A Moment Before I Go…

Dear readers,

I wanted to take this time to say…bye for now. And by “bye” I mean a week. Or until something funny/miserable happens in Boston and I need to share it with you all. That’s13173804_814105715391933_8374924321319640553_n actually why I’m leaving you for a bit, next week I move into my little studio and begin orientation! I’m excited and nervous.

These past three months of summer have been stressful because of all the planning I had to do to prepare for this new chapter in my life. Endless resumes, apartment hunting, missing my friends. That sums it up.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how in the world I will find a job, balance a full time job (if that is what I get) with school, commute 45 minutes back and forth to classes, and how I will make new friends and get over old ones.

The answer right now is, I don’t know. But I’ll do the best I can. And I will try not to break. Here are some things I have learned and hope to remember during tough times.

1.) What someone thinks of you is their business, and not yours. Thot. Princess. Fussy. These are the words people referred to me as. And I frankly, do not give a damn.

2.) There is only one person you should be competing with, and that is yourself. Most of my friends that graduated with me already have $60,000 starting salary jobs. I’m jealous. But I know I have a dream of having the letters MP and H next to my name. And goodness, I will not let anything stop me from that.

3.) Never apologize for how you feel. Be sad if you want to be sad. Be upset if you want to be upset. Be happy if you want to be happy. Life is too short to constantly defend the way you feel.

4.) There is a time for love and babies. A lot of my friends got married or pregnant this summer. My relatives keep asking me when I’ll do the same…Again. Hello! I want a guy. I want a mini-me.  But then again, it’s not time for me yet. When it’s my time, it’s my time. And I will celebrate. But right now, it’s time to further my education.

5.) Boys will come and boys will go. Their loss, not yours. Every time some guy leaves my life, I am an emotional wreck. Us Sagittarius women feel deeply. And I feel. When I ache, I ache bad. I don’t think this will ever change, but something I can change is my attitude towards it. Whenever someone leaves, I say to myself, “Oh it’s because I was too this, or too that”. When in reality, I was just fine. giphy-facebook_s

6.) You’re worth a lot more than a hook-up. So try not to do that again. Please.

7.) Your friends and family are still only a minute away. I miss all my Chicago friends so much. But in today’s world of Snapchat, FaceTime, and Skype… I know I can see them when I want to❤

And lastly…

8.) I’m only 22. I have barely seen the world. I need to forgive myself for the stupid things I do. I need to learn from the stupid things I do.

And so that’s that🙂 Farewell for now readers. Our good friend Aaron at Peckapalooza will stop by to do a guest post as I anxiously move in and participate in orientation. Do send letters (and some cookies). And I’ll post when I can!

xoxo. S.

I’m Good :)

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my last year of college begin. Aside from working, taking 5 classes, and studying for the GRE- it was a really memorable time. In love and friends.

I still remember what “Prince Player” said during our first fiasco this year. “This is so small! There are more important things than our relationship!” I was sad that day. I didn’t know what he meant. To me, people and the relationships I have with them are everything.

But on Tuesday, as I sat in the doctor’s office, I knew. That player was right. There were more important things!

Such as being 22, young, and happy, and finding a lump right before you’re about to move to a new city and accomplish the dream you worked so hard for.

I breathe in and out. I think about the day before. On Monday, my dad took me to my favorite restaurant. He doesn’t really like the place, but I do. When we were done, he put his arm around me and smiled, “Are you happy?” he asked. I sigh. “Of course Daddy”. My whole family knew I was anxious and tired of being sick, they were doing small things to cheer me up.

My mom told me everyone was praying for me.

“You told grandma and all my aunts?” I ask.

“Well gosh Shahz. I had to let it out. It’s hard for me too you know” she says.

I squeeze her hand. “I know, how did they take it?”

She shakes her head. “Not good. You know, they were all excited for you. And then this. We’re all disappointed”.

I hug her. “It’s all going to be okay, mama”.

***FullSizeRender(4)

I’m nervous Tuesday. All the classical music playing in the office is not calming at all. I start praying again. I tell God that if I’m okay, I’ll take better care of myself. I’ll stop doing things I don’t want for people. I won’t push myself beyond my limit. I’ll stop staying up for guys that don’t want me the way I want them. I won’t-

“Shaz?”

I stop praying.

Dr. Hart, the radiologist has arrived. I breathe.

“So yes. The lump is still there, I could feel it. But I don’t see anything on the ultrasound. Your platelets were high as Dr. Clark said, so maybe your body was just fighting off an infection. It is fading. I don’t see any cause to take it out. Just keep an eye on it and keep taking ibuprofen three times a day”.

I’m so happy I could cry. Bless. Bless. Bless.

The nurse fills out the paperwork.

“You’re leaving for Boston Monday right?” she asks.

I smile and nod.

“Good luck! We’ll be rooting for you!” she says.

I smile even bigger and thank her. I am so blessed.

I find my mom and tell her the good news. She smiles bigger than I do. “Let’s go buy some things for you to take to Boston!”

“Can I have like 5? I have a few calls to make…” I say.

She gives me a look. I smile at her. “Ah” she says winking.

After calling my dad and brother, I call Mr. Photography dude. “I’m good” I say.

“Oh thank god. Yasmeen and I were worried sick during the training!” he says.

I laugh. So I call Yasmeen next. “I’m good” I say again.

“I am so so happy for you love! Thank goodness” she says.

I smile. And then I call my mentor. He recently got his MPH and knows how important it is to me.

“Yes!!! Thank goodness! See, I told you that you had nothing to worry about!”

I smile and go find me mom.

“Now you gotta call my family and dad’s family” she says.

Oh goodness. She calls her mom (my grandma) first and hands the phone to me.

“Oh my gosh Shahz! You gave us all a scare didn’t you?” she asks.

I laugh. “Grandma. I told you not to worry about me!”

