Meditation and Uncertainty

I have a handful of friends, a few best friends and a couple of favorite people who’ve inspired me.


Have you ever met a person who makes it so easy to open yourself up to because of his/her honest personality? Just to give you an idea, one of my favorites (also one of the smartest people I know) is one of my closest friends, someone who’s known me for a few years but knows me by heart. He’s a gifted musician, who literally knows everything about everything and has an honest heart.

I’m a people person, so I enjoy meeting people who inspire me and feed my soul spiritually. And last week, I came across one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met.

When you’re a busy and organized person like myself, you tend to hurry your life up. You’re constantly running, planning, doing, writing down, talking until you’re used up at the end of the day. I’ve never really taken the time on my own to meditate and listen to my soul and mind. And spontaneity is another thing we, organized beings, have no time for. Because I don’t like uncertainty, I’m not so comfortable with being spontaneous.

But this person inspired me to meditate and breathe. To look at the beauty of nature and reflect on my life. To take a deep breath and not worry about the unknown. His way of looking at life was so peaceful, accepting that we are not in control of our destiny. I truly admire someone who takes the time to let go and be free, even just for a while. We talked about the uncertainty of the future and how spontaneity is important in a monotone life. How to truly appreciate your family and close friends because they’re the strong foundation of your mind, body and soul.

Yesterday, I sat at the beach with some friends just before dawn. As we listened to music (Kings of Convenience), each of us took our time to contemplate God’s creation and sit in awe. It was so beautiful, we lost track of time.

And that’s how life should be. A continuous contemplation of beauty, captivated in the moment so that you forget everything before and everything after. Breathing in, breathing out, meditation set to music.

You may not understand what I’m talking about or where I’m going with this, and that’s okay.

But next time you find yourself alone, go to your most favorite place in the world, or somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to nature, listen to music and meditate. And I promise the strength, peace and happiness you will find, will be worth it all.


Letting Go

Dear family, friends, fellow bloggers and newcomers,

I haven’t written a blog post in a month because I took time off to reflect on what I was going to write next. I usually have a bunch of ideas floating in my head every Friday, but until now, I had nothing.

I knew I wanted to write something relevant to my life, a serious blog post to not only share with you, but with myself when I will need it.


I’m the type of person who plans her life through and through and expects it to work out that way. But I should have known that things never turn out the way I plan them to. In the L-J family, we tend to take everything on a “day-to-day” basis. Not because we want to, but because we have no choice with four young adults making their own plans and two parents running a business.

For instance, I know that I will never get anywhere on time when I’m staying with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I am usually late when I live alone. It’s just that when I decide to be somewhere at say, 7pm, I end up leaving at 7:30pm and I get there around 8:15pm. During that time, many things happen: one of the four “kids” decides they’re not going out anymore, one of the parents has a phone call to make, one of the “kids” decides they’re hungry, the other parent doesn’t want to drive anywhere, one of the “kids” decides they’re tagging along and I decide that I want to change my outfit.

Living in a big household with five other personalities should have taught me how not to make plans, but I always do. I make plans because I’m scared of what will happen if I don’t.

And that’s where I went wrong this year. I planned out everything: career, university, love, friends. I achieved some of those goals like a Queen and other goals turned into crap. I got really good grades for my final exams, but I lost touch with some of the most important people in my life. (Edit: This was not I didn’t “lose” these people because of my exams, but because they weren’t worth fighting for in the end.)

Because I’m the type of person who plans her day, when it doesn’t work out, I tend to worry. I don’t just worry quietly in a corner, I panic and frantically try to find a solution to my new crisis. Every time I worry, I put myself through sadness, heartbreak and anxiety.

But as a Christian, I believe that when God shuts a door, He doesn’t just open a window, He tears off the roof and let’s the sunshine in. That’s how I end up feeling after all this worrying. I realize that the reason why things haven’t gone my way is because there’s something better in store for me.

After a difficult month of worry and sadness, I learned three important things:

1) “Sometimes you need to do the right thing, not what is good for yourself.” I got this from Rosie Falta in Devious Maids’ final episode, and I’m glad I heard it at the right time. When we make decisions, we tend to get those two things mixed up. But doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean what feels good for yourself.

