Being an Introvert; a blessing or a curse?

Well to be honest that is somehow a difficult question to answer to.

You see I am an introvert, yet sometimes, regarding the situation I find myself in, I feel I am open to others.

However deep down, I carry the introvert flag (loud & proud).

Is being an introvert a blessing or a curse? In total honesty, it is both.

What is an introvert? According to our faithful search engine, google, an introvert is “a person that tends to turn inward mentally. A person that avoids large group of people, feeling more energized by time alone”.

Guilty as charged.

In short, the days that I go MIA, are the days that I am on a me-time spree #MeMyselfandI and you should all respect that and not judge (especially something that you are not fully acquainted about).

 

What are the blessings tagged to an introvert?

  • Keeping far away from drama >> picture yourself being far from girlfriends bickering, gossiping/bad mouthing, nagging about some nonsense or the other. Peaceful isn’t it? Why waste my breath on useless conversations I might add…
  • Focusing on Your Self >>mentally, spiritually and physically. Learning on being your own person and relying on yourself, because not everyone is going to be there for you, despite their assurances.
  • Developing your selfish/me-time hobbies >> reading, writing, drawing.
  • You become a professional in behavior analysis >> I know that I can easily decipher hidden messages, furtive glances and failed secret mimes between parties at a social gathering (because I watch behaviors rather than immerse myself into conversations).
  • You have a tight circle of friends >> quality over quantity and real over fake friends.
  • Let’s be direct, every social outing becomes appreciated and looked forward at.
  • You develop your personality traits a notch further >> I know I became stronger and determined thanks to my introvert-ness.

Routine bores me. By being an introvert, one would assume that all that me-time would drain me. Surprisingly, not at all. Being away from human interaction, empowers me to continue doing the things that make me happy. Isn’t it a known fact that most of the time one is unhappy by his interaction with other people. Deceit, jealousy are just simple examples of the point that I am trying to convey to you previously.

** Do take in account that I have the just number of friends that I do interact with, enjoy my time with and vice versa. I am not a hermit after all (with all due respect).

I just don’t like to waste my time within large groups of people and push myself  into useless conversations just because it is the norm to do so. I, specifically, hate being dragged to dinners parties knowing that more than half of the people there are talking superficialities. Why waste my breath I say, and tend to sip on my drink while analyzing the hidden glances between two people on the left corner of the room. I remember a few years back I was going out with this guy who when breaking up accused me of being anti social with his group of friends. Well if not talking to a bunch of late thirty year olds acting as teenagers working at their daddy’s company and laughing like a bunch of airheads is anti social, then be it. Oh yeah and let’s not forget the joint passing drama along the way. Haha? I kid not!

**Most of the time my analysis of the situation, without being part of the circle of people and part of the conversation, tends to be 100% accurate. Watch out!!

 

Now, is being an introvert a curse?

  • Acquaintances will no longer include you in their plans >> a blessing in disguise really (said the introvert in me!)
  • Awkwardness when attending obligated social events >> sip on those cocktails and time will fly (said the introvert in me, again!)
  • If you are not a 100% introvert, you will be labelled as one despite your claims on the contrary >> you will spend your time trying to convince and prove them wrong (now that is a pain!!)
  • You might lose interesting job opportunities that require some social interaction (because as mentioned above, they are labelling you, misunderstanding your whole trait…I mean come on I used to be a customer representative at a bank, now would I have been able to manage that position if I were a 100% introvert?)
  • You will feel an unspoken pressure,of constantly being misunderstood because of your characteristic.

 

To be completely honest with you, being extreme about everything is bad. Am I an introvert? Yes I am. I enjoy myself, my person, more than I do anyone else? Again, yes I do. Say what you like, think what you like, but I know that’s a logical thing to feel (although a lot of you won’t admit because Awkward!!)

With time passing by and circumstances changing (worldwide), more and more people are becoming hypocritical of one another (especially behind their backs) and fighting for their survival (even if it means crashing their friend on their way to success).

