The rose that goes around comes around..

Today, I was given a rose while I was buying roses for a friend who had surgery.
The merchant gave me a beautiful red rose as I approached him. I did not have enough cash to buy a bouquet that comes with a clay vase,  but he said I could come to pay later. I asked if he was sure and mentioned that I lived really close by, he seemed to trust me, and I was very thankful and flattered. I didn’t have time to go to the bank, withdraw money and come back, not to mention it would have been unpractical. 
I promised I’d come back later in the evening, and he said it would be okay if I came back another day. It is very refreshing,  seeing that most merchants have become completely skeptical. Not just merchants, just about most people have.

So I headed to my friend’s house. While there I picked up his two year old daughter, Hiba, a breath of fresh air, we chuckled and she made my heart smile, pointing at the bouquet and saying “zarda” baby talk for Jardin, meaning garden. .
I let her pick a rose, then I did the same for her cousin who’s also two, and of course just like most kids, she did pick the same color as Hiba. Also a peach rose.
Total roses given : two.
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On my way back,  I went  to the same roses merchant to give him the rest of the money, and to buy roses for my place, and he greeted me with another free rose, this time fushia-pink.

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I asked him for a fushia and white bouquet, and he made me a gorgeous one. I then asked him how much, he jokingly said 5000dhs only,  so I removed my glasses and said “here you go!” And smiled. He laughed and then said : only 20dhs. . 

Again, I was touched, because while he’s already let me go to pay him the difference later, he also did not take advantage of that act of kindness to charge me more, in fact he was willing to charge less than usual. ( I expect 30dhs+ for that bouquet)
So I gave him a bill that covered what I had owed,  the bouquet, and then some.. he was very touched and happy. And said:  “Thanks Assya!”

There, he remembered my name from earlier today.  I told him : ” I  owe you, my name is Assya”

Today I gave two beautiful roses and  received two. So to celebrate I decorated this rose and painted my loved ones’ names on it, my parents and my sister..
And there surely are other people in my heart, and even if their names are not on those leaves -or probably are- , they could certainly feel that.

Also intensely on my mind today,  my late grandmother, Aicha. That I love and miss beyond words. 🌹

Assya

#GlassHalfFull

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My Solitary Weekend Surprise: Sadness turned Smiles.

I recently decided to try and spend every weekend possible alone, to unwind, organize my thoughts and connect with my center. I made a quiet promise to myself not to interact with anyone for most weekends, unless I really have to, and that excludes text messages or phone calls with my parents.
I have never been a fan of parties or the habit of having to go out every weekend. Even when my friends invited me for BBQ on a sunday, or to go to the movies on a saturday night, I have to admit that I had to exert much effort to convince myself to get ready and attend the event.
So today is a sunday, and I managed to spend all saturday alone, being quietly productive, and slowly packing for my upcoming move to my new place. But today I had to step out because I needed some fresh mushrooms for my steak, which I could have tried hard to convince myself to give up on for other veggies that I have, but then I urged myself to go out when I realized I almost ran out of mineral water- Now that, I cannot do without.
 So I stepped out, ran into a neighbor in my building, small-talked my way out for 30 seconds, and headed to the nearby market. I bought the mushrooms, and while at it, a pineapple, – Gotta have those enzymes, oh so extra serious about my training and diet lately- and headed back to my place. I usually  buy the water from the corner store under my building, I picked up the water, and on my way out, I bumped into a poor woman and her daughter, I was embarassed to have only given her the tiny change I had left from my quick groceries, and said sorry.  She asked me to buy her half a liter of milk, I said I was sorry I had no more money, but two seconds later I realized that I could get her the milk and pay the store later, since I’m a regular customer.
I walked back into the store and asked for a liter of milk, he pointed out to a brand I didn’t know, I asked if it was very good, he smiled in a way that conveyed both contentment and surprise for my constant pickiness about purchases he knows I am giving away-  Then I said with a smile ” I am serious, does this milk go bad fast?”. He told me not to worry, ever. This had happened a few times before, and I had happily paid for beverages and sandwiches, because in a way that  does erradicate that little doubt we might have inside that we are being manipulated.
I grabbed the milk and gave it to the lady, she smiled and said thank you, and then her daughter enthusiastically said “May God keep you always shining!”. To see a child who is about 10 years old  be that happy for some milk and say those deep words… It felt as if something breaks your heart, and then the words that follow instantly mend it.
I walked in my building, took the elevator, wept for a moment, and quickly told myself what I usually tell it every time I am hurting, “Tears will make you feel better, for a moment, but they won’t improve anything. Get the good ouf of the bad. Make someone happy, you’ll be happy”.
I rushed into my place, grabbed some cash –I am obviously not trying to make myself look good; and I have no gain in doing such a thing- and those who do know me, those who are like me, they know it is no pretense- After all we see people how we are — I ran back downstairs and was happy to find her and her daughter not so far from my building.  At that moment, the mother told me “I hope you get everything you wish for from the heart”. and I said “Amen, sister, Amen…”  I wished her good luck, admiring their smiles, and feeling this immense smile on my face, and went back to my place.
Before I stepped out today, I had no idea I was going to speak to anyone – In fact, I had just had some coffee and was getting ready to do some strength training, and then all this happened. I am very happy I went back downstairs, because if I had just told her I didn’t have any money on me- and I really didn’t, and left, I would have kept on thinking about the pitiful poverty and not be able to focus on my training, or even train at all.
Now I feel better, for my small contributions might make only a few people happy, but they add up. I wrote for myself, in an attempt to let this load of emotions and reflections out in writing, and less vocalizing; and if I shared it to you, it is to inspire you to keep doing the good that you are doing, no matter how small it is, and to motivate people around you to do the same. It is true that some people who beg have made a profession out of it, manipulating passerbys and harrassing tourists or locals, faking a disability, or pretending to have disabled child, but the vast majority really are genuinely in need of your help. And even if someone has enough money but fools you into helping him or her, it is okay, because you did it out of a good faith.
And I firmly believe that what goes around comes around, not just in revenge and harm, but also in the form of goodness.
Assya Moussaid

Happy birthgiving day, mom!

March 3rd will mark my 33rd birthday, Yes you read right, I am a woman and I’m writing my age. I never saw the point of girls hiding their age; we were all a kid, a teenager, we will all get to the age some are ashamed of disclosing, if we are meant to live to that age, we will. 

But this piece isn’t about women’s reluctance or fear of telling their age. This piece isn’t even about my birthday (Not that I would write an article about my birthday!) but I wanted to share a perspective about this “special day” that I discovered some years ago, when I turned 26, I was thousands of miles away from home, I called mom and enthusiastically said “Happy birthgiving day, mama!”. She was so happy and touched, and that to me was my birthday gift. And from then on I realized how much more amazing it is to shift my perspective from the ego, to the selfless soul, and make this day about the people I love instead.

The day anyone is born is the day that marks the birthgiving day for their mother, the day the father became a father for the first time, or second. It is the day a grandmother celebrated having a grandchild. The day your aunt got excited for becoming one for the first time, or for having an extra nephew to buy cute baby clothes to.

So in writing, and in two days I will verbally I say, Happy birthgiving day, mom,  Happy New father’s day, dad. And to my grandmothers who passed away, God bless your soul, I know how excited you were for my existence, and how proud you were. You are on my mind every day. 

On your birthdays, wish your mother a happy birthgiving day, and watch her face shine, or hear the joy in her voice, that is your best birthday gift.
And for the people whose parents have passed, I am sorry if what I wrote has saddened you, but your birthday will always be the day that amazing person brought you to this world, and I wish you all much happiness.