I hope…

It’s been a while since I’ve been back and I guess a lot has happened and at the same time not much has happened.

To summarise, I went to Greece, Turkey (will post about my adventures soon) and I quit my job. Safe to say things are quite unstable, I have a plan because I can’t live my life willy nilly, however everyday I have a mini panic attack. I don’t know where things are going and hoping for the best is in my DNA even if things seem “all doom and gloom”. I have learnt that things are never as bad as they seem, in hindsight.

The inspiration for this post came from an aspect of my personality – hope (duh!). Not only do I just hope for the best but I think it is important to do everything possible in one’s control to make the hope into a reality. However, this post isn’t just about my ambitions or goals in life but more of a general hope for the world.

Sometimes we get so intertwined with our own problems we forget the bigger picture. This post is my way of taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. There is so much suffering and injustice in the world so I would like to send my positive vibes, for whatever it’s worth in the hope that maybe one day I am able to make some good difference in the world and leave a legacy behind.

So here goes:

I hope that whatever you are going through, know that nothing is forever and this too shall pass. I hope that you are not too hard on yourself, we tend to be our own worst critic. Let’s mix it up and I hope you become your own number one fan, it won’t make you a narcissist. I hope that you find your true calling and I hope that it makes you love your life. I hope that you are loved and that love makes you kinder. I hope your kindness spreads and infects everyone.

I hope you have the courage to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you, the unknown is scary but sometimes it is important to make a bold move and deal with the consequences later. I hope that you have faith that things will all work out for the best. They say to believe it and you’re half way there (words I live by).

I hope world education becomes a reality and that everyone gets educated as easily as they can breathe. The ones that have trouble breathing, I hope that you have access to the right medical treatments so you can enjoy life the way it is meant to be, one breath at a time.

I hope that you find the love that you have been waiting for, someone who is whole and someone who compliments you in every way. The kind of love that makes you want to be a better person. The kind of love that when you are around him/her, you’re home. The kind of love that cherishes your soul the way you deserve to be cherished. The kind of love that supports you and always only lifts you higher. The kind of love that will make you excited to wake up the next morning and find them next to you. The kind of love that you fall in love with everyday. The kind of love you want to have when you’re in heaven after spending a life time together. I hope this for you and more.

Lastly, I hope that you have a wonderful day, leaving the worries of yesteryears behind you. It’s a new day, cherish it, love it and most importantly… live it.

Selectively Curious©

Ramadan Kareem

I was born a Muslim.

I say “was born” rather than “I am muslim” because now I choose to be one, even though my faith has taken it’s fair share of hits, especially with the way the news portrays the religion.  I have lead a pretty sheltered life, up until university, I could say that I was a devout Muslim, not that I have done anything that is against my religion to date, however, my devoutness has gone up and down, much like a roller coaster. When I went to university, I did some exploring, as most people would do. I read up on other religions, not because I didn’t believe what my religion taught but I suppose to better understand my own. I wanted to understand other people’s religion to better understand the way people think and to make sense of it all. It’s a daily mission, I suppose, it’s not easy to just follow a religion, without understanding it 100%. It opened my mind up as I have tried to look at things from various other perspectives. We live in such a diverse world and it really does amaze me. I have been fortunate enough to know and encounter people who are very different than me, in everyway and it’s a privilege to call some of those people my friend.

Having said that, I’d like to emphasize my belief in God has been unaltered. It’s hard to explain it but my faith in Him has never changed. However, it is my belief in some of the stories of the teachings, which I find myself questioning and yet simultaneously, I am in awe of what the Qur’an has said. I won’t get into the details of it as the purpose of this post is to talk about one aspect of my religion, which is Ramadan.

It is the month where most Muslims fast in the name of the religion, to better themselves. It is a test for our patience, endurance and I suppose most of all, how grateful we ought to be that we are fortunate enough to break our fast at the end of the day with wonderful food. It teaches me to be generous and it is truly a month of giving. The reason for it to be a whole month, in my opinion, is because as popular theory also suggests, it takes 21 days to form a habit (though there are other studies that say 66 days). If we practice kind acts, after 21 days, surely kindness becomes a habit? This month we are meant to reflect (as the featured image shows, I suppose that’s what a person who is reflecting on life would look like?) and think about the bigger picture, to practice generosity, kindness, goodness and spread such acts of kindness. If people did follow this wholeheartedly, I do believe we would be living in a better world as I believe that kindness is contagious. Overall, at the end of the month, can’t speak for anyone else,  I feel that my soul is lighter, in terms of spiritually. I let go of petty things and there’s a lot about my faith that is reinforced, which has dimmed throughout the year, as a result of busy schedules.

