Category Archives: Summer Daze

Project Dina Transformation

Week 3:

Yes, I know…it’s weird to start things with week 3 but I really meant to start this ages ago. It’s been months since I decided that I wanted to embark on some grand personal “mind, body, and soul” journey. Something along the lines of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I ranted about endlessly in my last post…minus the “eat” though, I really don’t need more “eat!” But I found myself struggling to begin anything new up until two weeks ago, when I finally got off my butt and decided, “Enough sulking, it’s time to start fresh.”

I have become your grade A, walking cliche. I loved then lost love; I climbed high then tripped and fell horribly; I followed my heart yet came crashing down; basically any age-old saying that translates simply to: I got screwed over! Dramatic much? Maybe…but I guess that’s how most people feel when they fight so hard for what they want and STILL end up losing miserably.

But enough is enough — cue motivational music please. There’s a simple reason why we all fall down at one point or other: to get back up again. In that case, let Project Dina Transformation begin.

Step 1: Get a summer job. And it’s not just about filling the time or making money (ok fine the money is a major plus — a huge chunk of it is already promised to a Louis Vuitton I’ve had my eye on for ages). But I need to feel like I’m doing something important…something that will set some kind of path for my future rather than the circles I’m running around myself.

Step 2: Get fit, kill insecurity and feel great.

Step 3: Surround myself with the people I love. With that said, let me take this moment to admit and apologize to everyone I’ve pushed away in the past year. You have no idea of the value you hold in my heart.

So I realize this completely goes against my whole plan to spend all four months of summer being Italian and doing absolutely nothing (see previous post) but I can’t do it! Now I’m entering into week 3 and I have to say it feels pretty good! I’ve gotten that job, I’ve been pretty consistent with the whole getting fit thing and I’m reaching out to everyone who holds a piece of my heart.

Fingers crossed I keep up with this kind of will power.

: : : Say a prayer for me. Help me to feel the strength I did. My identity…Has it been taken? Is my heart breaking on me? All my plans fell through my hands. All my dreams suddenly seem empty : : :

— Empty, The Cranberries —



Filed under Project Dina Transformation, Summer Daze

“Bel Far Niente” – The Beauty of Doing Nothing

I’m currently in my third week of a very long, four-month summer vacation.

Now most people in my shoes probably have the whole summer planned out. They’ve already booked flights to exotic locations, or have already gotten a head start on tanning before it gets too hot, or have lined themselves up for jobs or summer internships to keep them preoccupied. I, on the other hand, have succeeded in doing absolutely nothing.

Now to some, this may seem like an ok way to spend one’s time, especially, if like me, they have so much of it. But being the overachiever that I am, the idea of me doing nothing for the next four months has become absolutely unfathomable to my family. Dina? Not get a job or cram her days with a million and one things to achieve? Unheard of!

Not this time folks.

Now don’t get me wrong! I don’t plan to be a complete hermit and succumb to anti-socialism and an overt love for my laptop and high speed Internet. Hell no! But for once, I don’t really want to achieve anything, except for my own personal pleasure and happiness that will make me long for each one of these 130 days of pure possibility.

I want to read all the books I never had time for, drown myself in movies and shows, stick to my promises of keeping in touch with the people I love, go out with the friends that I can only see over summer and just enjoy it!

God what have I been doing all these years?!

On the subject of reading, I finally picked up a copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and almost done with it (see! I haven’t been completely useless these past couple of weeks :P). On her visit to Italy, the author talks about the difference between Americans and Italians. She says Americans are constantly trying to succeed something or other. They have this need to feel like they’re fulfilling something and so they slave away in offices, deal with pressure, and then don’t know what to do when there’s nothing to achieve. Italians, on the other hand, specialize in one thing and one thing only: Bel far niente—“the beauty of doing nothing.” And even better then that: l’arte d’arrangiarsi—“the art of making something out of nothing.” Isn’t that brilliant?

Not that I’m American but all these years of submerging myself in an intense American school curriculum has taken its toll on me! I have to admit though that before starting this post, I was questioning whether or not I was being foolish to not want to achieve anything of worth to anyone else but myself.

But I guess I figured it out. I’m not being foolish. I’m just being Italian! Let the days of summer nothingness begin!

: : : Some kind of therapy is all I need, please believe me. Some instant remedy that can cure me completely. Could it be that I’m suffering because I’ll never give in? : : :

— Trouble Sleeping, Corinne Bailey Rae —

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Falling in Love Again

After all that gushing and excitement in my last post about my three weeks of summer in Egypt I’ve kind of found it hard to figure out something else to talk about…other than the beach and my newly developing sun-kissed skin :P .

I even considered devoting an entire post just to the food…oh god the food. But that would only add up to one word: yummy.

So according to the ultimate clichés, summer is nothing without summer love…so finally I have decided to dedicate this post to the love of my life. Yeah, yeah…call me old fashioned for falling head over heals in summer…but the heart does crazy things I tell you! And this is a love story I just can’t keep in.

