Ever Lost a Best Friend?

Mariah.

She was a Mariah; a childhood friend. I lost her in grade 6 or 7. We were friends since kindergarten. Today, without knowing, we share a network of people we each met separately through university and workplaces basically. What a small world huh?!

[What about you? Please feel free to type¬†in a relevant name…:) ]

I never thought i would actually talk about this one day … but here i am letting it out cause it has been on my mind, and because I¬†am always truthful in my thoughts to you my people for one simple reason:

I know that deep down, each of us has been there, done that, or dealt with a “moving on” from one phase to another in this life, whether it was a phase or a person.

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This has happened such a long time ago when i was like 13 or 14 years old i think, maybe a little younger: I lost my then-called “best friend”, “truly best” friend.

It’s not like i’m traumatized by that, at least not that i’m aware of its effect on me lol, but in the past 2 weeks, she has been popping right in front of me in different places, which¬†got me thinking, and checking out what she’s been up to through social media channels.

We are not friends on fb or on social media, as i recall fb was non-existent when we use to sleep over each other’s etc.

And as it turns out, friends on my platforms have friends who are common friends with her, so it wasn’t such a hard job to find out where she’s been and what she’s been up to.

We go back to kindergarten. We use to hang out with each other all the time. Our parents became friends because we were inseparable . She was really where I would spend most of my time.

She was there when that girl in class was so jealous of me and we use to plot against her haha. She was there when I¬†had my first sense of fashion, and she even got influenced by mine. We also did have that jealousy phase between each other. I use to come tell mom about it and the latter would just sit with me, explain how at our age, we are building our personalities and we do these things, we get jealous, we get irritated at times, but after all, she use to say,¬†you are good friends, that’s what matters most, right?

And i’d just pack up my honest, simple heart, and meet her the next day, hang out as we claimed to our parents we were “studying together”:D

*i smile at the thought of how we’d just hang out and watch teli, or gossip a bit about stuff¬†or what party we’ll be invited to.*

Then, one day out of the blue, been¬†years together, she’s diagnosed with Diabetes. At the time, yes it was treatable and all, but, it was still something that altered your lifestyle, something that would make you think twice about going outdoors to bike or whatever because an injury for a diabetic person is tricky, or dangerous. Not as casual as it is today with all those high-tech, easy to carry, use and measure equipment. Times were different then really on that aspect, even though i am only 27 today, things jump started quite a bit since my teen years.

Back then, it also meant needles, and her responsibility to keep balancing that insulin level, detect hypo-or hyper-glycemia and keep a candy at hand just in cases..I know, no matter what she thought, it was hard on her. I don’t recall us talking about it, or how she dealt with it… for all i know she may have just surpassed it better than i’ll ever know. But, what i seem to remember – which honestly i have no idea why i remember all these details now that i decided to blog about it “shortly”- is that around that same time diabetes came up in her life, we had become a more “open” circle, where more, different friends came into our friendship.. Things were already changing on the friends front at the same time as her diabetes then.

I was feeling uneasy, hurt and cut deep, as now my one on one time, my “own best” friend as we saw it at that age, was preferring to spend more and more time with these new friends. Besides the fact that i was and still am a generous person who invests i others, especially friends, she was everything to me…

but apparently, not so much in hers? She was choosing to spend time with those friends who in my head, did not know her as much as i did. I liked them, but to be completely honest, i kind of knew that we were different, like, i knew, at 13-14 years of age, they were not my tribe, not those i’d entirely click with.

They chased things that did not really tempt me, read or followed news i was not entirely into or even slightly now as i try to recall, but it was fine with me, i could be a good sport and learn a bit more about what interested them.

But god knows how much i tried to play along. I wasn’t annoyed by them, but i just felt they were different. In their hearts, we carried still the same innocence and good up bringing, but in their heads, in our heads:

me and them- things were different, priorities differed, shallowness differed, what we wanted in life differed even at that age… and so, Mariah and I .. we began to drift apart.

It was a slow process, she became more friends with them slowly, then her mom also became friends with their parents who also led quite a different lifestyle than ours at home..

Now, what I draw from that context today is:

Holding a grudge really does nothing but shrink your world in this life you lead.

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A few months back, I bumped into her at a beauty salon. I was in a different room, but the corner of my eye caught her. I realised then, i am not someone who carries grudges or who ever aims to carry one against whoever it was.

Since then, look at me, having you people here, my people on my good day email chain, my huge circles here in lebanon to the uk, to canada, south africa, the netherlands.. to around the world where my friend now are.

Life ladies and gents.. leaves no man behind,  NO MAN BEHIND:)

Also, Not all people are meant to stay in your life: today i look at her, her circle of friends, her life, and I just don’t feel i belong there:)

It takes time to accept, but it will come, have some faith!

