jdeena

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

Tag: hope

Online Dating Woes, Part 2

So last week I joined another dating website. I figure that I need to try all avenues before truly giving up on ever finding a partner. So, I filled out my profile, writing about my passions, my activism, my writing. I filled out all of the categories. I put together a really great profile, if I do say so myself. Of course, I did add a few pictures, as I personally loathe it when someone has one grainy photo of himself.

Imagine my surprise when almost every single message I received was about my looks. And they weren’t even clever openers. For example:

TypicalGuy1 (not his real screen name): You look gorgeous.

Me: That’s because I am. Anything else in my profile catch your attention?

TypicalGuy1: To be honest your shirt that has your country’s flag.

Me: Ok…anything else you READ in my profile not related to my pictures catch your attention?

TypicalGuy1: Why? Do I have a quiz?

Me: Well, if the only thing that prompted you to contact me was my looks, then I’m not interested. I have more to offer than my looks.

I have yet to hear back from him.

WHY? Why is it that with everything I have to offer, my looks are what drive men to contact me? Oh, I know, initially something has to prompt you to want to talk to someone, but I would hope that after my looks, reading my profile and seeing all that I do would be more of an incentive to want to talk to me. What I really want to say when a guy tells me “you’re so hot” or “wow you’re gorgeous” is “yea, I know.” Because I do know. I am not being conceited. I know I have good looks. And enough people have said it that over the years I’ve started believing it. But that is NOT what I want to be known for.

The other thing that annoys me are the questions about my virginity. Why is it that every single guy just HAS TO ask that within five minutes of conversation? Are we really that regressive that we still judge women by their sexuality? Why does it matter either way? When I bring these points up after being asked, I am told to “calm down” and that I am “overreacting.” Overreacting? Did I ask about your sexual status? Did I try and judge you solely by something that neither is your business nor your right to know?

So here I thought this dating site would be different. Here I thought that I would be able to find some men who were more enlightened. Not to say I haven’t has some decent guys message me. I have. Or I have, somewhat. So many are getting smarter, and will mask their misogyny by pretending to be interested in me, but then once we exchange numbers, turn it all around. Thank God for being able to block numbers.

Lastly are the Muslim guys who will flat out judge me for being on this site. Um, hello- you are as well! Why is ok for you and not me? For example:

TypicalGuy2: Why are you on here? (yes, his opening line)

Me: For the same reason as you, I suppose.

TypicalGuy2: Isn’t that inappropriate for someone like you?

Me: How so? I’m just trying to meet someone.

TypicalGuy2: Well, I’m just looking out for you, I don’t think it’s right.

Me: I don’t need you to lookout for me, I can take care of myself.

TypicalGuy2: So you’re being a bitch to me and I’m trying to help you. Nice.

Me: This conversation is over.

TypicalGuy2: Why? Because I was trying to be nice and you’re a bitch? That’s the thanks I get?

Me: Conversation is over.

He continues to message me, until I finally block and report him. As if I need harassment on top of his judgement. Seriously, what is wrong with you men?

Bottom line: using any online dating site leaves you to be disappointed. People are rarely who they say they are, their pictures are usually not current (or even of them), and every guy feels like a big man behind the screen- meaning he will harass, berate, or judge you if you reject his lame advances. You might ask why I continue to torture myself, and the answer is simple: it’s hard for me to meet people, regardless of all the traveling I do. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone and get to know them, and even meet up once we are both comfortable.

And, if nothing else, all these experiences make for a good blog post. So for now, I will continue to put myself out there, hoping that someday all my efforts and patience will pay off.

 

 

 

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Forced to Marry

I see it every day, all over my newsfeed and social media: girls are forced into marriage. No, I’m not talking about overseas in some remote country. I am talking about here in the US.  You might be thinking “Jinan, you are CRAZY!” but let me explain what I mean.

