On aging…

Stumbled upon this on one of my many forays into the world wide web… Yes, there are plenty of issues simmering beneath the surface waiting to be dissected with the finesse of a blunt axe, but not tonight peeps, my raging hormones refuse to let me… So, in lieu of my own presumably wittier prose, I give you a list… Of 30 things one ought to know at the ‘magical’ age of 30…

By 30, you should have …

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.

9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.

10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.

13. The belief that you deserve it.

14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.

By 30, you should know …

1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.

2. How you feel about having kids.

3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

4. When to try harder and when to walk away.

5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.

6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.

7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.

8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.

9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.

10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.

11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.

13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.

14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.

15. Why they say life begins at 30

On life…

Haven’t blogged in the longest time due to the fact that in the past 8 months, my life was literally turned upside down… Uppended unto its head, screaming and kicking, and finally settling down again… right about now… mind you not completely settled down, just starting to resemble ‘normal’ for a bit…

Started in March, when on the 17th of March, my poor brain suffered a hemmorrhagic ischemic attack. In other words, I had a massive stroke. The plumbing in my brains went kaboom! What transpired next was epic – hospitals and the whole shebang of suffering a stroke – came to death’s door a couple of times, was even put on a respirator for a few days, because my brain had decided breathing was too much effort.

In all likelihood, the stroke itself should warrant a separate entry, but I will not indulge it. Praise to God, I survived. And I want to express my most sincere apology for making my loved ones sick with worry.. Here’s a pic of the bleed in my brain, which, by the way, is still there, since we opted to not go for surgery. Thank you, my darling Giraffe, for keeping my faculties intact.
( the white bit is the bleed )

To cut the story short, came home after two weeks of hospitalization, doped out of myself. To this day, I remember nothing of the hospital, other than the incredibly vivid hallucinations I had while high on morphine… Alhamdulillah, God is kind in making me forget.

Moving on, 8 months down the road, I am doing well, in fact better than ever before… I’ve lost a substantial bulk of my fat arse… I eat better and take better care of myself, have a positive outlook on life, and have regained almost all my motor functions. Just a little jittery sometimes, but it will get better in time, I suppose…With that positive note, I will stop here, and continue the story when the writing bug bites again.. Off to lunch!

Loving the air I breathe – Jasmine.

On her 21st…

Dearest Boo,

I just wanted to take this time to wish you a happy 21st birthday. It’s hard to believe that you are 21 years old! I would like to congratulate you for making your life so complete, and I’m proud of your accomplishments – you’ve come a long way from the quiet little girl that use to stare at the world passing by from behind my skirts. All of your life, I’ve made a conscious effort to teach you the difference between right and wrong, as that is the measure of a complete person. I’ve also tried to diligently teach you how to think on your feet, and how to think on your own terms. You’ve embraced my high standards, then decided to exceed my wildest dreams and expectations.

One of my greatest joys with you has been your affability, and genuine interest in making and keeping friends. You are one of the nicest, friendliest young women I have ever known, and have more friends than I can count. You are obviously doing something right. Still, it would serve you well in the future to only associate with people of the highest integrity. After all, the old cliche, “You are known by the friends you keep,” certainly holds true. So far, you have done a reasonably good job in making and keeping friends. However, you need to not always think that every one of your friends will do the right thing. If you choose your friends wisely, life will be so much easier. One strong characteristic that you have that causes me admiration is your loyalty. Loyalty, combined with your word being your bond will get you far in life.

In two years, or ten, depending on how long you study, someday the real world of mundane things like getting a job, paying bills, and buying a house will be a priority. Remember to always think everything through and not do things on a whim. That sharp salesman is not your friend, despite his affable nature. People will try to look for an advantage, and some might take you for being an easy mark. The easiest word to say is No.

Finally, please realize that I will always be there for you. If I’m down to my last three cents, I will gladly give you two of them. Never be afraid to ask anything of me, and never be afraid to challenge me….but do realize that you better have all your ducks in a row if you challenge me. I know it’s cliche, but a good way to look at life is to always do the right thing, even if someone isn’t looking.

I’ve never told you this before, but your greatest characteristic that I admire is your strong desire to do things on your own and not ask for assistance. Boo, as you become an adult, I just want to reiterate on just how proud of you I am. The main thing I want for you to do is be happy. Despite all my [mis]fortunes over the past years, I still have remained relatively happy. I might have my moments, but you know what I mean. Life has its ups and downs and you just have to roll with the punches, no matter what they throw at you. Our family is a resilient breed, and you, clearly are the best of breed.