2) “Don’t worry about a thing. Because every little thing is gonna be alright”. Bob Marley was 150% right about this, as simple as it sounds. I can spend my time feeling sick and drawing conclusions until I get the answer I need, if I want to. But that won’t change what is meant to happen anyway. And no matter what happens, it’s going to be okay.

3) You can’t plan your life the way you want it to happen, because it has six different timelines. It probably doesn’t, but I got this from Abed in Community‘s Season 3. A group of friends are throwing dice to see who has to leave the room to get pizza while the rest gets to stay. On a die, there are six numbers, meaning there are six different possibilities of what could happen to the group. In real life, you can choose any path you want, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get exactly where you want.

So I’ve decided to let go and let life take the path that it should without worrying about what’s going to happen next. Because no matter how hard I’ll try to follow my schedule, it will never go as planned and I may always be late. And that’s okay.


Happy Father’s Day !


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When I was in second grade, I was already a drama queen. Every Tuesday (or something like that), I’d start school later and my father would be at home, working. He would make me pancakes and ask me about my day. Patiently, he’d listen to all my stories and friend problems. He would sometimes comment, sometimes nod, genuinely listening to my chatting.

My dad is the best father a girl could have.

Sometimes he would help my sister and me get ready for church. He’d brush our hair and pick out clothes for us. When I think back on those days, the greatest memory I have is that my father has always been a listener.

We have so many things in common:

1) Even though we don’t like spending money, we always end up buying something.

2) We know we’re good looking.

3) A lot of our jokes are really lame, but we insist on telling them over and over again.

4) Both of our birthdays are in March.

5) We love traveling to new destinations.

6) Food is the most important thing at a party, it sort of decides if we’re going or not.

7) We’re the first ones to fall asleep in front of a movie.


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My father makes the best pancakes, chili, carrot soufflé, Cantonese rice and nems. He used to paint, dance, draw and write. Now he’s my inspiration, to work hard in everything I do and succeed at what I love most.

I love you Daddy, Happy Father’s Day !

Meet Yara (Or 10 reasons why she’s my soul mate)

The other day, in honor of National Best Friend day, I wrote a blog post about the six types of best friends I have. But because of space, time and energy, I didn’t tell you about one of my most favorite people in the world – so I’ve decided to dedicate this article to her.

This is Yara El Eid after she courageously chopped off her voluminous locks of Mediterranean hair.


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And here are 10 reasons why she’s my soul mate.

1) She introduced me to philly cheese and bagels. I kid you not.

2) Our voices are so synchronized, they’re married. Romeo and Juliet ain’t got nothing on our voices. We open our mouths and our voices hug each other. Basically when we sing,  we harmonize really well and she has the most beautiful voice ever.

3) My mom adores Yara for God knows what reason. She just came over one time and swept my mother off her feet as I watched jealously, eating a philly cheese bagel.

4) We became friends because of her dad. Her dad was going to a Paul McCartney concert so I spent a whole subway trip trying to convince her to get her dad to take me. It didn’t happen, Yara thought I was crazy,  but now we’re friends so I guess it worked.

5) I was randomly invited to eat dinner at her cousins’ house before a Madonna concert in another city. Her family is amazing for taking me with them. And even though I have beef with 99.9% of the Lebanese girls I know, I’m technically the third daughter at their house. You know, just in case they have too much labneh in the fridge or something.

6) Yara’s sister Maya is my favorite teenager in the world. She’s the complete opposite of everything I hate about teenagers. Which means she’s super mature and just awesome.

7) We are Why & Zee. We’re a legit band, we made a fan page and everything ! Except that now we’re on two different continents, band practice has been postponed until we’re not lazy anymore. Like us here!

8) We love and hate the same people. Like that one guy who invited us on that yacht in Nice, but was a total jerktard. We didn’t like you since highschool anyway, Kevin!

9) I’ve never had a fight with Yara before. Like ever ever, because she’s probably the only person that can calm me down, no matter how mad I am.

10) Our response to everything we say to each other is “Shut up, ugly!” We sound like rude hateful beings but that really means “You’re the coolest, we should totally buy friendship bracelets.”


