It’s March and the ridiculous trend of celebrating superwomen begins! No offense, but if men and women were equal, shouldn’t there be an International Men’s Day? That would be July 28th—the day WWI started.
Now that I’ve expressed my resentment, I find myself obliged to tell you the story of two women who changed my life.
These two dragged me from Victoria’s Secret store to help me beat my shopping addiction, confiscated my credit card and told me the guy I liked six years ago was an asshole even though I couldn’t see it at the time.
Their efforts in curing my addiction and bad choices were futile, but at least they made me feel loved, and they restored my faith in friendship. I know I can lean on them when all mankind abandons me, and they both have a strong character and amazing personalities.
They stand by me when my temper is at its worst and my potty vocabulary is at its best, they pick me up every time I fall, they chew me out when I give up, and they listen to me vent about how unfair life is even when they are going through hard times themselves.
Let me introduce you to these great ladies.
Ola was the manager at the gym I frequented years ago. She has two superpowers: Her ability to make everyone feel special and healing talents.
I remember how people loved her spirit to the point where the gym would be empty if she were on leave. Her office was a haven for anyone who sought good advice or simply needed to confide in a trustworthy person.
No one’s life is drama-free, and Ola’s life is certainly full of challenges and dilemmas, but her face always beams with a smile that can make everyone around her forget why they were feeling unwell.
Before we became best friends in 2012, she watched me come to the gym every day at a time when the pool was empty to swim alone for at least half an hour. She would come and speak to me for a couple of minutes about random stuff. Sometimes she asked me not to swim in deep waters when no one was around to avoid accidents, but I never listened.
I was trying so hard to save myself from sinking into the deep pit of depression. I kept to myself as much as possible until one day, she approached me and said, “You’re a mobile mass of melancholy. Do you want to talk about it?”
I normally brush people away under such circumstances, but I did not wish to brush her away because she seemed capable of making the pain go away. I talked to her for an hour that day, and then the next day she asked how I felt, and the day after, and the day after… as if I were the closest of her friends.
Every single person who knows Ola should celebrate her. The world needs more of her kind. One could tell her anything and not feel a tad exposed, vulnerable, or embarrassed.
She’s very strong, self-assured and never jealous of anyone. She radiates kindness, cares for strangers, enjoys being her true and utter self, feels for others and brings out the best in them.
At a professional level, I remember her always being a true leader. No one dared go against the rules and almost nothing in her presence ever went amiss while maintaining good relationships with everyone.
Flattery is not her thing. When she sees wrong, she openly speaks of it without hurting anyone.
I walked out of an aerobics class one day so drowsy and headed to Ola’s office. There, I found this charismatic, charming woman sitting tall and proud, angry at the world yet maintaining composure.
She had a hell of a sense of humor and never laughed nor smiled at her own jokes. I would laugh my head off while her lips never twitched.
One of the things I heard her say that day was that many Middle Eastern societies treated women as if they were canned tuna with an expiry date and a best-consumed-before date. She was right as hell!
Her eloquence and intelligence made me want to impress her that day, so I introduced myself and gave her a link to my blog. A month later, we became friends.
Today, she is my beacon through the darkest night. Maybe I put it too romantically. I meant to say that whenever I feel like shit, I bug her at two past midnight. I bug her anytime and at all the times when it suits me.
She, on the other hand, continues to inspire me and bully me to bring out the best in me. She emotionally abused me into pursuing my love for fiction and sharing my work with the world. She wanted me to publish my novels the traditional way when I only wanted to write for myself and my close buddies, so I recently started sharing a novel on Wattpad—a delightful, enriching experience I will discuss in a future article.
In her strength, composure, resourcefulness and compassion, Hayaat is a true role model. She knows what she wants and does not compromise on it. She has the bravery to face those who wish her no good with a self-assured smile every single day without ever giving up. She sets the standards and abides by them.
I consult Hayaat and ask her opinion on almost everything—including health issues. She doesn’t tell me what I wish to hear but the truth even if it were painful. She pushes me so hard to work on achieving my dreams and helps me as much as she can.
Ola and Hayaat are my allies and a vital part of my support system. I know that famous world changers like Nancy Astor, Jane Austen, Benazir Bhutto and Elizabeth Siddal are the women we are expected to celebrate on March 8th—they continue to inspire generations of women, but those who have a real impact on our lives are the ones who touch them.
Finding a friend and an ally in another woman is a treasure and a blessing that must be cherished and celebrated every single day. No one can understand a woman better than another. I personally cannot imagine a life in which my best buddies do not exist.