Top 8 Tips on self-care

As I have spent the last few weeks running around like a headless chicken prepping for the arrival of the baby, I forgot to take the time to take care of little old me. I know that I won’t get much time to do so after baby come for a few months until I am all settled. So I figured will take the time now for myself and enjoy it while it lasts. Spending time with my husband (who’s here for baby’s birth) is giving me the nudge to put it all aside and focus on us but mostly me. There is nothing wrong with a little selfish time to take care of your own needs, besides if you’re happy, then everyone else around you will be happy. You will radiate positive energy and that is always inspiring.

Here are my top tips on self-care and how you get to enjoy yourself and be all relaxed.

1) SKIN CARE

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That is like my holy grail of self-care. I am not going to lie; I am a huge sucker when it comes to skincare. I like to splurge because I feel like if I am good in my own skin, then I am more confident and I feel like I can conquer the world. Good skin gives me the push to put myself out there. I know I struggled in that department quite a bit when I was younger, but I learned that when working with good products (pricey or not), you will achieve your goal to perfect skin. I am super indulgent when it comes to masks and I like to do it whenever I have time. Back when I was single, it was a daily ritual for me…but since getting married, I have slacked a bit, perhaps because I have less free time on my hands. However, I vowed to get back to it, because it makes me happy! So ladies, mask away! Trust me, you’ll feel better!

2) WATER

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This is pretty obvious but I tend to forget to hydrate and it just makes me feel sluggish, lethargic and causes me to have headaches. Well, headaches no more because I am getting back on track. I find it quite hard sometimes to replenish on the H2O but it is the essence of our existence. I sometimes go a full day not even drinking 1 cup of water and I realize it is bad for me…but I just don’t think of it. However, now, I have a refillable water bottle with me and I spend most of my day with it in my hands so that I remember to drink up and stay hydrated. It not only helps me with headache, but it also helps me with my skin. It’s much more hydrated and smooth; I don’t feel like a lizard anymore. Staying hydrated helps your body detox hence giving you more energy to be out and about doing your thing!

3) EXERCISE

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I have always been an active girl…since I was little and I am not about to let it go. However, since hitting the third trimester, feeling heavy and tired weren’t helping me in that department. The least I would do these days is take a walk and trying to get to 10 000 steps as a goal. Most day, not gonna lie, I don’t get to my goal, but at least I know I tried. I always loved to exercise as a means to detox my brain from bad thoughts and bad energy—yes it was also for my body, but mostly for my mental health. I was always a pretty angry child and stress was eating me up, so the only way I found to let that all go was through working out. I did everything anyone could possibly do, like zumba, pilates, yoga, dance, you name it!!! As long as I move, I am happy and I cannot wait to get back into working out, because I always feel much healthier and much happier. Work out ladies! Work out for your mental health!!!

4) READ

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When I was little, I remember eating up books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved loved loved reading! It was our things as a family when we were little…going to the library every weekend was a ritual and we all loved it so much. As the years went by, I slowly started losing that habit and it makes me quite sad that I let it go. Reading feeds your soul! It transports you to worlds undiscovered and it helps your imagination flow and your brain to be in working gear rather than being lazy. Taking the time to read before bed helps you relax and forget about the burdens you may carry. Taking the time to read a book daily is a challenge but a good one because you know you’re doing yourself some good. I am slowly getting back into it and I am enjoying it so far.

5) DO WHAT YOU LOVE

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I have always been an advocate about pushing people into doing what they love because I know what it feels like. That pure beautiful raw rush that you get when you do something you love is irreplaceable. We live only once and taking the time to do something you love, whatever it may be is fulfilling and satisfying. Living your dreams is not impossible, we just need to let go of our fears and our limitations. Impossible is nothing! I try as much as possible to have a little list of things I wish to do and cross it off slowly and man is it amazing to know that you can! Even if it seems silly to others, do it anyway. Like blogging, or vlogging or riding a bike even, whatever it may be, do it for you and only you and never listen to what others have to say. It is easy for others to judge you…or humans judging each other in general, but fuck it and live the moment and live your dreams because you never know when your time will come. Even though I am going to be a mom very soon, I will still have that list close to my heart and accomplish whatever I can because I know that the happier I am, the happier my little family will be.

