First Day Back at School (In Love and Conflicts of Interest)

It’s been a long day of working in my assistant job and practicing for my belly dance performance. After another meeting with my supervisor, I go to get dinner.

I get an e-mail from my doctor about my blood tests that were done over Spring Break, “Thyroid levels are low again”. Before I can whisper “Damnit” under my breath, someone bumps into me.

I do a double take and hope it’s ‘Heart’. But it’s actually “Prince Player”. Oh well, he’s alright too. Except my makeup is smeared, my nails aren’t done, and my hair is so flat. Why do I bump into him in moments like this? I stare at him and blink a few times. I’m very sleepy and stressed about the e-mail from my doctor. He starts spitting out lots of things.

I confess to him that I’m upset at what he did right before we left for Spring Break. I explain to him that loyalty is a big thing to me, and it was mean of him to spill something I shared with him to two people that he hasn’t known as long as me. He says sorry and explains his side of the story. It was believable. So I forgive him.

After we clear out all of this air, I tell him something that has been on my mind for a while. The reason why our friendship keeps fading and getting dramatic has nothing to do with us, but rather everyone around us. Every single time I get mad at him, it’s because of someone else. If these people didn’t exist, we would have been perfectly fine! All of these conflicts of interest. And oh my god, for once, he agrees with me.

He then says something about my life being so dramatic, and how it’s okay because “that’s just me”. Hell yes it’s okay…it’s not easy being a woman with ADHD. Lots of things get my panties in a bunch!

Anyways, my heart belongs with “Heart”. It isn’t my fault “Prince Player” finally changed into a better person when “Heart” came into my life. Still, there are many problems with my relationship with him as well. We are from the same community and I will bump into him at several events our friend is hosting this quarter. In fact, I am performing at both of them! “Prince Player” said “Heart” will bring me flowers and get together with me afterwords… Yea I wish.

There is always some kind of conflict of interest with them both.

xoxo. S.

First Day Back at School: Jealousy

jealousI walk into Starbucks, it’s my first day back from Spring Break. My usual morning crew of Mr. Photography dude and some friends are sitting, I approach them and they start clapping.

“Congratulations!” Mr. Photography dude yells and kisses me on both cheeks. I blank for a second. Then I remember. The Master’s admission ;) I smile and thank everyone.

I get in line to order my latte. Mr. Photography dude talks about how he is proud of me and knew I was a “beauty and brains” type of girl. I smile again.

After I get a my latte, we sit down and he analyzes me.

“Okay. What’s wrong?” he asks.

I shake my head. “What are you talking about?”

“You don’t seem happy with the news about your admission”.

I sip my latte. “I am.”

“What are you hiding from the public, Sad Beauty?”

Aha. He figured it out. I sigh. “My dad wants me to apply to Ivy Leagues. Or something up there.”

He frowns, “And is that what you want?”

I shrug. “To be honest, I don’t know if I want to stay here for another year or two.”

He gasps, “This has to do with Heart doesn’t it?? Don’t you dare let his presence make you switch schools Shahz!”

I roll my eyes. “Shut up. This has nothing to do with him. These past few years have been full of heartache and drama. I want a change of scenery.”

He nods, “Uh huh. That drama was caused by Heart.”

I tilt my head, “No.”

He lets it ago. “Why else are you upset about this?”

“I’m not” I say fiddling with my stirrer. He glares at me.

“Okay. A lot of people want to kill me right now” I admit.

“Why?” he asks confused.

“Because they didn’t get in. The program only accepts 20 students a year” I say.

He shakes his head. “Don’t you dare let them ruin your happiness. This did not come without hard work. Don’t they know that you were failing your freshman year and on probation? You deserve this! God has a plan for them and they will end up in bigger places”

I smile. “I don’t like when people are jealous of me. Bad things happen when people are jealous of me.”

“Sad beauty. Jealousy is a normal feeling. You’re jealous of people aren’t you?”

“Oh yea” I say nodding.

“Who?” he asks smiling.

“You know how Sana is making me and her other friend do a belly dance this week and next week for her club’s annual end of the year event?”

“Oh. The one that you met ‘Heart’ at last year?” he asks smiling.

I nod slowly. “Yea. I’m jealous of that girl.”