As Michael Jackson said, “If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”

Ramadan Kareem everyone, may God bestow his blessings and mercy upon us all and may we all be better and try to make this world better, one person at a time. 🙂

Selectively Curious©

Are you too hard on yourself?

Yes! 

I like to please people and I like to be liked and yet I also do what I like. I’m a people pleaser but not a carpet, so to speak. The inspiration for today’s post stems from a few things, such as my job, my friends and the way that I am. 

Today at work I was given a task, which I didn’t do incorrectly but it wasn’t as it was expected to be done and it upset my supervisor. My mistake, in hindsight, is poor time management. I was given another task by a partner which was just as urgent and I should have communicated that with my direct supervisor. The problem is that I really wanted to complete the task myself. I ended up taking too long to turn it around, because of the second task and then the work product I delivered wasn’t great. I feel just awful about it and there isn’t anything I can do fix that. Ugh, tomorrow should be a better day! #needaholiday 

Now the friend issue, it’s most inconvenient. I have learnt to not trust too easily so I chose not to share something with her. I have since shared the information and she got upset about it because I didn’t tell her sooner, she now has her guard up and won’t speak to me as before. I understand her point of view but I’m not sure how to convince her that it isn’t personal and I don’t share everything with everyone, it’s just the way that I am. 

Quite a dilemma, it seems. I’m curious to see how tomorrow will turn out. 

You maybe curious the connection of the featured photo to this post. Well, I like rainbows and in days where I’m disappointed, I love how the simplest things such as a rainbow shining in darkness, makes me feel like everything is going to be ok. 🙂 

Selectively Curious©

Sensitive soul

The most difficult thing I’ve come to realise is trying to still be good to those who only do you wrong. When I was younger it would make me curious how my parents were always good to those, even if they were wronged. I grew up with such morals and have been taught that no matter what happens, always be kind.

How do you maintain a balance? I am a sensitive soul, in hind sight, I always have been. I feel deeply about everything, whether it be happiness, sadness, confusion, anger, and anxiousness (can’t think of any more words to describe emotions).

You may ask, what is a sensitive soul? Well for one, don’t be fooled by such individuals, they may be sensitive but they are far from weak. They have the ability to put aside their own needs and feelings to cater to those that need a boost. Their ability to feel deeply makes them great empaths thus helps them truly understand what the other person is going through. Often times people are unable to express how they feel and the sensitive soul will verbalise those feelings to the point, which shocks some people, sometimes. The emotions they feel are their strength as they allow themselves to feel deeply, thus making them able to handle a situation and controlling their feelings better than those who brush their emotions to the side. They can handle more than most because they’re used to feeling more than most.

Being a sensitive soul also gives you a hightened intuition in someways because they notice everything, even the most minor details such as a change of expression on someone’s face, which may have only lasted for a second. At times when logic makes no sense, their souls are able to come up with answers that does make sense. However there is a flip side, often such people have insecurities that cloud their intuition, as I have experienced many times and I think it’s important to listen to your intuition. Even if your mind tells you otherwise, listen to your inner voice, before the voice disappears forever.

Being around a sensitive soul, you will notice that they give you their undivided attention (to be fair sometimes people drag on a story longer than it should be and I get distracted). They can judge a situation and give you what you need. Even if it is just someone to sit quietly with. There is comfort in silence.

They have compassion on a deeper level and have the ability to move the world. Their kindness shines through their face and you can feel the genuine love they have to offer. They have so much to give and the ability to give wholeheartedly without being worn down. If anything the giving fuels them, especially when they see the joy on people’s faces. That is priceless.

Selectively Curious©

Have you ever?

Have you ever looked at a full grown person and wondered what they looked like when they were babies?

It used to be my favourite thing to do when I didn’t have my ipod or a book to read on the tube (aka the underground train in London). Of course I would look away before any eye contact was made, didn’t want to be break the unwritten rule of “no eye contact”. I love how my imagination takes me to unknown territory. It’s not easy of course to picture a man with a full grown beard as a baby, or an older person who looks so tired and sick of life and it shows on the face.

