Why I Don’t Drink

12 am. 10 years old. Carnival cruise line to Mexico. New Years’ Party. What do all of these things have to do with anything? Why should you care? Why should you read all of this even though it has nothing to do with your life?

My question is: Why not.

Now you guys are thinking, how the heck do all of these things correlate? Well, this is why I do not drink. One day, on a cruise to Mexico, a wide eyed, 1o year old blonde girl with many hopes and dreams in people became shattered within this very moment. But she didn’t know why people were counting the seconds when they could drink. A toast to the new year. So, she watched. She watched as people downed cups and cups of champagne, cheering on each other to “chug” and “chug more”. She didn’t understand why women were encouraging a man to strip directly in front of her – and why people were acting crazy and walking funny. Dizzy. Head spinning. Laughing. Kissing in ways more suggestive than what a 10 year old was used to. Partying. The starry eyed girl didn’t understand what was so fun about being like this. and most importantly. Why.

I know what some of you may be thinking. SO WHAT, Amal? You’re almost 22 years old. Get over it and don’t drink like they did.

But yet.

It’s not this simple.

Because there are still more instances than this.

When I got to about 16 years old, I had the choice to make a good friend or many bad friends. I chose the bad friends. Not because I wanted to be bad like them. But because I thought with my help I could heal them. I was wrong. Totally and utterly wrong. I was also born with a heart defect, and I had major leakage within my heart, with my heart beating about 47 beats per minute. The typical average for someone my age would have been 60. I had began my freshman year of high school with a 3.4, and I ended my sophomore year with  1.6. These friends of mine, always drank to abuse the alcohol. They were constantly talking about how much they wanted to die, with one instance of one of them keying himself in the bathroom, bleeding in the shower and talking about it in school as if it were something funny. These friends not only hurt me; they made me lose someone who was actually worthwhile in my life. It also convinced me that alcohol was not a good thing; it was too easy to abuse.

Okay Amal. 2 instances. But that doesn’t mean that you have to exceed the limits or drink because you’re suicidal.

Yes. But yet there is more.

At 18 years old, I was still facing major depression from what I had seen since my sophomore year of high school. But I was healing, still. What happened next, in business algebra shocked me to my core. Most of the people in the course also drank, smoked, or did drugs at least. Mostly it was drinking that caused the most pain in my heart to hear about. One day, class is going extremely normally. We’re all just minding our business and doing our work. I was sitting in the back of my crush at the time. It was cool. Until a classmate came into the class nearly blackout drunk. She walked in, knocking everything over and hardly even able to stand. A few moments later, her friends came by her side, helping her up. A few more moments passed, and a correctional officer called out her name. I do not know what has happened to her since then, but I hope that she is better than how she was in this time period.

It isn’t yet the end.

The last instance I have to report is when I was 20 years old.

At 20 years old, I got to know people that you would never think would be these types of people whatsoever. As in, you wouldn’t suspect that they would drink, and a lot. So when they would tell me about their experiences, I would always be extremely surprised. Again, they seemed to abuse alcohol due to their depression. I remember an instance where it was just suicidal talk all the time. My heart would break over these individuals because of how caring and sweet they were. But I couldn’t help, no matter how much advice I happened to give. I just hoped and hoped they would eventually stop. They have not yet stopped until this day, but I believe it is lighter than it was before. When they drank, it was to rid of their sorrows; it was to attempt to forget that our world, the one we live in now, was not so bad. That if we kept drinking, our hearts will be pure again and happy once more. That wasn’t the case for anyone I ever knew who did drink. Nearly to all people I have met in my life drank for a poor purpose; not that I would blame them.

