A Letter to Me, On the Eve of My 25th Birthday

Dear Shaz,

I hope you know none of what happened to you this year was your fault, and everyone is proud of you for pushing through despite everything that happened.

It wasn’t your fault your parents tried to arrange your marriage right after you graduated. It’s not really their fault either, almost all of your friends from your faith community got their marriage arranged right after or right before they graduated and all of them are living happy lives. Your parents only wanted what was best for you- and instead all of you got manipulated and it is nobody’s fault except your ex’s. Sorry love. Something better will come.

It wasn’t your fault your fiance changed his mind about you and kept it to himself, and eventually you had to call everything off when he started treating you so poorly to the point you couldn’t stand it because he didn’t have the guts to end the relationship. 

It wasn’t your fault your fiance demanded you to move across the country for him and within only months of living in your new hometown, you got laid off from your job and you had to return home. Companies have to do lay offs all the time, and a lot of times it is the first people who get hired that has to go. 

It wasn’t your fault you donated the gifts your fiance gave you. You don’t need gifts from anybody that disrespected you. 

It wasn’t your fault you got rejected to so many jobs and it took a while to get your first job, and is now taking just as long to get your new job. It isn’t always easy to land a job, even with your qualifications.

It wasn’t your fault you had to cancel your car lease and rental lease in California when you had to move back home. What else is one supposed to do when they lose their first job?

It wasn’t your fault you stopped writing and taking calls from relatives because you couldn’t put into words what you experienced in the last 7 months of your life. 

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It. Just. Wasn’t. Your. Fault.

So here’s to you Shaz!

Despite everything that happened, you totally nailed so many things in your life! You graduated with your Masters degree from a top 10 school, you worked temporarily for a top company in a high level role, you made an Instagram and got 100 followers overnight, and most importantly- you ended a toxic relationship because you knew you were worth so much more.

Just wait. 25 will be a great year for you ❤ You will see why everything happened the way it did 🙂

Love, 

Shaz

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I Was Born on A Cold December Night (What I Learned on my 22nd Birthday)

All my life, I despised my birth date. I was born on a cold December night and had to spend my first Christmas in the hospital. Now this is partially my fault. I was scheduled to be born in late January/early February, but I had my own schedule and showed up 2 months early :0

But still. Being born a few days before Christmas…came with more hardships than benefits. When I was younger, I was the one kid who couldn’t bring treats to class on my birthday…because there was never school on my birthday! As I grew older, I got used to people forgetting my birthday because it is so close to Christmas. My birthday, a very happy day for me, is a stressful time for most. Gathering last minute presents, travels, and more. Even if my friends and family did remember, I was used getting a “combined” Christmas/birthday present.

So when I got back to my hotel after the last post, I was sad. I thought about everything I encountered on my 22nd and all the things mentioned. My dad sits on my bed asking if I want to go and celebrate with him.

“Dad, this is the worst birthday ever. What is happening. It already sucks being a December baby- and then after everything that happened today, I just can’t” I say crying.

“You’ll have plenty more birthdays Shahz, come on. Go wear the gown Grandma got you. I’ll take you to the bar” he says.

I call Mr. Photography dude. “Birthday girl! What’s up princess?”I cry and explain the whole dilemma to him. “Holy shit. Seriously? Okay just. Calm down. Think about our cousins in the Middle East, they don’t get half the stuff we’ve gotten for our birthdays over the years. Yea you’re friends aren’t with you. Yea maybe a few of them forgot. Yea you’re tired as hell and you have a crazy family- but hell, you’ve got 2 hours left. Make the best of it! Go wear that dress and celebrate with your dad!”

I sigh. He’s right. Being a December baby does have it’s perks. It is the perfect time to take a vacation…and I am on vacation on my birthday so why am I not enjoying it?!? I go to the bathroom and open up player’s message, “Happy Birthday love”.

Aw. That’s sweet. It’s way shorter than any birthday wish I’ve ever given him, but from him- that is the longest wish I’ve ever gotten! I tell him thank you and he immediately responds. “Let’s go out and celebrate once we get back.” Wait what? ❤ When have we ever gone out? When have we ever celebrated my birthday?? I am oh so flattered and practically fanning myself, ready to respond to him, when…there is a knock at the door.