I know women have the right to choose their partner in Islam. I know no one can actually force you to get married. However, culturally, I feel that we are still bound by the obligations passed down from one generation to another. Think about it: when a woman says she doesn’t want to get married, what is your first reaction? Probably horror. Or, let me put it this way: when you meet a woman and ask her age, what is your reaction if she is over 30 and still single?

I am not singling myself out in this post, although I do face both scenarios quite often. But I am trying to open your eyes to a bigger issue in our society- one where a woman’s marital status and her ability to bear children is valued more than anything else she can offer. Just scrolling though social media and seeing how many comments a woman gets when she posts an engagement or wedding picture versus one of her new promotion or a solo trip she’s taken is enough to prove my point. However, it doesn’t seem to be enough for people to be convinced that we- as a society- are obsessed with marriage.

That point alone could have been enough to push me away from that institution; yet I chose to still become a part of it at the age of 27, when I first got engaged. To be honest (and I didn’t admit this at the time), I didn’t want to get married. I did it because my parents were becoming more and more frustrated with me, I was close to thirty, and the guy seemed decent enough. Everyone I knew would always tell me they thought something was wrong with me because I just wasn’t jumping to get married. What can I say? I just felt like I wanted to be on my own, and that I’d never find a guy who could tear me away from my singleness.

So, I got engaged. I went through the motions, made everyone happy -and then just as quickly- disappointed everyone when I took off the ring and left it on the bathroom sink before work one day. It was just two months shy of our wedding day. Yet I felt freer than I ever had that day.

Of course, everyone told me that I shouldn’t give up, and that I needed to keep an open mind. So I did, and I entered into yet another serious relationship that would be the beginning of the demise of my character.

Our culture fails to understand that we of this generation are looking for more than just a man to support us. We want a partner, someone we can love and respect and build an empire with. This second relationship chipped away at my self-confidence over 9 months. By the end of it, when he decided he wasn’t ready to get married, I was the shell of a human being. I was devastated and went into a depression so deep it consumed me. I felt lost, confused, and unmotivated. I was sure no one would ever love me, and spent my days crying and wondering what was so wrong with me that no one wanted to marry me.

And that was it- the breaking point. I went to therapy, and she asked me “why do you feel you need a man to love you to make you feel valid?” And it was such a simple question. Yet all my life, I was taught that marriage is half my faith and my culture made me feel that without a man I was nothing. I mean, just look at the questions we are asked when we meet people: How old are you? Oh, are you married? Oh, why not? I mean, are we seriously validating a woman by her marital status?

So since that day in my therapist’s office, I have vowed to work on loving myself. I have thrown myself into work and activities, focused on my writing and activism, and learned to be alone. I have a great circle of friends, but they are all married. So to count on their company proved fruitless. I go to movies alone, I go to restaurants alone; hell, I even travel alone! It’s empowering and liberating, but even more so, it shows that a woman does not need a man in order to enjoy life. I am not saying I will never get married; but I will definitely be enjoying the journey until that happens.

Do I get questions from my family and friends? Always. Everyone is scared of the “single girl” especially when she is so content in her singleness. But no matter; I don’t let it bother me. I have learned to laugh it off, and to focus on what is important to me. The way I look at it is, this is my life. Not theirs. To live your life for others will mean you will never truly live. So be content in your choices, as I have become.

They won’t like it, but then again, who cares?

The Trip That Changed Me

It’s been a month. And I am changed forever.
On November 14th, 2015 I embarked upon a mission like no other. I traveled to the country of Jordan for a medical mission with the organization I work for, the Syrian American Medical Society. My position in SAMS is to coordinate the medical missions from the US side, and to communicate with our Jordan office to set up the logistics. I’ve done this countless times over the past year and half that I’ve worked, but I wanted to gain real insight into our missions to better help the volunteers. And so I went.

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A side street in Zaatari. Photo taken by me.

