The “What Made You Smile Today” Notebook

Hey 🙂

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 🙂 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 people🙂

Sincerely,

Joy

Apr.5, 2017 at 1am

 

 

 

 

 

I Have a Friend

[An attempted, simple poem i ventured into, instead of a traditional piece of my longer messages tonight. Hope it conveys virtues you see in friends of yours:) ].

I have a friend.

He is nothing like anyone I knew.

He is bright, vulnerable too

He’s had a broken heart,

.. a heartache I probably will never understand fully or as deeply as he feels it

I have a friend.

He’s had his share of fake friends,

Fake people, empty circles ..

Others who have let him down, big time

He has his weaknesses, trust issues, his thoughts on his last day here

I have a friend.

He has a depth of understanding one cannot but fall in love with

He says everything you do not want to hear.. annoyingly, yes, but only if you didn’t know him

He sees in a situation everything you do not see,

He makes you feel like you want to smash his head at times, oh

He loves arguing, but he’ll make you love it

He’ll make you scratch your brains, push a change of heart

I have a friend.

He cheekily loves being right, duh, who doesn’t?

He imposes himself at times with others,

And you could hate him for that,

Yet, in other times he does not,

If you closely notice it, he leads teams

He takes people with him on the mission, dream, drive,

His enthusiasm reveals a beautiful love to live, one he sometimes does not see cause he’s too busy living it so awesomely:)

But he has lived, felt, seen, experienced,

I have a friend.

He has  been on the dark side,

One I may never fully know a lot or all about,

One that’ll push judgement at times,

Alas..

The people he trusts..Oh, their well being comes before his own,

Few these are, but lucky and privileged they sure are to have him,

To have his sweetest heart:)

He loves movies, and their jargon(A),

Educates you about them knowing you’ll barely memorize the tips haha,

He lacks a hobby, as like most of us, he lacks the ‘time’

He’s such a good listener,

An attentive sometimes speechless scholar,

I have a friend.

He captivates you with how he balances his words sometimes

He is ambitious, dangerously but beautifully ambitious all at once

He plans, plans, I hadn’t seen anyone who plans as sharply

I have a friend.

Trust worthy as he is,

You open up, little by little

But you think he can’t see that,

He keeps asking for more, to know more

Yet, it seems like he’s giving less? or at status quo, but only in some ways, on some days

In other ways, if you’re sharp enough to spot it,

He gives.. a lot

He is practical, sometimes very realistic it hits you;

I have a friend.

It is said he lost the belief in words and expressed emotions,

Why would he express them, when he did once when it counted the most?

Words can all go away someday, as we have all experienced, sure

Words had betrayed him with an agonizing act,

Years went by, and when no one expected it not even himself, he rose again.

I have a friend.

He attempts at anything more times than any one could imagine,

But sometimes his attempts to seize the future today..trick him,

He forgets to live the Now, to express the now, to love what’s on the table today

I have a friend.

He does not express his feelings a lot,

In fact, he probably rarely does “like you know it”;

When you call him up after a week or two, you scold him

His actions or distancing will push you to do just that, yea!

I have a friend.

He listens, and listens a bit more..

You feel a sincerity emerge through his listening,

You start learning about his respect to you, to your words,

Their weight on his life, their effects on his life, their meaning

Apparently, it’s another nontraditional way he expresses He cares

You speak up, hang up,

You cannot but understand now: this is how He cares

If he trusts you, he offers a lot, actually: everything

I have a friend.

A child’s heart in a grown man’s body, the kindest that is 🙂

His help, simple connections, practical chats, thoughts, solutions, insights

His real alternatives are on the table,

For you to choose from.

I have a friend.

He allows you to start over,

He has his off days, eves, and nights out – but don’t we all sometimes?

You know what? They pass if you admire and respect him enough for what he is today

When you think he’s being distant,

He does not apologize or make you apologize,

I have a friend.

He simply offers you pieces of his world,

For you to use if/when they help you

He has no time limit on those pieces offered,

 

And then I learned, and I still learn, this is how He cares.