“Oh Shahz…it’s for youuuuuu” I hear my mom say. That’s odd. What was she talking about? I put my phone down. I quickly zip up my gown and head into our living room. My grandma is smiling and my dad has his camera on me- my mom is holding a beautiful chocolate cake with the words “Happy birthday Shahz” printed on it. Oh. My. God. My amazing family ❤

My mom presents me with earrings and a bracelet. My dad presents me with a new perfume set. And of course my grandma already gave me the gown I was wearing 😉 They each began taking turns putting a piece of cake in my mouth (the Indian/Arab thing to do on birthdays!). I laughed and smiled more than I did on any other birthday! 🙂 I couldn’t believe it, it’s almost like they set me up! The worst birthday ever…was slowly turning into the best birthday ever at the last minute 🙂

“I told you. Your parents aren’t who you think they are, they love you more than you know” my Grandma says as she kisses me when I thank her for the day and her gift.

Grandma heads to sleep and I thought we were all going to sleep- but Dad had another surprise 😉 He took my mom and I out, and we all had drinks and dinner near the Miami skyline ❤ My dad ordered me the oh so famous “Margarita Picante”and I was oh so…uh well…never mind! When it came time to close the bill, the waitress kindly asked if there was a special occasion as I was all dressed up. We explained it was my birthday. She immediately brought a delicious complimentary cake with a candle on it ❤ My parents tell me to make a wish, and I made one that I cannot say (or else it won’t come true!) and we were on our way back 🙂

When I get back, I was sent a video that my friends made for me!!!! I couldn’t believe it. I thought everyone forgot. But here were my friends, from all over the world, some working late night shifts, each took time to make a short birthday wish video and one friend put it all together and sent it my way ❤ Again, I felt as if I was set up (in a very amazing way) in that I was having a very horrible day…only to realize it was going to be one of the best days ever towards the end of the night!

“It was all Sara’s idea! I saw the video. Shahz, I hope you understand what an amazing person you are now. People all the way in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia all wished you! People that were at work used up their break to wish you! Seriously. People may forget your birthday- but no one, will EVER, forget how you made them feel and the impact you had on their lives” Mr. Photography dude says when I call him later that night.

I laugh and cry. I’m still stunned at how everything changed in the last two hours of my birthday. When you are born, you can’t chose your name, your race, your gender, or your family. I’ve struggled with all four in my life. It was hard having a naming like mine. It was hard being an Indian and Arab. It was hard being a woman. And oh, it was hard growing up with a family like mine. But one thing you can choose- is your friends. And I certainly chose the right ones ❤

But even so, I still love the four things I was born with ❤ Especially my family 🙂 I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and December with your families and loved ones! Thank you for those of you that wished me ❤

It doesn’t feel so bad anymore…that I was born on a cold December night 😉

xoxo. S.

***This post was continued from Before Leaving for Miami (almost birthday musings)and When in Miami (My 22nd Birthday)

Before Leaving for Miami (almost birthday musings)

Phew. I can’t believe how slow I have been at blogging during my winter break. This probably shows how little of a “break” I have been having! I hope all of you had a Christmas full of love and joy ❤

I got back from Miami exactly a week ago- and boy do I have a lot of stories to share about my birthday and visiting the place that used to be, and always will be, “my hometown”.

Thursday Dec. 17-Friday Dec. 18

I was excited to pack on Thursday night. My mom and dad booked tickets and they were excited to be joining as well. It was also nice to finally talk to “Prince Player” about our…uh…miscommunication.

When I was finished with my homework on Friday, and the rush of last minute packing slowed down, I got a call from Mr. Photography dude.

“It’s almost your birthday in Indian and Arab time! I wanted to be the first to acknowledge your birthday!”he says as soon as I answer.

I laugh. We talk about the trip a little and then I share with him that he was totally right about “Prince Player”.

“I got sad for nothing. Player was giving me a compliment when he said he’s not worthy of me! He said that I’m too good for him!” I say.

