First Times…

Do you remember the first time you traveled on an airplane? The first time you went to the movies? The first time you rode a bicycle, the first time you went on a date, the first time you pushed yourself beyond what you thought were your boundaries? Do you remember?

They say the first time of anything is the best time ever! The first time you rode that bicycle is engraved in your heart and brain and is definitely the best time you ever rode a bicycle ever! Mine was a green one and it was the best bicycle I ever had!!!! What is so special about first times?  Well because you have never done that one thing before, so the first time is filled with excitement, thrill, rush of adrenaline, anxiety, doubt… etc. That’s what gives the experience a whole new meaning!


Think about it, we always reminisce about the past, about how we wish for the old days to come back, how things are never the same, after that very first time! If you go now for a hike for the first time, it will be the best hike you will ever go for. So my philosophy is to always do things for the first time, even things that I do everyday, just do something about them for the first time. First times are magical, exceptional, and really incredible! Like shiny stars in the darkest of nights! They embellish the past, and make your heart smile every time they cross your path again.


I remember the first time I met my husband, and I remember how my heart jumped and my eyes refused to obey me and look away! the first time I knew he was special, I still feel the same way every time I remember it.


The first time I held my son in my arms, so tiny and so soft, my heart was full and my tears were abundant and it was the best first time in my life.


The first time I went to New York, is so dear to my heart! That trip was probably…. Wait for it…. Yes The best trip to New York ever!


So many first times that make me smile, make me long for more first times. Make me want to try everything and dive into the unknown everyday. And it is really funny, the more you do, the more you want to do! It never stops! That hunger for new things is insatiable! Yet fear is always there, trying to hold you back, to convince you that you are just fine where you are, trying to make you believe that it is safer to stay just here, where you are now, where you were yesterday, the last week, the last month! But that’s not a bad thing! Fear is that friend that never leaves your side, and that is playing the role of an overprotective mother that won’t let you go anywhere near “first times”, and you do want this friend near you, just to let you know when you cross the red line. You can talk to this friend and told him that you will be fine, even if you get rejected, even if you fail, even if fall and break your neck….You will still be fine! And instead of your fear convincing you, let us reverse the roles and instead, you convince your fear to let you go, convince your fear to be there but silent! Yes that’s exactly it, make it your SILENT friend!


First times are what we will remember when we are 80 years old, first times are what will make us think peacefully about death. First times are our tickets to a great past, an enticing present, and a magical future. You can take control of your life, you can design your past by shaping your present. You can dream for your future and make it a reality NOW, don’t procrastinate, start today and do something new for the first time! I once told my master that I will try to come and train that day and she said something that I will never forget, she said “Don’t TRY, just MAKE it!!” and since that day, I never try anymore, I just go for it! And life has never been the same!


I made a pact with my silent friend (aka fear), we will stay together forever, but I get to decide, I get to say the last word. Even when this friend decides to rebel against me, I pat it on the shoulder, and remind it of our pact!  And since then, we made peace with this whole “first time” business and I have been thriving on first times ever since!


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!!