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

What No One Tells You About the Summer After College

I see him and his girl walking my way. I ignore them, but his girl somehow knows me and says “Hey Shahz”. I guess her name, she says it’s correct. “Prince Player” pulls me aside and says, “Hey. I’m not having a good time with her. I’m going to let her go and come over in a few minutes okay?” Although I know that’s a total player move, I smile and accept his offer. We have one of our best night’s yet.

My phone rings. I rub my eyes. It’s Mr. Photography dude.

“You’re not going to believe this dream I had” I say immediately.

He laughs. “Something tells me I will”.

I tell him. “What a bunch of bullshit! That would never happen Shaz!” I could hear him laughing so loud.

I gasp shocked I even had such a dream. “I know. He’s not that evil” I say.

He laughs. “You won’t believe the dream I had” he says. “I had a dream, you married this aspiring astronaut from MIT, and I got to be your guys’s best man!”

I choke on my toothpaste. “Yea. That will never happen either” I say.

“I thought dreams come true” he says.

I sigh. “They do. If they are meant to be. My mom told me the other day, she’s sending me to Boston to find a nice smart Arab boy. Do you believe this?”

Now he is really laughing. “Yes”.

“She said she expected me to find one at (our undergrad university). Do you believe that? She said with the “huge Arab population” she’s shocked I didn’t!” I say.

He laughs. “Well you did find one…it just didn’t work out in the end…”

Oh yea. I sigh.

He sighs back. “So how’s everything going?” he asks. Mr. Photography dude was supposed to go back to Egypt after graduation, but a lot of things happened, and he got a full time job- so he decided to stay. Like all my other friends. They’re all in Chicago without me. I’m so jealous.

“Not good. I can’t find a place to live in Boston. “Heart” got this funding to go to Africa and is there right now. All our friends have a full time job and I’m preparing for more school. I’m so bored all the time here. I-”

“Okay, okay so there’s a lot” he says. “Don’t. get. anxious. Shahz” he says slowly.

I take a deep breathe. “I won’t”.

Out of all the things college prepares you for, there’s one thing it doesn’t prepare you for- what the hell to do if you don’t have a full time job. And you see all these changes around you. Even if it’s just for the summer, waiting for your next few years of schooling to begin in a new city. They never tell you what to do during that time. Here’s my observations.

You’ll be jealous. Of your friends that are still in the city of your school. Of your friends that got full-time jobs with a $60,000 starting salary. Breathe. It happens.

You will have lots of dreams of everyone you miss (and don’t miss) at college. *Cue the first paragraph*. Be it about your friends, lovers,they will appear in your dreams. Oh and, you will make an appearance in their dreams as well.

You’ll reflect on your mistakes. And you will understand that despite them, you survived (and learned from it???)

Your friendship circle will change (slightly). I’m sorry to have to break this to you. Of course, the best of the best of your friends and you will still stay tight. But the friends from Stats class? The friends from your dorm? Mmmm not so sure :0

You’ll pick up new hobbies. My new hobby is taking jogs at 8 in the morning and kayaking around the lake in the evening. Wait what? When did I ever do that before?

BUT…

Who said it will be bad?

You’ll move somewhere new. Moves are exciting. You get to buy so many new things and start over! What’s more exciting than a clean slate?

You’re dreams will serve as a gentle reminder of the people that love you.

Yes you made mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes. You will learn to forgive yourself.

Yes your friendship circles will change…But BFFs will stay by you no matter what. And,FullSizeRender(29) you will make lots of new friends!

You’ll pick up new hobbies. There’s nothing wrong with this.

What did no one tell you about those first few months after college? Comment below! Also, recently, I was invited to guest blog over at Aaron’s The Confusing Middle about my future plans! Please check it out if you want to know more: More School… But Why??

That reminds me. My new hobby is finding talented bloggers to appear on For the Love of Sass 🙂 Are you interested in contributing something? Shoot me an email! Our first guest will be appearing soon!

xoxo. S.