So there you have it; this is why I do not drink. I do not want anyone to read this and think that I saying you have poor character if you drink, or that I think you are a bad person or a particularly evil one. I just want you to believe that it is not a solution to your problems; and that, no matter if it’s just 1 person who reads this, or 100, this is just my experience throughout everything. A real solution to a problem would not cause more harm than good. And you shouldn’t have to feel like you need an excess of it, no matter what it was.  In the end, everyone has their own choices in their lives. I just believe that drinking is something we should have more education about. In the news, when we have commercials it often targets cigarettes,  and in extremely small letters, “Drink responsibility”. The way we advertise differs completely, although alcohol is extremely dangerous in many cases. This is not an ad campaign, nor is it something to convince you to put down your drinks. It’s just what I needed, personally, to tell the world about me for a therapeutic reason. Something that would make me feel better to share. Do as you please with the information I provided, and make a decision from there.

 

 

Sincerely,

Amal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The People I admire, but know I can never be like

We all have those people that we admire. We see them sometimes on television, or they can be people in our everyday lives. Small heros, maybe. Unrecognized ones. For me, I see these types of people extremely rarely, but they do exist. One example can be my school mates – who, admittedly, I am surprised to admit. Truthfully speaking, I did not take Sociology of Ethnic Studies intentionally – I actually wanted Sociology of Marriage and the Family. So, when I actually got this course, I was extremely annoyed and discontent. Mostly because it touches upon the ideas of racism, one of my most hated topics until now. I know some people wonder why that is; I would say it’s actually psychological. Ever since I was about 16, til now, almost 21, all I see or hear about is some racist act that Arabs or Muslims or both have done against America or other countries. Unfortunately, all it does it cause hatred in the states. One example can be when people drew the prophet (peace be upon him) in my class. I was mad for 3 days, not being able to even express my anger. Another was when I heard someone call my people ragheads. All of this person’s friends began laughing with her, as if it was some golly joke. I think that’s really the reason I wanted to dodge a class like this so badly; I was so bothered and annoyed of hearing this constant humiliation of my race and religion, I always try to escape these sort of classes so I don’t end up thinking about killing myself or getting angry every single night.

I believe this is why I admire 2 people in particular in my class; a young man and a young woman who I will not state by name, but instead state by character. One of them is the most intelligent from my class, and is also the most humble. He participates in class, but without arrogance, and speaks calmly yet still gets his point across. The other? Well, she does not participate much in class, but from the beginning her heart stood out to me; she had a certain special kind of understanding built within her from the very beginning, which is why I could not forget her, nor him. Both prove to me that even though the world is 80 percent shit, there are some decent people left. From what I see from their hearts and character, I admire them greatly; because they are the exact opposite of myself.

I know it is probably a question of why. Why would I say such a thing about myself. It’s because well, I have a very low patience level and tendency to snap at people; maybe not directly, but in my heart I can instantly develop a hatred for a person for many years. I do feel proud of myself that I am able to admit this, and even though this would never become a popular paper, I do appreciate those who take the time and effort to read it. My flaws, despite everything, can still see the good in some people. Which for me, is saying a whole lot.

Amal.

The main comment

As a muslim, I am already judged first and foremost by my religion by non muslims. However, this isn’t about that. It’s about the comments I actually receive from muslims like myself — particularly, muslim men.

Generally speaking, I have heard the comment about me going to Hell for not wearing a hijab at least 4 times in my life thus far. Now, while the hijab is an extremely important part of my religion, Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him said for example that those with the highest moral character will go into the highest parts of Heaven. For me personally, my religion always meant to me to have perfect morals. I do know and acknowledge the importance of the hijab, and maybe one day I will wear it, but somehow this comment bothers me. How should any person know where they shall arrive ? Allah (God) is Al Ghafur ar Rahim. The Forgiving, the Merciful. So, I just want to say — any person should first look upon themselves before looking upon others. I have heard multiple stories of women who do wear the hijab and yet when they are married are not virgins. I am not saying this is the case for all — as this is an unfair judgement, but the most hated people on the Day will be those who are double faced — the munfaqeen — the hypocrites. I will gladly admit the flaws in my personality — all of them, but only God knows what is concealed and what is revealed. For God says in surah al baqarah that he will give us our punishment or reward based on what our breasts have earned.

