Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

My Nonsense

Okay, so my life just took a shitty turn guys. You get to a point where you think you’ve lived through the drama, and that stuff doesn’t bother you. You tell it to bugger off. At this point in my life, I thought my job was to help other people with my drama-filled experienced. Here I am, though, completed kicked in the knees by my past and present. I’m sitting here thinking, “I have done this. I HAVE DONE THIS SO DAMN MANY TIMES.” This should not rattle me. This is new, though. In some weird, unknown way, this is new. This repeats on me, why? How? I’d like to think through no fault of my own, but it repeats continuously. Today, right now, it has a tanginess, and I cannot explain.

Today, this day. I never thought I would have to deal with this. I should have thought better. Known better. I don’t understand why this is even important. I am one of those people who take things. I don’t go around being emotional and illogical about issues. I think, and then I decide what my move will be. Today, I thought and then I decided I just don’t want to deal.

My entire life has been dealing with something like this. Y’all know what I’m talking about? I know you’ve been there.

When people won’t cut you a break, and you know they know they should. Yeah, that. I’m worn out by the drama that’s always been here and I’ve always been prepared for it.

I think its because I am not ready to hold my tongue, or my fists for that matter. Been doing that for far too long. Feels good to admit that.

Violence is bad kids.

Sidenote: a long time someone in Turkey gave me a crown made of roses and I pretended to be a princess for the rest of the day.

Thank you for listening to my nonsense.

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

My Happy is not your Happy

My happy is not your happy. My shining sun is your rain pouring and cloudy skies all around. Doesn’t matter how much we like each other, or how well we get along. People are just different. You’ve heard that before haven’t you? You’ve felt that about people you are the closest to, you’ve felt the exact same feeling from the person you can’t stand. However, HOWEVER, you have chosen to think, “he or she I love so I’ll try to make it work. Same faults on another, unacceptable. “How dare you madame, insult me by disliking sunshine. It is a blessing from our lord and savior. I can never be in your company ever again”. Have you not yourself tried dancing in the rain for someone you love just to understand them? Not to turn away from the sunshine forever, but just so that person stays in your life? I know you have. That is the sign of a strong person. A brave person. Do that for those you don’t love. Do that for yourself sometime.

Would you ever let yourself? Forgive yourself? We do that. Make mistakes. Humans, all of us. Good or bad. Just people, flesh and blood. Moments’ decisions based on emotions. Not based on you or me, based only on personal needs and usually moments’ pleasures. Mistakes. Almost never about you or me. Then again sometimes it is about you or me.

I lost my tangent, we were talking about forgiving ourselves. Could you please?

I haven’t. How could have I done this? I could have lived better. Tried harder. People say, “but why didn’t you, why did you let them..” I can’t answer those questions so I wonder myself, how I could let this happen? What a miserable human being I have turned out to be. Right, so that’s the drama queen in me talking but sometimes those emotions are real too. I made myself miserable, and now what? I could blame the whole world but I had a choice, I had the option to walk away from all of it. I didn’t. Now what?

There’s the big question; now what? Could you forgive? Could you at least try? Would you even want to? That would make things harder, in a manner. That would make you even more accountable. Separate fiction from fact. You’d have to know exactly what you did to yourself. You’d have to own up before forgiving. You would also have to realize that most of it was done TO YOU. Most of it was not in your control. You would realize that fear is literally paralyzing. You would find out that when a loved ones’ life or emotions are on the line you give up. You quietly, willingly walk away from what you have longed for because hurting them sounds way worse. You might blame yourself later but at that moment, that’s the right move. Forgive yourself for caring. Forgive yourself for being scared. Forgive yourself for your humanity. Forgive yourself for wanting to know what peace looks like. In a slight moment, we make decisions because we want the voices in our heads to go away. Some scream it, some find quieter ways. Some of us find our guiding light late. We all find it eventually. Nobody is left alone.

It all starts with forgiveness, whether it’s HIS or your own. Start with FORGIVENESS!

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

We have always been here asking not to be touched. Thanks for FINALLY noticing though. You’ve been great!

I have been wanting to talk about this issue for a while now. Where to start? I know. There’s memes/ Gifs of Chris Evans and other “real-life superheroes” who have been helping damsels in distress at award shows tripping on their heels and beautiful gowns.

Okay, what is this article even about? Well they’re being praised for doing it right, oh and by the way I’m reclaiming the phrase “damsel in distress” a damsel can be in distress and she can un-distress herself. Anyways, the men are being praised for offering help in a nonthreatening manner. Such as offering their arm or shoulder instead of their hand. Or bending slightly and making their body language soft so it is not overwhelming, and threatening for women when they’re already trying to gather their dress and other accessories. Let’s face it, we got a lot more shit to gather when we get ready for functions. That’s one of the perks of being a woman. The downfall is tripping. That’s okay, life is a trade-off.

Feeling threatened.

