The Most Scariest Plane Ride (A Weekend of Adventures)

All of a sudden, I saw everyone grip forward and grab their seats with  two hands. They screamed, I screamed. They cried, I cried. I heard someone yell, “Oh shit!” and I swear to god I thought it was a nightmare.

But no. It was 100% real. Holy shit. As I grabbed the young dude next to me all I could think was-Mommy. Daddy. My brother. Z. Mr. Photography dude. Sidekick. Heart. Prince Player. Harris. My readers. I should have told my mom “I love you” before I left. I should have gave my dad one more kiss when I said “see ya later” to him at 3 in the morning when he was sleeping and I had to leave for my flight. I should have wished “Z” a happy birthday before I got on the plane instead of waiting until I got back. I should have told “Heart” that even though we’re not close now, I will forever be grateful for the love he gave me. I should have told “Prince Player” that- well I don’t know what the hell I should have told him but I’m grateful for whatever we had too. And hell. Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick, I should have told them how lucky I was to have them in my life!!!

But finally. After what seemed like the longest 30 seconds of my life, the plane stopped jumping back and forth and we made a safe landing. But in St. Louis….Jesus.

One of my good blogger friends Paul always says that my life is like a novel or movie. Tell me about it. There is never a dull moment in my life it seems.

I was flying back to Chicago today after my grad school tours in Colorado and Texas. It was a fun tour I ruled out Colorado because for some reason, it didn’t really feel like a good fit for me anymore. I went to see the Texas school with my parents and although I surprisingly liked it…they seemed to have changed their minds :0 They both suddenly realized that BU has a better program and they want me to get the best education I can. Even though it is more expensive and far away from them. My dad said as long as I find a job, he will let me go there. So, I’m going to take a visit up there soon and see for myself.

So after touring and resting in the beautiful weather, I was excited to come back to Chicago. It is a very busy week for me with events for my club, scholarship, and a Psychology conference. I kissed my dad goodbye and he planted me with a sleepy kiss and told me to take care of myself. My mom took me to the airport and she told me to relax for a bit since I finally have options and we kissed each others cheeks.

I happily went to my gate, got on the plane, and like most passengers- went to sleep (it was a 6am flight). About 2 hours later, I wake up to a very loud panicked pilot’s voice.

“PASSENGERS. WE NEED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING”.

As the plane kind of ducks down, I hear everyone gasp and I almost start crying. And then the plane makes a really loud scary sound and did what I said earlier :0 And that is when I hung onto the dude next me and everything happened in a heart beat. It was so serious (as I mentioned earlier) that I was just waiting for those oxygen masks to fall. But at last, it ended and we were down in no time.

Right before we land, I see everyone pulling their phones out already to contact their loved ones. I do the same. My mom. Brother. And Mr. Photography dude. I’d tell “Z”, but it’s her birthday and I didn’t wanna ruin it. I don’t tell my dad because I know he’ll freak.

The pilot announces that we are in St. Louis and we had to land because a passenger was losing consciousness. I thought that was fine because…hello…as a future healthcare professional we’ve got to save lives. So the paramedics come and gather the passenger up immediately.

An hour later, as we are still in shock and still sitting on the plane- some passengers still puking from the turbulence or whatever it was, the pilot announces that something happened to the plane during the unexpected turbulence, and a mechanic has to fix it :0 And since we were in the middle of no where, on some random runway, we could not go to the St. Louis airport and relax there.

The flight attendants sympathetically brought out cookies and water. We were stuck in the airplane for 6 hours and most of us didn’t have breakfast. As the hours flew by, I made friends with the dudes next to me and thanked them for letting me grab on to them. They laughed and said it’s okay and we all reminisced about how happy we are to be okay.

My mom calls in between. “You okay?” she asks. I know she means emotionally, and not physically. This is not the best situation to put an anxiety/ADHD patient in.

I smile. “Yea I’m fine. Was just shooken up. Need some fresh air”.

Then it was Mr. Photography dude. “Oh my god! What the fuck! Are you okay? I’m cancelling the meeting tonight!” he says.

I laugh and tell him the same thing I told my mom. “I’m really happy you’re okay” he says. I smile. Me too.

Finally, after the plane takes off to Chicago, I try to sleep for the 35 minutes I have. I land in Chicago 10 minutes before my class is supposed to start. I sigh. I was supposed to land hours ago and was going to use that time to catch up on my sleep before class. But I smile because, all the passengers on my flight were safe and we were able to rescue that person who was sick.

I go straight to class from the airport and keep yawning the entire time. I pass out as soon as I get back. When I have slept the crazy day off, I call my dad.

“I heard you had an adventure today Shahz…”

I laugh. Count on my dad to bring out the humor in this situation.

xoxo. S.

 

Hard Choices

I’m really starting to dislike Mondays and Tuesdays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, I get irritated. Because I get news. News that tops other good news. News that makes my choice poll bigger.

Yesterday, I found out, I got accepted into the teaching organization- to teach elementary school science, in Miami!!! But then, at the same time, I found out I got a SCHOLARSHIP to BU!

2 dreams came true. I can only pursue one.

13092001_807095096092995_5077486765736947447_nOh my lord. I haven’t even gone up to see the other schools I got into yet. Everything is happening so fast. I’m heading out to Colorado and Texas late tomorrow night for my mini-grad school tour. If I had known about Boston when I booked those tickets, I would have headed up there too.

My parents are still on the Texas A and M front.

Right now, I’m starting to panic if grad school is for me. Getting an MPH is no easy matter. Especially if I go somewhere like BU.

