August 31, 2009

In theory and in practice…

As a child, I remember being called “noisy”, “restless”, and “smart-mouth”; I distinctively remember fragments of incidents where people asked me to “pipe down” or “be quiet”, or the infamous “shhhhh”. Yet, I don’t recall being hated for it; I was the apple of my late nana’s eye, my uncle spoilt me rotten, actually all three from mama’s side, not to even mention my youngest two aunts!! I was the grandchild for mama’s side, except for my late grandfather, we disliked each other! As for baba’s side, I distinctively remember how kind my late grandpa was; I can fairly say I loved him. The rest of baba’s side is on the usual good and sometimes not so goodd terms, which is normal given that we live in two different cities.

Probably something changed along the way when I was a teenager. I became more observing and less noisy for I didn’t have any significant mishaps at school that would require my parents showing in for any explanation. I was the kid no one noticed really, but I had an opinion about everyone I’ve encountered. When I tell people that I was rather shy at school, they roll their eyes as they say something like “ya moftareya, you, shy?!” And it never feels like compliment by the way!!

I remember whenever we travelled abroad during those times, my dad would push me out of the car (by yelling at me) to walk to the convenience store in the gas station and ask for directions, 2al eh “khaleeky garee2a”. Of course, until now, I am still sure that it was about the whole men-don’t-ask-for-directions thing. Bottom line, my dad always insisted that I should be roughened up, mostly because “al ne3ma tazool” and secretly because he did not have boys and I was his first born.

I never realized I took so much after him until a prof atcollege who happened to have have graduated from the same college as my dad said “fe3lan, man shabah abah...”! Turns out that my dad was a real trouble maker –like I was in college-, the kind who stands up for what he thought was right and never backed down until he got what he thought was his, except that I did better than he did academically!

Everyone I know who happens to know my father says that I take too much after him, I must have mentioned that quite a few times. Even the things, I don’t take after him are pretty much influenced by him; a few people told me I am that strong because of the way he raised me and I am that tough on myself because I don’t want him to be tough on me. Possibly true.

In summary, I am strong, opinionated, stubborn, proud, kindhearted, responsible, ethically and morally aware, hot blooded, emotional and passionate, capable of using logic, socially smart because I am what he made me. In theory it is like the perfect result for an equation that took 28 years to balance.

In practice, it means NOTHING.

I am strong, but I have deadly weaknesses. Actually, my strengths and weaknesses are very hard to separate; I am deadly stubborn for my own good, but it is how I manage to stand up and not fall, I am borderline masochist in a rhetorical sense because I am too proud to be caught in fault by other, so my conscience (the big bully) takes it all out on me and no one else!!

I am opinionated, but I can lose my focus sometimes because of my kindheartedness, not to mention my stubbornness and my ridiculous pride.

I am forced by myself (and my obligations) to act responsible 80% of the time, which is really hard because I am a 28 year old who still refuses to see anything but a 4 year-old in her mirror image.

As for my so called sense of logic, it’s a joke when faced by my blind passion when I am emotional about something. Don’t I have my dad’s passion after all? I can cry when I am talking about someone I love, or imagine what it’s like for someone to lose a loved one! Isn't death one of the most logical things! I have my dad's crippled-emotions syndrome; until today, I don't know how to just lay in father's arms and cry when I am in distress.

And my ethics and morals, they are challenged on daily basis living in this world and having to deal with things I was never subjected to. things I never thought existed!! Turns out, I only have those ethics and morals because I only lived in my dad’s bubble where it was so darn easy to practice them!!

And socially smart is the biggest joke. It goes down the drain the moment I step out of that bubble; I am constantly stuggling in my head trying to figure out people based on their reactions and lies and pretenses, as much as they’re probably baffled by my honesty and unexplained friendliness or rudeness, not to mention my ever changing moods.

I am a big mess that my father made, and I love him to pieces for it, and I am rather grateful on my good days.