 

My people,

This was inspired by chats and meetings lately with J. my friend; Remember:

Do not judge someone for not expressing or reacting to things you express

People are not always identical to you in their emotions

Look for alternate ways they use to show you something,

See what if they really try to offer something, in ways they are comfortable:)

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Sincerely,

Joy

Started March 18, 2017 at 5.27pm;

finalized March 29, 2017 at 1.14am

To Mama E. from your Child-to-Be, written by my Angel

Abstract: People around the world have their struggles, but also their joys. A very dear friend of mine is expecting..but she has had her doubts on being able to make it, through her new life, now… She fell in despair once, early-on in the pregnancy, yes, emotionally, physically, all of it.

But ever since: she picked herself up more times than i could ever write about. From here, the optimal evidence of picking herself up, lies in the words of the little angel growing in her tummy right now, her son or daughter to be.

It is Mother’s Day in Lebanon on March 21st, so because her child is still a bit “too young” to express him/herself, this letter allows my affection and love for my friend E., a mom-to-be, to write E., and help her celebrate Mother’s Day because Well, she’s now a Mum and it’s only a few days before her ultrasound confirms the little child’s a girl or boy:) 

Dearest Mama,

It’s true doctors tell you I am not really “born” yet, but:

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my angel, Joy, whom you introduced me to last week when all three of us had coffee in the special Diary you are prepping (for me when i am old enough okay i know), has helped me write you this letter.

 

She started writing it when she came back on the eve of March 21, 2017 having taken her mummy and daddy out to a loveliest dinner and gotten her mummy beautiful flowers because they celebrated Mother’s Day in Lebanon on March 21st.

However, mama E., I fell asleep as our angel was reading to me the bits she wrote..

And, I am embarrassed to tell you that; well, because you mama ate so many yummy foods yesterday, and then you watched superheros and played awesome video games, and then you laughed so much thinking of me, that you took a nap feeling so serene, and so, i fell asleep too:$ and the letter had to wait till today, to reach you.

I am sorry mama i am late in wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day and late to talk to you sooner, but it felt so good in there, at yours, and i couldn’t help it:O<3

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I may not be born in the eyes of your doctors yet, but our ultrasound is this week! And it is the week of Mother’s Day at Joy’s, our angel’s country (and this is no coincidence).

Mama, this special week will tell you and me, if i will be a boy or a little girl! Honestly, I cannot wait to know. I’ve spent the past weeks deciding if i like pink or blue more, and other friends i made in there at yours said, colours will look different in my new home, with you, in the Netherlands. Is it true mama?

And, mama, i also cannot decide if i want to be Superman, or Wonder Woman:O So can we know already?

But, to be honest, mama, i need to tell you: thank you, for taking care of you, to take care of me, here, safe in your little tummy Ma. 

Oh, and i love all this new and healthy food and cravings you are having, please keep them coming, please? because i want to grow up to be a superhero. Oh, and, mama, never mind the few pounds you gain, i promise even from where i stand (oh, lay i meant:p) you look absolutely beautiful.

Listen to your “inner voice” they say, right? That’s ME mama!:D forever and ever from now on, now you know it’s ME!

And more so, here from my VVIP seat inside, I can see the all of You- inside out. Do you not keep telling me this and think of it? “People are beautiful from inside out and not outside in, and this is what you need to learn little one.” It is what you tell me every day, isn’t it? It keeps echoing in your thoughts cause i hear the thoughts!

I can see your tears being processed, I can see how you try not to let them out..:) Oh but i also see the smile on your face before you even let it out;)

I can hear your voice before you even say the words, i can hear you sing to me, I can hear your stories about my Angel. All of them too.

Mama, from in here, even before i see your gorgeous face, I can see through your eyes how happy you want me to be, i can feel how strong you are trying to be…but above all, i know Mama..

i know why you are being so strong: for Me, isn’t it mama?

I know how much you want to give me a good life, like the song we heard Mama on the radio the other day!! Hear & Read this is us Mama:)

I feel your heart skip a beat every time you think of me, and of me coming into this world.

I will love the world mummy and it will love me- you will see, i promise:) Because i learned this from your heart, the same heart that gives me life and the world every one day.

I also know, sometimes you are sad. Very sad, sadder than you express to anyone sometimes..