“How am I supposed to not worry about you? You were my first granddaughter! My baby! I love you, Shahz”.

Aw. I speak with my aunt (from dad’s side) next. She has a history of this issue and knows the pain.

“Thank god Shahz. Now that that’s over. Try to de-stress and relax now. Please” she says.

FullSizeRender(3)I promise her I will. And then I promise myself.

I shop a little and go to dance class.

When I get home, I think a lot about the promise I made to God. About being better to myself. I’m going to do it this year for sure.

Any self-care tips? Comment below!

Thanks to all of my readers for being supportive this past week. The e-mails I got from you, comments you left me, all of it, kept me going. I truly believe all our positive thoughts is what helped me feel better! I love you all, with all my heart. Boston here we go!

xoxo. S.

Crumble

“You know, it’s really hard for me to watch whenever you or your father suffer because both of you work so hard to make others happy, and then, when it’s time for you guys to be happy- no one can make you happy, because you guys are given a battle that is just too hard for anyone to fix”.

I sigh and stare at my mom. She has never said anything so true.

3 months ago our biggest problem was finding a place for me to live and figuring out how I will adjust in Boston. “We’ll just see how the cookie crumbles!” I’d tell my mom.

Now, I take the ibuprofen out of her hands. And pray I feel better soon. So far, I have just been very optimistic. I heard that positive thinking helps.

unnamed“Shaz. Put your phone away. Stop helping people” my mom says.

I roll my eyes. “Mom. Helping people is my life mission” I say continuing to text my former student who is going through a crisis.

“Yes. Why don’t you help yourself before you help the world” she says rolling her eyes.

I get a call from Mr. Photography dude. “I have to get this. It’s a friend call. I promise”. She shrugs and leaves.

“Hey sorry I missed your call earlier. How are you feeling?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

“Better actually. I don’t feel as much pain” I say.

“Good! Our prayers are working!”

I smile. “Yea, they sure are. Hey listen. I called earlier to ask you a favor” I say.

“Consider it done!”

I laugh. “I haven’t even told you what it is yet!”

“Well you never ask me for help. And even when you do. It’s a tiny help. So whatever it is. I’ll do it”.

I sigh. “I never ask anyone for help. But my mom says I need to start because I’m not helping myself enough”.

“Okay, shoot”.

“I was supposed to train our new Executive Board Tuesday-” I begin.

“You can’t. You have your ultrasound then. And if they decide to do the procedure, you definitely won’t be able to train them” he says.

“Right. Can you do it for me? I’d change the date but it’s the only time that worked for each of them because they are all in different parts of the world right now. I know it’s time consuming. But you know the club inside and out-”

He laughs. “Shaz! It’s fine. Yes, I’ll do it. Just forward me the handbook and bylaws”.

I sigh. “Oh thank god. You are a lifesaver” I say.

“Take care of yourself. Please Shaz” he says.

I tell him I will and hang up. I get an email that a few of my classes have been loaded onto Blackboard and I already have homework :0 Much to everyone’s surprise, I start doing it.

When I’m finished I go to dance class and call Yasmeen.

“Look, I’m like one of those girls that don’t wear a bra!” I show her on FaceTime.

“Oh my god! You can barely tell! How did you pull that off???” she asks laughing.

The lump makes it too painful to wear my usual very sexy bras. But I still need support because I am not flat chested. So I wear two tank tops underneath my shirt.

I show Yasmeen. “Wow. You’re a genius” she says.

I sit back down. “Sometimes a girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do”.

Yasmeen is taking over my club so she updates me on things. She tells me about one of my colleagues have been bullying her. It makes me disgusted. And I know my mom said to help myself before I help others, but no. I give them a call and speak my mind.

“How dare you?” I begin.

“Now Shaz. What are you still doing in this business? You have graduated. And last time I heard, you’re not feeling well” they say.

Oh hell. I am not feeling well and have worked my absolute hardest to cover it up. That’s it.

“SO? You think I’d crumble?? No way. You mess with her, you mess with me. And you don’t want to go there. I am the former president. And she is the new president. Give her all access!”

They obey.7fa99daa9a13afbd1c263a7b211ebf09

I hang up the phone. Holy shit. SHAZ IS BACK.

You think I’d crumble? Oh no, not I😉

2 days until ultrasound. 7 days until Boston. I GOT THIS. (I think).

xoxo. S.

The Chapters of My Book

“Dad says you have to get something surgically removed?”

My eyes widen. My brother knows now??

So it’s been a crazy few weeks. When I went in for my physical last week, the Vitamin B-12 and D deficiency was not the only thing that was found. I had a lump. In the best part of my body. I didn’t say anything because Dr. Clarke said it’s fine and nothing to worry about.

But it still kept hurting. Really badly. Like the day before yesterday, my parents were gone all day, and it was just me and my dog. I was sleeping all day because that’s the only thing that keeps the pain away. I woke up to find her, laying on my chest, on top of the lump, right where it hurts. And she looked at me with sad eyes. Like she knew. Something that should not be there, was there.

First, I called Yasmeen. Yasmeen’s mom is a nurse. They said I have to go back to the doctor, even if I already saw her last week and she said it was nothing. So, I called the doctor’s office immediately. They said they would be able to see me the next day (yesterday).

“Back so soon huh Miss Shaz?” Dr. Clarke says smiling.

“Yes Dr. Clarke. I think the lump got bigger” I say.

“Now Shaz. I told you it is possible that may happen. You are going through a lot in your life right now. You are about to move to a whole new city and about to start grad school. That could be causing your hormones to go up an down. Causing this lump. But if you think it has changed, I’d be happy to take a look” she says.

I try not to roll my eyes. “Yes, please”.

