This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
It is subject to comments, criticisms and corrections, and all will be dealt with constructively and do leave your comments I would love to hear from you.
There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
Welcome to my world.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Feeling Like A Nobody

It’s easy to get discouraged and feel like a nobody. Maybe doing something drastic or praise-worthy, change of group or circle of friends is the answer. I look forward to the day when my  name is called and people finally see and hear me.

However, being known doesn’t change the problem of being a nobody. It just changes the location. Now instead of being an unknown in my old group, I am unknown in a bigger crowd.

The fact is, even famous people get lost in the crowd. It’s a tough reality, especially when I feel like alienatedor worst maybe not needed anymore. Over the past weeks, I’ve had my share of concerns that I am just another person in the crowd, a passing friend, even thinking everything I do to another person even in the "goodest" of intentions are almost always misconstrude.

Now that I start to feel like a nobody, I think I need to give myself a mini-pep talk, which includes these four points in one form or another:

1. Lower my expectations.

I am a little naive, and I am too trusting at times that I got run over. Honestly I don't mind cause I put people on a pedestal, especially those I get to care about and loved. Problem is, the moment they slip up, I tend to lose heart and I find it hard to held them in high regards again. So I tend to keep distant which is mistaken that I didn't care, but what I am trying to do is just keeping distance in order to see them in another perspective and make clear to me why I put them in such a high importance in my life. Sometimes I see why, and sometimes I don't. But I was already given the cold shoulder treatment by the time I find out.

2. I speak my mind too often

I am not sure whether it is right or wrong to speak one's mind outloud, and say the right words at the wrong time, or the wrong words at the right time. I forget that people can be sensitive at times and I get to be insensitive, and people can be insenstive and I am just plain stupid.
3. Misunderstood

Frankly speaking, I would rather not talk nor act on something or anything, 'cause  I am always misunderstood. But even if I chose not to move or say anything, still it is understood that I, yes, didn't care at all.

4. I care too much and get too close for comfort

I learned the hard way that getting too close to anyone is not a good thing, there should always be a space in between or what do we get? You guess it right, when two bodies are too close , as my physics teacher told me, it creates friction. Oh well, so much for being a close friend, I got too comfortable thinking that everything I do or say will just be taken on a stride. I was dead wrong.

So being a nobody because of these points really sucks, but nevertheless opens my mind and eyes to the degree of relationship I have with the people I came to know. So what now? I am not sure at all, really, I am too far to the people in which I am not a nobody and I have to live with this feeling for now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Morals 2011 Saudi Arabia

It's been a while since I last read the daily paper and today I asked our reception guard if he has an extra English paper, smilingly he gave me one. I am not expecting much to read, so and so news about Gadhafi's family and fortune, the ongoing war in Syria, price hikes and so on and so forth. But my face brighten up when I caught sight of something quite unusual. no, not unusual, it can even be unexpected and yes, surprising. I never thought I'd see one or even hear such an event ever occuring in this part of the world.

In the paper today was this article about a beauty pageant held in Al Qatif in the Eastern Province, although not the traditional parade of beauties in bikinis and gowns, this one is quite different.
At first thought, I cannot imagine how the contest went through, or maybe they removed their abayas and tarhas and only wear them again for the photoshoots? Or were they judge for the most beautiful eyes? I find it quite amusing seeing the women in sashes, crowns and boquets in their black covers, until I read the whole article.
When Miss Universe and or Miss World rely much on the physical aspect of the contest, this one is all about "inner beauty," pun intended. This young women were judged base on their achievements in school, home, social events, community service as well as religious duties. The contest is open to all young women and this year as the news stated there were 385 participants. These young women once applied were closely monitored for a few months. "They must enroll in educational and training programs and apply what they learn in their courses, including morals, Islamic education, psychology, human rghts affairs and child development," - Amal Al-Sibal, Saudi Gazette 24 Oct 2011
After taking such activities these women were assessed and interviewed and the young woman who is most capable of servicing her community is chosen as Miss Morals.
Surely a twist to what we know of beauty pageants. Or course this event is for women only and held in women only venue. One thing to add is that this has been going on for 4 years already.
The goal of Miss Moral pageant is "to bring out the best in the young people in the Kingdom and to produce ethically guided social leaders."
It is also suggested by the organizers that a pageant of the same kind would be held for the young men of the country, thus Mr. Morals, and that I have to see!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unbecoming Of An Adult

Was talking via Facebook Video with my sister and her daughter yesterday which was great for I miss them very much. I was moping these past few days due to some issues that they "forgot" to tell me about. I was a little hurt by it and being the eldest I felt I was left out (add to that the recent incident at work, and what do I got?...never mind.) But all melted away when I watched my niece happily playing with her toys and the new tricks like clappijng her hands and doing some dance movements. Hearing her child-talk and simply looking at her mom, in such a way that she adores her. Wish I was with them with my camera. Anyway, here's the real issue,

Who do we think of when we hear the words: pouting, moping, and the silent treatment?
When I think of these words I usually think of  kids, babies, or even a teenager who hasn’t got their way. These are pretty typical responses for people who haven’t got the emotional maturity of adults.

