The first person I talked to about my Untold Stories idea was my very good friend Janee. Excited and supportive as always, she insisted that I must go ahead with it, so I insisted that she must be my first subject. She was a little nervous, but tolerated me having a camera in her face for an entire day as she went about her day taking care of kids (and cooking me lunch!).
As most women tend to do, Janee sells herself short a lot of the time, but she is always an inspiration to me. She’s been here nearly 10 years and although she faces struggles like the rest of us, she’s one person I can always count on to help me find a silver lining to life (after she’s listened to my bitching at length, of course).
It was harder than I thought it would be to interview someone I already know pretty well, but I’m happy to share my first try with all of you!
Here is a little bit of what she shared about herself:
Tell me about what made you come to Saudi Arabia?
A man is what caused me to come to Saudi Arabia. I fell in love with a man who has changed my life. Also, before coming here, I ‘believed’ this place was ‘the home of Islam’. Sadly, over the years, I’ve learned differently.
Describe how your life has changed or evolved during the time you have lived here.
For starters, my life has evolved into motherhood. I’ve always wanted a big family since I was a child. I remember being in my late teens and someone asked me where I wanted to be in life after 5 years. I was very specific and said I wanted to be married and have several kids. Even though it took me a bit longer…here I am. A mother and wife. This is my life. This is what gets me out of bed each day. My roles as a mother and wife keep me extremely busy.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
What most people don’t know about me……hmmm….I’ve gotta think about that. I mean, there are plenty of things, I guess….which one is significant though? Maybe that I struggle each and every day to be a good mother and wife. Growing up in many fosters homes around the U.S. didnt help me have too many positives role models. However, I was blessed with a few really amazing people along the way.
What is the greatest lesson your life has taught you?
Greatest lesson(s)…..To live your life for you. Don’t worry about what others think. I’ve met a lot of idiots and I know exactly where I do not want to be. Be positive. Make a difference, even if it’s something you may think is minuscule. Be a GREAT friend!
What is one goal you have yet to accomplish but refuse to give up on?
This is going to sound bad….probably really bad to some…I want to raise the kids so I can have my life back. Yeah yeah…my kids are my life. For now. In the beginning of parenthood I always told friends how my life is for my kids and everything is about them and I was absolutely content. However, over the years, I was completely losing myself and becoming miserable. Finally I took up a hobby and am able to keep ME alive in there. I would love for someone to write a realistic book about parenting…not these made-up stories how everything is hunky dory all of the time. Being a mother of 4 is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I hope one day I see the rewards.
Once again, if you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in my Untold Stories project, please contact me at undertheabaya @ gmail . com.