“Oh my god Sad Beauty!” he yells rolling his eyes all the way up to the ceiling. “You’re jealous that this girl is an amazing belly dancer, wears sexy clothes when she dances, and might tempt you’re boyfriend aren’t you??”

Oh my god how did he figure it out. I play stupid. “I didn’t say that.”

He takes a deep breath and stares me down. And I burst. “Okay, okay I am! She is a very pretty girl and she wears a bra and skirt when she dances! I can’t wear that! Do you know who’s going to come watch this performance? Her moves too are so….sexual! And ‘Heart’ was chosen to be the main photographer at the event!”

He consoles me. “Sad beauty. You need to explain to her that we don’t show all that skin in our culture and you guys need a more appropriate costume. Your guys’s moves too. Explain that your students and many religious people will be at the event. Also, make sure you tell her that you really love ‘Heart’ and are already nervous about performing in front of him. If she respects you, she won’t flirt with him.”

I smirk and stir my latte, “What you should say is, ‘If Heart respects you, he would not flirt with her.'”

He laughs, “Oh Sad Beauty. I already know he respects you. He is going to feel so uncomfortable and awkward. You watch, your performance will give him memories of meeting you last year and all of your guys’s intimate memories. He will not be watching her. And even if he does, you’re the one he’s going to be thinking of all day!”

“You think so?” I say a bit happier.

“Have I been wrong about you two?” he asks winking.

I shake my head and start gathering my stuff to go to my next class.

“There you go! Now go give a great performance!” he says.

“And if it’s not great?” I ask looking back at him.

He smiles, “It will be. And still if it isn’t- you call me and we’ll go get margaritas!”

I laugh. I am such a green eyed monster <3

Big, big, big news… an exciting start to Spring Break

After getting back from my coffee break with Mr. Photography dude, I wiped my eyes some more. Being with “Heart” is so damn difficult and I really feel frustrated with my love/hate relationship with “Prince Player”. Not to mention, that one best friend who bailed on our concert tickets still hasn’t paid me back…Plus, my one friend is forcing me to perform at her club’s annual end of the year event as soon as we get back from break, which of course…”Heart” will be the main photographer at (so I have to do well)! Also, I was really stressed about my final grades.

As I sit around wondering why my prayers keep getting ignored and the pressure keeps piling, I get an e-mail from the Office of Admissions at my school. Remember how I wanted to apply for the combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program at my school and my advisor said it’s too competitive and I’m not “eligible”…? Well, I applied anyway. AND I GOT ACCEPTED!!!!!! Eep! Here I was, getting harassed by people on what I hope to do with my life, shunned for my ADHD…and I rised!! <3

I closed my laptop and cried. I called my mother first, I knew she would be happy. She almost started crying too. Then, she asked me how in the world we were going to tell my dad. Shit. My dad. Getting a Master’s after graduation was not in the plan we discussed prior to starting college…and in order for me to fund it, I need him. Crap! My mom and I discussed some possible strategies and we planned on what to say to him. I felt good. Although I had some unfinished business with all the stuff going on in Chicago, I suddenly had new business to take care of in Denver.

When I got to the airport, I called one of my good girlfriends, Z. I needed advice on whether or not I should share this on social media. I never post things unless it’s something big (like this) or inspiring (also like this). Z said I definitely should. She was so proud of me. She knows all about my anxiety/ADHD attacks and all the people that tried to discourage me from my dreams.

I asked her if I should post now, or after I tell my dad. And this…is where I realized why she is an amazing friend. “Shahz…I think you should announce it now. If you go home, and your dad says no…you’re gonna cry all night and you will never post it. Then no one will know that this girl that they thought would make it somewhere in life DID! Regardless of what he says, you got accepted and that in itself is a big deal! NOW GO GO GO! ANNOUNCE IT!”

She was right. And so, right before I got on the plane, I posted. Instantly I’m getting “likes”, texts, and several notifications! Thankfully, my flight had wi-fi and I was able to keep up ;) Among the likes were both the men in my life (thank god, it shows they care about me), my students, my former teachers, and  my friends.

