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!