From the ashes I rise

I missed blogging, I missed spending time reflecting and putting my floating thoughts down on virtual paper. I can’t believe it’s been that long. I missed a lot of things I used to do in my free time back home. Watching TV, going shopping with friends, having coffee everyday with my mom, going for long walks with my neighbors…

For the past year I’ve been doing my post-graduate studies in the U.S. It’s been a transformational experience as I’ve never been to the U.S. before, and never been abroad for such a long time. The longest I’ve been away from Saudi Arabia was for a two-month visit to London.

Being away from home, from all the familiar faces and places, is quite the character-building experience. Your perspective on things that you’ve taken for granted on daily bases completely changes once you’re by yourself. You’re forced to be independent. Paying bills, rent, wifi fees, taking the trash out, doing laundry, cooking.. the list goes on, it’s all part of your daily ‘survival’ responsibilities.

Being a Saudi Arabian woman, you live your whole life in a family house, either with your parents and siblings if you’re single, or with a husband. You don’t think about things like paying monthly rent, furnishing a place, getting wifi. I’ve always lived in a furnished, family-owned house, with speedy wifi, cable TV… and every other life luxury I’ve never had to think twice about.

At first, it was a chore to simply write a check every month on strictly scheduled days and mail it out to my landlord who doesn’t trust online banking. Not that I’ve been the spoiled girl before I came here, but now I see the world realistically and I appreciate things differently. It’s an eye-opener adventure. Studying abroad and having to assimilate with a new culture brings a fresh sense of responsibility to your lifestyle. It was scary at first, it’s still scary to be honest, but at least now I know if I don’t get it done nobody will. It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and it’s lonely, but it’s definitely worth it.

Like a phoenix, I rise and so should you.