The Hardest Goodbye (continued)

continued from The Hardest Goodbye

When I was little, my dad told me people experience grief in two ways. They either get really angry at first, and then forget about it. Or they feel numb at first, refuse to feel any emotion, and then they can never, ever, forget.

I never really figured out which one I was. But I’m guessing I’m the second one. And I didn’t really have much time to figure it out as I stood in my bedroom what just happened between me and player.

I peek through the crack of my open door. Player is walking out and my roommate has walked in. They don’t really say anything, oh I think he’s upset.

I close my eyes and wait to hear the door shut. It doesn’t, so I hope player comes back. But something tells me he’s not, I almost run out the door. My roommate looks at me.

“Shit” I forgot my keys and shoes. I quickly grab my keys and put on flip flops. My roommate continues to watch me, this is awkward, but I really don’t care.

I rush out my apartment door and look straight. Damn player’s gone. I look to my left. And he is tying his shoelaces. I smile. Player was so angry he didn’t tie even want to his shoelaces before he left my place!

He looks at me.

I cross my arms, “Is this how you’re leaving me?”

He finishes ting his shoe laces. “Well what do you want me to do? If I stay we’ll just sit there doing exactly what we’ve been doing all night!”

I’m still confused. I really see no problem with that.indeits amazing

“Did you think we were going to spend hours together?” player asks.

My eyes widen. “Yes!! That’s what a goodbye is!!” I say.

“But I told you. I really really suck at goodbyes and it won’t help” player explains.

But I suck at goodbyes too 😦 And our time felt so short, I don’t want him to go :/ It makes me so sad and jealous. Other girls may have gotten better goodbyes from him. So I tel him.

“I bet you spend more time with other girls when they leave for good” I say.

“Are you kidding me? I just said goodbye to my best friend 0f 4 years last week, and we spent like 20 minutes. Because we knew it would be hard” he says.

I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted.

And then I wonder what he thinks I am to him. Once he told me I was his best friend. I guess I’m not. I never was.

But all of this comes out as, “I understand”.

Because my dad failed to tell me, there are two ways to say goodbye. You can sit together until you absolutely have to say goodbye and experience the pain together. Or you can quickly say goodbye so you don’t have to worry about the pain. Kind of like a wax strip (I think this was a better analogy player could have used).

So I tell him I understand, because I genuinely do. Player and I experience pain and grief in different ways, and it’s okay.

“Okay so can I have a hug now? A real one?” player asks.

I smile really big. “Yes” I say.

So I hug him as tight as I ever will. “Bye player. Thank you for everything” I say. I rest my chin on his shoulder. I always liked how I was the perfect height for him and could do that.

Aw that wasn’t so bad I think to myself.

But then it’s player’s turn. “Bye Shahz. I’m sorry for everything I did and all the pain I’ve caused you-”

And that’s when I become numb. As I listen to player’s goodbye speech. I can’t even finish it. Those first few words got me. Everything that happened to us in the past 4 years plays in the back of my head.

I don’t know what I am to player, but I’m really happy I was able to a part of his life.

I snap back to reality as he kisses my forehead, and then my cheek. 13245435_824476477688190_8411822638481477781_n

I take a deep breathe in, I don’t hold on to him too long because I know it will hurt both of us.

We separate and I do my best fake smile. He walks away and I do the same. I see him look back but I can’t do the same.

Breathe I tell myself.

I quickly make some small talk with my roommate about packing so she won’t ask about what just happened with player.

And then I get to my room, I sit on my bed. My chest hurts. But I’m okay.

I’m really proud of myself for going back to say goodbye to player and for not crying.

But I feel exhausted and sick, it must have been the wine. So I lay down to sleep and promise myself I will wake up early in the morning to pack.

When I close my eyes, I can’t help but think. I think player and I were meant to say goodbye, a long time ago. I feel like, he was already gone.

xoxo. S.

The Hardest Goodbye

I always knew that my hardest goodbye would be my lover. Now who that lover would be my Senior year, that I could not say from a distance. But at last, June 14th, my last night in Chicago came- and it was time to say goodbye…to “Prince Player”.