I am too, when you are. I know we will have our off days. our fights.our disagreements.our troubles, but please know that i also have your heart, your kindness which i see you extend every day in the smallest of ways, tiniest of words to our angel, and to your few but amazing friends you still have now as i grow here into a little butterfly.

You know, my baby friends were saying the other day:

It does not matter which part of this world you are born in or how you come into this world, or if you have a bigger or a smaller family.

What makes you and shapes you when you grow up is the deepest love you get from that 1 person alive solely for you. The way she raises you, the authenticity of her actions and words and of her Yes and her No-s will make you the man or lady she deserves to see in you.

I see your thoughts and even your dreams, this is why last night you probably couldn’t sleep .. ? 🙂

Mama, I was in your heart, trying to tell you I love you and i am here for you. It does not matter where we live, or the tough things you want to tell me one day when i grow up, i will always love you and know what you came through to give me a loved, balanced, affectionate life to live.

We are going to be alright; we are going to be happiest; we have the right people in our life mama.

Above all, Mama we have each other and you learned again this year that Family is all we can trust. Family. And i want to meet Grandpa! Please tell him that too from me, please (Giving you that puppy eyes look) :$

Please, keep reading a lot, sometimes i fall asleep on all this legal stuff you read to me. Not to say it sounds boring,  but as your brain digests all of these articles and statutes in the EU and Britain, it makes a very funny sound hihi, and it puts me at ease so i snuggle.

Mama, do not be afraid. We have the strength. Also, our creator, Up there, knows exactly what we need, and he will provide, if we have faith in him and his ways.

It will be tough, then easy, then average, then okay, but throughout all these phases Mama, we will have love.hugs.trust.honesty.smiles.lots of laughter.

We will have time we spent together, quality time. These, no one can ever take away from us, no other life priorities because we both learned so much about life priorities and we know, our time together when i’m a baby and a bit older and then older, will shape our special bond and my future.

Mama E., Have a Happiest Mother’s Day. Please, be happy so I can be happy, would you find it in your heart to do that for me?

Love you, to the moon and back.

Truly Yours,

Your little angel (helped by our older Angel who type this out for me after our one one one last night:$)

March 22, 2017 at 6.54pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to His Dad: Gus, You Are in His Heart of Hearts

“My dad’s turning 80 this year, the reason why I think X.. I do Y.., and will plan to Z.. My dad turning 80 is such a blessing to have, my family is getting together this year from around the world for him because we want to[…]” 

I have heard this phrase or versions of it at different occasions, through different social media platforms, and face to face, when chatting with a very awesomely dear and most beautiful person, M.B.

These days, it feels like people are turning more artificial, less outgoing, less “them”, more defensive aka cautious, instead of more social – in my eyes at least- so, when I fall across the complete opposite of these adjectives in real individuals, I stop and indulge – the least i can do is write about them, as i am best at using my words to express the most beautiful things in life through my writing:)

Family is everything- I believe that, but people in my circle, like you here my people, seem to live by that motto as well.

Well, as I have recently been spending some time chatting often with M.B., thing is, I adore the way he speaks about his Dad. He sometimes does not mention him explicitly at all or does not elaborate, but his conversations, the decisions he shares, small things he tells just reveal how his thoughts and plans build so much consideration for The Dad of the year, Gus, turning 80 this year:)

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M. taught me and reminds me in every chat, how i should love my dad, and how you my people, should do the same to the dad or fatherly figure you have in your life, right now; for some of you, a Mom has also been the fatherly figure, so this post is also for you, for that deep love for “a parent” you still have, and which you must express because it COUNTS when/every time you do.

Love him today, plan things for him today, plan to see him- TODAY, not because you are afraid of losing him, but because you love him, and for that, you want to show it as many times as possible and as deeply as possible, regardless of your ego, your strict boss, far away country of residence, or other people’s comments, etc.

Showing that, talking about dads and family, in my eyes, shows how grounded the person is, and how/if his priorities in life are more or less relatively clear.

So, I decided I’d write M.’s dad a letter, expressing to him my admiration for his family, his sons, and all that he represents to them – the way I could see it, through his own family and sons:)

Dear Gus,

We did not get the chance to meet yet, but I feel like I already know what you are about because of your son M. mostly, and his brother R. too.