So who didn’t “like” it or offer me their congrats? My brother and my good friend that bailed on our concert plans…Sigh. I knew they wouldn’t. My brother and I still have a ton of sibling rivalry going on, he was the one that my dad wanted to get the Master’s…not me. I wish he was happy for me. And my friend…what is wrong with her? I’m not the one that bailed on her and wasted her money!

As much as I wanted to be upset, I had bigger things to worry about. My heart was pounding when I saw my parents at the airport. When we got inside our car, I told them I had “very exciting news” to tell them. My mom pretended she didn’t know and listened. After I was done, I was shocked by my dad’s reaction. He yelled “CONGRATULATIONS!” and high fived me. Holy moly.

After a while, he revealed his true feelings and said he would like me to look at Ivy League’s if I really want to get a Master’s. And that he expects me to work and find ways to fund it at the same time. Oh brother…

Well. I’ve certainly got lots to think about. But I will worry about it after break ;)

xoxo. S.

Heart’s Usual Finals Fiaso Part 2 (I Have A Life Too)

waitingI walk into Starbucks in sunglasses. Once again, I made the first move in asking “Heart” for the third day in a row yesterday if he will be coming to say bye. Yesterday was my last full day here before leaving for Spring Break, I was hoping he would say yes.

I see Mr. Photography dude drinking his latte. I wasn’t expecting to see him here, but since he is, I go talk to him.

“Why are you wearing sunglasses in the winter?” he asks.

Winter’s over hun. But he’s right, it’s a little too chilly out to be wearing these. I take them off and stare at him.

He spits out half his coffee. “Holy shit. Have you been crying?!?”

“This asshole” I say.

“Which one” he asks.

“Heart” I say. Mr. Photography dude rolls his eyes. “Go figure. I’m guessing he didn’t come say bye?”

I nod. “Every single day this week, I broke my own rules and texted him first. I got desperate and weak. Each time, he said he might be able to make it- and cancelled last minute. I was always ready to drop my plans to spend time with him. WHAT THE HECK? I should not have to plan my whole life schedule around him!” I say.

“Can you please tell him that?” he asks.

“That’s the kind of shit that makes him break up with me” I say sadly.

“What the absolute fuck- Shahz? Leave him then! Don’t let anyone treat you like that! You have a life too” he says.

I rest my head on the table. “I know but I feel bad! Every time I tell him, he would remind me that he has a sick mom and he works two jobs and school and every day is a stressful day for him.”

He shakes his head. “And you know something. Every day is a big day for you too! You have a mental disorder/learning disability, you work, you take hard classes, you volunteer-”

I stop him. “I know okay?”

“Why are you still on his side?” he asks.

I’m about to explain when I swallow and it feels like I just swallowed a rock. “Oh my god.”

“What?” he asks.

My throat hurts in a way it never has before. “Do I have mono?”

“WHAT????” he asks laughing.

I explain my throat pain to him. I explain all the symptoms I learned as a Health Sciences major.

“If this bastard gave me mono, he’ll have something come for him!” I say.

“Okay calm down, it might be strep…or the flu…or it’s just stress.”

I feel my neck some more. Whatever it is, it doesn’t feel good. Suddenly, I’m not looking forward to my three hour flight home. Yikes.

xoxo. S.

Heart’s Usual Finals Fiasco

waiting

“Or maybe we should stop this before we get more feelings for each other”. Oh no you don’t, not this time!

I am officially done with all of my finals. There is just one last thing I need to check off on my to do list. “Heart”.

Every finals week, he pulls this stupid line. And when we get back from break, he gets his act together and comes back. He said this right after my first final on Monday, is he nuts…? I told him to be quiet and study for finals- we can discuss it later.

I know my man well by now. He gets afraid quickly.

And then he admits that he wants to become more intimate. Oh god, not this again. “We have been doing the same stuff for a while now and it’s getting boring :(” he says.  “Prince Player” used this line on me within 4 months of our relationship…I’m kind of happy it took “Heart” a year and a half to say this. It tells me that I have kept him happy for this long :) But still, I have my boundaries and I don’t want him to cross those boundaries. Again I tell him that we will discuss it later and focus on his finals.

We plan for him to come say bye yesterday.

