to travel from one country to another at a very short notice, I had to ask my then still stranger travel buddy to pack my stuff for me. My packing skills are seriously awful. It’s amazing to see her how to do it and yeah, I definitely learned a lot from her. It’s not easy travelling from one place to another with large suitcases.

Appreciate and surrender to the moment.

Of course it’s nice to take photos of almost everything beautiful and interesting when you travel — the tourist spots, the food you’ve tasted the first time, the views, etc. — but sometimes, we forget to appreciate these things as it is because we’re busy taking photos for Instagram. During my recent travel, I wasn’t as prepared as I usually am — phone, camera, extra batteries, chargers, etc. — but I also get to appreciate everything more and I get to see and explore hidden gems because my phone was dead. I was left to explore the streets not knowing where it’ll lead me. Surrendering to the moment made the trip so much more exciting, interesting, educating, fun and special.

Life is so damn good.

Sometimes we forget to be grateful how fortunate we actually are. As I grow older, I become more grateful for being alive and having the chance to travel from time to time. Life is good. I know we all have times when we feel like life is so unfair but life is good, homo sapiens. Life is so damn good.

Quote of the Week

This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.

-Kelly Cutrone

Sunshine Blogger Award #8

images (1)As usual, I’m so very late for this again. But wow! Thanks a lot, Paragtak! Know that I am delighted about this and I appreciate it so much. You can visit his blog here.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

Now I get to choose and answer 10 questions so read on:

1. One dream you can never forget?

Staring at myself inside a coffin.

2. What is your favorite word?

Darling.

3. What’s your favorite food?

I like most foods but my current favorite, buttered chicken and butter nan.

4. If you were given a chance to meet three blogging friends, who and why?

I’d love to meet all my followers and those I follow but if I get to choose three for now, I’d love to meet:

  1. Chuck – https://thereluctantpoetweb.wordpress.com/ – the sweetest and truest friend I’ve met on WP.
  2. Richa – http://iscriblr.com/ – she’s so full of positivity.
  3. Ana – https://momlifewithchiari.com/ – I think she can be one great friend.

5. Who is your favorite blogger?

I don’t have a favorite. I follow different bloggers for different reasons.

6. Most adventurous thing I’ve done?

Hmmm… a lot but one of the most recent one is going cross countries with people whom I never knew the names until we’ve landed to the first destination.

7. Have you ever tried to impress someone but failed miserably?

No. I don’t think I have to impress anyone or anybody…

8. One thing that you never ever wanna do?

I never ever wanna stop traveling.

9. One animal I’m most afraid of?

Spiders.

10. How much do you enjoy blogging?

It’s more of how much I enjoy reading other blog posts, you know! Sometimes I read something that really cracks me up, sometimes I get to read something really sad. So I enjoy reading blogs because of the feeling I get when I read them and the lessons or new things I learn from them.

My nominees are:

https://revengeofeveforeveranonymous.wordpress.com/

https://sohelitasnim.wordpress.com/

https://inspirechange27.wordpress.com/

https://thoughtfulhues.wordpress.com/

https://thinkingclearly483645316.wordpress.com/

https://fromakshayasmind.wordpress.com/

https://beutiflee.wordpress.com/

https://lauraroettigerbooks.com/ 

https://fightmsdaily.com/

https://chechewinnie.wordpress.com/

https://realisticbeginner.wordpress.com/

My questions for the nominees are:

1. What were you really into when you were a kid?

2. What’s the most useful thing you own?

3. Who in your life brings you the most joy?

4. What’s the most beautiful place near your house?

5. One thing you bring with you everywhere you go.

6. Has anyone ever saved your life?

7. What are you best at?

8. Suggest one book you think I should read.

9. Suggest one movie or series you think I should watch.

10. What’s your all-time favorite song?

11. What is the most useful app on your phone?

There you go! Sorry again, Paragtak for doing this too late and thank you once again! 🙂

I hope the nominees have the time to do this, I’m so looking forward to your answers!

Have a very wonderful day, homo sapiens! 🙂

A Six-Word Story

Come closer.

Stay away.

You choose.

Quote of the Week

It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.

-Anthony Burgess

Why I Talk to Strangers

As children, we were often told to never talk to strangers because it’s dangerous. And I remember being frequently scolded by my parents for disobeying. I was caught many times — in school, in the market, in grocery shops, department stores — talking to strangers both young and old. I don’t know but even at a young age, I prefer to smile and say hello or something rather than just staying silent. With the innocence of children, they won’t really understand the different intentions of strangers for being nice. So I could definitely understand that it’s a very sound advice for children not to talk to strangers.

Not very much so with adults though. Talking to strangers is one of the few most relaxing and interesting thing I do when I’m alone.

