Monday, December 16, 2013

All What Counts


I am alone in a hotel room. Just me and my mind - me and my thoughts.
Me and my confusion.
When it should have been me and you.
You and me.

I am alone; my mirror and I, and I look up to see her. She who knows not what to do with her life, with her self. She, who has dark circles round her eyes. Maybe it's days of work, but it could also be what she has brought upon herself.

She has turned into this person she refuses to accept. And in this refusal, she has learnt to lie not only to others but also to herself. It is a bit hard to swallow, the person she has become; real.
Reality comes with lines around your eyes, and stretchmarks on your thighs. It comes with grey hair and heartbreak. It comes with the realization that you cannot save the world.

Even worse, it comes with the realization that you are capable of hurting others. You are capable of hurting those who love you. (and those who truly care for you)

I look up and decide to look through pictures of my younger self, some from when I thought I had life figured out (seven years ago) - I thought that maybe finally, my life is sorting itself out. But no. It kept doing the same thing over and over again where it pushes me further and further into a place I could no longer recognize.

I am not scared to admit it any longer, in fact, I don't have life figured out. I have no idea where I am heading and the closest thing to a plan I have is this: to start saving, to write a business plan and to stop lying to myself. But I don't know where I want to be in two years, let alone five. What I know is that I feel young, that I won't let anything weigh me down, and that is all that counts at times.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First Day of School - Life Edition

Actually, I want to talk to you.
My fiance and I broke up some two months ago.
It was my second long term relationship. Before then, I was with someone for two and a half years, and four months after we broke up, I met my now ex-fiance - we were together for almost three years.

I turned twenty while dating ex number one and I turned twenty-six fresh out of the relationship with ex number two. And the conclusion is that I don't really know my grown up self at all. I have never been single in my twenties. The twenty-something year old person that I know as myself has always been with someone. And this is all so weird for me.
I am enjoying it.
I am enjoying hanging out with friends; old and new, and catching up with people in general

But I can't deny the fact that it is quite weird in an unsettling kind of way. I am just not used to it. It's like the first day of school all over again. It's not that I feel like I don't fit in, it's just that I am seeing myself in a different life, discovering myself in a different context. I don't know my mannerisms anymore. I am me and just me and only have to do things that would please me, and would be okay by me. My plans are my plans and my time is just my time. There are no constraints, there is no other variable in the equation that is my life.

It's weird.

I am discovering a new dimension of everything and everyone and not just myself and my life.
I just came back from a very nice trip to the Red Sea, which has always been my favourite. I'll post pictures then!


Monday, October 14, 2013

I miss kindness.
I miss genuine smiles.
I miss people doing good for the sake of doing good and not labeling it a "favour"


I really miss all these things.
A few things have happened to me lately that shook my faith in the good in people. I am not really sure if people are genuinely nice to me anymore. Or if there is some ulterior motive.
Whenever someone smiles at me or touches my shoulder jokingly, I keep thinking "why are you doing this?" "what do you want from me?" "are you objectifying me?" "Is there more to me than just my body that you see?"
"do you want to steal my wallet/phone?" "do you want to hurt me?"

I am not really sure if I will ever get myself back, or is this the kind of person I will be from now on..
But I miss trusting people.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Still July in Her Head


It was a July morning – a Saturday if she remembers correctly. There were no curtains in the old room filled with knickknacks collected with the years, a fraternity flag here, a conference invitation there…a picture from a first date and of best friends lost to borders and time.
The summer sun filled the room and it woke her up. Lazy with joy, with last night’s food and wine, she opens her eyes and finds him fast asleep next to her. Sweaty…men are always sweaty; it’s all the hair covering their bodies. She likes hairy men, she things…she looks at him thinking what a beautiful moment this is. She thinks about what would go through his mind had he been the one to wake up first but changes her mind knowing it wouldn't please her.


She’s hard to please, anyway.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Do You Know?