Having met both of them, genuinely: they are the most heart-warming, genuine, and interesting human beings I’ve ever met and among the brightest I will ever meet in this life. So knowledgeable, insightful, witty, funny, loving, chillaxed (a modern adjective, yes I admit hehe).

Oh, forgive me, I got carried away by describing your sons, forgive my manners would you kindly?

My name is Joy; I am an LAU Business-Finance graduate. I met your super son M. and his bubbly attitude and lovely smile during my period there in Byblos campus, Lebanon. We lost touch for a few years after graduation..but then social media got us back in touch, luckily, and we talk to-date, when he’s in Dubai and we also catch up when he’s in Lebanon. (Trust me, the one of very very few advantages i attribute to social media- i’m not such a fan honestly).

As for R., I met him through M., when i was looking for a Marketing expert last year, to transfer a “passion” and this love-what-you-do attitude to my undergraduate students and managers-to-be. We sat and talked for long hours in Starbucks planning for our event together and discussing books, interests, hobbies, life! I learned so much from him in 1 session …To-date, our encounter is still one of the most vivid in my memory.

So then, I thought to myself, they should take it from their dad, their attitude and characters say a lot, so did one of the reasons R. moved back to Lebanon -family:).

Mr. Gus, I just wanted to share how much I humbly think you can confidently be proud of your sons, your family, and their families – more than anyone, absolutely anyone in the world.

M. talks about you so much, and in such a captivating, sincere way that a listener, like me, cannot but fall in love with the genuine, loving, dearest dad he’s describing sometimes so subtly and other times quite straight forward-ly.

As I know you turn 80 this year (they do say never ask a woman her age, so I hope I can get away with knowing this fact about You paps..Well, do I? Hehe),

This letter comes to tell you how much you are loved, the extent to which you are admired, as a father and a role model, and above all, to reassure you how much you are at the heart of your sons’ decisions to do anything in this life.

I do not think your son M. sees what I see in your father-son relationship like I do, being a stranger to you in reality; however, the considerations he thinks of in his mind, today and in the near future, are associated with you, with you being in his life, and this makes the conversations he mentions you in so inspirational, so beautiful and heart-warming.

I have lived in Europe (in the UK) for 2 years, not long enough to forget my Lebanon, but:

long enough… to see how detached most sons and daughters are from their parents;

long enough..to realize that sons, like daughters alike, can be emotional and affectionate in the most amazing ways (a common Lebanese stereotype);

long enough..to have come back to Lebanon and finally appreciate my own parents more than ever before and to show it fully; yet, to also learn that  your sons … have been doing that long long before i have, being far or close to you – did not make a difference.

I also must admit, I have met you in photos as well; I swear I did not stalk you, but your son perhaps:O (A) when he posted photos with you. I don’t expect you saw me yet, but it won’t really matter because I love how I know you already.

Besides, life is generous, it always has been/will be, and, I know it will give us a chance to know each other, just like it did instill me tonight to write this letter out to you, in hopes that it’ll make its way to your screen, and if I am lucky, to your heart as well, the way I intended it to send it.

I felt compelled to tell you in person, you are loved beyond anything.

Sure, you are a parent, and like my dad, you have good days, and “less good” days with your adorably big family (bless them all, truly, really); yet, even my dad on some days makes me feel like he needs this reassurance that his family is there for him, loves him, respects him, and supports him through the good and bad, through the tough times he’s had and will have, and the coming times, with all “changes” the days and life may carry.

This letter comes to also thank you, for raising such two sons, whom so far are the ones I have had the privilege to meet in person, but only because they both were generous enough to let me in their lives, and shared their time to help me out, one way or another, when i needed it most:)

The last thing your son M. and some of his people told me was, in the lines of,

“there are few people like you remaining in this world…”, but

the truth is, having individuals like them in my life, is what allows me to trust that I can be myself and open up to people and the world, albeit knowing such kind heart-ed people still exist in this world, where living conditions are unfortunately changing the nature of people and their kindness, their affection, and their love to one another.

