Well – I’m Pregnant.

Yup.

It’s taken me a week to say those words out loud. I found out as early as I possibly could – my body works like clockwork. And as much as I was hoping it was being unpredictable, it wasn’t. I was pregnant, and a part of me knew that before I found out. I was pregnant and I had just signed on for the job I had waited my whole life for. I was pregnant 3 months before I needed to be to qualify for paid Maternity Leave. I was pregnant and I wasn’t ready. I am pregnant and I’m not ready.

I’m not ready to lose my body and my (two and a half year long) honeymoon. I’m not ready to stop being who I was and be defined by my family and my condition. Most of all, I’m not ready to let go of my career. I’m not ready to walk into my 1st day of work 4 months pregnant. I don’t want to be 6 months pregnant when I’m going for my training in Madrid. I didn’t expect to be pregnant, and I don’t know how to balance it all.

I’m also not ready – and don’t think I’ll try to be ready – to consider this the best thing to have ever happened to me. I’m glad I’m pregnant (whether at the right time or not) and it was definitely on the cards for me. But not because I expected a baby to complete my family or complete who I was. Not because I felt there was something missing in my life. Not even because I wanted a baby at all. No, I wanted to have a baby because it was part of my responsibility as an adult. I know a lot of people will counter that saying adults are NOT required to have babies, but for the world I live in, the life I lead, the people that love me, I did feel it was required and it was on the cards for me. Yes, I’ll enjoy it, I’ll be a good mother, I will put my babies first(ish), but I refuse to have it be the most important thing in my life, and I refuse to act as if it’s the best thing to have happened to me.

My job was better news for me this month than finding out I’m pregnant. My baby is a challenge that will make my career harder, not vice versa. I am more excited for my job than this baby. This does NOT mean I’m not excited for the baby, I am. I just reject the idea of acting like it’s 100% all about the baby otherwise you’re somehow not excited enough or not a good ‘mother’.

I’m a person before I’m anything else, and we’re all allowed to prioritise things the way we want. For me, it is most important that I be with my husband, happily married and together. It is important for me to have a fulfilling career. And it is then important (right now) for me to have a baby – in that order.

So… I’m happy (and shocked) I’m having a baby but I’m even happier (and more surprised) that I somehow managed to get a job!

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Oh Ramadan.

Ramadan you strange and beautiful, at times cruel, at times merciful thing.

When I was younger and Ramadan was somewhat easier (primarily because the rozas were shorter and I was in Pakistan), I used to love the two parts iftaar divided the day into one. Pre-iftari was a state of zombie-like existence, barely making it through the day, praying with whatever little energy you had and just counting down the minutes to iftari. As iftari approached, maybe about an hour before it you’d start watching tv or something to pass the time – this normally consisted of terrible iftar transmissions and wonferful food shows. With each minute feeling like an hour, you’d finally sit on the table and then BOOM, a party every night! The freedom to eat feels like a miracle even on the 30th roza. Suddenly everything feels festive and like a celebration. You eat food, you watch tv and with all the prayers for the day done (minus Ishaa, which you have aaall night to do) you relax knowing that you’ve done your bit. And my favourite part, I’d go online and start talking to all my friends who were in the same happy state of mind, allll the way up to Sehri.

Now, the happiness is still the same even now but pre-iftaar has gotten pretty bad. Of course the fasts are much much longer here anyway, but I’ve also started getting these splitting headaches when I fast now. I actually had to go to the A&E last year for a severrree headache I couldn’t get rid of even after iftaar. The struggle is too hard for me to really enjoy Ramadan anymore and I hate that. I hate that I start dreading it sometime in March, but.. I’ve decided to be a little relaxed this year. I had a splitting headache today, so I’m going to skip tomorrow, guilty as I feel about it. I couldn’t even pray Asr today, so what’s the point of fasting if it’ll just paralyse you to your bed?

With that said, I feel the magic right now. Everything just feels more relaxed after iftaar. Husband is watching tv like he was before sunset, so technically nothing has changed really but he’s drinking a cup of tea and browsing his phone, and well, just looks more alive. I’m sure the same goes for me.

All-in-all, no matter how much I dread Ramadan, I do end up loving it.. as long as you ask me after Iftaar and not before it. 🙂

What 2 Weeks Away From Home and a Terrible Houseguest have taught me

I was at my parents’ house for a couple of weeks and I just got back day before yesterday. My husband and some of his family was staying here while I was gone and unfortunately I came back to a house that was TRASHED. We’re talking rockstars in a hotel level of trashed. Empty baby food containers all over the place, packaging material all over the place, dirty clothes and shoes – a mess. I asked my husband about it and turned out that his sister-in-law is somewhat of a bitch. She keeps her house clean but because she considered herself a ‘guest’ here, she didn’t bother picking up so much as a piece of tissue while I was gone. My opinion on her is the stuff of legends, but the long and short of it is that it was a terribly poor show.

It took me two days to clean it all up and sort through her junk, but at the end of it (and I hate to admit this) I’ve realised I’m proud of how I keep my house. I’m proud of the fact that it took me two days to clean a mess that took two weeks to make. I’m proud of the fact that I can’t stay in a dirty environment, contrary to me always suspecting I was a slob. It’s not about being a woman or a man – it’s about taking care of the role you are given. Until I am working in some other capacity, I am a homemaker and as a homemaker, it is my job to make this house as comfortable as possible for myself and my family.

