Monday, October 26, 2015

"Come To Dubai", They Said... "It Will Change Your LIFE", They Said!

The past 72 hours easily qualify as the most amazing, spontaneous and in a way life-changing hours of my life. On Thursday morning I woke up, knowing that nothing would happen other than studying and trying to avoid thinking about the turns life has recently taken. I must admit, that Thursday morning I wasn't as unhappy or sad as I have been for reasons thoroughly expressed in my last blog (gimme a break, I never said it wasn't going to be self-indulgent), but I was deeply disillusioned with the direction my life has taken in the last month and was hoping to get through the weekend without relapsing from my very successful regeneration antics. Unfortunately, this story of how I then ended up on a rooftop in Dubai in a pretty fancy outfit and nail polish on my nails (which simply just never happens) a mere few hours later is incomplete without mentioning my recent experience of un-loving someone because it has nothing to do with it, but everything! What is far more important, however, is how it cured all of the things I was feeling that morning...

Around 3pm I got a call. I was told that if I'm at the airport by 5pm, I would be flown out to Dubai for the weekend, just for fun! I had been looking forward to this Cairo weekend for a while because I knew that the before-mentioned un-loving would make serious progress during it since the person it was directed towards would no longer be around. Then, however, I found out that would not be the case. Cairo being Cairo, I knew I would see him. Inside of me, I thought, I would like to see him before he was off, possibly signalizing that there is no bad blood and I'm very content with our recent decisions (and my very own to finally say "Go suck it, asshole!", at least figuratively). But then, I realized, I was being given the chance to just go chill on a beach and remove myself from the pressure of fixing something. Once I came back, I knew, I would never have to worry about that again. Before I could change my mind on the only viable thought, namely that I have absolutely nothing to fix and should frankly not give a shit, I was on the plane already.

As I arrived in Dubai a driver was waiting for me and took me to the most gorgeous hotel I've ever been to. The halls were smelling of Glade and my room had a bathtub in the middle of it. As the concierge left me to sleep, I might have actually jumped up and down because I was so happy to be there, and not in the noisy streets of Cairo. Don't get me wrong, Cairo is ten times the place Dubai is, but is there a better place for someone slightly hurt who needs to relax, get away and find some peace to study than a suite on The Palm? I sincerely don't think so. Because everything was too perfect, Mamma stayed up watching TV, taking two showers and cuddling with four (!!!) Tempur-pedic cushions until 6am. Part of why I was so over the moon was because I hadn't seen it coming. I didn't expect anything but a normal weekend of the same old thoughts in the same old situation and then suddenly, I woke up on Friday morning and realized that I had not wasted a second on giving in to my usual thoughts. Miraculously, Friday and Saturday also passe without a single regret.

I don't write for Elite Daily because I'm such a factual writer. In fact, I am the walking stereotype of overemotional zeal but right now, with my lungs still filled with Emirati air, I really can't contain the cheesiness and how much this trip restored who I was. I felt empowered because I had forgotten about the lethargy that had been haunting me on and off throughout the week. I felt happy because I knew this was happening to me because whatever powers are out there were commending me for the decisions I made. I felt relaxed because I was surrounded by man-made beauty and not mad-man-made chaos, like in Cairo. And these three feelings have literally been absent from my life for a long time. After a shopping spree and a visit at the hairdresser, we headed to a nightclub that blew my mind although I hate them, and I felt strong, pretty and relieved because I knew the "recovery" had been complete, and I was myself again because, unlike in the last few weeks, I am pretty tough, cute and content. Something, that for some reason, never really surfaced before I bid farewell to my romance...

Now I won't claim I went on a holiday, all my problems disappeared and I come back happy as a Japanese chick about a new camera. I still think about this love situation and what I'm doing in Cairo, but having something wonderful that is completely random and unresponsive to anything I have ever done in my life happen to me after I just made a pretty detrimental decision just spoke to me as if it was a sign. I felt the treatment I received was the universe's way to reward me for finally saying I am done. I put my best dress on and partied like I used to, not thinking about what it would mean to someone who's onlooking, and I started liking who I was again because someone had me convinced that person wasn't good enough. I was spending my not-so-hard earned money on nonsense and felt good about it which someone would have disliked. And I didn't think about someone for a long time and embraced the thought of a life completely without him. I knew this would eventually happen, but a night out in Dubai and some good old looking at it from the distance sped up the process of being able to say I am sure I made the right moves because I doubted them for a while. And for that, and the pretty new shoes I also received, I am unbelievably thankful and live a better life today...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

That Time I Tried To Love, But Lost!

During my time at Cairo Scene my expat experience in Egypt was the subject of many of the articles I wrote, and my recent experience of ending a relationship with an Egyptian man would have been a welcomed addition to that series. Since I have absolutely no bad blood towards the incident now I don't have to add to the rather mean-ish ways I had in the past of portraying my intercultural love as a ridiculous, bad idea, and today only look back to how hard it has actually been to end it for me although, everybody agrees, it was a nightmare. This week, I came clear to almost everyone in my life about just how painful this experience has been and I shockingly found out that almost every expat lady has had a similar experience. Before, even though that is pathetic of me, I didn't feel I could even write about it to prevent anyone from knowing what I allowed to happen to myself. But I finally can now...