This is exactly what a lot of us have felt all our lives. I felt it was time to talk about it. This is for every timid girl out there whoever refused a handshake, a helping hand, a shoulder when needed. We don’t do it because we like tripping on our faces. Growing up in the 90s it wasn’t cool to say no, especially as a hijabi. Every time any of us refused to shake a hand or said, “I got it, thanks”, we weren’t considered to be protecting ourselves. We were just seen as bitchy little foreigners, whether we were or not, was irrelevant. It was more important to NOT reject a man than to feel safe. It was a different time. It’s okay to express these emotions now. We couldn’t even say this out loud because we were just a bunch of out dated women from some far-off land who didn’t want to be touched by men.

YES. We didn’t/don’t want to be touched by strange men. I for one will take a shoulder or an arm if I am tripping, because I control how I want to be touched and when I want to let go. Do not offer me your hand, don’t know where that thing has been and don’t know where it’s going to end up; most likely it will make me uncomfortable and make me feel

unsafe. Don’t let me forget to mention that an advertising company made a dress that records how many times women get touched. Of course most touches are unsolicited because no one, man or woman, is asking to be touched hundreds of times a night by different people.

As I was saying, I choose who touches me; Now, I can verbalize this concept. When I was younger it was unthinkable, “you dress the way you do AND don’t let men come near you unless you are absolutely and completely comfortable with them in every way? Gosh! (intense eyeroll) Were you like raised in a cave and like rode on camels or something? Because obviously, you have no idea how the world works.”

Hey camels are animals too you know. They have feelings, AND rights!

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

This Picture

This picture was taken last night at the request of my nephew. He had an urge to see my kid. Made me get out if bed to take a pic of my sleeping kid. Their dad had just returned from one of his trips. I guess I’m glad I caught the moment.

There’s some usefulness to your new dad anxiety that makes me take pics of baby in the middle of the night. Just don’t do it again! You know who you are 👀👀👀👀👀

#gotowork #letmesleep #hedoesntcuddlewithmelikethis #momproblems #momswillbemoms #momsofinstagram #momsofinsta #parentsofinstagram #mommingtoomanykids #someneedtogrowup #amotherslove #alwaysandforever #professionalscribbler #towhomitmayconcern

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

I could be that fragile, beautiful little princess who always, always gets saved by the handsome strapping prince. Who doesn’t want strong arms and a beautiful face focused only on them? My other option is the old has-been who may have made it in successes of the world but she has lost it completely in the love department. After all, everyone needs to be loved. No strapping strong love for her. The people hate her. She spoke her mind.

She was rude, outspoken. She did get to marry the king but she also wanted to live life on her own terms. She was a stone-cold bitch. The king couldn’t love her for all she is.

Do you know what women like that get? Nothing. Best stay in your lane little girl. Make your choice now, who would you rather be? The evil queen, who loses everything because she likes to be in charge and doesn’t think that 14, 15, 16-year-old girls’ lives should be decided by men and their kingdoms.

OR would you rather be the beautiful obedient princess who gets the beautiful castle and the handsome prince because she does as she’s told?

In my fairy tale the badass bitch wins. I’m the Queen. The Evil Queen, if that’s what I have to be.

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

Grown-Ups Need Heroes Too

They’re real, all of them. My kids are growing up around superheroes real and made up. ‘In the end, we’re all stories.” Yeah, that’s also a line from a similar hero show. The nerd in me is strong y’all. People argue, they say, “kids need to live in the real world. They need to know how tough it is.” Okay, I understand. That might be true. What about the kids’ mama though? Do I also have to live in the real world? Because I kind of do, every day. I need the escape. I like the thought of being saved from my every day once in a while.

Photo Credit: Marjan Blan

As for the kids; Let me paint you a picture, or write you one, a kid younger than ten years old loves to read. She walks into her neighborhood bookstore. She can’t really afford to buy books, but she thumbs through the books because, of course, she does. One day at the back of the store she spots something magical with lots of pictures. They seem interesting, just out of curiosity she asks the shopkeeper how much they are. He tells her they are 15 rupees each (no one knew the value of comics at that time or read them, so this was the cheapest reading material in the store). That’s like not even enough cents to mention. That right there is a lifesaver. Her being able to buy something resembling a book. Maybe not appropriate for someone that young but no one paid attention those days to little things.

Anyhow, I found my way into a world that was mine. I found my heroes who would help me escape everything that was terrible around me. They would buy me books because they’re super smart. Remember I’m not even ten yet, so yeah that was one of my fantasies. Oh, how badly did I want to be Black Widow? I related to her story so much. Still, do. Don’t ask me why. I don’t know. She’s just someone I admire so very much. Don’t know if she’s a reader though.

I grew up loving these people, these heroes as if they were real. I hid them from my world as if they needed protecting. The comics went under the bed or in my secret drawers because I didn’t stay in one place for too long and I never knew what others around me would feel about it, so that world became just for me. It was easier that way and honestly so much more fun. My heroes, my saviors, always with me ready to jump in to save the day. They never failed me. Not even once. Normal people do that you know, they disappoint. Now that I’m older and it’s not that cool to be a comic fan I’m too old to be one apparently.

