Love


I got an unwanted call today from someone that exited my life a while ago. It was a surprise, a perplexing one since there was no purpose to the call. This person was at one point important to me. We spoke every day, saw each other as often as possible, exchanged so much, but it all came with a price… one that was too high, and so this relationship ended. We haven’t spoken in months, I have moved on so far from where I was and if truth be told I am happier now.

 

When it ended there never was a major blow out or discussion about it, it was a sore point for a while but right now I don’t care to have that discussion nor do I want to open a channel of dialogue. I’ve move beyond that and don’t really care if this person knows, understands or realizes what they did, it is not my place to teach them, but rather I have learned. I have learned to let go, I have learned to value myself, I have learned to love, I have learned to what extent I can give. But I also learned not to be in an unequal relationship. I have learned not to undersell myself. I have learned that I don’t need to validate my decisions through others. I have learned who my true friends are.

 

 I have done well to erase all traces of this person, what is left doesn’t move me, doesn’t interest me, doesn’t even sadden me anymore. But what gets to me is flimsy excuses to call, random SMSs once every blue moon to wish me a good Eid, and the casualness of voice, the tone that nothing happened. The fact that this person thinks we can pick up where we left off astounds me!

 

Every time this happens I want to blast off an email saying stop it you have no place in my life anymore and I don’t appreciate you trying. But I don’t because I don’t want to start a dialogue, I don’t want to give any false hope that we could be friends ever again. I lost all emotion, respect, and feelings for this person. I want to be left alone without the infrequent attempts of civility or contact. I am not interested in being a part of this person’s life in any way or want them in mine.

 

So I guess this is an open letter to this person to stop! We will never be what we were, we will never be friends, we can not have long conversations or short ones. There is no need to wish me a happy Eid when it comes or condolences when someone passes. There is no need or want for you in my life. Your space has been taken up by many others whose presence is much more rewarding. Our time together may have been special, it even had its beautiful moments, but it came at such a hefty price I am not willing to even consider anymore. If I were writing a book this chapter is over, closed, the ink dry and now there are many others after it. So just stop.

 

I would like to say to those in similar situations that they don’t have to keep going back, or keep the lines of communication open, the fear that there is no other way does leave you eventually, and that time does heal. There is life beyond a person, place, job, life even. Stop being afraid to move forward because if you stand still you won’t go anywhere. Take it from me, I stood still for a long time and now time has healed the hurt, the anger, the frustration and because I have moved forward I have so much behind me that the past is a mere speck on the horizon. It is a long long ways away and now my life if full of many others who bring more, give more, return more, and deserve more and I’m the better for it. So yes time heals, but only if you move forward. 

I never realized just how demanding looking after a baby can be. This past few months have been very educational for me as I have learned to truly appreciate what it takes to look after a baby. It has been a privilege for me to spend time with baby H and be entrusted with her care.

I met Baby H months ago when she was still hanging out in mama’s belly (see Meeting Melon), and so I have gotten to know this baby since she was swimming her way into the world. Watching her grow, cry, feed, and now laugh and smile has been a wonderful journey. Babysitting baby H taught me that time means nothing, truly nothing when there is a baby around. You get so absorbed in the baby’s needs that when you do look up hours had gone by and you really aren’t interested in rushing to make up that lost time.

I also learned that when you are taking care of the baby then you are taking care of the baby. You cannot multi-task in any way … not even a phone call! Babies are in constant need of attention: you feed them, and that includes preparing the baby meal, you then burp them, they poo or pee and their diaper will soon after need changing- otherwise baby will get cranky, and after all that they take a nap. And when they wake up you play with them for a bit before you have to do it all over again. Baby H was no exception. All of this needed my full attention and so nothing else could happen.

If this is what it takes to look after a baby, then raising a child is no easy feat. It is not something one person can do alone. After this experience I truly do not understand how single parents do it. I have a new found respect for anyone raising a child single handedly. It’s hard enough looking after oneself let alone having a tiny baby or a helpless child dependent on you to fulfill its needs.

Babies and children are a lifelong commitment. You commit your time, your energy, your money, your thoughts, but most importantly your love. Seeing how baby H is cared for is a great insight to how bringing children in to the world should be. She is a loved and wanted child and will grow up with those privileges and many more. Yet as wonderful as being with baby H was, I still am sure that I am not cut out to be a mama… not for little ones at least. And unless something drastic changes in my life I stand by my choices not to wed or have babies. I am just not cut out for those kinds of commitment.

