Dear Self, Happy Birthday!

happybirthdaytome

Dear Self,

You’re another year older but things are continuously changing for the better, right? Though you’ve faced too much challenges this past year and your patience was tested and run out, you were able to make it! Hopefully, the tough moments will soon stop. Focus to maintain the happiness you’ve attained. Take better care of yourself because it won’t be easy growing old. 😉 Appreciate life more and continue to be grateful for everything, always.

Now get ready for the hugs and kisses, birthday wishes and birthday shenanigans. It’s going to be a hell of a day.

Cheers!

~Self

Loving Someone We Can’t Have

Perhaps it’s human nature to want something or someone we can’t have. From little things to big ones, sometimes, there’s this something that we want but just can’t have. The same thing goes with people. Let’s be honest, there is (or there was) this someone we’ve been wanting to be with but can’t, right?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my crazy heart, it’s that it never gets to choose who to love. Never. It just, well, I don’t know. It just loves. Sometimes we’re lucky to be loved in return but other times, not so. We sometimes get into this sadder kind of love. We fall for people who don’t love us the same way. Or don’t love us at all.

When this sad moment happens to us, our worlds just seem to stop. It cuts us deep.  We feel helpless. Our lives are shattered. Our minds are warped. Our hearts hurt. Our souls in pieces.  So what do we do?

We all have different ways of dealing with matters of the heart like the pain of loving someone we can’t have. I’ve experienced this just once but it took me quite a while to put myself together and get through it. But I did! So I’m sharing it with you and feel free to share yours, too, in the comment section.

Sulk.

Allow yourself to sulk for some time. Feel the pain of that unrequited love. Cry if you must. You can cry only so long then you have to do something else with your time. Acknowledging and feeling the pain is important before you get past it.

Write it down.

Writing every single emotion you feel, even the littlest of feelings, can help you feel better and heal faster, big time! Once you are able to write it all down, you get a clearer picture of what exactly you’re going through.

Acceptance.

Accept the fact that they don’t love you the same way or that they can’t reciprocate the love you have for them. Once you accept that fact, you’re headed to the right path. It would be easier to go on living even when you’re the only one loving them.

Find a hobby.

Find something you love to do and as much as possible, something unrelated to that person. It won’t be very easy to stop your mind from thinking about that person but once you engage yourself deeply in creative or enjoyable hobbies, you gradually become less obsessed with the person and focus your mind elsewhere.

Enjoy whatever time you spend together.

Whatever/However you spend time together, keep in mind to focus on the good times, the good conversations, the good jokes, the good laughs, the good whatevers. Always only the good points. Enjoy the moment and don’t ask for more.

Go on dates with other people.

Since it happened, I haven’t dated anyone so I’m not very sure if this works but perhaps yes because you’ll be focusing your attention on other people. But it’s important to keep in mind not to look for this person from the other person you’re dating. That’s just not fair.

Protect yourself/your feelings.

If I were in this situation two, three years ago or so, I wouldn’t consider being friends with the person. But things change and so do people. So did I. Hence I’d say, it’s okay to be friends with this person. Keep the friendship. Be there for them when they need you without crushing your heart, of course. Be there when they need a helping hand but when things get difficult to handle, tell them or just leave.

Exercise.

Exercising contributes to emotional balance so do some workouts, walk, jog, or run. Play sports. You’d be shooting two birds at the same time — it removes the negativity in your mind and helps you stay fit.

Don’t be angry.

The thing is, I never get to learn how to be angry with this person. And I find that a good thing. So I’d say try to remember all the happy times you’re together, the wonderful times you’ve shared. I personally think there’s no point getting angry at someone because love didn’t grow in their hearts. I’m content and happy that love grew in mine. So be glad, it grew in yours, too.

7 Things I’ve Learned from a 7-Year Interracial Relationship

Let me preface by saying that I’m not an expert about this topic and I’m writing this based only on my own experience. I have never dated anyone outside my race before the 7-year relationship I had with an Arab guy. I remember telling my mom when I was younger that I’m never gonna date a foreigner but I did and the relationship went pretty serious and splendid actually, but then I guess, some good things just never last.

Each of us has an idea of what love is but it isn’t always as easy at it seems, is it? Sure, any relationship have its own challenges to face, however, though an interracial relationship can be just as rewarding, it comes with additional baggage. While the magic works for some, it may be a little bit complicated for the others.  And whether it works or it doesn’t, there’s always something to learn from it.