She pokes around. “Okay so yes you are right. It is definitely different than what I felt last week”. She takes out a little book that has notes and a ruler attached to it. She does a measurement. “Yup. I would think that is cystic. I’m going to need for you to go get an ultrasound. If it is problematic, you will need to get it out. Now that’s going to be very uncomfortable. And then you will need 4-6 weeks recovery time”.

What? What the fuck? How could she say that all like it’s no big deal???

I try not to cry. “I’m leaving for grad school is a week and a half.”

“Right. I’ll get Stacey to schedule an appointment with the hospital for you” Dr. Clarke says and leaves.

My jaw drops. What? What happened to “you’re moving and starting grad school? it’s probably just hormones?”

I breathe in and out. I hear Nurse Stacey calling different hospitals and spelling my last name. She comes in a few minutes later. “Okay so the soonest I could get you in was next Tuesday. Make sure when you go, you bring someone with you” she says.

“Okay” I say sighing.

I go back to the car where my mom is waiting. I start crying.

“Oh my god what? What is it? Shaz?”

I tell her everything.

“God help us” she says. “How will you go to Boston now?”

“I don’t know” I say sadly.

“Okay. So I called the mattress guy. He says he can give us the twin bed set for $200 or the queen bed set for $250. What do you think we should do?”

My jaw drops. How can my mother still be planning my move? “Mom. I have the lump the size of a marble in my boob/armpit.”

She looks at me. “Okay I know”. We stay quiet through the whole car ride.

When we arrive my dad is in his office, finishing up some work.

“Go” my mom says.

I shake my head. As strong as my dad is, he can’t take news like this. He will act like he can, and then he’ll get sad and keep it all bottled up in side.

“Shaz has the lump a size of a marble. It grew from last week. She needs an ultrasound, the soonest they could get was next week. She has to get it taken out if it’s bad. They will do it right then and there. She will need 4-6 weeks recovery time.”

Yes. Thank you mom.

My dad stays quiet. “Are you serious? They couldn’t get her in sooner? Do they know she is leaving in a week and a half?”

We all stay quiet. And my dog comes and stand next to me. I pet her.

“Yes they do. I don’t know how she can go to Boston if they have to do the procedure” my mom says.

“Oh she won’t be going” my dad says shaking his head.

“What are you talking about? She has to! She has orientation and school” my mom says.

“Um yes. I think her health is much more important than orientation and school. They will understand a medical emergency” my dad says.

I stand in shock. “Or. Maybe. It’s nothing. And they won’t even have to take it out!” I say piping up.

They stay quiet. So I go outside to get some fresh air. How did this happen to me? Bad things aren’t supposed to happen to good people. Did I mention I have severe anxiety and ADHD?

I hear them talking inside.

“Maybe she shouldn’t go to her dance class today. She should take some rest” my mom says.

“Let her dance! She needs to relax after getting news like this” my dad says.

I laugh to myself. My parents are cute.

“Shaz…Shaz habibti…” I hear my dad calling from inside. Oh god. I know that tone. He wants to talk about something.

“Oh. There you are. I was looking for you” he says with a cigar in his hand. He stands next to me near the lake.

“Don’t be scared. These things happen” he says.

I hide behind him. Crying is a major sign of weakness in his side of the family.

“I just can’t believe it’s happening now” I sniffle.

life-is-like-a-bookHe laughs. “Welcome to life. The chapters in your book, are not always going to go the way you want them too.” You know I had a lump in my armpit too right? It was right as I was coming to America. I had two small children. I was the CEO of a company. I had to have it surgically removed. I hurt for 6 weeks, and I survived” he says.

I cry some more. “I’m not as strong as you” I say.

He puts his arm around me. “No. You are stronger”.

“Think about the good things. You don’t have anyone to take care of. And we have good insurance. So if something happens, you can stay with us and we will watch you until you feel better. And our insurance will take care of the procedure. There are many people that don’t even have those luxuries” he says. He’s right.

“I requested next week off. I was requesting off anyway to spend time with you before you go. So if you need anything, I’ll be there” he says.

Well that’s nice. He hasn’t really been able to be there when I had serious health issues in the past.

“And if not. We can watch movies all week!” he says. I laugh.

He goes back inside and I call Yasmeen.

Wallah. This is terrible. We’ll be praying for you” she says.

“If they put a knife or needle in my boob, I ain’t going to school” I say staring out into the lake.

“Oh my god! Stop! Don’t say that. Just hope that it’s good. You had lumps before right?”

“Yea but the doctor would immediately say it’s fine. This is the first time she needs an ultrasound!” I say.

“Okay..well what about cysts? You’ve had a cyst before right? And it went away on it’s own?”

I think back. “Yes. Yes I did. But that one was fine. It wasn’t as uncomfortable as this one” I say.

“Okay. Well 80% of lumps are nothing anyway” she says.

I laugh. She’s right. I go to my dance class. My upper body hurts so much more than usual. I pass out as soon as I get home.

The call from my brother awakes me. “Dad says you have to get something surgically removed?”

“Yes uh well hi to you too” I say. Then I sigh. My brother was always the weaker one of in these situations. He just bought his own place and got a new job. I don’t want to upset him.

“Look it’s fine. It’s most likely nothing. But if it is, they have to take it out” I say.

He seams sad. “I see. Well either way. I know this lump or whatever is pretty uncomfortable for you and mom and dad aren’t coming to help you move in. But I can fly in if you need me” he says. That’s nice of him. I tell him he should. And I go back to sleep.

This morning, I wake up well rested. But aching. I get a phone call from Mr. Photography dude.

“What’s wrong with you?” he asks.

I rub my eyes. “Nothing” I say.

“You know all about the drama with the new executive board right?” he asks.

“Yep” I say.

“Well Yasmeen says I shouldn’t stress you out with it because you have a lot of serious things going on. What does she know that I don’t?”

I feel like he’ll find out anyway. So I tell him.

“Holy shit” he says.

