Time to be Cheerful Again

In Preparation

In Preparation

It’s been a while – and I realise the year has almost finished and I have only written TWO full blog posts!

Well what can I say? 2014 has been so incredibly up and so incredibly down. I will say that this is the year that I turned 25, and then turned 30. About 5 years of aging… seems about right? Hopefully it was only mental – having a 54 year old mother who is frequently mistaken for 34 means pressure – I have some very youthful shoes to fill (sexy strappy sandals with a 5″ heel, to be precise). And the only things she credits are: sun block, excercise, and plenty of fruits and vegetables! Thanks Mum. :P

A’s due date is fast approaching. We named her. It is a beautiful name and I will tell you that it begins with the letter A. I worried that I would be falling apart this month but really – I have reached a space. Memories of my pregnancy are filled with joy, so I feel joy when I remember. Memories of my miscarriage and the months following are filled with pain, so I feel pain when remembering. I can feel both emotions fully and completely and still continue to feel and experience what is present, whatever that is. Thoughts of the future… well I have so many scenarios in my head with so many different emotions.

I take care of my health more. I’m more paranoid about pills, herbs and meds. I was never a big drinker of caffeine or alcohol but I have cut down even more now. And I feel kinda weird around 2nd hand smoke – like – the Crazy in me starts to yell out “GETAWAYFROMMEYOUAREKILLINGMYOVARIES” even though my logical brain knows that 2nd hand smoke exposure has been found to be dangerous during pregnancy when experienced daily, I think the number was about 4 packs of 2nd hand smoke a day?? YES I have checked the facts. A couple hours outdoors, around smokers, one day a week, is not going to hurt me or any unborn babies – according to the research.

But generally speaking, I am more paranoid about my health. I spent 25 years with a strong sense of trust in my own body and that suffered a major blow. I question EVERYTHING.

The miscarriage and the months following were the hardest in my life so far. I got a crash course in emotional management. That is: cry 1 hour before work – go to work and go HAM – go home and cry for another hour… or however long I need to for the evening. I actually allocated slots of time for myself to just cry non-stop… I had no idea I had that much control in me but it’s what I had to do, so I did it. Eventually, that daily schedule turned into an every-other-day schedule. Now its more like an evening once or twice a week. There were some adjustments along the road as well. Eventually I had to toughen up for my husband who was also suffering but differently. I’m not saying anything very new here but it should be said nonetheless: two different people in a relationship will react to everything differently. Relationships survive when you understand this fact and do not try to fight it. The emotional consequence of losing a baby can be equally as painful for men as it is for women. Because of our macho culture, men can feel very caught off guard to be feeling such pain after a miscarriage (not that we aren’t caught off guard, it’s just that the emotional pain is a little more expected of us), but for many men it is still there nonetheless. They may not all show it the same ways we do, but it’s still there and it still hurts.

To say work was crazy when I went back after my week off is an understatement! Whether this is coincidence or not – I have no idea. But professionally, I have grown a LOT. Once again – out of necessity, being thrown into the deep end and all. My boss resigned days before I found out I was pregnant and for the next couple months it was all easy and quiet despite being the only employee in my department. Then, somehow, I came back and major presentations and deadlines just APPEARED! I worked a tonne of extra hours that first month in order to take part in my first ever presentation as a professional. I’ve been going to fancy meetings, taking control of several projects… I have crossed several milestones in just 6 months… and I am very impressed with myself. I can even say the same for my husband experiencing the same thing! All this acheived while sorting through so much pain. I actually felt like I was losing my mind through all of this and that is not an exaggeration. Seriously considered going to therapy, however that would have meant taking more time off work as NO ONE makes appointments past 4pm. Plus, that sh*t is EXPENSIVE. Husband and I decided to tough it out with friends and family. Whether we would have benefited from therapy, I don’t know, but we have survived.

