Monday, February 14, 2011

True Love

True love is being able to look at someone or in this case something, see it in its entirety, and love it regardless. I’m not talking about a man, I’m talking about movies. I love movies. It’s a real passion of mine. And I don’t mean it in a I-only-like-rom-coms-and-call-myself-a-movie-lover. I love all types of movies, from horror to comedy to the artsy stuff. My favourite genre of course is fantasy but I do love all kinds of movies.

I judge movies in different ways. The first of course is the story line. You can have the best director, actors and what not, but if you don’t actually have a story to tell, you might as well just burn your money. At least you will have pretty colours to look at. I look at the acting, directing, lighting, cinematography, sound effects/score/soundtrack, action sequences and fighting sequences. Now in terms of movie experts I don’t know the official names of things but I know what I like.

I believe that a movie cannot be all crap. There are those (few and far between) that are just awful from beginning to end. But most movies have redeeming qualities in them. Certain moments or things that made me like the movie even though most of it was crap. While bad moments (and there are many) do not ruin a movie for me, the good moments sure can save it.

So in the name of love, here are moments in movies that just took my breath away. Like I said, movies should either stick to the approved recipe for success or be so different, that it bends my reality entirely. Often the storylines of movies will stick to the ‘norm’ of fiction so that people have a point of reference. For e.g. Vampires burn by the sun. The very few movies that dispute this myth saying that in fact vampires walk around in the day time naturally with no use of rings or magic, was very unsuccessful. Get it? Good.

The following list is moments in movies that made me go wow: (in no particular order)


The specific moment that I refer to here, is the when Constantine basically commands whatever invisible force to be seen. The way in which this is done is just awesome. The tattoo on the arms and as he brings his arms together, the changing light etc. It’s just awesome. Now in movie history, I haven’t seen anything like it, so it was a wow moment for me.

Somethings gotta give

I love this movie, but the moment when she tells him that she is heartbroken just gets me every time. Another part is when she asks her daughter “what are you waiting for”. Brilliant V-day movie!

10 000 BC

A lot of my friends didn’t like this movie, but I did. But the moment that got to me the most is when I realised that all those people where building the pyramids. Now never mind what history tells us or doesn’t tell us. They were able to give a realistic, edged in stone (excuse the pun) reason for killing and kidnapping of people.

Thats all I have for now, will extend the list as soon as I can think of anything. Feel free to let me know of moments that make you go wow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Acceptance is the key

I have spoken to many people who ask the question why? Why did my parents have to get divorced? I often wonder what type of person would I have been had my parents stayed married. The truth is you will never know. All you can deal with is the here and now. Accept the things that you cannot change!!

Parents need to accept:

  • It’s going to be a long hard road. And you shouldn't give up hope that one day your children will be fine again.
  • The most important thing in life is not being happy. It’s being safe and healthy.
  • As the parent that has to move out (which in most cases it’s the men) you will never really get to know your children. No matter how many nights they spend at your house or how many times you phone them. There will always be a rift between you and them. You will never truly know who your children are.
  • You are not a bad parent for getting divorced. You are a bad parent if you allow the divorce to kill the dreams and hopes of your children.

Children need to Accept

  • Some people get the whole perfect family picture and some people don’t. And now you have become the people who don’t. It’s not the end of the end of the just is what it is.
  • Nothing will ever be the same again. And trying to run away, and self medicate is not going to make you feel better. But you WILL feel better one day.
  • You can’t change your parents. They are who they are. And loving them is divinely ordained, even if we think they don’t deserve it. Allah (SWT) wills it and that all that matters
  • It really is not your fault. Whatever decisions that your parents made, it’s their decisions and their lives. They are allowed to make those choices. Unfortunately you are a casualty of war, but remember Allah (SWT)/God is always with you. And the lessons that you are to learn from this divorce can make you a better person, if you deal with pain.
  • Sometimes you have to tell your parents how you feel, even though they don’t listen, a part of them hears.
  • You have the right to extract yourself out of your parent’s problems. This is your life, even though you are thrown into circumstances you never chose. What you do with it, is what counts.

In the end, everyone has baggage. Some are more socially pronounced than others. Some are darker and much worse that others. Its not about what happens, but what we do when it happens.

Rules on surviving the War i.e. Divorce

“The thing about divorce is that it doesn’t actually kill you” – Frances; Under the Tuscan Sun, great movie, watch it.

So you are divorced, now what?

Being a single parent is hard. If you don’t believe me, ask a single mother or father first before you contemplate doing it on your own.

