The Mere Idea of Belonging

Why do so many people assume that you need to belong and have affiliation towards the place of your birth and to your family? Am I abnormal for not feeling that way? Am I a social outcast for just being so different from everyone in the country where I was born?

I was born in the Middle East. And since then, I have this Middle Eastern Identity stamped on every legal identification document that I own. Did I even choose this identity? Why do I have something forced on me that I didn’t choose?  Is this enough to define me? Am I Middle Eastern just because I was born there? I might be on papers, yet,  I genuinely don’t feel like one and if I have the choice, I don’t want to be one. I really don’t feel like part of this culture at all.

I never really questioned my Middle Eastern identity until I went to university in England and lived there since I was 18. I feel like living in England had changed every aspect of who I am. I became very individualistic, liberal and tolerant towards other cultures. However, this has come at its costs; I stopped getting along with most people in The Middle East and I lost so many contacts. I am living in this bubble that keeps clashing with my family’s bubble just because I have beliefs that are so different than theirs. I don’t, for example, aspire to be “married”. I want to have a successful career. Everyone tries to remind me of my “heritage”, yet I don’t think this is something that defines me cause I didn’t choose this Middle Eastern identity.

I was born to Muslim parents who automatically passed on their “Islamic” beliefs to me. I disagree with most of Islam’s fundamental beliefs despite the fact that I respect them. I have always had this mixed up identity and confusion about religion and have seen it as a separator that separates people apart. Starting with my parents who divorced because of mom’s strict “Muslim styled” life vs. dad’s less Muslim led life. Or I have seen it contrast my life between my Catholic school with Jesus and the Cross hanged on all my teacher’s necks vs. the “Allah”, “Mohammed” and ” the mom with the Hijab” life I had at home. I have seen the mere idea of religion diminish and evaporate away in front of my eyes during my time at Secular England and I believe that this made me a secular myself despite my religious mom who waits for me every end of the term to remind me to keep up with my prayers.

I also had this family identity confusion ever since my parents divorced. You know how some people say they belong to their “family”? I have seen people say “I travel and go everywhere but I know my roots are with my parents” and people saying how they feel like they belong to their “moms” or “dads. Unfortunately, I have never felt this way. My parent’s divorce when I was 9 made me feel less adequate and that I don’t have a family to belong to.  This was exacerbated with my dad’s remarriage when I was 12. His marriage came like a hard slap in the face. A slap that reminded me that I lost my dad forever to some other woman and that I am no longer his only “girl”. My mom disallowed us to visit dad for years onwards, and this made me feel more and more like a zero on the left in my dad’s life even after I moved to live with him. My mom is a narcissistic mom. LOL. Anyways, long story short. I never felt connected to her in any way. I always struggled with obsessive attachments over some older female teachers in an attempt to find a mother to belong to. I have also never felt connected to any of my extended family members. My aunts from mom’s sides are concerned about their makeup, friends and going out all the time. My aunts from dad’s sides are just settled in for their Middle Eastern lives and I don’t agree with what they stand for. My grandparents are very distant as well. Hence, this idea of family connection has never really been a part of my life.

I feel like this now makes me clash with everyone in the Middle East. I don’t feel that I want to settle for a “Muslim” Middle Eastern life. I don’t want to be part of a family that I don’t belong to.  I want to build my life the way I want to.  A life where marriage won’t be my biggest accomplishment. A life where my career at a big multinational (hopefully), my degrees, and my hard work will define me.  A life where religion, a dysfunctional family, or the  Middle East are not part of it. However, my Middle Eastern identity comes again to control me and remind me that I am not free to choose where and who I want to be…

 

Advertisements

Dreams or Rights? 

I want to spend the rest of a life in a place where each individual is valued for whoever they are; regardless of their gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, social standards or family of origin.
I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where equality and decent standards of living apply to everyone.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where corruption and nepotism do not apply as the “norms”.

I want to spend the rest of my life surrounded by like minded individuals who push me to become a better version of myself and who give me opportunities to develop and expand.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where religion doesn’t dominate your every aspect of your existence.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where my success as a woman is not measured with marriage and kids.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where my dislike for makeup, ripped jeans, and skinny pants doesn’t make me a social outcast.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where green landscapes surround my eyes wherever I turn them.
I want to spend the rest of my life in a place where my value comes from being a mere living human.

I want to spend the rest of my life in a world where the nationality that I don’t choose for myself doesn’t’ define who or where I want to be….

