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  • Sahar Abdulaziz

You asked! - I Answered!


Yesterday I posted a list of 50 questions and asked all of you to post the number from the list you wanted me to answer. Here are the results:

#22 Country I live in: Unites States of America

*** How do you really feel about home improvements?

My last two weeks of summer have been egregiously consumed with painting my never-ending deck. It has turned into one of the most tedious, boring, hot, and rotten chores I have had to do in a long time. On a few occasions, too uncomfortable and sticky to continue, I have just upped and quit right smack in the middle of painting. Walked directly into my garage, took my paintbrush still clumped and covered with paint, and slid it into a Ziploc bag, and threw that sucker right into the garage refrigerator for my next day’s half-assed attempt. Disgusted, hot and bothered, I have come to the conclusion that I despise this job, and I’m no good at it. That goes for about 99% of all the home improvement projects I have dreamed up and tried to implement. One long, painful disaster after another, and you’d think I’d learn by now, but no.

#16 Favorite Animal?

I currently do not have any pets, however, in the past, I had a cat named, Lady Carrington, who was the most amazing feline I have ever had the privilege to know. She fit right into the lunacy of my family, never complained, was easy to care for, and always a snuggle away. I still miss her dearly. Short answer: cats.

#43 Middle Name: Rukan

#20 One wish? For me personally and selfishly, I wish I were healthy. Crohn’s Disease has been and continues to be a very difficult and intrusive struggle; however even in difficulty and hardship there are lessons and blessings.

Oh, and while I’m wishing, perhaps a pill that gets rid of stretch marks and cellulite…

#40 Favorite Food: Pizza

I LOVE food, so I could answer this with so many more choices… but a pizza is, well, PIZZA!

#14 Addiction[s]: Tea and chocolate. Don’t judge me.

#34 Biggest fear?

I have a few fears that I have had to grapple with over my many years. As a mother of six, as well as being a grandmother, I think I have to admit that where my children are concerned, I am completely vulnerable. Although I consciously know that their fates are not in my control, my heart hasn’t necessarily gotten the memo. I constantly worry about them, pray for their safety, their happiness, their character, their choices and the repercussions of their mistakes. Connected to that, is my fear that I fell short in the mothering department. I pray this isn’t so.

#39 Favorite book: The Qur’an

Favorite book written by a human: So many, too many. However, Mitch Albom’s, Have A Little Faith, was inspiring. Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert, was also incredible. The Postmortal, by Drew Magary, was a fun ride. I’m an avid reader, so this question was difficult if not impossible.

# 44 Worst habit: I like to play with words, and it drives my children insane. They think I’m corny, and I don’t care. I also pull my car way too far into the garage, leaving little room for people to walk, so I have recently been threatened with the old hanging tennis ball from the ceiling trick. I’m sure I have other more obnoxious habits, but let’s keep those undercover, shall we?

#35 Do I believe in Ghosts? No, however, I believe that where creation is concerned, even in this worldly life we live, there are other less perceptible planes where life exists. Predominantly undetectable, separate, but at times in conjunction and in proximity with ours.

#42 Star sign? While I don’t believe in zodiac signs, by my birth date [August] and in the name of entertainment only, I am considered a Leo. Any surprise there? ;)

***Does my own faith experiences factor into my writing at all? How does it inspire or inform my work?

I am not a religious person. Huh? Did the old lady in the hijab just say that? Yes, she did. While I am not ‘religious’, I am deeply faithful. There is not a single part of my life disconnected from my faith. Everything from the seemingly benign to the painstakingly obvious is an integral part of who I have become and strive to be. How I aim to treat others and how I wish to be treated. My expectations of myself are garnered from my belief system. So, for me, my beliefs are a constant reminder and active tool by which I remain inspired and guided. They help me to maintain a level of personal and professional integrity, while not willingly setting out to hurt, dismiss, demean, or invalidate anyone else’s experiences or beliefs. When writing, I adamantly refuse to play into stereotypes or the simple mindsets of the ill-informed, and hope to use the written word to educate rather than to disseminate or belittle.

For the most part, but not exclusively, I use my writing platform as social commentary. Depending on the subject matter and the ‘voice’ of my characters, my beliefs can most certainly play a pivotal role. Where and when my characters [outside of my beliefs] are struggling within the confines of their own mindset and experiences, I do not impede. I allow and encourage them to explore their journeys’ without interruption or faith-based guidance from me- the author. However, as a faith-based individual, there are certainly parameters of writing I will not transgress upon or employ, which is a personal choice based on my relationship with my Creator.

#49 Most embarrassing moment?