 

I’ve spent time in refugee camps before. Growing up Palestinian, we used to travel to Palestine every summer to visit our family and reconnect with our homeland. I have seen the devastation that is a refugee camp; the run-down homes, the sense of resignation, the hopefulness of the people. Yet nothing could have prepared me for the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.
I am the type of person who likes to stand strong in times of crisis. I am the one holding everyone together. I rarely cry in public, and sometimes even find myself holding back tears in private so as not to fall weak to my emotions. I know it’s not healthy, and one needs to express emotions, but this is why I write. So when I entered the refugee camp, I felt strong. I reminded myself that I was there to do a job, and that I needed to focus on my duties as a SAMS employee.
However, that went out the door as soon as we saw the first patient: an 18 year old girl who had a 6 month old child and was afraid she was pregnant again.
Those of you who know me well, know that I am a huge advocate for women all around the world. My goal is to run a nonprofit someday that focuses on empowering women through education and microfinance. So to see such a young girl already married with a child…well, it tore me apart. But it didn’t stop there. I saw women my age on their 7th or 8th child; women who were younger than me who looked 20 years older. I saw women who had hope in their eyes for a future outside the walls of the camp, but who knew realistically that may never happen.

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Me and Aseel; one of the most lovable children I met there.

The first night back at the hotel, I cried; in my room, the shades drawn, the lights off. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt guilty that I lived a good life in the US, and these women had done nothing wrong yet they lived a life of misery. But I knew feeling sorry for them would do nothing to help.
For the rest of my time at Zaatari, I worked on talking to these women as if they were my friends. Many would notice my Arabic and come speak to me candidly about their lives. Some held out their children for me to hold and take pictures with. Many thanked me for just listening to them, and even more sent me home with an abundance of blessings for being there and helping out. I felt so unworthy of all of that praise.
My experience did not end there. The other group that pulled on my heart was the children. Specifically, the girls. In any type of situation where there is war and poverty, the girls suffer the most. When there is a lack of funds, a girl’s education is the first to be sacrificed. Because she cannot be educated, she is then married off young. The reason behind this is to preserve her safety and honor, as unmarried girls are susceptible to kidnapping and rape.
So many of the young girls that I met were bright, energetic, and driven. They had hopes for a future filled with school and careers. Many of them were continuing to learn on their own as the education cuts off for them around high school. Over the course of the week, I began to learn many of them by name. These girls would come up and ask me questions unabashedly- nothing was off limits for them. And I did my best to answer them honestly. Looking into their eyes as they spoke, I wondered what they were thinking. I wondered if they felt their status as a refugee. Many of them were in their early teens- I worried for these girls the most because I knew that unless they had a chance at higher-level education, they would be married off soon.

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Me and some of the beautiful girls I met.

Leaving Zaatari was like cutting out a piece of my heart. Since I’ve been back, there has been a dull ache in my chest. I am not sure what it is I am feeling, but something took a hold of me during my trip, and it won’t let go. I have the amazing opportunity to lead our next medical mission in Jordan in April 2016, so once again I will travel to Zaatari, and I hope to have some educational services to implement by then.
I know my work is far from done. I know I have so much more to do. I have started this journey and will not stop until I have created a lasting impact on the Syrian refugees in Jordan. I am still at the beginning of my legacy, but mark my words- that legacy will change the world.

A Numbers Game

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my really good friends Nabil. Every time I’m in the DMV area, he makes time to see me, but nothing compared to this time because when he showed up he was so deathly ill, I thought he was going to collapse right in front of me. However, he pulled through (because he’s awesome like that), and we had one of the best 3 hour dinners I have ever experienced with anyone. Forget the fact that he told me some news that shocked me into a frenzied state of mind (still shook up about that FYI). We ended up discussing- which we usually end up doing anyways- relationships.