Anyway, I’m just glad things are back to normal. I don’t think housework will feel like such a chore anymore because I’ve realised that I need this for myself, to feel like I’m doing a good job of whatever I’m supposed to be doing. Shame on anyone who makes it a question of ego or pride.

AlsoWe’veDecidedToTryForABaby.JustSaying.

Tell ’em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper.

Here’s the thing – if I ever expect to be happy with my life and more importantly, satisfied with my life, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s one and only one thing I can do now – get a job. I need to get this job for many, many reasons.

1. I’ve always said I’m destined for greatness and a genius to boot, but I’ve never done anything to prove it. I’ve paid my way through a masters degree and excelled at a working class job in Target but I’ve never reached for the moon and gotten the stars (or vice versa for that matter). I did manage to get an internship at Unilever and I did manage to get into a great uni but what is the point of an internship and a degree if I have nothing to show for it?! It’s a classic case of always the bridesmaid never the bride, penny-wise pound-foolish, etc etc. I need this job to prove to myself I’m more than a degree or an exam.

2. If I have nothing to look forward to, I will always look at the past. And no matter how great or how terrible the past has been it somehow always seems better than the future when you look back. I’m looking back at EME and missing it – that can NOT be good. Nothing about that place was good for me, nothing at all. And the only reason I’m missing it is because I feel trapped when I look towards the future and I don’t like that.

3. No matter how many times I ‘retire’ thinking I’ve earned it, I can’t help but feel like a failure.

One job. One great big job and that’s it. Let’s take one last one for the team, just to say we tried. Sigh..

Also I really wouldn’t hate it if you gave me your views on this post. That could be a pun, but I mean it isn’t. I always get dozens of ‘views’ in one sense but never any opinions on my thoughts. I’d like to know how I’m doing if you wouldn’t so terribly hate to tell me!

Accepting the Idea of Different Kinds of Love

I will never have the kind of lover who writes songs for me or even listens to a song and thinks of me. I will never have the kind of lover who cries at the thought of missing me just because they heard a line in a song or saw a girl in a movie – and I knew that didn’t I? I also know he loves me more than anyone has possibly ever loved me because he tries so hard to do it. He has struggled so much to keep loving me despite everything I did to make sure he didn’t. He misses me so much, he does so much for me, he wants to do so much more – and yet I’m here, looking for someone to dance with me while the whole world watches. A line from a top 40 song that I won’t remember in two weeks but that today means so much to me. Does that say a lot about the kind of person that I am or is that just a different but natural way of doing things?

I have a natural tendency for the melancholy in me – a natural tendency to be blue for the sake of being blue, a natural tendency to value nostalgia more than hope and romantic tragedy more than simple happiness. I know I have the wrong way of looking at things, but if it’s something built inside your nature can you really be held accountable for it?

There’s value in effort and intention but what about the undeniable irony of wanting a useless fork when you have 5 well meaning spoons?

::

How do I know I want a Child. How can I make the single biggest irreversible decision of my life. How do you know when you know? When do you cross that invisible line that everyone says you one day do?

Travel Diaries – The Great American Easter Pt 1.

There’s nothing great about this American Easter – I’m just going home to see my parents but what is a blog post without a catchy title?

I’ve had the worst ten days in recent history. A computer dying, a confusing house guest, unexpected financial issues and to top it all off, having to leave a day earlier than expected cause I didn’t read my ticket correctly. How in 8 months did I manage to not notice I’m leaving Friday and Not Thursday? How did I manage to book hotel rooms and tickets and not manage to notice the date I land? A mystery it remains, but all’s sorted now and I’m on my way home.

Home (2 of 3)

I wouldn’t say I’m a nervous traveller, but I’m an anxious pre-traveller. Did I pack everything, did I weigh my bags right, are you SURE it’s this terminal and this day and this flight? Did I charge my phone? Oh no I forgot to pack a travel pillow (I really did) etc etc. And this has been highlighted in recent years by the fact that my husband is a very good traveller and he handles everything for us. So I’ve learnt to relax but at the expense of losing my touch with travel details, meaning that when I DO travel alone now, I’m worse than before. This is the second of two solo trips I’ve taken so far this year but while that was a relatively local flight to Amsterdam from London, this is transatlantic and involves connections and what not. Fingers crossed all goes smoothly, but the point of this paragraph was the following:

My nerves have kept me from realising that I love Durham, NC more than any city in the world. Landing in the airport just instantly makes me feel at home, and while I can trace many root reasons for this, I’d like to think it’s because I love the place and I know what the next couple of weeks will bring. The weather, the sunshine, the people, the food – I have never felt happier and warmer in any place that isn’t pindi (and recently, not even there).

Looking forward to a good, stress-free, drama-free trip, minus the expected 2 fights I’ll have with my dad and 1 with my brother.

 

Sometimes when I come here I feel very very alone. As if I have no one to talk to. Everyone I had who ‘spoke’ to me is in the old place and I really can’t go there anymore. I can, but it feels like talking to an old friend about new things they no longer understand. I have a sudden urge to text someone from back home or call someone new – I feel very aware of my loneliness. Anyway..

I have a drama playing in the background. I’ve almost graduated (apart from a HUGE project that is eating my soul) and I’m off to see my parents tomorrow. That’s the good stuff. The bad stuff?

I’m 68 kgs and I’m genuinely depressed over it. I don’t want to eat, and I won’t today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after. We can decide what to do about Saturday when we get to it.