I could practically hear his jaw drop on the other end. “Did I not tell you? Why don’t you ever listen to me? I haven’t been wrong about the two of you this year!”he says laughing.

01 - xuuEzN2I stuff some more things into my suitcase, “I know, I know. But you don’t know him like I do. No one has ever hurt me like he did. My god if he ever does that again-”

“Why do you have to judge him on his past? Haven’t you ever made a mistake?” he asks.

“Trust me. Not as big as that” I say.

He’s silent. “Okay. Maybe. I’m not judging him on his past, God knows I wouldn’t want anyone to judge me on my past. But I’m scared. And I want to proceed with caution. That is all” I say.

“And that’s okay. But you’ve already forgiven him and you’re over it all so try not to act like you’re still going mad about it.”

I stay silent for a while. “Last night. I had a dream he got with one of my friends!”

Now he’s really laughing. “Oh my god. Just stop. It’s a sign that you’re too paranoid something bad is going to happen. When have you ever been a pessimist? You were always an optimist and see the good in everyone!”

I smile. He has a point. I tell him I’m probably going extra crazy this month because of all the situations at home and my thyroid (as mentioned in the last post).

“Just try to relax these few days. Think about yourself for once. Especially tomorrow. Don’t let anything get to you” he responds.

We read my horoscope because I don’t know, I’m an astrology nut…and it says to be careful in the matters of love on the 19th and 20th :0 MY BIRTHDAY. Uh oh.

He tells me that the last horoscope was basically wrong anyways so I shouldn’t pay attention and again assures me to relax.

Sigh. If only that could have been true.

(to be continued)

xoxo. S.

December baby musings

“Finally! I got to read who came to see Shahz before she left for Texas. I wish it was ‘Heart’…but if player makes her happier that’s good too” Mr. Photography dude says.

I laugh. “Stop it…. ” I say to Mr. Photography dude. Me, Mr. Photography dude, and Sidekick are all skyping.tumblr_nmgsahwbdP1tdg63do1_500

I like player…but what he said a few months ago about him needing to “just release” me plays in my mind. I shake it off. We only have a few more months left together and I should enjoy it.

“You know what’s funny?” I ask them.

“What?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

“Before leaving for break, I wanted ‘Heart’ to come say goodbye, but at the same time I prayed he wouldn’t contact me because if he did- I wouldn’t have been able to say no. And I didn’t want to talk to him. I still don’t. I think we’re going through a silent breakup” I say.

They look confused. “What am I missing? Last year you were acting like he was your world!” Mr. Photography dude says.

I run my fingers across my freshly coated nails. I think about our last interaction together.  “I guess I’m really mad that he made me feel different, and he’s mad because he finally understands what an emotional sensitive and anxious human being I am. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and I don’t think I did anything wrong” I say after thinking for a while.

“Common Sagittarius problem, both of you can’t swallow your pride” Sidekick finally chimes in.

I roll my eyes at him. “Hey what do you want for your birthday?” he asks changing the subject (he’s really good at this).

“Just forget about it, nobody ever remembers my birthday anyway” I say.

“Not true. Samira has this make-up palette that she wants me to bring for you. And it’s fucking weird because we broke up!” Mr. Photography dude says.

My jaw drops. “What???? Why????” I ask happy that we can move away from my drama for a moment.

“You know I don’t like commitment. Anyways, I don’t wanna talk about it. Who forgot your birthday? We never did!” he says.

201412_0939_hiaheI sigh. “Not you guys. But a lot of people! My first year of college, ‘C’ forgot! The next year, my best friend forgot! And then last year, “Prince Player” and my own brother forgot! You see, no one ever remembers. It’s fine. I’m a Christmas baby. It happens. Plus, I’m in Texas now and have none of my friends are here to celebrate” I say.

“Christ sad beauty. You’re like the Scrooge of your own birthday! You know we’re gonna celebrate as soon as we all get back from break! Now tell us, what do you want for your birthday?” Mr. Photography dude asks.

“Nothing, your guys’s presence in my life is enough” I tell them.

“Hey you know what I noticed?” Mr. Photography dude asks immediately totally ignoring my sweet response. “What?” I ask annoyed.