Have you ever cut your hair? I don’t mean just snippets, trimmed but actually completely chop off your long hair into really short, ear length hair?

It’s absolutely the most liberating activity I have taken a part in and I’ve done it a few times. Usually when I feel that I’m losing control of certain aspects of my life and the frustration gets to me,  I pick up a pair or scissors and just cut it all off. I love it and it’s actually quite addictive. I probably would never shave it all off completely but who knows what the future holds.

Have you ever seen something and not believe your own eyes, something that may be paranormal?

When I was younger, I used to play the piano. I wasn’t very good but I would play random things, reminds me I should probably take it up again. Anyway, on one of those days, I was sitting by the window about to play and I see black smoke come out of a building opposite mine. One of the apartments was on fire and I could see the flames burning and in that moment I see a figure step out on to the balcony of his/her apartment and just lean on the ledge. I stopped and looked a little closer and I saw that the man’s (or well at least it looked like a man) arm was on fire and he was just standing there. I ran to go call my brothers to see what was happening but by the time we came back to the window, the man had gone. I still can’t believe what I saw. He was just standing there as his arm burnt.

Have you ever been electrocuted?

Just once and it felt really weird. My mom asked me to change a light bulb in the living room. I took the new bulb and walked over to the lamp that needed the change, barefoot. As I put my hand on the old bulb, to twist it out, I felt a shock go through my whole arm and my hand got stuck to the bulb. First impulse of any person, is to get away from the hurt, in any way. Since my hand was stuck to the bulb I moved away (all whilst screaming and shaking). It all happened so fast and the next thing I knew, the porcelain lamp had fallen and shattered on the ground. I broke free from the electrocution. Honestly, I didn’t even realise I was screaming until my brother came out and asked me why I was screaming.

Have you ever been determined and stuck by it?

Story of my life, which sometimes tickles me.

Selectively Curious©

Interesting fact

As I was looking for inspiration for today’s post, I came across a fact, which made me smile:

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2012 was the 1994 Honda Accord.

We had that car for years, ours was gold (featured image is found in google, as we no longer have this car) and I still remember the new car smell it had when we bought it. My brothers and I had countless road trips in that car. When we were young we went to Saudi Arabia from the UAE in that car. As far as I remember, I was 6 and my brothers were 8 and 4. It was a 16 hour car journey and we put cartons of water bottles where our feet would be. So it became like a bed, more or less.

Whenever we went on a road trip, I would curl up on my side and sleep. Of course if you ask my brothers, they will say I took all the place, which I possibly did, I was sleeping so I’m not sure how accurate they were in their accusations. I’ve always been skinny and they would always tease me for taking so much space for a someone as skinny as me.

Amazing how quickly time flies, I feel like the three of us practically grew up in that car. We’d play the oddest games. Have you ever heard of dead leg or dead arm? Well, it’s a game where one person hits the other so hard that your arm or leg goes numb. It’s only fun in hindsight, I assure you. I am actually laughing at the memory of it.

In some ways, I’m not surprised that the 1994 Honda Accord model is the most stolen, maybe the thieves had equally good memories? Maybe we can give them that benefit of the doubt. As for me, I’m glad in my own selfish way that so many of those cars were stolen. I can honestly say that I probably wouldn’t have thought of that car today had I not seen this fact. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane. As I live, the more curious I get about the mysterious ways of God and how random connections come your way. Remember, everything is connected or maybe it isn’t, who knows?

Selectively Curious©

I love the beach

I love how it’s empty on a Saturday morning and I love the way the sand is slightly cool at this time of the year. 

Abu Dhabi has really good beaches and the one shown in the featured photo is the famous corchiche beach. I can’t believe it’s been 22 years since I first went to it. So much has changed and yet so much has remained the same. It’s nostalgic. The sand is smooth so it’s comfortable to walk on it since there are no pebbles or shells mildly stabbing you as you walk on it. The waves are calm and I love the slight swoosh noise they make as the water comes to touch the shore before retreating back into the sea. 

This is what Saturday mornings are for. To take a break from the troubles of life and just forget, even if momentarily the things that stress you out. The beach is my sanctuary in some ways, I feel refreshed as I sit there and sort out my thoughts. 

