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.


Happy Healthy Me

I’ve had colds since February. It was on and off. Panadol will ease me for two or three days and it goes back to me like a very clingy ex-lover, desperate for attention and some cuddling under the sheets. It’s so frustrating now. I’ve had runny nose every morning and the chills kept coming back. AC is adding up to my anxieties because I can’t seem to fully control the temperature at work and in the flat. I’ve been wearing casual jeans and jacket cause I really can’t afford to be in corporate dresses, blouses and skirts.

Sam made me a fruit and vegetable smoothie last night which I brought to work. I also insisted we buy Vitamin C for me so we did – even last minute he was very impatient because I was trying to be picky. I hate it when he tends to be impatient. I want the best Vitamin C for me so we ended up having a bit of an argument again- boiling down to me – being brand obsessive and him – being a miser. I really don’t like it when he becomes strict with money – considering it’s about health!

But then again he helped me a lot with household chores and all, so I’d forgotten all about before bedtime.

I so want to be Healthy!  Weather has been very weird here in Dubai. Since March it’s been drizzling every morning and a bit of harsh rain at night. It never happened before. I mean I know I’m the only sick person here I know. Three people in my car lift have heavy cough. But – I’m worried about having this colds for days… People got better eventually. I have to – too!

I will be having my medical in few days time as a requirement for my new job. I need to be clean and clear!

I’m up for green living if it’s all what it takes to be fit!

To health and happiness! ✰

 And btw, Sam’s buying me a small room heater which is really cool.

Beyond Human Eye

Well, big and small random stuff happened lately. I don’t even know where to start. All I know is that all of a sudden the idea of Sam taking photography in a serious (I’m changing my entire career and start fresh) kind of way- has been our target this March. He had been very depressed with his job and I guess me – landing in this new firm has pressed his issues more to the very core. I wanted to be consoling- sure. But I also have issues on me making all the efforts and shouldering the outcome of whatever future awaits us. I know he’s doing the best he can but I wanted him to try harder. Is that so bad?

He seemed very delighted with this brand new idea of venturing on creative freelance so I let him. Although I believe in great possibilities (well I also believe in rainbows and unicorn shit), I still think this will just help him  vent out if not unplug his creative force (which is good)- BUT I highly doubt this new mind blowing idea – will make us rich.

Although I have to admit this was my idea.

Originally, I really wanted him to take driving lessons to get a license. As far as I know, 80% of sales executives get better opportunities and huge compensation just by acquiring a license. Employers require them to drive around UAE. Bottom line is he doesn’t want to. Good. So how can we afford a dream house, traveling around the world and all that- let’s not even get started with kids, let’s just plan on getting a cat. How?? If I’m here starting off my career by being an executive secretary – expected to make coffee to guests and solve all office problems with a salary that doesn’t even allow me to get a credit card or a cheque book, then I hope he can explain to me how we can sort it all out getting somewhere near that WONDERFUL FUTURE we’ve been drooling about.

I am sounding ungrateful again, I know. I hope it gets better on the coming days. Things are still clear as blue skies and as fresh as Spring. Sam and I are by far in good standing now that we were able to have a few savings in our account. I can’t be all complaining.

I just hope… he gets more motivated to do something SOLID. I just hope he just leaves whatever baggage he carries right now, forget about all the backward thoughts and negative self talk. Just move along and take BIG STEPS.

My very famous photographer friend Dee said, that in order to capture a phenomenal shot, you need to see beyond human eye and surprise people. Make them see the ordinary in a most absurd, breathtaking, wondrous way.  Make them say, “Is that the same building I’ve been looking at by my window for ten years? It looks… spectacular! Wow them. Make them stare. Make them jealous. Unleash their desires. Make them taste beauty to its finest.

I need to encourage Sam more I guess. Shut my nagging complaining mouth up. He needs to see himself in a different angle and maybe then he can surprise people in the most astounding way. He has huge self-doubt and that bothers me a lot. He hasn’t been exposed to either corporate or creative world. I really don’t know where he’s been before me. But it looked like he’d been…out somewhere.

Sam can do this. I need to have faith in him so he can have faith in himself. He just needs to want it badly for all his magic to come together.

Old couples said that we’re always half empty and whatever is lacking from our partners, we need to fill in. We must die a little for love. I can’t promise anything. But I will give my best shot.