Self centered..!

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There’s this huge gap between who I am and who I want to be, I don’t know who I am but I know who I want to be, and I want to be someone much better than the current me. I know I want to be someone who is more optimistic in life and what it has to offer, more productive, more helpful to people around me.  I just want, like everyone else, all the good things in life. I am not striving for excellence or perfection, I just want to be content with who I am, and to bridge the gap between who I really am right now and who I want to be.

I stopped writing for a while, because I thought I have been repeating myself, the same cynical attitude, the same questions, I knew I wanted to change but I also knew that change is easy when you talk about it, but it’s very difficult to actually do and not just say. I brainwash myself with the thoughts that I don’t control the world and I have to accept myself the way it is, things happen for a reason and some very convincing reasons to just accept the current version of me but I am tired, and I am tired of being tired.

I was thinking I should write some sort of a plan to change, and stick to it, but then this cynical voice inside of me is telling me what’s the point? I mean, I think I have the ability to write self help books for God’s  sake, I KNOW what it takes to be a better person, I just can’t, for whatever reason, be a better person.

I have been stuck in this hole for years, and seriously I have been trying, I don’t know if I know what’s wrong with me or that I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, which brings the question,  how can you fix something when you can’t spot the problem in the first place? I admit I am a self centered person, not because I think the world revolves around me, but because I do believe my self is my own worst enemy.  I am also more inclined to believe that no one can help me,  which brings a second question, how can I expect someone who barely knows himself/herself to know about me in the very first place?

I spend too much time with myself, talking to it, I realized I  have so many people in me but I was given one name,  Now the real challenge is, to sit down, talk to them AND keep my sanity at the same time.  Sometimes I wonder if I have the whole universe within me, frustrations of man kind and their on going search for a meaning,  I know I share this pain with so many people who keep asking themselves “what’s wrong with me?”  without ever getting a satisfying answer.

I think I would have handled myself much better than this, if my “self” was the only thing I have to deal with, BUT  the cruelty of the real world, the people in your life that  you have to deal with, the functioning requirements in life aka studying, working, and getting things done, This is just too much for me to handle at times.

One more sigh..

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The unfair race..!

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“I am supposed to impress you, or show that I deserve this scholarship more than all the other applicants, but I am not going to do so in a world that is focused on selfishness and competition” This was part of my cover letter that I wrote while applying for a scholarship out of boredom. I know I will never hear back from them but I wanted to get this off my chest, I am supposed to impress them to get the scholarship and when I graduate it is going to be even worse while applying for jobs,  the whole message I am supposed to give them is “Choose me, I am better than them”

The sad thing is most of the jobs require some criteria that are not necessarily self made, for example, the degree you have, you wouldn’t have had it if you probably didn’t have parents who insisted on educating you. the languages you speak, you wouldn’t have spoken them if you didn’t go to some fancy school,  some other stuff is only partially self made, your communication skills, your confidence, your presence, among other stuff that is primarily focused on the character..

I know they are trying to teach us that you can be who you want to be, but this is not right. A great part of who you really are isn’t really self made,  you get a better education if you are rich, your chances of getting a better job is higher when you have good education which mostly you wouldn’t have had if you weren’t rich,  and you are rich because your parents are rich.  If you were born into a poor family you wouldn’t have had the education you have, and you would have slimmer chances of getting a good job.

So please don’t give yourself much credit for the good education you have, the job that you have got, your achievements are partially your hard work and partially your good luck, there are millions of human beings out there who could have been much better than you if they were given the same advantages you have been given.

Sigh, life is really an unfair race..

The Islamists and choices..!

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Seculars in Egypt want to have the choice  to eat the apple or not eat the apple, those who want a theocracy in Egypt want you to NOT eat the apple, Now If God gave Adam the choice to eat the apple or not eat the apple, why woudn’t those who want an Islamic state give me the choice too? to let the apple be available infront of me as opposed to hiding it and I choose for myself to eat it or not. You only choose when you have the choice, right?

 So I had a conversation with someone in Tahrir square who wants a theocracy in Egypt, This man, a middle aged bearded man, was trying to explain to me how they have been waiting for years to finally have a theocracy in Egypt and how it’s their duty to do their best to never waste this chance, quoting things from the Quran that he interpreted as something serving his cause and affirming his belief in wanting a theocracy in Egypt.

 Then I asked him which version of Islam does he want to rule? He didn’t understand the question so I tried explaining how the holy scripture is being interpreted differently and that’s why so many versions of Islam, the liberal version, the moderate version, the conservative version, the extremist version etc. He got me this time and his answer was “We may disagree on so many things but the core beliefs are the same in all of them”. The answer was unsatisfying to me so I asked if he would like to ban selling/consuming Alcohol in Egypt and he said this is a core belief we all agree on.