I wrote a post a year ago about broken hearts and it is still true today as it was back then. But I can say with all certainty that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And for now I have dropped my membership and moved on.  To those that have recently joined the club, I am more than happy to lend an ear or give a love filled hug. Once again here is to forgetting, forgiving and moving on. Cheers!

Whole heartedly

S.

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The title is from a movie but the club is real. Everywhere I turn I see broken hearts, unfulfilled desires and loves lost before being gained. Sometimes, though I do see relationships that are working and people who are lovingly together and they give us all hope.

Having a broken heart means you feel, having a lost love means you have the capacity to love another (not just yourself). It also means that sometime in the future you will feel this once more, if you let yourself. Humans are adaptive things, and just like we adapt to being in a relationship we adapt to being out of one too. We learn to give and take and take and give. We adapt to the cycles of love and life and we learn to grow with each one.

Yes some people break our hearts a lot more than others, because we let them in deeper. But I think that only reaffirms how human we are and how we can feel at a much more profound level. It may also mean the mending may take longer, but it does happen. Slowly but surely you regain your sense of self, your sense of worth and you blossom once again. Start superficially and move slowly, meaningfully, back into life. It is hard but it can be done. And then you are once again ready for love, and maybe even loss again.

I know how the memory still lingers, the anger still eats at you, and the longing hurts you. But I also know that with time you forget, you forgive, you move on. I know how sleepless nights haunt you, how clarity eludes you, and the will to move on dissipates. But I also know that sleep will come back, focus is round the corner, and free will always prevails. I know the numerous times you look at your phone waiting for a ring, I know the urges to scream and shout in frustration and anger, I know the feeling of complete and utter despair. But I also know that the phone will eventually ring with your best friend cheering you up, I know the exhaustion of a long angry walk, I know the satisfaction of a good cry. I know there is light and love at the end of the tunnel, because that is the circle of life.

To those of you with broken hearts, and you know who you are, it is not an exclusive club. All are welcome to join, because in the club we drink to forgetting, forgiving and moving on. Cheers!

I was chatting with a friend about commitment and change. The context of course was meeting people and being with someone. Now if you’ve read my previous post Tarnib vs. Tricks you know I am a Tricks player. To go a bit farther and explain myself a bit more, I am afraid. I am afraid of commitment. I am afraid of change. I am afraid of losing myself. I am afraid of losing my freedom, which I have struggled hard to achieve. I am also so comfortable in my life and so used to enjoying being single that I do not want to give up this happiness for something completely unknown with someone unknown. I know that there are those people who are in relationships that will now rush to tell me I am missing out on the best things in life because of my singlehood. That being with THE ONE is incomparable. Well I’m going to go at this from two angles: the first is the concept of THE ONE, the other is THE ONE.

The concept of THE ONE is so depressing to me. To think that in this whole wide world of six billion people there is only one person for each of us is just unfathomable. The odds of meeting that one are so miniscule that you have to be one lucky bastard to find that person. What if my one was in Timbuktu? How do you go about finding this elusive ONE? Where do you start? How do you start? How do you know its THE ONE? How do you recognize THE ONE if they are standing behind you in the line at the bank? What does THE ONE look like? Can you see why I don’t believe in the idea of THE ONE?

I am a firm believer in multiple partners throughout life. I believe this for many reasons not just the odds of there being just one. I think that every relationship has a beginning and an end. Even if two people are together faithfully until death parts them, then that is the end of that relationship. And so others may form. Another reason is people change, and grow. With that growth your needs change and your needs aren’t always met by the first person you meet. So you move on to someone else. Yes, yes there are those cases of two people being together and growing together and being able to spend their whole lives with each other, and lovingly so. But call me a cynic, I somehow don’t believe in Hollywood endings. Or as Fergie sings “Fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending.”

I want to come back to the question of “what does THE ONE look like?” Well I know that as a kid me and my friends always had these lists of what Mr. Right would be like. I even carried it around in my wallet for a while. I now have no clue where that list is but I can remember a few of these desirable traits: good looking, funny, a good dancer, makes me laugh, strong shoulders and has a jeep. I know the list was a lot longer but the rest eludes me. I smile every time I think of that list because, well it’s a funny teenager’s list. Today if I were to even try to compile a list of desirables then it will be very different. Secure would be up there on the list, as is challenging, someone who can be in a relationship autonomously and give me my space and autonomy without begrudging them. Someone with a full life that complements mine, not completes it ,or competes with it. Someone who has shared values and similar goals. These are a few qualities that would top the list; And from my teen list I would keep good looking, funny and I would tweak good dancer to loves to dance. The jeep and shoulders negotiable !

