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!

7 comments:

Ice Queer said...

Telepathy is amazing! =) I totally relate and I even wrote something similar few days ago

insomniac said...

it could be the day my dad gave me the talk... you know, the air in the neighborhood was probably contaminated with all the hysteric sobbing :)

will check your post when i go home :)

gjoe said...

el post dah amazing awy begad!

It is one of my faves ya Inso!

I can't argue with any of the points presented, i relate on one level or the other to the fact that you took much of your father, law kan el mogma3aoh rajolan latafeet 3aleeh, w last but not least..it was all beautifully written!

(me on a no coral bag today, maybe tomorrow!) ;)

insomniac said...

ba3d el shokr wel 3erfan bel gemeeel (which you do know are genuine :) ), a7eb 2a2ollek eny hakteb el post da be esmek fe wesseyety... bas law mott kamadan wa ghayzan wa shalalan men elly beye7sal, wesseyetek ya gjoe tekhaly baba ye2rah 3ashan ye3raf en el 3ak elly e7temal a3okkoh ennaharda kan men el marmata el nafseya elly beymarmathaly 3ashan el mogtama3!!

now...

i think we have one more thing in common... "law kan el mogtama/el 7ob ragollan latafeet 3aleeh" is what i always say... i am amazed!!

enjoy your coral bag you coral angel :)

ibhog said...

Ahem, this was me looking in a mirror. Every trait in me is like this, it has aspects that fall in two extremes - only.

I bet you hate gray areas to the bones, and that honesty is sacred in your book, liars and hypocrites for you are the nastiest enemies and right and wrong for you as a concepts have never been more clear.

I'm sure you're well aware of what parenting sacrificed of our own sanity for a so called care giving. I'm even more sure that you know absolutely well what 'paying for others mistakes' means. Right?

I wont exaggerate when I tell you that you have the talent to see victims and discern their agony before anybody else in the room or the street does. It's like: I've been there already, I know how you feel.

You feel you've grown up more than you aged, but at the same time, you feel that you missed many things in the process. You talk with yourself even when you talk to people, you image your mind as processor that never stops working, no wonder you're insomniac - lemme guess, endless monologues by the pillow, right?

I also think that what you have to say most of the time is much much bigger than what your words can behold.

--

Look, I could go on forever. I'm only 22, my mom passed away, dad married, divorced and married again. My family, has like a dozen screwed up marriages. I feel like my sisters are my daughters, and I'm overly protective of them, and I'm overly furious with our society.

I value the idea of the 'strong woman' because believe it or not, a 'strong woman' is a hundred times tougher than any man will ever be, because naturally he's supposed to be strong, for him it's instinct (instincts get bruised), for a woman, it's an undertaking - it's a life long journey of sufferings, cries and tears, it's a ride of upside downs and downside ups, a maneuver of making the hardest decisions at all the tough times . Women are like queens, I hate what the so called modern world has done to them.

That's why strong women are my cop of coffee.

My mother was like that, and I account my father's intricacies in relationships on him being the 'comfortable' party of the two back in the old days. My sister turned out to be very strong as well, she's like a mother to me, I'm like a father to her.

People living in bubbles don't say they do - be sure of that!

Strong people rarely say they're strong as well - but they feel they are nonetheless.

I don't know Insomniac, but I'm starting to feel that our conundrums of human traits, though sometimes in theory live up to perfection, and in practice sink down to disappointment, though all of that, they make us who we are, and I owe them one big time for the very solid wall around my very kind heart.

We have compassion yet we're very careful. We're loyal, yet we're very guarded. We're cynical, yet we're we're very supportive.

The difference is, you're a woman and I'm a man, and for that, you're a whole generation, while me, I'm just me, and that's not a compliment - that's the truth.

Your kids are lucky to have you as a mommy, and your friends are lucky to have you as a companion, and though you may have been wronged by circumstances, but at least you learned how to bend them.

And .. this .. the fact that your kids have a strong mommy ..

.. it means everything Insomniac, absolutely everything ..

.. because .. it means you'll have a chance to make things right with the world. :)

P.S sorry to have been long or boring or anything, it's not intended.

insomniac said...

oh ibraheem (did i spell it right?), your comment was.... something (in a very good way, i am just too drained in the head to find the right word)

it would take me at least a post to reply to what you said, but i owe you the smaller version for now since i tend to sleep on my posts-to-be-written....

so one paragraph at a time :)

actually, it got too long so i refined it and published it as a post, it's to you friend :)

but there is the second part of your comment where i don't have the liberty to discuss where it goes to every subscriber's reader, and i know people don't read such long comments most of the time ;)


what you said about strong women meant a lot coming from a man! moreover, it was heartfelt and sincere, and i don't think i am that naive to be that mistaken.

if what they say is true, that strong women, strong mothers have such a good influence on their kids, then you are a living proof of that, and it's a strong evidence that all the world needs are more strong women who would influence their kids the way you seem influenced with you late mother (Allah yer7amha).

May God bless you and your sister and keep you sane in this crazy crazy world.

i don't know what it is, but something in your comment made me tear up... it could be cause you mentioned my soft spot after a long draining day, but i think it's because that i would do my kids some good because it would be such a waste if i am as worthless to them as i feel most of the time!

thanks for the long comment, and trust me, i like them long when they're that well-written and thought-provoking. i am not even sure "thanks" is enough.

ibhog said...

Yes you spelled it right :)

Actually, I was kinda blue too after writing it, maybe because it was very reminiscent of many things in my own past.

Thanks to you, I would've never written that way had I not seen your very accurate descriptions of your personality - you're very articulate indeed! :)