Do You Remember….?

Do you remember… ?! 

The heart skipping a beat, the butterflies in the stomach, the state of euphoria….

When you first met him, when your eyes first met his gaze, and you felt cold, then hot, then cold again! You passed your hand through your hair just to show everyone how nonchalant, indifferent, calm and casual you were… 

Those nights when you kept wondering how he felt?! And secretly hoped that he felt the same… And blushed when you secretly realised what you hoped for…

When you finally had the courage to tell yourself the secret that has been lingering around for some time! And felt happy and content knowing that you finally came out of the closet! The indifference closet… 

When you knew that one day you will be his, yet you didn’t know how you knew… 

And the day came, with the rush of adrenaline, the tears, the hands and lips shaking, the not so gentle butterflies this time, the feeling that nothing else exists anymore…. You can’t remember anymore, because those seconds felt like years and years. Him coming down the aisle….. (Because in Arabic weddings he does, not the bride)! 
You wanted to cry but you didn’t want to spoil your makeup! You wanted to do a little victory dance but you couldn’t risk the guests thinking you were a little too crazy! You wanted to press the pause button but you didn’t really want to! 
Do you remember now….?! 

Actually dear reader, I would like to apologise for misleading you. I never meant to use the pronoun “you”, I was talking about me. Me and the love of my life… My husband! 

Sometimes I don’t remember any of that, because I am tired or I am busy or I am just not in the mood. Because I focus more on him being my big spoon, my foot warmer, the place I lay my head at night. The hand I reach for when I cross the street, the eyes I look at during the saddest and the funniest parts of movies, the side I nudge when we find secrete humour in an ordinary thing! The partner in crime, the food taster, the IT man….! 

Some other times, While I am stirring the food, or picking up the milk from the fridge, or just getting into my car, a wave of memories showers me. I stop for a second, with the widest smile… I feel my heart skipping a beat. I feel the butterflies in my stomach. I get into that same state of euphoria ….! So yes I still remember, I still go there when I need to, I still remember … Yes I do… 

Feeling Feelings ….

I am a natural “feeler”, I like to feel every possible feeling, give it a name, run it into a rigorous scrutiny, to find out whether it is a “good” or “bad” feeling. This process happens just between myself and I. No one is allowed anywhere near my thoughts, I never wondered why?! Until today….! 

Usually when I get sick, and even now at twenty nine years old, and a mom to an 18months baby boy, I would still need my mama’s comfort; however, I would never tell her this. Not because I feel or think it is wrong, but because I simply can’t. Throughout my life, I have been an introverted little girl, my heaven was (still is) grabbing a book, and sitting on my bed, in my room, for hours until I was done with it. I craved silence and privacy. Being alone wasn’t something to complain about, it was a treat! Things has changed with time, that is a fact, and I have been coping well with noise and social events, yet I am still an introverted person. After an hour of socialising I need another hour or two to calm down and give myself a break. 
The more I think about it, the more I realise that growing up, we never talked about feelings. Not that it was a taboo, but we actually lacked the proper tools to get those feelings out, correctly and adequately. In my Moroccan dialect, we have no correct way of describing our feelings, of course we have those specific words : ” I am happy” or “I am sad” but if you say them out loud, I assure you, you will make a joke of yourself. 

Now try saying something like: ” I am jealous” or even “I envy you”, and get ready to receive a torrent of lectures, about how jealousy (or even envy) is a sin! And you should never have similar feelings! Instead you should burry them, really deep, and never talk about them again! First: Why can’t we all just agree that we are human after all, and we do sin! Then, a feeling is just between myself and I, something that I have no control over, yes sure I can work on making this unwanted feeling go away, but I can’t do that unless I first recognise it, and give it a name! 

Where I come from, we are encouraged to neglect our feelings, pretend that they don’t exist. You will only hear the word “feel” if “hungry”, “thirsty” or “tired” followed. 

If my husband reads this post, I am sure he would be wondering: “Then how come you keep on blabbering about what you feel, what you felt, and what you will feel, all day long when I am around?!” Well, all I have to say is that this is different, he is my best friend, I trained myself to open up to him, he is also a great listener, which helps greatly! 

Even after writing these words and after my grand realisation, I have no doubt anything will ever change, I still will not allow myself to talk about my feelings, because somehow it feels as if I was stripping naked in front of an audience. However, I always encourage my son to talk about how he feels: sad, upset, mad, happy, excited, frustrated…etc! Parenting is crazy! It gives us all a chance to relive our own childhood, except, this time, we are in charge, we write the guidelines and the rules, we get to change what we never approved of, and do our best to be the best! 


Secrets about love….!


Have you ever felt unloved? Unwanted? Or even invisible? You will be the luckiest if your answer is NO! Kids might feel unloved by their parents, wives at times feel invisible to their husbands, parents at some point, feel unwelcome to their children’s lives. Suddenly we feel like a dark cloud has migrated and declared our hearts its territory! We feel defeated and hopeless! We begin to see ourselves so small and it hurts! No matter who will make us feel this way, whether it is a spouse or a parent or a brother or friend, it will still keep us from sleeping at night, even though we will pretend that we couldn’t care less, to save the tiniest piece of our pride and dignity that remained.

But wait a minute!! What is love? How do we define a person who cares about us? How do you know what the other person feels like, if you have no magical power to enter his heart and steal a glance? One evening, few months ago, and while putting Adam to sleep, I had an epiphany: we don’t all love the same way nor with the same capacity!! It might be old news to you, but realizing that, in that dark room and that silence, where I could almost hear my thoughts. I felt like I had the last piece of the puzzle, and miraculously, everything fell in place for me. People have their very unique ways of loving and showing their love, they might appear very questionable and unusual to us, yet it is still their way of loving us. Just like the way we want to be loved, might seem also questionable and unusual to them. Do you see what I mean here? Some might need space when in a crisis and might feel suffocated with all the attention while others need people around to reassure them and make them feel safe. We might be the kind who shower others with calls and messages when they are in need, or we might be the kind who show their love by keeping our distance. So how do we judge? How can we really say that we feel unloved? Do we have some kind of device to measure this love, and set a minimum and maximum to it? We rather expect the other one to love us on our own terms and conditions, yet we need an unconditional love! (How ironic is that). How is it even possible, unless the person is a mind reader or some kind of magician? it is far from being reasonable right?

It is inexplicable, how our own perception of things can hurt us in the most obvious ways! I have struggled with this my whole life, I always wanted to be loved MY WAY (without even knowing that). And whatever didn’t match “my way” then by definition, wasn’t love. Now I realize how mistaken I was! Some actions done by our loved ones can leave us puzzled, wondering: “How can they do that?” we forget that, that same action might make perfect sense to them; it might even be their way of saying “I love you”! Even if not, and it is exactly as you and me would assume, truly a horrible act of wickedness, do we really know what is going on in that person’s mind? Can we take a second, and think, think deeply, not just brush our brains, dig and dig until we can see clearly! Before we judge our loved ones! Because without a doubt, we would want them to do the same for us! I know I would! I would want to be given the benefit of the doubt! I would want to be forgiven.

This past year was a continuous learning experience for me, but figuring this out, was one of the most valuable lessons, somehow it opened my eyes and helped me see clearer. Now before feeling, unloved, unwanted or even invisible, I stop and think, really think and try very hard to see their way of loving me, even in the darkest parts. And from where i stand now, i can proudly say that it is absolutely worth it!