But wait, we’re how old?

Yes, tantrums, pouting and emotional blackmail are not just for babies anymore. If we have ever been receiving an adult tantrum or pout fest then you know what I’m talking about. If it’s our child, parent, sibling, friends, co-workers who often behaves in these ways there are some things we can do to cope and not get sucked into their drama.

Let's stop taking it personally. Easier said than done, I should know. But remember as I learned that we can’t control how others act, react or deal with issues. We can only control how we react or respond to what they are doing or how they are treating us. So what I did was distance myself from what’s going on, get some air and then respond in a manner that allows me to stay true to myself. People only do what they can get away with. We should not allow someone to treat us poorly or disrespect us or they will continue to do it.  
I had this done whenever I am a little bit full of other people's drama, I simply walk away. If we are being treated poorly or disrespected don’t be afraid to walk away. It may be really difficult especially if we don’t want to rock the boat but by walking away we are sending a very clear message that we will not tolerate their behavior. It may be awkward at first but given enough time they’ll get the picture.

I read that we don’t have to be part of the problem.  If we comply with their “demands” or bend over to get them to stop pouting we are giving in to their behavior. It’s easy to say but much harder to do. No one likes to be ignored by someone they love and most of us would do anything to get them to talk to us again. But by doing that “anything” we are telling the other person that it’s okay to manipulate me to get what you want. If we’ve been putting up with someone’s adult tantrums for a while then it’s pretty obvious that we love them dearly. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t tolerate it from a co-worker or casual acquaintance. In any event we need to stand up for ourselves if we are to put an end to this behavior.

I had my adult tantrums and nobody cared with how I felt, in my "aloneness" I realized I was just being childish. It was no big deal to start with. I was the adult with a tantrum and it didn't made me feel good or even made me feel I am a better person.
A note to those of you having adult tantrums, be they at your home or in your workplace, the tantrums are really unbecoming. Really.

Love In Between Tradition and Beliefs

Weekend, like every weekend before, I just stayed home and watched movies, something to pass time, if I am not reading or mastering my camera. One thing about me is that I love movies that is not conventional, something special that not a lot of people would like to talk about  or would shy away to see, or am I being too indifferent? Anyway, it has been part of my daily internet surfing to find good GLTB movies, not the exquisitely sensual types, ok, yeah, sometimes, but those dramas, comedies, romance and suspence movies that basically about the lives and loves of the GLTB community.
Without me knowing it, I finished watching two movies that really tackled very sensitive topics but were dealt with lightly and semi-lightly. It's about love overcoming trandition and religion. One is gay and the other is lesbian.
My very first lesbian movie, and I never thought I'd love it this much, I Can't Think Straight stars two gorgeous women who's portrayal of closeted lesbians just caught me off guard, not to mention being a Catholic-Arab and a Muslim-Hindi (and how about that for starters!) made the movie interesting and poignant. Both families were traditional, and both were expected to follow their parent's choices for them, even when it comes to love. Family loyalty and respect were jeopardized when they fell in love. Good thing the setting was in the modern age, so people tend to be a little bit open, well after a lot of denials and dramas. Enough said. One thing though, I will never looked at lesbians the same way again.
The other is called A Touch Of Pink, where a gay Muslim-Pakistani who's mother visits gets to find out that her son is living with a man whom she thought first were a housemate. But eventually the truth was revealed and broken hearted not to see his only child get married and have grandchildren leaves. But mothers are mothers, they cannot abandoned their child however their child turn out to be. So a reconciliation and acceptance lead to a happy ending. Enough said again.
I will not divulge much of the movie, cause it is better if you people of the blog watch it, it will be worth the three hours in front of the TV, I promise. The sexual content were a minority, and were dealt with artistically and as a part of the story and not graphic.
I really believe in love,  love that transcends through the hardest of adversities. After all, we are here because of love, so why some people put a label on it? Why we sometimes define love? Love is beyond everything we understand it to be, and if we cannot understand the very core from which love evolves, we will never get pass the point of prejudice, hate, limiting beliefs, indifference and intolerance. Does it matter when two men or two women fall in love? Are there really rules in love?  Is it written somewhere that love should only be between a man and a woman? There are so many debatable questions about love, and to add to the pointless argument, the subject of tradition and religious beliefs, combine that with narrow-mindedness and closed hearts and minds and what have we got? A totally messed up world.
We are made to love and feel love, share love and be loved. It makes us human, it makes us divine. It's our one way ticket to eternity, and we have but a short time to learn about love.
But human as we are, we  love to scare and limit ourselves by setting rules, religion and all those beliefs that imprisoned our souls and hardened  our hearts and not to mention closed our minds.

