White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Dear Friend: Reyhaan

Reyhaneh or Reyhaan is a beautiful female Farsi name. It reminds me healthiness, energy and the sharp and fresh smell of basil. This green name came to my mind while having breakfast in one important morning of my life in Dublin. No matter what comes up next, Dublin would be an important point in the journey of Mahaan and Reyhaan!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Football Mania in Dublin

In Dublin, this green city of Irish land that is the western gate of the Europe. As you arrive here after 5.5 hours of flying, you really don’t feel the usual long distance between Europe and US.

It’s truly football mania here and it really sucks that America is this much off the rest of the world with respect to football. Every Irish pub is decorated with World Cup related stuff. Most of the pubs have many large screen TVs. As we were walking towards our favorite pub to watch the Germany- Sweden game, we constantly heard shouts of the people from every window.

For many of Irish, one interesting aspect of the world cup is the count down for the deletion of the England team from the games. It’s amazing how Britain is hated here, maybe more than theor colonies in the middle east and definitely more than India. Last night we watched the Netherland-Portugal game and it was interesting for me to see how much these folks around me cared about the game. Later I figured out that the reason is that the winner is going to play against England and they wanted whoever it is, it kicks the Britan’s butt badly!

People are amazingly nice here. It’s definitely not the typical racist and arrogant picture that we hear about parts of the Western Europe. You feel that friendliness and humbleness is in the blood of this people. And alchohol and specifically beer is the trademark of the city. Saying it in the Irish way: It’s brilliantly live here!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Me, Myself and the others

I’m sitting here at the Boston Logan airport and finally log what’s been going on in the past one month. I start with the admission that I truly missed blogging this month more than anytime and incredibly busy schedule kept me away from it. My life went through a few temporarily changes in this month. My dear friend (I should find a better anonymous term for her) left for a summer internship in Europe. This is the first time after our marriage that we lived far from each other for a long period and is certainly an important experience for us to be apart and to digest where we are in our relationship. Every marriage and long term relationship can be threatened by becoming a boring daily routine. Once in a while we all have to reexamine ourselves to see what we really want from a marriage or friendship and then be able to appreciate it more. Right before she left, my parents came over to US to stay with me for a month. My dad’s recent retirement created this unique period of joblessness for him that brought him to America. This was the first time in 15 years that I finally got a chance to really see my father. Honestly since he always travels because of his international job, this was a good chance for my mother to see him too! Anyway, things were quite busy for me. And somewhere at the middle of all these busy times, I had some chances to think more about myself and the problems that I wrote in my previous posting. It has been quite a journey for me to think through all my socializing dilemmas. I continued my counseling sessions and tried to talk to a few people about the subject. With my dear friend, I had long discussions both before and after she left. She does not take counseling and clinical psychology seriously, but at the same time she understands that there is something out there that bothers me and we can’t simply ignore it. In this journey of self discovery, I learned about my social phobia and my obsessions in the whole concept of friendship and relations. With the help of my psychologist, I digged into the reasons behind my unease with my relationships. Part of it actually comes from the colder nature of relationships in the American society and part it is my own weakness of self esteem and openness to others. There was a night that we talked with a friend of us and our discussions about friendship and human-human relationships got deep and she told me an interesting point: “ Unless you don’t open up and don’t express yourself, your emotions and your weaknesses to other people, there is no way that they open up themselves to you. People look at you as the super confident guy who does not have any problem. They may respect you a lot, but they may night consider you as a warm friend.” As a matter of fact, I’m some how like that in many of the occasions. My perfectionist nature makes me very obsessive about feeling free and relaxed and talk with random people without weighing every bit of my words. If you have every read my blog closely you should have felt that how obsessive and insecure I am about my writings. While this blog is read at most by 5-10 people, I’m so careful what to write and how to express myself here. So, I can not even open up while I’m totally anonymous.

One of the things that I was unhappy about was that I was not able to communicate my problems with my father. Our limited long distance relationship which was a mix of short phone calls and short trips with no real catch up, had made me worried in the recent years if there is really a dad-child relation between us. How much does he really know me and my dilemmas at this age? I was so frustrated that I have a father who is a very successful psychiatrist and is working on world level mental health problems, but I can not communicate about my own feelings with him. Anyway, sometime during his stay, I finally broke the ice and started talking about my problems. It was such an interesting conversation. First of all, he was surprised to hear all of that. For years he had looked at me as the perfect 2nd child of the family with no problem what so ever. Our conversation was quite helpful that night for me to regain some hidden feeling in myself. I felt I was able to remove a communication barrier and finally talk with someone that I trust a lot and seek his help.

Believe me, if you ever feel that there is any emotional/mental problem in yourself, go and talk to someone professional or someone that you trust. Even if you don’t know what’s wrong and why you are not feeling good! And don’t ever say that there is no one there. There is whole a lot of phobia in our societies about conselling and meeting psychologists/psychiatrist. My problems, phobias and obsessions are not gone, but at least I have learned that I am not alone in this game. There are whole long range of disfunctionalities that exist in every family and every person. The important thing is to understand and treat them gradually.

Now that I am closing this long posting, I’m half way through my flight to Dublin, Ireland and in few hours I’ll see my dear friend. There is just whole a lot to talk in this 2 weeks trip and whole a lot to do. Hopefully I’ll reflect some of them later here.
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