After saying goodbye to Irv, I still had to meet with my mentor to say goodbye before seeing player. My mentor and I took a long walk, my last long walk in Chicago 😦 He told me that he was extremely proud of me and I told him that I couldn’t have done it without him. He is also a first generation student and just completed his MPH.

He laughs. “Trust me when I say you were more of a mentor to me then you’d ever know. I grew and learned so much from you”.

I smile. That’s sweet. We talk more about the classes I will be taking and how I will balance everything. Then I realize it’s almost 9 and “Prince Player” hasn’t gotten back to me about when he’s coming to say bye.

“Oh I always knew you two would make it until the end” my mentor says. I laugh and text player, he says he will be a while. I say it’s okay on account of I have so much packing to do. I say goodbye to my mentor and he tells me to let him know how the goodbye with player goes (he has been through so many of my player situations for the past 4 years).

An hour or so later, player arrives. I open the door, there he is. Deep breath.

“Oh my god you look so nice.  You’re packing!” he says. I laugh. I tell him I made myself look nice because of all the goodbyes I had to make all day.

He hugs me. “Congratulations!” he says. I hug him back. I instantly blank on what he’s congratulating me about, considering a lot of amazing things happened that past week.

“You graduated!!!” player reminds me. Ah. That one. I hug him back. “Congratulations to you too, we did it!”

I’m really genuinely proud of player and I. We’ve been through so much. And yet we became more successful than most. Player graduated early, started his Master’s early, and will be graduating from that shortly. I graduated on time and got into the 10th best MPH school in the country (we’ll see how fast, or slow? :0 I can finish this one).

Player snaps me back from my thoughts as he pulls me into his arms and wraps them around my waist. He holds me tight and buries his face in my neck.

I raise my eyebrows. “Either you really missed me. Or you’re really going to miss me” I say.

“I’m really going to miss you” player says softly. Aw. I hold onto his arms and tell him I’m really going to miss him too.

We lay down and discuss basically all the random things we didn’t know about each otherFullSizeRender(35) in our past 4 years. Such as the fact that we both love teaching. Or the fact that my personality type is ENFP and player’s is something that starts with an “I” meaning he is introverted.

“Yea I think you’re more extroverted than me” player says.

My jaw drops. “I HATE when people say I’m extroverted! I am not” I say. “I’d rather just chill at home with a book and movie you know. I’m a huge introvert” I say.

“Do you think I’m more extroverted than you?” player asks.

I laugh. “Uh yea!!! You’re so much more extroverted than me!”

“I hate when people say I’m extroverted!” player says doing his best impression of me and mocking me. I laugh so much.

Player says his test said he was almost half and half when it came to determining whether he was introverted or extroverted. My eyes widen. “Mine too!!!” I say.

Then player eases into what happened the week before. “I’m sorry about what happened last week”. He explains everything that happened and I feel bad. He could have told me.

“It’s okay” I say softly. “It’s just we never did anything outside of my place and I don’t have much to remember except all the things that happened here” I say.

“I know” player says.

I hold his hand and squeeze it. There’s so many things I wanted to say. There’s so many things I wanted to do with him. But time ran out.

“Will you come to Boston one day?” I ask him as he strokes my hair. I wait for him to say no.

“I mean yea…if I have money. Why not. It’s a city I’ve never seen to before” he says.

I smile. Yay. But I’m still sad about leaving him.

“I think a break will be good for us” player says.What? I give him a look.

“No!! I mean. Imagine how nice it will be when we see each other again…” player says. Oh, I see ❤ It’s true. Player and I have a lot of passion towards each other.

I pour us some wine and we drink it. We talk more about our 4 years. I think about all the amazing things that happened to me. My internship, all the jobs I got,  my acceptance to BU, my presidency, my award-

“You’re the only thing I didn’t win” I tell player sadly.

“Nobody can win me” player says.

I lay down next to him. He strokes my hair. I don’t like when guys play with my hair, but I love when they stroke it. And player is doing it. And it feels nice.

“Hey you actually had a boyfriend. So you won!” he says. I smile. He knows how competitive I am.

“I didn’t really tell that one goodbye….” I say.