But I slowly realize, I must get my MPH. It is hard to find a job in healthcare/academia with only a BS these days.

I stopped talking to Harris. Clearly, he didn’t mean it when he said he liked me and he could help show me how my play ends- because he hasn’t said a word to me since. I’m also upset with him for leaving me alone to be President and VP all at once. I think he has an ulterior motive, like he’s trying to get back at “Heart” or something. Or he’s trying to distance me from “Heart”. He has something up his sleeve- and I’ve got no time for any more games!

Hard choices.

xoxo. S.

Some Days I Have Very Bad Days, Some Days I Have Very Good Days

Some days I have very good days, some days I have very bad days. Some days I realize the situation with me and player is good, some days I don’t. Some days I enjoy being a mini politician, some days I don’t.

On Thursday, I didn’t think about any of the “some days I don’t”. Because. Thursday. Was an unreal day. Thursday as I was moping about my horrible Monday and Tuesday, and getting over my “normal” Wednesday, and preparing for a busy Thursday of meetings after class- I got an email.

I almost fainted. Boston University accepted me!!!!!!! The 10th best MPH school in the country!!!! Before I have a panic attack from good news, I call my parents and text Mr. Photography dude.

My parents were so happy, but we we were all disappointed by the fact that it costs 5 times as much as all the other school I got intošŸ˜¦

“Look Shahz. If I were you, I would go for it. Think of it as an investment. I will help you. You get a job, and I will help you with the rest if this is where you want to go. Don’t let money be a factor in your decision” my dad said.

I shake my head. I can’t believe it. I can’t even believe my dad would help me. It’s expensive, and extremely far (5 hours of a flight) from him!

My mom was not as supportive. “You can go to a school here in Texas for 1/5th that price. If you go to Boston, you will need to get a job and start paying your undergrad loans immediately on top of your tuition”.

Lovely. I hang up the phone. “CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I’m not surprised at all to be honest you-had-the-power-all-along-my-dear-quote-1<3″ Mr. Photography dude has responded to the news.

“You know what this means right?” he asks as soon as I call him.

“What?” I ask him laughing.

“You can leave ‘Prince Player’ and all them behind!!!!”

I laugh. “What are you talking about?” I ask.

“A few months ago! Remember what you said? I said the chances of ‘Prince Player’ being with some other girl has the same chances of  you getting into an Ivy league! And you said, ‘Hey. If I get into an Ivy league and he’s with someone else…. I’m leaving!” he says.

I almost start crying from laughing to hard. I can’t believe I ever said that. “But Boston is not an-” I start saying.

“Don’t even Shahz. It is so damn close to being an ivy and you know it! Hey, you could go up to Harvard and MIT since they’re so close and find your husband there!” he says.

I laugh even more. I tell him the news about the price.

“Holy…shit. Well. That’s the price you have to pay for an excellent education right? Maybe it could be an investment” he says.

I sigh. “If I go there. I will have to be a research assistant, a waitress, and hell even a STRIPPER!” I say.

“That’s okay some girls do that to pay for their tuition” he says.

I’m on my rug from laughing to hard.

Oh boy. I really don’t know what to do. I can’t believe it. I am so proud of myself, so excited about this, but…I have no idea how I could ever fund itšŸ˜¦

The next day I have a dream that player wrote me a letter saying “CALL ME”. And then, in that dream, I got so busy- I never did. Is this some weird freaky sign telling me something or what.

On Saturday, I get the news that it is time to pass my Presidency to someone else as I am graduating soon. Holy. Moly. Where has the time gone?? I grab my phone to tell Harris, but then I remember the dilemma. That was also part of my irritation last week. WHY IS HARRIS NOT BEING UPFRONT WITH ME ABOUT LOVE AND POLITICS. Also, some people don’t like the fact that he is n798f28173ca032e972deee70bf752042ot President anymore- because I am a woman. And he is a man. Are they nuts. I can do anything Harris can do, perhaps better.

Some days I have very bad days, some days I have very good days.

xoxo. S.

Why I Began Blogging

When I was 14, I had just gotten the only short story I’ve ever written published. It was published in my school’s literary magazine and a few other places. I was so proud of myself.

One day, when my parents were having a party, all the guests crowded around me- they all read my story and were amused.

“Shahz! Look at you! You are a budding writer!” one women came up to me and told me. She gave me a big hug and gave me a genuine smile.

My dad turned around immediately. “Don’t encourage her” he said with a smirk.

I felt my heart break into a thousand pieces.

Everybody at the party stopped talking.

The women looked shocked. She stood up and glared at him. “No you should encourage her! I don’t know any teens that can write like that! Hell- I’m trying to teach my kids early on how to write like your daughter does!”

I saw my dad freeze like ice. No woman has ever talked back to him.

This huge smile crept across my face. At that moment, many moms jumped in and started talking about how my story inspired their teenagers and themselves.

My dad simply walked away and went back to the conversation he was in with the dads at the party.

This short story and my other writings became a huge hit that I started working on a novel. Along the way, I kept winning many contests and scholarships. I always kept it a secret from my dad. Years later, when I was with my roommates my third year of college, I was talking about how I was taking a Screenwriting class and how excited I was about it.

“Really? You don’t strike me as the writing type” my roommate said.

My jaw dropped. What the hell was that supposed to mean? What does ‘the writing type’ look like? Anyone can write!

So I politely explained to her and my other roommate that I definitely am a writer and won many scholarships for it. They. Simply. Laughed. In. My. Face.