So, what’s wrong with keeping this world alive? What’s wrong with wanting a little taste of fantasy in life? I was never a “princess wanting to be saved by a prince” kind of girl. The world is so much more complex and so much more beautiful. A hero is what I wanted to become in real life too. Of course, no one will ever be as cool as Nat, may her soul RIP. That was my ten-year-old self coming out, full bloom. Just kidding, its the 43-year-old me trying to hide behind the ten-year-old.

Now I argue with my kids about who’s smarter; Tony Stark or Bruce Banner. Sometimes they get confused about what exactly Batman’s powers are, but who cares he’s BATMAN! We discuss how T’challa is the humblest, kindest King and how Monarchy is only okay in Wakanda. Yes, I know that’s always a very weird conversation. Also, because Black Panther is one of my kid’s favorite characters, both of them have declared the top story of the house to be their kingdom. One is the king the other is the King’s advisor. They accept their parents as the king and queen of the whole house, they also accept that all decisions have to go through us BUT they do have the right to make most decisions about the “upstairs”.

Backstory: upstairs includes both their rooms and play area. There’s also a guest room but that’s not in use every day. I am kind of strict about not making a mess with toys downstairs since they have so much space “upstairs”. I tell them whenever they want to be loud and crazy to go “upstairs”. Our bedroom is, you guessed it, DOWNSTAIRS. The upstairs is kind of is their territory.

I know there should be an image of our king here but isn’t this Panther just awesome. Photo: Garken de Klerk

Way off track here. Back to Bruce Banner. Uh…super heroes. I could write all day and all night about every single one of them but the point I’m trying to make is I’m hoping is clear. I have been protected by very little. And I know I’m here to protect my kids and they know that but a little extra boost of a fantasy in which they see these mighty heroes saving the day the way no one else can, what’s wrong with that? I know, unrealistic expectations. The world will knock them down plenty to give them doses of reality. I don’t see my job as always being the one to push reality on them. I need to create a balance. That means letting them have and enjoy those moments where we are completely detached from the harshness and the roughness of the world; Where we dive into the gentle arms of our loving (somewhat…completely fake) friends who will always make sure that we are okay. In a world where good always wins. When you work hard you always see positive results. You know why? Because they will wake up tomorrow and will be knocked down a peg or two by none other than, myself. They know it too. I will come down on them for not doing something I asked them to do. They will be prepared to hear whatever I’m dishing out because they will be full of counter-arguments and “I hate you”, “you’re making me miserable”. Just then I know they will seek the comfort of those heroes who would completely understand their struggles and help them calm down. They would make it all better because no one else gets them, especially not their mom.

I know this was abrupt and seems out of nowhere. These days I’m kind of needing a lot of help from my imaginary world (which is totally real). We are moving into a new house. Even though it’s a small move, just one house to another in the same area, however, it’s not something I look forward to. You’d think someone who has moved around so much would be used to it. Nope, the exact opposite actually. I’m hiding away right now, in my happy place while the kids pack away excited about their new rooms.

Here’s another good reason for Superheroes: one of my boys has found a stick while packing and is threatening to hit the other one with it. Looks like I have to pause this totally awesome real world and jump into the one where my heroes are threatening each other with sticks.

Yeah! This is pretty much all of my lives.

Don’t you wish we could all be Groot? Photo by: Azmathullah Shaikh
Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

I Have Lived

When I finally lay my head down, I will have no regrets because I have lived. I lived, loved, lost, and lived some more. I just wished there was more time to sleep in between. There’s absolutely no purpose for this writing, today I was reminded of death. I don’t really forget about it. It’s coming, I know it. I wish I wouldn’t be caught by surprise. You know how there’s this prophetic sense some people have? I don’t have it. Recently I’ve been getting more and more real about this issue with my kids. I’ve been feeling like we create this vacuum when we avoid this topic, the discussion of death, pain and physical hurt in a real way.

My kids love watching Finding Nemo but they always make me forward the beginning when Nemo’s mother and siblings get killed. Today, I decided was the day. They might not have a shark eat their family but they will face death and they will not be able to fast forward the pain. It’s not reasonable to compare real life to a kid’s movie but I was having one of those days. Days where the kids’ say, ”mommy can you forward that scene please?” and you say, ”you know what babies, dying is a fact. Also, this scene is going to take place whether you watch it or not. It is sad, but it happens, you know that. It’s okay to feel it. They did, we watched it together. They were sad but they dealt with it.

Every-time they pretend-shoot each other or make a gun out of something (we’ve never bought them any toy weapons. If they’ve gotten any as gifts we’ve returned or given them away) they get a factual, age-appropriate lecture on how bullets damage a body and how painful it would be for any human or animal to deal with that kind of situation.

I’m seriously contemplating showing them visuals. Every-time I hear about people being killed I feel more of an urgency to explain to them how real this is, and how much these things are not to be toyed with.

Life is sacred. Death is inevitable. However, we need to be the protectors of life keeping in mind that death will eventually catch up to us. We don’t chase death. We don’t become those who cause people pain and suffering.

Life is sacred.

I want people to be able to take one safe breathe or at least imagine that they can when they see my boys. The kind of people who help others to find life while keeping their own lives in focus.

Death is inevitable. Life is sacred.

That is the whole lesson I want to teach them.