“You can tell him tomorrow before you leave! Then you can have two guys in 24 hours” player says.

I look at player seductively. “Been there, done that” I say.

Player is amused. “Whoa! And I’m the player??” player asks.

I laugh. I look away. “It takes one to know one”.

Player says he’s good person.

“Yea but you’re a thief” I say pushing my finger into his chest.

“Oh really. What did I steal?” player asks laughing.

I whip my hair and look at him over my shoulder, “My heart” I say oh so dramatically.

He laughs even more and I laugh even more.

I sit down next to him. The wine got me walking around and now it was fading. “But through all of it. We kept going back to each other, because we’re addicted to each other” I say.

“Mhm, I just can’t get enough of you” player says as it came out of a romance movie.

I laugh. I can’t tell if player is being serious or not. I hope he is. And I’m so drunk and happy. “This is such a Bridget Jones moment!” I say.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about” player says.

“Oh my god player! That movie! About that girl that keeps a diary and has to choose between the player and the good guy!” I say.

“Who did she choose?” player asks. I pour myself another glass of wine. “Well she went with the good guy. But then the player came back and-” I stop myself when I realize how closely the movie is relating to my life. And then I laugh.

“Seriously everything that happened tonight was like a movie. Or a book!” I say.

“Aren’t you already writing one?” player asks.

And then I just about die from laughing. I tumble into player’s arms and we lay back down. I can feel our night’s going to end soon. So I snuggle up to him as tight as I can.

“Just like freshman year” I tell player when I sense he’s noticed what I’m thinking.

“Yea” he says smiling.

When player and I first started liking each other (or at least when I first started liking him and didn’t know about the crap that was happening), we would always snuggle tightly the last few minutes before he left.

He pulls me close. “I know you don’t like this, but I do and-”

I stop him. “No I do like it”. I always liked it. I was just, afraid. Of liking it, and then having to hate it because I won’t see him again.

I smile at him. Everything is so cute, just how I imagined it.

“I have to go soon” player says releasing me from his arms and starting to get ready.

Wait what. I’m puzzled. We were only together like an hour and a half…

I sit and watch him.

“I promised someone I’d play video games with them at midnight” player says.

Now I’m really hurting. I continue to stare at him.

“You’re pretty” he says. Oh how cute.

Player tells me to say something.

“I guess some things never change” I say quietly putting my top back on.

Now player’s jaw drops. “Look. I really suck at goodbyes. Okay? That’s why I don’t want to stay too long” he says.

I stay quiet. “Think of it like this. What’s an analogy…Um okay. So if you had to make a class presentation, or you had a big test. You just want to take it and get it over with right?” he asks.

I get close to him. “So you just want to get me over with?” I say.

“Yes. NO!” he says.

He tries to explain it again.

“This isn’t one of those days I can be a ‘one and done’!” I say.

“Are you kidding? It’s like 40 and done” he says.

More like 25. Oh how I will miss player’s overestimates. But oh well.

“Okay so I’ll be going now. Can I have a hug?” player asks. I give him a quick one. And turn away.

“Hey what was that?” player asks.

“What? I wanted to see you, so I saw you. You wanted a hug, so I gave you one. And now you wanna go…so go” I say shrugging not facing him.

I think he’ll say something, change his mind. Something. Anything.

i didntBut he grabs his keys and wallet. As he’s done before. “Okay…well. I’m not going to take responsibility this time. I hope one day you will see that I’m right” player says.

And he’s upset. And I’m upset. And when I turn around, he’s gone.

Shit. This isn’t how this goodbye was supposed to go.

(to be continued)

xoxo. S.

A Busy Week in Love and Politics

“And that is why I think you should take over Harris’s role as President. I will talk to Harris and see if he is willing to switch roles and be Vice President- it may be better for him” my jaw drops.

I’m on the phone with Sherry handling the logistics of our club. She discusses how all the members and everyone has noticed how I do all the work and Harris does nothing. I am in shock. It has been a busy week in being Vice President, grad school apps, a teaching conference I was invited to speak at, and school itself. And don’t forget the love drama!