1. Families can end it all.

Sad but true. It’s not that he didn’t stand up for me but well, I guess, there’s nothing more I could do at that time but to let him go because arrangements were made on certain things already here and there so yes, families can end it all. There were haunting regrets at first of course why we didn’t try harder, why I didn’t do this or why I didn’t do that but eventually, I’ve realized there’s nothing more I can really do about it anymore, really. They’re family and I can’t and I don’t want to fight them. Blood after all is still thicker than water.

2. Each and everyone is a lot more than their race.

Every culture has its own intricacies and nuances and yes, it’s not always easy accepting these things. It’s important to keep an attitude where no one culture is better than the other. It’s important to remember that you both are unique individuals and that cultural differences shouldn’t define your relationship. To belong to different races means that we have different experiences and different things to learn from and about. We should learn to accept and appreciate each other alongside our cultural differences. We can always be ourselves so it’s important to be honest about your views and opinions about everything. Moreover, it’s important to always listen to what the other has to say. There’s so much to learn and gain from listening to each other. I became more aware of things this way.

3. It’s not just about sex.

While sex can be an important part of many relationships, I still believe that it shouldn’t be regarded as a primary reason for a relationship to work. I know a lot of people who link love and sex together but the truth is, sex doesn’t mean the person loves you. And how someone performs sexually should not be based on what race they are from.

4. Love doesn’t/can’t conquer all.

I guess this notion has duped us for quite too long. It’s just not true. True enough we were madly in love with each other but there were times that we’d also fight. We’d make up and feel like our love for each other makes us solve our issues but when I look at it more, none of our issues were actually resolved. We’d fight about the same thing after some time. Eventually, this somehow contributed to the breakup. If we don’t get to work our asses off for a relationship to work, it will definitely fall apart. We shouldn’t depend on love alone because love won’t save us all the time. Love is necessary. It’s a strong force but it’s not enough.

5. You only have to answer for each other.

Many people including my friends and family have something to say about our relationship but how we feel about each other and how we decide to progress in our relationship should always and should only be decided by no one else but the both of us. Easier said than done but once I’ve learned that the more I let others interfere and decide for me, it ruins the relationship. It’s essential to make a commitment to deal with problems as a couple and don’t let others’ opinions matter. Who I’m dating is no one’s business but my own. It taught me a great deal that when it comes to who I’m dating or who I become involved with is solely my own business and no one else’s. I don’t feel the need to explain to anyone why I dated an Arab guy for that matter.

6. It’s not always easy.

Well, if you haven’t realized it yet, it isn’t always easy maintaining and making a relationship work. And I find this harder when I dated someone outside my race. I needed to learn to understand and be familiar with my partner, his body language or even the way he talks. I also learned to compromise. And it takes a lot of patience. I’ve lost count of how many stereotypes and insults I’ve seen with regards to interracial couples and one of the worst in my case was when someone commented that I’m dating this Arab guy for his money. I’ve always believed that a man is not a financial plan. I can finance myself, thank you very much and so I’ve mastered long enough to just ignore such comments.

7. It’s not that big a deal.

For some, questions like what their parents will think or feel about the relationship is a big factor, but not all. I’ve been asked this question a hundred times and sure it was something my parents, my brothers and I didn’t quite agree on at some point in the beginning but then again, they’ve never quite agree to every guy I’ve dated before. Haha! 😁 So at the end of the day, dating someone outside your race need not to be a big deal, really. It’s just a normal relationship in most ways.

Every relationship is different and race wasn’t really an issue for us at that time. When it did, it ruined us, unfortunately. I’ve learned lessons the hard way but there’s nothing I’d ever regret. We were just two people who loved each other… then. I’m still glad it happened.

Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

And Then One Day…

Sometimes, just when everything seems to be going well, life throws us a curve ball. Then everything just starts to get messy. We get very confused and nothing seems to make sense. It’s not always that we get to come out of it easily because sometimes, it hits real hard. It’s way too painful that it seems so unfair why we need to get all through that without knowing the reason why.

But it’s situations like this that we are supposed to be stronger and we should fight harder. We can’t give up. We have to keep going. Then we’ll learn the lesson life is trying to teach us. Eventually, we grow.