I haven’t seen enough in my life, that I know.
I live through other people’s experience…but I have had my own share of experiences, if I may say. I have had my share and still I haven’t figured life out.
This is what makes me believe that you can live your entire life – to the fullest or not – and only realize what it was all about on your deathbed.
What worries me about life is not my deathbed. What worries me about life is, rather, who will be next to me then.
I know enough to know that whoever is left from my family will be there, and knowing that, in itself, is more than enough. But being the greedy person I am (human nature), I want more. I want a man I love and who loves me back to be there. And maybe children…
But I am not looking for that person that you meet and start feeling all tingly on the inside. I believe you just know – you just know this is the person I am going to grow old with; this is the person who has the other half of my children’s genes.
Is it just me? Or do you know?

Do you know?

Am I being too idealistic or too much of a dreamer? Maybe
I was talking to my boss the other day and she said that you know it when you meet that person. She said that you meet them and know that this man will be the father of your child(ren) – you might not necessarily grow old with them, but sharing children gives you a special bond of sorts. She said that she has this ability; with people she knows enough or has spent enough time with…she sees them with someone and knows that this is going to be their wife/husband. Or not.

You see, life is all about trial and error. And, with trial and error comes failure, but with failure there always comes a lesson. I have failed one too many times.

And next time, I want to just know. It’s not about marriage as much as it is about the connection, the click(!), the “oh you make my heart race and I want to lie in your arms for hours on end and not get fidgety.” 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hard Times

Sometimes, things happen to you and you wonder how you'll ever survive them. And sometimes, these things are your own doing...and you wonder how stupid someone could be...
How stupid you could be.

I might be going through one of the toughest things I ever had to go through. But this is how life works. Rough times make you stronger, they make you tougher, but I am worried I am getting too tough. At times, I am totally unable to exhibit emotion towards the ones I love, and I can only do it when I am on my own.

To make it seem easier, I thought I would make a list. A list of the hardest things I ever had to go through.

1. Watching my grandfather die. I actually did watch my grandfather die. He died of a heart attack and it was a matter of minutes.

2. Realizing that I am not the person I think I am. I am someone, and I think I am a totally different person, it is who I want to be but it is not really who I am. As I grew older, I became...darker. Life became harder, and I decided, well, if it is hard anyway, why not top it off by doing stupid things? (because, logic...)

3. A beak up...potentially two. DUE TO THE SAME STUPID REASON. And, both my own wrong doing. I really don't know what to do with myself.

4. I think that is pretty much it. I have lead a relatively easy life. 

I mean, I have lost several family members to cancer, as well, but so has everyone. I have made wrong choices and decision left, right and center. But I think it is time.

It's time to change this.

“…And with these the sense of the world’s concreteness, irreducible,
immediate, tangible, of something clear and closer to us: of the
world, no longer as a journey having constantly to be remade, not as
a race without end, a challenge having constantly to be met, not as
the one pretext for a despairing acquisitiveness, nor as the illusion of
a conquest, but as the rediscovery of a meaning, the perceiving that
the earth is a form of writing, a geography, of which we had
forgotten that we ourselves are the authors.”

–Georges Perec, “Species of Spaces” via Keri Smith

Monday, August 5, 2013

Birthday Month

Obligatory sentence about how I cannot believe that it is August already. Wait a second, it really is August...
This year has been quite the roller-coaster for me - quite a few shocking realizations about myself and my life, and an overall feeling of stagnation regarding that life...I went to see a therapist for the first time in my life, and she asked me one time: Sara, do you think you are depressed?
I looked her in the eye and said no.


I said no because there are hundreds of thousands of people who lead lives that are much more troubled than mine, lives that are a million times more difficult. I have it easy. I have it very easy, I believe, and hence, I have no right to be depressed.

It has been stressful, I agree, with helicopters flying over my building as I try to sleep at night to wake up early enough for an hour commute to a job I love...with army tanks on my way to my daily hangout...with my own little personal issues and insecurities...but I can't complain.

