Not My Toolbox

I missed writing. I missed this place so much. I just want to lay my head on a large soft weave bright colored hammock by the beach and unleash the sleep deprived thoughts running around in circles for days. Hush them, calm them, sooth them, let them fall peacefully in deep sleep. Lull my babies because I am finally back home.


So as a product of my impulsiveness, wanting so bad to be productive on weekends, since not every one is privileged to get a 2 day off here in Dubai), I decided to take my creative endeavors to the next level.


I took Graphic Design classesI’ve impulsively enrolled myself in a course which I thought would help me advance my career in Advertising, which now I realized is a long punch in the moon. There is no way I’m going to be a graphic designer with this level of enthusiasm and momentum.

So I have three major sub-courses: Photoshop, Illustrator and In-Design. After a month of no progress in Photoshop and my instructor feels like I have been easily left out by other students, he moved me to Illustrator. I kinda like it better, maybe because I can easily re-discover new things by myself but I was still far from the word progress. My level of improvement was turtle pace and my instructor is going nuts. I’m sorry but I grew up in the era of protractors and drawing compasses.


He said I panic in front of the software. He said I have to explore and understand how it behaves.  If I get scared, it will be aloof and reluctant to show off its brilliance.  I have to be free and childlike so it plays with me. Art by all means, I guess is intuitive. It has a heart of its own. It feels you. But despite the lectures, I always end up terrified. I wind up creating awkward shapes and ugly figures and mismatched angles. At the back of my mind, I’m like – why can’t I just write a decent short story? At least if it sound so bad in the end, I have enjoyed it and not be tormented in the process.

I have this unfinished story lying around the corner and I can’t get it out of my head. I always get distracted in class. I daydream on working on it everyday but since I already paid for this course I have to devote my extra hours on it. I had to set aside the small amount of time left for writing, hoping to assemble it soon after I complete this course.

When you start something that feels so right and true, it’s almost impossible to stop. I have the tendency to simply abandon my graphic design classes completely. And I don’t want to do that considering I paid huge money – (not to mention our money) because I am no longer single now. And any big decision and purchase I make, involves another human being who grew up in a world where wasting is a major crime – regardless of size, ounce, pound, degree or whatever unit of measurement there is.  Sam will go ballistic if I don’t take this course seriously.

But the ideas kept swinging like a pendulum clock that creeps me out sometimes. It alarms me that time is running out for me to make it come to life. I remember what Elizabeth Gilbert has to say about inspiration:

“I believe that inspiration will always try it’s best to work with you – but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and to search for a different human collaborator.” – Elizabeth Gilbert shared her story on how she started writing this astounding story about a woman who wound up in the Amazon jungle. It was a huge intense idea that she was so excited about. But because she had to focus on some important personal matters that time, she left her unfinished novel on her desk hoping to get back to it once she’s done fixing her private mess. But when she came back for it, the idea was gone. It went away just like that. It found a new partner in the name of Anne Patchett, who paid more attention and affection to it. It was insane when they discovered they had the same plot.  The only difference is that, Anne Patchett was able to publish it because she paid attention and devoted a huge amount of time to it.

I’m not saying I have this huge Amazon Jungle story waiting to be written or that I’m afraid it will go and land into the lap of some huge best selling fiction author. Jeez. I’m just saying, I don’t want to waste the thrill, the fusion, the elation, the spark, the stimulus, all the dancing and booze in my head when I get to think of putting all the words together on paper.

“I found an unattended idea lying around, and I ran away with it.” – Liz Gilbert on Eat Pray Love- when she finally ran away with an idea and made it happen.

And yes, I want to ran away with this idea! I want to recklessly pack my suitcase and get on the next plane and fly with this brimming novel. Wherever it takes me.

My teacher waived a hand on me as I spaced out in class. “You’re the only student who’s not taking this course seriously.  I don’t understand why you panic.” He said in front of the class – like I have not been embarrassed enough to expose my heinous design with everyone.

In my mind I’m like, “I’m sorry sir. I panic because this is not my toolbox. And I’m afraid I’ve exchanged my suitcase with somebody else’s. We were supposed to elope. Me – and my ravishing idea….”


Wait. Am I ready for this? Part I

So it’s partially my idea to move. Since I had that allergy issues along with my sleepless hours (which I now realised is irrelevant to us moving), we decided to find a new place to start fresh- get rid of the unwanted dust mites and noise pollution and most of all save a good damn money for rent. Of course, my decision always come from impulse. Like a seven year old kid whining for a field trip and later on once exhausted from a fun filled day of frolicking in the field, would want to go home badly. I imagine it would be better. Until after viewing some nasty flats that asked for more money than what it can offer.