I take out my iPad and look at my snapchat to distract myself. I haven’t been on it lately because of everything going on. I see one of player’s stories. “When you leave yo girl’s house” the caption reads with a 5am filter.

“Oh my god! You’re not gonna believe what player just posted!” I say changing the subject.

“Oh my god Shaz. Stop. He’s probably just messing around. FOCUS. Focus on your issue!” he says.

“Right” I say putting my iPad down.

“When did you meet him anyway?” Mr. Photography dude asks me.

“The first week of school” I say.

He laughs. “I rest my case. You’ll meet someone new the first week in Boston!” he says.

“I might not even be there for the first week” I say.

“No don’t say that!” he says. “Remember what you wrote on your blog last week? About being resilient? Be resilient, woman!”

He’s right. It’s time to be the strongest I have ever been. In this chapter of my book.

xoxo. S.

 

Night Out Playlist!

Make UpHello readers! This week I have partnered with Airtime to show you their new app🙂

Have you ever wondered why ladies take so long to get ready when you’re all planning to go out? I can tell you, when it’s just me, I take too long because I’m trying to get my lipstick and eyeliner on point. But when I’m with my friends…? Well, we take too long  because we like to run around playing music, dancing, and taking lots of pictures!

One time, I was at my house getting ready, and my friend Sherry was at her house getting ready, and we were FaceTiming. I heard Sherry play these songs in the background and I kept asking her to turn it up because I liked it.  And I was like, damn. Wouldn’t it be nice if she could just send me her playlist through our little video conference. Well. Now she can! And you can too! Airtime allows you to share anything from Youtube, Spotify, and Soundcloud through your video conference with up to 5 friends! It doesn’t matter if they’re in the same room as you, 20 minutes away, or in a whole different country.

These are a few of the songs on my “getting ready for a night out” playlist!

Make Up- R. City feat. Chloe Angelides

Cheap Thrills- Sia feat. Sean Paul

Sorry- Beyonce

One Dance- Drake

Kill Em With Kindness- Selena Gomez

NO- Megan Trainor

Drunk on You- Luke Bryan

Bailando- Enrique Iglesias feat. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, & Gente de Zona

What’s on yours? Comment below!

The awesome part about Airtime is it’s not just for music. So if you don’t want to go out and stay in, that’s okay too! You can use the app to have a large chat/video conference with your friends🙂 You know I’m so going to use it in Boston to catch up with my loves in Chicago❤

Be sure to check out Airtime! Available for both iPhone and Android🙂

xoxo. S.

Rest Day

“How are you feeling?” Mr. Photography dude asks on FaceTime.

I make a face. My grad school requires we get a physical before coming into college. So they can make sure we got our immunizations, are in good condition to attend school, and what not.

So when I visit my doctor on Monday to get the physical done, I told her about my increased tiredness, fatigue, cold, and weight.

I think back to how I was feeling so tired around graduation (I’m usually really energetic during big events like that!) I think back to how it would hurt when a friend hugged me goodbye (not emotionally) and when “Prince Player” cuddled my on our last night. And then I think back to the past few weeks. About how I’ve been bruising easily. About how I’ve been feeling sore after doing tiny chores around the house. About how I’ve been gaining weight even when I teach a dance class twice a week and work out 4 times a week.

I tell her all these random details as well (even the part about it hurting when “Prince Player” cuddled me!) She laughs, “Oh dear, that’s not supposed to hurt”.

“Exactly” I say.

“Stacey. I need to submit an order for a blood test” she says calling her nurse in.

I raise my eyebrows. “We’ll need to check if it’s your thyroid again”.

I nod. I remember. That’s the reason why I decided not to take the summer job in Chicago in the first place, something in my body was off- thyroid or not thyroid.

“I’ll call you tomorrow if I notice something. If not, I’ll send you an email” she says.

I nod and get the blood test done. It wasn’t too bad this time.

Sure enough, as I was shopping with my mom for more stuff to take to Boston on Tuesday, she called.

She tells me it’s not my thyroid. That there has been a high increase in my platelets. And that my Vitamin B-12 and D counts are dangerously low.

“Do you understand Shaz? You are Vitamin B-12 and D deficient. Neither is good. I have written two prescriptions for you, but you need to come into the clinic to get a shot too. I’m full all week. But how about you come first thing in the morning when we open on Thursday? That way we can make sure you feel better as soon as possible. And then in 2 months or so, we can check your blood again and see if there’s been improvement.”

Oh. my. god.

I tell her Thursday works for me. When I hang up, my mom is staring at me with a rice cooker we liked in her hands. “What? What did she say?”

“I’m Vitamin B-12 and D deficient” I say.

Her jaw drops. “How is that possible? B-12 is when you don’t eat enough chicken and meat and stuff. And D is when you don’t go out in the sun enough. And you do all of that!” she says.

I sigh. “I know. Dr. Clarke said I have poor absorption though. So. It doesn’t matter” I say.

She puts her arm around me. “It’ll be okay”.

So that would bring us to today.

“Would you like it in your hip or arm?” the nurse asks me as I see her prepping this giant injection.

“My arm” I say quietly.

She stabs it into me. My eyes widen and I hold my face like I had a stroke.

Holy moly.

And then she takes it out. I exhale. “You okay?” she asks smiling.

I smile my big fake smile and nod. She leaves the room.

“Son of a bitch” I mumble to myself. I poke around where she gave me the shot, there’s a huge bump and I still feel the pain.

The doctor comes in a few minutes later. “Okay sweetie. So this should help you feel better. I would recommend more shots but I understand you are leaving soon which is why I prescribed tablets. After you finish your first month’s supply, call me and I will send it over to your local pharmacy in Boston.”

Well that’s good.

So when I get home, I feel my whole right side of my body ache. The doctor said that may be a side effect as I got my shot on my right arm. I also start throwing up. The doctor said that would be a side effect as well.