Like, i bet every one of you has a certain person or group of persons who they think they like, or they think ouh wonder what it would feel like to be part of their group, but then, you realise you wouldn’t be wearing shoes you are comfortable in every single day, or every single night you hang out with them.

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PS:

I’d love to dedicate this¬†blog post to E., whom i had promised to email yet still did not..and for other reasons she told me about;) Hope this post gives you a breath of fresh air by the time i reply to your email legitimately;)

With all my love,

Joy

Apr.27, 2017 at 12.39am

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“Life Purpose”, in Her Eyes

 

— Not my own words tonight follow, but one of you my people, as she addressed them to me on April 13th 2017.

Absolutely inspiring, i leave them here for you #foodforthought —

*My take on the words “she” shared are at the end of the post; thank you:)*

“My angel,

Your sense of purpose is not derived from a ‚Äėjob‚Äô or a role you play in life‚Ķ Your purpose is so much more than that‚Ķ

And so much more meaningful than any job on this Earth… So while I completely understand how unproductive you must be feeling and have a sense of wondering what you’re doing and where this is all going,

Remember that life is so much more than a job…

And your purpose, my angel, I speak from experience, Your purpose is so much more than being productive in a job…

Because for me, you‚Äôve changed “my” world‚Ķ

And call that purpose or sheer luck on my end, but it is so much more valuable than any kind of job…

Don‚Äôt get me wrong, I understand why it must feel frustrating‚Ķ If anything I understand the feeling of ‚Äėwhere is this all going‚Äô, ‚Äėwhat am I doing‚Äô‚Ķ

But in those moments go out and enjoy the sun,

the little things as you live by,

and you will find a purpose so much greater than any material thing in the world…

And count yourself lucky, even if it is just for having such wonderful weather and the time and opportunity to go out and simply‚Ķ Enjoy‚Ķ” […]

Note:

“[…] The more¬†you¬†give in life, the more you receive blessings and a happier life”. (Me, Joy)

The sharing above was not written by myself, but one of you my people and it is only fair that you  know 1 thing:

She is passing through one of the most difficult times of her life, truly.

Even I can only imagine how rough life is being in her face; nonetheless, she sends words and words to comfort “me”?

She has sent gems, gems like, “you’ve changed my world”!

So after all, it turns out there indeed are some people out there who care about you for you, not for a hidden agenda;

We can be to each other more than we can ever be in any “job” or “business”. Life’s challenges taught me that, but then again, Life gives me proof, and here it stands¬†with the above words shared by a very dear friend, sister.

She’s actually non-biological “family”, the family of giving, and kindness too.

That strength..? Have you ever encountered it in anyone? A real friend? A fighter? A tough one? A kindest, wisest, smartest, a selfless one?

Hats off E., hats off.

I cannot understand how you can be going through so much yourself, and still pull yourself to write me such a heart-felt, warm, optimistic message that shows your depth of character, your balance, immeasurable strength and that shows me and my people here with you…our purpose in life.

I hope every one of you loyal followers and avid readers have someone to tell you and remind you, that You matter the most, then comes your job, money, education, etc.

It’s those whose worlds you change who will carry you to progress, self-growth, happiness, and public as well as personal success. Everything else that’s materialistic, either fades away or¬†grows obsolete or insufficient.

Only people are able to make you immortal, whether in person or in your memory. If you’ve loved them and been kind to them, your genuine self, you have turned their world upside down¬†and no one, no one ever forgets how you much better you made them feel in their lives about the lives they lead or can lead.

Truly yours,

Joy

April 19, 2017 at 10.32pm

The Grass is Not Always Greener on the Other Side

My beautiful people:)
I shared this message today with my other people on my daily (email) chain of kindness created a couple years back, and for a first, i wanted you too to get a peek into it as well..
Well, because its effect was so powerful on me, it got to me, so I wanted to share my lesson with you hoping it spurs a bit of happiness and gratefulness into your life as it did mine today:
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With my humble experience in life and my people to-date,  i would say,
“Nothing external can ever validate, really validate your worth”,¬†
Experiences we pursue then, stop being means to an end, and are pursued for what they are, for the sake of pursuing them, enriching our life.

