If I were to be diagnosed with cancer or some other life threatening illness,
I couldn’t call my mother to tell her like they often do in movies and otherwise.
I would look through my phone and there would be no caller ID for mom,
just a list of names that matter less than speed dialing one’s mother.
I cried myself into a migraine because she isn’t here,
and I can’t seem to fill the empty well inside my heart.
I’m officially not on any social media platform. I’ve renounced Snapchat, Facebook and much more recently my beloved Instagram. There are friends who are bummed about this and I honestly view that as validation for taking this Social Media hiatus.
Aside from the fact that so much of my precious time gets wasted on scrolling down the screen of my phone on the Instagram and Facebook app, I realized that Social Media was diminishing the quality of my relationships. I was posting on Instagram story which satisfied the curiosity of my followers and keep my friends up to speed on my life, but are they really up to speed? We started even interacting through Instagram story and catching up in the same fashion and neglecting the face to face interactions. There are fewer “I miss you”, let’s make time to sit together and hang out. This is a wide generalization yet it holds a certain truth. My main reason for taking this hiatus is that I needed time and space to focus and center myself in what I truly want to pursuit in my life. Social media is quite distracting and comes with so many different messages, from the well meaning fitness advice to memes to make you laugh. The other side of this is how vulnerable and exposed social media leaves you if you have the tendency of sharing personal and honest stories. There are always mixed responses though I must admit that in my case it is often positive.
My goal is to be more active in participation in the “live” feed of my life, gathering my friends around me and filtering out relationships that no longer hold their place. I do not have a time limit on how long this break will be but I hope to write more to document my life as I was doing posting pictures on Instagram.
I found my bank card that I lost on Saturday which was a huge relief because that was my travel card. Running on four hours of sleep, I dragged myself out of bed and went to the airport. When the woman came back with my card, all blue and shine, I was in heaven. I twirled, I danced and I felt blessed and merry. Between losing my card and leaving my bag in the tram, everyone was starting to think I was an airhead but life happens, what can I say. After that, I went to exchange my dollars for Euros, something that I don’t enjoy doing much here because I feel more or less cheated but so far, the place gave me the most! 88.60 Euros for 100 dollars. We went to eat at the Cameroonian restaurant and I had poisson frit avec attieke which I hadn’t had in years. It was delicious but the service was interesting to say the least. After that we went to la foire du livre (book fair). It was a big three days fair and Monday was the last day and we arrived half an hour before closing. A woman insisted on selling me a novel that in her words is one of the most amazing she even sold and she was sure I would like it. This might have been a marketing strategy but the way she insisted on selling me the book made me buy it and also it was her last one and she wanted to wrap up the fair by selling it. After the fair, we went home and we went to dinner with our host, my lovely friend of ten years and counting. We went to a local restaurant and had typical Belgian food and some cocktails. I had boule de liege et frite avec la sauce de biere which was simple yet delicious. As we were eating and talking and laughing, having a great time, we noticed dessert at another table she prompted our gluttonous eyes into wanting dessert too. My friend recommended that we go to this old fashion Belgian restaurant that has some of the best waffles et grand dame around town. We went and it was delicious and we were giddy and happy. It was a lovely evening to wrap up a day of tiny miracles.The food in Belgium has been delicious whether it is waffle on the street, carbonade in a nice restaurant or African food at port de namur. I am excited for what tomorrow will bring!
Based on the events of the previous day, I decided that I needed a good night of sleep before I lose my mind or else. We slept in and woke up in the afternoon, refreshed and hungry. We dressed and when from some croissants et tarte au pomme. We took the tram to “Royale” and walked around and took plenty of pictures. We went around in few circles before we found the African expo and when we finally found it, we realized that we were low on Euros to spend. The expo had beautiful things made avec les pagnes africaines and I love it all. I met a 17 years old designer and I bought a necklace from her to support her craft. We had lunch in a basement restaurant, a cave, with dimmed lights and interesting meat. There was frog, hare, horse steak, bien sure, escargot. I ordered sausage and bacon and my friend ordered pork chops both served with homestyle mashed potatoes with carrots mashed together. It was delicious and eventually, I will try escargot but I do not know how I feel about trying cuisse de lapin. After that we walked around, enjoying the evening scene in Brussels. We are officially doing well with the transporation in Belgique and this is all thanks to the great system they have in place here in Brussels. We met a Russian student at a beauty shop and he was trying to sell us a luxury facial exfoliant for 60 Euros and we ended up laughing and hanging out with him for like half an hour.He was going to show us around the beer scene in the area but decided again it, probably because we didn’t buy his products and we also told him he was too young…He are in our mid-twenties so anything above that line is suddenly to young (ha ha). But seriously, in the line of friendship all ages are welcome. We would have loved to hang out with Bob (he liked the nickname) and his product was great. We ended the day at McDonalds, which I didn’t eat. I am saving that for Paris!
1. I barely slept
2. I went to get my travel companion from the airport
3. I might have left my credit card in the machine
4. I am panicking then I am not
5. Come back on Monday for the currency exchange
6. It’s cheaper during the week because of the fluctuation
7. We took the wrong bus and again
8. I left my bag with all my money and passport on the tram
9. I am having a meltdown
10. My friend has everything under control
11. They found my bag
12. The homeless man wanted a coca-cola or so I think
13. The Pakistani man gave me a rose and a kiss
14. Happiness begets happiness
15. The wait(for the bag) is finally over
16. My hero, Ahmed!
17. He saved my whole trip to Europe
18. Gratitude is such a deep emotion
19. Dieu est grand!
20. I need to sleep before I leave myself in a machine or on a train.
I never quite understood the meaning of jet lag until I arrived in Brussels, propelled six hours into the future that had not yet reached Massachusetts where I was traveling from. I was tired because I spent the flight watching movies instead of trying to get any decent sleep so I was exhausted. When I arrived at the airport, my friend was there waiting for me with a teddy bear that said Belgium and her brightest smile. We hugged and it felt surreal. I could not make sense of anything and I was sure I was in a dream. My mind could be fully process the fact that I was in Europe and that I was kissing a friend that I haven’t seen in so long, a friend whom I’ve spent hours talking to on Skype, a friend I was supposed to see last year, a friend who was at the airport nine years ago, when I was leaving life as I knew it behind. So we took the train back into the city and finally we were at her house. I was at her house. I was here. I made it to Europe. The Europe she told me about when we met at fourteen years old, an age so close yet so distant from who we are now, an age where we were both just two teenage girls lost in the world. I was there and it was a dream that was suddenly as real as the fact that I am alive and I felt like kissing God and crying all the same.
There arrives a time where one must leave,
and when that time arrives, you know.
You might hesitate, you might bargain,
but inside you know that it is time.
So I left my job without another,
yet I know where my next job is.
It’s right here when I am ready.