I call for my mother. “Oh honey, you better rest up” she says. My dad had a conference downtown today and we were all supposed to go.

My dad comes into my room in his suit. “See. Now aren’t you glad you didn’t take that summer job? Imagine what would have happened if you were there now” he says.

I pull my blankets up to my head. “Yep” I say. As crappy as I feel, I still miss my Chicago friends😦

“We’ll be going now. Call us and update us on your condition” she says.

I nod and go to sleep.

When I wake up I lay down with my dog and watch “The Good Wife”. I post it to my Snapchat story saying “It’s a lay in bed and watch the Good Wife kind of day” with the sick emoji.

A few minutes, I see a snap-chat response. From “Prince Player!”

It’s a cute emoji. I send him one back. We tell each other we miss each other. He asks me how I am and how being home is. I exclude all the details about what has been going on and tell him it’s been nice. It really has been. I’ve gotten lots of me time. I ask him how Chicago is. He says it’s really hot. I smile to myself. I miss those summers in  Chicago. It in-french-you-dont-really-say-i-miss-you-you-say-tu-me-manques-which-means-you-are-missing-from-me-quote-1doesn’t hold a candle to the 100 degree Houston heat. He asks about when I’m leaving for Boston and how exciting it is.

“It’s going to be so weird without you coming back to Chicago…it just hit me you won’t be here” he says after a while.

I take a deep breath. I think about our last night together. About how quick it was, and about how we both felt. Even though we didn’t share how we felt, I think we both knew.

“I know babe” I respond. We talk some more and then he stops responding.

And then we get back to where this post began. Mr. Photography dude calls a while later to check up on how I’m doing. 

“I can’t do shit. I thought shots were supposed to help you feel better. But this is making me feel worse!” I say.

He laughs. “It’s just a side effect. It will work soon.”

Then Sidekick joins. “I have exciting news for you” I say.

“Player?” he asks with a smile on his face.

I nod and fill him in.

“Wow. It just hit him?” he asks.

I roll my eyes. “I told you. People grieve in different ways. Some people feel it immediately. Some people feel it later. That’s the difference between me and him”.

“So how do you feel now?” he asks.

I look away.

“Do you still miss him?” he asks.

I nod.

“It’s okay” he says.

“I miss everyone” I say.

“We miss you too” he says.

I hold my arm where the shot still hurts. “It was just meant to be this way I guess.”

He looks at me sadly. “I think people seem to forget. It’s much harder for you because you not only had to say goodbye to us, but also your home of over a decade. You lived here longer than all of us. You are like a true Chicagoan.”

I smile. Amen. 

Mr. Photography dude comes back on. “Well. I hope you feel better Shaz. Don’t tell me what happens on Good Wife and enjoy your rest day!”

Lol. Rest day.

xoxo. S.

10 Things I Learned In College

enhanced-32537-1412193576-5Well, here it is readers. As I prepare for my next big education move, I am making one last reflection on undergrad! Thank you to Paul from the Captain’s Speech for his post on this topic last week, you are a wonderful opening act🙂

Let me start out by saying, college was no fairytale. I cried so much. I lost so much. Nothing went the way I planned. But in a way, I think a few years from now, I will look back saying…”that went better than I planned”🙂

I’d like to think (and I pray every day) that grad school is a second chance. A second chance to do things the way I wanted them to happen. So here are the things I learned and the mistakes I hope I won’t make in grad school.

1.) Be open to meeting lots of different people, but don’t be so open you share almost everything about yourself with people you just met- I am an open book. Well I used to be. So freshman year, in a lot of my classes and in my residence hall- I would just share my deepest darkest secrets randomly without thinking. I thought, “Hey. So yea I just met this person but they seem so nice they’re my new bff, what’s the worst that could happen?”. ALL OF THEM BECAME MY ENEMIES. AND NOW THEY HAVE MY DEEPEST DARKEST SECRETS!!!

So yea. Ever since the end of freshmen year, I don’t open myself up to people immediately anymore. Even with people I know, if they ask me personal questions, all they get is “Yes. Good. No. Maybe. Fine.”

And I realized. The people that are trustworthy, they will stick around, they will ask more and you will eventually open yourself up and they will value your trust.

2.) But don’t be so “closed” you miss out on a fun event or chance to meet new people! Just because you don’t want to open yourself up too much doesn’t mean you can’t go to social gatherings! Utilize all those events your RA puts on. All those “Meet the Dean/your Advisor” event yours specific college puts on. A dance. A cultural event. Anything. Take a chance! You’ll never know who you’ll met! I always imagine what would have happened if I told my friend I wouldn’t perform at her clubs event. 200 people showed up at that event. I met my then boyfriend and lots of my friends that are still my friends today!

3.) This too shall pass- Some of the worst things in my life happened while I was in college. But here is something one of my favorite Professor’s I TA’d for taught me, nothing lasts forever. And as my dad said in Hardships, most things are changeable.

4.) You are exactly where you are meant to be- I am a huge believer in fate. Often times in college, through my various heartbreaks in relationships, sickness, and failed classes- I had a hard time believing it. But in the end, I realized that everything that happened, was meant to happen. And even if I tried to change it, it wouldn’t have changed. Because you can’t control fate.

5.) I need somebody, and there is nothing wrong with that- Whether it is a significant other or a good friend, we all need someone. As much as I liked to say “I don’t need him!” every time Heart broke me, I did. Because let’s be honest, this world is too cruel to live in by yourself. Or at least it is for me. So establish who that “someone” is in your life. The one that will want to know if you got home safe. The one that will bring you soup/medicine when you’re sick. The one that you can call if something bad happens. The ones you can call if something good happens. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be a significant other! For me, after Heart, it was always Mr. Photography dude and Z.

