Diaries of an anxious girl

So like many of you out there, I am an anxious child, always was and always will (probably) be. When we are young children, we tend to be more ruthless and more out there, we search to discover and learn about the world around us and sometimes I miss that. Although I am an introvert, I tend to make huge efforts to follow my dreams and take big steps…for some, those steps are of no import, but to me, they are huge accomplishments because the fear and anxiety I go through is unreal. Because of my huge anxiety issues, I ended up with IBS and it’s the worst!!! Stress is a killer yo! I think for many of us, it’s so much easier to hide behind closed doors than putting ourselves out there to be judged.

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It is hard to believe for many that I am an anxious person, because I tend to hide my feelings super well, so well that my poker face can’t be broken. I am hard on giving away anything at all…sometimes, especially in the beginning or our relationship, my husband would get frustrated with me because he couldn’t read me or know truly how I felt. But over the years, I have learned to let my guard down and full let him in, it was hard, but I made it and even though sometime I don’t tell him everything, I would say that the progress I have made is tremendous. It’s all partly because of him really, my husband helped me get through a lot of self-confidence issues I have had in my life and has made me fall in love with myself as he fell in love with me. He made me accept my flaws and work with them for the better. He doesn’t judge me but instead takes the time to guide me and push me out of my comfort zone. I truly am the luckiest girl in the world.

This doesn’t mean that I am over my anxiety, on the contrary, I feel like since moving to Palestine, it got worst. I was afraid to leave the house on my own, go shop on my own or be anywhere in public on my own. If I had a meeting or an event to go to in Palestine, I would start thinking about it for weeks beforehand and then go through sleepless nights dreading for the day to arrive. I, sometimes, made excuses to avoid going to certain meetings because I was so anxious; I would have really bad knots in the pit of my stomach, which led me to eating less, sleeping less and stressing more. Ugh, sucks!

I remember when we used to go to public places when I was younger, my mum would get frustrated with me when I was impatient and wanted to go home, I would try to explain to her how I felt, but she couldn’t get me…I guess the language barrier was much too strong. But reflecting on it now, perhaps I didn’t need to be as nervous or uneasy with life but I couldn’t control it.

This anxiety has given me a clear title in many of my social circles…I was either known as the bitch face, the conceited girl or the ice queen. I wasn’t proud of those titles but I never felt like I should defend myself because it was pointless. The first impression I always gave off was bad and perhaps this is why I struggled to make any friends in Palestine. I never intend to be that way and for those suffering with anxiety know what I mean. I am socially awkward and that I know I have tried to be more open and less rigid when attending public event. Working with a huge group of people and in the fashion industry has given me the chance to improve my social skills. I think, as long as we try to do our best and improve, that’s all the matters. And no matter what, do not listen to other people’s negative comments; you’re full of yourself, you’re bitchy, you’re dry….just let it go, because those who don’t have anxiety don’t know how real the struggle is, to get out of the house sometimes is so stressful I want to pass out.

I remember cancelling many events and outings with friends because I was dreading the whole going out in public part. I always prefer staying home, curled in the comfort of my sheets and the comfort of my room. I realize now how stupid I was for not taking more chances in my life, will I call it regret, absolutely not! Because I still did a lot and accomplished so much. However, there are opportunities that I never took because I was too afraid to take them and let my self-doubt and anxiety take over; working for Cirque du Soleil or working for Maire St-Pierre or even opening a store…those were some of the major let downs that I went through in my adult life. Even starting a blog was a dreadful task for me, I love writing and wanted to do it a long time ago, but I couldn’t because I was too anxious from the response I would get. My sister pushed me to finally go through with it and I am forever grateful! Regardless of what happened in the past, I still have my own fashion line, my vintage online shop, got through many TV interviews and went on insane travels. But most of all, I moved continents, to an unstable place; to be with the man I love…that to me is brave! I am not going to lie about how much of a battle I went through to do that move and how many panic attacks I got…but I finally did it and this is a story I will tell my little child over and over again to help her be the strongest woman she can be and to push herself and explore the universe and to leave her mark for others to see.

Despite my “issue” I always was a doer and never a follower, I always wanted more for myself and had too many ambitions. So, at the end of the day, I think what helps me most with my anxiety is to surround myself with people I love and who push me to get out of my comfort zone. Even if I am afraid, I still want more…besides LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. So, get out there and do what you want to do, even if you’re anxious, because we only live once!