So yesterday- he texts saying he won’t be able to make it. Great. I had spent a lot of time doing my makeup and looking nice. I decided not to let it go to waste. I was planning on renewing my driver’s license later this week…but since I had some free time due to his cancellation, I decided to go. When I get to the DMV, I get a text saying he might be able to make it after all. Good grief. I’m making plans to go back home- but he texts that he actually won’t be able to make it. AHHH!!!! I wanted to scream.

The hard part is- I don’t know why he isn’t coming over. Is he busy or does he feel too attached to me? I don’t get why he is so afraid of being attached to me.

I shrug it off. Right now, I have priorities. One being that my license has expired. I go on over to the DMV and they get the process done very quickly. I love my new photo!!

And today, my last day. I wait and wait for him to text me. I finally give in, and remind him I have a flight back home tomorrow. He tells me that tomorrow is his hardest final and won’t be coming over to say bye after all :( Oh. My. God.

I am so tired. Why do I constantly plan my life around him?

xoxo. S.

All’s Fair In Love and Finals Week

week ahead quoteWait. It’s not him. Oh shit it is him.

Today, right after I released my original post  about it being a new week and putting last weeks dramatics involving Prince Player behind me, I decided to take a break from studying and meet “Mr. Photography dude” for coffee. And speak of the devil, who do I run into on my way?

It’s a rather warm but extremely windy day in Chicago. I didn’t do my makeup because…it’s finals week. Why do I bump into him at moments like this? The moment I see him, my hair is in my face and I’m sure there is an eyelash in my eye. We’re on opposite sides of the intersection and it’s our turn to cross. Well, it’s now or never. I toss my hair to the side and say “Hi”. He walks closer to me and says “Hi”. Great. It’s getting to be as bad as my run ins with “Heart”.

As soon as I walk past him, I spit the hair out of my mouth and struggle to get the eyelash out of me eye.

“Jesus Shahz. Need some help?” it’s Mr. Photography dude waiting outside.

“The devil” I say.

“What devil?” he asks confused.

“I saw Prince Player” I say as we head in.

His jaw is on the floor. “No! What happened!”

I shrug. “I said hey, and he said hi”.

He looks dissapointed and shakes his head, “You two”.

I laugh. “He probably thinks I’m mad at him. I’m not.”

“See! I told you you guys could put it past you.” he says.

I look up from my menu, “All I said was I’m not mad at him. I know he didn’t mean to upset me and he probably was just…being himself. I have to be careful in trusting him. I have to remember there are so many conflict of interests when it comes to my relationship with him.”

He analyzes me for a moment, “Yea. You have totally forgiven him.”

I shrug. I’ve got bigger things to worry about right now.

My ADHD treatment is giving me horrible stomach aches and chest pains. It is ridiculously hard to study. If I don’t take it, I get severe anxiety and if I do take it- it does this to me.

Also, “Heart” didn’t come over last week. If he doesn’t come over this week, I’ll be sad.

So here’s to a new week, and the most important week!

xoxo. S.

A Very Terrible Week, A Lesson in Loyalty

“He did not” Mr. Photography dude’s jaw is on the floor. I just told him how “Prince Player” put the ending to my already horrible week. I was just starting to be friends with him again.

On Wednesday, I was sleeping. As usual, roomie # 1’s boyfriend decides to come over and I wake up from my nap. I snapchat “Prince Player” and two of my other guy friends saying “Does roomies boyfriend live here or something?” And I go back to sleep. When I wake up I see responses from the two guy friends, but not “Prince Player” (although he opened it). Oh well, he never responds anyway.

So yesterday after practicing for my dance performance, I get home and pass out. I get a snapchat from “Prince Player” as I’m sleeping. It says “Hey! I like your roommates boyfriend!”

What? I’m confused. I remember the snap I sent him yesterday. And then I remember my roommate is in his class and realized he probably told her what I said and then sent that snap to me!!!!

Oh my god. I woke up and started praying that it wasn’t true. I wait for half an hour and my roommate is home. She is happy and asks me what’s up. I ask her if “Prince Player” said something about me….She said yes. I ask her what.

And oh my god. “He said you don’t like Taylor’s voice.”

WHAT. WHEN DID I SAY THAT? That’s not what I said! And he told her??? Does he not understand I have to deal with these people for three more months???

trustedI apologize furiously and tell her I have no control over what I say in my sleep. She seems okay with it, but disappointed. She says I should tell her if I feel that way. And then I feel awful.