May God forever bless you and keep you engulfed by the warmth your family has brought to my life, whether they were far or closer geographically, i know they are there and will fill up my life with beauty, the beauty of living:)

Truly yours,

Joy

March 14, 2017

 

Someone Like You in this World..Exists

Genuine Exchanges We All Need: There is still someone like you in this world, yup;)

Hello there:)

Miss you my people, sorry i have been less in touch than i’d love to, just taking care of some professional mishaps, but all will be well, it always has to end well, or it’s not the end, right?;)

I hope this post adds some food for thought into your Sunday chill zone:)

PS: I f you can read on, i have a music recommendation/a loveliest band i watched perform: Epic!

Sometimes, i think to myself, this society i am now part of, is not the same as it used to be. It often feels like I’m the only genuine person, looking for genuine fun, for genuine feelings, for a simple good time, a mutual sharing, caring, and exchange..A simple life and good moments to share with others with no nasty motives, when i am not working to make a living and provide ourselves and families.

I keep putting myself out there in the world, i do, really.

Most of us are putting in the effort to socialize; However, it seems like everyone is after something: your money, your power, your position, your connections..you name it, we all fell on (a) “wrong” person(s) in our life, haven’t we?

We don’t feel as comfortable anymore putting ourselves out there. You bet we won’t.

But ..my reality tonight shows: majority of others in this life, think the same as you do. You just need to ask the question and you will get an answer:)

Tonight.. I met a very dear person, a dear friend called M.B.who has settled in the UAE for 4 years or even more now, as far as i can recall us corresponding; he is visiting Lebanon for a week-lucky us!

We met tonight to watch an amazing band called Arnabeat perform at a beautiful pub, with 2 of his people: H. and M-A. That beautiful group of people showed me that even complete strangers can be/think/feel exactly like you do, wanting the same things you want in life: good people, good food, good stories, and so, a good time- all we need is be open, genuine, and exchange a bit of yourself – others will follow suit and tara!

The truth is, I have been in Lebanon for almost 1.5 years since i came back from the UK. Since, it has honestly been challenging to understand how people/the society has changed. The customs, values perhaps are still the same, but people have made it a bit tougher to deal with each other, in the sense, to be transparent and honest about their intentions towards you or your friendship..

In any society or nation of this world, when things get tough, i.e. the national economy and growth stifle, or when politicians’ intentions are no longer centered on the people, new laws are ambiguous, or when making a decent living becomes a heavier burden..people feel it first.

Out of survival instinct, aka Dr. Steve Peter’s Chimp Paradox, it seems we shut down the generous side of us, the genuine giving character and social character because we feel everyone/everything around us is taking a piece of us, or is a potential threat to our wealth, health, and welfare. It makes sense right?

However, tonight, meeting this adorable group of new people has shown me that despite life’s uneasiness, every one of us still values and indulges in intimate, genuine bonds of social interaction and friendship.

Simply put then, We all love good company and a good vibe on a weekend night out, don’t we?

So, you are not alone in your thinking; you are not alone in feeling the fear to put yourself out there; you are not alone in appreciating a good friend, a genuine exchange and getting to know new people.

Others appreciate them, but our world has just made it more difficult for people like you, me, and those with you on this journey, to be as genuine. So stick to what you value, and you will see how other will fall into your circle, appreciating, loving your attitude and thus revealing their exact same attitude to you because deep down, we long to be heard and appreciated by others, we really do.

We are all connected.

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We are all still looking for this now-rare “race” of people, this extinct species capable of carrying this positive vibe to the dinner table, this easiness to initiate conversations, exchange hilarious life incidents, or just this dancing-the-night away attitude, for the sake of a good time and a good, well-deserved laugh after a week(s) of hard work.

When we left tonight, this new group of people I spent the eve with were no longer strangers, but they also shared how “rare people like you are in this world these days [Joy].”

This was meant as a compliment and it touched me deeply; however, it is also at the same time not entirely true because my evening with them revealed there are still other people like Me in this world 🙂 We value the same interactions and simplicity in chats and fun!

I mean, who does not like to be at a dinner table and listen to jokes or funny stories and exchange his/hers? Who prefers to listen to nagging and whining and heart-breaking stories or to look at artificial people showing off all night?

Who does not like to make new friends? to share what they do and know with someone interested to listen?