He’s extremely handsome, has the most caring eyes and is barely 3 feet tall. Oh yeah…and he’s 6. Yes the love of my life is none other than my little cousin Waseem. But I’m telling you! I’ve never met anyone more caring in my life! And every summer I fall into his little love trap over and over again. I’d call him a heart-breaker but really that little boy is not capable of breaking anything…ok except maybe the occasional expensive vase or plate as a result of careless, 6-year-old playing.

Right now, we’re at my beach house and our TV isn’t working so the regular 24 hours of cartoon playing has been completely cut. So turning to the second best thing, we spent the whole day doing what 6-year-old boys do best: playing with fake guns and hand grenades, taking turns playing on the Nintendo DS and eating way too much cereal.

At night he insisted his partner in crime (me…and quite proud of it, thank you!) sleep next to him. And that’s where the tough guy act melted away. Every 5 seconds he turned around to make sure I was still there. And when he noticed I didn’t have any blanket he made sure to share his. And then he insisted on reading ME a bedtime story even though he’s just learning how to read.

Yup, a definite knight in shining armor in the making.

So I can go on blubbering about the beaches, the mini adventures or even the potential eye-candy my own age. But honestly, there’s nothing that felt better than laying next to that little boy. It reminded me that that’s why I’m really here… to watch him and every part of my family here grow more and more every summer and try to be a part of that as much as I can. And today…I really felt like I was.

As for now, I better sneak back before he turns around and discovers I’m gone.

: : : We don’t want you to see we come and we go. Here today, gone tomorrow, We’re only taking turns holding this world. It’s how it’s always been. When you’re older you will understand : : :

— Trust Me, The Fray —


Filed under Summer Daze

Summer Loving…Had Me a Blast

We’re finally here! After an excruciating six-hour cross over to Bahrain instead of the usual 30 minutes, a late late flight filled with screaming children way too excited to sleep, and the hassle of stuffing our excessive luggage as well as our selves into a car way too small, we have finally arrived to beautiful, gorgeous Alexandria, Egypt.

God I love this place…its almost 5 a.m. and we barely got in an hour ago (I wasn’t kidding about emphasizing “late, late flight”). But here we are at my grandmother’s apartment right across from the ocean and it feels amazing. The smell of the salty air, the people, all still awake, trying to take in every minute of summer, and the sound of cars zooming by at no particular speed limit like they own the streets. Yup, I can’t think of a place I’d want to be more then right here…right now for the next three weeks.

There’s something about this place that sort of feels magical. I know I know, I’ve heard all the clichés and the jokes about Egypt and its cities but at the end of the day this is my hometown…my heart and soul and I can’t help but feel absolutely proud and nostalgic about being here. So yes…magical is exactly the word I’m going to use to describe it.

I was just standing out on the balcony watching the waves and the cars and the people and so much is going on…at 5 a.m.! People are still out taking walks on the beach waiting for the sun to rise. Just now a couple hopped into a horse drawn carriage and at the same time an elaborately decorated car just zoomed by with a bride, her dress overflowing through the windows. I’m telling you …MAGICAL!

Ever feel like you just get so caught up in everything? Studies, work, trying to make it ahead in life. Sigh…with another semester coming up that’s exactly how I feel. But it’s like just watching all of this teaches you how to really live life all over again.

Maybe I’m exaggerating and maybe I just really need a vacation. Either way it’s an adventure and I’m going to let all those amazing moments I saw be my encouragement.

Except…wait…I know I’m being all bubbly and stuff but really…that metallic water taste? Someone really needs to do something about that.

: : : Round my hometown memories are fresh. Round my hometown, ooh the people I’ve met are the wonders of my world. Are the wonders of this world. Are the wonders now : : :

–Hometown Glory, Adele —


Filed under Summer Daze

Mind, Body, Soul

It’s been way too long….but then again it’s always been way too long when it comes to me.

Finally home again after the longest semester ever in life in university and I’ll be starting my internship soon this summer…so for once i feel like this summer has more to offer then just relaxation and fun in the sun (even though I have no opposition to that either). My whole body hurts….a week after finals and every part of me is still in pain. Actually, that could also be because of my broken bed and its doing horrible things to my back. Of course I’m too stubborn to even think to sleep in anyone else’s bed but my own…but that’s a story for another time

Anyway…this summer I’m trying out this whole new “body, mind, soul” thing you always read in magazines and i guess revisiting my Livejournal days covers the mind aspect of it all. I always find that i have so much to say or so much on my mind and can’t seem to organize it….so this is a start…

Dazzling Mage….this one’s for you. I promise entries with more substance soon.

: : : I don’t know whats right and what’s real anymore. And I don’t know how i’m mean to feel anymore. And when do you think it will all become clear? ‘Cause I’m being taken over by the fear : : :

— The Fear, Lily Allen —

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Filed under Mind, Body, Soul, Summer Daze