Oh lord, where’s my list? By the way folks, this question was selected quite a few times too…

Okay, I had to have been about 16-maybe turning 17 years old, in Manhattan. I played flute and guitar and was part of a music group, mostly drummers [congas, timbales, etc.] We were a sloppy group. On the weekends, we played in Central Park and of course, we sounded great then. It was all freestyle, and everyone had a good time. People strolling through the parks would stop, listen, dance, and it was fun. However, believing the hype, we decided to play for a dinner club. Let’s just say, ‘awful’ barely describes how atrocious we were that night. It was humiliating. Some of the drummers, including the lead singer, showed up completely blitzed out of their minds. Our beats were off, and the lead singer, glassy-eyed, forgot whole verses. The faces on the audience were a mixture of disgust and shock, and for good reason. We were a total disaster.

I remember I couldn’t wait for the fifteen-minute show to end. And when it did, I couldn’t pack up my flute and guitar fast enough; not wanting to look out at the suffering faces of the audience for one painful second longer. I remember walking home, cursing like a sailor under my breath, stomping my feet, and trying not to bawl. When I got home, I shoved my flute and guitar in the closet and proceeded to cry myself into the biggest migraine humanly possible.

Another top ten contender on Sahar’s Most Embarrassing Moments:

It was after the above incident. I was living in the Bronx, seventeen probably closer to eighteen [my personal magic bullet number for imbecilic behavior]. It was the time in my life when I started to cover seriously and practice Islam. No more half-stepping for me, by golly! On one particular day, I decided to wear a LONG khimar [chador], Iranian style no less. On my way back from Manhattan on the commuter bus, I sat in my seat, all erect and self-righteous.

Then it was my stop so up I stood, gliding down the aisle, bidding the driver a good day, and stepped off all haughty and full of myself . . . That was until the doors of the bus closed firmly with a good portion of the back of my way too long hijab [chador] still stuck in it! The bus took off and so did my hijab, whipped right off my head. There I was, standing on the curb, nothing on my head, looking like the pompous fool I was. I’m sure the bus was howling, and it served me right! Honestly, though, that was the last time in my life I have ever allowed myself to act so boorishly or think for one second I was better than anyone else. Lesson learned, and embarrassingly so.

#21 Best time of your life?

I honestly can’t pinpoint a single best time. I have been blessed with many ‘best times’ so I had to think long and hard about this question. Without being dodgy, I’d have to say: Now is the best time of my life. I’m smarter, I hope. Most of the hardest work is done, like raising my family, making a home, finishing school, etc. All of those particular life challenges are behind me to some extent. I am now at a point in my life where the culmination of all of my life experiences is getting poured back into me, into my writing, and into my career. A career I frankly could not have ever envisioned years ago.

#31 Hair color: I was born with very light brown hair, often referred to as ‘dirty blond’. As I got older, my hair turned darker. I tried highlights, which were nice while they lasted… and now, as I have become even OLDER, it is becoming white. I’m digging the white big time, but I just wish it would hurry up already! Looking like Cruella De Vil was not in my plan.

#15 Favorite song?

Oh man, I have so many.

For my Husband & Children: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell!

For my friends: Lean on Me- by Bill Withers… “Sometimes in our lives we all have pain. We all have sorrow, But if we are wise We know that there's always tomorrow Lean on me, when you're not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on... For it won’t be long ‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”

I love Led Zeppelin’s classic- Stairway to Heaven, and Aerosmith’s –Dream On. I adore Carol King, The Eagles, and Queen. Don’t let me get started on Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago! Kenny G, Yanni, the list is endless… There is so much talent out there that this question is indeed unanswerable.

#41 Jealous of: I am not jealous of any single person, but when that creepy feeling does begin to emerge, I will immediately put a squash to it by praying for the person to have the exact thing I am jealous of increased. I do this because jealousy can be one of the most viciously dangerous emotions when unleashed or indulged, and in my opinion, more unnecessary hurt has come out of it than good.

Now, do I feel envious at times? Of course! That’s when I remind myself to be grateful for all of my blessings and stop minding other people’s business. My biggest envy is of healthy people- NOT that I want them to suffer ill health at all, but because I have not been healthy for so long I wonder what it is like to just ‘be’. This constant battle with pain can wear one down. When I am having an especially complicated time, I can become envious that somebody else can just wake up and meet the world head on without a second thought. I think to myself, ‘What does that feel like, and can I have some?’

However, at the end of the day, we are all facing and struggling through our own battles. Although we might not recognize the tests of someone we are too busy being jealous of, they are there, so let’s be kinder to one another and a bit less judgmental.

*** Favorite child? [Asked by one of my impertinent sons]

Favorite he asks? Give me a break. I don’t even LIKE any of you! Muhahaha!

I think I have answered all the posted numbers. If I missed anyone, it was certainly not intentional.

I want to thank you all for joining me in this little bit fun. Now that you know me a bit more, please don’t be shy on my author page. Stop in and say hello!

In Peace Always-

Sahar

#author #writer #humor #blog #amwriting

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