Tag Archives: relationships

Mistletoe

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-

-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.

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More home

My heart’s been itching to write all weekend. There’s so much I want to write about, but sometimes, for one reason or another, I find myself retreating to the comfort of reading rather than writing.

A lot has happened since I last posted a blog post.

I attended DIFF (too late to blog about it now, but please do watch Room and Mustang asap, and NO, Jennifer Lawrence did not deserve a Golden Globe for her non-joyous role in Joy). Mr. Love and I celebrated Christmas in Cairo (which I loved, and more on that in a separate blog post), and then New Year’s in snowy Bekaa (covered in a blanket of snow and much needed family loving). I have counted my blessings, caught the flu, joined a (real) book club, missed Dubai Sale Festival, celebrated two years of squeezing with Mr. Love, and ten years of making Dubai home.

- where is home -

– where is home –

Ten years is a long time. It freaks me out a little. When I first moved here, there was no Burj Khalifa. Mercato Mall was the talk of town, Shocho’s the ultimate outing, Dubai Taxi the only “uber”,  but there were friends who became family, and work that I loved, in a country that treated me (and still does) as its own, and I am so thankful, everyday. But I also want more. Is it the selfish nature of human beings: rarely satisfied, always yearning for more? I would like to think of myself as unselfish, but I do want more of the world.

I want more winter for starters, I want a chimney I can cozy up to, I want a local bookstore (that is not in a mall and that) I can walk into and find any book I ask for (KinoKuniya, I swear I love you), I want a hole in the wall I need not reserve in if I want to pop by for a bite. I also want museums within reach, I want a park, like Safa park that’s been taken away from me, and I want it a walk away. I want tiny shops that I can discover on my own, not from Instagram. I want a bagel shop. I want more randomness, less planning. I want small but big things.

I love #myDubai forever and a day, but on this specific day, I want more. I want more home.

 

 


Emergence

I’ve been avoiding reading through Marion’s previous adventures. I feel as if I have disappointed her. I left her trapped inside the electronic pages of a fool for words’ blog, from which she never emerged. I tried, but the thing with writing (or with me) is I can’t force it. It has to call for me. It has to come to me. I can’t sit myself down and decide to take Marion places. She calls on me to go wherever she wants, and I take her: to her love and back, to her hometown and back, my words take her wherever she wishes –  the romantic fool in me – and she’s always been happy that way. I always got her, and she got me, never forcing me into an area of discomfort. She’s been one of my realest friends for a very long time, but this year, she is laying so incredibly low, I can barely sense her presence, and it pains me, because Marion and I, we grew older together, we lived each other’s realities and fantasies, whilst always somehow managing to stay side by side.

-courtesy of a first full of bolts-

-courtesy of a fist full of bolts-

I just finished reading Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train, and throughout the whole novel, I kept thinking to myself: how could her main protagonist be so rough of a character? How did Paula manage to bring her into life so vividly whilst preserving her own sanity? She seemed very much alive to me that I’m so envious of them both right now. I’ve got to make this happen, and I will. Hang in there Marion. I am coming for you.


A Digital Breakup

My Digital heart wept a little this morning, as I tweeted my last nuviun tweet, and sent my last nuviun email to my incredibly inspirational Senior Editor. Breaking up is always hard, and digital breakups have just proved to be the hardest. For over a year, this homegrown concept with great minds literally dominated my life (my life here being iMac, iPad, and iPhone all combined), and although our breakup is very friendly and due to very valid personal and professional reasons, there’s no escaping this harsh void that breakups of all kinds leave behind.

-photo courtesy of doors lover Danak-

-photo courtesy of doors lover Danak-

Long before love in the time of digital, I remember people breaking up with lovers or employers or clients face-to-face, and that would it be it! “Hello, I can do this no more. Goodbye. Door slam”. This, today, is not emotionally or technically possible. You breakup but you easily get stuck! The Internet of all things can make it almost impossible for you to move on. A tweet here, an Instagram post there, a Facebook like on a friend of a friend’s page. The haunting, hence the heartache, can be endless.

But the bright case in point this morning, which eases the heaviness of my (non-digital) heart, is that I can still endeavor to make it all work in my favor, thus I am gladly (and officially) stalking my nuviun digital health veterans as of today. Even better, I’ve just subscribed to a nuviunite digital health community member account of my own, so that I can savour the digital health experience through the eyes of the consumer for real this time. A major digital shoutout to my favored go-to source for all things innovation, health, wellness (and passion and entrepreneurship at their finest). On your mark, get set, and go (stalk them immediately). You’ll never look back, I promise!