“Heart never forgot” he says smiling.

That makes me smile. Just a little. It’s true. He didn’t. After my two birthdays I had in my time of knowing him, he always wrote me the sweetest wishes and we always celebrated it big.

I think back to Sophomore year when I just moved to Colorado and he was working there. “Birthday girl! How was your day?” I remember him texting after his 12 hour shift after he had already wished me right before he left for work in the morning. “Haha it was okay!” I remember saying.

I thought he would let it go, but instead, he asked- “Why just okay?” And so I confided in him. “Honestly, it just really sucks because not a lot of people remembered and I just moved here so I just had my family to celebrate with” I told him.

“Same. I’m always working out of town during my birthday time and didn’t have my friends to celebrate with either. And hey, I wished you and your family wished you! Isn’t that what matters? Just the close people who care about you wishing you? So be happy princess. You deserve good things in life”. My heart melted that day.

And it sill melts. Sigh. Sidekick has to go so it’s me and Mr. Photography dude.

“Why do you look so sad, Shahz? I know it has nothing to do with either of them…” he asks.

I sigh. He’s my best friend. I can’t fake my happiness around him. “This month has really sucked so far, and it’s my birthday month. I hate Texas, I have no friends here. I’m taking a winter course to kill time and it’s just making things worse. I didn’t do good on the GRE, I have to retake it and don’t know how I’m gonna study harder because I’m even busier next quarter. Every senior I know has graduated early and here I am, struggling to even graduate by the end of the year. Grad school apps are so tedious and expensive. Why the fuck did I not just accept our school’s offer to pursue a Master’s???” I finally conclude my speech ready to pull my hair out.

“Because you’re you and you’re better than that. You work hard and you deserve to go somewhere new where people understand that. Just breathe. You’ve been through things way harder than this and you always came back up on top. You never fell off, and you won’t” he says.

My eyes water. The last two sentences. It was “Heart” who told me that. On this exact day, two years ago.

10 days from today, I will be 22. I pray I figure things out this year.

xoxo. S.

My 21st Birthday….And Then Some

I’m old enough to know that facebook wallposts don’t mean as much as text and phonecall birthday wishes. I’m also old enough to know that my birthday is around Christmas time and most people seem to….eep….forget! Knowing all of that, I only wanted a birthday wish from 5 people: “Heart”, my brother, my best girl friend, my best guy friend Sam, and “Prince Player”.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was “Heart’s” birthday on Monday. I did end up wishing him and writing him a long text about how much he has inspired me and helped me this year. I told him that I hope to be as strong is him one day. He wrote me a long text back thanking me and assuring me that I can be even stronger than him 🙂 I was happy, and wondered if he will write me a wish just as sweet on my birthday.

So when I woke up yesterday, I was greeted with my mom and dog smothering me and yelling HAPPY BIRTHDAY! My brother is working out of town and my dad has had a bad fever all week so it wasn’t a huge thing like it has been every other year. But still, I laughed and got a text from Sam wishing me a Happy 21st and telling me that I look more beautiful than ever 🙂 I was so happy. And then I got a text from my best girl friend, she also posted a collage of our friendship on Facebook and wrote the sweetest post about me ❤ I was so happy again. Then it was my brother’s turn, he called and also wrote on Facebook that he can’t believe I am “21 years young”. So sweet ❤ All that was left to wish me were “Heart” and “Prince Player”. It was getting late…

some peopleAnd so finally, I was sitting in a bar with my mom having margaritas when I got a text from “Heart”. It said “Happy birthday Shahz 🙂 Continue to do big things ❤ Thank you for a wonderful year :)” My eyes got teary eyed in a bar. That last line really got me. It was him that made this past year so special! I thanked him and he actually continued checking up on me throughout the night (I haven’t really drank much before). In between my hangover, I was shocked that “Prince Player” didn’t wish me. All this time I thought “Heart” wouldn’t wish me….but it was “Prince Player” who ended up forgetting.

“You see! This is a sign God thinks “Heart” is a better man for me!” I told my guy friends from back home. They always have a constant debate on who’s the “better man” for me and ALWAYS side with “Prince Player”.