In Islam, the belief is based upon intention. For example — if one sees a celebrity being generous, some people will assume that they have done it for the public eye only, not for the reason of wanting to be nice. However, how should we know what their true intention was? I believe that most people in this world are born to be good. It is the things we do, the people we meet, and etc that actually corrupt the heart. We say that we follow the religion of our friends — now — obviously it is not meant literally but it is the morals of our friends that we follow. Therefore, have good friends. And who is a good friend? Someone who will be there when you need them, give sincere advice when needed, and most of all, will make you wish to do good things in your lifetime that will not only improve your life, but possibly others around you. When we do something to make someone else happy, the heart becomes satisfied.

As salam o alaikum,

Amal

What they don’t tell you about the Online World

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. Social Media.

Social media has been a very big issue for this generation, but not for the reasons you might think I will discuss. No. It is much bigger than that. When you’re growing up, what’s one of the first things your parents advise you ? “Don’t talk to strangers “, right ? Well, this is my story. I have loved, hoped, grown attached to, and felt at times, addicted to this online life. I never considered it to be a bad thing, adding people on social media sites that are from Morocco, Pakistan, India, Palestine or even.. Egypt. Where I’ve met my first best friend of 7, almost 8, years was Yahoo Messenger. He was 17, I was 13. We were young, innocent. It was destiny somehow — that we met one another. I was in Jordan at the time, visiting family. Then, an event happened in my life to make me delete my Yahoo Messenger account, and we didn’t speak for a while. It wasn’t until my cousins suggested that I make Facebook, that we reunited again. He lives in Egypt now, as a 24 year old doctor. I know some of you guys are probably wondering — How we knew each other this long, without ever falling for each other, or even – How could you remain friends for this long period without a slip in the friendship. Well, it was simple. I trusted him, and he trusted me. I admit I did have a small crush on him for a little period, but it ended in a short time before I could even tell him what was in my heart for him. The only problem was – well – attachments that were grown from people whose faces you’ve never seen, voices you’ve ever heard, or even — what they do on a daily basis. Love, hate — any abstract thing or emotion – is blind. I will admit I have dated some people from the internet – but their intentions were not too good. The relationships were fast, short, and well, as any relationship, filled with hurt, confusion, and lots of wet pillows. Personally, I would say that most of the people to ever come towards my path through this crazy internet world were good people. Yes, I would say there were some pretty bad people to come across it too, but I will admit that sometimes, it was my fault for bringing the faults out of them. The people of the internet have helped me tremendously, and most of my strength I would say, came from my internet friends. Had it not been for them, maybe my dark periods in my life would have defeated me. At some point in my life, I wanted to hurt myself badly, I suppose. However, without the love and support of those people — those people who nothing about me, my life, nor even if I was telling the truth in my appearance – Maybe I would still be in this depression phase until today. I am not saying however, that everyone’s experiences will be the same. For me, I have been lucky – fortunate, even to meet half the people I met in my life. It was a great honor for me, and I know that I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. Many people have come across me in time, and have taught me lessons I didn’t even know I was capable of learning ,but most of all, they taught me with sabr. They taught me with patience. And for that, I can never thank you all enough.

My Story.

Bismillah. 

As I have not written for a long time, please forgive me for my improper grammar and lack of good words. I just needed something or someone to express my words to, and I don’t quite have that.

My story begins when I was born in the humble city that is Montebello. I was 9 months old when it was found that I was born with a heart defect. When my grandmother held me in her arms that day, she already knew something was wrong with me. She asked the doctors to check me — and lo and behold, it was discovered that I was — well — sick. A “blue baby”, as I was called, I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot — “Tetra” meaning “Four”, therefore 4 problems having to do with my heart — all connecting with one main problem — something called the Ventricular Heart Defect. I was born with a “broken heart”, so to speak. However, it isn’t a sad story I’m about to tell – in fact, I always considered my heart problem to be my blessing in my life. I understood what it was like to be sick, and got exposure to the hospital often as a girl. I never despised cardiograms — for I found them fun and ticklish, and every time the nurse put on a new cold sticker on me, I giggled enough for the world. Echos were always of interest to me as well; it was only the times that I had to get MRIs that I despised going to the hospital. Once, it took 1 1/2 hours for them to complete one session, and even so, it was not complete. They told me that my heart beat was unnaturally slow (44 beats per minute), and that apparently the machine had shut down and I had to return.