This blog post was originally published on nuviun.com and was reprinted with permission.


The Big Picture

I sometimes lose sight of “a bit of me” in the process of planning my happy ever after, and I’m not particularly fussy, nor detail- oriented. I like looking at the big picture, but I still lose sight of “a bit of me”, which brings me to the conclusion that the conviction I’ve always had about life remaining indefinitely the same is really a myth. Life changes.

"Meet you halfway"

“Meet you halfway”

It just does, and when you’re planning your happy ever after, you plan for two. You think for two. You live for two. It seems simple in theory, but practice can be tricky, so I’m learning that the key to making ends meet is really to preempt what is awaiting instead of diving into it blindfolded. It helps.

You’ve got to envision the end result, and think to yourself: it’s me, Mr. Love, our warm fuzzy little home, our happy big books, and to get there, there are just a few (transitional)  facts that you would want to come to terms with:

  1. You will prioritise: and by prioritising, I mean Mr. Love will come first, not your reading, not your writing, and yes (sorry to break the news), not your friends. He will (so effortlessly to your heart) come first.
  2. Your social life will take a temporary nap: and that is OK because the truth is: read no 1. again, and you are also constantly trying to find the right balance between you time, you-two time, his friends time, your friends time, and there’s just not enough time in the day, or week to juggle it all in. There is no digital magic wand for that just yet (sorry).
  3. And then there will be those days when you get the urge to flee, and you will wonder (yes, you will) what on God’s (not so) green earth are you doing it all for?

And love will (not so) surprisingly be your answer. It will so uncommonly be your voice of reason, and for the sake of love, you will walk steady and be just fine. You will prioritise. You will be less of a social butterfly. You will (sometimes happily- sometimes less happily) exchange a wild night out with a movie night in. You will introduce a new small section to your wardrobe (for when you meet the parents). You will choose to move into a house with a kitchenette instead of a proper kitchen (because you can see the look on Mr. Love’s face when he finds his dream house). You will do it all, and you will not risk losing any bit of “you”, because you two are meeting halfway and finding a common ground, and once you do (and you will), there you will have it: your happy ever after.


In Retrospect

They’re miraculous, the realizations you make once you detach and give your own self some space. I’ve just celebrated turning a year wiser, in a little piece of land in the heart of Sri Lanka, and being here reiterates what continues to matter and make sense to me most.

Self-worth hits you flat in the face the minute you lay foot on this ground. While we often tend to lose sight of equality when we hire “caregivers” for our households, (because yes they do serve us but no they are not our servants), they tend to treat their peers, their tourists, their family, the same on their land and in their own households; genuinely, generously, respectfully and kindly.

- in the heart of Galle -

– in the heart of Galle –

They’ve gifted me, a stranger to them, papayas from their gardens, curry leaves from their trees, king coconuts and avocados of their own. They’ve made me floral necklaces because I said a simple “thank you”.

I am quite frankly stunned with the goodness that is instilled in their hearts, despite of the poverty and lack of opportunities that surround them. And you know what? They are happy. They are content because they know what matters. They’re not smitten by the world of Glitz. Instead, they cling onto their legacy, their culture, their values- which are all founded on kindness and empathy.

I love being here. I love that Galle’s citizens have unintentionally injected so much love and gratitude into my heart, at a time when the entire world seems to be lacking both. Also I love being here with him. He makes me whole.


Sway

Mr. Love proposed. He swayed my way like a beautiful tango by the sea. I had been adjourning that moment in my mind- I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know when the “right” time would come. I might have been expecting a poke from the Internet of All Things confirming that the time was right, or a blog post from Susan Miller urging all 32-year old Virgos to get hitched.

"where the magic happens"

“where the magic happens”

But Mr. Love proposed, so unconventionally, so randomly, as he has accustomed me to. And this randomness does me so well. It cools down the blown-out-of-proportion nerves in me, and soothes the train of what-ifs in my head. It gives me a breather, and gently carries me back to the “now”, and the now is a good place. It’s warm in the now. It’s fields beaming with sunflowers; it’s skies pouring tiny drops of glee; it’s rainbows promising more nows tomorrow.

Mr. Love proposed, and my heart and mind, for once, were in agreement. The “right” time paused and it all sank in. I’m right where I want to be. I’m right where I am meant to be. It’s me, the man I love, and that beautiful tango.