6) MEDITATE

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Very much like exercising for many, meditating is food for your soul. For me, it is what gives me the power and the energy to keep the show going. Taking 30 minutes daily for yourself to pray, meditate or simply reflect on your life and your purpose should be enough to keep you happy. For me it’s praying and I find that when I take the time to pray, I feel less anxious, less stressed and less disoriented. I, like many other women around the world, tend to be very hard on myself and demand a lot more of myself than I can give and that is a sucky attitude to have. We women feel like we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and we want to take care of it all and if we don’t, well we feel like failures. But let me tell you ladies, we do a lot more than men do (not being sexist—its’ just fact), but we still cannot accept it and still want to do more. This is why mediation is important because you take the time to reflect on your life and take the time to love yourself more, appreciate yourself more and respect yourself more.

7) EAT HEALTHY

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Not saying we can’t indulge and eat that greasy burger or eat those crispy fries, I am saying be balanced. Life is not about forbidding yourself from enjoying the bounties given to you; it’s about knowing when to indulge and when to restrain yourself. However, eating healthy keeps your body in check and keeps you active and happy. Eating healthy keeps you from feeling sluggish and tired and that should be your number one priority. Your body is your temple and taking care of it will keep you positive. Besides, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, it can be creative and exciting; you just have to learn a few tricks.

8) SLEEP

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Last but not least, sleep! Sleep people!!!! That is probably one thing I am struggling with lately and will struggle with for a little while longer. The less sleep I get, the more tired I feel, the grumpier I feel, and the less motivated I feel. Despite having less sleep, I still try to stay active…but some days I just want to be a couch potato. I suffered from insomnia for the longest time and was able to run on little to no sleep sometimes but lately I have been wanting to cocoon and sleeeepp. But man, I can’t help but feel guilty whenever I feel the need to nap because I feel like I could be more productive to the universe. However, it is good to sleep and when you feel like taking little naps, do so, because when you are rested, your body and mind are stronger and you have the power to do anything you want to do.

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So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, treat yourselves with love and dignity and don’t be afraid to tell yourselves that you’re doing great; it doesn’t mean you’re a show-off or a self-centred asshole, it just means you acknowledge that you are human and that you need a break. There is no harm in taking the time for yourselves and try to live without judgement and negativity. There’s only one life and you deserve to be happy, everyone deserves that!

The benefits of minimalism

I have come to realize that we humans are a bunch of consumers and it is our duty to change the course of this obsession to help the planet survive longer. I have watched many documentaries lately that show just how far we go to have everything, even though we don’t necessarily need them. Living in Palestine has taught me that filling up my house with unnecessary furniture wasn’t a must and it was a decision I chose to make. Although we had the basics, I still sometimes felt like it was overwhelming when it came to cleaning. I didn’t have 3 sets of dishes or 3 sets of cutlery, only one was enough for my husband and I. It was really nice to know that I wasn’t a hoarder and that my addiction to shopping subsided, I felt like I had more time for what really mattered, which was spending time with my favourite person in the world and making memories.

In today’s post I am sharing my experience when it comes to minimalism and why I think it is better not only for us as humans but also for planet earth.

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1) Planet

This is pretty obvious and everyone should be mindful of this whenever they go shopping. I am not saying do not go shopping ever again, I am just saying to buy only what you need. When you buy less, you consume less, therefore you create less waste and you help create less damage to our planet. It is important to know that lots of our waste is dangerous to the planet’s health. All the clothes we buy and end up not wearing and throwing out, all the furniture we throw because we’re too lazy to up-cycle and all the plastic and non-biodegradable waste that end up polluting our soil and our waters…that all affect our future generations, therefore we need to be more aware of what we consume so that we improve our quality of life.