I have always been positive but I’m trying something new. I’m curious to see how this will pan out and effect my life. I have begun to practice gratitude since this morning as I believe it helps ground a person and makes one realise the the important things in life. Everything is temporary, best enjoy the present and as the title of Richard Carlson’s book: don’t sweat the small stuff, and its all small stuff. 

Selectively Curious©

Never lose your childish innocence

As I was grabbing lunch today, I saw a little girl, skating on her scooter and as she went past me she was in her own little world, humming away.

It made me remember a line from the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, which is one of my favourite movies, when Katherine says “No matter what happens, always keep your childish innocence. It’s the most important thing” It is also something the Italian director and writer Fedrico Fellini said. 🙂

I really like the idea behind this, we get so caught up by the unnecessary stresses of life that we lose our childish innocence and it’s sad. I think it’s important to take a step back to reflect, re-ground ourselves and just keep it simple. To quote Leonardo Da Vinci

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

I wholeheartedly agree with him. There’s elegance in being simple, which is why everyone I know owns a simple black dress (although their reasons can be entirely unrelated to this idea) and would also explain why Mona Lisa was such a masterpiece. If you analyse the painting, there’s nothing spectacular about it and at the same time everything about it is spectacular. It’s a simple paining of a simple looking woman and it represents so much grace, elegance and sophistication, in the way that she is smiling, sitting and looking at the painter. Arguably, she was drawn from the imagination of Leonardo Da Vinci and wasn’t an actual person, but still. I can somehow understand where he was coming from when he said that, even though maybe the context of why he said it might be completely different.

This also makes me think of Einstein’s quotes:

Things should be made as simple as possible but not any simpler

Things should be simple, I don’t understand the incessant need people have to complicate matters. For example, lawyers are known to be all fancy shmancy when usually they can say what needs to be said in three sentences rather than 3 paragraphs. Although, in our defense, this has changed immensely and good lawyers are known for their succinctness and the following quote emphasizes and proves that:

If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough

and lastly, since I am speaking of keeping it simple, Einstein’s quote:

I believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody physically and mentally

This is where I don’t agree with Einstein. I was listening to a song called Happiness sung by Needtobreath, a song I felt they sung for me as it resonates with me on so many levels and in the song they sing:

I’ve got dreams that keep me up in the dead of night telling me I wasn’t made for the simple life…

I don’t think everyone is made for the simple life and I don’t think one should be simple in every aspect of their life, just maybe in the way they communicate. I think a conscious effort must be made to keep things simple, don’t over stress and don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes it’s better to take things at face value and not allow yourself to overreact to something that’s nothing, don’t assume anything without having hard facts, as Eintein did say “unassuming life”. This point is crucial as the less you assume the more peaceful your life will be, mentally and if you’re mentally at peace then you’re mentally healthy, I think that makes you somewhat physically healthy too.I mention this because often times I find my girlfriends complaining about a man in their lives, where they’ve gone 100 miles away from the facts because they’ve assumed the worst and built a whole story in their mind. Having said that, a lot of the times they get the worst advice from their girlfriends.

If I can add any value to anyone’s life, please do not assume anything about anyone, until you know for a 100% that they’ve done something wrong and even then, give them the benefit of the doubt and hear their side of the story. 🙂

Featured image: I chose this photo for the featured image because there is nothing more innocent than nature, it’s simply beautiful and I didn’t use filters to enhance the image. At the same time, I like that over the horizon you can see the complexities of life, aka high rise buildings and it’s complex nature, thus demonstrating a balance in the world.

Selectively Curious©

 

28 going on 29

By the time I am done writing this post, I will be 29.

I feel the time people reflect most on their life is before a birthday or before new years. Unlike maybe most of you. 4th of March is not a day I particularly look forward to. Well incase you haven’t guessed by now, I mean I don’t really look forward to my birthday.

The day before I turned 28, I felt there was more I achieved before 28 since I had just signed my lease and became completely independent. I guess 27/28 is when I can say I became an adult. What have I done before 29?