These two stories had in them powerful messages about love, being true to oneself, to be brave to stand and fight for one's freedom to choose whom to love. No matter and whatever people might say, nobody and nothing can ever tell us who we are and how we should be. We may be outcasted, disowned, hated and be judged, but as long as we stay true to who we are, nothing else matters.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Drown In It

"Go all the way or go home."
"Give it everything you've got."
"Go for it."
"It's all or nothing."
These are all the same and meant only one thing, to get involve fully in what we are doing. BUT not so far that we drown in it.
When are are working on something, talking with a friend, even running a mile, whatever it is that we are doing at the moment, give it all we've got. Participate fully.
I know we had this so called "ningas kugon" attitude, we start something we don't finish, or because our heart or mind are not into it, we do things lightly and foolishly. And it should not be so. Sometimes we are too involve that we loose ourselves, this we should be aware of.
Give it our full attention. Remember the most important person is the person we are with at the moment. However, do not let ourselves get carried away that we forget about the limits and boundaries we need to set otherwise we will be overstepping the line and become someone too controlling and self-worthy. Our full undivided attention, to make things and situations better and giving ourselves and not our egos, a pat on a shoulder that we did the right thing.

Feel – the wind, the sun, the rain, the heat, the cold, the empathy, the compassion.

Sense – the emotion, the fear, the anger, the adrenaline, the wonderment, the joy.
Hear – the cars, the chatter, the thunder, the voice of our companion, the laughter, the sobs of our friend

Then when we’re done … let it go. Move on. Forget about it.
Good or bad, big or small … don’t drown in it, we often were in a sinking boat and we keep climbing into it, wouldn't it better to let go and just swim ashore?

Friday, October 14, 2011

3 Important Questions To Consider

I came across this review of a short story by Leo Tolstoy called The Three Questions, and got intrigued, so I searched for it and eventually read it.
The short story has 3 questions stated and I’m willing to bet that you’ll get 1 answer right and 2 wrong. The questions are:

1. When is the most important time?

2. Who is the most important person?

3. What is the most important thing you can do?

When is the most important time?

If you answered “now”, then you are right. It’s not the past; it’s not the future, but right here right now.
Why now? The past is just a memory. There’s nothing we can do to change what has already happened. It’s done, it’s over, it’s gone and there is no getting it back.
The future is still just an idea. It’s our thought of what’s going to happen and sometimes our prediction is right and sometimes it isn’t. The problem with the future that we can become attached to it and when things don’t work out as planned we feel lost as “this wasn’t the way it's supposed to happen.”
That leaves us with now. This very hour, minute, second is all we really have. It’s the most important time and it’s where we can achieve anything.

I’m guessing this is the question you got right.

Who is the most important person?

Most people will answer that the most important person is me, my spouse, or my kids. I think I need to disagree with you. Let me tell you why.
The most important person is the person you are with. Whenever you are alone with someone, that certain person is the most important person, regardless of who the person is and why are you together. And when you are sitting alone by yourself, you guessed it, YOU are the most important person.

Got it wrong? How about this one.
What is the most important thing you can do?

The most important thing you can do is to care. Care about anyone, we are all human and connected to one another by divine design. To care simply means to set aside our pride and bury our egos. It sets the stage for good intentions and blessings.

The most important time is now, the most important person is the person you are with, and the most important thing you can do is to care.

Life gives no assurances and we have no idea of how the future will come. The people we are with now may be saving our life in 10 minutes time, they may be the last people we will ever see. How do we want to act in the last moments of our life? Alternatively, maybe they are the next to go, how do we want to act with them in the last moments of their life? It may sound morbid but we are all here for a very short time and we may not know when or how but eventually we will all go.

We cannot change what came to pass, the future is still uncertain, but this very minute is ours to enjoy. How are we spending it? Are you watching TV when you should be apologizing or saying “I love you” to someone? Should you be making steps to getting out of debt or taking time for yourself?

