The Most Traumatic Breakups

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Hello Beautiful People!

In the spirit of Valentine’s day (or Single’s Awareness day, depending on who you ask) I’ve decided to discuss a sensitive topic that may be surfacing for many during this lovey-dovey day.

Breakups. Everyone has bad ones. I have a whole list of them, TRAUMATIC ones. Wait- “but Hoda”, you ask, “you’re Muslim, how are you dating and going through breakups. What a bad Muslim you are!” Okay, stop being judgmental. My breakups are not your typical breakups. There are all different kinds of relationships and bonds we have in life that, when they end, could be characterized as breakups. Actually, here’s some more details on my most traumatic breakups to date and why they’re not “typical” breakups:

The work husband

Talking about this is still really hard for me… When I started working at my current job there was an MBA grad who started the same time as me. He is married and had a baby a few months after we started. You’re probably wondering, wait, what’s a work husband… Is Hoda a home wrecker?! It’s not as bad as it sounds, calm down people. Actually, according to Urban Dictionary a work husband is someone you spend a lot of time with in the office and share snacks with. And this is exactly what he and I did. Every meeting we both had to attend we showed up at together, we had lunch together, we vented to one another, ate cookies and brownies together, and since he was older and had a ton of IT experience under his belt I always looked up to him and asked for advice. He always gave me guy advice too, aka he always pitied me for having such a “small selection pool” (I pity myself and all the other Muslim girls out there too, get your acts together fellas).

Well, about a year into our careers here he left. I knew it was coming for a few months so I should have been mentally prepared but nothing was more dreadful than that text on Monday, August 12th at 9:16am that said: “I’m out of here”. (exact time & wording might not be right but I wanted to be really dramatic about it.) I cried. A lot. He had to call me and calm me down. Losing a work spouse really isn’t easy. The next few weeks after that I had a really hard time in the office, every time something frustrating or something funny happened, I’d go to IM him and he wasn’t there. In the mornings when I went to get my tea I couldn’t walk by his desk like a “ninja” (that’s what he called me because he said I was always scaring him) and make him come with me. Basically, it was one of the worst break ups of my life. I still miss him and his great advice, he moved all the way to Texas since. And to be honest, work hasn’t been the same since. I’ve tried to replace him but nobody laughs at my corny jokes the way he did 😦

The “best friends”

We all have those “best friends” that become more like family. The reason they are better than family is because we chose them unlike our biological family we get by God’s fate (don’t kill me biological family, I love you). Anyhow, I have “best friends” in quotes here because what the hell even defines a best friend? I mean… Is it someone who’s seen you nakey? Is it someone you’ve cried to with a mascara smudged face? Is it someone you feel comfortable farting around? Is it the first person you call when something embarrassing happens? In that case, we all have “best friends”.

My junior year of college, at a pivotal point, in my eyes, of my life I lost two people I considered my “best friends” in reality they were actually more like sisters to me. I won’t go into details and bore you with the drama of it but I can tell you this much. Losing two people, at the same time, that you were used to calling, texting and being with every waking free moment is literally one of the most traumatic things that could happen, especially to a 20 year old female. It’s worse, in my opinion, than having a friend pass away. Why you ask? Because the person is actually still alive, not too, physically, far from you, but yet you can’t talk to them or see them because it just hurts too much.

Now, although I admit this was traumatic for me I still think God has a way of doing things for a reason, sometimes you don’t know what that reason is until years later. I have to say, as traumatic as this was, I still think I learned and grew from this whole situation. I became a lot more independent and in turn, confident about major and minor decisions in my life. These girls were like a backbone to me, if I had a dilemma, from clothes, to school, to work, I was always going to them for advice, or rather, an opinion. I learned to confidently make decisions on my own and for that I am truly grateful.

Not to mention, this whole situation made me a lot more cautious when it came to who I let in, I guess you could say, something like this makes you a little emotionally numb. But in my case, it also brought me closer to my sisters and my mom, so, maybe it wasn’t as traumatic after all. Maybe it was traumatic to 20 year old me. Maybe it was more of an “in-the-moment” trauma and I just needed to get through it to find the light at the other end 🙂 I have to admit… the one regret I have about this all was not reaching out to them to clear the air sooner. It takes time to get over things, it takes some people longer than others, by the time I was ready to reach out and talk it was too late… So from this situation I coined the term “YOLO” ever heard of it? Some people think Drake came up with it but it was totally me. Moral here: Yolo, so if you gotta tell someone something do it while you can. Ya heard?… Alright. Moving on.

The work family

For the past year I’ve been working with some pretty amazing people. I almost feel like they have become a family. In other words, I have a work family. We have been there for one another in the past year and experienced some pretty serious life events together. One of them has gotten married, one’s son got married, one got a puppy, one’s child started their masters, another’s is starting college. I know their favorite hobbies, what makes them tick, their children’s ages and other useless information that you only learn about people you spend a great deal of time with. They give me advice about life, my career and they provide comedic relief during the days when I need it most. And to repay them, I bake cupcakes. Most of my work family has 20+ years work experience so you can only imagine how much amazing advice I am lucky to get from them.