It’s because of people like them and my dad that I lost confidence in my novel and never ended up finishing it. People still ask me where it is…

This blog, is that novel that never ever got published.

I write this blog for the other “Shazs” in the world. Sure I could keep my thoughts in a diary as many people told me to do when they found about this blog, but what would that do for the world?

I want to remind all of the Shazs in this world, that it’s okay if some days, the only thing you did was watch Netflix and ate food. I want to remind all the Shazs in the world, that it is totally fine to still like someone who hurt you (but know that you deserve the best and trust that it will eventually find its way to you). I want to remind the Shazs in this world, that someone you love can call you something you hate- and you must, you must, have the power to walk away (or forgive if they are your family). I want to remind all the Shazs in the world that when someone tells you something you don’t like, simply say or think to yourself “Yes. Thank you for your opinion. That was lovely. Goodbye”. I want to remind the Shazs in the world, that your day to shine will come- and there will be A LOT of those days.

I can’t explain the number of emails/comments I have received from readers thanking me for making them laugh or putting a smile on their face. This would not happen if I kept my thoughts in a diary to myself.

Sometimes, in my worst of days, I read my own posts and laugh through it. I smile at how much I have matured. I cry over how much I have had to endure. And I laugh at all the things I have gone crazy about :0

My mom always says, that for someone who is only 22, I have had to face the most toughest challenges in life. That I had to become an adult faster than most.

I tell her that’s funny because some people think I’m childish. She says it’s because they don’t know anything.

Well then.

Now. you. know.

xoxo. S.

IrritatedĀ 

Today was not a fun day.

I would like to think it was hormones, but it wasn’t. It was just me, being me.

Tax returns were due today. And I had no idea how to do them. Figuring this out and submitting them took half of my day. And then I went to volunteer. And I was walking home, some guy stopped me and said, “excuse me, if there was no ground, I would still fall for you!”.

I’m not kidding. And you know, something very similar happened last night when I was walking alone. Something even worse. People used to make fun of me for having guys walk me places, but you know what? I don’t care! Because things like this happen when I walk alone and it gives me deep anxiety!

When I meet my friends for dinner, they can tell I’m…irritated.

e9e9446dab318a8671ce26a54df14193.jpg“I won’t ask you if you’re okay because I know you hate that. What’s wrong?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

My eyes well up. “I don’t know I’m just really upset right now”.

I tell them about the two random strangers that blocked my way last night and yesterday.

Mr. Photography dude hugs me. “I’m sorry. That must have been really scare of you”.

Yes, someone that gets it. Some people would take these things as pick up lines, but for me, as someone who has been taken advantage of before and trusts no one- I’m still in shock. I keep tossing and turning wondering what would have happened if they wouldn’t have left me alone!

“I thought about ‘Prince Player’ last night” I say.

Mr. Photography Ā dude raises eye brows, “Oh now why would you do that?”

“Because I panicked! I thought about how he used to walk me home so things like that wouldn’t happen! And now he will never do that again, because he thinks I’m crazy!”

“Did he say you were crazy…?” Sidekick asks.

“No…” I say.

“Then why would you say that?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

He has a point. No…player didn’t say I was crazy. But he did say many other things when we last spoke.

I swallow. “He said the reason why I was so ‘depressed’ when he did what he did freshmen year was because I had so many other things going on during that time. Not because of what he did” I say quietly.

I see Mr. Photography dude thinking to himself. “That’s not a lie…you even said it yourself when we stopped by to see you”.

I roll my eyes. “All I said was there was so much going on when he did that and it was bad timing. You know what that’s not even the point! The point is…he diagnosed me as depressed! Ā I wasn’t depressed. Or maybe I was. But what gives him the right to diagnose me? I am a Health Sciences major with a Psychology minor and he dares-”

Mr. Photography dude grabs my arm, “Okay okay. Shhhh. We get it. He called you depressed and that made you angry because you know more about this topic than him and it felt like he brought you down.”

My jaw drops. I roll my eyes at him. “Keep my ego out of this. It has nothing to do with it” I say.

“Okay then explain” he says laughing.

I sigh. “Whatever I was feeling during that period in my life, it was indeed because of the stuff going on between us. Because when I was with “Heart”, a lot of worse depressing things happened and I was perfectly fine. Because I had his love and support, something I didn’t get from player”

I pause at the sadness of everything I said. “Well until this year of course. Something changed between us this year. Things were getting better. Or so I thought. But nothing changed” I say sighing.

I sip my beer. “My mistake”.

Mr.Photography dude shakes his head. “Why do you let one tiny thing turn into another tiny thing and then it’s a series of tiny little things that drive you mad???”

I laugh. “That’s just the way anxiety works” I say.

He shakes his head. “You need to find ways to cope Shahz. You can’t let these keep you awake at night!”

“I know” I say sadly.

I don’t know what to do. It is my last few months before graduation. Senioritis is really fun. I get to go out every weekend. I don’t have much homework. I got into two of the best grad schools in the country.

For goodness sake, I should be happyšŸ˜¦

I just pray, that today was a bad day, and everything will be fine.

Because let’s face it, there are so many worse things going on in the world.

And I’m irritated.

xoxo. S.

Another Acceptance (All is up in the air- in love, school, and politics)

On Tuesday night, I had yet another anxiety attack. It was when I was going to sleep, all these thoughts rushed over me, and I just couldn’t breathe. It was 4 am.