As a trusted friend of mine, I have always turned to Nabil for advice and a male’s perspective. Even when I was engaged or going through a breakup. Knowing him for ten years has given me the comfort and ease of opening up to him, and he- in turn- is candid in his responses. So at one point during our conversation, I was telling him about my last attempt at a serious relationship, where I gave the guy 3 months to make the commitment. And Nabil told me something I never would have thought about. He told me that 3 months was way too long. Because as short as our life is, we cannot afford to spend 3 months with each person we meet. His theory is that once we meet a person, we know within 10 minutes if we want to see them again. And within 24-48 hours, we know whether or not we like that person. So, at most, we will know whether or not that person is a compatible match for us within a week. And at the end of that week, as a female, we cut the guy off. If he is serious, the guy will come knocking down the door wanting to be with you. If he doesn’t, hey- you only spent a week with that fool.

I stared at him, trying to figure out if he was being serious. (He was.) But as he went on, I realized that his theory made sense. Why do we always drag things out? Yes, it is important to find out each others likes and dislikes, but you will never fully know the person no matter how many months you date. So maybe the idea that we focus on the positives from the start and have pure intentions for a solid commitment are what we need in order to find that partner. Plus, as a female, it helps us weed out the assholes who are just using you.

So all of what he said to me that night resounded in my head all weekend. I kept turning it over and over in my mind, trying to make sense of it. So if I met a guy today, I’d know in a week if I wanted a solid commitment with him? Could I really do that? And if I am doubting whether or not I could, wouldn’t that make ME the problem? Doesn’t that mean that I am the one running from commitment?

It’s true that I was the one who imposed a 3 month limit in my last relationship, but if the tables were turned, and he wanted to commit after a month, would I have agreed? That’s what scares me. Because I think I probably wouldn’t have. Because since then, I have had a few guys show their interest in a commitment, who in fact want to rush into an engagement almost right away, and I admit it scares the hell out of me. How can they be so sure about me? What if they find out my flaws and realize they made a mistake? I admit that I’m not an easy person to love. Not because you need to prove anything to me, but because I am so used to being on my own that I have a hard time letting someone love and care for me.

So, since Nabil told me I have nothing to lose, I plan on trying this new method. I just need to force myself into this state of mind that not every person will meet all my standards, but that I can overlook the not-so-important ones and focus on what really matters, which is (according to Nabil): physicality, religiousness, and character. All the other things are just minor.

After I made it back home from my vacation, I texted Nabil and he told me something that I will end with. He said: “It’s a numbers game. Just don’t hold on to one ticket too long. Keep swapping them out for newer tickets until one fits the bill.”

So that’s what I’ll do.

Flirting with Danger

So, I started my new job this week! I absolutely love everything about it so far. My coworkers are amazing, the office is beautiful, and the work is fulfilling alhamdullilah. I’ve just been training the last two days, and will officially start on Monday. So this week has been pretty laid back.

Before I got to the office on Monday, I knew that I would be working with another guy on my events since it was too much work for one person during our upcoming Ramadan season. I was surprised though to find out that he was around my age. As soon as I walked into the office, there he was, his lean figure folded into one of the swivel chairs. He stood to greet me and I noticed that he was very tall, dressed well, and had an easy-going smile on his face. I was instantly attracted. Not to say that I had fallen head over heels (I’m not that type) but if I had to work with someone, I’m glad it was someone like him.

However, his personality ended up being more attractive than I imagined. We fell into an easy conversation and ended up liking the same things. I finally felt that there was hope in meeting a great guy, in my field of work- someone I can share my passions with and who would understand me too. All morning we shared a friendly back-and-forth banter. After work, we went out to dinner to talk more about the job and to get to know each other better so we could figure out how to split the workload we would be faced with shortly. He was polite, respectful, and ambitious. I found out his family owns a business and he was helping his father run it. He was unhappy in his current job and so he was grateful for this new position. We talked for hours. If I didn’t have my conference call at 9, we probably would have stayed even longer.

Except that at the end of our meal, he mentioned his fiance.

Yup, that’s right. You heard me. His FIANCE.

WHY. Why is it that every time I meet a great guy, someone I have dreamed of meeting, there is always a catch? And then the only guys I do meet who are single are guys I am not interested in? I can’t tell you how disappointing it is to try and keep an open mind in meeting someone when every time I do, they are already taken. Now, I know there are lots of great single guys out there, but it seems like they are not within my reach. 