Putting the list aside though, people are important to me. Relationships are important too. I don’t think they are easy, especially romantic relationships. I know that I like invest the tiem and effort in building friendships, and learning about someone, one layer at a time. I thrive on this. I take these relationships seriously. My life is full of wonderful people that I have gotten to know and am getting to know. Romance and love is usually not on the agenda when these relationships are forming. My take on that is if it happens it happens if not… oh well no worries nothing has to change, and hence I don’t have to jump. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the willingness to face those fears; I know that I am willing to jump. However, when I jump, I want a parachute, or I want to jump in tandem with someone I know I can trust to pull the cord when we need to. Until then Tricks anyone?

Is it better to love or to be loved? This is a question that as a young girl I always answered with the later; For to be loved is to be cherished, to be made a princess, to be the center of someone’s world. Who does not want to be that? But if I am asked today my answer would be the former. I would much rather have loved and even lost to love than not at all.

To love someone was and in many was still is an abstract thought. Not only was it abstract but it was elusive too. For you see I was a cynic. To me love didn’t exist. My standard statement was love is a series of emotional needs that you project on someone and fulfill with that person. So basically fulfill the needs and you have found love. If the needs change and the relationship doesn’t evolve with that change you fall out of love.  So for me it was better to be the recipient of someone’s affections. It was all about supply and demand, and if it was on offer and someone wanted to give me their attention love and their affection, then hey why not?!

But that all changed drastically the day cupid shot his arrow and hit a bull’s-eye. I was a casualty, still am, for I have entered a whole other world. To experience love is something I never imagined or dreamed of in my wildest, most cynical dreams. Something I theorized about, but never expected. And so the irony of ironies happened and the cynic became a fool. And to this fool, to love is to feel and experience the world at a whole other level. You go through all the colors of emotion. You become someone you never were. You ache in anticipation and pain, you soar in thought and fulfillment.

 

It doesn’t matter if you lose to love because, in the end, you become alive. Alive with every touch, sound, smell, taste and sight around you; the jasmine in the air, the silkiness of a cat’s fur, the sweetness of chocolate, the twittering of birds at sunrise, the sunrise itself all take on new meanings. You notice what was obscure. You emit an energy, a rosy glow that can only be love. To feel all that is to know there is blood coursing through your  veins, you are alive.

So if I am to be asked today would I love or be loved? I would say I want both, and for the person to be one and the same. But life doesn’t always give you everything you want, and so I would choose to love. I would rather be alive with the love of another than burdened with the love of another. 

Yesterday I got reacquainted with an old friend. And as we tumbled into bed later in the evening I fell head over heels as he warmed, cuddled and was just there. Even the cat came and cuddled with him too. It was the perfect night. You may be wondering who is this new/ old entrant into my life, well I can very proudly say it is my hot water bottle.


 

Last night I decided that it was time to revisit this old contraption and to my pleasure it was the best thing I could have done. My bed mate was just the right size to warm my belly and then move to my feet and later when they are warmed and toasted just right up to my shoulders for the rest of the evening. This was my warmest night all winter and it was such a good night’s sleep. Who would have thought that the best way to stay warm is the most low tech and energy efficient? 

If you are feeling cold after your heat gets switched off, you feet never get warm, or you just like hugging a warm body all night the hot water bottle is definitely your friend, try it once and you won’t regret it. Trust me; I am a fool in love!  

 He looked at her with narrowed slits, he hated her, he hated how she came into his life abruptly and took over. She took over his space, his food, his couch, his love. She just sat there taking all the attention away. She sat in her lap, how could she?! Did she not know she was mine? ALL MINE?

Crazed and enraged with jealousy he prowled around the house. Slowly scheming, growling, pacing. She came out of her room and he was all over her. HOW COULD SHE! Waltzing in here thinking she could take over!

He pounced her, he bit her, he stalked her because she took her away from him. Jealousy had turned the docile feline into a green eyed monster with jealousy.

I had always thought jealousy was a human attribute not something other creatures in the animal kingdom felt. I was proved wrong when one cat came in to join the family. The first was enraged and jealous beyond belief. The difference though was he showed it and became hostile immediately. Expressing his jealousy in the most aggressive manners I have ever seen including pouncing on the cat once she is in someone’s lap!

Needless to say the second cat, as cute as she was, had to go. But that isn’t always the case with humans and the stories of jealousy don’t always end so easily. The power play and the games are much more complex and intricate. The players who are involved, knowingly or unknowingly, are much more. The losses greater than lost fur.

At least with animals the communication is clear, the desired outcomes are predictable and they pretty much tell you what they want, if not with words then with fur flying!

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