She leaves to go meet her boyfriend (probably because Prince Player just told her I don’t like him in our apartment). And I snapchat “Prince Player” about how sad I am and how I thought that would stay between us. Just like everything else has always stayed between US. But does he get it? No. He says he is sorry and he was just “messing” with her. Oh hey, there’s nothing new.

I’m on the floor and crying. My new ADHD treatment cannot tolerate stuff like this, it gives me anxiety. He should know that by now. I tell him I need to talk to him. So I expect him to come over with flowers and chocolate. But does that happen? No. He doesn’t even call me.

Before I start plotting my own death, I text “Heart”. No response. I call Mr. Photography dude and our group of friends. I can barely speak as I am crying.

“I need to see you” I say. They agree. It is a well needed night out and we decide to go to Ghirardelli Chocolate Company <3 I put on a nice dress and do my my makeup. I feel better already.

And so. Here we are at the beginning of the story. I’m eating my sundae and confirming that yes, “Prince Player” did indeed do what he did.

There’s a word in Arabic for loyalty. “Heart”, Mr. Photography dude, and I all know it very well. The main rule about loyalty is, don’t be a rat. And well. I broke it and “Prince Player” broke it. But here’s the other side of loyalty,

“You would think that since he has known you since freshman year, and her and her boyfriend since sophomore year, he would stand by you” Mr. Photography dude says.

Aha. Bingo. And there’s that rule: the amount of time you have known/been close with someone determines how loyal you should stand by them. The longer you have known them, the more you should have their back!

“AND THAT’S WHAT UPSETS ME! He doesn’t know them like he knows me! We have been through so much together!” I say.

He nod, “And now you guys will get through this together”.

I look at him and shake my head.

“Shahz. Don’t be immature. You broke loyalty too you know. Would you like it if your roommates tell everyone that you drink, have a boyfriend and are introverted? If the first two things got into our community, you’re screwed” Mr. Photography dude says.

I roll my eyes at him, “Hello! I’ve barely known them for 7 months! And no! Obviously not. But they aren’t tight with me anyway, the one without the boyfriend has already told people all that stuff about me. So…I don’t care if they do! I have known Prince Player for almost three years and he knows better….”

He nods. “You’re right.”

We stare at each other. “So what will you do?” he finally asks.

“I can’t trust him anymore” I say sadly. I always liked how our relationship was so drama free, unlike mine and Heart’s. And now look what happened. Our relationship is officially TAINTED. I feel sick to my stomach.

“Are you gonna be okay?” he asks.

I try not to let him see the tears in my eyes and grab my purse, “I have to go. I have work bright and early tomorrow.”

He pulls me back and the tear runs down my cheek. “You’re one of the most loyal and genuine people I know. Don’t let this kill you.”

I smile and kiss him on the cheek. I finally get a response from “Heart”. He said he will come see me today.

So this morning I wake up happy in hopes of finally getting to see my man. Immediately I get the news that I got rejected to the internship I wanted the most. I try not to let it get to me as I have a big day at work and I’ll get to see “Heart” later.

I get home from work, all stressed and tired, and he says he won’t be able to make it. Fabulous.

It’s nice to know where everyone’s loyalty stands these days…

xoxo. S.

Exhausted, and it’s only Monday!

heart“Are you okay?” I am resting my head on the table and having my weekly Starbucks with Mr. Photography dude.

I shake my head. I am totally suffering from “burn out”.

1.) I was thrown into my new job on campus very quickly.

2.) “Heart” hasn’t talked to me in a while.

3.) My new ADHD treatment makes me sleepy.

4.) My friend refuses to pay me back the money she took from me when she bailed on our concert plans.

5.) Play practice is getting more intense. The director told me I could work on a lot of stuff…

6.) My friend wants me to perform at two events next month…do I really look like I have time? Although if I don’t do it, it will make me look bad because she is very close with “Heart” and might tell him things about me.

7.) I fill out internship applications non-stop.

8.) Oh yea, and finals are here.

My eyes start shutting.

“Oh my god. You need sleep!” he says.