What’s funny is, this guy actually wants to hook me up with his brother. Whom he says is nothing like him; in fact, he is the opposite. Shy, anti-social, and quiet. Ugh. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I need a counterpart. Someone who won’t think that I am “too much” of anything. 

After he told me he was engaged, I felt like I was in the danger zone. All the joking and ease of conversation now felt strained since I felt I had crossed a line. But it wasn’t my fault- he had withheld that information so I wasn’t the one at fault, right? But how do I continue to work with him, knowing that in my mind I find him to me perfect for me, and after such a great start? Lucky for me he will be working from Michigan and not from the office where I am located and so I won’t have to see him as much. But we will still be communicating every day, multiple times a day, and see each other at events.

The way I see this is that God wanted me to realize that there ARE great guys out there. Maybe this was just a glimpse inside what is to come. Maybe I will meet someone else within my field and this is just a way to get me to open up to the idea. Still, I can’t help feeling disappointed that yet again, the perfect guy was within my reach and- just as quickly- he was snatched away.

Sigh.

Too Attractive?

The other day while I was browsing Facebook, I came across a status one of my friend’s had posted. It was a quiz she had taken titled: “Why am I still single?” Her results concluded that she was still single because she was “too perfect.” Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link to see what it would say. The questions were easy to manipulate; that is, if you want it to conclude that you are “too” something or other, you answer it the way you think it should be answered. I was honest in my answers because I really was curious to see what my outcome would be.

The result was: “You are too attractive.”

I laughed.

Not because I don’t think I’m attractive (and I am not conceited by any means but I know I am not ugly), but because how could that be a reason as to why I am still single? I see plenty of pretty people get married or are in a relationship. But then, when I discussed this with a friend of mine the other day, she agreed with the quiz. She told me that many guys are usually intimidated by just ONE of the following: beauty, brains, and independence. The fact that I carry all three intimidates men so that they are afraid to approach me, feeling that they aren’t good enough. I started at her in shock; is that really true? Can a guy be THAT intimidated by my looks? I am constantly getting compliments on my skin, my figure, my smile, my eyes…from both men and women. But to be honest, I get tired of all that attention. It might seem like I am tooting my own horn, but I honestly have never seen myself in that way. Until recently, I always had to win guys over with my personality. They’d tell me I was cute, but that was the extent of it. So what changed?

I’m not sure when it happened, but in the last few years I’ve started not to care. I don’t care about having the perfect figure, I don’t care about looking like the actresses in Hollywood, and I don’t care whether or not people like my style. What I do now is for me, and me alone. I have never changed anything about myself for a guy. And when a guy came along and tried to do that, I kicked him to the curb. So maybe it’s my confidence that has made me so attractive. Maybe it’s the fact that I have fallen in love with myself and I make myself happy that attracts guys to me. I don’t shy away from my imperfections; I embrace them. I treat myself right, I take care of my body, and I find hobbies and interests that stimulate my mind.

So maybe that’s what being attractive means? I’m really not sure. All I know is that this can’t be the excuse for guys to not approach me. How insecure must you feel to be intimidated by looks? I am friendly to everyone; you have an open door to get to know me. I don’t have a “type;” whatever guy matches me intellectually and emotionally is good enough for me. I know there are girls out there who ruin it for the rest of us. A guy has a bad experience with one of them and he is forever scarred. Still, if I’m willing to get back on the proverbial horse, the guy should put forth the same effort.

I’m not sure what else to say. Guys, if you’re waiting for me to become less attractive, you’re going to wait for a while. I am at the peak of my life right now. I am healthy, happy, and loving the relationship I have with myself. They always say if you want to find love, you must first love yourself. So now that I have that accomplished, I’m waiting for the right guy to show up and love me for who I am. And if you think that because I know you are intimidated I will let myself go now, you are sadly mistaken.

This is who I am. Take it or leave it.

