On the morning of my 23rd birthday, I felt like celebrating was such an awfully shameful thing to do. I was lost, I was dead broke, I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, I was lonely and I was scared. The number 23 sounded like a truck with no brakes was approaching weak, fragile me. And all I could do was just stand there paralyzed, and completely give in to the idea that this just might be it. The fall.
Every candle on the cake was a representation of all the things that I haven’t achieved, all the money that I haven’t yet made and all the dreams that I was going to dump in the trash in fear of failing if I ever do start. Yes, I was indeed a mess. A 23 year old fuck up.
Or at least that’s what I thought.
Then the year started, and let me tell you; things only got worse from there. I didn’t get it. Every time I told myself that it couldn’t get worse, somehow it did. Bad shit just snuck in and found its way to me. Then something happened, not a miracle no, there wasn’t a savior who came along and turned my life around either. I made a damn choice, that’s all. That is what being 23 is all about, making a choice. A choice between surrendering to the idea that things are never going to get better and actually MAKING them better.
The first choice I made was…
Accepting that you are in a shitty phase in your life at the moment. Not because you suck as a person but because this is how things are and this is how life is right now. Things never stay the same, if you’re having a bad day, that doesn’t mean that you’re going to have to deal with a bad life until God knows when. If you deny that fact (Yes, it is a fact), you probably won’t be able to move forward. Accept and move on.
Changing the things that you clearly don’t like about yourself. For instance, I had a very bad habit of always managing to bring myself down. I’d be having a conversation with a friend and suddenly start telling myself how much of a failure I am; in my head. I had a tremendously flawed attitude toward myself. When I first thought about changing that mindset, I deeply thought that it was an incredibly stupid idea, until I realized it wasn’t because guess what? IT WORKS. It works so well, and that is a promise. When you take the initiative to change the way your head works, you’ll understand how much earlier you needed to do it. All it takes is one damn decision, a decision to stop talking yourself down, a decision to start supporting yourself and your ideas. A decision to stop being so hard on yourself and giving yourself a break. A much needed one. A decision to stop criticizing every word you say and every move you make.
Now, this one is tricky. It’s tricky because it needs a lot of thought and decision making. Basically, what you have to do is have a long sit-down with your brain and start thinking about the good things that you like about your life and the bad things that you don’t. You think about the people who surround you, the supportive best friend, the toxic relationship, the abusive boss (If you a have job)…etc. And then you start eliminating. It is hard, yes, it is indeed the hardest but also the most rewarding. You have got to learn how to walk away from all that doesn’t benefit you anymore, the people you keep in your life only because you’re too scared to go out there and find other people who might actually treat you better, or love you better, or respect you better. I’m not saying that you should trade in your heart for a shredding machine, I’m saying that if you don’t feel it, don’t stay.
Re-inventing yourself is a BIG must. I’m talking about re-constructing your whole image as a person. Not for people, but for yourself. If you feel like you would like to be able to contribute more during conversations, then read more. If you feel like you’re growing bored with how you look, then go get a haircut. If you don’t like the way you go blank every time someone talks about films, then start downloading that list of the Top 50 most important films in cinematic history. Basically, HELP YOURSELF. Help yourself become the person that you one day aim to become. Don’t just sit there on your ass waiting for some sort of miracle to happen, it won’t. If you’re not planning on going after it, then stop complaining so much about it.
You have got to challenge yourself sometimes or else you’ll live and die in that comfort zone of yours. Maybe take that job that you’re so scared of taking because you feel like a totally unqualified moron with a bad case of imposter syndrome. If you can afford to do it, try traveling alone, be it abroad or just a few days outside the city. Go and be with yourself, get to know who you are, maybe you’ll end up liking yourself more or maybe you’ll end up feeling lonely, who knows? But the thing is, you never will if you never actually try. So, please do yourself a favor and try. If you absolutely hate it, then you can always go back to what you know. Just give it a Goddamn try, already! Great things sometimes come from pushing yourself into the unknown. Uncertainties are scary, I know but they can be a beautiful thing, as well.
And finally, you have to know that nobody figures things out at 23. You don’t have to be a millionaire by 23, you don’t have to conquer the world by 23 and you certainly don’t have to find love at 23. The only thing you have to be at 23 is yourself. Because only then will you be able to start putting the pieces together. You can’t start with a bad base, now, can you?