6.)Be prepared to agree to disagree and respect different opinions- I think I saw this the most in my relationships as well as my Presidential role. College is going to be your first glimpse of the real world. Where real people will have opinions they didn’t even teach you in high school. Yes, I’m serious. When player said that thing he said, I told “Z” through tears, “I guess I’ll just have to agree to disagree”. And that’s true! Everyone deserves to have their own opinion and for it to be respected. Even if that means saying, “Okay that’s your opinion. That was lovely, thank you and goodbye”.

7.) Find something to do when you’re stressed- There will be pressure. Pressure from your peers. Your parents. Your professors. Your colleagues. It’s important to find a hobby and stick to it. For my friends it was video games, running, dancing, reading. For me it was writing. Find what helps you clear your head and do it.

8.) You don’t have to go to parties if you don’t want to-One time, when I was a freshman, I told one of my older classmate’s, “See…the thing is… I’m not really into love-picture-quotes_10296-1parties”. And she responded by saying, “Which is fine!” I think I went to maybe one party when I decided, “This isn’t for me”. Thankfully, I had lots of friends that felt the same way. So we would do other things like going to a club, bar, movies, shopping, eating. I never felt like I was missing out. I loved being with people I love, rather than with random people who I’m not all that fond of.

9.) Fight for yourself, you are your best ally! I tell this to my students all the time. Absolutely no one can feel what you are going through, so if you are going through something and not getting the help you need, talk to lots of different people and get it. My freshman year roommate was verbally abusive and I swear was getting physically abusive, I felt like she was going to hit me one day. I understood she had Borderline Personality Disorder, and I am an advocate for all mental illnesses, but I needed a room change. Immediately. You cannot simply live with someone who would try to hurt you. Especially as I was dealing with my own billion problems during that time. But, no matter how much I told my RA, all she wanted to do was “mediate”. And then her boss recommended the same thing. So I went to the head of the head of the head of the head of the housing department, who easily offered me a “room change request form”. What the fuck. That is all I had to do all along!!!! By the time I did that it was already May and I only had a month to go and I was just done. But to think, all I had to do was go up the ladder and could have gotten one year of my dignity back, meh. So yes. Fight for yourself. Even if you need to talk to the person on the highest step of that ladder, it is worth it.

10.) Nothing is worth your emotional and physical well-being- Ah so this is the most important one and I am trying to write this without crying. Whether it is you deciding to go to sleep after 5 hours of studying for that Bio test. Whether it is you deciding to stop crying after that guy broke your heart for the billionth time. Know that no, that Bio grade is not worth your wasted sleep. There are so many statistics on what a test does to the depression and anxiety levels of students. It needs to go down. Yes, study as much as you can. But when you’re eyes begin to close, let them close. And no, that guy is not worth the dehydration you are causing yourself from all those tears. No one is.

What do you wish someone told you before starting college? Comment below! Any tips for grad school? Comment that as well!

xoxo. S.

 

15 of the Most Memorable Things People Told Me In College

“Why should I, or what anyone else says, matter to you?”-Dad. Applause for my father. One time when my dad got into another heated argument about my major, and I got offended, he asked me this. And I was dumbfounded. I never cared what anyone else said, why should I start now?

“You call yourself a princess, and frankly, you’re acting like one”-the lovely Prince Player. Oy vey. The highlight of my Senior year. Talk about a wake-up call. Well. It’s true. When I first started this blog I wrote under the pseudonym “Sass Princess” to cover up who I was. I got the idea 13151503_810670489068789_7609353300163888535_nfrom my actual name, that means “Princess” in Arabic. I hate that my parents decided to name me something that others believe means “spoiled”. But if you pay attention to the fairytales, princesses are the ones that fought lots of enemies and battles to get where they are. They were resilient. And that’s why I called myself that. As for acting like one….Well. I don’t think so. I was loyal. I admit, I’m a little too loyal and selfish when it comes to people I care about. I’m sorry❤ Thank you for reminding me.

“Okay…so why should that stop you?”- Heart reminding me I was a fighter when my thyroid decided to stop working normally. I started gaining weight, my hair was thinning, he didn’t care. He encouraged me to keep going to classes, volunteer, dance, continue doing my performances, run my club, and be the badass President I am.

 “I don’t know you too well, but I can tell you’re really strong and try your hardest to make everyone smile. That you for that. You’re selfless attitude inspires me!” one of the girls “Prince Player” hooked up with. No kidding. Thank you for reminding me.

“It’s not the end of the world”- Heart when he broke up with me the third time. Sigh. Everyone that knows me well knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I easily let people into my life, and when they leave- I become a sensitive monster. This was Heart reminding me that it’s just a break-up. Thank you for reminding me.

“You don’t know what you want because you spend so much time giving it to others”- my roommate. During undergrad, I devoted 90% of my time to others. And I forgot all about myself and what I wanted. After a long day or week, I would rely on the people I love to give me the love I gave others (does that make sense?) But then I realized, that’s not really going to happen. I don’t think I should stop helping others (as it is my life passion), but I think I should give to myself a little bit more. Thank you for reminding me.

“You don’t know, what you don’t know”- Z. Holy. Shit. I have never hear something so real, something so true no matter what context you take it in. Thank you for reminding me.

“Stop crying. It’s okay”- Z that one time Heart did what he did. Sigh. Only best friends can say something like that to you and make you believe it. She finished this quote with “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it together. And when I find out whaFullSizeRender(2)t that Heart did to you, I will seriously dig his grave”. I love her to pieces.

“I hope your next lover takes you dancing, takes lots of pictures with you, and does everything else Bruno Mars said in “When I Was Your Man”!- Mr. Photography dude when I told him about my ideal lover. Thanks for hoping for me.

“Stop saying that. You can’t just leave!” Prince Player when I told him I’m moving to Boston and never coming back to Chicago. For once, I believed him.  Like how do you leave a place that you called home for TWELVE years?!? Thank you for reminding me.