A few months ago, I attended this picnic event thing in a "public park" that has deterred public access and reserved the park for Zamalek elite who have no problem spending EGP 30 on Koshari that you could otherwise buy for EGP 3. I had fun, I had so much fun, but the minutes I left the park, I felt horrible, I felt really bad because who are these people - who have club memberships worth tens of thousands of Egyptian pounds - to prevent those who can only afford this park from entering it on a weekend? Mind you, they didn't physically prevent anyone from entering, but there was the barrier created through looks and brands and makeup...

end of rant.

It's my birthday month! And I promised myself that on days leading to my birthday, I will blog more, and here I am. I am turning twenty-six this year and I cannot believe it. I don't know where the past year of my life has gone...I really don't. I don't feel old...but I have tons of grey hair, my metabolism is slowing and my "late nights" are getting earlier and earlier. I have been working full-time for the past five years, I have cousins who have babies now, and my baby brother is twelve. What the hell, life?

I usually make lists before my birthday. This year, until my birthday, I want to"

  • Start a monthly budget
  • Plan my holidays
  • Write more. I write here, by the way. Let me know what you think!
  • Spend more time with my brother and sisters
  • Finish the book I am currently reading (NW by Zadie Smith) 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Silent Film

Do you ever look back on your life and remember certain incidents that you could have made so much more of? (an curse your silly, young mind for not doing what the person you are today would do?)

Is this how we learn?

Because, recently, these moments have been haunting me. Things from years and years ago, and I just can't help but think that if I had said so and so or if I had done this and that, things would have been so much better today. Things would have been very different. I would have been very different.


I don't know what I am doing with my life at the moment. It all feels like a big lull. (one that has lasted too long that my muscles are aching) Like...life is happening to me and I am not making it happen. I am not making anything happen, I am just watching it all take place and just....

It's like a silent film with bad actors, for a viewer, it is so hard to understand. And I am but a mere viewer. And I don't understand a single thing.

Words. It is all about words: words you say and words you don't say. But the things with words is, unlike actions, you regret the words you say and the words you don't equally. And it just sucks.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Hair!

So I went to the hairdresser who's been cutting my hair for me ever since I was two (that is almost 24 years of cutting my hair) to get a trim, and he managed to convince me to go for a change. I ended up going from this:
photo taken by my good friend Marwan

to this:

I feel so different!! It has been almost three years since I had my hair short and it's a great change, I must say!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why I didn't #BEDM

I went to Germany for holidays.
I found it beautiful.
Everyone back home was wondering why anyone would go to Germany for holidays...but I took enough pictures to prove them wrong.

 Beautiful Bamberg

And that's NΓΌrnberg

More to come later, definitely!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

He Loves Me


I knew he loved me the moment he decided to stay.
I knew he loved me when, against all what he believed in, he still gave me that ring;
that he is still young
that he is still not ready
that we haven't been together long enough

I knew he loved me, because I could see it in his eyes. I knew he loved me even at times when I was confused whether he would hang out with me out of fear of confrontation, or because he really wants to see me. He still saw me and that's all that counts.

I knew he loved me when...I know he loves me because he does. Because things like that you just know. I know he loves me but I know that it takes a lot more than love. It takes effort to sustain and maintain a relationship - a long term, serious relationship.

Being engaged is hard, and being engaged without having a definite wedding date is even harder. But I know it's worth it. It's worth it because love is there.