I am the most well adjusted divorced child I know and I know quite a few. I was lucky because my mother was who she was. She never kept my father away from us, never said nasty things behind his back. And when we wanted to hate him, she reminded us that he was still our father. She poked and prodded and forced us to open up and deal with the situation. Even though we didn’t want to. Even though we came from a generation where adults didn’t care about how their children felt. We all (parents included) had to deal with our issues. The result of that is my parents can sit in a room and joke and laugh with each other. And my father’s wife as well as his new in-laws. We are weird family to most, but the most important thing is that we are apart of each others lives.

The truth is that you can have a healthy family after divorce. Children can get over it. They will never really be the same like ‘normal’ people. But they can lead normal lives after this. It takes a lot of hard work but it can be done. Will and Jada Smith in their interviews with Oprah talked about have “an extended” family. Jada said it the best “It’s not about us”

Rule No1: It’s not about you!!
What is important is that your children have both their parents actively participating in their lives. So put aside your shit, slap a smile on your face and NEVER let them see you angry/sad

Rule No2:
Deal with your anger Whatever your reason for getting divorced, deal with your shit on your own! It kills me when parents don’t see anything besides their own anger and pain. And drag their children in the middle. Don’t make it anybody else’s problem but yours. If you are okay with the divorce your children will heal much faster.

Rule No3: You are the Adult -While the parents are caught in all the emotional turmoil that comes with divorce (whether you hated your partner or not) children become the replacement adult. I don’t know why but divorce ages children. They become pseudo adults over night. Often the parent will lean on the oldest child or the oldest child will feel the need, to step into the shoes of the missing parent.

Here is what I have to say to that. Don’t punish your child for the decisions that you made. You are the one who is the adult. Whether you asked for it or not. It is your responsibility to make sure your child is looked after. It is not your child’s responsibility to take care of you. I don’t care how old you are. If your child does this, don’t leave them. My mother made it very clear that we were the children and she the adult. This helped in getting over the divorce because I was able to hang on to what little of my childhood was left. I was able to ‘return to normal’.

Rule No4: Dr Phil always says – DON'T FIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS. It changes who they are. This rule applies when you are married and when you are divorced. I have a friend who is about 22. He is single still lives with his family and every time his parents fight, he goes off the deep end. Breaks up with his girlfriend, and replaces everything he is feeling with drugs, clubs and alcohol. I know at least three of my friends that got married to get out of the house, because their parents were constantly fighting. Two of which are now unhappy but will not move back home.

Arguing in front of your kids is one thing, but throwing chairs and calling your kids mother a bitch/slut or father a good for nothing son of a bitch is quite another. Every time you fight in front of your kids you make them a part of your marriage and they are not. They are a product of it. You have no right to burden your children with your adult problems.

My cousin was three when she went to her parents and told them, she hurts inside when they fight. They proceeded to laugh at her. Today that same cousin’s parents are divorced and she cannot express the way she feels. She bottles everything until one day when she will explode. And what will the parents say? I never brought you up like this!

It is important for your children to see that you have processed the divorce and that you honour the relationship you had with your partner. If your children see that you are happy they will be happy. And by honouring your relationship with your ex, you are showing your children that they are not a mistake or a product of a broken home.

Rule No5: Your kids are not your personal messaging service – keep your children out of your relationship and issues with your ex. Like I said before every time you involve them, you turn them into children with adult problems. They are going to grow up one day; they will have plenty of those. Do your own dirty work.

Rule No6: It’s never truly over – Your relationship with your ex will never end. As long as you share children you are forever bonded together. So don’t pretend otherwise. Children want to know that you respect the other parent even though you no longer live together

Rule No7: Don’t Replace – Your children have a mother/father so don’t try and find someone to get married to thinking that this will make them more stable. It won’t. All that it will do is give your children more issues. It sends a message to the child is that their mother/father is replaceable and that one day when they move out, you will replace them. You may want to ‘be happy’. But happiness comes in many forms. You will be a much happier person if you know that the person you say you love more than life itself is well and happy. As a Muslim women living alone, it is better that you get married, but take your time. And when you are ready to get married, the key to a successful new marriage and happy children is this:

Make sure your ex – and current get along
In order for this to happen, you have to have a good relationship with your ex. If you are able to have a birthday party, Eid or wedding with you and your ex and your new spouses, your children will be almost normal. This is the most important thing you can do for your children. Don’t worry about what your aunty, friend or even mother says. Don’t worry about what is considered societal norm. What is important is that your children are able to have both their parents at their wedding, Eid and children’s birthdays. Those moments when family is together will make the hole that they live with that has now become a part of their lives, feel as if it is almost non-existent.