Making changes, Taking chances.

About me

The magic of life

I never did end up submitting my photograpy homework which is quite apalling however I did finally settle on a theme.  My theme is “magic”. 

This is a word I cherish for the whimsical feelings it evokes and for all the giddyness it garners in the depths of my soul.  When i think of magic i see sparks fly.  I think of fireworks and love and rainbows and laughter.  I think of old fashioned candy shops and comfort food.  I think of babies and the magic of how they come into this life.  I think of beauty and kindness and patience and virtue.  I think of fairy lights and stars and clouds.  There is so much magic in our lives, every day, every moment if only we were to stop to notice it.  I hope this assignment will open my own eyes and humble my heart to appreciate the magic that surrounds me everyday. 

Although I have missed the official submission deadline for this assignment, I am taking it upon myself to pursue this assignment seriously until I have at least 20 photos that I can label with this special moniker – and eventually browse through for days when i need a little magic in my own life…

(photos coming soon)

Advertisements

Another year older

It’s been inexcusably too long since I’ve posted something.  This is mainly because I have been overwhelmed with a work-related negative piece of news that I did not take well and still have difficulty accepting.  In the process, I have learned that some people are excellent at playing the game of politics and somehow evading responsibilty to the almost-malicious extent of hurting others in the process.  What has been more overwhelming is the realization that my whimsical belief in the adage ‘what comes around goes around’ has been nullified.  Why have we been brought up to believe that good things happen to good people?  And that the bad guy always loses in the end?  In my life it seems quite the opposite.  Those who master all the bad skills seems to constantly emerge on top.  I will stop dwelling on the negative however I did want to justify my absence so here I am dear reader working through a weekend for all the above reasons.  The corporate world is unforgiving.

Thankfully, Thursday presented itself as a ray of sunshine in otherwise very stormy skies.  It was my birthday!  And how serendipitous to make such an important learning at this point in my life.  Maybe I have always known it but refused to accept it.  Today I solemnly swear that my career is taking a back seat to my life post this magnanimous meeting.  There is alot to look forward to…

Yesterday was incredibly special. I wish I could replay it.  The thought of being the center of attention is always daunting but the reality of it incredibly contagious.  The calls, the emails, the messages, the surprises, the thoughtful gestures, the gifts and the company were just perfect.  Despite the negativity of the past week, I couldnt help but feel extremely grateful for everything in my life.  I’m a very fortunate girl.  I just need to make a few tough choices to improve the quality of my life.  Right now, my bedroom is a sanctuary of joy filled with lots of balloons and the remains of gift wraps and bags.  

Another year older and certainly one more wiser.  May this be the year when I decide to put myself before my job.  Until then, I’ll just have me another piece of chocolate cake.


Summertime and the living is easy…

This has turned out to be exactly the weekend I needed.  Restful.  After the travelling of the past two weekends, and the stressful meetings of last week, my mind, body and soul finally got a chance to rest.  Not as much as I would have liked but enough to feel somewhat renewed.  I noticed earlier this afternoon that alot of my weekend has happened in twos.  I sat by the pool both yesterday and today, watched two movies and had a burger twice (me! the junk food hater!) – Gourmet Burger & Shake Shack.  I cant believe I lived in New York City for 4 years and was oblivious to the existance of Shake Shack!  Yum! 

Being a stickler for efficiency and a self-confessed loser at wasting time, this weekend has been particularly rewarding because I was able to rest AND be extremely efficient… I managed to cross three things off my to-do list that have resided there for at least 3-4 months:  1. I finally renewed my drivers license (over 2 months expired!)  2. I finally hung up the three frames I bought months ago (beautiful! love my new bedroom) and 3. I FINALLY baked those cupcakes for H! (a year late request!). I havent baked in a while and this morning reminded me how much I enjoy the process and the rewards of seeing raw ingredients transform into heavenly delights.  I must say that these are probably the best tasting cupcakes I have made.  I made a few changes to the frosting that kicked up the yum factor significantly.

(Vanilla cupcakes fresh out of the oven)

(Frosted and decorated)

Now here’s the bummer.  My intention with these cupcakes was to surprise H at work.  The always reliable H who picks up the phone without fail and answers BBM messages faster than you can believe happened to have a busy day today!  I could neither reach her through messages or by phone and after much effort and patience, my baby bro received a special cupcake delivery that put a huge smile on his face!  At least I managed to tickle someones tastebuds!  What this means however is that point 3 above is back on the to-do list!  Whether or not I had to bake them for H, this is definitely something I want to further enjoy and explore.  Look out for more baking experiments and lots of photos.