2) Freedom

What I mean by freedom here is that you will just be defined as you and that you are not bound by things around you; that freedom to just live your life liberally and not be a follower or be a massive consumer. You get free time to enjoy life as you want to without burden; you break free from consumerism. We are a generation that prides itself in accumulating possessions and it feels quite disheartening sometimes. I was an impulsive buyer when I was younger and sometimes, after going on a big shopping spree, I would get home and feel sick to my stomach knowing that I willingly spend a huge amount of money on things I didn’t need. As I got older, I quickly realized that materials, although they bring us temporary happiness, only add weight to our lives. You will not be defined by the things you own!

3) Time for what really matters

This is perhaps the biggest point where I felt like minimalism changed my life because I didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning because I didn’t have much anyway. I think as long as you have the basics, you’re okay, you’re not going to die if you don’t have the new gadget or the new appliance or the new piece of technology. As long as you have the time to spend with the people that you love, nothing else should matter because life is too short for you to waste it on unnecessary possessions. There is nothing better than purging because accumulating is a heavy load to carry. Seriously! I do hold on to things that are meaningful to me, but less so that before, because I focus on making the memories in other ways. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your money and enjoying the things you buy, it is only important to know that you do not need materials to make you happy. What’s funny is that most of us on this planet, we loathe what we do and yet we still work hard to be able to afford all those unnecessary things, therefore, we spend our lives unhappy and ungrateful and a lot of us die that way. Only 5% of us 7.5 billion get to live our dreams, which is quite sad come to think of it.

4) Saves money

Spending less money is an obvious reason as to why minimalism is beneficial. You don’t end up in debt and I feel like this is our biggest problem. Most of us buy our things with our credit cards and we then never have enough money to pay that up and we end up drowning in endless debts and we spend all our lives working just to be able to pay those basics we buy (not necessary things we need). Instead, focus on spending your money on experiences, travels and adventures; that’s how you really get to enjoy your money and fruits of your labour. This minimalistic lifestyle might not be for everyone because we sadly associate success to owning materials rather than little accomplishments; having the big house with the picket fence, the perfect car and expensive furniture and latest trends….all those things ultimately won’t bring you happiness—the bigger the better I guess.

Less is more!!! That’s the motto we should all live by! There’s more to life than shopping and owning it all.

Weirdest questions I’ve been asked as a hijabi

Are you not hot with this they say…Are you not dying with this they say…Are you trying to threaten us with this they say…Are you trying to take over our world they say…well no peeps! I promise! This thing I have on my head is called a headscarf, a hijab, a veil, not a towel, not a rug and certainly not a THIS! I am usually very very tolerant when it comes to ignorant comments coming my way about being a visible minority and about being a Muslim girl. I am okay with it, it used to bother me when I was younger but since I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything, I don’t feel bad anymore…because I too am a Canadian and I too work hard and pay my taxes. I am as vital of a citizen as everyone else. Anyway, I now take it light-heartedly because we are not all at the same level of education when it comes to cultures and diversity. There are misconceptions about the West in the Occident as much as the West has about the Occident, it really is a matter of self-education and awareness and about the time you decide to take to learn about other cultures and religions. And please bear in mind that there is a huge difference between religion and culture. It shouldn’t be an obligation but rather an inquisitive quest. Perhaps because I am bi-cultural, but I have always had the munchies to learn about other people…it’s just in me and I can’t help it. In today’s post, I wanted to share some of the weirdest questions I have been asked lately about my veil and please take it with a grain of salt because I do and I find it so funny sometimes what people have to say about this whole subject.

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1) Do you have hair?!

This one is probably the funniest….is when they ask if I have hair, can’t help but laugh. Like yes, I have hair. If you educated yourself a little, you would know that the reason why I wear the hijab in the first place is to cover my hair. I won’t blame the ignorance as much in this particular matter because I can understand how it may be confusing to some when they see the different ways different Muslim women choose to wear their headscarf. Some wear a hat, some wear a turban and some decided to full on burqa. I think it is important to understand the meaning of the word hijab; basically in Arabic, it means “barrier” and its purpose is to basically help women cover up and be modest around men they can potentially marry. It is to put the emphasis on the brain of the woman rather than her body. And yes, there is modesty for Muslim men too; they too have to follow some rules…it’s not just the woman, trust me, we’re not oppressed, on the contrary, we’re glorified in Islam. It’s just unfortunately some idiots mix up culture and religion together and then extremism is born. So, yes, I do have hair, I promise I am not bald!