What should you be doing with this gift of time? This very hour, minute, second.

Things Are Hard Sometimes

I have learned that there are two main things that stops us from staring anything new, fear of the unknown and because we think it is going to be hard.

Most of the time we look at a new venture with great excitement, at first. Give it at least 10 minutes and we have all but find a thousand and one reasons to give it up simply because it is going to be "hard."

Of course it will be. Everything we try for the first time is going to be hard. Maybe even too hard. But it does not mean we should give it up.

If we were asked, how do you eat an elephant? Not that we really do, but methaporically, and the answer should be, one bite at a time. This methapor is one of the best way to explain the thought of taking huge tasks. Sometimes we look at a new responsibility, job, task or a new endeavor as we would look at the elephant. Big, huge, intimidating, unconquerable.
It’s only when we breakdown the tasks before us that it actually starts to look do-able even easy. Everything is hard when we don’t have experience, guidance or information.

If I look back at anything that’s ever been hard initially (like going here in Saudi and going through all those experiences) I'd quickly discover that the difficulty I have had was just a thought now. Did I give up? Well maybe on some of them, but I guarantee not on all of them.

If we’ve learned to write, walk, talk, rode a bicycle, if we’ve ever written a test, or organized a space that seemed impossible we've overcome “hard” and have succeeded.

Things start off hard and then get easier. And I think life is just like that. We need to learn to be patient and look at things on a different perpective if from the first it looks a bit impossible.
Things get easier the more we learn about them, the more talk about them and the more we do them.

Next time something stops us from doing something because it’s going to be “hard”, stop, relax, think back, break it down and carry on. Nothing is ever too hard if we want it bad enough, right?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why I Tend To Feel Crappy - In Response To "Will Just Keep To Myself"

I am being alienated even those whom I thought were my close friends. My world is getting smaller. I feel lonely.

I don’t want to minimize any of these things. It’s important to get it out of me and they are indeed real issues. But going through it day, after day, after day can leave me wondering what’s the point?
Now if I let myself get caught up in the drama it creates, there’s no wonder I could foresee gloom. I may take this on board, internalize it and it can really start to affect me. I start to feel really crappy.

While I think it’s important to be aware of events and what’s going on around me. I think I also need to limit what I take in.

Am I the type who really lets the issue get to me, who worries and is consumed by things that are really outside of my control? I think there is hope still, I don't have to feel crappy! With a few simple choices I can turn myself around.
In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the very first habit he writes about is being proactive. According to Covey’s definition people can be classified into two generic groups: reactive people and proactive people.
Reactive people tend to focus on things that are outside of their control, things like world hunger, the weather or terrorism.
Proactive people, on the other hand, tend to focus their attention on things over which they have some degree of influence, such as their job, their hobbies, and exercise.
The difference is worrying and getting down about things we can’t personally change vs. “minding our own business” (for the lack of a better phrase) and focusing on things we have a direct influence over.

So what can I do?

I am the reactive type of person and is tired of feeling crappy, I will try focusing my attention instead on things I can actually do something about. Practice my photography and be good at it. Try to write more, blogging, extend my circle of acquaintances and hopefully make new friends.
Instead of worrying about it and fretting over an issue I should just brush it off and simply move on.
Moping about things over which I have no control does nothing except make me feel bad, dis-empowered and perhaps hopeless. I should take a good look at where I spend my energy and time thinking. Is it making me happy or sucking the life right out of me?

I don’t have to feel crappy because of all the bad that seems to be going on around me lately. Focus on the right things and I can still make a difference and feel great about it.

Will Just Keep To Myself

I am trying to be normal lately, but I cannot. What do I mean by this? Work had become something that I am obligated to do and not something I like doing anymore. I told my self if I have nothing good to say or talk about, then I better shut my mouth up. You see sometimes, by being too honest with what I feel, more often say things that cause more harm than good, even if it meant to be good. What do I expect? I am Mr. Misunderstood, so I should not be bothered by it, but deep inside, I am. Maybe I have a problem?

Maybe it is really me. Would it be better if just smile and keep whatever it was in my mind to myself?

There is nothing much I can do, when there is this new rule at work which I need to follow, literally, as it was taken literally. So be it.

It is funny though, as we are not allowed to chat or talk about anything besides work, that we cannot even mention how good is the morning, how the weather is changing now, the evenings and mornings are getting cooler. Soon winter will come but hearts got colder first.