“There is love in holding on, and there is love in letting go”- Yasmeen. I got into graduate school at the university I did my undergrad at as well. If I accepted their offer, I could have stuck around in Chicago for an extra year or two. But I knew I had to go. I gave so much to Chicago. Really. All of my heart, all of my love. It’s time to spread my love in Boston. Thank you for reminding me.

“I knew you could do it. You were always a smart cookie!”- my math teacher from high school when I told her goodbye and shared the news about BU. Thank you for reminding me.

“You are perfectly, imperfect”- Harris. I am a perfectionist to the point it could kill. It took a lot of friends and colleagues like Harris to show me that there are just some things I can’t be perfect at, and that is 100% okay. Thank you for reminding me.

“Failure is the first step to success”- my mama. Hell yea my mama was right!!! (read below). Thank you for reminding me.

“I did good” myself. I battled ADHD. I battled FullSizeRender(2).jpganxiety. I lost weight. I gained weight. I lost friends. I was betrayed. I was heartbroken. But. I was resilient. I excelled in one of the most difficult majors. I graduated on time. I almost graduated with honors. I won a plaque with my name on it for my outstanding service and leadership. I got into the 10th best graduate program in the country for my field. I’m so proud, and I pray my hard work will continue paying off.

I still can’t believe I’m done with undergrad. Every day, as I write and prepare for my next big move, it gets a tiny bit easier.

26 more days!

xoxo. S.

Worth It 

“Are you excited?” Mr. Photography dude asks when I answer my FaceTime call this morning.

“For what?” I ask rubbing my eyes.

“A month from now…you’ll have moved and officially be a resident of Boston!!!” he says.

Oh. Yea. That.

It’s crazy. I still can’t believe it. I tell him.

He tells me to believe it already. That I deserve this. To be happy.

Then Sidekick pops in for a bit. He updates me on his new awesome job and asks me the same questions.

“Any word from player?” he wants to know.

My eyes widen. I’ve been so caught up with the move, any time I think about how much I miss him or anyone else, I just think about something related to the move.

“No actually” I say.

“That’s sad. Considering how close you two were last summer” he says.

I laugh. “He said he talked to me then because he was ‘lonely’ remember? I’d rather him talk to me because he wants to” I say sadly.

“Oh yea I forgot all about that!” he says.

“Yea. I’d totally do last summer again though. Because this summer was lame” I say.

“You’d rather be working 16 hours a day 7 days a week?” Mr. Photography dude says getting back on the screen.

I have flashbacks of teaching my students Chemistry and Physics and watching them 24/7. And not being given a day off. Even when I was sick. “Oh yea. No I guess not”.

Sidekick shakes his head. “She means that talking to Prince Player every night after work was worth it fool” he tells Mr. Photography dude.

He rolls his eyes and looks at me. “Let it go.”

“Trying” I say.

I hear the doorbell ring so I hang up. There’s a package for me! I’ve been ordering a lot of stuff to take with me to Boston. This package happened to be from Famous Footwear.

I pulled out my new black pumps. They looked great!

My mom tells me to go put on a dress so she can “see how well the pumps go” with it.

So I do. I wear my favorite maroon hourglass dress I wear to events I make speeches at. I put on my new pumps and walk down the stairs.

My mom’s eyes widen. “Wow!! You look amazing honey!!”

I smile and agree. We gush over how 5 feet 1 inch me is suddenly 4 inches taller and look so beautiful.

As I strut and keep talking to myself in the mirror, I notice her staring blankly at me.

“Mom?” I turn to her.

“Huh? What?” she asks snapping out of whatever she was thinking.

I laugh. “Are you okay mama? You look like you’re thinking about something”.

She shrugs it off like its no big deal.

This is so unlike her. She’s always open with me. What is she hiding from me. “What is it?”

She continues to look me up and down. “I was thinking. I was thinking my daughter is so stunning and smart, and she settles for men that don’t want commitment and little jobs that don’t pay her enough” she says.

My jaw drops. This past year, she’s been depressed and hasn’t shared a lot of her feelings.

I didn’t know if I should be happy that she opened up or sad that she feels the way she does.

I close my mouth. “How do you know that mom? About the guys?”

She looks me dead in the eye. “I’m your mom” she says.

And then we stare at each other and begin laughing.

She looks at me and sighs. “Promise me you will find someone nice in Boston. And you get a job that pays well and gives you enough credit for what you do. Because you’re worth it“.

My heart melts. “I’ll try” I say.

FullSizeRender(2)It’s crazy how my summer, the last summer I’ll ever get to spend doing nothing is almost over. It’s crazy that I just got my diploma and I still can’t believe I graduated 2 months ago. Its crazy how expensive rent is in Boston. It’s crazy how many loans I have to take for tuition. Its crazy, how I may have to work a lot even though I have 5 classes to take my first semester. It’s crazy that I still can’t let anything about college go. It’s crazy how a lot of things I hope happened during undergrad, didn’t.

Who knew, that relocating would drive you crazy. I hope this move is worth it.

xoxo. S.

8 Lessons I Learned In University (by Paul)

Hello readers! Welcome to the new segment I like to call, “The Shaz Show”. Okay I just made that up. But it is my honor, to introduce to you, my first guest blogger! Paul from The Captain’s Speech is my best blogger friend. He has given me valuable advice through my toughest times at college. I feel like we had different experiences at college, but at the end of the day- we had similar ideas. As I struggle to accept the end of my undergrad journey and mope, I thought it would be nice to get Paul’s opinion on a few of the things he learned at college (and I’ll definitely make my own list soon). Enjoy!

University is all about making mistakes. Some of them are bigger than others. Some of them are embarrassing. Some of them are kept alive by friends, who make sure you never forget. But with all mistakes, there are lessons to be learned. Here are eight lessons I learned while in university.