As one would expect, after my first surgery as an infant, I had another surgery at the age of 16 years of age. I remember that year was full of hurt, especially for me. I felt alone in everything, and maybe I did not believe that I was going to live throughout the surgery. I remember my sister called me thirty minutes before the surgery — simply only to wish me good luck. In the end, it was only me and my family; no colleagues came, and I felt completely humiliated by this. One hour before my surgery — I could not take it – I snapped. I broke down completely and began to cry. I weeped so much I thought the amount of water coming from my eyes could help someone survive even the worst of droughts. Then a miracle happened.. I.. Lived.

In Islam, it is said that the belief system is if God gave us a test the first time and we had failed it — the same test will come up later in one’s life, and my guess is, it comes when the person is ready. At the age of 16, I also failed to meet good people in my life — one of which had a glass eye, and all he could do was pity himself. He always talked in suicide, and at some point keyed himself in the shower and had shown me and other colleagues his scars. He just let himself bleed in the shower. With the best of regards, we don’t communicate anymore. It was for the best.

At 17, I had major, major, major depression. I suppose this one friend affected me in greater ways than I had realized. I was suicidal, and always wondered why I was living and not others besides me. Why I had to suffer through so much pain. So food became.. my therapy. I had a friend that year tell me I looked pregnant, and I suppose that is how I began to think of myself as less worthy than others. I was 134 lbs and 5’0 tall. Too fat for anyone’s interest.

In that summer before I became a senior, I worked out a whole lot, and ate much less. I slimmed down to about 122 lbs. Good enough, I suppose. My senior year of high school, I was nothing but less than an ant. The depression worsened than ever before — to the point where it became unbearable. I didn’t do much with my life except sit and cry. Everyday, I wanted to leave and escape my house — but for some reason, something in my mind told me not to do it. So, I just tried every single day to listen to music — sometimes it would last for 4 hours in a day, and I would just listen and sit and cry. I also liked someone at the time — someone who had a girlfriend anyway. I always felt I could not be as good as him, so at some point I experimented with my diet — again. I ate 3 small oranges a day, for 1 week. I lost two lbs in that week, but I never went back and did it again. There were also other things that bothered me that year. As my sister and I shared a class together, her being one year younger than I, as fate should have it, we had a lovely teacher who amazes me every time she speaks. Her name was Ms. Salama. Ms. Salama was such a loving teacher for my heart that, one day when she had an incident I could not handle it. She was standing on the sidewalk one day and a man hit her face, destroying some of her teeth and a little of her lip. I could not help but cry over this woman — I cried for 3 days straight, from the amount of sadness I could see overwhelming her angelic face. After several months, this teacher that everyone revered so much was the object of being made of — something I could never forget of my classmates. I always had so much anger over this subject, and the classmates faces still make an imprint within my mind. Seeing people treat her — and others this way, just made me sink deeper into depression. I could not understand how anyone — much more, people my own age — could make such a mockery of her, and not only her but those around them.

