Last issue I shared quite a personal facet of my life in an article that took me a long time to write, as I am not keen on sharing my private info. I told our RAGMAG readers why I didn’t want to get married, at least for now, and I thought I was done with the very personal articles. My Editor Fida being who she is, decided it was out of the question so for my FML, she decides to send me speed dating.
I hadn’t had an FML for a while and I have to say I was dreading it, knowing it would hit me any time soon! As predicted that phone call finally arrived, with Youmna asking me to head down to the Collège du Sacré-Coeur Gemmayzeh Monday at 6pm for a stunt class. After I hung up I was actually pretty excited about the assignment for once: jumping from buildings, blowing up cars, shootouts... I mean that’s what we call stunts no? Little did I know it wasn’t even close to that!
Fida was actually considering both options for my FML: I would either run the Beirut Marathon for RAGMAG or become a Goldfingered chef at the Four Seasons. I tried blackmailing Fida and Gina into choosing the second option, since running the marathon would kill me, but I had to wait for their Highnesses to decide on my fate.
Fida tricked me. I got an email saying there is a “new concept” for RAGMAG and so could I state my favourite things. What Fida actually meant by “new concept” was: a new and devious way to cause pain. In this case establishing what Imogen loves the most and then taking it away from her–and so this is how it came to be that I ended up going 21 days without any alcohol.
I have embraced all of my FMLs with a gracious heart, willingly, and with the strength of a good team player. But, I just couldn’t fathom the thought of my forthcoming FML. Sickly feelings, cold sweats, anxiety attacks, shivers are just a few of the symptoms I experienced when #EvilEditor @FidaChaaban announced on Twitter that my FML would be transforming me into a DJ for the evening at @Feb30Hamra. I found out at the same time as everyone else that I, @GinaGabriel1, would be taking over the DJ booth for a couple of hours including my training. Does that appeal to anyone out there?
Once I told a friend of mine who was questioning my ‘spiritual side’, “I’m like a beach ball – colourful on the outside, nothing on the inside.” Sceptic is not the word, I just don’t believe in souls, chakras, floating third realms, any of it. This is why Fida sent me for a chat with her favourite yoga instructor and a lesson in meditation: “Hiba, please teach Imogen how to awaken each chakra in chants and meditation and explain the colours and theories etc... Please also explain souls and connectedness and these sorts of concepts that you have taught me.” Thanks Fida.
When Fida called me up a couple of weeks ago, I thought she was going to ask about a piece I have yet to write or about an event in the area that I was going to cover or something. When she asked a seemingly innocent question about violence, a red flag went up in a small part of my brain, warning me to answer carefully because this could very well be dangerous
He then guides me through a 30 minute workout during which I do three sequences of aqua gym and three others of aqua ride, following the initial warm-up routine. What is particularly interesting about the session is that it was tailormade, designed to meet my specific needs (needless to say, I am a beginner!).
Busking (or performing in the street for money), was not something I was looking forward to for several reasons, not the least of which were my really bad voice, my bad memory for lyrics, and my lack of guitar skills. It’s very simple really: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO PLAY OR SING.
For RAGMAG’s Sterile issue, I thought about all the women (and men) I’d met over the years who wash their faces with soap and water (and those who use JUST water), and I never thought I’d be one of them. My gel cleanser is by Christian Dior, and when they discontinued it, I went into a panic and bought 6 so that I would never run out. I have 4 left so I’m okay for a while.
Yep! The deep end it was. Upon my arrival and my introduction, instructor Petra Abinader looked at me and asked if I was familiar with Zumba. In between shaking my head and the blasting music, something was said! I am sure of it! However there was no time to stop and ask, no time to digest, and no time to make for the exit. I had to Zumba with the flow!
Fida is really trying her best; my second yoga challenge wrapped up as a FML. With the fervour of any religious nut the yoga devotee believes that yoga has something to offer everyone, that we can all be improved by yoga if we just give it a chance. I have heard countless stories of transformations of mere mortals into radiant bearers of light.
Excitement and hesitation worked in opposite directions from the day of the email notifications to the actual FML appointment date. When D-day arrived, the two forces cancelled each other out and I found myself indifferent and standing in front of the Capoeira studio.