I spent a lot of time researching Hillary Clinton this weekend and came to find out that after a life like hers most people still see her as a person defined by the Lewinsky affair. Bill had done her wrong, but she decided not to leave him despite people expecting her to. What I really saw, however, was a pivotal moment in her life where she made the choice to sacrifice some of her pride publicly in order to maintain a life with the person she loves, no matter how painful that was. I made similar choices in the last few months. I fell in love with a person that required me to forget about my ego, my pride and, in the end, my own personal happiness in order to feed his, and although this sounds like a horrible experience I was happy to do it. For a person who has taught me how to feel love I was willing to do anything to make him never forget that I also loved him. Unlike Bill, the receiver of my sacrifice chose not to appreciate it, yet, make me feel dumber and dumber about doing it.

To love somebody who is not right for you is almost worse than unrequited love. I knew until the last day I was loved back but knowing is very inferior to feeling something. A lack of love was never a problem for me and my Egyptian boyfriend. A relationship ends, but the love doesn't. And knowing that something is a bad idea, doesn't have a future or will make you sick just doesn't matter when you love. And I did. And then, knowing that in actuality you are loved back but it doesn't work anyways is very, very painful. I hoped that love would be enough but everybody knows it's not. I knew I was never getting rejected but he tried very hard to make me feel like I was. For the numerous times I had hurt his feelings I felt like I was being taught a lesson. The treatment was bad, and I took it because I told myself "but he loves me!" Not a single person I spoke to accepted me, a pretty strong-minded person, to be this victim-like dumbo. But I chose to be just that for a very long time.

Now one may claim it is not beneficial to be with a person that criticizes often and compliments never. One may claim that a person that doesn't appreciate you and wants to change everything about you isn't worthy of you. And one may claim that once a relationship has become toxic both parties should just accept defeat and move on. Obviously, I know that! But if there's love, there's no such thing as the rational decision. I've known for a long time I should not allow someone to treat me badly even if he also treated me better than anybody before once and I still didn't have the strength to say "suck it!" and walk away from him. I thought I was going to be Hillary and accept kicks and beats if that means I get to be there for the person I love in a time of trouble. I thought of it as merely a bad time, until it became obvious that the good time wasn't coming back anymore. Eventually, and thankfully, I realized that for the good times to return a relationship needs two fighters, and not just one, and I was the only one.

I still struggle with the end of my relationship which, despite numerous attempts to try again, ended in May already. With each time I signalized to my ex that I still care about him he became more powerful and milked that fact to the last drop. The only way to fix it, unfortunately, was to force myself to completely stop caring. Evidently, I'm still not there but I will finally try. I had to accept that this power struggle had gotten out of hand, with me as the loser, and walking was the only viable option. I'm thankful for the memories but they have lost the ability to motivate my actions in the present. I knew that the days where he appreciated me would never come back, so why would I still try? And, finally, there is a very big lesson I learned from all this: when everybody you know shares an opinion about what you should do, they're probably right! It took me a while but I finally listened to the omnipresent advice everyone I know gave me and walked away, and it's so much better for everybody. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Why Dogs Are Better Than People

I grew up as a cat person. Not only did I have one, I would meet my friend Gina at least once a week to pretend we're cats. We also had a cat binder in which we collected all our cat drawings and stories and thought one day we would be able to publish it. Meanwhile, we were hating on our two best friends who did the same thing, but with dogs. This cute story which is now 20 years old is no longer an accurate depiction of my personality. I am currently sitting in a dog sandwich between my friend's dogs Lily and Jessie, getting doggie kisses left right and center and I couldn't love it more. This is because I have no only learned to prefer dogs to cats, but dogs to people.

Over the last year I have made many dog friends despite thinking I was initially scared of them. I just bonded with my friends' dogs which happened to be awesome and slowly but surely started realizing that dogs are pretty great. Even the fact that they needed to be taken out for potty didn't bother me when I moved into my friends' house to sit the dog with my boyfriend a few weeks because I enjoyed the down time, loved to watch little Dolchie poop and got a true kick out of the moment they finally dropped their number twos. Being a dog owner, I realized, had many benefits, and only the most obvious downsides of me being too poor and too busy to truly make a dog happy.

I will never forget the day I actually started loving dogs and truly understood what all that fuss is about. I moved to my friends' house to take care of their dogs for a couple of weeks. I had just quit my job and my relationship was rocky. All in all, I was very sad inside, but hadn't really let it out to anyone. As soon as I entered the door, the dogs freaked out because they were so happy to see me. I lied down on the carpet and let them kiss me while I started balling. Them dogs knew what mamma was feeling, ya know! I know they knew. Human beings might like to see me but even my biggest fan doesn't give me that kind of reaction (and kisses!).

My current doggie friends come sit with me when I study. Whenever I feel like I want to shoot myself, Jessie jumps on my lap and schmoozes. There really couldn't be anything better and more encouraging than love, and dogs just give more of it than humans. I am actually really sad I can't add these dogs on Facebook or interact with them like I do with all these people because, well, they are not my dogs after all. I have widely been spreading my theory that the day I have my own dog all of my dreams will have come true: having enough money, a nice place and a partner! Thus, the day my puppy Bubbles joins the family will be the achievement of all my modest endeavors.

Maybe it's my continuing wish to just not be out anymore and cuddle up rather than go to parties and talk to people that makes me want to have my own dog. I have seldom been that jealous in my life than when I see people have a dog. Why are they so lucky? They don't have to make friends, they have one, and it's a good one. I watch those dog surprise videos on the internet and can't even imagine how much I'm gonna freak out when I find my own dog under the Christmas tree. It doesn't help they are also one hundred time cuter when they're puppies. Oh gosh, I need to stop thinking about this...