Next, came my freshman year of college. In my freshman year of college, I suppose my goal was to become a better person — and what a journey it took to get there. First, I must admit I made many errors upon this path, so please, if you could, don’t make a judgement upon me. I met a boy — a boy named Sunny. Our first date consisted of us going to Starbucks, then we hung out (awkwardly), in his car. I don’t know what happened to me all of a suddenly — but the remembrance of my Lord came about. I remembered that it was not permissible for a boy and a girl to be alone together — as we believed the third person in between was Shaitan (Satan). I suddenly began to feel very sweaty and anxious being in his car, so I made an excuse to go — trying my best not to be impolite with him. Strangely, something happened. I went to sleep at midnight that night, and woke up 2 hours later. I could not comprehend it, and I cannot even explain it in words, but there was something — whether it was guilt, a bad dream, I don’t know. I did not trust it in this time, as I thought maybe I am just insane. Lo and behold however, we split within 2 weeks of being together from several arguments we began to have with one another. Next came the news that my doctor gave me. He told me that I am to have another surgery on my heart again, and it was necessary as the leakage in my heart was extremely bad and so was my murmur. When this news struck me, I said subhanallah (Exalted is He). The same test that had struck me 3 years before had come for me again. Before this however, I would like to talk about another boy I met shortly after Sunny. His name was something I cannot expose — but he is someone I loved dearly, with all my heart. The moment I met him, I was confident that everything was going to be okay. He was new, like me, and in the Vietnamese club just like me — the only two people in the club who could not speak Vietnamese. I suppose it was destiny, and I am always thankful for this day of my life. When I met him — my life changed. Everyday was not only for me to better myself, but to be able to prove to him I was a good woman and person inside, and it was easy since within 2 weeks of my life — I already loved him. Everyday, I prayed for this precious soul that was so near and dear to my heart — the boy who — I would argue, saved my soul. Someone who captured my heart with his humility. Not only did he take the bus from our school to his home (nearly a 2 hour ride), but some days he would be so tired from school and work, he would have to use a scooter to get home so he would not have to walk. At the same time, he didn’t capture only my heart– but the hearts of so many girls with him.

At the day of my surgery however, I remember the feeling so clearly. I was not afraid. In fact, I knew I was going to live somehow. The moment I walked into the surgery room, I saw my doctor and then we waited for the main surgeon to come in as well. They said he was the best in the entire country — and who did he turn out to be ? A Palestinian, Muslim doctor. A man of my own race, the best in the country. I felt secure in the doctor’s hands already, and this is when I truly knew — this is what I wanted to be when I grew up. He was my inspiration. I said to myself, when I grow up, I want to be just like this man — and one day, even to work with him side by side, to repay him for performing surgery on me and making me better — because, after this surgery came another miracle. The doctors did not tell me before they put me to sleep, but it was not looking good for me. In actuality, the leakage and murmur were extremely bad this time, but somehow this surgery not only healed the leakage completely – therefore meaning I would never require another surgery again, but also the fact that my murmur was now incredibly soft.

In this time, I suppose you can also say I was searching for my Lord. I always believed in God, I just was a little lost maybe. I believed in my religion heavily, and knew that it was the truth, (in my case of course), and wanted to know more. I always did like doing researches on my religion and so on, but it was more about conversion stories or sometimes a small lecture, never really listening to Quran much or so and occasionally I would also listen to religious music. As I fell in love more and more with this boy and the individuals around me, the more I loved my religion and was strong upon it. Later, I could say I was religious but still needed to learn more, I suppose one can say. I always tried to meet Muslims like myself, or at least, if not Muslim, at least Arab. I was never lucky in this my entire life, as I grew up in communities with solely Hispanic or solely Asian peoples. So, I tried and tried, but it always failed in some way or another — and I suppose I gave up for a bit of time.

Next, came my trip to Turkey and Jordan. I suppose, all I can say is that it was no less than a miracle of sorts. A dream. A blessing in disguise. The trip first began in Turkey. In Turkey, the amount of poverty that struck the country surprised me. I made it my promise – my absolute and final promise, that if I had become rich, there will be no way I will keep one child in Turkey begging. I realized this probably was a result of Bashar Al Assad’s armies. In Jordan however, I was only happy to see my grandmother. She was the only grandparent I had left, including both sides. My grandpa and grandmother died before my birth, and my grandfather died only two years ago. Allah yerhamhom. This was the main reason I was excited for this trip — for I loved my grandmother so much, and it had been 7 years since I had last seen her, much less my aunts and uncles from my mother’s side as well. All in all, though my Arabic needed lots of practice, I got to ask my grandmother so many questions – including how she met my grandfather. These small experiences in my life is what kept my heart full of love.. and most of all, Amal. Hope. I had too much of it at the time to be sad. Until now, I wish to return to these lovely, miraculous countries… but for now, I am studying to be a future cardiologist. Something I would have never discovered I wanted until I met my heart surgeon last year, actually. A Palestinian Muslim doctor being the best in the country ? I only hope that I can be half as amazing as him, and one day repay him by working by his side.