Miral

It is not very often that a book touches me and so I felt compelled to share this with you.  I finished the book this morning sitting poolside in ridiculously hot temperatures and it is still top of mind.  This is usually a positive sign as it is rare that I reflect over a book I have finished for long.  Perhaps I am somewhat biased being a Palestinian girl with no country to call my own, still I am a huge fan of foreign films in general (although I’m not sure this classifies as such for me, given its in my native mother tongue!) nonetheless, it has been shown at several film festivals including the 2010 Venice Film Festival and the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and  has garnered a lot of acclaim from movie critics the world over.  I saw the premiere of the movie at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last October and was very lucky to meet both Rula Jebreal (the author) as well as Frieda Pinto (who plays Miral in the movie) before reading the book.

Miral is a compelling and incredibly touching true-story set in Jerusalem in the days of the Intifada.  The backdrop of the story alone is so beautifully captured it managed to successfully transport me back there to relive the beautiful white stone houses, the hustle and bustle of The Old City and the beautiful Mount of Olives.  How stunning my Jerusalem is.  The book begins with Miral’s mother Nadia as a young girl who we learn was sexually abused as a child and fled home at a very young age throwing herself into dangerous and ethically questionable professions to make a living.  Miral loses her mother at a very young age and is sent by her father to Dar El Tifl, an orphanage started and run by the legendary Hind Al-Husseini whose plight to serve the women of her country began as a gesture of kindness – after the first Israeli-Arab war of 1948 – and lasted her whole life as she urged the girls she took in to choose education over conflict.  As Miral witnesses the effects of the Israeli campaigns against the intifada, she draws closer to the political fringes, finally choosing to join the struggle in full and falling for the man who helped her become more actively involved. She exposes the truths about living through war, the hard-to-accept realities of the refugee camps where time is forgotten and alot of passion for a cause that is dear to many peoples hearts.

There are few novels that showcase such a personal conflict in such depth and complexity. She is a brave story-teller and gives an honest portrayal of the daily difficulties and loss of innocence of growing up in a hostile environment that continues to break the Palestinians down every day.

May we one day have the right to return to our Holy Land so that our children can experience what we never had a chance to.  A country.  An anthem.  The familiarity of a place.  The sense of belonging.  (Ya rab)…


Back to life

I dont know what it is about these big meetings.  They are so draining and take so much out of me everytime – emotionally, mentally, physically – I’m just shattered.  Still, despite finishing today and very happily so, there is always a strange void that follows the joy of success.  The preparations for this meeting have occupied my every waking hour (and there have been very few!) over the past week that I suddenly feel like I dont know what to do with myself.  It’s an unhealthy way of life and now that this is behind me, its time to make a drastic change.  I need to go back to my very first post and the essential purpose behind this blog: taking the time to find myself and more importantly to find balance.  I would love to enjoy life in the slow pace – and that doesnt mean vegetating in front of the TV but taking the time to savour the things I do.  My life is happening too quickly, I often feel like I dont know how I got from one day to the next. 

I am considering what to tackle this weekend.  Friday will most definitely be spent poolside to recover from the physical and mental blows of this week.  Any thoughts on which point from the list in my 2nd post I should tackle first?  Maybe I will finally bake those cupcakes for H.  That’s been on my to-do list for months.  Yes…that’s a good plan.  Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  Boring i know but so H loves. 

I’m excited…back on Saturday! ( :


0:27:39

 

There’s something you should know about me. I’m the epitome of black and white, an ultimate extremist.  I’m not proud of it, especially when the extreme I happen to be on is the destructive one, enter the excessive indulgence in chocolate and candy this past week.

So here comes my confession. I did not in fact run when I promised I would. I apologize for that. But the morning I have spent today, (I believe) compensates for that shortfall and demonstrates the new commitment I’ve made in the opposite extreme.

I promised you plans were being made but more than that a lot of psychological preparation. I’ve decided to go on a detox for 2 weeks and I’m strangely excited about it. This means no carbs, no dairy and no sugar for the next 15 days.  Yikes!  I also finally made it to the gym this morning. What a liberating feeling! It’s been a year and 6 months since I ran my first 10K and 1 year since I’ve been to the gym. I expected not to last 5 minutes so I’m secretly proud of my performance. I decided not to push it too far today. I did 3kms in 27mins. Not very ambitious but I feel great and Im reassured I can regain my stamina if I persevere.