Our Expectations of Love

I’m sitting here thinking about a lot of things. I was recently given some feedback on my blog by a very admirable friend of mine and I’m going to try my hardest to put it to good use (Thank you Mr. GK). No more generalizations. I realize that in the past I have made generalizations about the Arab male population, and while I distinctly remember placing disclaimers (such as “most” or “the ones I know”) it appeared that I was attacking the whole race. So, I apologize. For further clarification, in future posts when I mention ANY group, it is based solely on my own interactions and not the population as a whole.

So, here I am thinking. One thing that has crossed my mind lately is love. We all have our own views on this complicated emotion. It really is hard to try and put into words the way we feel about someone, and so to simplify it, we take the easy way out and say we love them. But is that true? I look at certain couples and see that they don’t really love each other. They “tolerate” each other. They “withstand” each other. They “adapt” to each other. But it’s not truly love, not in the sense that has been conditioned in our minds since we could understand words.

So, what is this “love” that we try and acquire? Well, according to the Disney movies we watched as children, it’s when a prince comes and rescues you from whatever horrible situation you happen to be living in. Or, according to all the romantic comedies, it’s meeting the guy you end up marrying at an airport while running to catch a flight, or on the street as you cross only to be almost run over by a metal garbage dumpster and he rushes in to save you.

The problem is, our expectations of love are so unrealistic that we are disappointed when things don’t play out like they do in the movies. Who is to blame for this? Logically, it would be the moguls in media who continue to feed us these atrocities and get us hooked on this unrealistic notion. But really the only person we have to blame is our own self. As a female, I myself don’t look for that fairytale ending. The only thing I look for is a meaningful connection and open communication. Too many women get caught up in the motions of a relationship that they actually forget to LIVE in the moment. They have all these steps to pass that they picked up in the movies, and if the relationship misses a step- or God forbid- skips them all, they declare the relationship a failure.

This is when they no longer “love” their partner, but rather “tolerate” them. A lot of times it’s too late to repair the damage; both parties are now so uninspired that they have given up. I’ve read so many articles lately on how to keep a relationship strong, and they all said that the best way to do so is by pretending the relationship is just starting out. Too often we get comfortable with someone that we don’t feel the need to impress them or woo them as we did at the beginning. But to anyone who has ever been in a relationship, what’s better than the feeling you get when you first meet someone? Getting to know them, figuring thing out about each other….it’s the best time!

Love is not an easy concept. It is also no easy fete to conquer. If I could tell the younger generations something, it would be to look beyond the movies and stories of your childhood, and decide for yourself what your love will be. Don’t allow unrealistic expectations to hinder your ability to build a life with someone who may be your perfect match, but you were too caught up in the fairytale to notice.

My Advice to the Younger Generation

You know how every person has a mini-me? That one person who reminds you of yourself at a younger age? Well, I found mine. And, just like me, she’s smart, witty, beautiful, and strong. She is SO much like me, that she has the same outlook on men that I had 10 years ago. I would argue that this is fine, because at the age of 22 or so you dont really need to focus on getting married. However, what scares me is the fact that- just like me- she’ll continue with that mindset well into her late 20’s and early 30’s.

I should be happy that young girls are waiting until they come into their own before settling down. However, having done that myself, I know it is not always fun and games. There exists a fine line between independence and isolation. I was a dry-run; it had some bumps along the way but I survived. And because I am here, alive and well, I am able to relay some advice upon the young women just starting their journey.

This is my advice to the younger generation:

I know it seems so amazing to be single. And most of the time it is. However, two things will always haunt you. One is your family. They will constantly bring up your status and wonder what is wrong with you. They will set you up endlessly against your wishes. They will yell, cry, and taunt in an effort to get you to meet someone and JUST GET MARRIED! Try and stay strong.  Find some hobbies, because more than likely your married friends will have little time for you. Take up writing (like I have lol).