This happens once a week as I try to fall asleep. I think about my past, my future, and the My-biggest-fear-is-that-eventually-you-will-see-me-the-way-I-see-myself..jpgnow. I grieve on the past and get scared of the future. It is a really annoying 30 minutes. I wait for it to pass, and when it finally does, I am asleep.

So Wednesday morning I was expecting nothing but to carry on with another day. But when I woke up, I was in for a real surprise. I open up my email as I do every morning, and I see  a huge WELCOME! email.

I click on it and my jaw drops. Texas A and M University, has accepted me.Why the heck was I having an anxiety attack the night before??? The 25th best Public Health school in the country has accepted me.

After the initial shock and excitement, I remember why. I applied for my parents. Colorado was my dream school, but because A and M is better (and closer) my parents had me apply there. I had no clue I would get in…

So. It was time to call my family. They don’t pick up at first, my mom texts saying that my dad is in a call. I obviously want to tell them together so I wait and text my dad saying I have big news to tell him and he needs to put a rush on his call (even if it’s work) because this news is very big news.

A few minutes later, they call back.

“Soooo….Congratulations?” my dad says as soon as I pick up the phone.

I laugh. “How did you know??” I ask.

“Please. My daughter will not call me at 9 in the morning telling me to hang up my conference call for no valid reason” he says laughing. “So tell us. What school?”

I smile and take a deep breath. “Texas A and M”.

I almost have to mute the phone. My dad starts hollering and my mom starts screaming.

“Mabrook (Congratulations) baby. We knew you could do it” my mom says.

“Way to go Shaz. See now you can move up to Texas and be close to us” my dad says once he has processed the news.

Oh boy. My eyes sting. I never expected to get in…I feel like Texas A and M might be too overwhelming for me. It is a new place, new city, 50,000 people- I just don’t know.

“So why are you so quiet Shaz are you not happy?” my dad asks.

“I am…it’s just…now I have to go there don’t I” I ask.

“What do you mean?” my dad asks.

“I had my heart set on Colorado” I say crying.

I could hear both of them sighing in the background. “Look. No you obviously don’t have to go anywhere you don’t want to. But seeing Texas A and M has a better program and also one of the best schools in the country overall, I just think it is more logical” my dad says.

I stay silent. “Am I right or am I wrong Shaz?” my dad asks.

“Yes….” I lie.

“Look it’s up to you. We won’t pressure you. You’re an adult” my dad says. “And you still have more schools to hear back from!”

Oh that’s right. He is absolutely right. So we discuss next steps and before they hang up, my dad says, “Keep up the good work”.

Holy. Shit. My dad never says that. And he never said it to me, that’s for sure.

I update my Snapchat followers on the news, sad that I won’t have “Prince Player” congratulating me this time. Not that it matters. I ask Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick if they are free, and when they say they are, I tell them to meet me at the bakery:)

Mr. Photography dude kisses me on both cheeks “Alf mabrook!” (1,000 congrats) “Why are you so humble when it comes to your intelligence? You act like you don’t know much but here you are, holding acceptances to the best schools in the country!”

I laugh. Sidekick hugs me, “Congrats”. Each of us get a frosted cookie and sit down. We joke about the fact that I’m going to gain a few pounds before graduation if I get more acceptances.

“So you really are leaving huh?” Sidekick asks.

I nod. “Yea…guess so”.

We stay silent.

This is sad. But, exciting at the same time.

It’s sad because I imagined my last quarter to be as exciting as I can make it. I wanted 12144665_779553258847179_2251013384211725091_nto see my friends as much as possible and smile every chance I get. But it’s hard seeing all my friends because a) “Prince Player”, “Heart”, and I all fell apart b) and then my non-romantic friends are busy with their new jobs/planning their own future. 

And in the midst of all this, it’s exciting because I can get away from the place that gave me a lot of heartache. I know I wrote all about the lovely memories I had here, but sometimes, these anxiety attacks remind me that life wasn’t so happy here.

“Have you talked to player” Mr. Photography dude asks reading my mind.

“Nope. Not since the day he walked out” I say.

“How about Harris?” he asks.

I think to myself. “Oh shit… I haven’t really spoken to him either” I say.

“Was the last time you spoke to him that day we went dress shopping?” Sidekick asks.

“The day after player and I had our mishap? Oh yea. What the fuck. Something must be bothering these Scorpios!” I say.

They laugh. “I’m serious guys. I get why player is ignoring me. He hates me. And that is fine. But Harris? What is wrong with him?? I message him everyday!” I say.

Mr. Photography dude puts his cookie down, “Um. Why are you messaging him everyday?”

I suck in my cheeks. “I’m…curious…”

“About what…” Mr. Photography dude asks.

“I need to know why he resigned” I say.

“Uh huh. Are you sure you’re not curious about how much he loves you” Mr. Photography dude asks.

My jaw drops. “Shut up. He’s 10 times better than me and he knows it” I say.

“That’s a lie” Mr. Photography dude says.

“Have you heard his voice? He is like the best Arabic singer around! He performs every weekend…” I say.

“And you? Have you seen the way you move? You are a skilled dancer. That’s why you guys go perfectly go together!” he responds.

I sigh. “It’s not about that. He’s just smart. Strong. Loyal. Quiet- keeps things to himself. Just better than me overall” I say.

Both of their jaws drop. “It’s almost like you were talking about yourself… You guys are like identical. That’s why he gets you!” Sidekick says.

