Category Archives: Me

Reversed bucket list – celebrating your time on earth

A few months ago I came across a tweet about Bucket-lists and realized I never really had one !

I knew there were things I wanted to do for the future, but I hadn’t written them down. The more I thought about it the more I realized there were things I had forgotten about, lost dreams or lost desires, whatever they were they were forgotten.

I decided then and there to create an online bucket list (because lets face it I will lose a piece of paper in seconds), I was looking for a website that gave me the option publicly view some parts of the list and hide others. While I was doing my research I found a few posts about “Reversed Bucket-Lists”.

The idea of a Reversed Bucket-List is to list all your achievements, success stories or things you are happy you’ve done to date, they may not have been on your bucket-list or you may not have thought about them previously, but the fact of the matter is you did  them and they are part of your story so why not celebrate them. I started my Reversed Bucket-List almost immediately as I knew I had done so much and I wanted a place where I can see them all together.

I decided my Reversed Bucket-List would be made of pictures with captions in the bottom, I wanted to do a pictorial list for a couple of reasons:

  1. I had these amazing pictures of magnificent things stuck in either my phone or my laptop, they deserved to be shared !
  2. It is always nicer to see pictures than to read text, specially when you are celebrating something !

The importance of a Reversed Bucket-List was again brought to my attention yesterday while we were recording a podcast with the Sail Team. Our discussion got us talking about my September article which is about Depression, at some point Abdullah (@Aabo0) said that sometimes people feel they haven’t achieved or done anything significant all day which makes them feel bad and probably add to their depression. Although how much you have achieved is based on your perception of things, however remembering the wonderful things you have done makes a big difference.

Having a Reversed Bucket-List will help you see how much you have done in the years you have been on this planet, planned or not planned, serious or silly they are worth celebrating, and believe it or not, the minute you start celebrating these things you will feel like you own the world.

To view my very weird Reversed Bucket-List click here : Yippee

 

Enjoy !!


PLEH !!! I dont hear them no more !!!

If you were ever a fan of the TV series “Friends”, you would remember in Season 3 Episode 17 – The One Without the Ski Trip, the gang went up to the mountains in Phoebe’s taxi for a ski trip without Ross, on the way they ran out of petrol and were stuck in an abandoned petrol station in the mountains, Joey (being the genius that he is) spelled PLEH  on the ground, this is why:

Joey: Okay, done.
Monica: What’s ‘pleh’?
Joey: That’s ‘help’ spelled backwards so that the helicopters can read it from the air!
Monica: Huh. What’s doofus spelled backwards?

So now you know what PLEH in the title of this post means !

The 2nd half of the title is what this post is really about.

for the past few years, I had 3 little friends hanging out in my head, the voices, which are described in details in my last post (click here to view).

The voices played a very vital role in my life, they didn’t only help me look at the different angles of a dilemma, but also worked as a reality check. They were always there when I needed an honest opinion, but they did however get out of control sometimes.

I had days where I couldn’t sleep at night from all the noise they were making, they would argue day and night, stick their noses in everything, and when i say everything i mean everything.

I can’t remember how it all started and why was i suddenly explaining everything to them and defending my every move. I am an adult and I am capable of deciding things for my own, i think, no no, im sure !

It had gotten to a point where I was able to have long discussions with them, debating different things, gossiping, bashing and even murdering people. Surprisingly enough, I enjoyed their company, and for a while they were the only thing that understood me and were there whenever I needed to talk and without being judged.

About a month ago the voices started to fade away, they became less dominant, they were weaker, their voices were so low I could barely hear them, and then suddenly they became obsolete !

To my surprise I didn’t notice they were gone.

I went about my life normally without even thinking twice about it, and then one day I was sitting alone and I realized it was …… quiet ?

I don’t know why I don’t hear them anymore, maybe it is because I am surrounded by people more often now than before? Maybe I have other things to do like clean or coke? or maybe because I didn’t need them as much anymore.

Whatever it was, for one reason or the other, i miss them .. A lot ..

I wonder if my dear friends will ever come back .. ?