The second thing that will haunt you are the “what if’s?” You will wonder about the guys you never gave a chance to, as well as the ones you dismissed because you were too busy becoming an independent woman.  You will mourn loves lost, and remember the one who treated you the best, but you pushed him away because you felt you were too young for love. You will regret the decision to “see what else is out there.”  Because trust me, ten years later there isn’t a much better selection. It gets harder to find someone who you see youself with. It may seem like you are being pickier, but really the pool has just gotten smaller, and there are a lot less fish to choose from. When that happens, you feel lost and hopeless, and give up…..yet again.

People will constantly ask you why you are not married. If you say “it just never felt right” you will be looked at like a mutant with two heads. I wish someone had been there to talk me through my fears and tell me it would all be okay. I just feel like I never knew what the right way was to love, and be loved. Because of this, I always carried a fear of relationships inside. This made it very hard for me to build a bond with anyone beyond friendship. Now that I have realized all this, I am working on it. And contrary to what people say, I know that it’s too late.

It’s a vicious cycle. And a hard decision. Do you enjoy your youth and cast off men while you build yourself into a one-woman powerhouse, or do you succumb to the fear of ending up 35 and alone by choosing the lesser of the evils and marry now? I can’t honestly tell you which one is right. I do not regret one moment of the past ten years. All my experiences have shaped me into the woman I am today. And while I did experience pain, it was well worth it. I am happy I never sacrificed myself to marriage, because I know I wouldn’t have been happy.

Whether or not you should do the same is up to you. I just want you to know what is waiting for you when you turn 30. It’s not always better on your own.

Raw

She lies there

Cold.

Huddling in a corner

Naked with emotion.

Warm tears slide down her cheek

Leaving black streaks of despair.

Shivering with heartbreak

Ice pumping through her veins.

Stripped of their love

She lays there dying.

Squeezing her eyes tightly

She prays for solace.

And then,

Warmth.

She raises her head

Opens her eyes.

He is right there

Close to touch.

She says to him

“Do you know how hard it is to look you in the eyes?”

He replies

“I’d imagine as hard as it is to look you in the eyes.”

Her heart shatters

Pieces everywhere.

He scrambles to pick it up

But it is too late.

She falls apart

Bit by bit.

He can’t keep up

He’s losing faith.

She’s gone

No longer here.

He closes his eyes

Prays for relief.

He hears a beating

So close and so clear.

He opens his eyes

To find her heart

Laying on the ground.

Warm, pulsing, alive.

Her heart has survived.

She has not.

Forgiveness

As the year comes to a close, it’s always good to tie up any loose ends. In order to start the year anew, there needs to be no bad endings from the previous year. Keeping that in mind, I did something last night that has been on my mind for months.

I forgave someone who had deeply hurt me.

It wasn’t easy; I debated it for months. This person had a piece of my heart and was there for me in a time of great despair. I came to truly loved this person, and so when they abruptly left my life I went about thrashing like a child unable to swim caught in a tidal wave. I didn’t understand it at first. To be honest, I didn’t understand why until recently. You see, everything in life happens for a reason. Every relationship we have is meant to add some value to our lives. We may not reap the rewards of that value until much later; however the worth never changes.

I reached out to this person to show that I finally forgive them for the pain they caused me. I know we both acted childishly and so I wanted to clear the air and put it in the past. This person was a great friend to me and it made more sense to cherish that friendship then throw it away over something we both contributed to.

It’s rare that you can find quality people in your life. Be aware, however, that you should not allow people to take advantage of you just so you can forgive them. That’s not my point. I want you to realize that you shouldn’t throw people away over a mistake. It’s not fair. We are all humans; we all make mistakes. So you cannot judge someone, especially without knowing their intention. So give people the benefit of the doubt. Unless they truly use you and hurt you beyond repair, look to forgive them and give them a second chance.

I was relieved to see that my friend’s response was the same as mine. I know I feel even better knowing that I mended a valuable friendship, all before the end of this year. As we head into 2013, I see nothing but good things ahead for us.

So, thank you, for this forgiveness.