The reason why I have named this post “Time to be Cheerful Again” is because finally, I feel like my husband and I are in sync again. I feel so loving towards him and I feel so loved by him. After months of distance between us when neither of us felt much of these things towards each other, I feel so blessed to be back here again. We are not perfect, we never will be, but we work and we are in love again.

My parents and brother are coming to visit in 5 days and I cannot wait. I have missed them more than ever, I just wish my sister was coming too but she has a dissertation to write :P so I understand completely, having been there before!

Praying for health and love through the next step.

A’s Mother.

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Sharing About Pregnancy Loss

OMG ignore the typo!

I found out that I had a missed miscarriage on the Monday of Holy Week this year, I then had an ERPC on Holy Thursday and stayed home for the rest of Easter Weekend. It was my first pregnancy. My husband and I really wanted this baby. I was 12 weeks. I am currently working on a blog post about the whole experience of being pregnant and then having a miscarriage, but it’s getting so long. In the mean time, instead of writing my whole story I have decided to just write this quick post.

I have read over and over a million articles about miscarriage and also getting pregnant again. I am also reading a book, considering buying a second one. I look in the mirror and my eyes see the same person, but my mind and my soul feel as if I have aged a few years over such a short time. It’s not that I am not the same positive and life loving person, it’s just that being that person takes a little more effort now.

When I was pregnant I had, at some point, read the statistic: 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That was jarring to read but I had hardly ever heard anyone talk about it, so I figured for whatever reason that it was unlikely I would have one. I fully immersed myself into this pregnancy. I sang for my child even though she barely had ears yet. I knew she would get the message somehow! She has a soul, she’s connected to me, so she must be able to “hear” me. I sang songs that I wanted her to hear and learn from. I sang songs about love, life, strength, heart break, pain, resilience. When my husband and I had an argument (I can’t even remember what the argument was about now) I told her afterwards that this is ok because there will always be arguments, they happen, but our love would always be there to carry and support her.

I miss the company. I miss the feeling that I was carrying a tiny person with me every day, who I would eventually get to show all of the beauty of this world to. I still sing to her. And send my little random messages. Any time I pray it is for her, I pray that God is taking care of her even though I was upset with Him for a long time. I knew in my mind that He does things for reasons that I may never understand.

For a while I was in two minds about writing anything. I’ve always had this irrational superstition in my mind that if I talk about something, I will jinx it. But the more I read, the more I realise and agonise over this silly lack of information and awareness! It was so naive of me to think that I would not be part of the 20% statistic. 20% is a big number. But when everyone and every bubbly pregnancy website seems to skip the subject as if it’s nothing then what am I supposed to think? When I told 3 of my friends (who I had not actually told about the pregnancy in the first place) I got back 3 warm messages, 2 of which stated that both of them had been born after their mothers had also suffered through miscarriages. So why the silence? In an age when so many things are well out in the open there is no need for all of this silence about ANYTHING. Even as a feminist and also a Catholic at the same time, I should be allowed to say all of these things and feel acknowledged and understood by both sides.

So here I am, I am open to talk about this because my pregnancy, my baby, has become as much a part of me as my religion, my marriage and my culture. All of these aspects of my being which are usual topics of discussion and expression. So I have no reason to hide one.

Love.

The Wedding Post!!

I AM MARRIED! :D OMG I can’t believe how crazy everything was in the 10 days leading up to the wedding… and how at peace we finally are now!

Wow.

I kinda half expected to be calm throughout the whole thing, I was ever so slightly worried about it being anti-climactic and just feeling like nothing was different. Very glad I was wrong!

The week before was a tough one though. I was perfectly calm despite being really busy up until the cake lady called me on the Friday before the wedding saying she had no notes on what I wanted…. not “Sorry, I seem to have lost my notes.” But “Hi, I need instructions as to what you want on your cake” despite the meetings and phone calls made months in advance to sort everything out, and many follow up calls to try and find out when we should expect to receive a costing. Despite all that, the cake lady called me exactly one week before the wedding day to find out what I want as a wedding cake and seemed to have completely forgotten that we had spoken many times before and that I had in fact watched her write at least 2 pages of notes! Anyway, I told her to speak to my future Mother-In-Law. I did not want to hear from her again!

