The Penultimate Piece

365 days ago, I was getting ready to leave Canada for (what I thought would be) one month. Five months and countless countries (because I’m actually too lazy to count) later, I returned home for Ramadan. While a more formal wrap-up will land tomorrow, I ask that you consider doing me the following favour, please and thank you – inbox me what your takeaways were from my The Sabbatical. (Don’t be shy!)

Since it really is just another day, I want to send a small shout-out to Poppy who earlier – when she asked me if I was a ‘cool’ kid (I was not) – reminded me of my unhinged obsession with looking Chinese as a child lover of Olivia Newton John. Please read that sentence again.

Before I write this out, I want you all to remember that I was a 7-year-old immigrant child from Libya, who hadn’t been exposed to anything and who didn’t mean to be a bigot; I just thought that I would be prettier if I looked like a Chinese Olivia Newton John which, to my ignorant child ass, was all about the eyes. Why Chinese? I saw a stunning woman on a TV show who was…you guessed it…Chinese. Why Olivia? Does it really matter? Can I possibly make this any worse?

I was really dedicated to this, by the way. Often, I used tape and stringy headbands to pull and keep my weird little face in place.

The worst part? I constantly pulled at my eyes. In public. And never as hard as I did while sitting in the backseat of our Buick Skylark, when we were stopped at a light and people were next to us.

Because my hands were busy pulling at my eyes, I couldn’t wave with them. Instead, I waved with an elbow. Very few people waved back and in my child’s mind, this made me a sad Chinese person.

While sharing this story with Poppy, I also disclosed that I had a full dance routine to Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ which I would perform for our adult guests. More than once, maybe more than once in the same night.

I rolled around on the carpet. I shimmied down the wall.

I was a fucking disaster.

How did I ever get this far?

Today, I am grateful for:
1. Every one of you who has read quietly, and every one of you who has read loudly, by posting comments, and/or inboxing me all of your thoughts on the things through which I was sorting. I will forever be astonished and grateful that anyone would ever read me. I know that your time is precious. I thank you for taking any little bit of it to come here and read.
2. Making ka3ik with momma.
3. The book-ending of this day by hysterical laughter with Poppy. (Did you tweet them about their shitty core-tah-doe?)

Ottawa | Day 364 | November 29, 2019

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