I know he loves me.
He loves me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Life Lessons

1. People die and that's okay. 
My first experience with death happened when I quite young. I was 15 when my grandfather passed away right in front of me. We were helplessly waiting for an ambulance (that was too late even though we live 5 minutes away from a hospital) as my grandfather was struggling to breath. It affected me and it still is affecting me 10 years later. But I learnt that people die, and life goes on. It has taught me to do nice things for people to remember me with a smile on their face. Years later, my cousin's husband passed away leaving her and two kids under the age of seven behind. He was one of the funniest, most genuine people that I have met. And that's how I remember him. Remembering is good. (that's why I journal/write)

2. You will click with many people along the way, you don't have to be with every single one of them.
Romantically that is. I have made this mistake once, and I can safely say I learnt this the hard way. It was my uncle who told me that, and I will never forget this. You can connect with someone intellectually, and emotionally at times, but that doesn't give you an excuse to sabotage the gift of what you have (given that you are happy with what you have!)

3. Education can take you places.
But it is not everything. Education opens paths for you. Please do care about education and seek it whenever possible.

4. Stand up for who you are and what you believe in.
Being nice doesn't mean that you have to be a doormat. I get to interact with older people that I was taught to respect and have, on several occasions, refrained from stating that I disagree with what they are saying or doing and it has harmed me in several ways. Especially on a professional level.

5. Listen to people. 
Listen to stories that people tell you, there is a lesson waiting to be learnt everywhere. Just make sure you are listening closely.

Monday, May 13, 2013

#BEDM

Two friends of mine started the Clairvoyance Collective inspired by Thought Catalog. The idea was to have Egyptian writers contribute to the Tumblr blog and have people enjoy what we wrote. Some people are not as committed as others. And some people are too busy on some weeks. The moderators felt really bad and stopped sending us schedules. 
I couldn't write without a schedule. Without a plan for the month, without dedicating a day to writing. Some weeks I would feel really inspired and maybe send 2-3 pieces and not just one and some weeks, I could barely write 300 words.

Anyway,
I am not really doing a good job at #BEDM but I am posting this any way. I have a friend who is going something similar where he writes and essay every day and he's doing great things. Find him here.
Am I the only one who needs some sort of structure to follow in order to push myself to do things? I usually need some pressure (most often time pressure)

Friday, May 10, 2013

#BEDM I am Way Behind

I will explain why. May 1st is Labour day and it is a worldwide holiday and it fell on a Wednesday. I took Thursday off. Friday and Saturday are a weekend in Egypt. Sunday was Coptic Easter and Monday was Sham el Nessim, an ancient Egyptian celebration of harvest, which lucky for me we still celebrate in modern day Egypt.

I had six days off and I HAD to do something with them, and I was determined to stay away from my computer. I went to Ain el Sokhna with my best friend and her family friends, it was good, much needed quality time with her.
(I also got stuck in traffic for ten hours trying to get out of a very poorly organized concert - but I slept...in a a small car with five other people in it)

The photo below is of the both of us laughing...I am not so sure what it was that was really funny!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

So I am blogging every day in May

I AM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS
I haven't been blogging nor have I been writing for a long time. And all the changes google has been making with blogger and google reader aren't making me happy at all.
I am considering migrating to wordpress. Or maybe archiving this blog and starting from the very beginning. A fresh new start. Maybe a redesign even (then I would be putting effort into it!)
The thing is, so many people are putting so much effort in their blogs and it makes me feel bad with all the fancy blogs out there. To me, it has always been effortless. It always came naturally...
Maybe if I decide I want to blog full time?
Maybe I don't need to do this to begin with. I don't need to fit in. I do what I will do. I do this so that I can read it later on in my life. So that I can document my life for myself and for others to read, maybe I can help them or inspire them. Maybe I have something to teach. I definitely have something to say.

This is where my rant ends.

I am doing this this month and I am hoping that I would get myself to do it here.

Blog Every Day in May badge


Friday, March 8, 2013

Nick Miller


Oh Nick Miller!
I have the hugest fictional-character-crush on this man.

"I could pretend to be more like you, Jess, and live on a sparkly rainbow and drive a unicorn around and just sing all the time."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Gratitude

I can't believe it is already March!