How to deal with hormonal/pregnancy breakouts

Since hitting the sixth month mark, I feel like my body is in extra work mode; it’s heating up and wearing out easily…Not that it matters much, C’est la vie I guess! But for a couple of weeks now, I have been getting loads of little intruders around my chin and jaw line, it’s not a catastrophe, but the issue is there. Therefore, not to make matters worse and end up with hyperpigmentation issues, I want to deal with the breakouts now rather than later. Being pregnant is like carrying a hazard sign, I must be careful what I put on my face because not everything works and many ingredients are not to be used during pregnancy. So here are my tips and tricks on dealing with breakouts while pregnant.

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First thing I learned is to keep my face super hydrated, because when it is, your skin barrier is stronger. I am currently desert dry, like Death Valley dry and it burns like hell. So I keep slathering on lotion…but since I am currently out of my favourite deep hydrating moisturizers, I use whatever I find on hand that has as much less chemicals as possible. The one I am currently using is the Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer. I mean, it’s not the best one I have ever used, it hydrates, enough, but you need to keep adding layer after layer throughout the day, which bugs me. I want to put something just once and get on with my day. The more I keep my skin happy, the less it breaks out. So obviously, this is the biggest thing you want to focus on, to keep pimples at bay, because the hormonal ones are a little bitch! Obviously before hydrating, you want to make sure your skin is clean. So focus on cleaning your face twice a day!

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So whenever I have extreme and deep pimples, I like to mask, but since I have dry skin, I can’t use super drying masks. The one I am currently using is the Ahava Purifying Mud Mask; it’s a three minute mask, so it’s great to just do it quickly and it clears your face enough but doesn’t dry out since you don’t keep it on for too long. I have used better ones but this is okay for the moment. Plus the ingredient list isn’t scary and it’s made of Dead Sea mud; so natural minerals are at play. I do the mask, whenever I feel like my skin is really naughty and spotty. I usually like to put it on after I shower because my pores are open and I find the mask more efficient then.

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I have added this step into my skincare routine since December and I find that it makes a difference in the texture of my skin. I mean it isn’t a genius discovery, but for me, it worked! Since being a little bit too dry, I figured, the only way to keep my skin hydrated is to use an essence, but since there aren’t any avaible in Palestine, I opted for something more natural and that can easily be found in the grocery store. Rose water has made my skin more supple and more plump; I don’t feel like my skin is tight or feel like I’m Jason Voorhees. For the rose water, I like to either splash it on my face by patting it in or I like to spray it with a spray bottle (any bottle works). I do this step three times, kinda took that from the Korean skincare world, where apparently if you repeat your steps at least seven times, you get more benefits and more hydration. In fact, it does make a difference; I don’t do it seven times, I only do it three, but it’s enough for it to be noticeable. I keep my rose water in a spray bottle and keep it at hand so that whenever I need a boost during the day, I just spray my face and get on with life. I also, use it as a primer spray before my makeup (whenever I wear makeup) and as a setting spray. It’s light, it’s hydrating, it works wonders and it’s cheap!

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On days where I feel like I played with my face too much and feel like I might end up with a scar, I turn to Aloe Vera gel. Simple, I don’t buy it from anywhere, I just get a leaf from the street; there are plenty of Aloe Vera plants out here in Palestine; since it’s pretty hot and they grow all year round. I keep one leaf in my fridge available at all times and all I do is cut a small piece of it and get the gel out….rub it all over my face and sleep with it overnight, the next morning, I wake up with better and happier skin. I repeat that a couple of times during the week and whenever I feel like my scars have healed, I stop using it. Aloe Vera gel is absolutely amazing for scar healing and burns and cuts…so why spend so much money on scar erasing creams when you can just use natural Aloe Vera gel.

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Last but not least, when there are super stubborn cystic bumps…which are kinda rare, but present, I just go for my trusted little magic in a tub. I have spoken about this in previous posts and it continues to dominate the charts, my Mario Badescu drying cream is prefect for those hard to beat bumps. It’s effective and a little tub can last you ages. I use it as a spot treatment; I don’t put it all over my face, since it is pretty drying and a little but goes a long way. But, from my own experience, I promise you that it really does work!

