You’re doing fine and the next second you feel an
overwhelming wave crash over you and you’re having trouble breathing. For a
whole minute you are trapped; thinking you will never, ever make it or function
properly again. You think: it will kill me, there is no way I can survive this
unbroken. Bewildered and terrified, it will be one of the worst moments of your
You will make it out alive. You just need to remind yourself
how it ends next time it happens.
It starts in your heart. A sting. Brought on by a favorite
song that has always moved you, a kissing couple in the subway. Flicking a
cigarette and catching sigh of your hand. Then it spreads, all over. It takes
you over within a minute and you find yourself involuntary disconnected from
everything around you, acutely aware of how hollow you have become. You feel a
thousand years old worth of yearning, and the force of a hundred suns holding
you back, restraining you, in the here and now. The here and now.
It fades away. But it comes back stronger. Always.
A terminal search for silence. And because quietness and
peace are not always synonymous, there seems to be a need for a pacifier. It’s
an incredible gift to know how to be still. What's even more incredible, is to
know how to teach it.
Sometimes it takes you a while to understand yourself, to
decipher the code. To understand for example, that you are extremely sensitive
to change, way more than your average person. To understand that your mood
swings are not the end of the world, and that it takes work and practice to
navigate them, that it might be hard work but not entirely impossible.
Growing up is hard, it’s about choices. And picking up
yourself when your choices fail you. When you fail you. It’s about making up
your mind and deciding. It’s about learning your own controls.
Sometimes you wake up and the world has ganged up on you,
and there is not a shred of comfort to be found anywhere, not even within the
safe havens of your mind. Sometimes, you will turn to the person closest to
your heart for comfort. Most times, you won’t find it. The problem with people
who feel too much is their un-quenchable thirst for sincerity is often
misleading. You will never touch the other side so long as you keep your glass
doors and expectations up so high. Don’t be genuine, be human. Don’t be
perfect, be the somebody they need you to be. Then disappear. No one will
Stop feeling. Stop feeling everything tug at your soul. Stop
feeling under your skin. Learn the wonders of superficiality. Learn not to
care. This is urgent: learn not to care. Stop breaking your own heart. Fool.
I am on the brink of completely losing interest in the world.
Today, I sat in a little café in Cairo’s downtown that is centuries
older than I am. I watched as every reason why I fell in love with this city
passed by my window seat. I thought about how beautiful the people were, how
resilient and brave to still find the courage to laugh in the midst of all
this, and that, chaos. I thought about all the reasons I had forgotten to
remember that I’m in love with this place, have been for as long as I have been
alive. Today, I said my own little early goodbye and I said a little prayer: I
hope you don’t forget me while I’m away.
so many levels beyond the subject of this particular piece, who I am now is so completely different from who I used to be, and I’m pretty sure from what I
will become in a bit. So many of my convictions have drastically changed and
turned around, so many ideas turned out to be completely ridiculous and so many
thoughts were replaced by age-wise revelations. I am almost someone else.
used to think I never wanted to be “normal”, I never wanted to conform. I never
wanted to be the good, obedient daughter or the good obedient wife or student
or society member or anything. I never wanted to do things according to
everybody else. And I never wanted to get married. Actually that’s an
understatement. I NEVER EVER, EVER NOT IN A GAZILLION YEARS wanted to get
married. I passionately disbelieve in the organization of marriage, I have seen
so many failed examples, and the survivors are not very encouraging examples of
success, they are usually ghosts, washed-out versions of themselves who have
completely lost their identity. It doesn’t make sense to me. No, I will never
not so much anymore.
still don’t want to conform. I still don’t want to be like everybody else,
senselessly traditional and unhappy. I still don’t want to be normal. I still
want to be me and my own person and not someone’s anything.
But, I am getting married.
doesn’t make sense really, I still think it’s a terrible organization, I still
know very, very few people who have come out of it unscathed. But, and there’s
a huge but, I found someone. I found my person. I found someone who makes me
(and everybody else, really) laugh hardest all the time. I found someone who is
the most supportive someone I know. I found someone who has stuck with me
through thick and thin. Someone reliable. Someone kind and real. I found
someone who loves me unconditionally, despite all my flaws. I found someone I
can trust with my life.
as he likes to say, someone who likes the chicken leg to my chicken breast. (don’t try.)
it makes a little more sense now.
it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you hand over your own ID badge and cease
to exist. That’s just silly. That it’s not about “making it” or succeeding, or
producing the perfect “family” (shudders!) or being just like everybody else. Its
simpler really, it’s about finding someone you love and never wanting to let
them go. The rest is manageable. And if its not, at least I have someone who laughs
at it with me.