Princess Reema Begins Assignment As Saudi Ambassador to the US
Saudi Princess Reema bint Bandar presented her credentials as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the US on Thursday, more than two months after she was appointed to the key post.
She has arrived earlier on Wednesday in Washington, DC to begin her assignment as the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States.
‘Princess Reema will immediately begin her mission to strengthen the historic partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States,’ said Fahad Nazer, embassy spokesperson. ‘The Ambassador will bring a fresh perspective on a rapidly changing Saudi Arabia to Washington, continuing to build on key areas of cooperation between our two countries.’
“Honored to present my credentials today to @StateDept. Looking forward to starting this chapter of my life in Washington DC the journey begins with a wonderful team @SaudiEmbassyUSA,” she wrote on her official Twitter account.
— Reema Bandar Al-Saud (@rbalsaud) July 3, 2019
Princess Reema was nominated to the post back in February and she later took her oath in April before King Salman in Riyadh, making her the first Saudi female ambassador and the 11th Saudi diplomatic representative to Washington.
Graffiti Artists Making Jeddah an Even More Colorful City
The number of graffiti artists in Jeddah is increasing, and they are all contributing in adding more colors to their city, with their amazing skills that can be spotted all over Jeddah’s walls.
The art that was once perceived as vandalism is now helping brighten up the city. One of the artists contributing in this colorful trends is Elias Tashkandi, the 19-year-old Saudi student is turning his passion for art into coloring the city of Jeddah.
His passion started off in France where the art there inspired his own, and now, the artist has participated in several important festivals in the Kingdom, including the XJED, Common Ground and the Jeddah Food Festival.
“I saw the artworks on the trains and in the streets,” he said. “I then began replicating them, but on paper. I started experimenting in graffiti and its basics on a deeper level in 2016.”
Another talented group is Dhad, the young artists are leaving their incredible mark on different walls and projects, and their latest work was for Mirkaz JED.
Their page on Instagram speaks out their work, and is as colorful as their accomplished work.
Besides graffiti, the group also does professional digital art.
“Once the artist uncages his potential, no canvas is too big and no idea is too small. Just put that first brush stroke to paper and let your creativity guide the free flow of your expressions.” Deyaa Rambo, one of Dhad’s founders.
Hanan Kamal, a 26-year-old Saudi project manager, is yet another graffiti artist; because a feminine touch is always needed. Her art has been displayed in several events, the most recent one was the Jeddah Book Fair that was held back in January.
“Graffiti — and drawing in general — is my passion, not just a hobby,” she said.
“It evolved into freelance work that appealed to many people and I was encouraged, especially by women, as they are a minority in this field.”
Abdulkareem Jeyad, the 23 year old is a freelance graphic designer from Indonesia, art for him runs in his genes; as he was born into an artistic family. His mother was an abstract artist and his father a calligraphy artist. Which makes perfect sense for him to grow with such a talent, and passion for colors.
“I have been in the graffiti field for more than 9 years and counting.”
Art can speak out many things, it is a way to express opinions, thoughts and things that can not simply be put into words. The same goes for a country, and so it is just a delight to see this kind of self expression spreading across the city of Jeddah.
Haila Al-Farraj: First Saudi Woman Commentator
Haila Al-Farraj just got appointed as sports commentator on the Gulf women’s soccer tournament, making her the first Saudi Woman commentator.
Al-farraj will sit in the commentary box on Friday at the Gulf women’s soccer tournament, that will take place at the Green Hall in Dammam.
Around 200 female football players will be taking part in the competition, with 16 teams from five GCC member states including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Oman.
Haila Al-Farraj is a radio presenter with a B.A. degree in anthropology, in addition to being an instructor accredited by the Public Corporation for Social Communications and Electronic Marketing. Which is exactly what made her a perfect fit to be chosen as the official commentator of the GCC women soccer competition, chosen by the organizing committee.
“It was by a stroke of luck that I was chosen to be the official commentator of a major GCC women’s event, which will include football players, coaches, referees and others,” she said.
She further explained that she had acquired her love for sports from her father and brother, who always talked about sports which provided her with the terminologies.
“My father is a big fan of Al-Nasr Club while my brothers support Al-Hial,” she added.
She expressed her pride to be the first Saudi woman sports commentator, and that she wishes to carry on with the career because of this time of women empowerment and gender equality.