2) Did your parents force you?!

No…they didn’t. I just woke up one day, went to school and wore it. I knew that eventually I would end up wearing it…so I figured; high school is the perfect time to stir some shit up and start gossip. It was actually quite fun at first, I was called a princess by many of my teachers because of the way I started to wear the veil. I remember having a small little lace piece peeking through under the hijab and it looked like I was a Victorian princess and it pissed a lot of kids off…I was bullied because I was the “teachers’ pet” (not something I wanted in the first place). So, just to clarify, perhaps some parents do force their kids out of fear of losing them completely to the way of the devil but my parents didn’t. If you do follow Islam in its true pure form, you would know that it does not oblige anything onto anyone, because Islam is about peace and tolerance and you should be convinced on your own when following a certain rule. Islam is not a difficult religion and there is no compulsion, meaning, “Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever God directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty”.

3) Are you oppressed?

Like why is it that because I am wearing a headscarf, I am automatically put into this category. No, like have you seen me?! I mean woman can be oppressed in any religion, any culture, any country, and any race in the whole wide world. I am free to work and live and laugh and dance (not in public…for modesty reasons) and just be who I want to be as long as I respect myself, my family and most importantly my faith and religion. I was not forced into marriage either, trust me, my parents struggled with me so much until I found le husband. I wanted to build my empire before I settled because that’s what made me truly happy. Again there’s a thin line between religion and culture and many Middle Eastern men suffer in that department and perhaps this is where extremism is born…but there’s that in every corner of the world….it’s not an Arab thing! Besides, in any aspect of life (not only religion), when there is balance, there is healthy peace and that goes into everything.

4) Do you take a shower?

Um, like no! I don’t take a shower because then I’ll go to hell (sarcasm highlighted massively here). Of course I can!! What in the hell? Again, this goes back to the first question, we don’t wear it 24/7. We only wear the hijab in the presence of men that could potentially wed us…meaning your father, uncle, brother are not included in the list. So, the minute you get home, you are in fact free to take it off and yes that means you’re allowed to shower and do other human activities such as yoga, dance, trampoline and even bungee jumping. The hijab doesn’t make us any different than any other woman on the planet, we just have it on for extra modesty reasons and we only wear it if we’re convinced to do so!

5) Can you wear a wig?

No, then what’s the point of wearing the hijab in the first place if you’re going to top it off with a wig? Then just don’t wear it at all. You don’t wear it to please others but rather for yourself and religion is about your relationship with God, it has nothing to do with anything else. You have to maintain modesty when you’re 100% convinced about it or else it doesn’t count. I have seen many girls do it to get their parents of their backs and that sucks because that isn’t how it should be. I remember when I decided to wear it, I struggled a little bit to explain why I chose to wear it because I was still new and perhaps I didn’t feel secure or settled into my own skin yet, but as I grew older, I couldn’t imagine myself without it. My hijab gave me more strength and more confidence in myself to purse my dreams and to carve a path for myself in a society where it wasn’t fully understood. I wouldn’t change my experience for anything! I honestly don’t feel like I am impaired or pulled back in any way, because so far, my list of accomplished is pretty awesome.

There are many more silly questions that come to mind but it would take me an eternity to go through them all…it’s so funny! Like I said, I take it super lightly now, because it doesn’t bother nor offend me anymore. Life is way too short for me to keep thinking about what others think of me or the likes of me. Having to always be defensive is super exhausting but if someone comes up to me wanting to sincerely know about my religion or culture or habits, I am more than happy to share info. I too sometimes can have those silly questions towards other communities, it’s the way we ask those questions that differentiate a racist from a genuinely interested person. Most of us humans have the ability to read and educate ourselves about others and other cultures of world, so it is either you take the time to do so politely or just keep the discriminatory derogations to yourself so that we can all co-exist in peace and harmony.