Inshallah.

Forgive Yourself to Forgive Others

Now, I am no perfect person. I think this is something that every person can say about themselves. But, what I can say is that I am great at using nice, flowery words and somehow with these words — I am able to shape anything I want to say — including apologies. One thing I want every person who reads this is to remember this: All of us have something that we don’t like to admit to the public; and for many, it is their errors. I am not a shameless person, and I am not about to admit every single error I have ever made, but I can only hope that the ones I have made are ones I – and others – can learn from. I have made many stupid mistakes in my life, including incredibly naive, but I don’t count this as a flaw in my character. However, what I do consider a huge error- is having patience. Patience is something I will generally expect from other people, but when it comes to me, I will not have it. BUT. In order for me to forgive other people in the future for their own faults, recall the following notion – forgive YOURSELF first. Humans are flawed creatures, not meant for perfection. We never call them perfect because there is no such thing as a ‘universal’ perfect human being. There is only OUR idea of perfect in a person — whether that be their ‘perfect’ clothes, ‘perfect’ lifestyle, ‘perfect’ character. In the end, we call all just call these the ‘best’, but not the ‘perfect’. So, in order to forgive yourself, you must first accept that you are not perfect. Perfect IS overrated, right? Next, believe that you can make your error into a good thing. A benefit, at least. If you are miserable from something bad you have done, then just do a bunch of good things to replace from this. (Believe me, it’s hard at first, but then you will at least believe you are a decent human being after a while). Simply look at yourself in the mirror at say, “I am not a bad person. I am a person that did something that was bad.” From this, you will be able to move on and (hopefully) forgive yourself. Your life will not end from your error; for, if you’re reading this, your life has probably just begun. Life is short, really short, and you never know when it might end. It might be tomorrow, or 2 weeks from now, or 10 years from now. I am not saying you should begin yelling ‘YOLO’! and party everyday, getting really drunk and just having crazy amounts of sex in your life span. I am saying, just for your own good, forgive what you did. Forgiving the things you have done, will help you to forgive another person. If you were able to forgive your own self for a million things, why wouldn’t you be able to forgive someone else for a million things, too?

Pasta, and why I am glad for it

Pasta seems to be our comfort food nowadays. Of course, when some think of pasta the first word that comes to mind is “Italian”! But for me, it means memories. Pasta is our ultimate food we can do anything with. We can either use it with the traditional red sauce, or we can make it a dessert dish like Giada Di Laureintiis does or even just our home made macaroni and cheese. For me, being in the kitchen has always relieved me of my stress. I know I know, what a fat butt right ? But I think of the greatest joys in life is to be assured that everyone enjoys your food. Food makes us happy, and we all know that too little of it is bad, and too much of it is bad as well. In the film Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts says a memorable quote that must be shared. She says, “I have no interest in being obese. I am just tired of the guilt. So enjoy your pizza and tomorrow we’ll go buy bigger jeans.” The girl sitting with her, from my memory, a Swedish one, is afraid of a muffin top and Julia Roberts’ character encourages her to eat. In the end, if we don’t indulge a little, what is the point of life? Another famous quote that I cannot head to forget is , “Americans know entertainment, but Italians know pleasure.”  Americans seem to always be worrying about something. Interestingly, a recent statistic shows that third world countries are happier than America is. People who have less than us, have less to give, and don’t have nearly the same luxuries as us are happier than we are. Hearing this statistic disappointed me greatly, but I suppose that could be the reason that I am always begging to leave the country as well. I have the luxury of LEAVING the country for as long as I possibly can, but others do not. I simply think that seeing a different perspective, a different LIFE, is much more grand than living in the same one all the time. I live a good, stable middle class environment, but I would like to see how others are living. And why, indeed, they are thankful if they get one meal a day, and when I am forced to skip one a day I am left with anger and impatience. I think that naturally, Americans are spoiled. Americans don’t nearly know how good they have it, and I would suspect that is why we are not humble and ungrateful. I would like to gain this part of me back. I want to grow up one day and say that I am proud of myself and that I have done something that has greatly impacted my  and other people’s lives. For me, this means that I am able to be happy with all that I have. I have a minor dream in me, that if I were not to become a cardiologist one day, I would become a farmer. I think living on the country side, with the simple life would humble my big head. I don’t think I would mind it one bit. Food has helped me with those little appreciative moments in life, and I have had many great memories with them. Just last week I was cooking in the kitchen with a great friend, and we just laughed for so many of our mistakes. I am grateful for moments like these, for without them I don’t think I would be where I am today.

