Monday, June 30, 2008

Changing the Format

Everyone seems to be changing their blog format. I thought I would too.

Weekend in Chi-Town

I'm getting very bad at posting. I don't feel like writing lately. Not only that I don't have much to say.

I went to Chicago this past weekend. I love the city. It has the most beautiful architecture. And so much history. We were there for a conference. The SPSSI conference. (By "we" I mean myself, a grad student colleague, and my supervisor). I was able to make it to the Taste of Chicago festival though I didn't eat very much. Better that way considering there was so much soul food at the festival. And we all know how fattening soul food can be. Probably why it's so tasty. The people of Chicago are so nice and friendly. If I were to ever move to the States (very unlikely to happen) Chicago would be one city I would be OK living in. I think it may be the only city. Though I've heard the state of Vermont is very Canadian-esque. May not be a bad choice, if I HAD to chose.

I had to share a room with my supervisor. Didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought. We had our own beds so it worked out fine. Though I have to admit, seeing my supervisor in her jammys was a little awkward.

The conference went well. I made a few contacts which is one of the perks of conferences I enjoy. But this conference also made me realize the differences we have with our neighbours to the south.

For one, my colleague presented a poster on her research for which she took a socialist-feminist perspective. Apparently, some of her American readers were shocked and uneasy with the word 'socialist.' Funny, considering one of our main political parties, the NDP, is really a socialist party. Socialism is something we Canadians have become very comfortable with whereas our neighbours still seem to shake in their boots. Very curious.

Second, presenters kept referring to Indian people as Asian Indians. Asian Indians? Technically they are the ONLY Indians in this world. In Canada, Indians are East Indians. Indians as our neighbours know them are Natives, First Nations, or Indigenous people. Only old school people and insensitive, clueless people use the term "Indian" when referring to our indigenous people.

It was also interesting how I was lumped into being Indian. In one talk I attended on "Asian Indians" the speaker noted how many Indians there were in the audience. She included me in that count. I love my Indian counterparts and I believe we basically have the same culture, but I don't like my Pakistani heritage being denied. Then another researcher, when informing a third party about our mutual research interests said "We're interested in studying South Asians, mainly Indians." No!! Not mainly Indians! I want to study all South Asians. If anything mainly Pakistanis. I found this extra emphasis on Indians especially interesting since in Canada most psychological and/or sociological work on South Asians, as limited as it is, seems be being conducted on Muslim and/or Pakistani South Asians, by Muslim and/or Pakistani South Asians. I found my Pakistani-ness being denied. Strange.

Overall a good experience.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A month of fantasy

June has been a very busy month for me. I wish I had written more but the stresses of the month left me devoid of any desire to write. The beginning of the month was spent preparing for a conference, the next fews day at the conference, and the time since at home with my family. Tomorrow I head back to my school town, but Alhumdollilah only for a few weeks. I will then Insha'Allah be coming back here.

The conference went well. Things went very well Alhumdollilah.

I met up with my ex last week too. And I think, though I'm very unsure, I think I may still be in love with him. But I don't know. We are such different people. We argue about everything. But healthy arguments. Rarely do they get heated. Just debate-ful. Yet he confides a lot in me too.

I don't believe we can only love once. I know we can love more than once. And I think I will always love him. This does not mean I cannot love anyone else. Insha'Allah I will love again. But I'm still very confused about my feelings for my ex. Especially since in the past few conversations we've had I've received mixed messages from him. Things said to me such as "Someone like you could never love someone like me" or "you always misunderstood me."

But then I wonder if the reason I think I am still in love with him is because I am alone and I need someone to fall back on. Believing that I am in love with him will give me someone to focus on perhaps. Or at the very least placing such importance on my love for him will.

I do not doubt that I love him nor that he loves me. But whether or not I am IN love with him is what confuses me. And I very strongly doubt that he is in love with me. In fact, I am quiet sure he is not.

I have this fantasy - a fantasy of unrequited love. In it, I am in love with him. He is not in love with me. I don't care. I will always be in love with him and love him from afar. I will always pray for his happiness and will try to make him happy in whichever way I can - from afar. I have another fantasy in which I am the one to save him from his self-destructive lifestyle (which he has). I will be the one to come in and change his life for the better.

I know these are just fantasies are just that - fantasies. Yet they make me wonder whether I should let him know. Do I want to tell him how I feel? Am I missing something by not telling him? What if he feels similar but, like me, as a self protective measure, not admitting it? I have done whatever I can to convince him that I am not in love with him. I don't want to make myself vulnerable to him. I don't want him to have any upper hand. Am I letting my ego get in the way in this situation? Should I take this risk and tell him? I don't really have a lot to lose. We hardly ever talk to each other anymore and we never see each other either. It wouldn't be as if we would have to avoid each other or would talk much less. We already keep our distance from each other. That would just continue. My only fear would be losing him completely. But I don't think he would want to do that.

But then do I want to tell him because I actually am in love with him or is it because I am lonely? Is it because I have no one else in my life? When I was in my first relationship after him, I missed him so much. But in the next relationship I didn't. In that relationship I remember thinking "I don't miss him anymore. I must be over him." So this makes me have doubts. Yet, things always come back to him. I have no idea what's going on in my head, or my heart rather.

The research I want to do for my dissertation is highly inspired by him. I want to do research to help him. Yes, even my academic work is a part of my fantasy.

Oh dear...I don't know what to do. Matters of the heart are so confusing.