Having started the month on a great note; (my sister's boyfriend proposed!) I think it can't be more fitting to write a February list of gratitude. I used to do this a lot. And I did it for January on the Clairvoyance Collective

 here

Here's what I am grateful for; February edition

1. My February women: My sister, my best friend and my mother were all born in February, they all share the same star sign (Pisces) and I can't be more grateful/thankful to have them in my life. Along the years we have all evolved and our relationships reshaped. And it has been great, I can't wait for the years to come.

2. My fiance: because he is the kind of person who doesn't mind if we spend Valentine's day enjoying a home-cooked meal and watching New Girl and I love that.

3. Impromptu event planning; constant change of content and circumstances and the miracle of everything falling perfectly into place. Last month, I was planning a workshop for work, and our partner suddenly decided to step back and reconsider, our guest speaker decided she was too busy to come - and that all had to happen a week before the workshop. I am proud to tell you that it went great.

4. My father. My father is a great man. Maybe I think so because he's my father, but I assure you he's a great mad. He's funny, too. Things we have discussed over the past month include: him wanting to run for parliament with no budget whatsoever. Politics (always). How stressful work might get. His idea of establishing a technical school for anesthetist nurse aids (I really don't get this, he's been trying to explain and I still don't get it)

5. Sunny February weather. I can't begin to explain how thankful I am for warm winter days. Winter is generally warm on my side of the world. But I am so thankful for being able to get some sun at the beach on a February day. I love the sun!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pep Talk

Just in case you haven't seen this on ThoughtCatalog, this kid made my day.
He makes me really, really happy. He makes me feel so bad for spending the whole day at my desk.

   

Today, I heard the rain outside and I stayed inside because I wanted someone to walk with me, and I was alone. Mind you, it rarely ever rains in Cairo and I missed it. As I heard the rain today, I promised myself that I won't allow this to happen again. And I won't.

I also started working on my January List of Gratitude today! (known as #ListOfGrat on twitter)

It includes:
- my family
- being a godmother: YES! I became a godmother earlier this month! I have a beautiful Godson names Youssef and he makes my heart melt.
-  my new car: I have a silver renault (hatchback) that is so much safer to travel in than my old Kia Picanto (which I dearly miss)
- Words

But that's not it. I am still working on it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

January 25th, 2013


It has been two years since the day anti-government marches and protests took place. Two years since I took this photo. Two years, and only two things have changed: Mubarak is no longer president and the Muslim Brotherhood (long known for their lies and twisted ways) are now in power.

Please pray for this country.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ten Years

 my grandfather and I

Today marks ten years since I lost my grandfather to a deadly heart attack. I am thankful that my grandfather did not suffer for long, that he passed away swiftly.
Sometimes, I am not sure whether he'd be happy with who I have become, and sometimes I think he'd be damn proud of me. Currently, I am not sure if he'd be happy with how I have turned out to be. I hope it's not hurting him, wherever he is now. I have been saying stupid things and doing even stupider things that have been hurting those around me.
I barely have time for myself or those around me and it has negatively affected me and my relationship with other people.
I hope this is the wake up call. I really do.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Daydreamer

Here's something that I originally wrote for the Clairvoyance Collective:

I woke up in the middle of the night with a brilliant thought in my head; the perfect opening line, the most eloquent words and the prettiest picture painted with words, and I promised myself that I will remember it when I wake up. Of course, this never happened. No one ever remembers these moments of sheer inspiration, oh beautiful inspiration, they get when they are half asleep.
It’s very similar to those moments when I am listening to a song that makes my ribs vibrate with emotion and think to myself “this could be the soundtrack of my book…the book that I will eventually write” but that, too, never happens. You never keep track of songs you want to put on a list unless you write them down somewhere specific.

There are also moments in the shower when I think of characters and storylines, but this never materializes, because I am no good at fiction. I might fictionalize, inspired by the different truths I encounter in the beautifully loud city that is Cairo – the city is incredibly loud with details that if you pay too much attention, it might drive you crazy.
Imagine songs that you listen to as you drive on a highway and suddenly the words start rushing through your mind – your own words – and there is nothing you can do about it because you’re driving. But these specific songs are the songs you know you love; the songs that you know you should go back to when you’re sad, or lack inspiration. They might be songs people have recommended; songs that you in no way relate to, but songs you love nonetheless. They are songs that inspire you.