My Personal Enlightenment

Personally, I think my enlightenment began when I turned 18. I was in a relationship that I felt was battling my religion, and I think at this stage I was realizing who I was and what I really believed in. I am not a particularly religious person, but I think I carry religion with me on some days. I was in a relationship where the guy demanded more of me than I was willing to give. We hadn’t really known one another that well, and when we were first beginning the relationship there were already problems and I suppose this should have been my warning. However, me and warning signals don’t happen to mix so well. One has to hit me on the head for me to actually listen to my own mind on some occasions. I am someone who follows their heart, but for some reason when it comes to wrong judgement, I can never entirely despise a person unless they had wronged me in many ways. When we were together however, I actually did something that I have not yet revealed to my parents and regret to this day. I lied to them.

I had a music appreciation class (Music 21) for all those who wish to know, on Mondays and Wednesdays.  By the time I came to the door, the class had a note. Class was canceled. I saw him there, so naturally I went up to him, gave him a hug and apologized. We were supposed to hang out the day before, but it didn’t work out. We chatted for a bit, and he had asked me if I needed to go. My phone had died, and when I told him this he offered that I use his phone. I said no, and that I owed him a hangout anyway.  We then proceeded to Starbucks, which, I suppose, you could consider our “date”. He then asked me where I wanted to go: Campus, or in his car. I said whichever he preferred, and, naturally, he says his vehicle. 

Later, when we were in his car we just chatted about anything and everything. But in my head it felt… wrong. Like it wasn’t supposed to be this way. Like.. there were things about him that weren’t… good. I didn’t listen to my head though, I listened to… possibly being in my first relationship EVER.  We then talked about possibly being together, and at this day I was at a half half stage. We had only been talking for about 2 weeks or so. Then, as we talked more and more about what we were comfortable with doing, that is where I began to disagree with him. And… where I reached my enlightenment.

After I had left his vehicle and said goodbye, I had not mentioned a word to my parents about class being canceled. They asked me how class was, and I said it was “fine.” They didn’t suspect a thing because, well, they trust me with all their life. Of course, I felt guilty at this. But not guilty enough to tell them. 

Later that night, until this day, I am unsure of what happened to me. I went to sleep at midnight, and woke up at 2 am. I simply could not sleep. And I didn’t , and I still don’t, know why. But knowing me, I still didn’t listen. I didn’t think anything of it.

As we talked more and more however, I learned more and more things about his character that I hadn’t liked. He had told me many times about his joyrides as a teenager in his country, like that of getting wasted and not remembering what happened when he woke. For this, I was frightened. I preferred to marry someone who didn’t drink like me, a Muslim. I also found that I was not someone who wished to dedicate all their time to their boyfriend. I liked having space. But for me, the main thing I couldn’t get out of my head was the fact that he would drink. And like it way too much. The fact also that he wanted to do things with me that were against my beliefs also bothered me. I realized I did not think of My Creator in a long time. I realized I had not prayed nor talked about My Lord for a long time. I was not considering what were the consequences in my religion until this very moment in time. I had a choice to make. Betray my religion, and have fun for the time being? Or would I go back to My Lord and dump him? I was conflicted for days on end. But. I think I made the right choice.

