Happy Reading: Hello December!Β 

  

Happy Sunday, Friends!! There is something magical about Sundays. I can’t really tell what it is, but they are just beautiful! Where I live Sundays are the beginning of the week, so you wake up to a whole new week waiting for you. New adventures, new memories, new people you could meet, new goals you might achieve. Sundays to me are a reminder! Upon rising my brain takes 5 seconds to reboot and fill the voids with gratitude, appreciation, and recognition for everything I have. A quick reminder to pay extra attention to the people around me, tell them I love them and care about them, hug them a little harder, smile a little wider, send love and positivity vibes! That’s why Sundays are very special to me, how about you? 

So after a day full of all these beautiful thoughts, I decided to share my list of books that I recommend for December. I am also adding the ones for November, since I completely forgot to write a “Hello November” post! So here they are for both combined. Enjoy…! 

1- On Writing by Steven King. This book was suggested to me by one of my professors and as soon as I read the first few pages, I was hooked! The book starts as an autobiography, where Steven talks about his childhood, in a brilliant style! He then moves to the main topic: Writing! I really felt a wonderful connection with this book and its writer, it really transported me about 100 times as Steven pleased! And I was happy with it. Even if you don’t care about writing, please give it a try! It is a wonderful book. 

2- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat Pray Love). I must say that this book is a fresh breeze of air! Beautifully written! I read Eat Pray Love, when it was first published and fell in love instantly. I then read her second book: “Committed” and decided it wasn’t for me. So I was a bit hesitant when I ordered “Big Magic”, I didn’t want to be disappointed but because of the wonderful reviews it got, I decided to step in. The style… Oh the style!! Classy, fancy.. It reminded me of the Parisian demoiselles in their little black dresses! So chic and elegant! A self-help book with a touch of magic, that’s all I would say! 

3- Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman. Hmmmm…… What should I say about this book? Simply it wasn’t for me. Unlike its title, the book focuses on depression. It does talk about how we are the masters of our lives, in a very scientific way, and is backed up with tons of experiments that the author and his colleagues did; but it just wasn’t for me. 

4- Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. This lady has the gift of taking you million miles away from where you lay with that book, and showers you with hundreds of emotions one after another! You will cry at the end though…. Happy tears ;). If you had a crazy busy week, (like I did), I totally recommend you take a mini break with this gorgeous book! You’ll thank me later πŸ™‚ 

5- Daring Greatly by BrenΓ© Brown. I recently listened to a great TedTalk she did about vulnerability and I loved it. So I decided to read her book. The first few chapters got me to think deeply about shame and how vulnerable I am or not. Then things started to get a tad boring. While listening for 18 mins to a talk about shame and vulnerability is interesting, spending 6 hours reading about it is a bit crazy. However, I really liked the topic. We always try to be strong and hide our vulnerable side because it is seen as a weakness, but is it really…? 

6- Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I still can’t really decide whether I liked this book or not. While I loved that it addresses the way humans behave, and why we all have some dumb moments because even though we are capable of thinking our ways to better conclusions, we don’t! Because we are so lazy to do so! however I thought it was ridiculously long, and could have been summarised in few points. 

If you read any of the above books, I would love to know your opinion!! 

Ouiam  

What’s On Her Mind: The Fear …..!

  
After a long time,”What’s On Her Mind” is finally back! And this time with a wonderful, straight from the heart, and absolutely moving story, from one of the few friends that I appreaciate greatly! One of the people I believe were meant to enter my life to teach me something! A strong woman who will today give us a life lesson and share a piece of her soul with us! 

The Fear….

“I dont wont to get married. It will only stop me from doing what I want, and from achieving my dreams”. This was a sentence I used frequently, whenever anyone asked me when was I going to get married. 

I studied medicine for 7 years (6 years of actual school and I missed one year due to the war back in Iraq). I then graduated carrying my degree on my chest like a hero and an imaginary bag full of dreams. My bag was bigger than the world, almost unrealistic, but what to say, I was 24 years old and I owned the world.

I had to leave my country as soon as I graduated coz of the unstable political circumstances and with that I left behind my childhood and my student life, but I definitely didn’t forget to carry my dreams with me.

In less than a year I started working and OMG!!! It was nothing I have imagined before! I started watching my dreams popping up just like soap bubbles and disappearing right in front of my eyes. 

The stress of being a stranger in a strange country, ironically called my second home, as it was where my mother was from. So I was suppose to be familiar with it. But sadly I wasn’t. 

The stress of being treated like I was worth nothing and I knew nothing, why would/should I? I was just an intern who should follow the steps of the seniors and consultants like a puppy.