I am an introvert with a set group of friends (who shrunk even further after I left Lebanon). I enjoy going out whenever I want to, meet new and genuine people in interesting settings / parties, and I am in no obligation of defining and proving my extrovert-ness to anyone’s peace of mind.

You like my company? Tag along.

You don’t? What a bliss (says the introvert in me, again & again & again!!!)

xo

**My next post is going to be about what I LEARNT from being in Lebanon 10months in between my relocation to Canada. Stay Alert!! 

 

Hiking at the Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve – A Sunday Getaway

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Sunday 22nd of January 2017, my alarm rang at 7.45. Why that early? because I had promised my very close girl friend to join her on a hiking excursion that very same day. A promise I intend not to cancel as I am known for backing away last minute.

No No Ranya, this time I am IN, I said to myself, over and over again in my head as the time to meet up drew closer. What was I getting myself into? Whoever knows me, knows very well that I am regularly active at the gym. Squats, jumping jacks, rope jumping, running, I do that easily, but hiking? Meh!!

And I went.. and I was up for a (good) surprise. Not only did I meet very interesting and well grounded people, I experienced newfound feelings and very much challenging constraints that I overcame.

The Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is located approximately 30-45min drive out of the capital in the Shouf district of Lebanon within the slopes of the Barouk mountains (an area of 550Km2 comprising the forests of Al-Maasser el Shouf, Barouk and Ain Zhalta). Yes you can imagine how vast the area is. I was thrilled when I knew we were going to the cedars of the shouf as that mountainous region is my favorite in Lebanon.

We arrived at destination and after renting our hiking ski shoes started onto our journey. My face dropped when I realized we were climbing the damn mountain. Sue me, I thought hiking comprised a straight forwarded path. Yes that triangularly shaped blessed mother natural thing, I was going to C-L-I-M-B. Thank you Ranya for your on-point information. I guess if she had told me that specific detail, I would have definitely not taken part of this suicidal mission. Did I forgot to mention to you all that I am scared of heights so ..yeah imagine my face. I took my destiny into my own hands, I mean bodily composure, and walked. And walked is what I did, for 3 hours!! Climbing those narrow passages were not easy. Zig zagging to make way to others when stopping to catch some breath, wanting to damn give up in the middle of this wonderful joy ride and trying not to look down (that much) was quite the experience for me.

It is only when we all arrived at some grounded snowy area and I was sure that from this point on there was no way I was facing oblivion, did I realize that I loved every minute of this hike.

The fresh air, the physical as well as the psychological challenge were overcome beautifully. Mother nature sure engraved some beautiful snapshots in my head and my phone (which I will share with you further down the blogpost).

We ended our journey having lunch catered by Bio Coara which produces organic and vegan healthy food. A soup to start with, salad, a main dish comprising rice, potatoes and the vegan type of Kafta, ending with dry cake. You can say that the whole day was perfect for a #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle Instagram blogger.

Would I go hiking again? yes, now that I know what to expect. If there is a straight walk pathway, I’d go now though 🙂

Hope you enjoy the rest of this wonderful day with these picture perfect moments.

Thank you Galeb and Hussein for this unique experience and my lovely Ranya for the beautiful much-needed company.

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ps: Thank you guys for the pictures shared (Galeb, Hussein & Rasha) and check the FB page of “IAM Production by Imad & Monah Ashkar”  by clicking on the following link https://www.facebook.com/IAMproductionlb/  and if you are interested by the vegan and bio food I mentioned earlier, click on their page and #EatHealthy https://www.facebook.com/CoaraKfarqatra/  😉

xo

The Friends from the past; a blast!

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“There is something about childhood friends that you just cant replace” Lisa Whelchdel

If you are at university , even in high school, then this post’s timing couldn’t have been perfect. Mark my words when I say that, flash forward ten years, you will come to realize that good friends were, are and will forever remain the ones you spent most of your childhood days with.

