I have evolved so much as a person it’s amazing. I amaze myself.
I have spent my life scrapping and scratching on scraped knees to get where I am. No one gets what they want or need by being the nicest. Be the loudest, be the smartest, be the strongest, be the most persistent. Win. Tuck your big soft dumb heart under your sweater and save it for someone who will fight for it just as hard as you would.
I will never, ever make myself smaller or dumb it down to fit into someone’s space, again. It makes me sick to my stomach.
Vulnerability could open doors for you, and close others too. You’ll never know before you bare your soul anyway and for that, it’s both funny and unfair.
I once read a writer’s block tip that went something along ‘you should hold yourself back from saying what you want to say, or writing it on social networks for a period of time and then write it down all at once, you should find better flow of words’. I’ve been doing that with running, I haven’t run since last Friday and my body is literally aching to run, it’s like I’m on crack or something. I have all these complicated feelings that need to go, and I scheduled a run tomorrow because I’m afraid I will burst if I don’t.
That tip never worked for my writer’s block, but I feel I might not stop running any time tomorrow.
My mom never pays attention to words. Most people would say things first and then regret them, but my mom always says things first sans the regret part. It’s the way she’s always been, she would let the sounds escape as soon as the letters form in her mind, and she never pauses to consider their effect. I, on the contrary, know words. Inside and out, I know them. I know their weight, their edge and their dangerous nature. Words have hurt me and soothed me equally, and I try to use them wisely because of that. You know that popular Khaled Hosseini quote? “And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.” Well, you get the point.
I was talking to my mom yesterday, telling her how fed up I was of this country and its people, and I stressed on the people part. She retorted “Your aunt was just telling me, your daughter is autistic” she sighed and continued “Maybe she’s right, you aren’t normal; you always prefer to be on your own, you’re not outgoing and you hate people. You can’t be normal”.
While autism is not an offense, it’s only when people use it to describe someone who’s not, to signify how retarded you must be, that’s offensive. I wasn’t offended though, I have heard way worse.
Yesterday, I got myself an early birthday present; a French press and a book. I am broke, and a bit broken in places, but I really needed to do this. I needed to give myself a present. I needed to thank me for a lot of things and nothing at all. I needed to let me know I deserved it.
It’s very easy to blame your parents for your problems, I can choose to, and I wouldn’t be very mistaken. I was raised to believe that I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve good things, that I can’t have it all; I should be thankful I have anything to begin with, that I wasn’t pretty or special, that I generally have to be wary around happiness because well, it doesn’t last.
My parents are very realistic, I didn’t know them as children to decide if they were raised that way too, or they just suffered a lot in life to reach these conclusions. I stopped holding any grudges because I know for a fact that nothing was intentional, I know for a fact that they can’t recognize the damage they did and I know for a fact that they never knew that words can be very heavy, they can crush a person.
For a long time, I believed that I wasn’t entitled to anything. I wasn’t deserving enough. I had accepted my unhappy course in life, it was meant to be, I had said. I know a lot of people but I barely have any “friends”, my ties with people are strong or not at all, and intense is not everybody’s cup of tea. My family accepted this introverted behavior because it makes sense, I was obese, of course I’m shy and reserved. They don’t have the slightest idea that it was the other way around, they’re baffled that I’m still the same even after I lost the weight.
Nobody understands the process of physical change unless they’ve been through it. Getting smaller or bigger won’t change you, on the other hand you can change your size. Appreciating myself was the reason I wanted a better quality of life, that was the only order things had to go for me. My family doesn’t get it and I don’t expect them to. They criticize me when I pamper myself, because hey it means you’re careless and you’re not entitled to comfort in life anyway, remember? Yeah, that. I’ve reached a point in my life where I actually like the person that I am. I would be her friend. She deserves a great deal of good things in life. She needs someone to take care of her for a change, and I’m the only one that understands.