The stress of managing my life away from home with no backup sister to wash my lab coat, or a brother to run get some orange juice, or even a mother to make me a sandwich when I stay up late studying for my exam. Instead of that, I found myself living with strange people called family, people who wanted me to act like them, think like them and pay my share with them coz I was not a welcomed guest. I had to baby sit, do laundry and iron clothes as part time to my doctor job, to earn my living. I had to work as a secretory in an office filled with men who treated me like a house maid.

Finally after passing that awful year of internship, I finally became a real doctor and I earned a good living! COOL! Now I can start working on achieving my dreams….. No! Another drama came my way! To summarise it: my family started going through a tough time , financially, and I ended up being the only provider, which was fine except that I still didn’t have a chance to achieve those dreams.

Years and years passed and I was still running in a circle. A very narrow circle that suffocated me and I ended up doing nothing I ever wanted! 

I did not become a gynaecologist, I was forced to go to different speciality, one that I never liked. 
I did not learn that third and forth language i always dreamed of. 

I did not travel around the world for a whole year, meeting new people and discovering places. 

I did not get my degree on time, simply because I didn’t like my speciality so how can I sit and read the same things over and over again when my brain decided to block any entry because of depression. Even though I was doing great in the practical aspect of my job but never the theory. I was a smart worker but never a smart exam taker. 

I did not get my black belt in that martial art I wanted, as my schedule was continuously changing that I never made it to a whole week of training without interruption. 

I did not volunteer to work with doctors without borders….!! 

My list is painfully big and long ….but back to the point, I was still convinced that marriage will stop me from achieving my dreams. When everything else around me was doing exactly that-stopping me from achieving my dreams- for some reason or another, including my own depressed mind and my lack of motivations.

At that point, all I was thinking was that I wasn’t achieving anything anyway, I was getting old and I was rejecting all theses marriage proposals, for one main reason: FEAR; while using lame excuses. At that point in my life I took the decision to start thinking about marriage more seriously, at least I still had a chance to have a family before it was too late….Aah stupid me! The universe was listening to me I guess, opening the door of love and friendship. And I got the chance to meet him. He was very kind, supportive and understanding. I explained to him all my fears. When and where I come from, and he gracefully accepted me! He even accepted my one condition: No babies!!! 

So yes I got married and that was the same year I passed my first board exam, and the year I made 4 trips to 4 different countries in two different continent. The year I started my martial art training, and got the time to do it with no work schedule interrupting my training and vise versa. 

Then something changed! The ice cold idea of no babies started to warm up in my heart (for sure with a lot of kind and unkind pressure from the husband who broke his promise and the family around us). I got pregnant and I had the baby! With that baby, and all the stress and responsibility of becoming a mom I managed not only to pass my exam but to finish the whole board certification. I managed to make more trips than I was planing to do, with and without the family. I managed to get 4 belts in the martial art and continue my training.

That’s not all, I am still doing a lot of things that I never expected to do or achieve, and now after 4 years of marriage, I realised that all I needed was the stability and support from a good man and a strong, warm family I was afraid to have before.

My husband and my baby were the real motivation for my success and achievements, they grounded me and gave the chance to my roots to grow deep and strong again. They are the hope I lost one day…They are the real antidepressant treatment that brought me to life again.

Now and at the age of 36, a wife and a mother of a 3 years old baby, I am going for my first martial art competition in a week, I am also going back to medical school to restudy everything in medicine but this time it will be just the way i want it…! 
One Brave Mama!! 

The Untold Stories Of Motherhood….Β 

  

It has been almost two years since I embarked in this wonderful journey of motherhood, it is kind of hard to believe, because it feels like I gave birth just few months ago, but yeah! 21months have passed since the day I officially became a mother. And boy what a journey has it been! See, when you get pregnant, people around you feel the need to warn you…! Warn you about tons of things, like the sleepless nights, or the absence of any “Me” time, or they might even strike a little harder and tell you that your life will never be the same again. You smile, you nod, you might get scared a little, but you know that YOU will do it differently… Not because you know what they are talking about… Hell how would you know? This is only your first child! But because it is simply YOU!

What no one warns you about is the huge responsibility placed on your hands. The midnight crises from all the exhaustion and the great amount of hormones who make it their mission to make your life a great sad movie! The stress on your marriage from all the pressure of those sleepless nights! The amount of invitations you will have to decline for the next god knows how long! The friends who will silently leave your life because you are no longer available for them all the time. The little horror scenes at the grocery stores, where you will try every trick you know of, to get that little one to stop his little tantrum! The list is painfully long but no one chooses to break the news to you, instead they give you small hints and invite you to see for yourself. 

