I make a shy comeback on the blog this morning.
It’s been almost two years. Too much has happened.
I’ve developed an undying affection for Lady Gaga (now always a star in my eyes), I’ve written my first book in Arabic AND for children (can’t get any better), I freelance on full-time basis now (I know, right?), and the most magical thing of all? Almost 1.5 years ago (around the same time I went MIA on the blog), Mr. Love and I were blessed with the most squishable and vibrant little energy ball. Everything I love about Mr. Love, and few things I don’t dislike about myself either, she’s an amalgam of warmth, but saying she’s been keeping me on my toes would be an understatement.
-Zaha in a Bekai field, August 2018-
Life has become, no matter how prepared I thought I was, chaotic. All this talk about making her part of our lives, and carrying on as carefree as I would have liked us to be, turned out to be nonsense. She became LIFE, as simple as that really. And then over a year later, having given her time, love, space to grow, I see in front of me a confident independent (except at bedtime naturally) kind little human, and my heart explodes every single day.
I would like to believe I did a pretty good job, Mr. Love too. He’s been a true rock throughout this whole parenthood journey, and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Right now, I want it to bring more squeezing, more winter (Hey Dubai), and surely more writing. I’ve missed you.
It’s on days like these that I miss the blog the most; when it’s all chills and clouds outside; when I’m fixated on my keyboard trying to get work done, while all I really want is to be out in the cold breeze, sipping hot cocoa and penning down my thoughts somewhere with Sarah McLachlan’s “WinterSong” in the background.
-AUC, December 2015-
Things have changed: Life’s different. I see it taking people I love to different places, paths, jobs, countries. I see me and Mr. Love getting immersed in new aspects of life. With a baby girl on the way, I don’t know what to expect (No, I didn’t read what to expect when you’re expecting). I’m ecstatic surely, but also petrified (just a little). Will we be good parents? What defines a good parent? Will she like us? Am I going to balance being a mom and being me? I have no idea what these few coming months will unfold, but I know I want to make my best to make things work, while not losing myself in the process of becoming a mother.
I love our little life. I want her to be part of it. I am excited to make her part of it. She is already so loved; her grandparents and our siblings have never been happier. Yes, our little life’s different, I suddenly feel like it’s “bigger”, but I like that. As life stretches a little, the adult in me grows, but the kid in me waits for Santa still – 20 days to go, for the snow and mistletoe.
When the extraordinary is ordinary, it is worth celebrating (and vice versa). All week and in the spirit of the #InternationalWomensDay, I’ve made a more conscious effort to read through articles and watch videos about women achievers who have changed the world (my favourite was computer scientist Margaret Hamilton who discovered the code which got us to the moon), but I had to share this specific 1980 read from one of the very influential authors of my generation (and a Salman Rushdie inspiration), Ursula K. Le Guin who has in her essay “Introducing Myself” explored the complexity of what gender means with great eloquence. Below is an excerpt of her essay, and one that resonated with the man and woman in me.
– photo courtesy of AFFOB –
“I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times in widely varying localities, but the inventors just didn’t know how to sell the product. Their distribution techniques were rudimentary and their market research was nil, and so of course the concept just didn’t get off the ground. Even with a genius behind it an invention has to find its market, and it seemed like for a long time the idea of women just didn’t make it to the bottom line. Models like the Austen and the Brontë were too complicated, and people just laughed at the Suffragette, and the Woolf was way too far ahead of its time.”
More of her essay can be read here.
It’s Women’s Day everyday, let no one convince you otherwise.
I am usually overly excited around this time of the year. Thanksgiving Turkey dinners, UAE National Day celebrations, Christmas in Beirut, Wham! on repeat, Micheal Buble overdose, a new year with Mr. Love, December is a mashup of all my favorite things combined, except this year, I am fearing it.
Stereotyping, hatred and atrocity have plagued our lives and our world this year. Hence, as excited as I intend to be this December, a part of me fears what is to happen to the world amidst all the Holiday cheers.
We owe our world more tolerance, more empathy, more compassion, more solidarity.
We owe our world more love. Please start today #WhatMakesUsHuman
I’ve been having micro-nightmares, possibly implied by all things scary haunting the media on regular basis. Aging frightens me. Not my own aging, but my parents’. Having lived in a different country for the past 11 years, means that- in spite of all my efforts to be as present as I can- I am not by their side everyday. Surely technology is helping, but is not enough. Neither are the 30 days off I get per year (Thank God for the public sector).
– at the Soap House – #AFFOB
As hard as I try to brush the thought of it off my mind, and as true and realistic as I am, aging still frightens me. I know it’s the drill, and the cycle of life (and all that jazz), but these parents made me, and my siblings. Their love created me, and then nurtured me into becoming the person I am today. And as I woke up this morning with these deliberations in my head, I thought of the struggle I’ve been witnessing in the media, of refugees sharing their stories (Humans of New York ‘s Brandon Stanton depicts it best). As difficult as getting misplaced and humiliated is, their biggest ache always comes from losing family, and their biggest relief and hope, despite it all, is having managed to keep their family close.
I am grateful today, for having had my family near (far, but near), and having had the blessing to be raised amongst them, and my hope for me and Mr. Love, for our generation and generations to follow is to be able to give life and love to our children amongst our families, in a kinder and safer world.