This might be the reason some songs make you cry; over lost inspiration. Maybe this is why I cried that one time at the opera. Maybe this is why his “Ya bay”s make my heart ache…maybe you can help me find out why this song resonates with me for days after having listened to it…and, this is the last one, I promise.

Does this make me a daydreamer? I remember one too many people who have referred to me as one, and I don’t really mind. I realized it one day as I was sitting with a friend of mine – a really special friend of mine – in the afternoon sun. I tried to explain how I like it when the sun hits only one side of my face at this time of the day, and I know that it makes one eye lighter in colour than the other. When he didn’t really get what it was I was talking about, I realized that it was just me who might notice these things, and that I am, in fact, a daydreamer.

Almost three years ago now, I wrote to a dear, dear person saying: “the thing is, I am running a bit low on inspiration and ideas (these days)” and his reply was: “No, I do not ever believe that you can be in that condition…I think I have observed your functioning close enough to know that these are probably the symptoms that inflict themselves upon certain souls, typically artists, thinkers, and creators in vicarious sorts. I hope you realize that I mean what I am saying. It may not make it easier, perhaps, but it is important to place these feelings/self-doubts in perspective and to relate to them as reflections of the inner self rather than as facts.”

I am not writing this to invite people to listen to songs that inspire me, nor to explain how it feels like to be a daydreamer. It might be that I am writing this to try and express how it feels like to constantly feel heartbroken. Even if you’re happy, even if there is nothing wrong with your life, and there is not a single reason for you to feel heartbroken, there is always that one voice, that one thought, or maybe feeling, that hurts a little…and it might leave you heavy hearted for a minute or two – but then you remember that you are happy and this is not how you are supposed to feel.

Then I look up and I am lucky enough to see a shooting star. And I make a wish; clarity.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012

I can't wrap my head around the fact that the year is ending. It seems a bit weird to me still.
This year has been a typical roller-coaster ride for me, with ups that are so high they made my stomach tickle and downs that left me with puffy eyes in bed - hiding under my covers.
I have grown in so many ways this year and it has been eyeopening.

  1.  I got engaged! To a Saudi Arabian/Egyptian/Afghan pediatrician/comedian/gamer (see? He's not a terrorist)
  2. I turned 25. This is hug, people. I turned a quarter of century and I still cannot wrap my head around it. It's weird. So ridiculously weird. How does one deal with that?
  3. I did some traveling, more so than I usually would, most were work trips, but I still traveled and loved every bit of it! I went to Tunisia, Jordan, UK, and Germany. It was my first time to Tunisia, Jordan and Germany.
  4. My baby brother is officially a preteen: he turned 11 this year, and my baby sister turned SIXTEEN. I wrote her this for her birthday
  5. Speaking of writing: I started writing for The Clairvoyance Collective, which is inspired by Thought Catalog. Check it out! Lots of Egyptian talents there.
  6. I read and reviewed I Wrote This For You, the book. And it was, by far, one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. It had stirred so much emotion with me.
  7. I started a new job that I absolutely love, and having not liked my previous job that much, I realise how much of a blessing it is to love your job. It has caused me some problems liking my job so much; I am willing to work longer hours, which leaves me less time to spend with my loved ones. I miss spending time with my friends and family all the time.
  8. My cousin got married and is now pregnant; she's about to give birth to my godson!! I am going to be a godmother!
  9. I am now a woman with long hair! I have also accepted the fact that I have loads of grey hair. What I do now is get lowlights so that the grey blends in a bit. 
  10. I am sure there are more things. But I can't really think of any and I need to post this already!  
Happy 2013 beautiful people. May you grow immensely this year!