Sometimes, we’re lucky to meet unexpected people. People who we meet at any random day of the week and staying up until wee hours of the night with them just talking about anything. We get to learn new things or start new hobbies with them or because of them. We learn to appreciate another side of life unknown to us before we’ve met them. Then sometimes, we fall in love. And gradually, things start to fall into place again. We feel deeply moved, we feel loved, appreciated and recognized. We feel everything all at once.

And then one day, it would just hit us. We are happy. In fact, we are very happy. We feel complete. We smile for no reason. Our hearts beat for all the right reasons. And when we look back months or years ago, it would make us feel glad that we stayed strong and didn’t let the pain or hurt consume us. We moved forward, we fought.

What Did You Want To Be When You Grow Up

This is a question we were all asked at one point or another in our childhood. Was it a doctor? Or an engineer? Perhaps a teacher? My answers varied depending on how old I was when I was asked the same thing.

I first wanted to be a dinosaur — a T-Rex or a triceratops. T-Rex because I really thought they’re amazing and huge creatures, like kings and queens of dinosaur land. I like triceratops, too, because they look really cute in my eyes then. As I grew up, I learned I can’t be a dinosaur but my love for them still grew. The T-Rex became who I want to be, strong and smart! And the triceratops? I really find them sexy when they walk. Haha!

Then a mutant. And I was so damn serious I wanted to be one. I’ve always wanted to be Magneto’s female version! 😉 Funny how as a child, we know what we wanted to be when we grow up, right?

I first attended school when I was three and a half years old. It was then that I wanted something I thought better than just being a dinosaur or a mutant. I wanted to be a nun. True story! Haha! Mainly because my teachers were nuns. But that changed soon enough when I realized I wanted to be a singer! Oh man, I love to sing! I still want to be a singer these days but I guess, singing in a karaoke bar or at home is as far as that dream could get. 😉

Come elementary years, I wanted to be an archaeologist and a librarian. This is mainly because of my love for reading. The books we had at home back then were volumes of encyclopedias and history books which my father enjoyed reading, not novels and stuff so I was very much interested in ancient past and material remains back then.

High school and college years were different. I wanted to be a lawyer then. And I wanted to be in the world of politics. I don’t remember quite well anymore what made me wanted this at that time but just like becoming a singer, it’s a dream I still have until now.

None of what I wanted to be when I was younger came true. I lead a totally different life now. A life far from what I imagined as a child. My interests changed and adjusted over the years. Being exposed to different environments or hobbies or new experiences molded me into who I became now. It’s good to know that I continue to evolve as I open up to change and new things. Lately though, I have this strong desire to become a dinosaur or a mutant again instead. And I’m serious…

So my dear readers, I want to know what it was you wanted to be when you grew up? Did it come true? Did it actually become your career now? Or a hobby? Or did it remain to be just an interest? I’d be really glad to know so feel free to write them in the comments.

Have a wonderful day, homo sapiens! 🙂

My Love Affair with Airports

86585ca2999e443I will never forget the first time I’ve been to the airport to travel, not just to pick-up relatives vacationing from abroad. To travel not for leisure but for work. I was always fascinated with airplanes flying so high above me when I was a small girl. And so I was so flabbergasted when I got face-to-face with an airplane on one of the wide windows of the airport that night I’m bound for Kuwait. It was huge and magnificent that I had to stop, look and tell myself that it’s real, I’m looking directly at an airplane that I just used to see flying above me. I felt like the plane was staring back at me, too. It was wow! Then I went looking for my gate and I’ve seen a lot of people mostly Filipinos but many others with different nationalities, too! The shops, the monitors. And since then my love affair with airports has started.

I don’t travel much but yes, I love airports. There’s a different feeling whenever I arrive in airports. I love reaching them way earlier than my flight. For the past nine and a half years, I’ve been living eight minutes away from the airport. Sometimes, I go there to kill time. I go around then sit in a cafe as there are no cafes in my area. (Yes, you’ve read that right, none! Only Arabic style coffee shops that’s filled with thick, suffocating smoke from cigarettes and hookah/shisha/hubbly bubbly.) The Kuwait International Airport is small but development works are on progress so we’ll be seeing more of that in the next few months/years. Still, it’s okay to just go around the area where non-travelers are allowed.