As I hang up and type emails to our partners at the same time- I notice a text. I imagine it is from “Mr. Photography dude”, “Heart”, Harris or one of our partners as I was trying to do a 100 club related things at once.

But it is actually from “Prince Player” :0 My heart races. I stop typing and I ignore Harris’s incoming call.

I read his text. He says he knows we’re at a weird place, but I should listen to this song by Selena Gomez because it reminded him of the things I said and he thought I might like it. I smile to myself. I play it and it is…so beautiful. Harris calls again, but I ignore it again. I close my eyes.

“But I’ll never tell you just how I felt
You might just not care, and it might just not help
What if the feelings just don’t make no sense to you, you

I got so much shit to say
But I can’t help feeling like I’m camouflage

Those were probably the words “Prince Player” thought resonated with me the most. But it’s not.

I tell player I love it and that my brother came to see me last weekend and was talking about how he loves Selena and it made me sad because it reminded me of him.

And so he said we’ll talk in person this weekend and “sort it all out”.

I sigh. I hope we do.

But I had no time to worry about it as the big teaching organization (that I cannot mention due to privacy issues) invited me to a conference yesterday to talk about my struggles in learning and being an educator of color. I was so excited and nervous for this!

I practiced all week and yesterday was the big day. Many Asian Americans from all over the Midwest came to this conference. Lots of people wanted to meet me. When one came up to me, I thought he was a student presenter and tried to ignore him because I thought he was flirting with me. But I was mistaken :0. Because all of a sudden I hear, “….yea I’m the executive director for the entire Midwest”.

Holy shit. I immediately step up my A game and tell him how passionate I am about education. He says he’s heard a lot about me and is sad he can’t stay around long enough to see my presentation (because you know he’s the Executive Director and all) but he will give me his contact info so I can call him or personally meet him some time :0.

From that moment, I kept an open mind and that was good because a lot of people I spoke to were big people! I must have brought the right brain with me yesterday because I impressed all of them and got all of their contact information! Something that I am too shy to do at conferences!

But that was only the beginning. Soon, I had to be ready to present in front of all these people. As it gets closer and closer, I get extreme ADHD. My legs won’t stop trembling and I think about my 100 page to do list.

I call “Mr. Photography dude”.

“Just try not to think about it too much. Think about something happy! How about ‘Heart’?” he says.

I shudder. “Heart” just sent me a snapchat of the girl he was flirting with at my election win and possibly hooked up with. I also get nervous over how he will react when he finds out that I might take over his best friends position.

“Okay fine maybe not. How about the other one?” he asks.

Is he serious. “What? I thought you guys were gonna sort it all out this weekend!” he says when I ask him that.

Then I get even more nervous. Because we didn’t…

“Oh well screw it. I know what you two mean by ‘sorting it all out’ anyway” he says. I start laughing out loud. He’s so funny.

“At least I made you laugh. Look. Just speak from your heart like you always do. Stop acting like you haven’t done this before! Teaching is your passion- anybody can see it. The way you talk about it, the things your students say about you, it’s obvious. You got this” he says.

I smile. It’s true. When it’s finally my turn to present, my heart stops racing. My mind stops racing. And I indeed speak from my heart. All of my ADHD and anxiety faded away. As I was presenting, I remembered exactly why. Someone once said “Love is the best cure for all mental disorders”. My love is not a person, it is teaching. No wonder why I feel better the moment I begin talking.

When I am done presenting, many have tears in there eyes and others are smiling big. They come up to me and say “thank you for sharing your story”, “you are truly an inspiration” and the higher ups? Oh. They said, “you should consider applying to our organization!”

My favorite part was when two Pakistani girls came up to me and said my parents are awesome for naming me “Princess”. I laugh thinking of the conversation “Prince Player” and I had last week. It’s like I’m getting a sign from God every week.

But I was so proud of myself. I had been up until 4:30 the previous night working on grad school applications. I woke up at 6:00 for the conference and prayed it would be worth it. It was 🙂 When all was done and I got home at 8 after a 13 hour day, I began to study for my Microbio exam.

