Saturday, November 24, 2012

Grateful: Giving thanks today and everyday.

                                                        Desert Thanksgiving

Its hard sometimes to just be Grateful.  We forget.  We walk around complaining and drowning in our own self pity.  We spend our time trying to get material things and measure our worth by what we have. We spend our time wishing and hoping for what others have and not seeing what's right in front of our face.  Life.  We are alive and breathing and here on earth at this very moment just being.  We may not be who we want to be or what we want to be, but because we are here we have a choice and opportunity to embrace life and that's something to be grateful for.
Being here in Abu Dhabi, even more so the western region where things are more traditional in the face of westernization; where people, particularly women, don't have choices puts things in percpective.  Well, they do have choices which are one of two; follow their rules or be ostracized and outcast.  In their culture a women has to be fully covered or where a veil over their face.  A place where they're is no room for era and a mistake can have great consequences. Now, I'm not judging how they live their lives here on the other side of the world because each country has its own.  But I'm grateful for the choices I do have and the little things I've taken foregranted.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here over seas and the great people I've met and what I've learned. The kind Arabic teachers in my school and western teachers in my villa.  I'm thankful for my family and friends back home who I miss during this holiday seasons. I'm thankful that has kept me sane during this tough period of my divorce and that he has placed great people in my life. I'm thankful that I'm growing and learning everyday.  I think that being grateful makes you aware of the little things you would pass over and realize they're more important than you thought.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stuck in the middle.

L=Letting go
I=Inward, Illusions
M=Me, Myself, Middle
O=? seems again I get thrown into my role as the middle child.  I was going for a walk with one of my friends in the park and we were talking about things that we realized we needed to change.  We both ended relationships and have learned a lot about ourselves as a result.  Mistakes that were made and our roles with our loved ones.  Of course I have a list of mistakes and patterns that played a big part in my ending marriage-not excusing my ex husband for his behavior in the least!   But this is about me and I'm not perfect.  So I said I would change trying to fix things for others.  Stop trying to think that I can solve other peoples problems or make their situations better,  As a middle child growing up I was born into the role of mediator and peace keeper.  I was left to fix things when I had no idea what was going on.  If something was wrong with my brothers and sisters my parents run to me and tell me to talk to them, see what's going on, guide them in the right direction.'s really exhausting!   I told my friend that in my marriage, I ended up doing just that; trying to fix every little thing and just making a bigger mess.  Thinking that if I did everything my husband wanted me to do I could fix our marriage and it would last.  I thought that I knew the solutions to our drifting apart  and that it was meant for me to fix him and make him feel needed, wanted, strong and capable.  I boost his ego to a fault.  In the midst of trying to make everything right I was just becoming clingy and needy and obsess with my middle child Super Powers and with my husband. Well, my super powers worked against me as you now know.   It work against me when I went home over the summer and tried to help a loved one get back on the right path.  That ended up with me messing up his friendship with someone he was once close to for years.   And here comes my now disability showing it's face in an email from a friend and his girlfriend.  Some major issues between her and him and her venting to me.  To my ears they were a cry for help and a test.  I didn't want to get involved so I prayed about it.  From her email my friend was or is doing some really despicable things that I and he should not be proud of. Their relationship, from all she's told me sounds destructive.  I know there are two sides to a story but how can ignore what she wrote?  I mean I do owe her a response and  I can't pretend I didn' read the email.  And as a Christian I can't condone that kind of behavior from anybody not even my brother.  How do I address her email and stay out of it without her feeling I'm ignoring her, butting in or justifying certain behaviors?  And how can I read this email and not talk to him about it? So after three days of praying I answered her email.  I gave her my sympathy, expressed my opinions in as neutral way as possible and asked her if this is really what she wants?  I also learned somethings about her that made me see the role that she plays in the relationship.  Again this time not excusing my brothers behavior but we all play repeating patterns in our lives.  And I just played mine again as mediator.  At least this time I'm aware I can't fix any ones life and I don't care to try.  That's why I'm in the desert; a middle child in the middle of finding myself and redefining my role in my life.  Limbo as we call it out here.  Just stuck in the middle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Victory Overseas!