We ended up dumping one another after 3 weeks of dating, and I am not ashamed to admit that I cried because he did not understand my needs for my religion. However, I don’t regret the decision one bit. I think I am a better person when I remember My Creator, and in fact I am more conscious of my bad deeds and good ones. I am not necessarily suggesting anyone to think like me, but just know where your morals are. I think for me, I was not aware of them until this moment. I was hurt, but I am sure not as hurt as I would’ve been when he pushed my limits even farther. I am glad almost, because of this experience. Every moment in time helps us realize something new. 

 

 

 

Coffee House Angel By Suzanne Selfors

  • “My thoughts kept drifting to the homeless guy. He tried to rob the place?…Maybe he had run away from home.” (5).
  • “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (1).
  • “Amazingly light read.. “
  • Questions I may have the book : Has the author went through any sort of miracle to make her inspired to write this book ?
  • Personally, I found the book to be surprisingly fun and airy. It went by quickly.

Self esteem and Memoirs of a Geisha

The other day, I was rewatching the film Memoirs of a Geisha. Now, I was not particularly fond of the film in the beginning, although I must admit that the sequences of the film were beautiful because they took their time to tell the story. However, as Sayuri becomes more and more involved in becoming a geisha, I noted one thing in particular. What bothered me about the film was that Sayuri’s teacher was encouraging her to sell her mizuage. I found it particularly sad that she wasn’t really allowed to pick who she wanted to lose her virginity with. I am not very fond of the idea of losing your virginity before marriage, but the fact that she sold it makes me wonder how she did not question how degrading this act was. I think that a woman in her own right should have the option to choose what she did with whom, and be happy. As a strong minded individual like myself would say, “Do you not feel lowered in standard by doing this”? Maybe I’m just a little nuts. I think that the world should have choices– it is these choices that carry us on in life and we LEARN from these choices. Hatsumomo’s character, although despicable, did what she wanted and did not care. Obviously, she was in trouble often and often did not drive Sayuri in the right direction, but she did seem to have a rebellious nature about her that one can consider admirable. She is told throughout the film that a geisha is not allowed to love, but Hatsumomo seeks it anyway. In the film, Sayuri is nearly raped, and Hatsumomo says “Why take a plum when you have already taken  bite.” In regards to the bidding of course,. This then leads Sayuri’s mizuage being sold for 1`5,000 yen. The highest paid ever. For me, this lowers the self esteem indefinitely. Igt’s almost like being a prostitute in my opinion. This is through your own will, but it would make me feel like I have proven nothing. A woman has to protect herself unless she wishes to do these things with a man. Sayuri, I feel like, didn’t have this choice in her lifetime. To have your virginity taken away by someone you di not care for is like saying I love you to your  friend who means nothing to you. It’s a meaningless situation. This takes away from the dignity and soul of a woman, and in the end she is the one who is to blame, not the man. In this point of time, a woman does not really know where she should stand. She needs to be sexy, pretty, funny, nice, cool, yet edgy, interesting, smart and cunning. A woman’s self esteem should be high, and I feel like this cannot be done with this generation. It is simply too much. Today for example, I went off to South Coast Plaza and I felt like the fattest person there. I felt like I could be someone’s basketball for a day. Ultimately, a woman should not be taken advantage of nor should she ALLOW a person to take advantage of her. Women have their strengths, and weaknesses. One of them being.. well.. pleasing the male enigma. Men can sometimes be the most wonderful beings if we give them something to respect. However, if you’re going to act like.. well, you know.. how should you expect to have dignity and respect from a man? A woman pleases the male enigma by dressing like this, but in the end, who will win? They did a questionnaire once, asking random males the following questions: “Would you date a slut?” “Yes.” “Would you have sex with a slut?” “Yes.” “Would you MARRY one?” “No.” In the end, it proves the very question that women ask themselves everyday about men : What kind of woman should I be? Well, there’s your answer. An HONORABLE one. A RESPECTABLE one.  When one looks at everyday billboards, you cannot help but compare yourself to that person. You don’t have that perfect skin, the blue eyes, the most amazing body, whatever. A woman can only have self confidence within herself — and this is all within her. What she shows is what she will show to other people and what others will believe about her.