Why Write?

Originally, I created this blog to document my trip to India. Upon my return, I realized that I couldn't shake the writing bug.
So, feel free to read about my adventures in India and stay tuned for my traveling updates!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girl on Fire

I am now convinced that I am a GIRL ON FIRE!  

"She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway
She's living in a world and it's on fire
Fill with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away" ~ Alicia Keys ~

Do you know that song? The Girl on Fire song by Alicia Keys? That song came out last October, a monumental month for me. I won't indulge in the details but lets just say it was a month of big decisions.  Every time I hear this song, I am reminded of the woman that I have become. I am reminded of the power that I possess within. I am reminded of my strength. I am reminded of the journey that I have walked down. I am reminded of how happy I feel right now. 
So all of this talk about fire, really got me thinking about my life. I feel like I'm on fire. Seems like the flames have consumed my past and what's left is someone I hardly even recognize anymore. My dress,  like my life, has transformed itself into a blazing sense of purpose.
I used to wear a shimmery white gown, perfectly ironed, no wrinkles or creases. Now, what's left of that dress, has turned to ashes. I am wearing a bright red, fire breathing dress. I have become one with the flames.

 Last night I had a rare few hours by myself. I spent a glorious evening at home doing nothing in particular. The last three months have been a fury of activity for me. I haven't allowed myself that much down time. Honestly, I have probably had the best three months of my entire life. I can't remember the last time I felt so free and happy. Too much fun = recovery time! So, last night I caught up with old friends on Facebook, dug into ancient pictures, and drank a glass of wine. I felt comfortable in my own skin. It was nice. 

I thought about life and what I want to do from here on out. I thought about the juvenile plans that I had for myself when I graduated from high school. Have I strayed from those goals? What about my goals in college? Am I doing what I'm "supposed" to be doing? It's funny because I used to dream of one day being a journalist or an actress. Somehow I found myself in the role of teacher. How did that happen? One of my college professors used to say that teachers are all frustrated actors in disguise. And I have to ask myself…is this true? Is that why I became a teacher? Ha Ha! Who knows?

Whatever the case, I never in a million years thought I would one day be living and teaching in the Middle East? I thought I would have a family and four kids by now, settled safely somewhere in the United States. You know living a normal life. How did that train get off the track? How did I find myself alone in a foreign land, thousands of miles away from my family, friends, and the "normal" life I used to have? But, you know what? Now that I have experienced the world, I think that life would be boring. It no longer suits me. Weird. Someday, I will tell my story and I intend to write a book about it.

It's interesting. The events over the past few years have simply set the stage for what I think I'm supposed to do with my life: TRAVEL, TEACH, and WRITE. As I was looking through my pictures tonight, I was reminded of the adventures that I have had. I  stepped back and allowed myself to recall the memories that I have made along the way. The countries I have visited. The people I have met. The ones I have loved. The ones I have lost. The lies I was told. The abuse I endured. The happy moments created. I tried to accept it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Would I really be where I am today, following my destiny, if all of these things hadn't happened? The answer is no. 

Yes, maybe I don't have the life that I dreamed of having when I was eighteen; but somehow it's more fulfilling and adventure packed! Maybe I don't have a family, a house with a white picket fence, and those four boys I wanted to have. But wow, I have done some crazy stuff:)! I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world because they have made me who I am today. 

Maybe I have given up on the dreams I used to have or… maybe … just maybe … I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this very moment in time? Somehow I feel like the travels of Miss Amy have only begun!!!!

She's just a girl and she's on fire
Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway
She's living in a world and it's on fire
Fill with catastrophe, but she know she can fly away

Oh, she got both feet on the ground
And she's burning it down
Oh, she got her head in the clouds
And she's not backing down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

[Alicia Keys]
Looks like a girl but she's a flame
So bright she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world
Hottest of the hottest girls say

Oh, we got our feet on the ground
And we're burning it down
Oh, got our head in the clouds
And we're not coming down

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

[Alicia Keys]
Everybody stands as she goes by
Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
But she gon' let it burn baby burn baby

This girl is on fire
This girl is on fire
She's walking on fire
This girl is on fire

Oh, oh, oh...

She's just a girl, and she's on fire

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This is How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch 
You really are a heel
You're as cuddly as a cactus
And as charming as an eel, Mr. Grinch 

It was Christmas Eve. The night before my debut as the Grinch who stole Christmas. It was 1 a.m. The stockings were not hung on the chimney with care because:

A: I don't have a fireplace
B: I didn't have any stockings
C: I was boycotting Christmas

The blinking Gulf Airlines sign, perched on the peak of the nearby building, projected the counterfeit luster of the mid-day sun into my cozy little room. I closed the curtains and gingerly placed my costume on the edge of my king sized bed. Green leotard. Check. Santa corset. Check. Green hair dye. Check. Long creepy nails. Check. 
Tomorrow was Christmas and I was armed and dangerous! 