That set me off, from that moment up until the wedding day I was being bombarded with phone calls while running up and down all over the place, feeling nervous, busy, worried, tired, overwhelmed with all kinds of adrenaline spikes showing up throughout each day.

Basically I think the underlying worry (sugarcoated with cake issues, bouquet hang ups bla bla bla) was the dreadful thought that I could potentially ruin a wonderful mans life by marrying him. Yea I sound a little crazy, didn’t think that I would be that bride ESPECIALLY after being with this same wonderful man since we were both 14! But I was. Why was I worrying about that? Because I have no real idea what kind of person I will be 20 or 30 years from now. My Dark Side has managed to surprise me in the past… I hate to think of what kind of surprises it has waiting further down the road. Ugh!

The worst was every morning when I woke up early to do whatever else needed to be done for that day. I woke up with all these tasks looming over my head, plus that worry! All my belly could handle was fruit :P I think I lost some pounds in that week, not on purpose because my dress had fit like a glove by the end of my last fitting!! My stomach just doesn’t handle food and adrenaline very well :-s

Anyway, once I got busy and surrounded myself with my wonderful family and bridesmaids I calmed down by the end of the day :) the hen/bachelorette weekend was wonderful. We went to my favourite hike in the whole world!! It is a beautiful river in a jungle and you can either walk along the river or wade/swim up the whole way until you reach 3 pools one after the other. I had not been back since the last time we lived here in the year 2006. Went with my family and my bridesmaids :D One of them was very scared as she had never been on a hike before and was worried about snakes, I re-assured her that she was safe but of course she was still scared, I almost offered to end the hike but she kept on going and I really feel she deserved a medal for trekking on! And then doing 3 more hikes as well before going back to London after the wedding! Anyway… I can’t put in words but the end of that hike was beauuuutiful and I was so happy to share that with 5 of my favourite girls and again with my family!

Then for the actual hen night we started off at my best friends house and they surprised me with food and drinks and of course explicitly shaped confetti and games and drinks… oh yea I said drinks already hehe! :D it was great having my mum and sister there too, plus my now Mother-In-Law and Auntie-In-Law and Cousin-In-Law’s and a bunch of old friends from high school. I had not partied with my mum and sister in a while! In fact I don’t think I had ever properly partied with my sister before! Then the Mother-In-Law and Auntie-In-Law left and the rest of us (with my mum) went to a gay bar :D most likely the ONLY gay bar in this country. One of my friends had got his connections there to book us a separate booth which was great :D and we got a surprise show at the end while we were sat inside the mini-bus. Some guys decided to start wining up in front of the bus, and then would stop and try to look inconspicuous as soon as anyone walked past.

Then the next day was a big family get together at our house in which my family were introduced to a LOT of the Husbands family. I loved it! My dad especially made sure to socialise with EVERYONE and we all enjoyed ourselves so much! That was another blessing because our families are so different I had always wondered if it would be an awkward introduction but it wasn’t. It was just perfect!

Then from that Monday to the Friday was back to business and worrying with a break for the rehearsal dinner on the Thursday. The Friday I had a good cry to at least 2 of my bridesmaids and also the Husband. All at different times of the day. They each managed to reassure me that I probably won’t become a horrible person in the next 20 or 30 years :P I just needed to vent! I had hoped to spend that last day relaxing with my family, but instead ended up getting caught up with more tasks all the way up until 8:30 that evening. As I sat down ready to close my lap top and head over to the hotel where I would spend the night with my family, I checked my voicemails and had an ANGRY message from the nun! One of the documents she needed for the marriage certificate was not there, so luckily my dad was already on his way to pick me up. I just told him we needed to go and deliver this document to the nun’s convent which happened to be on the top of a hill that was deep into one of the not so nice parts of the country :-s at night as well! The Auntie-In-Law managed to direct us all the way there and I was able to deliver the document to the nun who lowered a basket on the end of a rope from her balcony for me to put the document in… felt so old school! My husband calls that nun Sister Thug. She is very assertive and strict and opinionated.