 


self-inflicted torture

self-inflicted torture is a very interesting mater, it may sound disturbing or scary, but that’s only because its always been defined in such a manner.

Many people link self-inflicted torture to self-harm which is defined as ‘the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue’*. In other words deliberately and physically injuring oneself.

However, I think of self-inflicted torture in another way.

In my mind, self-inflicted torture can be emotional as much as it can be physical, and it can be physical but not necessarily suicidal. you want examples you say, here we go:

  • sleeping late when you know you have to wake up early for work the next morning: this is some sort of self-inflicted torture, why would you sleep late when you know you have work the next day, isn’t that also considered as harming oneself?
  • Going to the beauty salon/barber: lets face it, this is physical torture, no one can convince me otherwise, but again, its not suicidal…. imagine if it was !
  • Eating a heavy dinner before going to bed: this can be considered suicidal, haha, just kidding, but seriously, that is never a good idea, not because its unhealthy, but you have to try it to know what I mean.
  • Cold showers: yes, cold showers to me are part of my long list of  self-inflicted torture, but this depends a lot on personal preference
  • Accounting class at 8am on a Friday: yes people I have done that, and this is not only physical and mental torture but it goes beyond ……………… I dont want to talk about it anymore
  • drinking one cup of coffee in the morning when you are sleepy as hell: do I really need to explain? i didn’t think so

so you get the flow?

Awesome !

now I use this phrase ‘self-inflicted torture’ a lot, not because I like torturing myself, but because I end up doing it more than once everyday, and if you think enough about it, you will realize you do the same as well.

Some types of self-inflicted torture are good for you, like running that extra mile or working out for 10 extra minutes or not eating the chocolate you’ve been craving. Others are pretty harmful like starving yourself to lose that last KG or eating the greasiest burger you can find 5 minutes before going to bed.

whatever it is, we all do it, weather we think about it as torture or not is just a mater of perception.

but people, let me end with this, the best/worse kind of self-inflicted torture is falling in love..


voices voices .. shhhhhhhhhhhhh

I once explained a little about the voices in my head, the voices that developed into characters with different and unique voices, attitudes, accents, speeches and preferences.

In that earlier post (called “the source of happiness”) I wrote about the number of voices and briefly describes each voice’s character. below is what i had written:

“To give you an idea of the sort of dialogue that goes on in my head:

Voice 1 (the angel): You have everything dear, you just have to appreciate it

Voice 2 (the angry person): What happiness and appreciate crap are you talking about, life is full of stupid stuff and happiness only exists in stories!

Voice 3 (the 3rd guy (whom i could never give a personality to)): You two better shut up and mind your own business, just live your life the way it is babe”

I’m not sure how these characters were developed in my head over the years, but this is what i know about them so far:

Voice 1 (the angel):

  • female voice
  • soft spoken .. like a mother would talk to its new born
  • innocent
  • very ethical
  • something like the little angel on Tom’s shoulder in Tom & Jerry cartoons
  • has a white aura around it

Voice 2 (the angry person):

  • male voice
  • always angry .. never yells but always speaks in an angry tone
  • has zero patience .. i can feel it wanting to slap me for not taking a decision
  • pushes the devilish thoughts in me
  • knows how to bring out the bad in me
  • has a blend of red and black aura around it

Voice 3 (the dude):

  • male voice
  • is always chilled
  • takes the easy way in life
  • isnt good, isnt bad
  • laid back
  • has a bright colored aura around it that changes

its not really difficult to see how different these characters are, or how they push me in different directions.

I suppose its good to cover all the angles before taking a major decision, the three voices influence me in 3 ways but then my own voice, the 4th voice, sounds out my irrational thoughts which I then either rationalize or decide to let go.

The problem is, well not a problem really its just annoying, these voices tend to talk all the time !

It’s funny how they keep arguing in my head about almost everything i do, and they don’t only argue with me but they argue with themselves!

here are some examples to elaborate and explain how they stick their noses in almost everything I do:

example 1: grocery shopping (this was on Sunday)

V1: take as minimum as you can, there is no point in buying things you dont need

V2: just get out of here quickly, dont think twice about this stuff !