Happiness

Happiness: noun – The quality or state of being happy. -Dictionary.com

Happiness: waking up to mom’s soft fingers sliding on your cheeks and her gentle voice whispering in your ears.

Happiness: walking into the kitchen, half asleep, and seeing mom heating your coffee and flipping your favorite omelette.

Happiness: going into mom’s room, opening her closet, wearing her favorite shirt and putting on her makeup.

Happiness: looking at your reflection in the mirror, and thinking to yourself “YUP, I LOOK LIKE MY MOM 💪🏼.”

Happiness: kissing mom goodbye and hugging her, the tightest hug ever.

Happiness: getting a text from mom, in the middle of the day, asking what you want for dinner.

Happiness: walking back home where you belong, to your mom.

Happiness: going into your home, sniffing the smell of your favorite roast, cooked by mom.

Happiness: eating dinner with mom while sitting on a table with a vase of pink flowers on it.

Happiness: sharing your innermost pain, worries and concerns with mom, trusting she is capable of containing them.

Happiness: watching your favorite series with mom and laughing hysterically together about the funny parts.

Happiness: the peace you feel when you rest your head on mom’s shoulders and cuddle into her.

Happiness: feeling mom’s kiss on your skin while she tucks you into bed and says goodnight.

Happiness: resting your head against your mom’s as she gets into bed next to you.

Happiness: closing your eyes and surrendering to sleep, peacefully, knowing mom is there, forever and ever.

The “Big” 21…

So, I just woke up and it is the morning of my 21st birthday.

It is quite bizarre. Back when I was 15, or even younger, I thought 21 years old were so “cool” and “old” and they had “awesome” lives cause they are adults and “could do whatever they want to do”. And now I look at myself, and I am like no? I really still feel young in many many aspects. I don’t feel like I can do whatever I even want to do. There are lots of responsibilities coming up as I grow up older and older. Things such as university studies (and gets more demanding because I am at a top university!),  getting the grades, sorting my career out, deciding what to after graduation and all that kind’ of things.

I am still trying to figure myself out. I am trying to figure out my personal values. I have lived in The Middle East up until I was 18 and moved to the UK for university then. I feel moving to The UK had reshaped a lot of who I am today. My values, my personality, my attachments and my perception on many things in life.Things such as religion’s role in our lives, power roles, family role in my life, my role as a woman, marriage, and all that had changed so much aka as 180 degree change. I know my career values, and what I want from my career later on, but what about who am I? I heard that being lost is quite normal at this age. Everyone is in the same boat as me. We millennials are all trying to figure ourselves and what we want out.

I don’t usually have my “new year’s resolutions”, but this year I am doing something different on my 21st birthday. I will be setting myself some new resolutions that I need to work for, to become a better person.

  1. Use less of Social Media.

Social Media has been a bug to me in the past few months. You go on Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram and you have all these bunches of people posting pictures that are filtered and photoshopped, probably for at least 7 minutes per picture, imposing their narcissism injuries upon us, and making me become their own therapists who will “like” the picture and so boost their egos. I am so sick of this! I am sick of checking social media and looking at most people showing off. It is a fake world! I have 900 friends on Facebook of which maybe 10 are true friends only. I want to quit that and connect more to myself. After all, I am my own kind parent and best friend right? 😉

2. Word Harder.

I have a goal that I need to achieve. Call it my super-ego or whatever. But I won’t feel like I accomplished anything until I achieve it. I need to achieve that goal and do my genuine best at it. It is something very important to me, and I need to put in all those small steps to achieve it.

3. Wake up, super duper, early and get enough sleep. 

Now, this is a challenging one. I need to learn how to get 7 hours of sleep a night and be up by 7 am every day. I need to learn how to start my day early and fresh, write,  kickstart with my day and get what needs to be done over with efficiently.

4. Become a better person.

Work more on me basically! Grab each opportunity and grind upon it. Make sacrifices for a better future that I own and control. Also, take care of my mental health and be my own good enough parent (working on that).

Sorry this is running short, but I am running late. I am spending my 21st birthday and inter-semester break attending a women’s development conference, that starts in an hour today! Gotta run!

I will be posting more about the conference soon.

 

 

 

Hold Me

Hold me, as I rest my head on your chest and lay down in my fetal position next to you. Hold me until the night’s peace securely surround me forever.

