In Late 2011, there was a 29-year-old girl, who had to take a job that was not as senior as the one she deserves, because she had no other options. She needed any income at this point, so at least her husband can take his time looking for something suitable. He won’t have to rush into anything in order to pay the bills.
Nevertheless, it was a fun job in a small prestigious British Community! Yes, you heard it! As much as she hated Brits back then, they were the only ones who welcomed her warmly. She can still hear the words of her soon-to-be manager: “I know the salary isn’t what you should be getting, unfortunately this is the budget we have at the moment. But this is bound to be a fun job.” Little did he know back then, for he didn’t only give her a chance to work after many months of doing nothing, he offered her a chance to get her life back.
– “By the way, one important thing you need to consider before accepting the job;”
Here we go. The trick; the one thing that ruins every job opp. she gets, what is it this time?! Bring it on.
– “If you will accept our offer, you will need to travel to London early next week for training, am sorry it’s such a short notice, but we will finalize all logistics from our side!”
WHAT?! Did she actually hear him right? Is he kidding? Is he actually apologizing for having her fly to London! Oh God, is her luck actually turning? It’s true she wanted Italy, but she also wanted to have some time on her own in any place that qualifies as “Away”. But wait a minute, it is not just any place, it’s London! After all that rough time she’s been through, she will now get a week off with new people, in a new place with a fast ticket out, and clear consciousness. She doesn’t have to worry about the kids; they are staying with their dad and granny, and she doesn’t need to explain herself to anyone, it’s work.
– “Of course, I don’t think this will be a problem at all,” she smiled, “I will undoubtedly take the job.”
But the job took her. No the job and the people, literally blew her away. They probably never realized it, they probably never recognized how much each and every one of them had had an impact on her, how each one of them had left his unique mark in her heart, and how each one of them, unnoticing, had helped save her.
In late 2011, particularly on Christmas Eve, a 29-year-old girl with a wrecked life, stood in the middle of a Christmas staff party that she had helped organize, only couple of months after she’s been hired.
She looked around, her head moving slowly, lingering on every single detail, and contemplating all the guests. For the first time in months, she felt proud. Almost everyone there was happy, enjoying their time, and thought she did a good job. On that eve, she realized how this place was like a breath of fresh air. For the past two months, she didn’t dread going to work, instead; she looked forward for it. Whether it’s the supportive bosses, colleagues or those amazing group of friends, whom she seemed to have nurtured, she was feeling different. Was it her who has changed or was it the place that has changed her? Did she actually change, or is it just that in this small family-like community she was able to be her true self, let go, and revel in the beauty of being different?
On that eve, and thanks to a friend, she remembered a long ago childhood dream. She wanted to learn to dance. She wanted to start doing all the things she wanted to do. She didn’t want to keep putting things on hold. She felt better now, stronger and more willful to break anything that ties her down. Her wishes and dreams were simple, and she didn’t have to feel guilty if she wanted to pursue them.
Few days earlier, her husband got a job back in the same Arab country, which after few months of no work he had to accept. It was a good one however; in fact it might have been one that he couldn’t have thought of applying for, had he continued to work with that freak-of-a-boss. It was nice how everything started to fall into place, slowly, but surely.
She knew they needed a break. Actually, she is sure he wanted it too. After all that has been happening with them lately, they are entitled some time off. But they both lacked the courage to say it. They both ignored it, may be out of fear of what could happen next if it is said out loud. But lots of things were said lately, and the problem with words is the same over and over again; once they are said, they just remain in the air. It doesn’t matter how much you try to act like they weren’t uttered, they will continue to stand in the middle, between both of you, as heavy as the awkward silence. It’s a confirmation that things are not how they used to be, and that they will never be the same again. You can only think whether you can accept this fact or not. It is simply the power of words, and she was a woman of words. They touched her, molded her, affected her, and played with her mind .. harshly. That’s why she was so scared to actually utter the words: “I need the timeout. I need to rediscover myself on my own again. I need to reevaluate everything within this new light!” It wasn’t as easy as it sounded in her head.
With the new job offer, it just happened. Again, a quick guilt-free ticket for a one year journey of self and relation discovery, with a hope that in the process, she will heal all her wounds, readjust directions, and make up her mind about what she wants next. She was sure he welcomed the thought too. It was an unsaid feeling of relief, as they waved goodbye in the airport. It will be a full year, before they sit down and talk again about what they want to do. Relocate again? Or remain each one in a different place? In time they will know.
As she cleared up the room, she stood with a jacket he forgot in her hands. Amazing how things turn out to be! How we are granted everything we wish for, not the way we want to, but the way we need to, and how we end up so thankful things never went the way we planned them.
In late 2012, there was a 30-year-old Woman, who is now back in the same Arab country she used to live in one year ago. It was Christmas. She was receiving lots of wishes and emails from her British and Egyptian friends she made from her last job back home. Some of them have moved to greener pastors in Egypt, others went back to the UK and left Egypt behind, promising to always keep coming back, and some were still there. It’s true the place has changed a lot, but its memories are still so vivid in her mind and heart, and those people still have their finger prints on her daily life.
In her new office, for now she has a new job offered to her by one of the clients whom her ex-boss tried to make her believe they were not satisfied with her work, she looked at the freshly unwrapped Christmas gift. It was sent to her from London, from her last boss there. She cried.
The clock in her car ticked closing the door slowly on 2012, the year kept going through her mind in short snappy flashbacks. There were laughter, there were tears, there were good times, there were bad times, there were hope, there were fears, people came in, people came out, there were a revolution inside and outside, but it was an unforgettable turning-point in her life.
She didn’t go to Italy, she didn’t start writing regularly, she didn’t excel in her dance classes, and she is again relocating and settling in an Arab country. But, she has a job, she went to London, made new friends, and reconnected with her Husband and kids.
In late 2012, there was a 30-year-old woman who was thankful her life has unfolded like a romantic movie. Hopefully, it is not the ending yet, but with the finale of one chapter, she stood by the window, watched a captivating sunrise, and whispered a prayer of gratitude for everything she has been through, everything she had, and all the people in her heart.
In late 2012 and on New Year’s Eve, there was a 30-year-old woman who was content and welcomed 2013 with wide open arms. This woman was me!