The first reason why I genuinely find it interesting talking to strangers even when I was a child was because I grew up from a small family and not very close with our relatives. We also didn’t have neighbors whom we can play with when we were children so I only spend time with my two brothers, not that they’re not interesting enough to be with, they’re both very cool actually, but I always thought that there are far more things I can know and learn about if I talk to others and more often than not, they happen to be strangers.

I also like talking to strangers for the simple reason that I hate waiting. Waiting for friends who come late at the scheduled meeting time, waiting for my order to arrive when I dine out alone, waiting in long queues, waiting for my turn in banks or other offices. Waiting is boring so I always bring a book with me but sometimes why not talk with someone instead until it’s your turn to approach the counter or until your friends arrive? I mean, time flies faster when there’s someone to talk to, right?

When I was a freshman in the university and was working part time in a fast food restaurant, we had this customer who eats the very same thing — rice, hotdogs and eggs with hot chocolate— every Monday morning. He is good-looking but he never smiled. He always carries a blue backpack and always reads a book while he eats. Strangers like this guy appear to me as riddles waiting to be solved. They’re irresistible. Why does he eat the same thing at almost the same time every Monday morning? Why doesn’t he smile? What other books have he read? Who is his favorite author? Etc. Etc. One rainy morning, he came again and for the first time, he came to my counter. He said hello. I think I was smiling wide to my ears when I said, “Hi! Good morning. One hotdog meal with hot chocolate for dine-in?” He smiled back. We dated for the next couple of years.

Moreover, a stranger is not my phone, nor my laptop or PC. So talking to someone I don’t know is a way of taking a break from gadgets. A break from work-related or the usual phone calls or text messages. A break from my typical work day. A smile and some small talk with a stranger often recharge my energy.

For the past fifteen years or so, I’ve experienced happily talking to strangers while travelling. When I travel, I always spend a good amount of time in parks and cafes to read, write and people-watch. The fun thing about it is you’ll never know who you’d happen to sit right next to, or who would happen to sit next to you.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a stranger to someone and I feel they’re interested to talk to me, too. The first time I visited Hanoi, I get to meet some students in the park surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake, who are working on a project about what tourists like the most about their country. They basically asked to interview me to which I delightfully obliged. While I was hiking my way up to the Monastery in Petra, I was offered a marriage proposal! Ha! That could make for another post. 🙂 When I was in Qatar, I’ve met a British guy in the library as we happen to be looking for the same books. While in a tram in Georgia, I’ve met a Kuwaiti family who happens to be very nice to me. I’ve also met several others in clubs and restaurants. It’s funny actually because I’ve met/befriended more Kuwaitis in Georgia in four days than in my nine years of working in Kuwait. 🙂 I’ve also met people from different walks of life and with all sorts of life experiences. I’ve met a wealthy businessman while exploring the monastery and caves of Vardzia, an Australian guy who gave up his job to travel and was so curious about the “Happy Pizza” in Siem Reap, expats earning a living in Doha, poor villagers who don’t have any idea how much money tourism makes out of the attractions in their country but are only very grateful that you visited their place and so much more.

I’m a big fan of solo travel but it doesn’t really feel like I’m traveling alone because of the many strangers I get to talk to. Having an unexpected travel buddy (or buddies) from time to time is rewarding. And it’s even more interesting if these buddies are different from me. They help me realize how much of a bubble I actually live in. I learn new things from them. They help me broaden my view of the world.

I also get to have the deepest and the most meaningful of conversations with strangers. When I first arrived in my hotel in Amman, I’ve met two women (one from Palestine and one from Syria) and a man from Saudi Arabia right there in the lobby. We instantly clicked and that same afternoon went on a road trip to As-Salt, had dinner, smoked shisha, shared each other’s life stories like as if we’ve known each other for a very long time. I was then mending a broken heart from a seven-year relationship and the Syrian lady just broke up with her boyfriend the day before. The other lady just broke an engagement while the guy recently got dumped. A group of brokenhearted humans basically. That’s a very unforgettable day. Four souls with shattered hearts formed a friendship like no other.

I don’t know but I often find it easier to open up to strangers, it’s cathartic telling them my deepest feelings. Or probably because I won’t see them again anyway! Ha! Or maybe because they tend to be more objective? Bottom line is, there’s something strangely satisfying talking to people I don’t really know. That’s how I feel, at least.

Strangers have too much to offer us. Each has a unique story to tell. And when we keep our minds open to encounters with strangers, we learn about them and they teach us something in return. Some encounters could even be life-changing. Who knows, right? Some stay for a while, some stay longer. But either way, they serve us a purpose that helps us evolve into better people.

Happy day, Homo sapiens! 😊