Sam on the other hand,  comes from a totally logical dead-serious decision. Once he made up his mind on something, it is most often than not irrevocable. Unless maybe I put all my energies into convincing him otherwise. But it would take a ton of my physical and emotional strength to reverse things. Now that I’m half hearted to move – it’s too late. Changing Sam’s mind now, would be like dismantling a bank vault without a tool box.

But the places we’ve visited so far – were totally all way below the league of our current flat. And I just can’t imagine myself relaxing peacefully on those places on a weekend. Somehow it’s just too painful in the eyes to even look at. But then again, if it’s for the greater good. Then why not? He promised it will be just a trial.

And besides we haven’t picked a place yet and we still have a few in the list.

Lately, I’m just having a totally weird attachment issues over this place. Sure, I hate the hookah palooza; the everyday torture of shisha. Sure, I don’t like the noise in the weekend or the television drama at night (why can’t everybody just plug in their goddamn earphones and be adults here?) Sure, I hate that nobody cleans the kitchen – regularly (but who does? We’re all busy and tired from work. I can totally understand.)

Another lesson of gratefulness for me. (It’s an all time favorite. I get the message repeatedly.) Just be appreciative of what you have. You never know what’s out there. You may perhaps be in a better place, better position. So just relax and be thankful.

Bottomline is, I don’t think I’m ready to move.

It’s a lot of work – since we have a LOT OF STUFF. And just the thought of traveling extra hours and the traffic and the size of the place reduced according to its price, the level of comfort and the new flatmates… couldn’t help but think…

What did I get myself into?

If I hadn’t complain, Sam wouldn’t have the slightest thought of moving.

I should’ve kept my mouth shut.

When was the last time?


When was the last time you really had a good laugh? The kind of laughter that does not just last for a few good minutes but hours of fun, not because something funny was thrown in the air but because your spirits have been soaring high that you don’t miss an opportunity to giggle? Even short conversations from strangers makes you burst with joy. You’re a human party popper. Happiness spills naturally. You could not contain it.

When was the last time you lied down in bed and read a really good book? When was the last time you bathe in the sun and played in the water? When was the last time you felt and tasted the fresh salty breeze from the beach running its slender fingers on your hair, easing the tensions from your head down to your shoulders? When was the last time you were excited to go home to start or finish a mind-blowing creative project? When was the last time you really really slept well and just relax and wake up refreshed? When was the last time you spent some time with friends you’ve missed so much, just sharing stories non-stop til daylight. When was the last time you traveled from a different place and explored the unfamiliar corners of its blissful city? When was the last time you told yourself, this – whatever I have at the moment- is just awesome.

If you can’t remember when, then do yourself a favor and get that much needed break.Unicorn Face on Apple iOS 10.2

Not a Fan of Arabian Nights


Out of desperation or delirium (I don’t know which better way to describe it), I told Sam.

“If you can’t find a decent, clean, warm and cozy place for us to stay, I will take a bed space for myself and you go find yours.”

To which he boasted like a newly recruited boy scout, “I already have a list” then flaunted me his old crumpled scratch sheet with apartment spaces phone numbers. Spaces. Not rooms. Because we could barely afford it.

I am frustrated all together with so many things lately. And I just want to resolve them in one blow. But I had to take it one step at a time.

So there’s an old guy next to our room smoking shisha every night. He would burn his charcoal in the kitchen and bring his burning ornaments in his room and start his hookah palooza.

At first it was all right because he does this in the balcony which is totally fine. But now it has become a habit of smoking inside the room next to ours while playing arabian nights music.

I mean come on! There are second hand smokers in the apartment! Does he even realize that? It never occurred to me that this may be the cause of my everyday migraine, fatigue, restlessness and runny nose. I mean who knows what triggered this condition?

But he for sure is a remarkable contributor.

We need to move and I can’t wait to vacate that place. It was by far the best place if you scrape the entire city for an affordable living space based on our salary bracket. But I can’t live like this everyday, inhaling this unsolicited chemicals!

I mean come on. My fiance is not a smoker and living a healthy lifestyle. So how did I end up living with one? I spend most times with this guy than with my fiance because Sam’s schedule is so opposite mine. Isn’t it that frustrating?

This is not acceptable!



So from here on, I fully commit myself in completely abolishing coffee and chocolates in my everyday life. Lying. I will have to finish my very moist (not a very good word) to be followed by soft and sweet, fondant cake (or is it just my dirty mind?) – patiently waiting for me at home. Adding up to that is a set of Cadbury Cake Bars tucked under by desk. And don’t even mention Nespresso which is by the way one of my office perks (I get to decide which flavors to order and my God they taste so glorious). Who could resist the aroma of the dulsao do brasil and vivalto lungo early in the morning?

All these I need to give up in exchange of feel good work days. (I only get tempted in the office. Otherwise, I eat healthy at home.)