I think to myself. The day before our last big event (before Harris resigned) I had a lot of work to get done in preparation for the day. During our prep meeting- our board wanted to go to an event, but I didn’t. I wanted to finish up our stuff. The only person that got through to me was Harris, who closed my laptop and said, “Yallah. Let’s have fun. I’ll help you finish this later”.

Harris always had my back. Always jumped to my defense. Always made sure of my e585921269f082ab0ed35be98734e8d2schedule before planning dates. Brought out the real me (which isn’t easy to do).

Damn I miss my VP. I need to get that Harris back!! I didn’t mean to take his position :0

Later that night, my mom told me how my dad was grinning ear to ear at work all day. I smile to myself. My dad has never been this proud of me. But, if I choose the grad school he wants me to go to, will I regret it? After thinking for a bit, I decide I want to fly to both schools one weekend and take a look. And I’ll be damned, much to my mom’s diasaprooval of me walking around by myself, my dad agreed!

In the midst of the celebration, my crying the night before caught up to me. I got a terrible cold and am currently sickšŸ˜¦ I truly believe that when you are under a lot of pressure- you can get sick. Thankfully, after drinking lots of grape juice and soup- I’m slowly getting better:)

I just wish that everything that’s up in the air would come down already so I can graduate in peace.

I Wish It Was A Fairytale

So the ball was a success.

“Heart” didn’t show up, most people didn’t bring dates, and a lot of boys had kissed me by the end on the night. Clarification: Kiss on the cheek. Very common in my culture.

First it was Mr. Photography dude. I had decided on a silver gown. After trying on so many gowns, I decided I wanted a simple, angelic gown. I didn’t want something too dramatic because I knew most girls (including my own board) would be wearing normal short dresses. But at the same time, I am the President and organized this event- so I wanted to look pretty damn special! So on Friday, I spent about 4 hours getting ready. And I was on my way.

Everyone is setting up when I walk in. And nearly all of them do a double take. Mr. 7d964edd7c0c38293d89259a7e02371ePhotography dude is hanging up a poster when he notices me.

“Holy shit. You look like a Grecian goddess” he says kissing me on the cheek (Kiss #1).

I laugh. I start setting things up too and lots of people start piling in.

“Heyyyy. You look like a Princess!” my friend Sahd says kissing me on the cheek (Kiss #2). I laugh modestly again.

IMG_2035(1)Then Sidekick walks in. “Between you and me, if that whole ‘Player’ thing doesn’t work out- we can totally find you someone else tonight” he says kissing my cheek (Kiss #3). I laugh and smack him.

As the crowd picks up and more fine dressed gentlemenĀ  I have met briefly before start piling in, I get more kisses.

Amr. Known him for a solid two years. Kisses me on one cheek, kisses me on the other (Kiss #4). Says I look hot.

Amar. Met him like once and practically demands my attention all night. Kisses me on one cheek (Kiss #5). Says I look like a queen.

Some random guy from my club. Known him for a year. Kisses me one cheek (Kiss #6). Simply says I look nice. Very respectful fella.

After dancing the night away, and reaching my 10th kiss, it is time for dinner. I sit down with my executive board, a celebrity (yes we had a famous person at my ball!!!) and some of my friends.

Amr decides to get into the topic of what he would like in a girl. I look at Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick.

“I want her to be a good bad girl. Like. She is good on the outside right. But wild on the inside!” he says.

Mr. Photography dude looks at me. I pinch him.

“I want her to be short. My ex was a shortie. I like shorties” he continues.

Mr. Photography dude looks at me again. I shake my head at him.

“I want her to be caring, but also, tough.”

Mr. Photography dude looks at me. My jaw drops at him.

Amr continues with his little list that sounds exactly like me and finishes it. “So guys. Do you know anybody that fits my list?”

Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick are about to die from laughter. Ugh these two. I look at Amr and sigh. “Oh I wish I did” I say shrugging my shoulders and smiling.

“So what do you want in a guy, Shaz?” Amr asks.

I stop eating falafel. That was unexpected. I look at Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick.

I shrug. “Not much. I’m pretty simple….” I begin.

“Oh. Come on, let’s hear a few” he says.

I begin cutting my chicken. “Okay fine. Number 1. Loyalty is key with me. They break it, we’ll have issues. I’m not into sharing”

He nods his head, “I agree that’s very important”.

“Number 2. I can wear what I want, and belly dance where I want. If he restricts my clothing or my ability to express my talent- I’ll be upset”

He laughs. “Wallah. We’re not in Saudi you know!” he says joking.

“Oh yea? Well my last ex had a huge problem with both of these. He’d tell me to cover up and that he was uncomfortable with me belly dancing in public” I say.

“He was an Arab wasn’t he?” Amr asks laughing.

I nod and smile big. I think about my next one.

“Number 3. I’m not into that Netflix and chill shit. I prefer dates and going out. I like food. I’ll pay if I have to. I will give everything I have to a guy- if he just gives me the respect and loyalty I deserve” I say.

They all stare at me. I shrug. Amr nods, “I like that. I’m the same way”.

Mr. Photography dude says he wants to go get hookah. This is code for us to bounce and talk about this hilarious convo that just happened at the table.

As we smoke behind the crowd, we hear two guys in the hallway.

“Can you believe what the President was saying? About her boyfriend not letting her dance in public?”

My eyes widen and I look at Mr. Photography dude. We put the hookah down.

I listen closely. “Yea what the fuck is up with that. I actually like her dancing in public….it’s hot. Oh and that dress she was wearing. She fills it up really nicely if you know what I mean” They laugh out loud.

My jaw drops and I’m about to burst out laughing. Mr. Photography dude covers up my mouth.

