Archive | July 2007

5 questions I had to answer in order to find happiness

Yesterday a coworker, who has only known me for a month, said, “You have great communication skills.”

I must have done at least 10 cartwheels right there. Yipeeeeeeeee. It worked, it worked. I managed to do it; I managed to change a vice into a virtue. How did I do it? By answering five questions; of course it has taken more than 10 months but the important thing is that it worked. Those questions were:

1. Am I as happy as I can be?

The answer was no. I used to be, but somehow I lost that sensation. The only place I was truly happy and light spirited was inside a classroom. I love teaching; I love being inside the class with those inquisitive minds. But as soon as I stepped out, I felt a dark heavy load all over my body. No, I definitely wasn’t happy. I mean if someone screams at a stranger in a parking lot, then something is not going right in their lives.

2. Do I want to be?

It took some time to realize that I can even ask such a question. I don’t have to remain unhappy. I have the right to want to be happy; the question is do I want to? It’s not an easy as it sounds. I had to make a conscious decision to want to be happy. After a couple months of thinking, I finally answered, yes, I do; I want to be happy.

3. What makes me happy?

Once I answered question 2, I asked myself, ‘ok, fine, so what makes you happy? I started making a list of cliché stuff, like chocolate, beach, sound of water, etc, when I realized that none of these things make me happy anymore. Other than being in class, nothing made me happy!!! I had sunk so low in this abyss that I had no idea what made me happy anymore. So the answer to this question was either nothing…or maybe I don’t know.

So I started observing myself closely. The days that I came home in high spirits, I made a list of things I had done, seen, talked about, thought about, even eaten. I did the same thing for days I came home and went straight to bed without exchanging a single word with anyone.

Eventually I managed to pinpoint the source of my unhappiness. It wasn’t external, it wasn’t the people around me, it wasn’t my work, my home, my environment, it was me. I was the source of my unhappiness. I wasn’t happy with who I was, with the Noushin (my real name) inside me. So I had to ask the next question.

4. What do I love/hate about myself?

To my surprise, this question was now easy for me to answer. I made a list.

What I hate:

  • I’m quick tempered
  • I’m reserved
  • I often feel unloved/unappreciated (to me being loved and appreciated is the same thing)
  • I don’t let go
  • I expect people to be mind readers and if they don’t I think they don’t care
  • I have very low-self esteem
  • etc.

I then realized that all of the above can be narrowed down to 1 thing: I don’t communicate.

If I communicate and tell people how I feel, things wouldn’t bottle up and I won’t lose my temper quickly, I’m reserved because I’m not comfortable talking about my emotions, I don’t let go because I don’t tell people when I feel they have hurt or wronged me, I have low self-esteem because I don’t object when people put me down.

5. What are my steps to happiness?

So to be happy, I had to learn to communicate well. Nothing should bottle up. This way, I can get rid of my vices, which would make me fall in love with myself, which would make me happy.

I now feel I have been happy for the past 2 months or so. Is it just because I communicated every time I felt I was going to curl up in my cave? I think so.

Nicey sentences: part V

I just realized i hadn’t posted any “Nicey Sentences” in a long time. Hate to break tradition, so here we go:

We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, “Why did this happen to me?” unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

Turn your wounds into wisdom. ~Oprah Winfrey

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.

The greatest source of misery and hatred in this world is clinging to past hurts

Life does not have meaning through mere existence or acquisition or fun. The meaning of life is inherent in the connections we make to others through honor and obligation.

We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you”

Word from the wise: A cell phone and the little gurls room

Ok, so as promised, here’s my first post on me being altruistic and sharing the little wisdom I gained through my personally little goofs:

It’s hot, right? So you obviously drink a lot of water, right? Ok, so you might also drink a lot of other liquid, like tea, ice tea, tea with milk, or that new addiction to mint tea that you have recently developed, right? So once your bladder is full, you gotta do the healthy thing and empty it, right? Well here’s where the advice comes:

Take your mobile phone with you to the bathroom

Trust me, getting stuck in there is no fun, no sireeeeeey, no fun at all ;p…oh and getting saved is no fun either. you get out and a thousand smirking faces greets you

This Week’s Tidbit: Pinch your nose to lose weight

Ok, so the first tidbit that I am gonna apply in my life is health related. After reading this bit of tidbit, I decided to quit going to the gym and start pinching my nose every hour on the hour instead.