V3: buy the whole place if you want to, you only live once

example 2: ice cream (this was last night)

V1: you shouldn’t eat ice cream at this time, it’ll ruin your dinner

V2: damn you V1, let her eat what she wants, go away !

V3: if you are craving ice cream this much perhaps you should get two scoops

example 3: waking up (everyday single morning)

V1: open your eyes.. time to wake up

V2: shhhhhh, we’re sleeping here, 10 more minutes won’t kill her

V3: *yawns*

and the drama continues ………………………

sometimes i think this is my unconscious brain’s way of voicing out its thoughts, other times i think i’m losing my mind !

whatever the reasons behind these voices, they are (in some cases) a big help, but i sometimes wonder why they are always there, interfering in the smallest things in my life !

I also wonder why I (my voice, the 4th voice) have to yell at them to shut them up !!

oh and by the way im not crazy .. !

Enjoy !!

P.S. seriously, I’m not crazy !


Rice and Chicken from my kitchen !

Eating rice for dinner isn’t very healthy, but I hadn’t had rice for a while and was craving it like no tomorrow..

Now I have to confess, I’m not an expert in cooking (duh), I do cook but nothing major, and rice was never on the menu, but when you crave something, you crave it ! Luckily I wasn’t craving a Biryani or a Maqloba but simple white rice and chicken stew (aka salona).. The rice was the easy part !

When I got the chicken on the stove and started digging into my fridge to find the tomato paste, I found I had none and hence I was in trouble … but instead of giving up, I improvised by using ketchup as a substitute for tomato paste !

Now again many of you are probably still wondering what the catch is .. (if this is the 1st post you read then please note that my stories always have a catch, if this isn’t the 1st post you read and you did not know that, now you do!)

The catch is ladies and gentlemen, my chicken stew represents life, my plan to cook this dish represents the plans we have in life and the tomato paste and ketchup represent some elements that effect our plans in life ..

Life is always so unpredictable, perhaps thats what makes it great, if we knew from the day we were born how we would live our lives (even if we couldn’t change anything) it would be so boring we would probably kill ourselves !

No matter how unpredictable life is, human nature requires us to have a plan in life, first our parents plan our lives and then as we grow up we slowly start to take matters in our own hands, but not knowing whats going to happen keeps us on our feet, and honestly messes up our plans more than helps them come together !

However, it is not the plan that we should be worried about, its how we live the plan and react to it when it doesn’t go our way, like using ketchup instead of tomato paste. The dish might not be what I planned for, and it might not taste exactly like it should have, but it worked ! I had a lovely meal, my craving was fulfilled and so was my tummy, and the food didn’t taste bad at all !

Just like that stew, we need to understand that when our plans don’t go the way we want them to, we have to adapt and move on … If I gave up on my chicken stew when I saw I had no tomato paste or if I kept saying “this is going to taste horrible” when I used the ketchup, I would have had Cheerios for dinner, and as a result I would have had a not so good dinner, my craving wouldn’t be fulfilled, my tummy wouldn’t really be full, and my dinner would taste like breakfast !

I understand that life isn’t that easy, and the decisions we take today will effect the rest of our lives, and that plans are put for a reason, but we need to understand that not everything goes as planned..

No matter how difficult it might be, we need to learn how to improvise, how to accept things as and when they hit us, how to substitute some things for others and how to live being 100% convinced and happy with what we have.

Always remember, life is what you make of it and nothing else.

Enjoy !