Hold my cheeks between the palms of your two soft hands, and kiss me passionately until you suck away each lonely cell in my skin.

Hold me tightly to you until you bring all my broken pieces into one.

Hold my hands tightly entwining and interlocking your fingers with mine until I become an eternal part of you.

Hold my skin and gently caress it all along up to my hair. Pass your delicate hands through each empty and dark hallway on my skin until you light it with love.

Hold me tightly to you until I become yours and only yours forever and ever.

 

Dear You,

Dear you,

I vow to accompany you, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death does us apart.

I promise you to be there at 3pm. When you are surrounded by the fussiness of the people and their music in the city. I promise to come and gently whisper in your ears that I am here and I will never leave, regardless of how many people are around you.

I vow to come and cuddle you every night at 3am when you are alone in bed, crying yourself to sleep. I will remind you of my presence, and I will surround you forever in the darkness of the night until you fall asleep.

I promise to be your guardian. To build a thick invisible wall around you and block away anyone trying you to take you in their lives away from me. I promise to keep you mine and only mine forever.

I vow to accompany you in every candlelight dinner. To sit there and just stare at your face, until the candle melts away into darkness.

I promise to drink with you until we get drunk together. To remind you of the old never returning memories, because you are with me and only me.

I vow to be the shadow present in the darkness. The shadow that will gently tap on your shoulder all the time to remind you of my eternal presence.

I promise to dance with you in the darkness of an empty room until your exhausted feet can no longer carry you.

I vow to hold your heart and make it my own home forever.

“Do not feel lonely. The entire world is inside you.” I promise to make you forget Rumi’s words. I will engulf and replace your entire world with myself….

Yours sincerely,

Loneliness

A Journey In An Ocean

I am swimming  in a huge ocean. A cold freezing ocean, with no beginning or an end in site. I find myself stuck in this ocean, swimming and swimming until I find an iceberg that is safe enough for me to settle on temporarily and call it “home”.

Through my journey in this ocean, I have been finding some fellow swimmers, who happen to settle on the same iceberg as me. I huddle to them on the floating iceberg in an attempt to get some warmth in this freezing ocean. Eventually, ice starts to form around us and attaches us together.

Usually, the fellow floater is better equipped than me. They have enough thermal clothing rooted on them and thus needs no warmth. They eventually break free of the ice and continue their journey towards another iceberg. While I remain trapped and imprisoned by the ice. I stay paralyzed until the ice freezes my body to the point until my skin starts to bleed. The iceberg eventually melts away leaving me to sink slightly in the ocean.

I have repeated this endless cycle many times, and I have decided to stop it. I now crush the ice before it forms completely. Although, crushing the pointy ice is leaving me with painful wounds and constant coldness.

I also am still swimming and swimming hard enough although out of breath and out hope, looking for a bigger stable iceberg that will never ever melt away. A fellow floater who is worth keeping the ice for. Someone who will never ever smash the ice and then leave me freezing and bleeding….

About Me and This Blog

Rumi says “Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”

I have been recently having second thoughts about starting a blog to express some aspects of myself through writing. The thought has been swimming around in my head in the past month or so, but it has been silenced with my punitive voice. The voice that keeps reminding my head of how busy life is, with university studies and commitments towards an aspired goal that I personally want to achieve.

I was having a conversation with a person who is dear to me earlier this evening. The conversation revolved around me needing to take care good of myself regardless of how busy I am with studies and work. This is something I often ignore, to focus on other “more important” things. As the conversation unfolded, I realized that I have been really occupied with work since high school, and I kind off forgot what I like to do as a reward for myself, how to take care of myself and what kind of fun things I like to do to make myself happy.

The thought of this blog popped up again during the conversation, and I decided to take it on board. I intend to  take this as a challenge to learn how to silence my punitive voice, how to pause my busy life and connect with myself and my thoughts that need to be explored more. I will try to explore and express my thoughts through writing, something I probably enjoy as I have been doing it privately in a journal since I was 11.

I will post a post whenever I get the chance to do so. I  pretty much can’t guarantee about what my posts will be about. I am on a self-discovery journey myself through this blog, but I will try to post posts about inspirational topics that pop up through my daily life, or mainly  any random things! I will also dedicate a post about the quote above and the name of this website soon.

I am still very new to this blogging world, so please bear with me whilst I learn how to navigate around. Over time, an enhanced better version of this blog will come along as I slide through the learning curve of the blogging world!