So I come home, try to take a nap- but no it doesn’t happen. I forgot ADHD medications keep you awake :/

And so I lie in bed and think about “Heart”. I pray that he comes to visit. Then I think about other people in my life. Then I think about my past. Then I think about everything bothering me. My heart beats faster and faster. And then I can’t sleep.

Yes, you could say, I’m exhausted.

xoxo. S.

Nervous…and other weekly musings!

“Do you hate me?” I asked when I felt him behind me.

“No…do you hate me?” he whispers in my ear.

That was me and “Prince Player” at a meeting two years ago. And here we are now. I stare at him. He looked the same way he did freshman year, except he wasn’t 18 anymore. Prince. Player. It’s like I hardly know him anymore- where did our friendship go?

This week started out as it usually does. No surprise calls from “Heart”, roomies boyfriend sleeping over on the couch without permission, and the fight with one of my best friend’s still continuing. Nervous.

My new medication has made me very irritable. People have noticed. I try to tell myself “I have ADHD” and not the other way around, but…it tends to get the best of me and I forget. Nervous.

Yesterday before the meeting I saw “Prince Player” at, I walked by a table of girls staring down at me. I gave them one look. And then I recognized them, they are apart of the activist group “Heart” is involved with on campus. I started to panic. OH. MY. GOD. Do they know about us??? Nervous.

I rush on over to the meeting. Outside the meeting area, I saw Sam. Sam is very close with the activist group. I pulled him aside. As I explain the dilemma, “Prince Player” walks by. I quickly pause the story and yell “Hi!” and continue. Then he quickly says “Hi” without a smile and walks by past me. He goes over to my roommate…shit I thought. What did I do now? Nervous.

After the meeting, I rush to find Sam so he can clarify my dilemma. But I see “Prince Player” and we are walking towards each other. He’s not smiling, uh oh, this is going to be really awkward I think to myself. We say hi. And all of a sudden, he smiles! He mentions that I was nice to him for once. Uh…what?

“I just…I just…I mean earlier I said “Hi” and you walked past me” I said shocked and sort of happy he isn’t mad at me.

“Oh that’s because you were talking to someone” he said. Right. Sam. I will have to check on that later. Seeing player is a rare opportunity these days so I have to talk to him. I start babbling about how I always think he hates me. And then he starts babbling about how he always thinks I hate him. Great. I am glad we agree on something. And so…we are at the first line of this blog post. He’s talking but I hear minimal. I keep wondering about our journey in my brain. How did we end up here?

dont-make-me-laugh-im-trying-to-be-made-at-youOur conversation felt new. As if, he didn’t know me. He mentions that I always make him nervous and that’s why he never spent too much time with me. Oh my, if I made him nervous, can you imagine the way he makes me feel? Does he not know that my stomach turns upside down and my heart beats fast when I’m with him! Ah, nervous. I wonder if he knew that was my word of the week…

Anyways, he was leaving, but I needed to clear the air with him. So we walk home together. I couldn’t stop laughing. I missed that about our friendship. As he spoke about his feelings toward me, I was shocked. Everything he said about me, was exactly how I felt towards him. He asks about “Heart” and I tell him the truth- I love him, but it just won’t work out (Heart’s choice not mine). As I think about everything he has said, he talks about another girl. Why am I not surprised. It is then that snap back to reality and I remind myself of why I should never get involved with him again. He is a player, I am his second choice, and I should not trust him. Nervous.

But I came home and saw that “Heart” posted on Facebook about his play, and he didn’t invite me. If ” Prince Player” was in a play, he would invite me.

“OH MY GOD. JUST WEAR A SEXY OUTFIT AND SHOW UP! SURPRISE HIM” Mr. Photography dude the “Heart” supporter says as we were working out this morning. “What part of he didn’t invite me don’t you get?” I say about to drop my weights.

“You never invite him to your events right? The fashion show? The play?” he asks. He’s right. But that’s different. “Okay that’s different. I would feel very nervous if he was in the audience. I’d get distracted and mess up!” I say.

“Aha. That’s why he didn’t invite you. Let him do his show then. If he does well, he will come back to you and tell you about it” he says.

Right. I’m gonna try not to think about him for a few days. But I’m nervous.

xoxo. S.