You know, the grass is not always greener on the other side… no,

because the other side is often our own creation of a more perfect world where “perfection” does not exist in the first place because by nature, humans change their minds, they often want what they lose and lose what they want chasing the former;
If you or I have a house or a mansion now, today, man is able to remain ungrateful, not really appreciating it- until one day, he cant afford a roof over his head anymore, or when he loses his health or mobility..
Only then, does he realise,
oh, i had it all, why didn’t I know? Why wasn’t I just “happy”?
It’s human nature, so it’s not wrong or a shame to feel or think of things like that, not at all:). I do, most of the times.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t push a teeny bit further , every morning , to remind ourselves constantly that we are already blessed with all we have right now, right where we are standing.
Look around, each of us truly is:)
ūüí™ūüŹĽGratefulness is a key, one of many to a happy life –
So the reminder to me and you my people today is:

Your side is definitely green enough, and those who love you and are there for you as you, will still be there if you had more, less, or the exact same in the years to come:) 

PS:

One of my people¬†on the email chain of kindness shared their feedback on my sharing this morning, thought you’d want to see it. She made my Day, truly.

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Truly yours,

Joy

April 12, 2017 at 11.39am

It Shouldn’t Trouble You

It shouldn’t trouble you much if,

Your career is or is not exactly how you planned it in 10 years time,

It shouldn’t trouble you much if,

your job isn’t as fulfilling right now, or if your personal life is not where you wished it would be some day.

Really. Do you know why?

Because besides your bank account, your career, &

Besides your partner and personal insecurities:

Every day or every now and then, there is something You Are doing right.

Every now and then, you receive a hug, a call, a word, a look, a post, a new friendship, person or an incident, whereby one person you touched expresses their gratefulness for having You in their life this week, month, year.

Even the most “horrible” human beings… have done (a) good thing(s) that earned them a holiday card, a thank you note, a special nod, a coffee invitation, an appreciative look or gesture.

Such recognition counts Most, so they are not that horrible after all on alternate scales of life, are they? We should not lose sight of What Really Matters, let’s not?

What we are here for is not solely a job, rank, prestige, or success.

Yes these are additions, drivers, motivators, & goals. But,

“People” are what we all need in our journey whether a failed one or a succeeding one.

They are a more accurate measure of how truly good our life is.

If you have “people” on your team of life, you are richer and happier than you think ūüôā

Measure your happiness not in material collections but rather relationships:

People¬† – your tribe, in all of life because when all else can and will go away someday, all that is left is your imprint in someone else’s life, their knowledge, their feelings, their growth, and their families.

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It shouldn’t trouble you much…

This “non-people” aspect of life: that career, position, possessions, etc.

Don’t let the “non-people” aspect of life get to you; it sure will try but, remember what matters:

People in that life of yours – no matter how humbly you lead it on all other aspects.

With all my love,

Joy.

April 10, 2017 at 12.30 am

The “What Made You Smile Today” Notebook

Hey ūüôā

I wanted to write and tell¬†¬†you about today’s incident with one of my students, and then found myself drifting to lessons it reminded me to share with you too, so here i go:

My accident..near death accident in the UK 2 years ago, the reason i opened this blog to keep myself sane in ways and take a risk to give, to¬†feel others may benefit from how i viewed life since, taught me many things. One of those¬†highlighted by tonight’s events particularly¬†are:

You can always start over. Step by Step is how you must do it. Stop taking or attempting to take a 3-points shot, when you are free on the 2-points attempts to score.

Measure your little achievements, the tiniest ones even. I had a long, enduring phsyio-therapy period, legs, hands, nerves, you name it. All these, taught me to measure every day: i was a slave to measuring progress and first 6 weeks i hated it, hated to see i am barely doing better even though i was trying my best.

I use to measure if i walked 3 steps further today on the street,with my crutches and my friend by my side, or 4 steps – which would be an improvement from my 3 steps a week ago or 2 weeks ago, yup.

I learned to have a little pink notebook then, one where i needed to record my progress in my physio- exercises to report back the next day at the hospital. ¬†I mentioned it casually in previous posts, but also to 1 friend…who adopted it surprisingly without me asking her to, and admitting it changed how she looked at things so much.

That notebook…

The What-Made-You-Smile-Today Notebook i call it today, when i am well, healthy, blessed, down at times yes like you, but well. I kind of allowed my blog to replace it a little, as i vowed to put myself out here and share my lessons in life:)

FullSizeRender (50)It taught me discipline. gratefulness. to see my blessings. to feel that a day no matter how bad, mad, angry, lonely, stressful, a failure, or a disaster, is made better by a small progress, a shy smile, a timid feeling or hello, or a kind word from  you to others or from someone on the street to you, on your way to uni, work, or your placement.

 

 

Now, tonight, I initially popped in here to tell you about one thing that made my day, my note into our common pink notebook ūüôā as it¬†may just¬†answer one of the puzzles in your head about life or the people in it who are or were around you at one point.

My afternoon actually was one lesson i am compelled to share, one that showed me,

Investing in people rarely goes anywhere but back to You:)

No matter how helpless, weak, ignorant, educated, or how hopeless you think they are in your attempts to get to their stubborn or non nonchalant heads as we’d put it sometimes in life..