But today, I feel like I was asked to change all that, for him to have more peace of mind because he worries and he would hate for me to get hurt again because of the nasty world we live in, the nasty world he never told me existed or prepared me for!

I love my daddy. I generally love my messy self most of the time. I would change some of who I am for my dad or for the people I sincerely care for, but I would never change for a society for which I have no respect.

I know, not exactly wise, but who said I had one ounce of wisdom in me.

The only reason I could possibly (and very remotely) care about what people think of me is because now I know how badly it affects my dad when people say anything less than how amazing and great I am!!

It makes me want to cry when I think of how disappointed he might be at me because of an insensitive word when I know that deep down he is actually proud! It breaks my heart to even think of all the things he would feel when he is reminded that I am not that perfect. The thought of upsetting him horrifies because I know I'd want nothing but my own death the moment he leaves this world even if I leave my boys behind (like a 4 year old, I pray each day that his day never comes).

That’s why I keep crying like a baby when I remember how he asked me to act more like a divorcee and mind what people may think of me. He said it while affirming that he knows I do no wrong. He said it admitting what he never exactly acknowledged before “da mogtama3 qazer”. But daddy, you never told me how rotten this society is and you left me to find that out on my own in the most scarring ways, and I know I have a lot to yet learn that I wish I wouldn’t .

I don’t know how to practice all I know is right in theory, yet keep my head held high when I worry about you daddy holding yours high if you worry that much about the scum of our society! We Kaman ana lessa ma3amaltesh 7aga astahel 3aleeha kol da!

August 29, 2009

The One…

do you believe in the one?” my friend asked.

there was a time I must have, but now, I tell myself I should know better… it would be such a shame to be a 28 year old divorcee and still believe in a fairytale notion!” I said

I noticed how that matter keeps being brought up, and if not, it’s something that would bring me to think of it!

I don’t remember when I believed there was a one for me, but I suppose I must have thought it was my x!

I try to look back and remember what made me think we were a match made in heaven, and I fail, miserably! We didn’t have the same taste in anything; we liked different music, we preferred different colors and patterns, we liked different furniture styles, we liked to hang with different kinds of people, and we had different dreams! Yet, we used to think each of us was the other’s missing half!!

Ok, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, I am a bit wised up, or so I hope, although I keep stumbling on strong evidence that I am not, I will delude myself long enough to finish this thought.

I think the concept of “the one” is just too… cruel.

Yes, cruel is the word, not dreamy and not ideal, plain cruel.

To be with someone and think they’re the one means you’re practically running towards a cliff blinded by strong emotions that are bound to fade and fail you, and let you fall from that cliff with no one to catch your fall.

No, not cynical, not at all… just plain realistic!

I see myself, I see people around me who had mistakenly thought they found the one, and I see how disillusioned they are.

I see other people who thought they stumbled on the one when they were already in complicated committed relationships and kept torturing themselves over missing that one and I feel bad for them because they might as well have been with that person to yearn for another and wonder!

It’s a cruel cruel joke from whoever came up with that concept; what did he/she know or think to say such thing? Didn’t they know that emotions never exactly last, not with the same intensity that blinds us from the flaws and mistakes and eliminates the boredom from constant monotony? Why did he/she link love to the one? We can fall in and out of love but to think that by doing so we’re getting closer or further away from the one where our eternal happiness is supposed to lie, it’s just painfully cruel.

I think the notion originated from one of those darn twisted Greek myths were their gods were petty and played with people’s fates according to their whims.

I think we indulged in that notion because we tend to treasure the things that bring us pain because we were told somewhere along the line that without misery we don’t recognize joy, only we forget to recognize joy because we dwell too much on misery.