My mind works in a distorted way, and I worry too much. I would worry myself to death over what I’d say and how I’d behave if I’m going to a store I haven’t visited before. I have to form scenarios in my head for the much dreaded interaction. I suffer from social anxiety and I find it very hard to say what I actually want to say, so I just shut up. I find silence a whole lot comforting than saying the wrong words. I’m sure the majority of people would just be normal and say whatever is on their minds, but I’m not the majority of people; words are my intimidating friends.
Maybe I am emotionally autistic, mom. But today, as I enjoyed my first cup of my (unbelievably tastebudgasmic) french pressed coffee and stolen solitude I wasn’t any less scared, broke or jobless, but I figured I’m gonna be okay.
So yeah, Happy early birthday to me.
"I’m struggling with some existential questions."
“Why am I here? Why am I doing this job? Why am I carrying these boxes? I don’t think these boxes are going to get me where I need to be.”
قميص مقلم متشمر، طرحة مشجرة الهوا بيطيرها، القمر اللي كان بيمشي معايا، مراية جانبية وصوت فيروز بيقول الأيام شو ضيعنا أيام…الأحلام شو كبرنا أحلام.
بقالي كتير ماحسيتش إني شبهي.
I had a panic attack right after watching this.
It’s been ages since I last experienced this heart racing, airway tightening and jaw clenching episode. I haven’t missed it one bit.
What started such a reaction was not the fact that I know what she’s talking about. I have been there. I am there. I know what running does to you, I know the lessons you learn from it and I know the basic human attribute of needing attention and recognition. I knew all of that already.
It was the question, “What am I doing here?” that did it.
A while ago, I was assisting at a dental clinic, I would drift away for a moment and when my senses came back to me, I would look at everything as if I were seeing them for the first time. I would ask myself that very same question: What am I doing here? I don’t belong here at all.
It was as if that video suddenly unearthed the fact I hid in the back of my mind, the fact that in 15 days, my 23rd birthday will coincide with the end of my college internship and I will be unemployed, from there, I have the option to either accept a job provided by the government for a year with pitiful pay while simultaneously assisting in a clinic (unpaid) to gain experience, or stay unemployed. The choice is quite obvious, right? Wrong.
To put it simply: I have no interest in being a dentist. And it’s not only that this job needs experience, more years of studying, patience and effort, because every other career requires that, and I’m quite the hard worker…It’s that I’m just not interested. I’m passionate about a whole lot of things and dentistry is not one of them. I spend a good part of my day reading about lots of things and not once do I even care to do the same for my original field of work.
My family and friends think I’m a. crazy b. unrealistic c. extremely silly and ungrateful. They ask me the other mortifying question: “So what are you going to do instead?” They think that any other job would be beneath me, I’m supposed to be a “doctor” for God’s sake. As if that means anything, it’s just five years of absolute shit and a title that doesn’t mean anything if I’m not passionate about it.
My parents made it very clear that they won’t be supporting me financially after my birthday, as if I liked it in the first place. I am a post graduate and I want to make my own money, I’m not the kind of girl who is waiting to be supported by anybody…I want to support myself, only by doing something I like, and I don’t know what that might be. I don’t want to do something because I have to do it or I’ll starve. I don’t want to face the day when I’ll tell myself to do something I don’t like to be able to provide the things I like. I don’t want to turn the things I like into a business that kills them for me. I don’t want to be like my parents and most of the people I know stuck in careers they hate consuming their lives and turning them into grim limp bodies. I want to shelter myself from life’s monotony. And I have no idea, no idea whatsoever how I might be able to do just that.
I’m so scared. It’s very hard to choose again knowing that you could make the wrong choice, and the confusion is the worst part of it; what if dentistry is not so bad? What if you’re really crazy, unrealistic, extremely silly and ungrateful like they all say? What if their reality is the “true” reality? What if she was able to do what she wanted because it’s the US, and not Egypt? What if your fears and excuses are shadowing something that’s going to be worth it in the end? So many what ifs.
The only real fact however, is that in 15 days, I’m going to be 23, unemployed, scared shitless and in need of a job.
I don’t need a sign, I need a door.