So here are my little tips and tricks, hope that they help you in beating those little hormonal monsters that grow out of nowhere. Hormonal breakouts are the worst and I hate how painful they are! But remember the key to keeping breakouts at bay and avoiding hyperpigmentation is to always keep your skin deeply hydrated; from the inside out!!! And don’t pick at them!

Fasting Ramadan while pregnant.

I am pretty sure most of you know that this month is Ramadan and for us Muslims it’s a month where we put aside our demons and flaws and try to repent to cleanse our systems and souls of all the negativity. It is also a month where it is important to truly experience the life of the less fortunate. I actually love this month and remember being excited about since I was 5 or 6. I remember asking my mom to do it but she wouldn’t allow me because I was still too little. Yet, she let me try it for a couple of hours. Basically, you fast from sunrise to sunset and go on about your day but still manage to find the time to pray and read Quran. Islam is such a beautiful religion, it teaches us patience, virtue and compassion. I really try, whether it is Ramadan or not, to go by those teachings. In our world, it is quite hard to walk down the path of kindness because of all the bad shit we see around us, but it is the best way. Being evil, that doesn’t need work, it just comes to us so naturally I find; which sucks, especially when someone really hurts you. Revenge is usually our first instinct. Unfortunately though, there are those extremists that start spreading the religion in a bad way, which happens with any religion really. I don’t find that you need to go around town and spread your beliefs on anyone, practice it for yourself in your heart. For me, religion is about your relationship with yourself and God and basically how you decide to treat others. It’s not about how many times you go to the mosque to pray, it’s about having a pure and kind heart. So, sometimes, when I accumulate so much negativity in my core, I find that Ramadan is a good way for me to let that go and regain focus on the beauty of humanity and life itself.

With that aside, as y’all have seen, I am now 24 weeks pregnant and I decided, with the clearance of my doctor of course to take on Ramadan and fast as much as I could. I gave myself a day or two to see how I feel but thankfully, it has been wonderful. I am super thankful that I have the current energy to fast and that makes me feel so proud. Here in Jericho, we fast about 15 hours (maybe 16) and this is how I decided to keep myself healthy throughout this Holy month.

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Suhor is the time you take before sunrise to eat something sustainable to get your through your day. It’s the meal where you should get most of nutrients to stock up on energy. I like to eat light yet healthy and I make sure to add as many vitamins as possible since I am preggo. I opted to go for avocados on toast with a side bowl of oats filled with fruits and nuts with a dash of maple syrup. For extra energy, I sometimes eat 3 dates. With that of course, I drink 2 cups of water. So far, this little meal has given my battery the necessary energy to keep rolling through my day. Since I get tired a little easier now (preggo problems), I try to take it easy during the day. I do the basics at home, like the cleaning and washing, but I don’t run marathons, you know what I mean? It’s been a week now since Ramadan started and I can safely say that so far so good. Haven’t had real issues or complaints; on the contrary, I feel like I am more active.

Iftar

This is the meal you eat to break your fast and it basically happens once the sun sets. People tend to go ham and eat loads of food all at once, but since I want to avoid vomiting and stuff (which happened only once since I started fasting), I eat pretty slows and start with a warm soup and a basic green salad. Then take a little break and end up eating whatever there is that day. Since my in laws are receiving everyone this Ramadan, I don’t cook and we just end up going to their house every day to do iftar. I don’t like to feel bloated or heavy, so I eat little just to keep myself vertical until I have time to have a little snack a few hours later. So for my snack, I wait about 3 hours after breaking my fast and then just end up having a plain cup of tea with a small little chocolate cake (caffeine I know, indulgent I know, but it’s so yum!) and then take my prenatal vitamins. In the meantime, between those hours I try to drink plenty of water to keep my body hydrated and cool. It has been very hot around here lately and so water is vital for me since I dry up pretty fast.

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So this is my Ramadan update, I wanted to write those blog because I was looking for some to read up on to know what other Muslim women experienced but couldn’t find any. So I figured, this could be helpful to some and sharing my story seems pretty easy. Now I know everyone is different and our reactions our different and so before you try fasting long hours, I suggest you talk to your doctor first to make sure that baby’s health is good. I of course don’t want to harm my child and so if at any point I feel like I can’t do it anymore, I will stop, but for now, this works for me and if you want to try it for a day or two first, do so at your own convenience. But remember to always eat healthy and stay hydrated!