P.S. This story is dedicated to my little sister Reem (because she picked the title for this post)


white flower in my hair

Pitch black strands, a white flower in my hair

It would look pretty if it wasn’t for my face

 

Filled with darkness, shadows of the past

A world I care not hold or grasp

 

Ghosts keep lurking around my throne

waiting for the day i decent to my doom

 

unhappiness, ,sadness, everything thats dark

days that are bitter days of grey grass

 

My grip’s gone soft on the days that have gone

Looking for a brighter Saturday afternoon

 

when nothing felt right and nothing felt wrong

only days and lives passing along

 

a smile makes my face look oh so nice

bright with sunshine inside and out

 

sometimes its true I am happy all round

and sometimes to me its just another dance


The joy of washing my first bathroom

yes yes you read right, no mistakes, this post is called “the joy of washing my first bathroom”..!

now many people would probably want to throw a bottle of water at me or just call me names when they read the title, but lets hope they read this post before inuring me (physically and/or mentally).

most of you (at least I’m hoping) should know by now that I recently moved into an apartment in Abu Dhabi for my new job.. although when i first started talking about living on my own the idea was that someone would come once a week to clean the apartment for me, so someone would come for an hour a week to do all the ‘dirty work’ while i do the basic things like washing dishes and all the other mini things.

However, although i knew this would help me more than anyone else.. the stupid voices in my head started pushing their way in:

  • voice 1 (the angel): you don’t need help dear one, you are more than capable
  • voice 2 (the angry person): WTH ! are you an idiot !!! will you just go get your head examined !!!!!
  • voice 3 (the 3rd guy): guys, for the millionth time, shut up!! B, do whatever you think is right..

so from what you can see, the voices didn’t really help, but there was some truth in all of them..

i decided to get help the first time round, so i got some people in to clean the place while i ran around Abu Dhabi trying to get the curtains sorted out, when they left, i realized that generally speaking the place was fine, but it was just FINE, it wasn’t clean, it wasn’t right, it was just fine.

I had two choices then and there, either to bring the helpers back another day and supervise their work, or …… to clean the place alone.. since you have already read the title, you know that i ended up cleaning the apartment on my own, starting with the bathroom .. and .. it .. was .. AWESOME !

obviously washing a bathroom isn’t very interesting, but to think that i was washing my first own bathroom .. my bathroom in my own apartment .. that feeling was just awesome .. it was .. overwhelming !

to the people who understood the message i want to convey, well done!

to the people who didn’t understand .. well .. its not about washing your own bathroom, and its not about being stubborn, but its about learning how to be responsible for yourself and the desistions you make .. its about building your personality (and yes washing your own bathroom and cleaning your own apartment adds a lot to your personality, at least you won’t be a stuck up snob!) .. it is mainly about building character..

now if you agree then  i have nothing else to say except i wish you the same, and if you don’t agree and still don’t know what the heck i am talking about then good luck !


Dreams and realities

There is a very fine line between a persons dream and reality..

Many may disagree by saying the line is actually very thick, but in my mind the line is thinner than anyone could imagine.. Unless you are a nut job who thinks that he/she is superman and jumps out of the window to prove it.. You will actually come to see that my point is very much true!

Through out time and through history we find quotes from some of the most famous people, books and movies telling us to “follow our dreams” .. if the line was so thick no one would use that phrase at all.. Although not all dreams can come true (as some of them are pretty outrages as becoming superman) others aren’t as far away as you think..

About 7 years ago, I started thinking and imagining my future, although I got the timelines a bit wrong, I could see myself with a specific degree – in a more or less specific career – and living in a specific place .. Believe me when i tell you that the possibility of that dream coming true was probably 0.0000001% and i always used to tell myself to stop dreaming and get realistic, but for some reason I could not let go of that scenario, that thought, that dream..

7 years down the line, I am more than happy to say that this 0.0000001% dream is not only a possibility but it has actually come true..

I am not saying that this dream came true because I did everything in my power to do it.. Well I did make sure part of it would happen.. But the other half was – hmmmm – fate? Luck? – I don’t really know what to call it.. But point is that it happened !!

I am now living my dream, something I never thought I would do or would happen, but I guess life had a different plan for me all together..

So I guess what I’m trying to say here is that dreams are very much subjective, it depends on what, who, how, where, when, fate, luck, and an overall hidden plan.. But, that does not mean you should give up on it..

