Meeting Judi for the First Time

1. Waking Up in Lebanon

As I open my eyes in my stone-designed old bedroom in the village in Lebanon, the sounds of nature greet me. The sun is just starting to peek through the window, casting a warm glow across the room. I can’t help but feel grateful as I spontaneously start singing “What a Wonderful World,” the lyrics echoing off the ancient walls.

I slowly get out of bed and feel the cold stone floor beneath my feet. The familiar creaking of the wooden floorboards reminds me of the countless mornings spent in this room. I make my way to the small, cozy bathroom, the smell of cedar wood filling the air.

I start my morning routine by shaving in front of the old mirror, the steam from the hot water filling the room. The sound of the running water from the shower is a soothing background noise as I take my time to relax and prepare for the day ahead. The sound of the water droplets hitting the floor transports me to a state of tranquility.

After I finish my shower, I feel refreshed and invigorated. The combination of the warm water and the calming atmosphere of the old bathroom has set the perfect tone for the rest of my day in Lebanon.

White cat wearing glasses sitting on pink chair

2. Breakfast and Packing

As the sun rises, I showcase my culinary expertise by whipping up a delicious breakfast spread. The smell of freshly brewed coffee wafts through the kitchen as I prepare a traditional Middle Eastern meal. The table is set with warm pita bread, creamy labneh, and a variety of jams and cheeses.

After enjoying a hearty meal, I begin to prepare for my upcoming journey to the United States to pursue my dream of studying medicine. Excitement courses through me at the thought of reuniting with my younger brother Reda, my sister Alya, and my dad. I eagerly anticipate the adventures that await me in a new country.

Before I leave, I carefully pack my bags with essential items from home. I make sure to include organic zaatar, a staple spice blend in our family recipes. Keshek, a beloved fermented yogurt-based food, is also packed to remind me of the flavors of home. I add a jar of pure honey, sourced from local beekeepers, and a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, prized for its quality and taste.

With my bags packed and my heart full of anticipation, I am ready to embark on this new chapter of my life. I take one last look around my home, savoring the memories before I set off on my journey. The future is bright, and I am prepared for whatever may come my way.

Blue sky with clouds and green trees in background landscape

3. Reflecting on Negative Feelings

As I prepare to meet my dad’s wife, Judi, for the first time, I find myself reflecting on the negative feelings I have towards my step-family. Judi, the American blonde, represents a new chapter in my life that I am not entirely ready to embrace. The thought of accepting a new member into my family, especially one I have never met before, brings about a mix of emotions that I am struggling to come to terms with.

My negative feelings stem from a fear of the unknown and a sense of apprehension about what the future holds. I worry about how Judi will fit into our family dynamic and whether she will be able to understand and accept me for who I am. These feelings of doubt and uncertainty are normal when facing a significant change like this, but they still weigh heavily on my mind as I approach the meeting with Judi.

Despite my reservations, I know that it is important to approach this new relationship with an open mind and a willingness to give Judi a chance. I understand that harboring negative feelings towards her will only hinder the potential for us to form a meaningful connection and build a bond as a family. As I reflect on these emotions, I am reminded that it is essential to set aside my preconceived notions and embrace this new chapter in my life with optimism and an open heart.

Bird perched on branch in colorful autumn forest

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