1. You can’t rely on people to do their part properly when doing a group project.

There were about five days before Christmas break and I had never been so stressed in my life. Exams were going on and final projects were being completed. One of my projects was in a group that included three other people.

As always, I took it upon myself to put everyone’s part together. I never trusted anyone else’s editing or formatting abilities.

Well, we were coming down to the wire and as I received everyone’s part, I realized I was in trouble. One guy sent me his part and right away I knew it wasn’t his own words. Sure enough, I typed a sentence into Google and it showed up on Wikipedia. Most of his part showed up on Wikipedia. Instead of sending it back to him, I did his part for him.

Great.

Another guy sent me his part and it was all in broken English. English was his second language so I was understanding of the situation. But as I was editing it, I realized that there wasn’t nearly enough “good” content. I had to fill in the gaps.

Great.

By this point, I felt like throwing my desk out the window. I was fed up. I didn’t have time to do my part and everyone else’s part, and study for exams.

Thankfully, the fourth member of my group came over and we both worked on it together. But man, I had never been so frustrated to be in a group.

2. Make sure you have a towel.

My parents came up to visit one weekend (and by that I mean they stayed for an hour and went home) and decided to take some of my laundry home (I lived in residence). I think I was going home the following weekend, anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.

Well, they took my towels home. All of them. And when I say towels, I mean the towels you use after getting out of a shower.

The only towel I had left was a small Gatorade towel that you can wrap an infant in. I’m not an infant. I’m six feet tall.

So, all week, I had to use this small towel to dry myself. It wasn’t bad, it was just terribly inconvenient. I never realized how important towels were.

3. Don’t assume the professor can’t hear you talking in the back row.

Here’s the embarrassing one of the list. I took a Classics course called, Ancient Sport, with three friends I lived with in residence. We were all in different programs but coordinated our schedules so we could have this class together as an elective.

Well, one day we learned about the Hippodrome. If you don’t know, that was an Ancient Greek stadium where they held horse races and chariot races.

The seating in this lecture hall was on an incline, like a movie theatre, but steeper.

Being the giggly bunch that we were (because we cracked jokes about everything) we always sat in the second last row, so we could whisper to each other and not get caught acting like fools.

When the professor taught us about the Hippodrome, he asked the class, “How long do you think a Hippodrome is?” Immediately, I blurted out “8 laps.”

Everyone turned around and started to laugh, even the professor chuckled. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON. I wanted to crawl under the desk. First of all, I didn’t think anyone had heard me. I had said it under my breath, didn’t I? DIDN’T I? I guess I didn’t and the sound carried.

Second, he wasn’t asking for the length of the race. He was asking for the actual length of the track, as in how many metres or feet it would be.

I’m an idiot. But at least it was funny! I think.

4. Avoid the wobbly desk during exams.

You learn a lot in first year, especially during final exam season. Our final exams were held in both of our gyms, with a million and one desks making about three thousand rows. My math is accurate.

It took me about five exams, and some advice from an upper-year student, to realize that desk selection was extremely important.

You never want a wobbly desk or you’re going to be rocking back and forth like the Titanic the whole time, watching your grades sink. Nice analogy, eh?

I had the wobbly desk multiple times, until I got smart. Before claiming a desk and sitting at it, I would see if the desk wobbled. Then I would check the chair. Then I checked to see if it was a spot in the gym where the sun would hit. All very important details.

I once got stuck at a desk with the sun on my face the whole time. Didn’t help that I had a headache that day. And don’t get me started about the exam I was writing.

5. You can’t stay friends with everyone.

Most of the people I was friends with in residence in first year, I barely talked to in second year. It’s just the way it was. I went back to residence and they moved off-campus. I found a new friend group and realized I didn’t really fit with most of the first-year bunch. It was for the best.

6. All good things come to an end.

When you’re in university, you live in the moment without even trying. Each day is a new adventure. And when it’s all over, it feels like a part of you is shipped to Mars. I wasn’t ready for how I would feel once second-year ended (the best year of my university experience).

I also wasn’t ready for the last day of my final year. I was like a Doctor’s office that day, with appointments to say goodbye to friends every hour until 2am. It was a sad day. Walking out of my final exam felt surreal. I didn’t feel like I was in my own body as I walked across campus.

Those were some hard days and it made me wish I had appreciated the entire university experience a little bit more from the start.

7. You have to stand on your own sometimes.

I knew one other person at my university when I first arrived as a clean-shaven kid straight out of Grade 12. I wasn’t afraid of this situation. I also wasn’t afraid of moving away from home and not having my parents there to do things for me.

I loved being on my own. The cafeteria ladies quickly became my Moms-away-from-Mom and I made friends that became my family.

You don’t have your parents there to remind you to study, or start an assignment, or tell you that you can’t hang out with friends when you have work to do. You learn to make the right decision, rather than the fun one. And sometimes, you’ll be the only one making that decision.

8. You’ll have to do things you don’t want to do. Mainly, assignments.

There was an essay I had to write for my Ancient Sport class. I had to choose between two topics. I didn’t like either one, so I decided to go with the one that had more information in the library. That didn’t make my decision easier.

As always, I left it until the final day to start. I was sitting in the library with my friend, who was also in the class, and I was borderline yelling my frustrations with the class, essay, and the “stupid books”, at her. She had never seen me so angry. Then we laughed about it.

Eventually, I calmed down and got the essay done and got a good mark on it. That incident in the library was four years ago, but I’m sure if I mention it to my friend, she’ll remember it clearly.

What a day.

That’s my list. I loved university. I think it’s unfair that I spent 10 years in elementary school and only 4 in university. Oh well.

What were some lessons you learned in school? Comment below!

***Would you like to be the next guest on “The Shaz Show”? Write me! For more of Paul’s posts, check out his awesome blog: The Captain’s Speech