I know I promised that I actually ‘write’ a 21st letter for you, but  I hope that you will forgive me for settling for an ‘electronic’ version instead 🙂

Love always,

Jasmine

 

On advice for living life…

I once read somewhere that advice, really is just bits of nostalgia that has been recycled, the ugly bits painted over, then dispensed as wisdom. Most of the time, the pearls of wisdom I hear from people are just the ugly bits barely painted over, rudely shoved down the throats of unwilling recipients.

And then every now and then, there are bits of wisdom that truly shake my soul out of the stupor of everyday life. Today’s earth-shattering bits of advice comes from Eve Ensler…

 

It’s perfect timing – as I’ve been very insecure lately about being abandoned, on my own, growing old, dying – variations of the same theme – of being alone. Eve Ensler has reminded me that it takes strength and courage to be able to face challenges of life on my own. To stop being afraid of being alone in all its permutations…

Eventually, we will all grow old and die, and spend almost an eternity alone, before being united with our loved ones. Till then, learning to cherish the time that I have with myself – Jasmine.

On living life…

It’s been mad lately… Especially in financial matters… Being pinched so tight that it’s barely possible to breathe. But then again there are those pesky commitments that need seeing to, and then there’s the thing about having enough fuel to get to work to actually earn more money to pay off more of those pesky commitments. LOL! Ain’t adult life, filled with debts a blast!

Anywho, found this little blurb that cheered me right up 🙂

Off to grab a super late lunch now, while wasting brain cells on the idiot box – Jasmine.

On wants and needs…

Been meaning to blog on a whole gamut of things – life, work, love… the usual ups and downs and then some. Back to work on something completely new and alien to me, then back to not working after that not working out simply because it was all completely new and alien to me… Into the whole cycle of looking for work again and then back to work again, this time around something certainly more suited to my disposition. Thank the heavens above for that…

On the home front, it’s been frustrating on so many levels – the housework, the housemates (this one not too bad of a stress though) and the usual frustration of seeing Aunt Flo again after trying to conceive in every conceivable way… *sigh* Perhaps it is not yet my ‘rezeki’, or time to receive our bundle of joy… We will keep trying, not that my dearest Giraffe is complaining 🙂

I keep telling myself, when the grumbling grumbler within me awakes, that I must and I should be thankful for all that I have – a good husband who loves me with all his heart and is doing his darnest best, a roof over my head and food on the table, a family who loves me unconditionally, more clothes than I could possibly wear in a lifetime, relatively good health and the knowledge that I am still learning the wisdom of life, and that as a Muslim salvation for my soul can be found, and that God is always listening. Putting the words down is driving home the point even deeper, that I am indeed fortunate to have this life and not another (that sometimes we all envy, even if it’s just once in a lifetime)…

Harder for me to learn though, is that there is truly a difference between what we want, and what we need. More material possessions, more holidays away from home to fritter away whatever hard-earned money that we make with blood, sweat and tears – is it truly what we need? It is a realization of epic proportions – what we want is not necessarily what we need. Finding reconciliation between the two has always been difficult for me, simply because as a child nothing was ever denied to me… Instant gratification was equated with love, and it is very very hard to learn otherwise because it’s been ingrained…

This Ramadhan though, has been good and kind to me – the usual ‘gastric’ pains have kept away, and I have been fasting with joy. As the experts say, during the holy month of Ramadhan, the channels of communications to the heavens above are open and clear, and one should be making their wishes during this time of the year… Taking this opportunity to make my wishes as well, I do hope that someone out there is listening…

And to that note, indeed someone is listening – I have gotten a job, life and love have been good to me, and things are on the mend… Alhamdulillah… Stumbling across the mad chasm that is the net, I found this interesting piece of art, which describes perfectly the state of mind I am trying to achieve.

I hope that it would be as enlightening to you, as it has been for me 🙂

Good night, and may your wishes come true tonight – Jasmine.

On what I am…

Stumbled upon Alana Davis’ beautiful cover of Ani Difranco’s song, 32 Flavours… Pretty much expresses everything that I’m feeling right now 🙂

Hope you enjoy it, as much as I do…

Thinking of those 32 flavours and then some – Jasmine.