After a whole minute of these boys gossiping about god knows what about me, they leave and I can’t control myself.

“What…was…that?” I ask Mr. Photography dude.

He shakes his head and blows smoke. “I told you. Lots of people are interested in you. But you won’t give them a chance” he says.

“Ugh fuck them. They said nothing about my heart. I deserve better than that” I tell him.

“Yea. That’s true” he says passing me the hookah.

When I get home, I am so proud of myself for surviving my hell week. I had a day long interview, day long GRE, clash with “Prince Player”, clash with “Harris” and spent many days prepping for the event- and I survived!

“Z” calls me. She had meant to come to the event, but recently graduated and had just gotten back from her Spring Break trip to London.

“HOW DID IT GO?? OH MY GOD. YOU SERIOUSLY LOOKED LIKE YOU CAME OUT OF A FAIRYTALE!!!” she says.

“Damn. I wish it was” I say.

I explain to her all about my week. I tell her what happened with me and “Prince Player”.

“Wallah. He told me I was a joke, and I was just a booty call to him freshmen year. And he never thought much of it. And asked if we can just laugh about it now” I say taking off my dress after this long day and week.

I can almost hear “Z” jaw drop. “He what? What the fuck did he say?”

“Yea. And while we were hanging out he said ‘I just got this text from a girl in my class I like, that’s what triggered this conversation'” I tell her.

“What? He said this…as you guys were hanging out?!?” she asks.

I fold my dress. “Yea. Wallah I’m not joking. I couldn’t believe it either.”

“Uh huh okay…Shaz….” she begins.

“Yea?” I ask.

“What the fuck are you doing still thinking about him and giving him even one ounce of your time??? Why would you even propose the idea of hanging out with him???” she asks.

I laugh. “I don’t know! He was talking to me and he personally congratulated me on my Master’ thing and I just thought why not…” I say.

“Uh huh okay. And so what? You’re gonna hook up with every guy that congratulates you?? He can congratulate you all he wants! But until he shows you loyalty, you can’t do what you’re doing with him!” she says.

I laugh at her bluntness. And then I get serious. “Honey. He ain’t ever gonna give me loyalty. That’s not important to him as it is to me” I say.

We talk some more and I tell her about the whole “Heart” situation. About him being interested in another Muslim girl- when he clearly broke up with me for that simple fact.

“Okay wow. Now he. Is an even bigger asshole! Why do you like assholes Shaz???” she asks.

I laugh. “Because they remind me I’m 10x smarter than them. Guess who I ended up dancing with the whole night?” I ask her.

“Who” she asks curiously.

“The girl that likes him. She’s a sweet girl and I’m not gonna hate her because of him. He’s the problem here, not her” I say.FullSizeRender(34)

“See. Now that’s my best friend. I’m very proud of you” she says.

Once upon a time…there was a sweet Princess that didn’t want to be a Princess anymore because some guy took that away from her. Yet, she is still a Princess because she glows even in the darkest of nights and doesn’t let anyone stop her.

I changed my profile picture to me at my ball and captioned it “Once upon a time…”, this is what “Z” messaged me:)

xoxo. S.

Cheetos and Chocolate

What a very sexy title.

It has been a terrible week here in Chicago. It is April, and oh so cold and snowy. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only one having a bad week, in all my classes I keep hearing “I’m having a horrible week” from my Professors and classmates.

It all started Tuesday. Actually, it all started Saturday when “Prince Player” said what he creep-lyrics-3said. But I won’t say what I need to say about that because it’s not worth it.

Tuesday, I bumped into Mariam after class when Mr. Photography dude and I were getting dinner.

“Oh my god! Do you have a date to the ball?” she asks.

“No…do you?” I ask.

“Well yea! Why don’t you have a date? What happened to Harris?” she asks.

What the hell. Why does everyone want this to happen. “Nothing…you know I created this event…and I did not intend this to be a “date” kind of thing. I also went to this event for three years and it was never a “date” kind of thing. I actually met guys (cough cough ‘Heart’) during this event 2 years ago. Why did this change? Because as President I decided to call it a ball?”

She looks taken back. “Sorry if it sounded like I was pressuring you. It’s just yea I hear people are asking people. Like the girl who’s coming to get ready with us, she is asking this guy in our club. And I was like, ‘yea go for it'” she pauses.

“Oh fuck. She’s asking your ex. I’m so sorry. Oh my god” she says.

My jaw drops. “Heart”? I ask.

“Yea. Look it’s nothing serious, she just has like a little crush on him! And she wants to ask him!”

I look at Mr. Photography dude. “Oh shit” he says under his breath.

“What the fuck?” I ask Mariam.

Her jaw drops. “I thought you were over him!!!! Why are you upset Shahz?” she asks.

“Well just imagine this. Your ex, who isn’t really your ex because he hasn’t broken up with you- is about to be asked to be another girl’s date at YOUR OWN BALL! And she’s coming over to your place to borrow your make up and stuff to get ready!” I say getting ready to cry.

“Oh my god. I’m the worst. I really didn’t think about this. You want me to tell her?”

I look at Mr. Photography dude. He looks sad for me. “No of course not. She likes the guy. The way I used to like him. I ain’t gonna take that away from her”.

She keeps telling me sorry and if there is anything she can do and I just can’t hear anything. When she leaves, I look at Mr. Photography dude.

“Don’t do it….” he says.