Second Trimester Update

It’s kind of true when they say that the second trimester is like the honeymoon phase of the pregnancy. I feel like once I hit the fifth month of my pregnancy, I feel more energetic and happy; I want to keep moving and working which, unfortunately, leads me to often forget that I am pregnant. There were many times where I suddenly hit my bump because I forgot it was there to start with. I would say that the second trimester has been quite smooth. There were a few days were I felt lethargic and exhausted, but for the most part I was out and about killing it at life. However, there were a few little things that bugged me but not to the point where I was un-functional.

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1- Extra Dry Skin

This is honestly the biggest thing that annoyed me so far in my second trimester and continues to bug me to this day. My skin is super dry all over and it literally hurts because of how dry it is. It feels like you constantly need to slather on cream but it never seems to be enough. My skin cracks easily and ends up burning. It almost feels like I’ve got road rash most of the time. It was mild at first, but as weeks went by, it got worst and I go through tubs and tubs of cream just to relieve myself and stop itching. I would say that when you pass the 23 weeks, you start feeling the stretching of your belly and itching might seems like the best option, but don’t do that!!! You’ll end up damaging your epidermis and potentially worsening your stretch marks (if you’ve got any). I used a lavender oil blend, because I had it on hand, which worked wonderfully for me…but anything works really; as long as my skin doesn’t burn like hell.

2- Tender Breasts

This probably got worst once I hit the end of my fifth month. I was fine all through my first trimester…but as time goes by, I feel like my breasts are just huge and hot all the time; wearing a bra hurts, moving hurts and even slightly and mistakenly brushing them hurts so much. I try to stay away from bras when indoors…but it’s bearable. It’s not a big deal, but it’s there, s don’t feel like it’s weird or alarming, it’s part of the process; your breasts are preparing for milk.

3-Heartburn

That is probably the worst one for me! You want to eat naughty or spicy things sometimes, but you end up suffering the consequences. You gotta live with it, what can I say? Or maybe just take Tums? Whenever I east something slightly spicy or overly seasoned, I go through heartburns automatically. My solution is just go with Milk or eat plain yogurt. I don’t want to take to many pills and so, going with this simple option is good enough and keeps me happy. It’s funny, because you don’t expect this to happen to you as such a young age…but then it happens and then you’re like WTF. Haha! Once I got the hang of it, through my trimester, I learned which foods to avoid and which foods to go with. You live and you learn I guess. Besides, suffering with heartburn is a lot more bearable for me than puking my soul away.

4-Sowllen Everything…You get Puffy

Yes, I said it, you get puffy!! Prepare yourself ladies for the cankles! You’ll instantly feel sexy once your feet swell up, it’s not even funny!!! Omg, so far, my knees and ankles are dead. The pain is real! I feel the weight and my knees are suffering, but since I know it’s temporary, I try to get by without thinking about it too much. Instead, I push myself to move more and workout because I feel relief when I do so. As for my swollen feet, I know I gotta take a break and lift them up for a couple of minutes. I feel like a cow most of the time because I can no longer reach my feet to massage them, but hubs has been wonderful and helping me with that. As your body retains more fluid and circulation gets poorer, try to avoid salty things and drink water constantly. So far, my face, thankfully isn’t swollen and here’s my crossed fingers hoping so hard not to have that happen.

5- Stomach Pains and Braxton Hicks

I would say that my stomach pain is not that constant but definitely there. There are days where I suffer with how much my stomach hurts, but if I lie down for a little bit and let it pass, I get through it easily. The pain feels weird, almost like I’ve got gastro or bad IBS episodes, but I guess it’s normal as the uterus grows and grows and everything gets pushed up. The stomach gets hard and you feel like your muscles are stretching and pulling, but you’ll get through it, I promise! As for the Braxton Hicks, I felt worried at first, because it’s like period pain and it almost feels like I’ve got contractions. But thankfully there was nothing to be alarmed about; it’s just my uterus preparing itself for labour, so then I know it’s not a big deal. If the pain was regular and the contractions felt more present, then I would freak out more…but these Braxton Hicks don’t last long and usually go away on their own after a few minutes.