“I don’t even understand how you have time for ‘Prince Player’ or ‘Heart’ when you have all this shit going on anyways!” Mr. Photography dude says when I update him.

“What? Life ain’t gonna get any less busier ya know!” I say.

He laughs and says that’s true.

Then I remember what “Prince Player” said to me a few weeks ago about him being tumblr_n0yxg722Zt1sqwh2mo1_500unsure if I wanted to see him because he thought I may be tired and busy.

“I was tired and busy” I said softly.

“But you made time for me” he said smiling.

I closed my eyes and smiled.

Sigh. Busy.

Remember when we’d talk all night
But time ain’t easy on us.

xoxo. S.

Hello (An overwhelming week in love, sickness, and birthday)

Friday 11:15am- A short 5 minute break to type this all out.

It all started Wednesday. Wednesday was actually a great day. I went to the dentist to get cavities filled and they hurt a lot. But Wednesday was Heart’s birthday. I had so much trouble deciding what to say to him, but eventually, I did send him a short text. He seemed to appreciate it, but said he doesn’t really like celebrating his birthday. It made me sad because, I do. It’s the day we told each other we liked each other two years ago. When I saw how bummed he was and still aching over my dental procedure, I bought myself a red velvet cake and sent him a picture saying- “If you don’t want to celebrate your birthday, I will!” He responded immediately laughing. “Heart” was there for me at my worst. Even though we’re not on good terms now, he used to be my world- and that is enough.

When our conversation ends, I go back to my usual homework for my winter class that takes until 4am. At the same time, I try to type up my grad school essay which is due the same time as my essay for class :0 As I am typing furiously, “Prince Player’s” name pops up on my scree. Oh no :0 Considering what happened in Mini. Anxiety. (Worthy).

As we being talking, “Player” tells me he had been wondering (I never thought he would wonder about me but that is so cute <3) why I haven’t been speaking to him and he found out why…through here. OOPS. And that when he said that when he said his “worthy” statement, he definitely did not mean it the way I thought he did. Double oops.

“Oh my god. Did I not tell you?” Mr. Photography dude said laughing when I finally got a chance to sit down and call him in the morning.

8e2c225cede35d5a6e74fefcebfe1e88I say “Yea” and that this misunderstanding was just caused by the fact that a) I have known player for so long, we have been through so much together, and I’m always so anxious that something will split us up in our last few months together and b) I have been anxious about everything since this whole break started.

“Why did you stop taking your meds?” he asks. My parents want to know the same thing. I’m a normal human being on my meds, but I get so physically ill :0

“You probably scared the heck out of player” he says.

I sigh, “I know I’m scaring everybody with my ADHD and anxiety. It’s not easy to take a class, studying to retake the GRE, and filling out grad school apps all while watching your family”.

I also tell Mr. Photography dude that part of the reason for all these random “moods” is that my blood test showed my thyroid is being very slow again. I knew something was going on!

He tells me to try and relax this weekend during my vacation (coming up!). And to send lots of cute pics to “Prince Player” (now that we’re on good terms). Oh my goodness. He is so funny sometimes.

So when”Prince  Player” and I talked Wednesday, I felt a lot better. But then, the next day, yesterday- Grandma got sick and I had to take her to the ER :0 Seeing how overwhelmed I was with everything, my parents gifted me with a vacation to Miami for my birthday (as long as I take Grandma with me). Although Grandma’s perfectly fine, I got anxiety over everything just happening at once. Seeing how Grandma got sick, and how I got anxiety from watching Grandma be sick, they and my brother have also decided to come along :0

Well. The more the merrier 🙂 I’m excited to see my old home. I haven’t seen Miami in 12 years. Even though I have a final Monday, and a paper due tomorrow, I hope that I can enjoy myself on my birthday. Christ now I know how “Prince Player” feels (his birthday is always around Fall quarter finals).

I love how “Prince Player” talks to me often. I hate how “Heart” has completely forgotten us, I guess he finally could not handle me anymore. I don’t blame him.

Hello. It’s me. I’m sorry… Heart 😦

Goodbye reader, I’ll tell you how Miami is!

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.