“Wallah. This isn’t about Mariam. This is about ‘Heart’. He left me because he didn’t want to pursue a Muslim woman, now look what he’s going after- another Muslim woman! He is a lying, selfish, asshole” I say. “If I asked him to the ball, he’d say no in a heartbeat saying he wouldn’t wan people to get the wrong idea. And he doesn’t care about that with her? Un-fucking-believable” I say.

Mr. Photography dude tries to comfort me. God. Being President is so difficult. How are these tough women owning politics??

I had bought a nice sandwich to go, but I lost my appetite thinking about everything that happened this week (plus what’s going to happen this week) and ended up eating Cheetos and chocolate.

Yesterday, as I had yet another long day planning for the event and lots of homework- I had Cheetos and chocolate for lunch. I went to bed at 3 and had to be up at 5 for an interview. I wish I was joking but I seriously had an interview at 7 eastern time and forgot that means 6am Chicago time.

Every day this week- I had crazy nightmares. Really, I don’t know what’s happening. Maybe I’m just nervous about the event.

I want to go home and nap as I’m finally done with my 12 hour day with only 2 hours of sleep, but I have so many last minute things to prep for the big event tomorrow. Over 300 people will be coming, and I still haven’t finalized my gown, speech, or how I will handle people pressuring me to have a “date”.

I am the President and ain’t nobody going to tell me what I should do.- Mr. Photography dude’s advice on how I should handle the drama regarding the event (mimicking how I have handled issues beforeā¤ ).

Hell week.

xoxo. S.

It’s Hard Being a Girl (In Love, Politics, and Dress Shopping)

I didn’t hear the door shut. I prayed “Prince Player” was walking back to me and didn’t leave yet. But when I went to look, it just seems he left the door open. That’s why I didn’t hear it shut. I shake my head.There’s nothing I can say this time. I deserve to be treated better than the way he treats me. I’m not like his other girls.

“I know you’re going to write all about this” he said in the middle of our fiasco on Saturday.

Some. Nerve. He. Has.

That’s when I decided, that I won’t. Why would I ever, dedicate multiple 1,000 word posts for someone who would never write even ONE word about me. After everything I have done, after all the parts of my big heart I exposed, he still sees me the same way- unworthy and unspecial. And my god I will not see myself that way just because he does! This is a very busy week :0

So as he left the door open and I went to shut it- I get a Snapchat. It’s of Harris singing. He’s singing a song from one of my favorite shows “Empire”. The lyrics of “Good Enough” send chills over my body and his voice makes me cry. I always think of my dad and player every time I hear this song- the two people I’m not good enough for.

But I have no time to worry about either. I have 200 invitations to send out for the ball my club is having. I distract myself with my Presidential duties, I have several voicemails from my board but I ignore it. I go to bed and pray to help me smile as much as I can this quarter despite everything that is happening.

When I wake up Sunday morning, I’m sore and I have so many regrets. But it’s dress shopping day! Mr. Photography dude, Sidekick, and all I need an outfit for the ball:)

“How did it go last night?” Mr. Photography dude asks when we meet at the store.

“Good. Player told me that what we had was a joke” I say laughing my best fake laugh. “Haha ha ha ha” I add for effect.

“What the fuck? That isn’t funny Shahz” he says.

I frown. “I know. But I heard. Like in laughter yoga. If you just begin laughing, you’ll find it funny” I say shrugging.

He shakes his head. “This isn’t funny. Don’t feel you have to laugh about it.”

When I begin trying on outfits, everything is squeezing my curves that are aching. But the FullSizeRender(28)first dress I try on is already…amazingā¤

I come out in it. Both of their jaw drops. “Oh my god say something!” I say laughing.

“Player’s loss. That’s all I’m going to say” Mr. Photography dude says eyeing me up and down.

I laugh. I love the dress. “Oooo oh my god. Last night Player asked me how many boys are interested in me!” I say gushing.

“Uh huh. And did you tell him? We’ve got Harris, Amar, Amr, Michael, other Amr” he says counting on his fingers. “And with that dress…” he shakes his head.

I smack him and laugh.

“So I’m guessing this means you didn’t ask Player as your date to the ball?” Sidekick asks laughing as I was freaking out about the dress.

I raise my eyebrows.What… “Why would I ask him?”

“Because Harris resigned! He’s not even going to come to any of our events anymore. I thought-“ Mr. Photography dude stops him.

My jaw drops. What?

“What the hell?” I ask.

They look at each other. “I left you a voicemail. Saying there was something you need to know…” Mr. Photography dude says. Shit. The voicemail I ignored the night before :0

I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. “You guys. What the fuck? What do you mean he resigned? I need him!”

“You know he was just kidding about Harris being your date… OMG SHAHZ.  Was Harris going to be your date????” Mr. Photography dude asks.

I sit down in my $300 gown next to them. “He’s my VP. He’s my backbone. He’s my person that I go to when shit goes wrong. He comforts me in the middle of our events. What the fuck do you mean he resigned?” I ask my eyes welling up.

The look at each other. “You…like him?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

“No. Don’t be silly” I say.

“Could have fooled me. Now that he’s not on board anymore, you can’t use politics as an excuse” he says smiling.

I shake my head. I still can’t believe  it. I grab the next dress, “I’m going to go try this on…”

As soon as I get into the fitting room, I call Harris.

“Baiwa” he says when he answers.

“Baiwa yourself! What the fuck??? You resigned?” I ask.

“Baiwa. You were with a guy last night?” he asks.

I suck in my cheeks. How does he know.”Is that what this is about?”

“No” he says.