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To Yara, the Why to my Zee.

The Best Friend Post

Yesterday was National Best Friend Day apparently. (Pretty Little Liars’ Facebook page reminded me of that, it’s not like I wrote it on my calendar or anything, I mean who does that anymore?)

Up until the age of 14, every person I met was my best friend. However, over the years I’ve realized that the French saying “Les amis se comptent sur les doigts d’une main” is completely true. Well, it would be if I had six fingers. (Translation: “You can count your friends on the fingers of your hand…” which doesn’t sound half as wise.)

To honor National Best Friend Day, here’s a list of the six type of best friends (in random order) you’ll most likely have in your early 20′s, or if you’re me. Please note that there are about three other people that should be added to this list, but hey, I only have so many fingers.

1) The two-peas-in-a-pod best friend

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She’s the type of friend who will physically be there no matter where you go. Inseparable, you’ll always be at each other’s places, without ever getting in each other’s way. And if you are apart, you’ll somehow be in contact, whether it’s texting “IMBECILEEEE :)” every morning or calling each other while using the bathroom. My two-peas-in-a-pod friend is Leila, there for me whenever I need her, and whenever I don’t.

2) The walk-down-memory-lane best friend

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Because she’s known you since you were an awkward 13-and-a-half year old, she knows you by the “pink-clothes-obsession” stage, the “pretending-to-be-a-novelist” stage and the “let’s-pretend-we’re-in-Gossip Girl” stage. Somehow she still owes you a long-overdue email, and about 100 Skype phone calls, but you still manage to stay in contact and up-to-date with each other’s lives. My walk-down-memory-lane friend is Jemy, a.k.a Lady Purple, her MSN screen name in 2009.

3) The non-family-member-but-is best friend

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You still don’t remember how you really became friends. It involved something like baking cookies and unicorns, and then you went from hating each other to camping in her backyard. Your family loves her, you love her, her family loves you, you love them, it’s all just love. My non-family member friend is Lex, because I’ll never be surprised if she surprises me by popping out of my closet one day. It’ll be totally normal because I’d assume it’s her closet too.

4) The adventures-of-you-and-her best friend

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© All Rights Reserved 2014 – Darkside Paris

If you walked home in broken heels, hungry, tired, thirsty, dying to pee, but still laughing, it was with her. If you listened to west African music for three hours straight, while trying to smell cardboard, while watching an 80′s TV show that somebody else put on, while making green tea, it was with her. If you ate a post-party kebab at 4am, it was with her. Through the good and the bad, she’s the friend who stars in every adventure you’ve had. My adventures-of-you-and-her friend is Laura because no matter where we are, we’re never bored with each other.

5) The wise-owl best friend

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You can tell her absolutely anything in the world about yourself and she won’t get mad. But just get ready for the “OH MY GOD ZAHRA, NO!” and really wise-beyond-your-years advice. There will always be a solution with her, and if not, a piece of advice that you may or may not take and end up skyping her again for more. Nehanda is my wise-owl friend because no matter what I get myself into, she will always know what to do and what to say.

6) The sister

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After years of bossing her around, it was time you grew into young women who swapped clothes constantly. When you were little, people thought you were twins and you would proudly announce “NO, I’m 3 years older!”. Now, you boast proudly (for no reason, because it’s a total lie) that you’re “twins and she was born five minutes earlier”. You are inseparable when you see each other, you’re two peas in a pod. She’s always quick to say, “Hey, ‘member when we pretended we liked it when she’d pour warm milk in our cereal and it got soggy?” because she’s your walk-down-memory-lane. Her family loves you, you love her family, because you have the same family. The adventures-of-you-and-her usually start with “Zahra made me do it, I’m the cute one!” And she’s your wise-owl because when things get real, she tells it like it is. And though she’s obsessed with sending me obscure hipster music, Safiya is my bestest friend in the universe, because she’s my sister.

A Feminine Voice

I haven’t written an article in quite a long time due to my hectic schedule and social life. Also, because I knew that I wanted to say something important, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was.