6- Baby’s kicks

I wouldn’t add this as a bad “symptom” whatsoever, because, on the contrary, it’s a beautiful thing. Feeling the baby move is such a weird, inexplicable feeling!!! In the beginning of the second trimester, it feels like little flutters in your tummy, but as baby grows, you feel like kicks and punches and I have to say, this is what made me start falling in love with my baby. It feels surreal to have a life inside you but it’s a beautiful feeling, almost poetic. Hubby enjoys it as he feels the kicks; he finds it quite funny and laughs when I get bothered sometimes. Seeing his loving reaction towards our little monster is super adorable and I just want to eat him!

So, I would say, when you hit the second trimester, enjoy every moment because when you get passed that, the weight and the struggle gets real. However, I learned that if you stop counting the days and just enjoy your pregnancy day in day out, the experience gets easier. Take everything with a grain of salt and if one day you feel sick or bad, take the time to be just that and focus on your wellbeing, but don’t give up, because the next day gets better!

 

 

Guide to vintage shopping like a pro!

I have been playing around with vintage and old school items for a couple of years now, and although I may not have the full experience of a senior vintage shopper, I like to think of myself as a curator. Being a vintage curator is such a beautiful job to do because you get to go through piles and piles of clothes to find the pieces that you like that represent different eras of history. Each piece has a story to tell through its signs of wear. I went to many different stores, warehouses and boutiques to get my vintage collection growing before I decided to start selling some of them online. I was very weary and cautious about it because the authenticity part is very important to me and offering my customers top quality products is what makes me thrive to continue into this business.

I wanted to share with you today my tips and tricks on buying vintage successfully. You gotta be careful between thrifted items and vintage items. I do have some thrifted and some reworked items in my shop but I make sure to carefully state that into my listings because you don’t want to break the trust you have with your customer. Thrifted items are typically newer, second-hand, items you find in the high street, such as Zara, Topshop, Mango and more that have been (slightly or barley in some cases) worn and then given away to charity. Most huge places like Value Village have a variety of thrifted items…more so than vintage shops. Although, I have found a couple of unique vintage items there and they were a score! Vintage items are of course the items that come from previous decades, generally speaking, 20 years before our current time. Although some might even consider the 90s vintage…

So without further ado, here are my tips on buying vintage like a pro.

1- Labels

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The first thing you want to be looking at is the label to make sure that you are truly buying vintage items. Typically, vintage labels don’t have too many details as much as the ones we find today. Vintage labels usually have weird sizes…like 16 ½ or 7 for example. That’s when you know you’re scoring vintage. Also the country of manufacturing plays a huge role in knowing whether your item is authentic or not. You also can look at the materials, sometimes there will be weird names such as Orlon or Dacron Polyester. I think that should give you more of an insight of what you’re buying; whether it is vintage or not.

2-Quality

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You want to make sure you are buying a good product for your money’s worth. Usually vintage items are much more expensive than thrifted or second-hand items because of their rarity. You want to make sure that the items you are buying are in good condition and in good quality. The finishing of vintage items was usually handmade and so the care that is put in every piece if much more visible than today’s clothes. You will see that the quality of the fabric and the quality of the finishing are top notch! Most fabric feels heavy and dense, even when you buy vintage silk. Yes, the fabric will be delicate and you must be careful when washing, but its quality will be outstanding.

3- Bad Staining and Moth Holes

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When buying vintage make sure you look at your items with extra care, check every inch of your garment and make sure there are no holes, stains or tears because you don’t want to invest into something that’s battered. If you think you can fix the item in a way that won’t be visible, then go for it and buy it, as long as it’s not too expensive. Moth holes are usually small and are not too visible but make sure you look for them…they can create further damage to a garment if not noticed beforehand, especially in knitwear; because the holes tend to get bigger and bigger. Also, make sure to check the armpit area, you don’t want yellow stains under there….they’re hard to remove in vintage items because they have been there for years.

4-Cut, Silhouette and Style

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Vintage sizes are usually smaller than today’s sizes because women’s structure and frame was smaller. I could sometimes usually go for a large in 70s (or previous) items due to cut of them. Make sure to try on before you buy (unless you buy online…then make sure all the measurements are available) because you want to ensure that the fit is flattering on your own silhouette. If an item is too small don’t buy it, there’s no use unless you’re a super creative seamstress and can work miracles. If it’s too big, don’t worry about it, because that you can easily fix and alter it to your own liking.