I finally got to the hotel at about 10:30-11ish and spent a few hours sitting and debating social/racial/historical issues with the rest of my nerd family INCLUDING my relatives from Canada and Fiji who I had not seen since my cousins wedding exactly 11 years before my wedding date! That is a complete coincidence by the way! Her wedding was on the 10th August 2002. She was 24. Now I am 24 and our wedding was the 10th August 2013 :) Aaaah life! But after sitting and talking with them it is very easy to see that despite distance and time, we are all one family of hard core nerds :P I ended the night snuggling in bed watching cartoons with my sister and brother as we have done so many times before. OMG this post is getting long….

Anyway, the next day I woke up and got married!! :D It actually went by so well, it was beautiful. My nerves all seemed to go away as I walked up the aisle. Even as my dad whispered “you know, it’s not too late to turn back now! :D ” and I turned and whispered “SHUT. UP.” I was just cool… like this is exactly where I was meant to be. We hugged and then Dad “gave me away” to my husband and as we sat down I realised… wait for it… my calm and collected man was very nervous!! I squeezed his hand the whole time, and to be honest, this helped me a great deal. I loved that I could support him just as he had supported me. My favourite part of the wedding was reading out our vows. We went with the traditional vows as although they are simple they are also as perfect as they can get. Husband and I used to talk about writing our own vows years ago when we were teenagers, but over all this time it’s kind of like we have said everything we could possibly think of that we are happy now with the vows the church has given us. It’s like they are the only thing left to say.

My heart was pounding but I can’t call the feeling nervous. I just remembered to tell myself not to stumble over my words, to focus, to concentrate on what the priest was saying. I was telling myself all this in my mind because these had been big worries of mine before as well. I often think of the worst way I could possibly mess up at crucial situations so that I can try and make sure it doesn’t happen. Believe me, I can think of many ways and they can get pretty bad! But even though I was telling myself not to mess up I didn’t need to. I felt so relieved to hear myself say each word and I loved to hear each sound as I said it. As I said, this is exactly where I am meant to be.

Oh, another little detail, it was POURING rain throughout the ceremony! There was even some thunder that happened to come at a crucial point… I can’t remember if it was during the priests homily or right after the gospel reading. Perfect timing anyway :P Will have to review that when we get our wedding video… It continued to rain as we took our family photos in the portico for shelter.

It stopped raining just in time for our portrait session in the Botanical Gardens! Photos of just my husband and I with our Best Man and one out of my two Maid of Honour’s (my wonderful sister!) with us to help with the veil, bouquet, wiping sweat from my husbands brow etc! That was so nice and intimate, husband and I were talking to each other through most of it. The photographers were so professional while also very relaxed and interactive! Helped to let us just feel comfortable instead of micromanaging every pose.

Then we got to the reception and that is when I started to feel the adrenaline again! Neither my husband or I could eat more than a couple bites of the really good food. And we also only had a bite of our cakes as well, and completely forgot to ask the staff to cut it up and serve it to everyone. We are now desperately trying to eat all of my cake before it goes off :P. Husbands cake is a fruit cake with brandy in it so that is fine.