A few weeks ago, I met some of the most influential people I’ve known. Lyon is a pretty “young” city, full of life, students and parties. It also has a very big LGBT community so it wasn’t surprising that I befriended a group of lesbian friends. They told me their stories and taught me things that I would have probably never had known on my own. And one of them was having a feminine voice.


Feminism, \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\, noun: The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) Can you tell me where you see “aggressive belief that women are superior to men and so all men are idiots”, in this definition ? Matter of fact, look up feminism in any dictionary and it will give you the same definition: feminism is the belief that women should have equal rights as men.

When I was little, I despised the fact that I couldn’t run around playing tag with the boys in my class. People would tell me it wasn’t “lady-like”. When I was a teenager, I attended a boarding school in France whose values were not only hateful towards my identity (being black, evangelical Christian, unafraid to befriend boys) but to my gender. For a year, I was taught by ignorant sexists that my role was to serve men. My goal in life was to be somebody’s quiet housewife one day. I am not quiet nor will I ever be a housewife because that’s just who I am.

My parents taught me differently. They always treated my sister and me the same way they treated my brothers. My father treated my mother with the utmost respect. He never once told her that he was the boss of her (seriously at least). My father wasn’t in charge of the family, they both were. My mother explained to me that I had to dress appropriately to respect my body. Many women however, prefer to dress appropriately so they won’t be labeled as sluts.


A few weeks ago, a female friend of mine posted an article about feminism on Facebook. The article was saying how people have huge misconceptions of feminism, associating it to hating and humiliating men. A young man commented on the article saying “Why isn’t Feminism just called Humanism then?” Here’s why: feminists want women to have the same rights as men. And why is that? Because men still haven’t given it to us. We wouldn’t be feminists, fighting for our equal rights if we had them already. Instead of complaining about us, do something about it!
I don’t know, like, give us the same salary our male co-workers get. Stop telling us that rape is our fault because we wear attractive clothes. Because that’s complete crap! If your brain has been replaced with your private parts don’t expect us to treat you like you have one.

I am not saying that all men are the same and you all treat us like sexual objects. But truth be told, many of you do without realizing it.

Many men (and sadly many women) claim that girls who dress seductively deserve to be sexually harrassed. What message are you sending to your children? “It’s okay son, if she was wearing a skirt, you can slap her ass.” Did you know that almost every single woman has been or will be sexually harrassed at least once in their lifetime? That would mean your mother, your sister, your girlfriend or your wife has probably felt or will feel humiliated and unworthy for at least a minute.


Now that it’s summer, a lot of women are wearing skirts, shorts and tank tops just as men wear shorts and t-shirts. I believe in modesty not because I’m scared of others’ opinions about me. It’s because I personally do not want to expose an excessive amount of my body.

So when I’m wearing a skirt just above my knees, walking down the street in broad daylight, there is NO excuse for a man to whistle at me, calling me “sexy slut” and harrassing me. I’ve noticed that this doesn’t only happen due to certain people’s poor upbringing. It’s also due to the fact that most girls ignore the cat calls, thinking it’ll just stop.

I’ve recently started to respond in a way I used to think would only mean trouble. A week ago, three completely sober, middle-aged business men whistled at me and called me obscene things. I turned around, looked them in the eye and said, “Shut up. You should be ashamed of yourselves, setting such a horrible example for your children. Surely you thought I would ignore you but now that I’m here, what in the world could you possibly get out of this?” As I walked away, I was surprised that they were completely silent. Maybe it was because they had daughters of their own and I had guessed right.

When you’re in a safe and public environment (where you cannot be assaulted without being seen), I urge you women to respond. Do not bring yourself to their level by insulting them, just respond. We are not silent objects, we are equal to men; we have a voice. Speak up, or sexual harassment will continue.

As for you men, the next time you or a friend thinks it’s funny to call a female passer-by a “whore”, imagine someone doing the same thing to your mother. Then fix your bad habit before it becomes your personality.

That’s how men and women can both be feminists.

Read me !


Inspiration for life :)

Originally posted on Daily life, this and that. Ambiguous:

1. Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.

2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years

3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.

4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.

5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their weight is determined by their mother.

6. If a part of your body “falls asleep”,
you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.

7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing -food, attractive people and danger

8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side

9. Putting dry tea bags in gym…

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