Your childhood friends are those;

you have spent all your recess time with,

you hung every Friday after noons together at the mall,

you went to the movies, grabbed a bite, gossiped over your crushes,

all these and more will forge a place in your heart and will forever remain your most cherished memories of your past.

Come university years, many of you will separate and your path will diverge. Your dreams will take you to distant lands, different educational systems and rare, rare are those who will remain in contact with one other.

Within the confines of your new environment you will meet people that will share the same interests as you. The physicality, the distance, will play an important role in the separation of your childhood friends. Maybe not the first semester, but later on. Trust me (again).

I am sharing this with you because I experience this first hand (twice).

Georges was my best friend in high school. He was like a brother to me and always there for me. The true definition of a best friend. At university we separated and each went to its own. Thankfully the rise of social media brought us back together (online only). However, after 16 years of separation we finally made it and met over coffee. I did not know what to expect, yet I found my old friend. Same old Georges + married + wiser + as witty as before. I realized that after two decade of separation (HEY! I’m rounding the years here) we turned out to share more similarities in thoughts and how we viewed life and society in particular.

I really enjoyed my time with him and I anticipate our next get together before the distance separates us again.

An old friend of mine, whom I met a couple of months back (after 6 years of separation) told me something that struck in my mind “Your good friends are always going to be those that were in your life during your late teens. Those that no matter the separation, once met for coffee, will make you feel as if it were yesterday you last saw each other. And you will pick up the pieces and forge a stronger bond ..as if nothing ever happened”.

To you my friends, the day will come and when you go and catch up with your high school bestie, remember this; she/he will always be there anytime anywhere and any way imaginable.

xo

ps: do not misundertand me ; the friendships forged later on in life are genuine as well. However, those will never understand you fully, deeply as they were never there when your roots were being built.

pps: same goes to those childhood friends that were always there all those years; you grew up together only to be set apart unexpectedly suddenly…

 

“I’m engaged, I can’t talk to you”

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I am never going to understand Arab mentality and the dos and donts of the society I come from. Over the many years I have spent in Beirut, Lebanon and the many men I dated and had long term relationships with, I have never quite understood the few silent agreements between couples, especially those engaged to be married within the year.

Apparently there is a hidden rule that states that once you are engaged, you, automatically, will have to stop interacting with humans from the opposite sex. Yes! Shocker!!

Yesterday I was catching up with a very close friend of mine. From the moment we took seats, I felt she wasn’t herself. Born in Canada, but raised in Lebanon, Saria inherited the Western values vs the Middle Eastern ones.

Here is her story.

Her very close friend who immigrated to the USA a few years back was in Beirut for the holidays. Both friends have kept in touch(whatsapp/fb messenger/instagram all that jazz) throughout the 9 years of his leaving and it was his first time back to visit friends and family. One itch however, he got engaged to his long time on-off girlfriend in the states and was here to officialize the union.

Don’t get me wrong, we are, oh-so-happy for the chap.

What we are appalled by is the fact that, although a few days before his arrival and anticipated reunion with his close friend (Saria) through a whatsapp message, Mister X shifts 180 degrees on Lebanese soil. We give him a few days, even a week (we are generous) to catch up with his family, close, far, in between. On the second week, we decide to get in touch and set a date for the meet up. Busy one day, sudden appointment the next day, and many “I will let you know, we will play it by the ear” (Lebanese style) came the day of his departure!

No wait, let me be specific, I rephrase that, ….came the morning of his departure.

Saria is no naive girl. Trust me. She knew something was wrong the moment she heard his voice on the phone. She knew that the person by the end of the receiver is no longer her friend. She knew all of that but for the sake of the 10+ years of friendship, gave X the benefit of doubt. All came tumbling down when he decided to give her 20min of his precious on his way to the airport (btw her house is a dot on that highway leading there, so two birds in one stone, you know the shizzle…). It all took for her such suggestion of a pop-up meeting to explode on the phone. He did what any lame boy would do and twisted everything to look innocently guilty. You know that “you are right, I was a jerk” blabla.. and they resumed their phone call on that.