They are listening and you caring will rarely be forgotten.

Obviously, i cannot generalize. I haven’t the right to because you have your experiences as well, but this is our no-judgement space; besides, you here¬†will help me tell my¬†incident today, one i did not think is worthy to mention to anyone until i surfed my blog, and your blogs, and then thought, Well, why not? Why not tell You, my precious readers and friends about it¬†and rest for¬†the night:)

 

I drove to Beirut today, particularly drove at 5pm to give my Entrepreneurship class at 5.30pm at the university. I was in a rush to get there on time and kind of excited to share a few new things with my students (as i admit i am/feel every class since last year to be honest:$).

I have a motto by the way, one i tell my students regardless of their age, section, or major:

“In every one class we take together,i promise that each of you¬†will learn at least¬†1 new thing, and that is all i want you to take home.”

[were it a company, a company name, process, scandal, story, inspiring innovation, a concept, product, business theme, a movie name/trailer (will share that btw this week in my class Thursday), a tip on a global issue, local/global news, minor detail about a brand you use or a manager you look up to..]

I made it 10 minutes earlier to uni, signed off my hours, and as i pick up my books and head to class, i was intercepted by one of my very first students.

Now, i don’t want this to sound generic or cheesy because well, i have humbly only been instructing Undergraduates two years now; so it’s not like i ran into a student 30 or so years later. Yet, his words and his act¬†managed to make their way at 1am tonight, as i smiled at myself saying,

You have done well Joy; even if you do not feel up to it right now, right this week, you have been there when needed and achieved something through¬†that person.”

Taha was one of my very first students, my first batch of students ever.

I taught him Personal Development Planning- wonders that class revealed in terms of depth of thinking, self awareness, and self development by its very end. I also taught him Marketing, and that module was equally super!

He started out so shy, with a low confidence, a difficulty adapting to Lebanon, the curriculum, as his family was forced to re-settle in Lebanon from Iraq, where his dad still resides, attempting to protect and simultaneously run his family business, to keep a legacy for his graduates-to-be, his two beloved sons.

I thought I ran into him by mere luck tonight, being at the right place at the right time.

But boy was i mistaken. Taha bluntly declared,

We keep asking about you [we as in himself and his classmates – my first cohort]. I was finally told you are¬†only on campus twice a week at this time, and so I stayed today to be able to see you and talk because I’d love to if you have the time.”

I would run late to my class if i sat with him as he presented those words; i knew that, yet i stopped in my tracks and i am pretty sure my face lit up as we chatted.

I was touched, in ways i cannot explain, on the spot and later as i went to bed and ideas in my mind began their routine race, as always, right before we go to bed, you too i guess huh? :O hehe o well.

You know how they say one can never understand what a parent feels or thinks about their child except when you become a parent yourself? To me, the theory applies on teaching done right i.e. teaching , about life and books rather than just about books.

And teaching about life, always leaves a mark.

Perhaps because it is so underestimated? or book teachings are overrated?

Taha, the shy, restricted-words person, the one who was most passive and expressed the least of what is on his mind was standing right in front of me, inviting me to chat and sharing his concerns on his studies and his future, asking for my counselling and judgement.

To be honest, his cohort last year started out a little disengaged..then together we progressed, it was a minute progress, but a steady one:). We made it through Year 1 and then I taught 3rd years this year so had to miss their cohort; yet here we are, standing in the university garden chatting about life and books.

It honestly meant the world to see how the time and effort, effort, effort i invested and the patience that accompanied my year 1 in instructing had hand-crafted¬†me such a cherished place in my student’s heart, head, and life.

I think it was the first time i fell Proud of something i did for Others, not directly or indirectly for myself.

PS:
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Two years earlier, on Dec.17, 2015,¬†Taha’s¬†Brother, also my student then, had¬†shared the photo in an appreciation email to me..

As cheesy it may seem, the accompanied words were absolutely encouraging, supportive, grateful that I taught them things the way that i did.

I shared it with a close friend of mine, who then told me:
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I thought my friend¬†was overreacting, but today particularly … i don’t, i rather approve and i like that i do!

Yes, investing in people may prove to be tough, time consuming, nerve-wrecking, disappointing, unsatisfying at times even; however, if you can live with yourself by not giving in to others and even caving in to people you genuinely feel you have a chance to share your life with: be it for a career, or a partner, a hobby, or a passion, then please feel free to refrain from investing, but please let us remember:

If you never try, how will you know it was the wrong investment?

No one can do it alone, can we? WE need to let others in, be sharp and observant alright no problem, build the relationship the way you feel comfortable first, but we need to let others in my peopleūüôā

Sincerely,

Joy

Apr.5, 2017 at 1am