The speeches were beautiful. A little nerve wracking cos I was wondering what stories were going to be exposed to all of our guests but it wasn’t so bad. My sister was the one worst! She spent the first half talking about how mean we were to each other growing up to the point where she actually stopped and said to me “don’t worry, it gets better!” and it did to my relief!! We were at each others throats as kids, but since we both grew up we have definitely become much closer and I am very happy to have her. My husbands speech was very RAW and that is because he was so sure that he would remember everything he wanted to say without writing notes, and then as we stood up by the mic he made sure to begin with “I forgot what I wanted to say!” Psssshhhh, we all told him before to at least write some notes!! But oh well, he did actually manage to say most of what I remember him preparing to say before, it just came out sounding much more free-styled. He made sure to thank everyone for helping to make me and him into a wonderful couple, and also to tell everyone that he loves me with all his heart even though he usually doesn’t like all that public mushy stuff :P

The dances were a little awkward, especially since we just picked songs we liked rather than songs with a more dance-y rhythm :P plus my dad cannot dance at all!!! AT ALL!! That’s ok I lead our dance with a sort of two step thingy and we sang along to the music.  My husband and I just kinda cuddled and swayed to our song which was a very nice song, I wish it could have gone on longer :)

After that we went straight on to cutting the cake and tossing the bouquet most likely because everyone just wanted to start dancing and partying :P the ceiling was pretty low so I had to make sure to try and toss the bouquet directly behind me, and it landed right in my bridesmaids hands she didn’t even have to fight for it, just stood there… Husband says I cheated and was aiming for her :P I swear I wasn’t!

Either way, it was a very good wedding, I wish it went on for two days instead of just one but that would have gotten very expensive :P after the party my husband and I went home to pack our overnight bags and headed to the hotel. It was beautiful! Luxurious! Never stayed in a room so fancy! There was a shower with a rain effect shower head and it was placed in a glass enclosure in the middle of the room! For breakfast the next day I still couldn’t eat everything :P It was such a good night though.

We went on our honeymoon 3 days later as a lot of our guests only arrived a few days before the wedding and we wanted to spend more time with them. I have a couple of stories for that as well but I think those will have to wait for another post :P I might even write it tomorrow just because there’s still so much to say about the past couple weeks!

Of course there were mishaps on the wedding day as well. No one ever seems to mention those so people end up working so hard to achieve the perfect wedding, but the truth is, everything can’t go according to plan! I could list a bunch of mishaps! From little things like food stains on my dress, cake issues, to proper family drama on both our sides and even between ourselves (just a little bit!) as when you put enough people together in an emotional situation I think it’s just fate :P but the point is no matter how you put it, a wedding is a beautiful occasion and any mishaps do not need to overshadow this.

My husband and I are now united together for the rest of our lives by God. I think one of the nicest feelings that I am feeling right now is pure relief and gratitude that we got this far. Despite everything. Despite all of my issues, all of his issues, all of our drama that took us through ups and downs over the past 10 years we are finally here and married!

Thank God!

Lots of Love

Mrs. Smileyface

This Time Last Year + 40 Days and some

I’ve been hiding for a while because sometimes in this world… you just gotta hide! Nuff said.

So last year was such an experience!

I love looking back on it, remembering where I was at this exact time and seeing how far I have come. Especially since this is an amazing Lent story for me!

Remember that job I wrote about at Christmas time?

Well, I resented that I had to commute to North London every day when the job I had applied for was supposed to be just a 15 minute walk from my flat! They coaxed me in by saying “Oh just a couple weeks in North London while we get the Hammersmith site set up!” and then a couple weeks turned into 5 months. I almost quit the job but after having a rant to my employment adviser at the agency, then announcing my plans to move abroad she exclaimed how happy she was for me, and that it is probably best I just stay in the job she got me until it’s time to leave! Yea yea, it’s her job to say that but she really did cheer me up that day! What can I say?

So I reached February and it was Pancake Day, the day before Ash Wednesday. I got home after 7pm every day so was not sure how to go about asking my “temperamental” boss to let me leave early to go to church. I got to work and he was not in for the whole morning. I kind of resigned myself to just end up missing church on Ash Wednesday and finding a way to make up for it in my own small mind….

Then I hear some employees say “Code red from Hammersmith!” which basically means the guys at the Hammersmith office made sure to let us know that the boss was heading over to us and he was not happy!