“No hun. Prince Player was probably just wrapped up with Christmas planning and his family. And Heart probably wants you to be there for him when he wants to do you again ” they said.

My jaw was on the floor. And then I started laughing, “YOU GUYS!!!!”

They shrugged and I got a belated snapchat wish from “Prince Player” today. Better than nothing I guess….

Anyways, my um…hangover…has faded. Yesterday, my family surprised me with tickets to Vegas 🙂 We will be there for Christmas next week! My dad is still a little sick and I’m currently writing this to you from the emergency room :/ Things will get better soon- I know it.

Age 20 has been my most successful year yet, but I owe a lot of that to “Heart” for giving me the confidence to do so. I don’t have him anymore, so I wonder what 21 will bring me.

xoxo. S.

A NOTE FOR MY READERS: This will be my last post until perhaps the last week of December (because I’ll be in Vegas) 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone!

Our Upcoming Birthdays…

best part“Heart’s” birthday is on Monday. Mine is on Friday.This year, I’m not so excited to celebrate it as I was last year. All because of him. Which really stinks because I turn 21 this year! How in the world do we wish our ex’s a happy birthday? Do we wish them at all? I wish my birthday was before his so he would make the first move and I would know how to proceed.

I do wish all my past lovers a happy birthday. Most of the time I write them very short wishes, and they say thanks. The last birthday was “Prince Player’s”. I gave him a longer wish. I think I told him about how after everything we have been through, I wouldn’t change a thing about our relationship. And he responded very nicely.

Will the same thing happen with “Heart”? I loved this guy for God’s sake.I just keep asking myself a series of “What if’s?” What if he tells me he found someone else? What if he says he doesn’t miss me? What if he asks me how I’m doing and I tell him I’m miserable and he doesn’t feel the same way? What if I write him a long sweet wish, and he gives me a short one? Oh and, what if he doesn’t wish me a happy birthday at all? One time, I wished him a Happy Valentine’s Day…and he responded saying “Thank you!” Lol 😦

Reader’s, what do you think?

P.S-I’m really happy that My Attachment Theory: Airplanes received so many hits! Thanks for reading!

xoxo. S.

The big two zero…20 candles

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I am blessed to have friends and readers who remembered my birthday yesterday ❤ With the holidays and finals time, my birthday is the easiest to forget and I don’t get many wishes every year. But everyone who I kind of wanted to wish me, wished me 🙂 I nearly fell off my chair as I was celebrating in a restaurant when “Prince Player” texted me happy birthday. And I blushed when the new man in my life, “Heart”, texted me at midnight and throughout the whole day 🙂

I don’t like aging, but it’s a part of life. Here’s to being 20 and more years to come ❤

xoxo. S.

Approaching the big two-zero….and other musings

Goodness reader,

Can you believe that I, Shaz, the wild Sagittarius woman will be 20 years old next week? EEP!

I certainly can’t. For goodness sake, I still heart my I’s and cry “DADDYYYYY!” when I’m upset.

age is just a numberI’ll admit it. I’m proud of the stuff I have accomplished in the past two decades. I’ve worked hard to help people and traveled to as many countries as I could.

But I always feel like I haven’t done enough and that I should do more. Maybe that’s why I’m fearing the big two-zero. Because I know that in this next decade of my life, I need to get it together. I need to finish college, hopefully med school, and get an amazing job. If my prince charming pops in somewhere around there I will be super happy.

But to set the record straight. I’m really hard on myself. Maybe that’s what I should work on in my 20’s, being genuinely proud of myself!

Anyways, enough about my age. NEVER ASK A WOMAN HER AGE.

Hmm what else happened this week? Well, aside from the birthday countdown and my boring online course…I went shopping and guess who I bumped into??? My friend from college, who is working in Colorado this break. Okay fine, I didn’t bump into him. He told me he was working at the mall and well, it’s actually right near my house, sooo I made plans to go see him. It was fun. I really like him, we’re going out for a fun belated birthday dinner date when we get back to school 🙂 I’m excited. 20 may or may not bring some fun things in to my life 😉

xoxo. S.