The excruciating discipline has a very promising heartfelt long term rewards. And that’s what I’m looking forward to.

This morning I took a very small amount of that vintage coffee and I ended up feeling so sick all over. My head started throbbing and my nose kept running again.

Taste heaven at first and feels hell in the end.

Not worth it.

Let’s start the day right.


Pastel Pieces

So I let the drama queen slip from my cardigan pocket again the past few days. I felt troubled on how my life has been going and adding up to it was my allergy which is probably ninety five percent the cause of my sudden flare ups. Yes. In plural form. I would calm my storm for a few hours and then I would let the cyclone of anger carry me back again, drowning with deep rooted frustrations. I  really don’t know what has been happening to me. I feared that my rhinitis has really gone bad affecting the way I behave.
Throwing all my qualms and ungratefulness to Sam (- who in the midst of all this has remained surprisingly composed and steady), I decided to pay a visit to a nearby doctor and he gave me prescriptions for my allergies. I’m feeling better now although I still have a tight chest and runny nose once in a while.

I was still not in good shape last night but Sam tried the best he could to quick fix me. It’s more internal than external stress. I guess the whole experience of having a comfortable life for thirty years and all of a sudden diving in to this demanding, complicated and unpredictable lifestyle with someone whose comfort level is far too different from mine is what has been making me restless and grumpy – close enough to morph me into something that even I would despise.

I reached to a point where I started wondering if I can still carry on or rather- if I still want to carry on. I got exhausted with the troubled way if living abroad away from home and the weight of being in a serious, living together relationship. I longed for a sweet escape and re-think of what I really wanted. A short vacation and retrospection. Away from these giant sparkling buildings that I truly abhor at the moment. I felt so confined with the walls of Dubai that sometimes I feel my life pressing in closing down on me.

There’s a picture perfect life on a fancy frame with lots of time for yourself, no responsibilities and obligations, independence and freedom, whatever is convenient and comfortable, and it pains me to admit, that it includes a possibility of an extravagant blissful promising future. A well lit life filled with fresh air and lots of laughter. All these were kept inside a secret box of wishful thinking. I never wanted to open them because it would hurt my relationship with Sam. It means I’m nt satisfied. It means I’m unhappy. It means I don’t appreciate the small bricks that roughed his hands and strained his muscles just to build a home for us. Maybe not the kind of home I plastered on my dreamboard but it was a home he managed to create so we can be together – safe, sound and well. But my new environment at work and the people I worked with, the friends back home, started to just alarm me. The flicker of whatever wisdom flash before me in an instant. And it gave me away. It burst open like pandora’s box with startling questions I never dared ask myself; What if I just stop right here and start over? What if I’m one of those very few woman who does not want to be married and have family? What if I just want to explore the world and travel and write novels and live one step at a time? What if I don’t want kids? Or if I ever do, do I really want to raise them here? In the confined walls of the city? And what choices do I have anyway? Am I brave enough to rule against my fears? What if I wanted something else? What if I can create a life so different from this? What if I step out of this world and find something better?

What if – at the end of this bridge, there really is a huge rainbow where all the pots of gold are waiting? And here I am stuck in a day job serving coffee to people and taking care of their business like an office nanny. Shouldn’t I be there somewhere doing something that ignites me, empowers me and gives me a sense of self-worth?

But then again, what if this is just part of a bigger picture? What if I’m just being ungrateful of the wonderful gifts that though small in size, light in weight, hazy and blurry from afar, are far genuine, more profound, more significant in nature?

What if this- right now is the real thing? And if I wait just a little bit longer… if I just look a little bit closer… I will find pieces of rainbow around me?

Sam hugged me and told me that whichever road I take, he will respect it.

I’ve been struggling inside and I don’t have to say it out loud. He knows.

Yes he has anger management problems but it’s not something he can’t handle. His soul is good as new. Always bright and shining with kindness. He just have a very bad habit of pushing people away when hurt. But you will always find him making worthy sacrifices for the people he cares about. And he’s solid rock responsible. He’s battling psoriasis and clawing his way everyday to work, to a profession way below his league. But he’s not giving up because of us.

I was so eager to find it. A huge one. Doubled if not in multiple layers. The one that will bring you high above the sky as old folks say. They bathe you in marvel. But I guess in most times, you just have to watch the reflection of it from afar and be grateful to have witness it.

Rainbows aren’t always plastered in the sky. Sometimes it’s right there scattered around us. Pieces of it that are more tangible than the ones above.

In fact, maybe if we stop and listen, we can hear the beautiful colours of our lives dripping… overflowing in grace.☆




Remembering Ruby

This post is quiet unplanned. I was ….in fact (despite migraine and grumpiness) was planning to post something close to casual sunny and summer dresses and morning laughter. I was disheartened instead. I never expected to see her in obituaries.

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