At six in the morning, I was awoken to the Call to Prayer. The prayer radiated loudly from the mosque a few blocks down, reminding me that I was celebrating Christmas in a foreign land! The Muezzin, sang the prayer in a loud methodical tone. I sure was a long way from home. 

Allahu Akbar
(God is Great)
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah
(I bear witness that there is no god except the One God)
Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah
(I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God) 
Hayya 'ala-s-Salah
(Rise up for prayer) 
As-salatu Khayrun Minan-nawm
(Prayer is better than sleep)

As the prayer continued to carry on, I closed my eyes and thought about Christmas. I thought about my family. I could almost imagine what they were doing at that very moment. With a 9 hour time difference, it was still Christmas Eve for them. Then I thought about my Dad, who was in Hong Kong. I made a mental note to call him but knew he would most likely beat me to it.

My Mom was probably baking up a storm. There would be Christmas music on and snow on the ground. Some of my siblings, remember there are seven of us, would most likely be gathered near the fireplace. They would probably be playing Monopoly, which ALWAYS causes a fight of some sorts. And of course there would be something random going on, like there always is at my parents house, homemade beauty treatments…facial masks… sing alongs… shooting potato guns off the deck. Basically, my family is cRaZy! 

After my nostalgic moment, I decided to get the day going. I called up my friend and ordered him to come over for breakfast. So what if it was 8 in the morning! I put on my Santa hat and starting cooking breakfast. We blasted Christmas music in the kitchen and danced around like little kids! I felt a little closer to home. Then it was off to my boss's house for a Christmas brunch. More food. More Christmas music. More friends. Who could ask for more? 

After brunch, it was time to start cooking for our dinner party. Metaphorically speaking, my roommate and I put on our chef hats and GOT BUSY. We spent the remainder of the day in the kitchen preparing a turkey dinner. I even set up the dinning room table with the only Christmas decoration in the house, a snow globe. Ha Ha! Yes, even the Grinch wanted the table to be "properly" set up. 
Basically the rest of the day was a fury of activity. 8 dinner guests turned into 12. No problem! We had more then enough food to spare. Dinner turned into dancing in the flat. Dancing in the flat turned into, "lets go out!!!" The Grinch and her friends danced until 5:30 in the morning! 
Can you say turkey dinner, mulled wine, and dancing the night away? That's how the Grinch Stole Christmas in a foreign land!

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Sunday, January 6, 2013

India, You Will Always Be With Me

Even though my trip to India has long since passed, I still carry the memories with me wherever I go. 
It almost feels like India has become a part of who I am. Living in Bahrain gives me a daily reminder of my time there. Over the past few months, I have found myself befriending any Indian I come in contact with. Now I have new friends in my apartment complex, at the convenient store, and even at work. I guess I'm just drawn to "anything" or "anyone" Indian.

The kids who live across the hallway from my apartment can be quite loud, especially on Saturday mornings, when I'm trying to sleep in. Even though I often have to cover my head with my pillow to temporarily drown out the noise, I somehow manage to get out a laugh or two. They sing, dance, yell, and even ride their bloody bikes around in the hallway like it's a three ring circus! For the most part though, I don't mind because it reminds me of India!

This past summer, I became friends with the Indian men who worked at the corner convenient store. They were the first people to find out about my trip to India.  One evening, I burst into the store and exclaimed, "I'm going to India!" They told me all about their families and gave me pointers on visiting the country. When I came back from my trip, I showed them a few pictures. They were astonished that I went all by myself. I have since moved apartments and don't get to see much of them anymore; but,  I try to stop by to say hi every few weeks or so.

I'm now friends with the Indian servers at the Subway restaurant near work! They know me by name now and the moment I walk thru the door, they make me my favorite sandwich. I have discussed India with them as well. They always humor me when they tell me, "You are our favorite customer!" I think I promised one of them that I would give English lessons. Speaking of which, I need to get on that!

I tutor two Indian students, Vismita and Visrutta. They are five year old twin girls and probably two of the cutest kids to walk the planet. Even though they know my name, Miss Amy, they still call me "TEACHER," "TEACHER," "TEACHER," whenever they need something or have a question. They even do the bobble head when they speak. If you haven't read all of my blogs, you may be confused by my reference to bobble heads. When an Indian speaks, they wobble their heads from side to side. Always reminds me of the bobble head figures that people place in their cars. I think it's absolutely precious.

Bobble Head Reference :)

So you see, my Indian Adventures have continued and India will always have a special place in my heart!