Since I am transitioning into a new role everyone has become super sentimental and are constantly remind me that they will miss me. What they don’t know is that I’ll miss them more! Most people stay in a job for more than a year, being in this rotational program I have to change jobs pretty often. I think it’s safe to say these people have become an everyday part of my life and that they’ve inspired me to be my best self at work and outside of work as well. It’s certainly not often we end up working with people that become family and for having this opportunity I am truly grateful. I’m totally going to miss the random hugs my manager gives me!!

The Friend who moves for grad school or a job

I am at that age now that my friends are making big moves again. I went through this first batch of friends moving after high school but that’s not as earth shattering and traumatic as friends leaving post- high school. In the past year (plus) two friends have moved away. Okay, so they are actually best friends with my sister but I’ve adopted them as my own over the past six years. One moved to pursue a Masters at Harvard and another to pursue a dream job on the West Coast. Wait- how amazing are these women? I think my favorite part of them leaving is that they didn’t go to follow a man, instead, they were following their dreams. As much as it sucks for them to be really far away and random rendezvous at Starbucks are out of the question now, I am super proud to call them my friends, mainly because they are so bad-a$$ and picked up and started a new life, while grad school isn’t permanent and a job is, more or less, more permanent it still sucks to not be able to meet up at the drop of a hat. I won’t deny that there’s comforting in knowing I have a place to escape on each coast when life gets too crazy. In the meantime, there’s Instagram, Facebook, FaceTime and iMessage to help cope this is particular kind of break up.

The job

When I turned 19 I got the most dope job ever. Literally, it was actually, on my 19th birthday, that my friend texted me and told me her job was hiring and that I should apply. Wanna know what I did? I hustled for a living. Okay, fine. I worked at T-Mobile, but basically, I was a hustler. Not only did I have a sick discount on my monthly plan, I worked with people my age, funny people, who always had crazy stories to share. I worked with one of my closest friends and I also worked with someone who is now my brother in law.

Although this job made me gain the most weight in college it was also the hardest to leave. Around my 20th birthday I got an offer to intern at J&J in their IT department. As I was just only wrapping up my sophomore year this was a great opportunity. Not to mention I would be getting experience in the field I wanted to work and also getting college credit (and a paycheck to boot!) You’re probably wondering, what the hell are you complaining about crazy girl. Well, I was going from a job with hardly any pressure, with people I loved who were literally becoming family, interacting with new, interesting people everyday, making people happy and fixing their problems- to sitting at a desk, working with people much older than me who were pretty much at that age where they were fairly cynical about life. I have to admit, I had a pretty awesome manager for the first few months there but then she left and it was just sad from there :(. Maybe this was so hard because it was my first corporate experience or maybe it was hard because I really just loved my job at T-Mobile. Either way, life was pretty grand when I was working there, sometimes I still stopped by just because I missed being surrounded by glowing white walls and shiny cellphones…. Does that make me weird? Probably. It’s fine, I don’t care, I still have mad love for you T-Mobile, stay beautiful.

The Real Moral of The Story…

Whether you’re going through a breakup like one of mine or a romantic one I have one piece of advice for you on v-day. Don’t think that you need a lover in your life to have love in your life. My favorite Valentine’s day to date was when two of my good friends brought me roses and chocolate to class my junior year of college. It reminded me that I didn’t (and still don’t) need a significant other to feel loved, I’m already surrounded by amazing cupcakes, cookies, family members, friends, more cupcakes, coworkers, food, cupcakes… the list goes on, don’t make me sit here and have to spell it out for you. You can find love in every part of your life- don’t look for it in a romantic relationship, look for it in the amazing people (and food) that already surround you. Or look for it in your dog, I bet your dog freakin’ loves you!

Here's a pic of me and my favorite little cuddle bug, my niece, Jehnnah!

Here’s a pic of me and my favorite little cuddle bug, my niece, Jehnnah!

Don’t forget to share & like this post and follow me on Instagram for an obnoxious amount of posts awl day erryday: Hodagram

 Xx H

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Find a Reason to Throw a Party

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Hi there. Hoda here to bestow some wisdom upon you. I apologize for not posting in several weeks. Life got the best of me! And apparently my friends got the best of me too because I’ve been getting bullied to post for weeks.

I think this is something that needs to be addressed so, listen up! You do not need to get a year older, be getting married, or get knocked up (after marriage) to have a party and celebrate. And if anyone tells you otherwise tell them Hoda said to go kick rocks. AND if someone tells you getting a promotion is not a reason to throw a party with a dope cake tell that fool they ain’t know nothing about life and to get lost (which is actually a double negative and means they know everything about life- but I’m just trying to be a gangster, let me have this moment- I went to a Jay Z concert so I feel like I finally have some street cred over here). 