Who does not like to feel a sense of security and trust amplified? Who does not enjoy exploring other people’s stories (hardship lessons or achievements’), hobbies, passions, and find someone whose hobby complements his or hers and can take it to further heights?

There is someone, many actually, like you in this world; they share these heart-felt needs to bond with people over simple fun, simple exchanges, simple goodness.

We just need to find each other, and the only way to do that, is you to open up, show a piece of your genuine self, not being scared, and see how magically others open up.

You are not the only human who appreciates this, or that, many others are like you, but the adversity in this world and the challenges to build a life amid current national and international developments is pushing you to lose  yourself, your giving,transparent self, and to bury yourself in your own cocoon, where you think nothing bad can happen there, when in reality, you yourself would be degrading, losing yourself, your goodness, kindness, your communication skills that make you a human being, a compassionate creature by nature.

Very truly yours,

Joy

March 12, 2017

She Got Engaged; I Learned to Be Her Second Line of Defense

My childhood best friend, E.G., got engaged 8 months ago today.

My post comes 8 months overdue, but it comes on an evening I found all my thoughts drifting towards her, her photos on social media with her partner, contemplating the life she’s built for herself.

My sister, Sadness, and I were dining together earlier this evening, when she told me,

Joy, you you, you have a way with words..no matter what you tell me, it does not surprise me because I know your words got you this, that, and there, they can get you anywhere.

So here I am using the thing i am apparently best at, to express my love, my heartfelt pride, and my happiness, to someone… SO DEAR, to my heart.

E.G is the most delicate human being you’ll ever meet, like a beautiful butterfly- literally.

She’s the most kind heart-ed being. She carries the innocence of a child; do not get me wrong though, life has taught her lots of things.

Her choice to get engaged comes from a fully grown lady, a lady I admire and cherish with all of my heart. I may have failed to show her this through actions, physical gestures, and social media “likes” and “hearts”.

But … deep down is where it all matters, isn’t it? All the feelings, all the thought, all what you wish someone?

I admire her, partly because she has the courage to love; a courage I sometimes doubt I have or know how to use. Do you?

I may have the courage to fight for my career, for my professional and personal growth and development, my survival from a dramatic accident and chronic injuries, but she…

She fought and lost many battles at love,

but she also won – a lot more than she ever lost, in my eyes at least.

Love breaks, in ways we each grew familiar with in our own ways, don’t you think?

Her story is a fairy tale, but there’s a catch:

to date, I do not know exactly how to feel having someone as dear be engaged. Some of you may think, it’s the cycle of life, nothing changes, it’s the normal thing that should have happened…

But, for those of you who like me, may think a bit further of this big step for someone like E.G.,who has had her share of right and wrong relationships, then I feel differently, and at one point I felt like I “had fallen out of her life”.

For instance, I keep feeling I should have done something: I should have been there, at the proposal, after the proposal; I should have brought that gift, or sent that card I never sent but i blame life for diverting our paths or putting in new people I barely know.. or maybe I even blame myself for having decided to travel for two years to pursue a masters, knowing she had something potentially serious going on, yet i couldn’t keep in touch in the same way we were..

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Life did put us on different paths, and sometimes, I think maybe I should have taken that extra mile every time i had the chance or time to stay in her life the same way we use to be, maybe then she wouldn’t feel disappointed of me or our friendship, or wonder where did we stop being that close in daily life.

But tonight, I see that those phone chats we share now and then, those occasional Sunday brunches, and those flawless memories we share from our childhood and in our innocent hearts still have us registered as the friends we use to be, exactly, and it’s all just more in my head.

As the day passed by today, I had a different take on life;

A little context for how i was inspired to post tonight:

I have been on a short unexpected period “off” work and this past week, I’ve been enjoying the little things, like

My mum, being with her to pray, to shop, to prepare lunch at home.. like

My Dad, his cuddling knowing that he is a stiff, solid Man;

my sister coming back from work, with the same drained and beaten look on her face only i am there to console her, listen to her, feed her, or just listen to her learning about low people, unprofessional and undeserving managers..

my workout, runs, and training at the gym and outdoors as they reminded me of how good i feel about myself once i accomplish those little training milestones.

Tonight, I finally realize I did not “fall out of E.G.’s life”, but out into her second line of defense

All relationships evolve, romances above all.

