I have to admit coming out here, I'd have thought I'd be having loads of time to write and think and share my ramblings a little more regularly. However the move into my apartment meant that I didn't have an internet connection unless I was willing to budget a sizeable amount of my monthly survival budget. But recently I managed to get a temporary connection and hence here comes my first thoughts as I sit looking out of my main balcony watching lights flicker in the distance.
It is the eve of Eid Al Adha and I have been given a 3 day holiday ... so this effectively is my shortest work week since I got here. On Thursday I go in and then my weekend again - heeheheh I could get used to this.
Also I am counting the days down till I hop on my plane and head home for a good 3weeks of the kids and family and Christmas time - my favourite time of the year.
2010 has been a year of change. Mostly because I wanted my life to change. I was tired of how my 30s had passed me by in endless court appearances and only more heartache instead of solutions. Tired that people saw the troubles in my personal life as their basis to nitpick and say I was no good in my professional life even though I'd spill my gut just to be the best to my clients.
The one thing I learnt about all of this is that perspective plays a very pivotal role in life and living it. For almost a decade I saw myself as a unceremoniously disposed wife, a struggling mother, a daughter who'd failed her parents, and a sibling that could not in anyway contribute to making anything better, only worse.
Some of the choices and decisions I made were in some way bitter bile I kept repeating mistakes and making even worse choices and decisions. I went into a reclusive mode, I went into a sabbatical from faith, I went on an experimental stage of trying new things and thinking maybe if I hopped on board the way the world was revolving - somehow I'd fit in and I'd be normal in the eyes of everyone and perhaps they might actually accept that really I was no different from them.
At times I hated myself for seeming so spineless and stupid. I hated how I looked and yet I did nothing to look otherwise. Being ugly and unattractive meant less chances of more disappointments in my life. A life that has always had pain as an uninvited bed partner. A heart that dreamt of living the perfect fairytale, a brain that told me to wake up, accept my reality.
And then this opportunity to move away from everything I'd ever known, to make it in a new place on my own, to learn most importantly about me. The innumerable doubts and questions that went through. The painful fact that I had to be away from my babies. It was overwhelming.
And it still is, sometimes I ask myself what am I doing here?
The fact of the matter as the months roll by is I am pretty much living my life the way I did back home. There is no extravagance that people associate with a move to the middle east. The perceived mountain of money they think I am swimming in and using to wipe my ass instead of toilet paper is far from the truth. Pretty much everything I earn is pumped home to meet all those financial obligations that need to be looked into.
Years of struggling has made me a soul sold to the devil of credit cards and loans just to keep things moving, paying legal fees for the longest ever drawn out divorce case which in the end was pure waste of time and money - because even today nothing has changed. Jacob still does not pay maintenance in a timely manner. His mother still continues to antagonise my daughters with her periodic phone calls. At times I want to yell at her to go be happy with her grandson that Jacob had even before he got divorced. Why torment us continually???? Every time my babies hurt, I hurt. And I have hurt a long time, it is now time to heal and find peace.
I spend endless evenings at my dining table in my minimalist apartment staring out into the evening. I have become paranoid to think too much into the future. To plan too much because experience tells me every time I have done that, plans go haywire and I end up trying to get to my feet.
Here in Dubai, I have taken time to think. To look into my soul. And in my imperfections, I find I am whole. By nature I tend to give myself whole to any relationship I have with another human being. And I am learning sometimes it is best to withhold some, because not everyone gives any value to what you give them.
People are quite a mishmash of characters. There are the givers the takers the in-betweens and sometimes in this whole madness you find gems who give you a gentle nudge who make you look at your life and be thankful and grateful that life could have turned out far worse but as they say insyallah, by God's grace life is getting better.
I have made myself new friends since the move here. And in some of them, I see a little of myself. I can give advice as well as take it much better now because I am able to see that the strength in surviving life's trials is that one must first love one's self.
This is not in a narcissistic way! ... self love is about understanding yourself and most of all accepting who you are and why you are. This is a self discovery journey that only happens when one is ready to face truths and decidedly take affirmative action.
I have always been blessed with people who have loved me because I am love worthy! and even when I believed I was unworthy, they loved me more. Always gently nudging and encouraging me to take a step back, and look at me like how they see me. Who have constantly reminded me that those who hurt me in the past should remain there in the past buried and that each today is a chance to rebuild my life. And each tomorrow's foundation starts here and now.
Occasionally I still lose my temper, especially if it has anything related to Jacob and his continued nonsense. Sometimes I wonder if he expects that constantly being a pain in my rear end, I'd somehow be lobotomised should he ever turn up on my doorstep needing my help for me to actually help him. Errrrr sorry la ok, you are past trash I ditched, the only reason I have to even know if you're alive is because of the girls. Otherwise I don't really give a flying fuck as you used to say!
I watched the movie Eat Pray Love - and that movie spoke to me. I made a friend in cabbie I call Happy Singh - who seems like the male version of me with his commitments to family back in Punjab. Restless for change, looking to be something other than a cab driver who garners no respect in Dubai. For a kid of 26, he has an old soul. Whenever we talk, I find myself amused that I understand completely what he is feeling and what his struggles are ... because ironically I am on the brink of 40 and still looking for that niche which puts me par excellence above everyone else ... why? Because I know I am that good, just I need to find my mojo ... if you understand what I mean.
Hearing some of the stories of my other single mother friends, the choices they have made, relationships that they have found themselves in, I wonder if they too would benefit from just packing up and taking a journey away from all that is familiar and that they too find it in themselves to improve their relationships with the most important person in their lives - themselves!
The hardest person to love unconditionally is yourself, because we always put more value to the other people who come into our lives transitory or not. And giving them all of ourselves, we starve ourselves of our love, compassion, understanding and nurturing.
Here alone in my evenings in Dubai staring out into the silence that is my constant companion, I know that all my pains are slowly healing, and that in loving myself some, I am going to be able to give those I love most in this world will benefit from a happy content .ani
Until next time, there are many more nights of thoughts and healing and in time with the changes, all positive my light will shine bright. I am not called sunshine for no reason :) you know by total strangers I come in contact with.