As you know a story is not quite one without the cherry on the top moment. And her cherry came in the form of a block on Facebook and Instagram jointly in the same hour that it took him to get to the airport, on his plane and off to Washington DC. Pathetic. Loser.

Am I Right or Right??

Well when it comes to anything Lebanese related (friendship, relationship and social) I am not the least surprised at most of the experiences endured by my friends. From what I witnessed, my friend was more shocked than angry. This was a guy who left his family, friends and country for a better life abroad. In his lonely times, he connected through social media with his friends back home (among them Saria). I know Saria and I know the kind of person she is when she puts all her energy into her friends & family. And I know for a fact that this guy went through a depression, away from everyone (it’s normal) and that Saria was there, amidst the hour gap, conversing, cheering. Well being the definition of a very good friend.

Moreover, I very well know how of a coward Lebanese men are when they get engaged. I mean you got engaged, that does not mean that you have turned gay (my respect to the gay community) or are a cheater if you are hanging out with friends from the opposite sex. I mean if you have had feelings for that specific friend then ok you move away when in a serious relationship. Fine I’ll give you that, ok (although..well…). But just cutting and throwing away friendships like that, no no!!

How do you define these men?

Cowards?

Immature?

Full of low self esteem?

Not Trustworthy?

Have relationship issues?

Have life issues?

Well I would tick all the above and more.

If you have a friend who has cut you off because of the change of his relationship status, then know this, its not you, its definitely him/her and the above mentioned traits (and more).

You are better off with that sort of drama because if one thing is for sure, these people are going to be facing many issues when interacting with society as a whole.

Last but not least, congrats on your union!!

xo

 

 

What YOU should NEVER take for granted.

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Embrace Day 1 of 2017. My first blogpost of the year.

Happy New Year everyone! I wished for each and every one of you a pleasant evening surrounded with your loved ones (did you keep the champagne pouring?). I wish you all an amazing year ahead. I know most of you are excited and anticipating what 2017 may be holding for you. Hopefully everything beautiful and positive.

For my first post of the year, I decided to share with you a few of the things that I unfortunately took for granted, only to have them come bit my ass when I least expected it. I am fully aware that many of you are familiar with the notions that I am going to enumerate, still it’s good to refresh one’s memory especially at the start of the year. Remember never let your guard down.

Friends; 

And I, by no means, mean friends in general, nor acquaintances. I mean your best friend, or to some who would prefer not to label the relationship, the ones you see almost everyday, the ones you are constantly on Whatsapp with (yeah calling is no longer IN), the ones you tag, mention and send screenshot(ted) conversations to. Yes those friends. You think you are close because of the one too many deep conversations together but never assume the esteem you have to this person is reciprocated 100%. Do not pour your soul into just anyone.

Family; 

Some are blessed with family members who would sell their soul to see them succeed and happy. They would give their kidney to one another to see them peaceful. Some are hypocrites awaiting the downfall of their next to kin. Some are petty and ugly from the inside. Some will play with each other’s feelings to gain sympathy. Not everyone can claim his family to be his backbone.

Looks; 

Yes we are not getting younger. We are aging. I know most of you will not like the terms I am using but this is the reality. Your metabolism at 35 is not the same as when you were 25. Physically if you do not maintain yourself, you are going to put on extra pounds especially around the waist, the hip and the tricep/back area. Do not, and I repeat, do not find excuses of your weight gain from going to gym regularly (muscle mass gain). Have the full body mass exam at a dietician and you will be in for some surprise. A nip & tuck here and there is ok as long as you don’t go overboard (and look like someone else completely!).