 

Four highlights for the month of July

Seems like yesterday that the month of July just began and I remember crying helplessly to the hubs that time doesn’t pass as fast as I want it to…but being so busy with life and preparing for the arrival of our little monster, I haven’t noticed how time ran so quickly. We humans always seem to countdown for something and we never actually take the time to enjoy the little treasured moments of today. We always seem to think of the future and it is a mistake I always seem to make. I try now, as much as possible, to not always plan ahead, because then you end up getting punched in the face by reality. I figured, from now on, I will live life spontaneously and enjoy today for today and leave the rest to fix itself into the right place. As I sit down and reflect about these past few weeks I end up smiling to myself as to where I am compared to a year ago and I can’t help but grin like an idiot and be thankful for every little moment. Although it has been a little hard being away from my best friend and my husband, I still am thankful for the rest of the goodness I have had lately. So here are some of the things that kept me content this month….

1) Going eight month into my pregnancy

As much as I am nervous, I am excited to meet our monster. I am terrified to be honest and perhaps I will share my thoughts on that in another post. I decided to go with a birthing house and attempt giving birth un-medicated and see the possible limits of my body. I know millions and millions of women have survived un-medicated birth…but seems almost impossible to me when I think of it. But I guess you never know how strong you are until it’s your only option. Ok, back to the main point, I am finally 34 weeks and there’s not much left till we have a new member added to our little family. As the times passed, as the baby grows and as the kicks become harder, I can’t help but smile to myself. I am super stoked to see what our little baby will look like and what she’ll be like. Being a mother will definitely be a challenge and I can’t imagine I will do an amazing job, but I am up for the challenge. I mean, I am still a child myself, so perhaps this will be more like a friendship rather than motherhood. Who know?!

2) GLOW

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Watching this Netflix series is giving me all kinds of feels. It’s empowering to see what women are capable of and it gives me an extra push to keep going forward in my own life. I know it’s TV and all, but still I find it super inspiring. I have a huge crush on Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin…I mean all the cast is so badass, but these two have me hooked! It’s well balanced, it’s charismatic and it gives you all the girl power you need. I love how, despite the drama, the women in the show stand and support each other; they build each other up rather than breaking each other and this is why it has to be one of my favourite shows I have watched in a while. Fierce, ferocious women, what more can you ask for?! It’s all the boost you need! Plus…the series is set in the 80s…so the terrible fashion and the workout tights and gear is all there, a touch of vintage is always a plus for me!

3) Sunshine/Nature

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Since I have landed, it has been a constant high of good weather and sunshine…there were a few days where it rained, but it was mostly sun. I don’t mind the rain, in fact I am a pluviophile, but the sun has given me extra love and extra energy even though there were days where I felt pretty shitty. I try to walk around on a daily basis for at least an hour and honestly, not to sound too cheesy, but nature is healing me slowly back to where I want to be. My soul has been feeding off the sound of the birds and the green of the trees and today, I can say that I am feeling much better than I used to a few weeks ago. If you let nature guide you, you will eventually be comfortable and be happy again. We have a little path going through a small preserved forest in the back of our place and I try to walk there as much as possible or spend time in forests as much as possible. Some days, I feel like I just want to lie on the grass like a little star fish on the sand and just stay there for hours without being disturbed (it’s a little too sunny unfortunately). Spending time outdoors has lifted most of the stress I have been feeling lately and it has taught me to take each day as it comes and keep my faith in God strong; what it meant for you will eventually come to you. Besides, being physically active and out there in the world helps you to mentally stay alert and happy…more oxygen in the brain!

4) Family

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This probably one of the biggest thing that has pushed me back to being happier. I spent most of my time last year being alone and probably disconnected for the world outside of my own home…and no one is to blame but me I guess. However, being back here between my family, it has almost brought me back to life. My family is super tightknit and so we only have each other and despite our little anger fits, we try to stick with each other as much as possible and lift each other up. As every dysfunctional family out there (we all are in our own way!), we push each other to be out there and dream but we still stay grounded. I have to stay that my sisters are definitely one of the reasons why I am grounded despite being a big dreamer…they have smacked (figuratively speaking) me time and time again back to reality and for that I am eternally grateful. Spending a lot of time with them lately, I am much more comfortable and happier, they help me set up for the baby and make me feel at ease with the whole process and they never sugar-coat anything, which is exactly what I need.