Looking back over my 28th year in this world, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished that much and since I am an optimist, I think I will call it my year of pondering and self discovery. In my defence, I travelled more than I have ever travelled in one year, so that’s something. Job wise, my skills have developed more and this year more than any other year, I’ve come to genuinely love myself, in a none narcissistic sort of way. I like the person I am becoming and having said it (typed it) I feel that’s a really big achievement.

As I sit here, on the floor next to my most favourite being in the world, Coco, my cat: 

I can honestly say that I am content. 28 you’ve been great, hello 29. I will take this opportunity to tell you about one of my travels during my 28th year, the time I went to Prague.

On my way to Prague from Budapest, the taxi I was in came to a standstill. There were police bareacades and apparently there was a bomb threat at Budapest airport. It was such a mess. Oddly I wasn’t scared but merely annoyed because of the planning time I  put in for flights and hotel reservations. As soon I began to call the hotel to cancel our reservation the traffic began moving and another cab had come around out of no where. Was so lucky,thankfully.

I did most of the touristy things, as one does in the short amount of time they travel to a new place. This was our view from the hotel:
This trip also helped me get back in touch with reading maps, rather than relying on google maps and it was truly such fun:

To be honest I didn’t know much about Prague before I went, though I did read a quote on it: “Prague is the Paris of the 90s”. I can’t say that I agree or disagree because I didn’t visit paris back in the 90s, I was too young if I did. However I’m not sure why this comparison was made. Both places have distinct cultures and people so the comparison is quite a moot point.

Here are a few snippets of my trip:


I visited Lenons wall and it was amazing:

 


I also went to Prague castle, which is Europe’s biggest castle.

The steps to the top was quite difficult and the uphill walk before the stairs was worth it for this view

I love that the photo includes my handy map :).

This was inside the premises of the castle

It was a short journey but so nice. I wish I had more time there to explore more, but it was the end of my time in Prague. 

I’m exhausted and pretty much falling asleep as I type this. I will continue in the morning. Good night 🙂
Selectively Curious©

An apartment by the Bay

 

Almost a year ago I moved away from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. I was transferred to the Dubai office of the firm I work for.

I’d like to take a moment and just reflect on how quickly the time flies. When I was transferred, I was given two weeks notice (much like the movie) and in those two weeks I had to find a new place and move in immediately. Luckily Abu Dhabi is not too far from Dubai so initially, for about a 2 weeks I did have to commute, until my furniture arrived to my apartment.

My heart was set on a building which was right next to work and it had a few apartments empty. This was because I was new to Dubai and didn’t want to get caught up in the morning rush trying to get into work. However, for some reason, either the agent would increase the price or tell us it was no longer available. We had contacted a few agents about the apartments in the building. Until finally we managed to secure one and handed in a deposit. Little did I know that handing in a deposit doesn’t mean much and the next morning the agent called saying how the apartment is in high demand and can only make it available to me if we pay a higher rent. I flat out refused (pun intended), it’s not a joke and it shouldn’t be this difficult to book an apartment. Shame that people are not good for their word anymore and luckily I got my deposit back. Time was running out and I was back to square one and had no apartment. It was difficult to call agents at that time too because work was extremely busy. I have to admit, I was extremely lucky because my parents were very helpful. They would drive to Dubai to view the apartments on my behalf. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for their help. In any case I gave up on that building and even though the agent called again confirming that another apartment was available, I was now adamant to find a place anywhere else and never live in that building.

I had basically lost faith in ever finding an apartment and decided that commuting won’t be that bad and that I could do it. 10 days into commuting back and forth everyday, my hunt was back on. Luckily my mother had found another agent and she was excellent. She knew exactly what I was looking for and didn’t play any games in relation to my budget. She booked a viewing and I had taken a few days off to find a place. So on a Thursday, I went to Dubai with my parents to view the places. The first building was in a compound with a cluster of 13 buildings. We walked up to the compound from the underground parking, as we stepped outside, my dad said to me “This is it” with a big smile on his face and this was before we had gone up to look at the apartment! It just had a nice vibe to it, which the other building next to work did not have. We went up had a look at a few apartments and I chose the corner apartment. We got the lease signed the same day and I had the keys to my very own place.

It makes me curious how something’s just work out. Maybe it is fate? I guess the moral of the story is, if something is meant to be, it will be easy peasy. Don’t force things, just let it be. 🙂

Featured image is the view from my apartment.

Selectively Curious©