5- Colors and patterns

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That’s what usually attracts me to vintage shopping…most vintage garments are colourful and fun and the focus goes onto the details. I love how creative you can get when shopping vintage. When you shop at smaller boutiques, you get to experience a part of the owner’s world because his/her items represent them in a way. You get to be unique when you buy vintage because you ensure that no one out there will have a similar piece as you. Then you get to play with that piece in your own way and put a twist into your outfits. Vintage definitely gives you the opportunity to be creative and playful with patterns, colors and textures and that’s how you get to tell your own story through clothes. And extra bonus, you get to reduce your toxic fashion footprint by using something old and making it new again.

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So, if you’re new to shopping vintage, I recommend you start by shopping for classics and basics that you know you can easily mix and match into your existing wardrobe. Look for blazers, cardigans, shirts and even accessories. They’re the easiest pieces that can easily transition from season to season. If you’re afraid of going too bold, start with something minimal and then go from there. You’ll see that once you get the hang of vintage shopping, you’ll end up loving it. So don’t be afraid to dive in and take a chance, maybe you’ll end up an addict just like me!

Last (extra) tip, for those looking to shop vintage online…obviously check out ETSY or EBAY, there’s a couple of great online shops out there. I would look at reviews mostly to make sure that what I am buying is just right. Make sure to ask the buyers questions and if you love something but you’re not sure about spending too much, don’t shy away from bargaining, if sure that the shop owners would be open to conversation. I linked my shop, obviously, because why wouldn’t I do a little bit of self-promo? There you have it!!! Go explore and hopefully, you’ll find what you are looking for.

 

 

Living in Palestine: a year in review.

It’s a year, exactly tomorrow, since I moved away from home, the only home I have ever known. Montreal was pretty much my sanctuary; I was free to do what I wanted, whenever I wanted. I know that life isn’t about just that, but I felt free to express myself even though I was an outcast due to being part of a visible minority. I felt more myself in Montreal than I do here in Jericho to be completely honest. This post is to share my story and my transition into living in the Middle East…more precisely Palestine. First of all, whenever people ask me how it has been, I simply say that it was the hardest year of my life…not because I didn’t have all the goods or all the money or all the materials in the world, but mostly because of how easily I seem to have lost my true sense of self. It is probably hard to understand for many because I am an Arab, I should easily fit in…but on the contrary, I was and will continue to be an outsider and that people remind me of every day.

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One of the main issues that had me so depressed was the fact that due to political unrest and issues in this country, I ended up losing my Canadian citizenship here and was treated just as those poor stateless citizens, which is fine by me (now at least), but I will not lie and say that I took it with a grain of salt. I felt like I lost a big part of my identity. I was not used to be stopped and interrogated and watched and followed. I felt alone and hopeless. Being away from my family felt hard and not having much here made me depress even more. Nothing seemed to cheer me up and for the longest time, I buried myself at home and didn’t want to see anyone or go anywhere. I wasn’t interested in making friends or going out with my husband even. Besides, It wasn’t even easy making friends, girls can be so vicious and hurtful sometimes, it’s scary. I was considered an idiot because I didn’t spend all my waking time painting my nails or brushing my hair. There was no girl power to say the least…that made me realize how lucky I was back home to have my girl squad by my side. My girlfriends helped shape me and push me out of my comfort zone. They lifted me up when I was down and I did the same with them. That to me is pure gold! Therefore, I guess what I am trying to say is that my experience here in Palestine further pushed me to stay safe in my own house at all times. Months passed and losing myself seemed more easy; I let everyone use me, abuse me and step over me.