Health; 

Your health is very important. Do a full checkup once a year to be on the safe side. I know we tend to always put the doctor’s appointment at the back of our minds, especially dentists, but it is very important we set the date for that yearly check up. I postponed my dentist appointment the last 3 years that at 2016’s checkup I had so much to do, costing me an arm and a leg. Destress and go get that full body massage you have been craving since forever. We all deserve to splurge once in a while.

Time; 

Are you with me? Yes we tend to take it for granted so much that we tend to postpone projects, phone calls, meetings and most importantly saying how much we love one other. We might be robbed by time when we least expect it. Never postpone, seize the day and amidst the turmoil and the obstacles, go for it, do it.

 

“Hamdellah” the year ended on a good note. I learnt from my mistakes and though disappointed by my expectations from others, I am grateful to know what awaits me from the external world, from friends and strangers alike. Life is a bitch for petty people. Karma is never on their side. Time is running fast, 2017 just started. Let’s not waste any more time. 2017 you are my year for everything. I will never take anything for granted anymore, especially not human beings. oh yeah I am considering adopting a dog …in 2017. 

 

 

 

New Year resolutions? Yes & No and how it all changed for me!!

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With less than a week to go till the New Year, many of us have different kinds of expectations of 2017. Some of us can’t wait to put behind 2016 and move on whereas others are a bit nonchalant and quite frankly dismissive of this whole end of the year fiesta. This is where resolutions come in (with a bang). It is not until a couple of weeks back that I took a look at the passing year and realized that I, Patyl- Astrid, have completed unconsciously many of the New year resolutions of 2014-2015 and 2016 combined in one single year. How did I do that? Did I mean to cross off those jotted points from my diary? (yeah I am one of those- with the diary I mean) What did I feel when I came upon this discovery? To be honest, I was dumb struck! Why? Because as I mentioned it earlier, I did not plan it, nor realized any of it until I was done.

 

Resolutions. Resolutions.

 

If we look closely at each other’s resolutions, we notice that we have more in common than meets the eye. The first thing we all jot down is cutting down on vices and embracing the opposite. Mine, as well as your resolution for the past so many forgotten years has been to start a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym and cutting down on alcohol and junk food. Am I not right? Well to be realistic such drastic change cannot and never has begun over night. It takes patience, a lot of it, and most importantly acceptance that this is what we are going to dedicate to become within the upcoming year. And how many of us failed at it within a couple of months of the New year? The reason? We are so determined to jump on the gym bandwagon for the sole purpose that we started to get nauseated by the end of the year back to back parties and dinners. We think solely on the spot by letting our momentary feeling take the best of our decision- making. Once we heal (for some by the end of January) we get back to our drinking /night out splurges.

A shout out to the single ladies out there as well as those spoken for, don’t we all just want to be in that secure ‘the one’ kind of relationship and tie the knot? Come on, I know that you dream of your wedding day and those who are tying the knot during the holidays are not helping with their Instagram postings. One of the resolutions I have witnessed many to vow by in the next year is falling in love with ‘the one’ and settling down. Seriously? I did not know that there was a timeline set for such thing. Now if you are already with ‘the one’ then maybe you are stating on taking the next step and getting engaged. Now, even that you can’t just pinpoint it on paper. It is something that both parties have already agreed on prior (whether you are going to wait a couple of years before getting married) or happens on a sudden whim from the boyfriend/the one, one night at dinner or after implementing an orchestrated adventure for two. Both cases, ladies you are not in charge of the emotional side of things. Your heart controls you. Single ladies you can’t force yourselves to fall in love and girlfriends you can’t impose your other half to take the next step if he is not ready yet. Hence, do enter the new year on good foot. Embrace your future day by day. Do not jump big leaps and fall into oblivion. Those single hearts out there are going to be full of love when the time, I mean, the right person comes along.

 

Resolutions. Resolutions.