“Then what? Is it about me being President. I told you that you could still keep the title!” I say struggling to zip my dress and talk to him at the same time.

“No…it has nothing to do with you” he says.

I shake my head. What is Harris talking about? What am I missing?

“Well then. I guess the ball won’t be our second date then” I say as a joke.

“Maybe we’ll have others” he says.

Oh. I tell him I have to go. The news is dissapointing. And everyone seems to have the same question for me….

FullSizeRender(29)I go out in the new gown. A beautiful blue mermaid one. Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick are stunned again. This is $250, cheaper than the first but still so expensive!

“So I know this is not the time. But everyone wants to know, if you’re going to the ball with Harris” Mr. Photography dude says showing me his phone.

Oh god. “Why would they assume that?” Even later in the day, my own phone blows up with my friends asking that too :0

He raises his eyebrows. “Have you not seen the chemistry you two have? You guys are always glued to each other”

I roll my eyes. “Tell them no. He resigned.” I say sadly smoothing out my dress.

“Are you crazy? That is a board secret. And god if you love him so much, you better nag him to get back on board!”

I sigh. I know Harris. He’s like me. He’s stubborn. He’s an all or nothing guy. Like I’m an all or nothing girl. Nothing could convince him.

“If he is so like you. Talk to him. You may understand him better than anyone”

I shake my head. How did things get to this.

My VP resigned. Player said what we had was a joke just as I thought we were in a great place. The two dresses I love are between $250-$300.

I call my mom. “Wallah. Habibti. If you like the dress, put it on my credit card and buy it”

I shake my head. “No mom! I can’t. No way. You know lots of girls aren’t dressing up in amazing gowns like this anyway. I don’t want to stand out to much”

“Honey. You are the President. There will be 300 people there. You need to stand out! If anyone stands out, wallah it better be you” she says.

I love my mom. “Seriously. You never got to go to your Prom. You got into Grad School. If you want this dress, I want to buy it for you as your graduation present” she says.

I smile. It was a big decision. But eventually, I decided against it. I want to save up money for grad school. So I’ll be going shopping again later to find a more affordable dress.

But damn. How good did these two gowns look? What a day. It is so tough being a girl.

Big News In the Middle of the Storm <3

So there I was, walking to class from breakfast. I bump into “Heart” after not seeing him for like a month, and he literally says “Hey, how are you?” and walks away. Cold. Can’t stand him these days.

I sit in the most longest boring Psych class ever. I have two back to back. When it gets time to do individual work, I just browse my iPad. When I notice an email from the University of Colorado. My dream school. The 30th best MPH program in the country.

263a309db4d300e9dac091cd708fa39cIt has the big letters, “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” in the subject line. My eyes start to water. Could it be? Could it really be? I finally got into a grad school? And my top choice grad school?

I read the email. IT IS!!!! I step outside to call my mom and dad. They are very happy. Then I add it to my Snapchat story. Mr. Photography dude and Sidekick who are supposed to be paying attention in class respond immediately with their congrats. More friends do the same. I go to the bakery and grab some scones to celebrate.

I can’t stop smiling all day. When I walk back into the building for night class, they are sitting on the couches getting ready for night class. They smother me.

“Mabrook!!!!! (Congratulations!) You see. I told you. Freakin told you that you would get in!” Mr. Photography dude says. “I swear this girl, she acts like she doesn’t know anything but she fools all of us. She’s smart!” I laugh. I’m flattered. I think.

I can’t focus at all in night class. My new class is interesting, but I just can’t focus with the good news I FINALLY got. As I can’t focus, I see my phone light up. I think it is my mom. My mom had been texting all day saying how she was proud of me. “Your father is so proud. He said he will help you pay for tuition if you go there” she said earlier. Aw.

So I check my phone. My eyes widen. It is actually player :0 Goodness, I’ve been worried about that one. He must have been so busy…

Player offers me his congrats and reminds me about how he told me things would be okay. Aw. When I get out of class, I thank him and tell him I want to see him soon. He agrees. It is cuteā¤

I call my parents as I do every night. And I am finally able to talk to my dad myself, as he was working all day. “Yea we’re really proud of you hun. This is amazing. But…”

What.What is he going to say??

“I would like you to go to a school closer to school…in Texas…”

Ah. Of course. Those schools are also ranked higher. Important to my parents. I tell him I’ll retake the GRE and consider it.

I go to meet “Mr. Photography dude” and “Sidekick” as their night classes ended early too.

“Soooo Miss MPH- what should our celebration dinner be??” Mr. Photography dude asks.

I laugh. “It’s okay. Let’s just go to the student center, I’m not that hungry anyway…” I say.

They look at me. “What’s wrong with you? You’re always hungry” Mr. Photography dude says.

“NOTHINGGG. Omg player congratulated me! I’m good! I’m happy!” I say grabbing both their arms and walking through the nasty storm Chicago seemed to be having.

“Well that’s cute. Why aren’t you happy then?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

I sigh. When Sidekick goes to say hi to one of his friends, I look at Mr. Photography dude.

“My dad” I say.

He laughs. “Okay enough said” he says.

I give him a sad face. “Come on don’t do that. You faced some of the toughest obstacles in college. Be proud you got accepted there, even if you have to go somewhere else. Let’s celebrate the now!” he says.

I smile. I just can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday I was at my current college touring the campus. And now. I sit with my first acceptance letter and a request to tour one of the best MPH schools in the countryā¤

Oh. Here I was crying over college ending. And now. I feel like. The best is yet to come…:)

xoxo. S.