Inside Out


My traditional Iraqi costume is comfortable and straightforward; it consists of a loose robe with long sleeves and a head cloth. I don’t wear the head cloth, but I put a turban on my head instead. You see people wear traditionally more often in rural areas. I used to wear them when I do shopping locally or meet with my neighbors but not for school or work.

I don’t think I will wear these clothes in the future because they are unavailable where I live, and I don’t like the idea of being part of a culture that does not represent me. We are unique in how we think, process our emotions, and communicate.

Be unique from the inside and not from the outside.

Life Lecture

Lecture me! I like to be lectured on topics that really interest me, or things that I do not know about. I am open to accepting criticism as long as we keep it civil. Last night, I was invited to a dinner with my friends, which I liked because it was the time to re-live my culture and tradition again to a certain extent.

After a delicious dinner, we had a regular black tea but the tea did not look really black as it supposed to be, but my host friend and I thought it was good; in fact, I had two cups of tea. The third friend did not like it and started complaining about the color and the taste, and he started making comments on how to make tea. The host friend offered to make another pot of tea just for the critical friend who refused the offer, but he would not stop wailing.

At some point, I could not tolerate this attitude and told the demanding friend that we were guests and we should be respectful and grateful to the host friend for having us tonight, and if you did not like the tea, then, please do not be a drama queen. The ridiculous friend did not like what I said and left. Later, he texted me to tell me that he did not want me to lecture him again, but my answer simply was that I would fix him as long as he keeps this rude attitude.

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Full crazy – Part I

August is my favorite month of all year. For no reason, I become more energetic, enthusiastic, and fearless. My belief is that I can do whatever I want to do in this month with no hesitation, and then I can fix any unfavorable outcomes later.  I can confidently say that almost all the life-changing events that happened in my life were in August, such as finishing all my graduate degree requirements on the 14th in 2017, coming to the US on the 21st, and engagement on the 2nd; not all mentioned events were successful. I wish that August were more than 31-days.

After this brief introduction about my ecstatic month, I made a bold decision that I could make about running. I decided to run a marathon – it is crazy, is not it? In addition, the one that I chose was the Richmond Marathon. I did not know anything about this marathon until I saw a post on my Facebook newsfeed about local training programs for this marathon, and I picked it with no further due. They say that you are half-crazy if you do a half-marathon which I did, and because I did not like half solutions, personally, I committed myself to becoming full-crazy by running a full marathon.

Following my impulsivity on 08/15/2017, I registered for the Richmond Marathon, which was on November 11th, so I had almost three months to process what I signed up for and to train for it.

Although I was skeptical about my capability to train and run the marathon, I kept working hard because it felt good to set a goal and try to achieve it. It was a big goal, but I was not looking for it eagerly rather than achieving small steps to get to the big goal. My plan was simple which included two to three short runs per week. I ran for three miles on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and one long run on the weekends of a minimum 15-miles. Neither short nor log runs were easy as they were tiring. My short runs were almost after work which meant after 5:00 PM and they were my joyful runs, and my long runs were early weekend mornings which were exhausting and painful. Not everyone wants to go through this especially when you consider running your hobby, and you do it whenever it is convenient for you unless you believe in yourself. A self that is determined to challenge its self and explore new things about it.

Sometimes, I decide to go for a 15-mile run but half way I feel down and quit running, which made me feel guilty for the time and the effort that I dedicated that day, and I just walk all the way back to my home wrestling my frustration with the natural scenes of the park. With the time, I realized that it is okay if I cannot keep my running plan as it supposed to be because I am a human being with feelings and emotions that can be swayed by little things throughout the day, such as work, school, and family.

Time went by, I leveled up my running distance above 15 miles at a rate of 10%-15% miles per week, and this was going well until I stuck with the mile 18. I kept trying to go beyond 18 miles, but I could not, and this shook me as I had only four weeks before the race with one week for recovery, so I had only three weeks total. I thought I could train to run for 22 miles and would leave the 4.2 miles for the actual marathon (a marathon is 26.2 miles), but with the 18th-mile dilemma, I was not even close to my training goal.