When I travel though, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I love reaching the airport way earlier than my flight time. I go around the area before immigration then check-in then go around again. Once I pass the immigration, I continue walking around and checking all the shops without the intention of buying anything. (The only things I buy in airports are books and coffee.) Then after giving myself a tour of the entire place, I choose which cafe I’ll buy coffee from and find a good spot to read, write or just people-watch while waiting. People-watching in airports is never boring. Human drama right in front of your eyes.

Sometimes too, I just stare at several tv/monitors, big or small, showing the departure flights. Yes, I enjoy doing that. It makes me happy staring at all those flights change their status one by one — boarding, departing, delayed. Furthermore, I also like watching the ground crews do their jobs when a plane arrives at the gates. And I like seeing the pilots pass by us before boarding. Well, it’s nice to know who’s flying the aircraft, right?

I love airports not the way I love a certain restaurant, museum or shop. How so and why?

When I’m at the airport with my luggage and all, I know I’m set to another adventure. I’m riding an airplane. I am going somewhere. Some place other than where I am at the moment. A place I haven’t been to before or a place I’m returning to. Somewhere, someone or no one, is waiting for me. A place I might like or not. I’m going far away. Or I’m going home.

imagesIn addition, I feel most interconnected whenever I’m in airports. It’s a place so full of movements. A place full of change. My brain cells get so alive, active and energized. The diversity of people who crowd the airports, coming and going from one place to another for whatever reason. It’s compelling to see people of different nationalities, young and old, families, tour groups, solo travelers, waiting for their flights or just arrived.

Next, airports make you step back and wait. I mean, in this present world where everything just go by so fast, it’s just nice that whether you’re just transferring from one plane to another or having a really long layover, airports make you stand still, stop, pause, wait and think.

What’s more is that it makes me temporarily escape from my everyday life. From the person I choose to become. From the life I’m leading. It reminds me that I can go somewhere else again and start all over though it’s not going to be easy. The point is, there are many other possibilities, many cities, many countries to go to. Sometimes, seeing all the destinations in the monitors makes me realize where I really wanted to be.

Airports are a beautiful place of transition. For some, it’s where their journey begins, to others it’s where it continues or to many others, it’s where it ends. One thing’s for sure in airports though — no one stays. Everyone leaves.

Both photos are from Google. Credit to the owners.

My Anti-Bucket List

I understand the idea of mulling over and writing down the things we wish, hope and want to do and ticking them off once we’ve accomplished it and for me, it somehow helps me to live out the best possible life I could, though sometimes, I just end up disappointed as it ends up ruining my expectations.

So this time, for a change, I’m writing down the things I hope to never do — or hope to never do again, things I don’t plan to do, things I hope to never happen — or  hope to never happen again, before I kick the bucket. This list isn’t all-inclusive, of course, but read on.

  1. Stop reading. 📖
  2. Stop singing. 🎤
  3. Get tattooed.
  4. Marry or have an affair with a married man.
  5. Break someone’s heart. 💔
  6. Hold a spider. 🕷
  7. Stop learning new things.
  8. Go to prison or be arrested.
  9. Ignore complicated realities.
  10. Stop taking risks.
  11. End the year with less money 💰 💰 💰  than I started with.
  12. Not believe in myself.
  13. Step foot on anything squishy or slimy.
  14. Take things for granted.
  15. Play it safe.
  16. Lose my taste for alcohol. 🍺 🍷
  17. Smoke.
  18. Lose my sense of humor.
  19. End up in the hospital wearing my worst pair of underwear.
  20. Get food poisoning.
  21. Say no to dessert. 🍰🍮🍭🍫🍩
  22. Cause more hurt than happiness.
  23. Kill someone.
  24. Change who I am.
  25. Be normal. (Who wants normal?)
  26. Fall off a horse.
  27. Get bitten by a dog.
  28. Be hungover.
  29. Fight with my mom.
  30. Hit 70 kgs!
  31. Be a walking ATM to my friends or anyone.
  32. Tell a child that Santa Claus 🎅  is not real.
  33. Keep toxic people in my life.
  34. Get stuck in the elevator in between floors.
  35. Hold back love.
  36. Stop taking chances.
  37. Hold grudges.

It’s your turn now! What’s on your anti-bucket list? Write them down on the comments, I’m so eager to know!

Have a pleasant day, homo sapiens! 😊