Friday, November 12, 2010

Imperfectly Perfect.

An oxymoron, I know. But it describes my marriage precisely.

Earlier today, I was sharing a little anecdote with a client of mine. My intention for this small self-disclosure was to show how deeply I empathize with her feelings regarding her marital challenges. She utterly surprised to find that even as a marriage counselor, I am not immune to emotional struggles and mental obstacles that sometimes plague the best of marriages. I went on to explain to her that no matter how good I may be at my work, I am still a human being, a woman at that, and therefore I cope with these issues as best I possibly can. Her eyes widened with realization that no one who ever finds themselves in a relationship with a loved significant other, will be able to avoid such issues and challenges.

A few years ago, I had called it quits many times. I am the first to admit that this may be due to my emotional as well as my mental state of mind at that time. I suffer from occasional anxiety attacks which renders me paralyzed by my worst fears whizzing around my mind like a bloody F1 race! In my weakest hours, I had surrendered to defeat and put up the white flag to end it all. In the dark abyss, I saw no hope. I felt I couldn't take another step further. I was tired. I felt beaten.

I am far from perfect. Same goes for my husband and my marriage. Its not always a bed of roses. This is real life. Not fiction. Longevity of a marriage relies upon the stamina of both parties to withstand frustrations and the constant struggles between doing what's right and wanting to be free of stress and onus of responsibilities.

Knowing fully well of my own shortcomings, I strife hard to do the best I can with whatever I have. I give it my all until there's nothing left. And then I walk away to rest and recharge. After strength has been regained, I come back and keep on fighting for what I believe is right and true.

In that process, there has been times when I almost couldn't find my way home. There were also times when I felt like I didn't want to go home. I even had entertained the idea of finding a new home. The worst crunch came last December when I asked to be set free. Little did I expect the outcome to be such a positive one!

Almost immediately, rights and responsibilities implied upon each other by marital law fell to the floor like tiny dust particles. My husband and I began looking at each other in a different light. We had no more expectations of each other. We claimed no rights over one another. We got along fantastically well, despite the fact that we were just bidding time until the end was to arrive. And somehow, along the way, we fell in love with each other again.

A few days ago, my husband and I decided that we are going to keep our marriage together. Most of the big obstacles that stood in our way has already been removed by the grace of Allah. The rest is very doable for us to achieve. Blessed. Yes, I believe we are.

So here we are now. Very much in love with each other. We feel like a couple of newly weds! As much as our daughters roll their eyes each time they catch us being crazily in love with each other, we know they are indeed very relieved that all the drama is over.

Both my husband and I are still as flawed as we were before. Same goes for our marriage. What has changed is that we've learnt that we are worth the struggle to keep us together. We no longer have unrealistic expectations of each other. We see each other as who and what we are. No more denials. No more lies. Only renewed resolutions that no matter what, we are here to stay together. Dreams do come true. But only after making some mis-takes, wrong turns, U-turns, detours, and getting your bearings right. There is no shame is erring. But there is honor in forgiving.

There's roughly about 6 weeks to go till the end of 2010. But the joy and happiness in my marriage and family has regained its momentum. Looking ahead, I can't help but feel excited and optimistic. Perfectly imperfect. Imperfectly perfect. Take it any which way you want. The point is we are still together. That MUST account for something... right? Give it a go. See for yourself. You'll see what I mean.

C'est la vie!
A bientôt...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happiness Regained.

Hahahaha... In pursuit of happiness? Was I even looking for it? I don't think so. But, I will let you read this entry and draw your own opinion on this. Here goes...

My day today began almost as ordinary as yesterday. Having had the blissful sleep that ensued right after finishing 2012 with my family at the wee hours of the morning, I woke up wide eyed at 11 am feeling freshly rested. Although, I did make a mental note to get myself a new pillow for my head. Hmm...

I headed straight for the kitchen to brew myself a mug of coffee. As I religiously took my vitamin supplements and gulped them down with a few swigs of caffeine, I made a beeline for my Macbook and sat down to read some emails. After several incoming and outgoing phone calls, I managed to confirm a few appointments for the day. By 3 pm, I was already out the door with Jazelia in tow, as she was working the closing shift at Starbucks and conveniently I had made arrangements to hold my meetings there, too.

My first meeting was at 4 pm and when it ended 90 minutes after that, I decided to continue doing some research work on my laptop before having an early dinner before my next appointment begins. However, something had happened that caused my client to postpone her meeting with me. And since Jazelia's shift ends after midnight, that meant I had time to burn. Cool!

I decided to amble leisurely around 1 Utama shopping mall and it pleased me tremendously when I stumbled upon some bedding products. Pillow! I need a new pillow for my head! I found one that met my personal needs. Lavender pillow. Cool! I can sleep more soundly than last night!

With my new pillow tucked in a huge shopping bag, I went on walking. And somehow, my feet found their way to MPH bookstore. I walked slowly as I allowed my eyes to feast on the array of books and magazines displayed all around me. My heaven on earth! I purchased two psychology magazines and paid for them. I then remembered I must search for some travel books I may need in the future. And then suddenly I realized something weird. I had a huge grin on my face! I was smiling from ear to ear! I felt a buzz. Is this a result of retail therapy?

I called my husband and told him what was happening to me. I heard my own voice as I spoke to him. I was giggling like a young girl! Oh my God!! I was actually experiencing blissful joy! Bless my humbled soul, I have found my way back to happiness! I was beaming as I heard my husband's voice laughing away on the other end of the phone line. He was genuinely happy and proud that I had regain the old me that had been lost over the past 3 years!

Best of all, I'm so grateful to have regained my bliss after so long. I may have gotten lost over the past few years but I'm glad I'm found again. Alhamdulillah. I truly believe Allah has forgiven me for my sins and transgressions. He has accepted my repentance. I'm finally home.

A Love Worth Dying For

When the movie 2012 came out in the cinemas, I was very reluctant to go watch it. Partly due to me not wanting to entertain my morbidity, but mostly because of my faith that disallows me to believe in any prophecies of mere mortals. However, this movie somehow made its way into my life via Astro.

As much as I dreaded seeing what the movie had to suggest regarding the future of mankind, I reluctantly coaxed my family into watching it with me. I know this does not make sense but somehow having them there next to me made it a little less daunting.

Seeing how the characters in the movie faced their last moments alive and the way they handled themselves in the most critical seconds of their lives made me ponder upon several things. Love. Priorities. Sacrifices. It also made me look at my life over the past three years.

In a nutshell, this movie was the perfect wake up call that I needed in order to reevaluate my life and regain the happiness that had slipped through my fingers due to unforeseen circumstances and bad critical decision making.

After the movie ended, I dared myself to entertain my own mortality. If I had to choose who I would sacrifice my life for, the answer is very simple. My children. Jazelia and Jelissa. Yes. I would put my life on the line just so that they can live on.