I walked downstairs to get some tea and look who it is! The boss! He says “I’m moving up your date to start at Hammersmith.” I said “Oh really? To when?”

“How about tomorrow?”

Yessss!!! I moved to the Hammersmith office on Ash Wednesday and finished work with plenty of time to go get my ashes at church!

It felt sooo perfect! Waking up at the exact same time every day only to get home a whole 2 hours earlier! Walk 15 minutes to and from work, have lunch at home, return to day light… perfect!

And on the exact day that I started my secretarial work in Hammersmith my colleagues and my new boss start saying “you should apply for our architectural position!”

OMG!!

I had sent out at least 200 applications for architectural jobs and with no more than just one unsuccessful interview which I had managed to fail nearly 2 years before…. and now this opportunity just seemed to fall into my lap.

But remember, I had already made the plans to move abroad with my the boyfriend that year. Would he or any of his family expect me to stay true to my word if I take the job? But look how long and hard I had worked for it! Everything had come together for that exact moment!

And then I remembered:

It’s Ash Wednesday.

God had put me in the perfect position to go to church and get my Ashes exactly when I needed to, and then says… “So… here is your life. What’s it gonna be??”

I was at a fork in the road that began right on Ash Wednesday and went on for God knows how long, and I can’t say if the two paths would have ever merged again.

So I had to give up something right?

I remembered that God is Love, and went on with my life.

Here I am now :D

Happy Easter!!

(I know this is late… but it’s still the Easter season!)

This is beautiful :)

My First Grown Up Christmas :-D

* started writing this Christmas Eve… got half way then had to finish the rest today!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

*Oh my gosh I have SOOOO much to rant talk about!!

But it’s Christmas Eve.

I have today off!

And everyone else has work :D so it’s just me, Bob Marley and my laptop :)

And rather than rant today it would probably be much better for me and my wonderful readers to reflect upon the importance of this season and what it means to me.

First of all, what this means to me :)

The first time I really discovered Bob Marley was Christmas time when I was about 15… So now Bob Marley never fails to put me into the Christmas spirit!! Is that weird?

Some other “Christmas” albums for me include:

Usher Raymond – 8701

Destinies Child – Survivor

Miseducations of Lauryn Hill

Wale – Ambition beautiful song, but I decided to link to a clean version for the sake of the internet!

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

Drake – Take Care

Note that the last three were all out before last Christmas and always take me back to my days sitting on the tube on the way to work in North London….. I know that NONE of these tracks actually have anything to do with Christmas!! But it’s the memories I associate with them! There’s more too but I guess these will do for now :)

My job in North London wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for as an architecture graduate. I was a site secretary (a.k.a. secretary in an office on a construction site) and there were many days that I really had to draaag myself out of bed and into the 75 minute commute to work. But in this world there is beauty that can be found in everything. Looking back I am VERY happy for my experience there and the many fun/different/annoying/happy characters I got to work with. Even my daily commute provided much needed time for prayer, contemplation, reflection, people watching, entertainment and observations. I tried to make sure I always had a rosary in my pocket :)

One moment of beauty was when I was sat on the tube and the last view I had before going underground was a wet and grey Hammersmith… then about an hour later I came out from the tunnel and was greeted by a wonderful snowy white view of the park, roof tops and trees! It brought a smile to my face, it was beautiful!

There were other funny/awkward memories, like when I was rushing into the next tube in the middle of my journey and was elated to find a carriage with THREE free seats all next to each other! So I rushed in and sat right in the middle, only to notice everyone nervously staring next to me. I looked to my right and, yep, I was sitting next to the crazy person! Changed carriages at the next stop :-p but not before he had time to stare in my face and proclaim to everyone that “she must be in love!!”

* So I have just spent my very first Christmas with the fiance.

He is amazing.