Pinch your nose and lose weight?

Can’t resist that piece of cake?

Try pinching your nostrils for ten seconds.

Researchers say you can curb your cravings by pinching your nose. It’s actually an ancient Chinese acupressure point.

Another benefit of pinching your nose shut, is you can’t taste anything. Because without the sense of smell, you can’t taste. And if you can’t taste, the satisfaction of whatever you’re craving disappears.

July, Me, Job, Birthday, Mandela, Soccer Match and 2 new posts

Wooooaaa what a month it has been so far!! I started a new job (same one I had my fingers crossed for and 3rd one this year), heard a great piece of news (tell you later) and celebrated my 17th summer. Yep I turned 17 on Wednesday…stop rolling your eyes…I really did…no kidding…17 😀 Okay fine, it was 17 on Mars…on earth I turned *cough, cough*.

Unfortunately Nelson Mandela stole my thunder since he too celebrated the anniversary of his life on earth on July 18th. The only difference between his day and mine was that an anti-racism soccer match was held in his honor between ‘The Continent of Africa” and “The World”. Actually I tried to organize a soccer match in my name: ‘The Parents’ vs ‘The Siblings’; but we had no ball so the match was canceled 😀

Anyway, being the altruistic person I am and to kick off my 33th year on this planet I have decided to launch 2 new posts on a weekly basis entitled:

“This weeks tip on a better living”: This would be me sharing the priceless insight and knowledge I gain each week from my personally goofs.

“What I have learnt this week”: This would be an interesting tidbit I read online.

I’m now gonna go bug someone for a while and when I came back I’ll inaugurate my first 2 posts…c ya

The 7 stages of my transformation

  1. Doormat
  2. Burnt out
  3. Split-personality
  4. Paranoia
  5. Searching for peace
  6. Peaceful
  7. Learning to turn my wounds into wisdom

1. Doormat:

I lingered on in this stage for quite sometime. All I wanted was peace at any cost. Basically I was a people pleaser. My self-esteem had reached its lowest point. I honestly thought I had absolutely no skills or talent at all; that I didn’t deserve to have friends. I never voiced my hurt since I didn’t want to stir up any problems; didn’t want to be seen as a nag. This unexpressed hurt and anger eventually turned to resentment and depression.

2. Burnt out:

Basically I became a walking zombie. Didn’t care about anyone, didn’t care about myself; I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t happy, I just wasn’t. What I was was tired; so very, very tired; tired of it all; and oblivious to my surroundings, to my family and friends. I buried myself in work and became indifferent towards everyone.

3. Split-personality:

Sometimes a stranger says a sentence to you that unknowingly would change your life for ever. I’m not sure if the tipping point for me was that day or not; but it was the day that in a long time I had accepted a compliment with grace. The day that I started to say to myself; ‘Hey you are not as worthless as some people make you feel”. The inner struggle between my two selves had started. The old me wanted to retrieve to being a doormat, the new me wanted to take risks. I started to question the sincerity of the people around me. There were days that I thought I had lots of genuine friends, then there were days I didn’t trust anyone.

4. Paranoia:

Well guess which side won? The side of me that believed there were no good people left in this world. Now I hated the world. I had lost faith in humanity. Everyone was evil to me; everyone was selfish; everyone had betrayed me in one way or another; everyone was out to use me. So I blacklisted everyone in my life. I thought of myself as the only nice person left in this world. (Would you believe that I chuckled as I just typed the last sentence? I can’t believe I once thought that). I truly believed that I was the nicest, most considerate, most honest person I know and that I was the last decent person left in this world. It’s ironic because this was also the stage that I had turned evil. I failed to see the genuine concern of some friends. One of them actually turned around one day and said to me, “I know you were hurt before, but you can’t punish everyone for it.”

5. Searching for peace

“If you don’t do something soon, it would be too late” was yet another sentence uttered by a stranger. She was referring to something else (which I would post about soon) but it did wake me up. I woke up and released that I have become emotionally detached from everyone, realized that I was tired of feeling sorry for myself, realized that what I want is peace.

To achieve peace, I had to let go of my anger, resentment and hurt. It wasn’t easy since I had been harboring it for so long that I had forgotten why or what caused it. But it’s funny how when you clear your heart from hatred you begin to see God’s signs. Little by little, God started answering my questions, or showed me how to confront the source.

