The Road Not Taken
A while back I was struggling to write an essay on Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken for my sister's English Lit. class. Didn't have many thoughts on it at the time. Couldn't think of anyway in which it applied to my life. The concept of a Road Not Taken that made all the difference. Or a choice I made that was so pivotal in my life that its consequences changed the direction of my life & couldn't be undone.
Wish they'd let me give it a shot now. Am faced with so many choices & decisions lately. On Wednesday my supervisor called me into his office to a) ask if I can please try to make it to work on time from now on. b)tell me that he was recommending me for a big promotion this year. He was worried the tardiness would reflect on me & make it harder for him to get me the promotion. Now am way overdue for a promotion. But this was so much better than I've been asking for. He's letting me jump 2 grades. And my new position would involve coordinating with external contractors - most of whom are abroad so that means a lot of travel - something I really love.
Didn't tell him but my plans are to resign & leave by the end of the year. Some friends of mine started a small private consultancy firm in Morroco a couple of years back which seems to be doing pretty well. They want me to join as a partner. Had planned to sell some property my dad bought for me back home, throw in my savings & my end of service benefits to pay my share & join them. The advantages are obvious. Being a partner in my own business is better than being an employee. And in Morroco am a citizen so don't need to worry about having my residence revoked if I lose my job like I do in UAE.
And I would be with my family. My second oldest bro & his family will be leaving in Sept - immigrating to New Zealand. My parents & my younger bro & sis will be leaving in December to Morroco. My oldest bro has been living in France for the last 2 years & it doesn't look like he'll be coming back. So if I stay here I'll have to go live with my uncle's family. Won't like that at all.
Don't think my family will be happy if I decide to live alone as a single woman here. They don't mind short business travel but to actually set up house & live alone?When I travelled to the US for college my bro was there too or they wouldn't have let me go.
But time is so short. If I want to leave in December I have to give notice by October at the latest. And if I am staying then I'll need to seperate my visa from my father's & ask my company to sponsor me which will also take time. If am going to do that I'll need to get started soon. Have to let my parents know I changed my mind too. Can't just spring that on them.
Want to stay because of K. but these are such big decisions. If I pass up the opportunity in Morroco & they find another partner what will I do if I have to go back home at some later date?Look for jobs that pay about 20% of what I make now?Let's face it. There's simply no comparison between the job market back home & here.
Had dinner with him on Wed. but didn't tell him. Of course he noticed I had something on my mind. Said I wasn't ready to talk about it yet. He was a bit surprised because it was the first time I refuse to tell him something but he didn't press me. Don't know why I didn't want to tell him. Maybe I don't want him to feel pressured into something he's not ready for. Don't want to rush into anything. He already knows am leaving in December. No need to give more details.
On Thurs. had no time to see him. Was invited to a colleague's wedding. Woke up about noon & had to rush to get my hair done, manicure, pedicure etc...On impulse decided to get highlights & cut my hair. A completely new look. Of course that took all afternoon. Spent about 5 hours at the salon.
Khaligi weddings usually have seperate parties for men & women. Since my colleague is a male I knew I wasn't going to see him at the wedding & I don't know any of his female relatives. None of my friends at work were going & I couldn't get any of my other friends interested. So out of desperation I decided to ask my sister L. to come with me.
Don't know why L.& I don't get along better. When she was born I wasn't happy. Was used to being the only girl in the house. Was 15 when she was born. It was an aggravated case of sibling rivalry. Just kept my distance. Everyone else was pampering her. Didn't feel like she needed me to add to the numbers. Now I try really hard to get over this coldness. But can't seem to spend a lot of time with her. She bores me. Maybe it's the age difference but somehow I just don't have a lot of patience with her. She's your average, obnoxious teenage rebel. Maybe I also resent the fact that my parents aren't as strict with her as they were with me.
Wasn't really expecting her to come. For one thing I didn't give her enough notice & she takes FOREVER to get ready. But she surprised me by being really sweet about it. She asked me if I'll do her make-up. So I said yes. Then she asked if she could borrow my red dress. Knew there had to be a catch. My parents would NOT think my red dress was suitable for a 14-year-old girl. They'd freak. And she knows that. Thought ok she is going to be obnoxious. But again she surprised me by not insisting. I let her borrow something else & did her make-up. Mashallah I think she's a really pretty girl.
The wedding was Ok. One of my colleagues(M.) did show up & they were so sweet & hospitable the 3 of us didn't feel out of place at all. L.went crazy on the dance floor which I wasn't totally happy about. True it's a ladies only setting but we don't know whose going to see the video & the way she danced was just too much. But didn't make an issue out of it. She wouldn't have listened anyway.
Left really late. L. was really excited about that because she's not usually allowed out so late. She decided she was hungry so we went to the drive-in at Burger King. At 2:00am.
At home she wanted to sit up & chat while she ate. Tried to be nice but couldn't wait for her to leave my room so I could call K. Missed him. She didn't leave until 3:00am. Sent him sms are you awake. He called back right away & said yes I was waiting for you. Thought that was really sweet.
Talked about an hour. Was smoking like crazy. At one point
Him: Do you know that's your 4th cigarette in less than an hour?Kifaya.7aram 3laiki.
Me:How do you know?
Him: I can hear when you light up. You're really nervous.
Didn't comment on that. But felt really pleased that he noticed. Silly but I really love the way he doesn't miss anything about me. Makes me nervous sometimes if he's guessed something I didn't mean to show. But usually I like it.When we're together & I say I want to talk about something he switches off his cellphone. He's just a really intense single-minded person. Whatever he's doing he gives his full attention to. It's kind of sexy.
He's not really very big on sweet-talk & compliments. When he does give compliments they're usually sort of sarcastic & backhanded. But I don't mind because there are so many little things that he does that make me feel important to him.
Basically I have it really bad.
Today I saw him twice. We had brunch with some friends of his. Then he went off to Friday prayer & I went shopping with D. Later in the afternoon we went ice-skating at Zayed's Sports City. Then we went for a long walk around the city. I think it's awesome.
But he didn't like my hair. Bummer. When he saw me this morning:
Him:What did you do to your hair?
Me:Don't you like the color?
Him:The color's ok but it's gone so straight.
Me: It's blowdried.
Him: Oh so it's not something permanent.
Me: No. Don't you like it?
Him: I like your natural texture better. You have beautiful hair.
Me: I spend all day at the hairdresser's & you think I look terrible. Everyone told me I look great last night.
Him: Did I say you look terrible?I said I like your hair curly. It suits you & it's natural.
Me:Whatever. It'll go curly again when I wash it.
Which I did. I excused myself, went into the bathroom & wet my hair. Really messed it up. Didn't even run a brush through it. Was so irritated.When I came back he stared for a minute then he started laughing & shaking his head & saying women are crazy. You gotta love it when men call us crazy when they're the ones who drive us crazy half the time.
Was quiet during brunch. Was still in a bad mood. I mean he KNOWS am nervous & tense enough so why is he giving me a hard time about something trivial like my hair. Couldn't he just say he liked it or just keep quiet?
When I left he called me.
Him: Still not talking to me?
Me:Who said am not talking to you?
Him: Sorry if I was rude about your hair.
Me: It's ok. Clearly we have different tastes.
Him: Yeah I don't like your hair blow-dried. That's what I'd call an irreconcileable difference. Maybe we need to reconsider our relationship. I mean how can we possibly have a future together when I don't like your hair blow-dried?
Me: Sometimes I think you never take me seriously.
Him: And sometimes I think you take yourself too seriously. Lighten up ok?Stop making mountains out of molehills.
I did feel better.