 

I am not trying to turn you against your New Year resolutions. I know too well how exciting it is to imagine oneself in the near future as a near perfected woman. The New Year brings out an emotional roller coaster within us. A strength, a determination that, we only witness in the month of December. You know what I am talking about, right?

I want to tell you ladies that writing down open- ended generalities as New Year resolutions will only bring you down when they are not fulfilled. Why don’t you jot down your resolutions into a step by step goals? Why not embrace the fact that much of your goals are set to become part of your lifestyle than just a box to tick off once you have accomplished it.

By summer 2016, I stopped smoking. An accomplishment by itself because it was one of the many vices that I did not intend to quit, even though I repeatedly written it as a New Year resolution. I don’t even think about it nor crave it till present day. How did I do it? Well I unconsciously started smoking less. A pack a day turned into ten cigarettes a day and so on so forth.

Moreover, being in a relationship with my boyfriend of more than a year, I know we are meant to be together (forever) by tying the knot someday soon yet not having a date in mind does not make me want to go write down 3/3/2017, right? I want to remind you that I have been single for many years prior just like yourself (and at times with the wrong type of men), and I did intend on finding my one the upcoming year. However what I realized when I met my boyfriend was that I can’t put a ticking time bomb on my heart. He came un-expectantly into my life (way after I had given up on that aspect of my life) and I do not intend on losing him because of some time set goal.

My career is up till this day in shambles and I am not worried about it. I am carrying on with my artistic projects and I am not setting unimaginable goals. My goal for my art is near attainable than my grandiose dream ever was (for now of course, remember being passionate should not set you limits).

I took control of my life summer 2016 and from than onwards everything seems to fall into place. When you are at peace with yourself and from within, you can set your mind to do almost anything. Everything is possible from then onwards. Hence my accomplishments step by step. I know you will all reach that point one day, hopefully sooner than you think. Just don’t go writing down general predictions on your to-do-list only to be disappointed flash forward six months within 2017.

Drunk Texting Anyone?

Whether we wanna admit it or not we all have drunk texted someone in the past. To those who do not wanna admit to this very normal inebriated behavior, here are a few of the drunk texts you might have received in your life time;

  • What’s up?

Generally you receive this type of two worded texts on any given weekend after the wee hours. Let’s say on a Saturday at 3.30 am. Surely you don’t expect me to believe that your ‘friend’ texted so as to inquire about your health. If he wanted to join you on your outing, trust me you would have received that text prior 10 at night.

  • From your ex?

This one is the best message you can receive especially after a bad breakup initiated by the gentleman in question. This can only mean that you are in his thoughts (yeah even if he is drunk). Don’t they say, truth comes out of a drunken tongue ? (or something like that!?)

  • Wrong messages?

It is only the day after that you dread holding your phone and going through the texts and calls of the night before. Apart from the above mentioned drunk texts sent and received you will notice that you might have sent a couple to strange numbers which to be honest I prefer to the incomprehensible ones to friends. Gh%!^~*BJK!!!!! right?!!!

  • Blanking ?

One of my favorite is ‘accidentally’ sending a blank text to your crush. Worse case scenario you can blame the phone for sending it by mistake. Damn you technology!!! (Just try to make sure when explaining face to face one day to not having your phone locked with a password!).

  • FB messenger too?

You have an infinite block list on your phone? So do I. But when there is a will, there is a way; Facebook messenger! Like Trump said it over and over again > What a mess!!! Let’s just say that I uninstalled that option from my phone. Trust me you do not wanna receive a drunk text when out and about, from someone who has noticed that he cannot reach you through proper phone channels (whatsapp, plain text messaging..).

There is no shame in drunk texting. We all did it. We might not have been proud about it but our sole excuse is that we learn from our mistakes. Drunk texting is an excuse when you are in your twenties. But when you have entered your mid 30s and still getting drunk on weekends and texting incomprehensibly then I can only manage to tell you this : You are a pathetic loser. Get a life boy!

Zzzzzzzzz……..