6. Peaceful

“Are you in love?” was what she said after an hour of conversation with her.

“No, why?”

“You seemed so relaxed, so tranquil.”

Now I understood a lot of things. I was at peace with myself and the world around me. The sadness was gone, the anger was gone, the feeling of self-pity was gone, the hatred was gone. I now looked beyond people’s action; I had learnt to see things from their perspective and understand their behavior. To quote a very good blogger friend of mine, “Letting go is to let your expectation go or at least lower them. We have so many “made up stories” about our loved ones, we exaggerate their behaviors, their motives and it’s us that we build the resentments and thus we make it hard to forgive.”

7. Learning to turn my wounds into wisdom

It’s not easy staying peaceful. There are days those unhealthy feelings of self-pity take the better of me, though it is a lot less intense than before. I guess I still have a lot of self-discovery left to do before I came enjoy the ride on the road to peace.

Shoe Tagged by Rieaane

I was tagged by Rieaane to post a picture of my fav shoe. Ok, I guess it’s time I confessed, My name is Magical and I’m a woman and…..oh god this is more difficult than I imagined…but here it goes….I…hold on…gotta get a glass of water.

[10 minutes later]

Ok, here it goes. I…..I……..I…..don’t….well….kinda don’t…no…I don’t…I really don’t………………… shoes.

There I said it. I don’t like shopping for shoes *gasp*. I only have 1 pair of comfortable shoes and I wear it ALL THE TIME.

Ahhhhh, it feels so good to get that off my chest. Ahhhhhhh.

[5 minutes later]

I just had a look down and noticed I’m wearing another pair that I really like. So I grabbed my camera and snap…here it is:

So Rieaane, here is a pic of my favorite footwear of all time; my comfy, my confidante, my little baby gurl:

drum rolls please




Thank you Toni Morrison for disantibookaholicsizing me

“There is really nothing more to say—except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.” The Bluest Eye

I’m cured.

I’m cured.

I’m cured.

I was suffering from see-a-book-run-far-far-away-in-opposite-direction disease (some may refer to this disease as antibookaholicism). What I basically had was some kind of allergy to reading fiction—I just simply couldn’t!!!

At first I was quite skillful in hiding my disease from friends. Whenever they loaned me a book, I would beg my mom to read it and fill me in on the plot, characters, theme, blaa, blaa, and blaa. But alas, it didn’t take them long to figure it out. (Damn, now why couldn’t I have had stupid friends!!) Of course I must say this game did turn my mom into a great story teller 😀

Ten years passed by before I even dared to pick up a novel on my own free will. It was “The Da Vinci Code.” I got pass page 5 when I realized I hadn’t understood a single word. Reread; no understand; reread; no understand. Eventually I gave up and downloaded the audio book of it. Even that was painstaking; I kept falling asleep after only 5 minutes. Even lullabies don’t work that fast.

I bought 5 novels but could get passed page 50 on any of them.Apparently I was still suffering from antibookaholicism. I tried numerous therapies to get cured but to no avail. I sagaciously diagnosed myself as suffering from a short attention span so:

1. I signed up at DailyLit …but deleted the emails without even opening them

My second self-diagnostic report revealed I had to read books in the format I’m used to, i.e. a softcopy, so:

2. I downloaded several ebooks, but can’t remember where I have even saved them. I also downloaded several audiobooks that worked beautifully…as sleeping pills.

I had completely given up hope…..until Toni Morrison came to my rescue.

The title was “The Bluest Eye”, but I somehow saw the phrase ‘pick me up’ on the cover. So I did….and I didn’t put it down until drops of silent tears fell on the last page.

Why this book?

Because her words penetrated deep into my soul; sent cold chills down my spine; sparked goose bumps all over my cold feet; reminded me of the magic that a language can create.

The story wasn’t unique but her narration was; the characters weren’t unique but her insight into their souls was; the style wasn’t unique but the way she made the words dance was.

And now the problem:

Ok now that I have been dis-antibookaholicsized I gotta find a book that can top “The Bluest Eye”. Currently I am reading “Eleven Minutes” and my first impression so far (till p.32) is: “Hey, this Paulo dude is seriously over rated!!!”

PS. On a different note: Rieanne, I’m still shoe shopping sweatie 😀