How I learned to stay true to myself after years of self doubt!

We all have been through difficult times where we weren’t sure of who we truly are and what our mission really is. We don’t all grow up to be super secure and self-confident from the get-go. When we are teeny tiny monsters (most of us anyway), we’re more confident because we don’t have any care in the world, because we have our parents to guide us and because we haven’t seen how hard life gets; we still live in a fantasy world where everything is possible and everything is beautiful. I for one remember thinking that I will conquer the world and with easy to follow steps I will be the next mother Theresa. All I wanted to do was go to Africa and save all the children from famine and poverty, but then once reality hits you and life experiences beat you down, you start losing focus and confident in yourself.

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I am no stranger to feeling unsure and unsecure as a teen and even in my twenties…I spent a lot of time trying to please others because I had no backbone and I didn’t know how to get about in life. I always thought I was not good enough and no matter how hard I worked, it wasn’t enough. I spent most of my twenties feeling angry because I had no goals (I had plenty btw) and no massive successes. I didn’t own a luxury car or have a penthouse downtown or had a real substantial relationship. I felt stuck in a rut and I figured, that’s just how life will be for me and it won’t get any better because no matter how hard I work, it’s never good enough anyway. Why is it that we always need to hear someone else tell us we’re good? Why is it that we can’t pat ourselves in the back and say you did a wonderful job? It took me years of feeling sorry for myself to finally say, you know what, fuck it! I am good enough and I accomplished a lot!!!

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After years of self-doubt and endless mental battles, I have finally come to the conclusion that success doesn’t have to be an ongoing thing; it can be in shorts amounts of time and in different chapters in our lives. We Millennials spend so much energy on having 1 set goal and accomplishing that become our Holy Grail mission but we end up missing the mark and missing the point of life. We sort of want it all and all at once which is one of our biggest downfalls. Through the years, I have slowly learned that I no longer need approval from anyone anymore. I learned to set smaller goals and accomplish them one by one and be proud of everything despite what others may think. I learned to tune out the negative voice in my head and that even though I am scared about doing/accomplishing something, to push myself out of my comfort zone. As Mr. Walsch once said: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone“. I am not saying that I am a pro at this but I managed to feel less stressed about everything. Self-doubt can be a huge issue and can paralyze you from doing so much in your life and you end up missing a lot of opportunities because you’re scared to fuck up and worried that you won’t be good. Believing in myself even though others don’t got me through a lot and I am proud of what I have accomplished so far and where I am in my life. Yes there are a few disappointments but never any regrets and this is exactly how I try to live my life. No regrets! Always do what your gut tells you, even though that sometimes it doesn’t make any sense.

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There’s no real key to overcome self-doubt or fears or self-sabotage but the mission is always to put in the effort to move forward, to stay true to yourself and to stay humble in the process. Nurturing yourself and fining balance can give you the energy to keep fighting your demons and battles. It is also very important that in life some of us have to work a little harder than others to achieve certain goals and there is nothing wrong with that, we simply have to have faith and keep fighting.

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Self-love is necessary and never selfish! Do you first! Always have power to dream, believe and achieve. Finally and most importantly, surround yourself with inspiring people; those who challenge you, who push you and who aren’t afraid to point out your mistakes and help you to become a better version of you. This is how I managed to stay true to myself…as cheesy as it may sound, mistakes teach you to become better versions of yourself.

 

One year later; marriage…a beautiful mess!

For those who’ve been reading my blog since the beginning know that I have been married for a year now. Gosh, I never thought I’d get here; always bet on ending my marriage at 6 months…haha! Only because I am a fierce, wild creature that cannot be tamed and many bet on me giving up quite quickly. Well for those who did, ha! In your face! On a serious note, I am very proud of how far we have come, both my husband and I come from different hemispheres and when I say different I mean it in every sense of the word. My husband is a complete oriental man, so much so that there are rules and ways about everything. I, on the other hand, am more western and although I come from a conservative home, we are freer to speak our mind and express ourselves to a certain extent (respect our elders is obviously a number one priority).