I then made my way to the spa for some much needed R&R.  I spent 20 minutes in the Jacuzzi followed by a 60 minute detoxifying seaweed body wrap and a 60 minute Elemis facial.  Bliss. 

The treatment was amazing.  I was scrubbed with salts and then slathered with a very fishy smelling seaweed paste.  I was then wrapped in plastic like a mummy and my spa bed was immersed into warm water with barely enough wiggle room making me feel like I was back in the womb.  During that time my therapist gave me a scalp massage that I felt released a lot of confused thoughts and tension.  I could almost see ideas leaving my head in cartoon bubbles.  20 minutes into the treatment and I think I had sweated out all the toxins in my body.  A messy treatment but strangely soothing despite being mummified.  I felt immediately great afterwards: lighter, happier, more zen.

This was followed by a healthy lunch and a mani & pedi in a beautiful bright coral – perfect for summer.

It’s been an interesting week overall.  The company offsite from last week definitely helped boost my morale.  It’s been a productive, positive week and I’m very proud to say that I managed to leave work at a relatively decent hour almost every day.  For me, that’s big progress. 

Better work-life balance (so far!) and a healthier approach to life.  I’m very happy with this start! 

Happy Friday to all!


“Hate something, Change something”

Someone special recently said to me “Hate something, Change something”.  What a wonderfully simple notion for something so complicated. This ad captures that sentiment perfectly. 

This led me to the natural next question…why is it so difficult for us to change what we’re unhappy about?  Complacency?  Fear of the unknown?  Pride?  Financial implications?  All of the above probably apply to me and they may count as good excuses but what I know with certainty is that I’m tired of making any excuses whether good or bad.  In the interest of chasing rainbows and daisies like this colorful Honda dream, the time to make a change has come.  Hate can be good, hate can even be great if it compels you to change something and make something better.  Some of the best successes in my own life were born from taking risks, and maybe even a little hate!  Perhaps it’s time for a new leap of faith.  So, what’s next?

Here’s a list of the things I know I love but have never fully explored.  I will tackle them one by one over the next few months until I fall in love with one of them and then I’ll know.  Right?  That sounds pretty easy. I hope.

  1. Photography                                       
  2. Running
  3. Yoga
  4. Baking
  5. Cooking
  6. Helping Others
  7. Fashion
  8. Travel
  9. Interior Design
  10. Flowers
  11. Writing
  12. Dance
  13. Foreign Films
  14. Romantic anything…

*gulp*  Should I be feeling as overwhelmed as I do right now?  Maybe.  But I am scrapping any negative thoughts.  My cup is now half full.  I am plugging forward in search of my passion.  Baby steps will guide my way.


The Challenge

A small introduction:

I am a 30-yr old girl who is either having a premature mid-life crisis or is simply overweighed by the thought that I have spent the last 30 years of my life doing alot but not much really, unless you count my professional successes (in the grander scheme of life, who cares about those really!) and my countless travel adventures (the source of much happiness to me).  I have no special talents, no die-hard hobbies or passions that would compel me to do the crazy things sports fans may do.  Worse than that, I am an expert at starting things and not seeing them through.  At the moment, I have 9 unfinished books by my bed, a work-in-progress business plan which I believe is my salvation from the corporate world I detest, and a gym membership & personal trainer hours from which I am an active absentee.  Additionally, I am a waster.  I owe a ridiculous sum of money in speeding fines, am accumulating shopping debt and am quickly realizing that despite being a corporate slave, my riches do not amount to the hours I have put in over the last decade. 

I’m not sure what compelled me to do this.  I am a virgin blogger and although this will probably be read by no-one but myself, there is pressure in knowing that these words I write will be floating in the public eye of cyberspace and that I am somehow accountable for the promises I make.

This blog is dedicated to helping me discover myself, my interests, my passions and my loves.  I long to have a hunger for something.  To be able to make the cliche claim that I am doing something I love and that “my job is not a job”.  In the meantime, I am also looking for a reconciliation with love.  What is it?  Really?  How do you know when you have found it?  When do you know that it is right?  Where should i start on my road to discovering myself?  I don’t know what this road entails.  It may be smooth, it may be bumpy.  I am willing to endure for the sole comfort of knowing that at the end of that (hopefully short!) winding road is a strong realization for who I am and what I love.  I only hope this road will be filled with much laughter, love and adventure. 

Let the exploration begin…