Every and anyone who knows me knows that I love to throw a good party. For my college graduation shindig I had a dance floor and a DJ- just ’cause I’m a boss and love to have a good time. So, when my cousin visited from New Orleans over Thanksgiving and brought me back a gorgeous masque  (conveniently- two weeks after I got the first promotion of my career) I knew I had to throw a party to celebrate (the promotion- not the masque).

So, I threw this dope “Gossip Girl Inspired Masquerade Ball”- in my living room a few weeks after the New Year. I invited all the awesome females in my life, mama dukes hooked it up with food. There was music, red wine glasses filled with cider and some fancy lights and candles. There was also a gorgeous cake. More on the cake in a bit. The ladies had an excuse to get dressed up, there was a lot of laughter, eating, little bit of dancing and a toast given by me. Overall, it was a good time, it’s always nice to gather around with good company, I think everyone should do it. Especially when you are spending time with people you love who also happen inspire you! But more importantly, it’s an essential part of life to celebrate. We celebrate birthdays, marriages, some (strange) people even celebrate divorce. So why not celebrate other events in your life that you’re actually proud of, things that are not typical. If you can find a reason to celebrate I empower you to do so. And make sure when you celebrate there is a lot of laughter involved, it helps heal the soul, trust me on this. I’m basically a professional laugher. I love to laugh.

The cake. Back to the cake. The day after my party, which was a Sunday, I went to the Islamic school that I teach kindergarten at. I brought in the leftover cake to save my expanding waistline and my diabetic father from major setbacks. I placed the cake on the table in the teacher’s room and stepped out into the hallway to chat with the cool teenage girls that volunteer there. This creepy old man (who scares me and all the other young women) followed me out and excitedly asked:

Creepy Old Man: “What are we celebrating? Do you have good news?”
Me:Yea, I do, I got a new position at work, I got a promotion” *smiles*
Creepy Old Man: “Oh. oh, I thought you had good news…I thought you got engaged or something”
Me: *on the verge of pimp slapping him* “Well, this is good news, I worked really hard for this, I’m happy, it’s a really big accomplishment”

This fool went on to give me some bogus “statistic” claiming that 9 out of 10 women would be happier if something positive happens at home, like getting married or having a baby, as opposed to the work place. I pretty much tuned him out when I realized what he was doing. He was belittling my accomplishment and trying to steal my happiness. It was basically like he stole a giant ice cream cone I was about to bite into right out of my hand. It was really traumatic.

Now, I would love to put up my front and act like I wasn’t upset to keep my street cred but I am going to go ahead and admit that this comment really got to me. Part of me thought that this backward, bogus way of thinking was something of the past. That our Muslim communities were becoming forward-thinkers and didn’t base major life events on reproduction or marriage and that a woman could be celebrated for advancing her career. Well, I guess not. I guess there are people who still think that a woman’s place is in the home and that her life accomplishments are irrelevant if they don’t revolve around or lead to, baby-making.

There will be readers who look at this and think: “wow, is she seriously comparing a promotion to giving life?!” Yea, yupp. I am. This is my blog and I can write whatever I want. And most of my readers are my friends, my married friends with adorable babies who I celebrate because many of them are working women with kids and a husband and that ain’t no joke. Now, let me tell you, why, to me, a promotion was pretty much like having a baby:

  • I am not having a real baby anytime soon
  • My Job is actually my longest relationship (besides my relationship with my blackberry: 5+ years!)
  • My Job has made me cry
  • My Job has made me laugh until I cried
  • My Job has kept me up at night
  • My Job gives me mild anxiety
  • I worry about my Job
  • I love my Job, almost unconditionally (almost)
  • There have been times I wanted to beat my Job
  • I would never beat my Job (in public)
  • I would never abandon my Job
  • Some people think I obsess over my Job (I do)
  • The people at my Job have become my family because I didn’t choose them (which means some days I can’t stand them)
  • I have watched my Job evolve and mature into a career, much like a proud mom

On a more serious note. I think we sometimes take for granted great things that happen in our lives. I think we should spend more time celebrating and being happy about things that are near and dear to our hearts rather than being stuck in a mindset that you’re only significant if you’re celebrating marriage or a new life. Let’s celebrate the next time we get a new car, or when we get a big promotion at work. Let’s celebrate one another’s company and just find a reason to celebrate life in general. Let’s not continue to be that backward-thinking society, or creepy old man, let’s make sure women feel empowered and stop asking them why they aren’t reproducing or married. It’s really so rude. Don’t be rude.

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That Pink Wig Again..

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Here’s my dope masque and the infamous cake

Don’t forget to share & like this post and follow me on instagram for an obnoxious amount of posts awl day erryday: Hodagram

 Xx H