I couldn’t for the life of me find a job to keep myself occupied…like no one wanted to hire me!!! They all knew I had the qualifications, but for some reason everyone seemed threatened by my baggage. I never wanted to take anyone’s place, I just needed a job to keep me busy and occupied. Unfortunately, everything I tried but I failed, miserably. I felt ashamed, hurt and very much incompetent. I know it really wasn’t my fault, but I couldn’t help but think that I sucked at life pretty much. I couldn’t even get a volunteering gig because I seemed too nice and by that, I mean, I was probably hiding something (totes wasn’t). Adjusting to my new life was quite difficult, but I did it anyway because I was at least with the man I love. Then when light seemed to appear at the end of the tunnel, I worked in a tourist area for a good three weeks only to have the owner not pay me anything. It has been seven months now since stopping that job and still got no money from them…every time something bad happened to me, I kept saying I deserve it; it’s what happens when you’re nice; which ended up pushing me into my sinkhole further down. I think I ended up being harsher on myself than others were. I mean yes I was labeled as an outsider, but for some reason my will to keep fighting has faded and I was completely unhappy with the life I had. If it wasn’t for my husband being by my side, my depression would have been tremendous. I went to other touristic related jobs, here in Jericho, only to be told that I needed to remove my veil. Like why??? I never removed it in Canada and worked pretty much my entire life, why would I remove it now??? It was such a struggle for me to find any job that I gave up on that and that led me to feel like a failure to humanity.

I am not saying it was all bad, life is certainly difficult for many people here and I am thankful that what I went through wasn’t as hard as what others go through, but never in my life have I felt completely alone as I felt here in Jericho. I asked for help only to be rebuffed brutally. I tried to make my surrounding better but I was laughed at for caring for stupid things such as the environment, charity and kindness. People are so oppressed here that they lost all sense of care for others in their own community. No one has the time to be socially charitable, which is very sad because I know it’s not their fault but that doesn’t have to stop them from holding on to what’s right. I think this is what bothered me the most in my stay here, not finding someone with the same values as me made me sick to my core; so sick that I too wanted to be evil. Twisted, I know! I felt like everything I learned from my mother and family no longer had a meaning.

I guess what I am trying to say is that even though life hasn’t been easy for me here, I am thankful for having went through what I went through because it showed me to be even more grateful for what I have in my life; my family and friends are more important than any amount of money one can have. Living simply and modestly is even more of a mission to me than it was before; being around the people you love is enough to keep you happy abundantly. Life is too short for us to waste our time to fight for titles, positions and social/political status. It is all meaningless!! Just be content and satisfied with what you have in front of you, and then life is so much sweeter!!!! I would never have made it through without my loving, understanding, selfless husband. I have been hard on him many times through my stay and was probably my punching bag but never did he ever complain about my stinky attitude and for that I am truly and utterly indebted. So, even though this year was hard, I think I came out stronger and more focused to remain humble and happy.

See, no one pushed me to go through with this change or with this adventure, but taking the chance was worth it in the end, because the love I have for my husband is endless. I will treasure this year in my heart and use it as a guide to lead a life of yes! I will follow my dreams relentlessly and ensure that every moment goes by with a purpose; never wasted and never meaningless. I know that many might judge me for being somewhat open about my experience here in Jericho, but this is my side and I stand by it!

The festive “pregnancy” dress edit!

This is the last wedding I attended before finally heading home to Montreal for the next couple of months and I am so glad it was the last because I started running out of clothes that fit me. I know that I can buy, but my plan of no buying maternity wear has gone pretty well and I am so proud that I haven’t had to spend crazy amounts of money to look fabulous. I was able to scavenge my way through mom’s closet and also through the clothes I own. I got this dress during my engagement period from my travels to Jordan and I absolutely fell in love with how detailed it is. Therefore, technically speaking, this dress isn’t maternity at all and I am so glad it still fit me perfectly even with the bump in the way. From the embroiderey to the colors to the Swarovski stones…everything about this dress makes me so happy. It’s so festive without being too much. I wore it to a little party my sisters threw me before leaving Montreal last year and haven’t worn it after that, this event was prefect for an encore.

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Since the dress is very colourful and out there, I kept the styling pretty simple; by adding plain black heels and clutch. I felt like a total princess in it; flowy, airy and just prefect in every way.

I also kept my makeup pretty simple since I didn’t want to look to clowny. Glowy and highlighted skin was pretty much was I went for.

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I am finally starting to get the hang of pregnancy. Going in my second week of my sixth month of pregnancy, it finally hit me that I am carrying a little soul inside. My belly has been super prominent unless I ate something that made me bloat. But, today, my belly is pretty much out there. However, in this dress, I didn’t feel as fat as I usually do…and it isn’t bad, but it’s just different.

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Nonetheless, so glad this is the last big event and yet so sad to leave my hubs behind.