I may have made the mistake of saying or reacting to how I feel, and the result hurt me more than from which it was intented to. I am not being forgiven for being outspoken and I am also disappointed with someone I put on a pedestal. I had to ask the question, where is...oh never mind.

But I let it go, and it was water under the bridge, though I was not spoken to for the past three days, nobody seemed to want to for that matter.I just don't know how long this charade will go on, until then I will keep to myself.

Once again, I am being alienated by the last group of people I felt safe with.

My world here is getting smaller and smaller, though I try to make it bigger. It is closing in faster than I can make it wider.

I am just afraid when the time comes when I cannot breathe anymore, I will simply get up and go and leave everything behind. Good thing though, I have my photography class to keep me balanced, for now.

Yes, I will just keep to myself.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

7 Steps To Being Okay With Who We Are

1. Do the best we can with what we have available to us right now

2. Stop apologizing for who we are.
3. Stop trying to be perfect. We’re not (nobody is) and that’s okay.

4. Be proud of our accomplishments. Be it big or small.

5. Accept our mistakes. They are what makes us learn and grow..

6. Let's stop trying to please everyone all the time. It will never happen.

7. Live according to ourselves.

This world is full of people telling us what we should be, what we should have and what we should live up to. It can make us really unhappy with who we are. Who says they are all right anyway?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Grass Is Always Greenest, At Exactly Where I Am!

I am guilty of thinking that life might be better ANYWHERE other than where I am right now. Some thoughts like:

Life will be better once I’m out of debt.
Maybe it is better if I go to another country.
If only I could find a job with a better pay.

The truth is some of my problems may go away once I have all my "if only's" and "better when's" but still my life won't be perfect. New problems will come and I would likely be finding myself wishing for this "perfect" life to be different still. I can only dream that the grass will be greener on the other side because it's only when I live it do I actually see it for what it really is.
Whatever I have in mind about an alternate lifestyle,  location, job, financial situation and so on, rest assured that each one will have it's own special set of issues.

So what can I do about this? I chose to be content with what I already have.

Just by looking around me I can already be grateful with what I see. I realized that there are less fortunate people than me and right now, rightly or wrongly, they are wishing for my exact lifestyle. When I look back 4 years ago, I was  wishing for an overseas work, and without me recaling about that time, I am right where I wished to be. Life just happens so gradually that I loose my thoughts on achievements, growth and successes.
It is free to dream big. But I should not let those dreams cloud the good things I have in front of me right now. That is why I am considering this truth, that the grass is greenest right where I am, under my feet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Falling In Love Again...With Myself

Sounds pathetic, but I assure you it is not, I have been single for the past 5 years, and no matter how I try, it really doesn't work out. So I stopped, for a while, and turned my attention to myself. I once saw a video blog that talks about how to have someone but really the message was that it really is better not having one. A bit confusing? Let me explain why.
I was so eager to have someone to have and hold because of some fears, and one is that I am afraid to be alone. But ironically, the best way to have someone is to be ok with NOT having one.In other words, I need to be my own someone because the more I will love myself the easier for me to have that special one. Well no one is really completely that "in love" with themselves, but the closer we get to that ideal the easier it is to share that love with another person.
So if I want someone, I need to turn to myself inwards instead of looking around places and the net, and looking instead inside myself and cultivate that relationship I have with my being. So I asked myself some serious questions, "Why do I want to have someone so badly? Do I  feel incomplete when I am alone? Why? What is it that I seek with another that I myself don't have and why do I feel I don't have those things?"
The reality is I am a complete and whole person and whatever it is that I seek from another person whether, nurturing love and stability, I have all these inside myself. So I am contemplating on these things, I need to do something for myself, maybe go out on a date with myself, treat myself to a dinner, or coffee, a walk in the park, take outs, enjoy a movie, take long baths, and enjoy myself. Instead of looking at my lowtimes as something awful and terrible I should look at it as a really great gift that I could cherish. Maybe then interesting things may happen, I might become ok with being single, well in fact I might be more than OK and start to really enjoy it. Enjoying the company of myself maybe the most important relationship I could ever have in my life. The acceptance of being single breeds this tremendous air of confidence and love to people and relationships to people I meet and the relationships I make. Instead of coming across as insecure and desperate, and believe me there is nothing that's more unattractive than desperation, I might come across as someone grounded and secure in my being and that's really attractive. People might appreciate and respond to that, and when that happens that "seeking for someone"  thing will fall effortlessly into place if it's meant to be, and if it's not I'll be ok with that not happening because I would have loved and appreciated the relationship I have with myself.
Love ourselves, and as Rupaul would always say, "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you're gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here?"