Months ago, my friend concluded, “if there’s a one for me out there, I would like to meet her, even if we’re not meant to be together, I would just like to know her

I replied jokingly, “I think if I see my one –if he ever exists- I’ll punch him in the face and ask him what took him so damn long”. Then I decided to be a bit more serious, “actually, if there’s a one for me out there and we’re not meant to be together, I’d rather he stays where he is; the last thing I need is more heartbreak

So to sum this up, I don’t advise people to live searching or even waiting for the one; if the one is the person we love, news flash, love is not what we think it is, not even close! Love is too fickle to be about just one person, and life is too long and ever changing to be just about one person.

I just don’t have an alternative notion, not yet.

August 10, 2009

On Fate and Futility…

Disclaimer: I refer in this post to the movie Alf Mabrouk, so if you haven’t seen it, wait until you do before you read this post; I hate to be a movie spoiler.

We were in the car driving by one of the billboards of the movie…

Him: Did you see the movie?

Me: Yes.

Him: Nice, you know, it’s adapted from the Sisyphus of the Greek mythology, you know him?

Me: *almost offended by his arrogance* yes, the man who kept cheating death until he was sentenced to his eternal punishment!

Him: no one can really escape their fate, if he had just accepted that he would die, he would have spared himself all the unnecessary effort

*I tried to refrain from commenting and kept telling myself that I should not dignify a conversation with someone who doesn’t have that much appreciation to philosophy*

*A while later, I decided I couldn’t just hold back; I've been having too many thoughts in my mind related to that lately!*

Me: so you think the main character in the movie should have just accepted death? Or were you talking about Sisyphus?

Him: isn’t it the same?

Me: not really, Sisyphus represents a different culture and context from the movie, the movie might be adapted from the myth but there is more to it than just that, at least that’s what I think

Him: didn’t he die anyway?

Me: no, he chose to die at the end of the movie, it took him several do-over’s of the same day to understand the context of all of his misunderstandings, it took him several times to pay attention to the details until he was finally able to shift them away from him… and then, knowing all the details and understanding them, he decided that the best scenario he could accept was the one that ends with his death rather than his loved ones’… he was NOT beaten by fate, he chose to acknowledge and accept it...
And behind that lies the whole idea of the movie, or at least what I think... that there are details that we miss on daily basis either that are either shaped by who we are or have a role in shaping us... and if we manage to take a closer look to see more than one angle, perhaps we’d settle for the fates we first resented… however, when we keep fighting our fates without understanding them, without
realizing the parts of our own doing, we keep going round in that futile circle and repeat the mistakes one after the other…

Him: but it’s all pre-written, isn’t that what fate means? What’s the point of trying to change what’s already been sealed for us?

Me: Are you talking about Sisyphus vs. our own beliefs? There is a difference; the myth does not acknowledge the existence of a fair God, while I personally do! I believe our fates are sealed based on our choices; there wouldn’t be heaven or hell if there was no such thing as free will… we make our choices and the pieces fall in the place where they are meant to be based on OUR choices!

Him: so do you think our fate is to be where we are right now?

Me: what do you mean?

Him: we’re no longer together, is this our fate or is there something we can do to change it?

Me: *giving him a dirty look* if we want to be together we can make the choices that would take us to that fate, but we don’t want the same thing, I don’t want to be with you and I never will... I made the wrong choices before and I am still rolling my own stone up that hill to repent wasting a better chance somewhere along my life!
Don’t you get it, I ruined my own fate when I chose you and I am still trying to fix it!

Him: thanks

*I decided that was the end of the conversation*

Although I have no regrets or second thoughts about leaving him, I can’t stop thinking about what my fate could have been if I had not taken my first step towards him. I still wonder if I will repeat any of my previous mistakes either because I never acknowledged them or I am simply too weak or naïve to hold on to the path that would lead me to a better fate.

I know life is not futile by nature, I know we choose to make it so when we insist on our behaviors and attitudes without leaving room for the flexibility that could come from looking a little bit beneath the surface and understanding that there are details to which we need to pay attention.

I judge every word I say, every little thing I do, and I keep asking myself… am I rationalizing right from wrong? Am I being to arrogant to admit my own faults and that’s why I can’t find my peace? Am I still reacting to pain and thus unable to break free from that vicious circle?