I really do miss my family a lot. They went to visit my Granny and Uncle in Wales, and are now in Switzerland for a week as has been the tradition for the past four years… I know… lalalaaa the life of an expat brat!

This is also the first Christmas I have not taken time off for. The office has been closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Today is a half day and tomorrow of course I have off again :) Last year I took two weeks off. The year before that I was free as a bird (a.k.a. unemployed/volunteering :P) and before that I was a student….

My first GROWN UP CHRISTMAS!!

And despite my little emotional outbreaks I get from time to time, especially when I miss my family but am trying very hard not to(!) my fiance has been wonderfully supportive and I am very happy to be with him this year.

This little reflection I am doing right now on where I was this time last year in relation to now is a wonderful perspective to view the past from… So although I have things to rant about at the moment and probably always will, a year from now these inner rantings will probably cherished memories. Why? Because it is all part of making me who I am… dare I say that in the past year I have (gasp) become me again?

I cherish the memories I have of being miserable on the tube for two-and-a-half-hours a day! It makes me appreciate my current position even more!

I wasn’t always, but I am now VERY grateful for all of it :)

Now on to the next part!

Christmas in this country is certainly different e.g. NO SNOW! It is warm and sunny at the moment, which kinda adds to the reason why it took me ages to realise we are actually in December. Christmas music is Parang (Spanish instrumentals, usually English lyrics these days) food is more ham and pastelles than turkey with brussel sprouts and yorkshire pudding… similar but different! No one really stays home either, everyone is driving around to say Merry Christmas to all the different family members and friends.

I think I’ve just given away where I am living with all of those links… oh shucks! Not writing it down here though!

As for the religious part… well this is a Catholic multi-religious/cultural society!

Lots of church! And lots of people proclaiming the joy of Christ without being afraid of sounding over religious or freaking out the secularists :P Haha!

I love it!!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S. If anyone from work ever happens to stumble across this… don’t worry… I LOVED working with all of you!! I didn’t like the commute :P

Cute Angel!

Cute Angel!

Shubh Diwali!

Pretty!!!

Deya’s!

I love living in a country where people embrace the good in all faiths!

I’m sure that anyone from here will be able to guess where I am now, but hey as long as I’m not actually saying it :P

Christmas, Eid Il Fitr and Diwali are all public holidays here. (Yes I know that does not encompass ALL religions, but they are the most prevailing faiths in this culture) That means that multiculturalism is embedded enough into society that decades ago the GOVERNMENT decided to make it official. Think about it!

Multiculturalism is embedded into society at all levels to the point where it is actually official.

I know I can’t say that we are living in peace, or that racism and prejudice are dead and all that… They definitely aren’t. But I trust that we will get better. And I can say that at least I am living in a society where FAITH is respected and not mocked or scoffed at! Whichever faith it may be!

My mum’s side of the family is Muslim, and my Dad’s side is Christian. I grew up celebrating both Eid and Christmas. Merging cultures is a concept that up until I was 11 years old had been ingrained into my family and our upbringing alone, separate from everyone else in our neighbourhood. I didn’t mind, people were curious and interested in my background and I was always happy to share what I knew! My background was a spark for conversation, for learning, for self expression and for my own sense of self, sense of pride and my interest in other cultures. That being said, I was very happy to discover when I first moved here the last time (just over 12 years ago now) that this concept is actually ingrained into an entire society.

I would love to say where I am right now, but unfortunately when I did a search on posts that this country has been tagged in it came up to maybe one or two posts a week… I don’t want anyone guessing who I am! That happens when you live in a small world!

Anyway, for anyone who doesn’t know, Diwali is the Hindu Christmas! As in, it’s the biggest festival on the Hindu calendar. It is known as the Festival of Light and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. Of good over evil.

To everyone who has decided to stumble across a blog named The Story Of My Dark Side, I believe that this is a concept we can ALL vibe with! That ultimately Light will triumph over Darkness.

Sincerely

Smileyface :)

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