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I have known my husband for three years now…been married for 1 whole year and what you expect and what you get is completely different. We were long distance for two years prior to me moving to Jericho and getting married and that wasn’t easy because you can never really get the actual feel of the relationship without seeing the person and feeling their energy. Although I feel in love at first touch…I feel like there was still a lot more I needed to learn about my husband (as he did I am sure). However, talking to him daily made me fall in love even more, he wasn’t what I was looking for but he made me feel special in a way I couldn’t explain to anyone. The first months of marriage were really rocky, as we were still trying to figure out how to deal with each other and we were constantly bickering (mostly me…because I was in a different environment) and making up…just like kids in high school. Even though I was angry with him a lot, it never got to the point where I hated him…which was in fact a good sign (except for that one time where I packed my bags and wanted to leave). I would say it took us a good 5 months to finally settle into each other’s habits and ways. It was healthy for us to argue but more importantly, it was even healthier to know when to stop arguing. As time passed, even though he was annoying me as hell, I fell even more in love with my husband.

My main issue, I guess, during my whole stay in Jericho was that I was not only marrying my husband but I was also marrying his whole clan, which something quite common in the Middle Eastern world. LOL (not so lol when things get real ugly)! I think it is really important for any couple to make it a point before going in too deep in a relationship to put limits to other people’s point of views and opinions because that will most definitely be a breaking point. If I allowed it to be the main focus of my attention, I would have long left my husband because I have no energy for negativity nor uninvited and pointless criticism.

Coming back to my husband…so like yeah he’s oriental and all but not so much that he has a stick up his behind. He is totes more conversation that I am and there are points where he needs to let go some of his shyness and perhaps “prestige” because life is short and being able to take things lightly will make life much more fun. He’s got some weird ways in acting with others but I think that’s more because of his career than anything else; he is a lawyer after all. I am an artist and so we’re complete opposites and I think it is true that opposites do attract. My husband is organized, calculated, safe, simple (in a good way), overly sensitive and very kind. He’s not as driven as I am and he likes to be where he knows his environment and doesn’t like change and sometimes doesn’t accept it too well. He needs time to adjust and needs to study everything very very very (I can go on and on) well before making any decisions. I am soooo not like that and that’s where his patience is very much appreciated and welcome. He’s got patience of a monk and I respect that very much. I am very impulsive, irrational, wild, carefree (somewhat…less than now) and very creative. I am kind to an extent but also bossy to another extent…I sometimes don’t have balance and I think that’s my biggest flaw and that is a point where it could either make me or break me. I am definitely fire and my husband calms me and pulls me down to earth and that helps me be more realistic about life. He lets me get my anger out and absorbs most of it very gallantly and I am grateful and touched by how easily he brushes it off. He loves me immensely and has made me fall in love with myself despite how hard I was on myself all those years before meeting him. I think us women, we tend to always want more from ourselves and we are our worst enemy but it is important, to succeed in other relationships, to accept ourselves first and be in love with ourselves first.my husband played a huge role in that and that is one of the main reasons I was able to comprise so much and worked hard to make our first year of marriage work.

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I guess what I am trying to say is, for a marriage to work; you need to communicate openly and work on the issues rather than letting them pile up on the side. Even though some subjects are hard to discuss, it is always important to be honest about your feelings and not be shy to admit that you are at fault. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong; it is about making your relationship flourish and blossom into something crazy but beautiful. I cannot predict the future nor can I say if my relationship will be forever, but I am damn will work hard for it to last as forever as possible. Marriage is not the easiest job, just like motherhood, but it can succeed if you know how to work around the little bumps and learn to be respectful with one another. I can absolutely certify that my husband is now my best friend and partner in crime more than before. We has our inside jokes, we have our little special bonds…we lose ourselves sometimes but we do find each other at the end and for that I am eternally thankful. So if you’re in a marriage and feel like giving up, I say don’t, try to make it work and talk it out because I am sure that at the end, there is a way. Marriage is a mess but it’s a beautiful one!

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!