I know I don’t have ill intentions, but I also know that I didn’t deserve better than what I got and I don’t want to be that person again…

August 9, 2009

A Quote that got me where I started!!

"لو أن كل انسان عرف متى يمتنع عن اتخاذ الخطوة الأولى، لتغيرت أشياء كثيرة"
(موسم الهجرة إلى الشمال لـ الطيب صالح، على لسان (مصطفى سعيد -

I had a task to finish that book today. I actually locked myself in my room and began to read so determined not to lose focus in my surroundings or drift to something else while reading, like I usually do.

Until I came to that phrase…

I stopped to read it again, and when I was done, I read it again. it was captivating how that phrase echoed in my mind, how I could relate to it. I am sure everyone does, but it was one of the millions of thoughts that were haunting me lately and the words describing it were right there mocking me in a book where I didn’t expect to find it.

For a while there, I sat and tried to trace all my first steps that led me to unfavorable places. But then, I shook my head and decided that I would think about it some more when I’m done reading the book.

I went half way through the book until I felt rather tired and sleepy, so I decided to take a break and nap.

I woke up an hour later, having almost forgotten about that phrase. A while later I decided to resume my reading and as I read some more, I noticed how baby sis marked her favorite quotes, ones I liked, but they got me back to that one immediately because it was the quote that touched me the most in the book.

The book did not exactly fascinate me, not half as much as the quote anyway!

I can’t seem to get my mind off my first steps, at least those I remember…

Is there a way we can identify those first steps before taking them? Apparently, you can’t really take them back, it takes a lot of effort to fix the consequences, and it’s just draining! Why is it so hard? Why can we only see them in retrospect instead of in advance? Silly naïve me!

I finished the book in an attempt to focus on one thing and stop thinking about the millions of things that don’t do me good, but somehow it got me where I started… I am still mad at myself and completely unsettled.

Okay, I’ll try another book, but not today, I think it’s time to go to bed and struggle with my insomnia.

August 6, 2009

Evidence that I shouldn’t be left alone with the voices in my head…HELP!

*stupid stupid stupid*
-ok I am stupid, no need to rub it in!-

*ya ghabbeya*
-we ba3dein ba2a!!-

-I’m bored-
*don’t do something stupid*

I sit and overanalyze…
The why’s and the how’s and what the hell’s…
I hide from my mirror image; she knows too much!
Yet she follows me every time I wash my face, and her eyes stare right into the thoughts I hide, humphfff!

Flu bad…
I don’t need more time resting, not that way;
I’ll have more space to overanalyze some more, ehe2!!!
I lost my voice, I am not even sure it will be back…
I don’t have the energy to talk, ME!!!!
I sit back some more…

I sit an observe…
Are those mistakes similar to mine? Was I like that?
In my heart, I know I wasn’t…
Damn you self doubt!!

*you know it’s not the same, stop it*
-I’m bored!-
*and hurting yourself is entertaining?! IDIOT*

I stare myself in the mirror…
My eyes are red, blood red, and they hurt…
A7san bardu, I didn’t want to see whatever it is I was looking for!

-I miss…-
*shhhh, sleep! It’s the time when you’re of least danger to yourself, etkhemdy*

I keep coughing in my sleep, I can almost feel someone is snatching my throat out and tearing into it with a coarse knife…
It’s too hot and I can’t seem to have any good sleep, I lower the a/c temperature…
I go back to bed and fall into a comma that ends with a nightmare of the x going all coocoo and trying to kill me and the boys…
I wake up to find the scratches on my arms and my neck…
My eyes are still red like I’ve never slept in my entire life…

-I don’t care, I miss… I don’t know, I am missing something, having a goal perhaps, doing something I enjoy, anticipating something I want… I feel restless despite being sick and I wanna go out and do something about it-
*aywan, etweksy, need I say more?*