jdeena

Never settle for what is…come tomorrow it will be what was

Month: April, 2012

Conflicted

So it’s 1:30 in the morning and I am browsing through Facebook- stalking, if you will. I am checking out pictures, and for some reason (probably to torture me), every other picture is of some girl with her husband, fiance, or children. Now, I have said this before and I will say it again: I am happy for those who have found The One. I commend you for taking that leap of faith and entrusting your life with someone who has promised to always take care of your heart. It is a huge step; one that I don’t think I could do right now.

But I can’t deny the fact that it just annoys the hell out of me when I see that sh*t!

I admit there are times (namely at 1:30 in the morning) when I feel a bit of sadness as I scroll through these pictures. I know that I am not at a place to be in a committed relationship, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss talking to that one person in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep or being able to have someone who will make me smile on a bad day with a nice text or voicemail. I admit it; we all need that attention from the significant other. It makes us feel desirable, appreciated, and loved. I am one who can say that I am content with the person I am, and I am not looking for a guy to complete me because I am whole on my own. But having someone there to do things with and talk to would be nice.

Sometimes I feel like I should just give in a get married, and maybe I will get used to it and adapt to that lifestyle that I cannot fathom living. Maybe having kids won’t be so bad. Maybe losing a part of myself to compromise with my husband won’t sting as bad. After all, many around me have done it and survived. Every day (and I mean EVERY DAY), I lay awake before bed and imagine my life as a married woman and mother. Most of the time I fall asleep content, but sometimes I lie awake until exhaustion settles in and I fall into a fitful sleep filled with nightmares and random scenes that leave me breathless when I wake up.

It would be easy to live my life as I wish…if I wasn’t Muslim Arab. Unfortunately, my culture and religion dictates that my life is not technically mine to live, and I must allow my family and community to weigh in on my life. As much as I am told it doesn’t matter if I get married, it seems that it does because if I don’t, in ten years I will be left alone while everyone I know who is near and dear to me moves on with their life.

So, the question is, do I concede now and get married even though it is not my desire, just so I can avoid the pain of being alone in the future? Or do I stay true to myself and live my life as I wish and hope for the best?

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The Ring

The following is a piece I originally wrote in 2006. Back then I was at the peak of my writing career and used to write small stories and poems. The idea for this piece came from a dream I had. I used to wake up in the middle of the night starved for air; I would often find myself gasping and choking. At the time I didn’t know what was wrong, but eventually (after doctors visits and a lot of labored breathing) I realized it was due to anxiety and fear. This piece conveys the emotion of one such dream.

 

It’s dark.

The air is suffocating; stifling. It’s hard to see what’s going on around me. Words blur into cold, sharp puffs of air, coming at me from all angles. There is tightness in my chest. It hurts to cry.

But it hurts even more not to.

I need light.

But there is no light. The sun has dulled to a soft glow. Everyone around me is wearing shades, but to me, I can’t imagine why. It’s not bright out. I see my shadow along the walls around me; high walls. Thick walls. Everywhere I turn, there I am. Dark, long, no facial expression.

Just black.

But wait, I see light.

Down, way down. At the end of my long, miserable tunnel of despair. I run. Running faster and faster. The further I get, the farther the light seems. A round blaze of illumination, offset by a silver rim. The reflection upon it makes me unconsciously shield my eyes as I get closer.

It’s getting closer. It has stopped receding.

There is someone there, at the end. He is holding out his hand. No, wait; there is something in his hand. I squint as I draw near. Trying to figure it out. A coin? Perhaps a pendant? I am out of breath. Anticipating the onslaught of joy, of knowing my dark journey will finally come to an end…

…I burst through the opening and run towards him, breathlessly awaiting what he holds.

Just as quickly as I come, I screech to a halt as he holds it out to me.

A ring.

Unhinged

Back when I was a child, my parents told me that I had a very hard time expressing my emotions. I suppressed my true feelings behind a wall and stone-cold expressions. I didn’t like showing emotion; to me emotion equaled weakness. Someone tells me bad news and I’d reply coldly. I would do something bad and show no remorse, even though deep down I knew I was wrong. I never cried. I wasn’t affected by movies or real-life emotional situations. I was a rock and nothing could move me.

As I grew older, my personality didn’t change. My friends laughed at me and said I had no heart when I proclaimed that the movie The Notebook was unrealistic and waste of two hours. I never shared with people how I felt after a rough time. I always felt the need to put on a mask and pretend everything was perfect. I didn’t do this to be difficult; in fact, I yearned to express myself like everyone else. It made me stand out more than I already did to act this way. I can’t remember how or why I started this trait, but as time went on I resembled a ticking time bomb…at any minute, I was going to explode.

What happened? In the span of 3 years, my whole structure was attacked. It may be because it happened so quickly and in such a short period of time that I was affected so strongly. Eventually, I crumbled under the pressure. And all the years of resentment, betrayal, disappointment, and hurt burst out of me like a broken dam. I could no longer hold in my emotions. And what did I see once the water had subsided? A weak woman. I loathed myself for allowing emotions to get the best of me.

You may say I am being hard on myself, but you have to remember that the one thing I have always prided myself on was my strong personality. I don’t let anyone bother me. I was gossiped about continuously through high school and college and nothing altered me. So to have worked through all that just to become unhinged in the end created a lot of self-doubt and disappointment.

Now, any little thing can make me cry and I detest it. I am trying to recondition myself to not be so easily affected by emotional situations. Recently, I was betrayed by a very good friend and my first instinct was to cry and wallow in my pity. However, my old conscious made an appearance and I gathered my emotions and channeled  them into other activities. I will not allow others to break me down with their deceiving ways, and I refuse to allow myself to fall again.

I am rebuilding the wall around my heart. Yes, I will keep good things from happening to me, but more importantly I will keep the bad away which to me is a more precious entity than anything else.