They also never tell you about the wonderful moments that you will choose to lock and keep somewhere safe for when those little ones are not so little anymore! They never tell you what it is to have your heart outside your body, moving, walking and running. They never tell you the magic that kids bring into your life! The joy one can get from a smile, hug or kiss. The beauty of life when you have a little one depending on you, knowing and wanting only you! The little hands and feet, the gibberish talk and the toothless smiles! The pride you take when he learns new things! The love… Oh the love! You never ever knew your heart was capable of loving this much, this way! Your heart will burst at the end of each day, and grow a little bigger the next, to make room for more love for that little human being! No one tells you that kids are god’s gift to you, so you can relive your childhood, so you can do what you never had a chance to do when you were a kid, or even when you grew up to be the adult you are now! You see the sun clearer, you admire the shape of rocks, you stop each time you see an ant, you gasp every time you see a star, you walk slower, you laugh harder, you see, hear, smell, touch everything differently! You follow your child’s footsteps and you go along in their slow rhythm! Every time your hand holds that tiny hand, it is an unwritten promise you make to protect your child and keep him safe from every harm! Every day you wake up and hear the little voice mumbling, you thank god for all the blessings! No one tells you about any of these things because no one can ever describe them the way they should be described. No one can ever explain to you what is it to be a mother, and even if someone some day will, you will never ever grasp the real meaning until a piece of your soul comes out of you and becomes your whole life! 

Motherhood is the untold story of sacrifice and bravery! It isn’t for the faint hearted, nor for the empty souls. It is the sacred gift to women…! Women.. These great creatures who in a world bathed in a stuttery glow, make magic gracefully appear! 

Ouiam

If You’re Happy And You Know It….Well Good For You!Β 

  

– Friend: Are you happy? 

– Me: Do you mean right now? 

– Friend : No in general

– Me: Like a percentage? 

– Friend: No, like are you a happy person? 

– Me: What do you mean by happy? 

– Friend: Like would you define yourself as a happy person? 

– Me: What is a happy person? One who jokes all the time? One who smiles all the time? One who is content? One who acts happy? 

– Friend: I don’t know! OMG! Can you stop being so philosophical!!!! Agghh  

This was a conversation between me and a friend of mine, over some ice cream and fruits. Before of course she decided she needed a break from my much philosophical brain and went back home lol! But that wasn’t the end of it, this conversation got me to think, really what’s happiness? Is it a moment? A bunch of them? A percentage of how many of them you have in your life? How many times you smile everyday? How many times you laugh everyday? What is it really? Aren’t we all in a quest for happiness? A grand pursuit of happiness manages our daily lives! We do what we can to be happy, to stay happy! Aren’t we all focused on making ourselves happy? Something about this puts me off! 

What…? You think I am a creep? Maybe, who knows. But y nature, I don’t like to label things. So being happy to me is a fake concept! Before you frown, and leave this page, let me explain to you: Happiness, by definition excludes the sad, bad, difficult…etc. So when I look back to my life, and look at the tough times, the sad and difficult moments I lived in my 29years of life; my heart aches, but not from sadness! Absolutely not! With a big a smile I high-five myself! And I almost feel happy that I went trough each one of those moments! Those times shaped me, thanks to them I am who I am today! I am definitely aware that dark days exists! They should exist! Grey days too! And we shouldn’t try to make them disappear by posting only happy pictures on Instagram and Facebook! (Don’t get me wrong I love posting happy pictures but that shouldn’t be the norm!). Or by refusing to talk about them. We mostly gloss over them then we try to get back to “Happy”. 

Don’t we all say: “We grow through pain” yet as soon as we experience the pain we quickly try to “Move on” to “Cheer up”. Call me morbid, but pain is the only way we can appreciate happiness and happy moments! A great example is giving birth! Giving birth is the most painful experience any woman would ever experience, yet what comes after all those screams, tears, and pain is the happiest moment in your whole life! 

I would rather prefer to define myself as WHOLE! I embrace my difficult times as well as I do with the happy ones, and I cherish them both! I look at the big picture, even beyond: “You can’t get sunshine without rain” kind of thing! It all contributes to the greater person we can become; the set-backs the challenges, the tears, the pain, the failures, all being part of that wholeness! 

Happiness doesn’t teach you much, whereas those bad days do! They give you precious life lessons, that you will forever appreciate!  

So yes I am not happy all the time, but I am whole! It took me so much time to stop this crazy hunt for happiness. It took me so much efforts to reach where I am now. To be able to equally embrace the sad and the happy. To be proud of my failures and my set backs, and wear them as a badge on my chest! Because they made me who I am today! 

Do you feel you can relate to this? What do you have to say about happiness?! 

Ouiam