”I want to do with you what spring does with cherry trees” -Pablo Neuruda
image source: Tastemade
It’s always entertaining when a rant of mine strikes a few nerves. In my recent rant on what I’ve learned over the past two years as an expat, I wrote, “Don’t be surprised that there’s just as much fake people as there is fake designer wear floating around.” Why?
Ever since my decision to move to the Middle East, it hit me hard how fast people can change on you. People are not what they appear to be. I can no longer take people at their face value. I can no longer judge, trust and love people so easily. Only in good times and bad, in distance and closeness, in richer and poorer did I know whom my friends really are.
I have literally gone through a social detox several times over the last two years. (And no, cleaning Facebook friends doesn’t count, although it does help, because Facebook is a digital high school… am I right?) My most recent detox was during my last visit home this past spring. So many people went out of their way to see me. To err is human and in the back of my mind I wondered about those I cherished that didn’t even bother to send their regards. I spent some quality time with family and friends that made my trip so memorable. Even as I heard the lovely rumors about myself – from how rich I was, to my new found snubbiness and everything in between – this was a bonding yet eye opening trip to say the least.
Landing back in Doha was no different. I was determined that after what I had been through back home, I needed to reevaluate the company I kept. I let the “please, please let’s remain friends” retract the request without hesitation. I let the negative energy from the whining and complaining about the blessings taken for granted drift away. I didn’t save the wrong number of the “call me if you need anything”. I did not accept the digital apologies as I preferred human contact.
Its the only way I can remain being the family and friend I want to have.
Sometimes one needs to step away from the theater for the actors to remove their masks during intermission. Then return to the theater before they have a chance to put the masks back on and continue the act. Sometimes the masks are necessary to show the world strength when there’s weakness, confidence when there’s uncertainty and a smile when there’s tears. But not all masks were design with the same hands. One must then decide whether or not the masks they wear and what’s underneath is acceptable.
Is the person real or as fake as the “fake designer wear floating around”?
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.” –Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
My friend posted on my Facebook this weekend the article titled “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar on the marital status Muslim ladies are choosing, specifically in Egypt. My friend ask for my thoughts and here’s what I had to say…
Skimmed through the article which is exactly what I saw in Egypt… girls dying to get married only to feel stuck. Some get out, some stay put because they don’t know what else to do. I saw a girl put up with a really stupid, idiotic fiance because people envied how cute he/they were. Now she’s married, with a kid, and dare not continue dreaming of going for her masters or her high school diploma hubby will dump her. Those same girls then always ask me why I don’t want to get married and my simple response, “what for?” I know what I want in my life, I’m extremely independent and don’t need someone to “order me around or take care of me”. Until someone out there can share my vision in life, has great ambitions to go further in life and can give two shits what other people might think, then I’ll consider getting married. Until then, single and proud!
Do read the article, “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar, and share your thoughts below.
Last night, I sat at the Cornishe Marina in Doha waiting for something to happen at the strike of midnight. Some fireworks, some bangs, something! I was with friends whom were nothing but good and supportive of me since I’ve been to Qatar. I called my parents and siblings back in California to wish them a happy new year, discussing my brother and his wife blessing our family with a grandson/nephew.
In the odd silence of the evening, I found myself reflecting on my adventures and challenges throughout the past year. I realized that of all the things I experienced – from working on my first national sports event to moving to Qatar – I learned about dealing with people the most. It reminded me of a quote I read recently,
“The worst regret we have in life is not for the wrong thing we did, but for the thousands of right things we did for the wrong people!” –Anonymous
Despite all the good, bad and ugly I came across in people this past year, the said quote for me remains untrue. I would rather continue doing the right things for the wrong people then any wrong thing to anyone at all.
Personally, I have no regrets. I’ve learned from the wrong people so that I can continue to be the right person. I’m learning everyday on dealing with people in a world where many cultures and ideologies collide. I thought of those people, of what I’ve experience and of what I’ve learned.
With those, I knew what my 2013 resolutions would be:
Socially: While doing the right things by them, I need to push away the negative people aside to keep the positive people closer. I simply can not waste my time (and breathe) on people whom in the end do not care about anyone but themselves. I’ll be a little busy surrounding myself and supporting those that support me regardless.
Career Wise: I’m going to be doing something different and slightly outside my comfort zone. I already took the big step last summer so now, I just have to take the bull by the horns and run with it. Not to fear the challenge to come ahead but to face it head on. I’m up to it. I know I am!
Personally: I plan to continue what I started in 2012, living by the lovely Italian theory of “L’arte d’arrangiarsi”… the art of making something out of nothing. Start by doing something fresh and different every month, every week, every day.
Midnight struck and nothing happened. No fireworks, no bangs, nothing at all. Friends quietly wished each other a happy new year as everyone started heading home. I was a little disappointment but then again, I didn’t come to Qatar for the fireworks or the bangs.
I have no regrets.
When many ask me why I’m still single, it’s sometimes difficult to explain that it’s because I haven’t meet someone with a certain compatibility. There are some attributes in my book that one must have or not have for me to feel there’s a compatibility. It’s my personal belief that if a desired attribute is missing or and undesirable attribute is present, then there is no point in settling at all.
10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person, puts it in that sense of perspective.
As I read Dr. Nafisa Sekandari and Hosai Mojaddidi’s article on Muslim Village, I must say it’s very well put! It’s a few simple points and questions that so many people, including many of us Muslims, fail to consider.
This excerpt near the end of the article asks a powerful question:
Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone in addition to beauty, money, and health. The morally upright and spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and hardship. If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take themselves into account with God then why should you expect them to fulfill their rights owed to you?
After you read this article, I hope that in some ways it makes sense and gets you thinking about putting things in perspective. To my non Muslim readers, I’m sure you’ll feel the same as I did that this article isn’t written just for Muslims.
Click to read 10 Ways to Avoid Marrying the Wrong Person.