From a young married couple in their 20s and 30s, to their 80s or 70s, love alone or the flame does not survive, it’s rather the entire package, the respect, the admiration, the caring, the taking care of each other, the dreams and plans you see with your significant other, the interests you share or different tastes you experience because of each other..

[PS: For those of you with a richer experience on love than mine, please feel free to share your lesson in the comments sections: I for one would learn so much from you, really.]

So, if that is true and the package is the key, then i know with her getting engaged, life shifted my positions, in her life.

I need to allow life to make these changes, else i’d ruin its plans for my loved ones; i see now how i fell right into E.G.’s second line of defense.

I am no longer in the front row, enjoying a close up view, but rather sat on that balcony, where she owns the stage, she is its star, and she knows I am there and will be, whenever she signals it:)

Try not to jump into conclusions or allow your doubts or fear of losing a close one push you to move out of their life because they sure want you in it. At least, this is my lesson from E.G.

Being in second line of defense is in fact, key and crucial. If you are not there, who would protect her heart, which is initially inside, closer to your line than the first, cause who builds a fortress and sits outside of it? You’re that second line, that inner circle, not that outer layer. Enjoy it, see it, feel it, and act like it.

Keep your warm memories of you two, cherish the other’s adventures and love stories, be there for them as much as you can. As you do your best to do all these,  your dear one sees it or must see it one day – at least what i believe today, in this situation, with these thoughts, at my age of 27.

I know I count and I know how happy it makes me to see her so grown up; exactly my age she is.. but way ahead of me in the courage she has to love.

E.G., may the odds be forever in your favour. I love you.

Truly yours,

Joy

Feb.23, 2017 at 2.38am

Just Courage

My people, just a small message today, i promise:

Give yourself only 10 seconds today, now, to think:

I am where i am today, WOW – look at me, look at how far i’ve come, wow, i’m 27 [use your age here] and i already have a masters degree [or a family, or an unexpected baby, or my own business, my own professional or personal blog, a prestigious position in my eyes not necessarily society’s too…

[Add YOUR accomplishments in *here*; Come on, do it].

I’m also working in Economic Research in a place where i chose to be and actually earned myself with my own hard work and sweat..

[ What else have YOU done so far?Make a list and share with us below, go on]

Wait i’m not done yet dear diary:

I am also teaching as a part-timer; you see dear Diary,  I have found THE WAY by which my life touches people, souls, others who need it, every day

[What is your own thing? Have You written your own poem, text, or book, sculpted your own piece of art, or cooked your own chef d’oeuvre? What is it that made you tick and just Find Life and be the life you are living now? Add it in! ]

Now, for all of the above my beautiful people, you have had COURAGE:

I shared something with my chain of Good Day Emails today .. someone had once shared it with me and i am very grateful they did because i know someone in my chain of people needs to be reminded of this, and Congratulated for THEIR Courage in this Life – a courage beyond anyone’s understanding, yes, Be proud of you, and never forget how you got yourself here, never forget to count the Blessings you brought to yourself,

Listen,

courage

We have come here to learn how to be courageous. I do not think life asks us for anything else more than it does, for Courage.

Everything on earth, it seems, is set up to test our courage, and give us chances to find our bravery, inside, my people.

As human beings, we will need courage for every important thing we do on this Earth – to love, to create, to share, to transform your life,

to fight for your own goodness, to overcome heart-shattering losses,

to tell the truth, to face criticism, to rise above your inner darkness,

to stand up for yourself, to defend those who are weaker than you,

to face down those who are stronger than you, to find your own pathway with God,

to ask for help, to offer help, to sear for Joy, to express your pain,

to grieve, to hold on tight at certain times – and other times, to just walk away.

If you are stuck or lost right now, and wondering what you’re supposed to do with your life now, next?

I can tell you this: You are supposed to find your COURAGE.

Actually, you already have, you’re not waiting for a post like mine to get over that challenge or make your own life despite someone else wrecking it for you over and over .. 🙂

Hats off to YOU today, for being Courageous.

Let’s find Courage today, tomorrow, and forever onward , shall we?

 

Truly Yours,

Joy

❤

Feb.5, 2017 at  1.12pm