Words can't express the relief and the joy that comes all the way from the desert! We drove to work this morning with an iPhone plugged into our car speakers listening to the election poll coverage.  With us being thousands of miles away and the time difference we were determined to be as present as possible in the elections.  We talked,we debated, and all hopped that Obama would take the lead.  By the time we arrived to work Obama had taken the lead on Romney with 157 to 153 in  electoral votes.  Wow!  This was as never reckoning as when he first was running for office!
We headed to work with our fingers crossed and a prayer in our hearts.   During the work day kept track.
 At my school, my Emirati co teacher; as posed as she can be, re wrapped her falling black beaded shaylah around her head as she sat on the rug enjoying lunch.  They're always on their cell phones here in the desert and she said to me from across the room "Miss, do you know about the elections"?  I said "Yes, I can't wait to hear what happens"!  "Yes" she said, "I see on my phone that it is very close. You should get a black berry so you can see, it is very nice".   Well at least I knew it wasn't over yet so I head back to my class.
While I was teaching one of my western coworkers came to my classroom and swung the door open with a great force and shouted "He won"!!  I immediately knew.  I shouted out of excitement and we gave each other high fives and jumped and screamed ! All the children were laughing and excited as well even though they had no idea what was going on!
What a day of nerves, excitement and victory!  All the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian teachers were so happy!  People at the grocery store knew  of Obama and shared our joy!  From all the way in Abu Dhabi I can celebrate my country in this monumental moment!  As the sun sets over the sand dunes in the Middle East, the sun rise  in America! So to those Republicans that say they're ready for change, I say you got it! Change is and always is present and in the moment.  And change is Obama!!!!!!  Now time for drinks and to watch the victory speech that we missed last night with my teacher friends!!!!   Cheers!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sand Storm

Several events recently took place in the last couple of days. Halloween for us westerners, Eid Mubarak, an Islamic holiday, a sand storm in Abu Dhabi, and several broken hearts in the desert.  Halloween was spent at one of my fellow teachers villa stuffing our faces with candy, chips, alcohol and scary movies.

 For our Eid Mubarak weekend we spent two Days in Dubai exploring a city that's so close but hard to get to when you live in the Western region of Abu Dhabi-that means rural, construction zones and being covered from wrist to ankles.
 Dubai was  amazing and  a small taste of the city life I left behind in NYC.  We explored, took pictures and shopped the many palace like malls.
That of course ended too quick and here I am back in the middle of the sand dunes.  That short 4 day weekend away was followed up by a sandstorm that seemed to wash away everything in it's path including peoples relationships.  A sandstorm is an experience like no other.  It looks like just how they show it in the movies.  In fact all I thought about was Tom Cruise as the sand blinded me on the drive home.  Skys are clear one minute and from the distance, what looks like dark rain clouds are really rolling sand particles in the sky. Next thing you know you're engulfed in sand and wind that forms a fog around you. 

As sand and wind pound you can't see two feet in front of you and sand begins to invade your eyes, your mouth, your nose.  It's sneaky and it attacks all the vulnerable, sensitive parts of your body; just like a relationship.  Even though due to technology you can predict a sandstorm is coming you're never ready for it especially when you're in it.  The same goes for relationships.  You can prepare for it, brace your self, see the warning signs but it still hits you with a sense of surprise.  Whether it's the start of a relationship or the ending of one, it's a storm of emotions.  In this case, it's the ending of many relationships here in the desert.  Several fellow teachers are suffering from broken hearts.  Relationships have ended and like I am, many are wiping the dust in their eyes, clearing their chest,  and mending their hearts of what just crept in as little particles in the air that are powerful enough to stop you in your tracks.  Tears form to clear the eyes, hacking coughs to get the sand out of your chest and your heart beats faster as you gasp for air. Yes, a sand storm in the desert and a sandstorm of the heart are equally damaging.