Follow your dreams, I don’t want to make it sound like a cliché and i don’t want to sound like those people who talk about making your dreams come true as easy as baking cake (although believe me baking cakes isn’t as easy as one might imagine), but what I am saying is….. Have the faith and the power to think that one day your dream might actually come true, and if it doesn’t, at least you had the gut to dream it!

As always, enjoy and keep dreaming !


The weekend of change

Thursday evening, while I was checking my Twitter timeline (and I check my twitter timeline every waking minute), I realized something .. my timeline was ‘different’ .. I saw the usual tweeps with their usual avatars .. but the hashtags were not usual at all ..

My timelime was filled with hashtags like #ThinkupGCC #TedxDubai #MangaJigsaw #swdxb #dubaicares #VolunteerEmirates .. Everytime I read one of those hashtags I would smile to myself .. when I realized I was reading them all at the same time, my heart skipped a beat .. That’s when I decided to call this weekend “the weekend of change” ..

I couldn’t stop smiling at all the astonishing things that were happening around me at the same time .. astonishing things that were driven by Emiraties .. The same Emiraties that were once  stereotyped as ‘lazy’, ‘careless’, ‘childish’ and ‘immature’ ..

I hated being stereotyped and being called those names .. I did a lot to change the way people viewed us, but the only response I used to get was ‘you are an exception’ .. Today, I can proudly say that I am not ..

I saw all the awesome tweets related to those hashtags and those events .. I wished I could attend all of them, but I wasnt lucky enough .. I did however attend TedxDubai ..

I flew with joy the minute I walked into the TedxDubai registration area .. I was overwhelmed by the number of Emirati volunteers and attendees .. I was proud to see how the younger generation was taking charge and how passionate they were about what they were doing .. I was even more proud when I saw them running around getting things in order and how the attendees were eager to get in and get inspired ..

5 years ago if someone had come to and told me that Emiraties from my generation and even younger were going to not only participate but organize events like these, I would have smiled and said “one day they will, however, 5 years, i dont think so” .. but here I am today, looking at my timeline, reading my tweets, smiling, feeling proud and seeing my fellow peers take the UAE by storm .. I dont think I have ever been so happy to be proven wrong !

To those who were part of those events .. you are luckier than you imagine .. to those who didnt attend any .. i would strongly recommend you to catch up quickly !

A final note before I sign off ..

My dear Emiraties .. You are one of the reasons I am proud to be part of this great nation .. This weekend changed my life .. This weekend YOU changed my life .. and I can only hope to return the favor one day ..

 


When it happens..

I did it again.. I don’t really know how it happens or why.. It just does.. It is out of my control.. Out of my understanding.. But when it’s time.. There is no stopping it..

Confused much?

Good.. Now I’ll explain..

Everyone, no matter how young or old, get lost in time.. Not literally.. I’m not talking about parallel universes or time machines (although I secretly wish they do exist)..

I am talking about that feeling, when suddenly the whole world becomes a blur, your body feels numb, all the voices start to disappear except for what you want to hear..

That time when the whole world is paused and you are in a different place.. A place where no one else will know except you..

Many people have not experienced this feeling and if they have do not really know how and when to go to it again.. Only the lucky ones know.. Those people are not only lucky but are blessed..

Having said that.. I am truly blessed for I know how to get to that place effortlessly.. For all I have to do is read..

When I start reading a book, I am on planet earth, but as I read further and further, I lose track of myself, I end up in a different time, a different place.. The characters become real.. I start seeing them in my mind, hearing their voices, feeling their heartbeats.. I start feeling what they feel and think what they think.. .. .. .. and that’s when it happens.. that is when I end up in different world all together..

I love that place I go to, when there is no worry in this world that can bother me, no sound that can disturb me, no feeling that can distract me..

unfortunately, every dream comes to an end, reality eventually catches hold of me and pulls me back..

I always long to go back to that place where nothing is real yet feels like home.. I always hope the next book I read will take me to a different world..

Perhaps this post will explain my passion for reading.. Perhaps now people will understand why I love it so much.. Perhaps they will understand why it takes me a while to hear them when I read.. Perhaps now they will know my secret to leaving this world…….. care to join me?