 Then comes the interesting part, I asked him, Do I choose when I only have one choice? I mean what’s the point of not drinking alcohol if there was no available alcohol in the first place? in this case, I wouldn’t drink alcohol because it’s not available not because I actually choose not to drink alcohol. He didn’t understand my question and I had to elaborate, I said you choose when you have the choice, if you don’t have the choice, you don’t choose, and I think the whole idea of doing the good things is to have temptations available so I actually have the choice to do the good thing or the bad thing. When I do the good thing it means I chose doing the good thing and as a believer I think it means much more. The man, shocked, asked, “So you want prostitution to be legal so you have the choice to have or not have extra-marital sex?” that’s when I decided the conversation is going no where.

 When you are instructed by God to not do something, anything, like for example drinking alcohol, this means that the option of drinking Alcohol is available, like when God asked Adam to not eat the apple, the apple was there right infront of Adam, and Adam had the choice to eat the apple or not eat it. I don’t think I would be a good muslim if I didn’t drink because drinking is not an option, I think I would be a good muslim if I didn’t drink when drinking is an option but I choose not to drink because I would like to do what God instructed me to do.

 This, together with the fact that I believe religion is a personal relationship with God and that no one has the authority to intervene in this relationship, affirmed my belief that a secular state is more, if I may say, correct. A state that lets you have all the choices available and you choose to do what you want to do, You are surrounded by the temptations and the vices and all the things labelled as wrong, and you choose, you choose to be a good muslim and do what God wants you to do, or be a bad muslim and not do what God wants you to do. Just like God gave Adam the choice to eat the apple or not eat the apple, I should be given the choice to be a righteous person or a sinner. I believe eleminating the choices doesn’t make me a good muslim, I am a good muslim when I choose to do something, and underline choose, cause it means choices are available..

To Kill The Other..!

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I have always enjoyed reading novels in my own language because I could relate more to it, I would read books in English but I was never able to enjoy them as much as I enjoy reading books in my mother tongue. But reading “To Kill The Other” was like reading a book in Arabic, I was surprisingly relating to every word written in it. I would remember situations that happened to me personally or heard it happening to people I know in this book which makes me think that the writer of the book, coming from a western background, did an excellent research when it came to writing this book. I find it really hard to write a book set in a different culture, because to understand the inner dialogues that occur within one’s self in a completely different culture needs tremendous studying.

 So to Danuta Hinc,  your book is breathtaking literally. Your book reaffirmed my belief that we are all really the same thing, we share the same human experience, different characters set in the book  from Poland,  Ukraine,  Egypt,  Afghanistan and others sharing their thoughts on life and what the other represent to them reaffirmed my belief, once again, that all we need is some empathy and openness to the other.

 One more thing that I really liked about “To Kill The Other”  is that no matter what’s your ethnicity, where you come from, your religion, you will be touched by this .  It awakens the human being in you and makes you feel connected to all human beings everywhere. You will find yourself sympathizing with Egyptian prisoners tortured in the 1980’s following Sadat’s assassination, Jews, Poles, Pakistanis, Afghans, Russians, Palestinians, Israelis and those victims of 9/11 themselves. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you will end up realizing that we are really the same thing.

 Finally It’s really great to see Western writers writing about 9/11 from a prospective that’s not biased, to dive deep into the lives of the hijackers and to know that there’s always more than one side to each story is not an easy job for a writer from the West but Danuta Hinc, once again, managed to do it.

Late night ranting..!

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The fact that typing these words now is going to be a past in few hours is annoying, I have no control over time and likewise I have no control over my life. Things keep on happening and I have no choice but to accept what’s happening. I have no intention to whine but I am bitter. I think being bitter is what follows the complaining phase, you realize that complaining gets you no where so you embrace this fact and stop complaining, in other words you grow up, yet feeling bitter becomes inevitable.

 I know it’s not healthy to feel this way especially that I am in my early twenties, I haven’t seen much and yet I feel too old. I used to read a lot when I was young and I regret doing so, books contributed to my pessimism, all the elder people I have talked to in my life contributed to my pessimism, they all gave me the same message, life is not easy.

 I KNOW life is not easy, I just don’t like this fact, I know we are all in pain, I know we are all suffering from this or that thing, but guess what?  I don’t like it and I am bitter. I really am trapped in life and if given the choice I wouldn’t have trapped myself in this shit.  When the good times come I am aware that they are temporary, when the bad times come I am still aware of the fact that they are temporary. I know this fact but I don’t like it. I admit that I  have this child in me who wants to be happy forever,  I know this will not happen, I accept it but I can’t help but feel bitter.

 I know I don’t know much in  life, and I know the way I see things now will change, I  know I will never understand life or  find out why I am here, why I am friends with these people and not those people, why I was born in this place and not that place, why do I look this way and not that way, why do I have these parents and not those parents. I know my questions will never get answers. I know this but, once again, I don’t like it.

 I know my parents tell me the good is yet to come but I know they are saying this because this is what they have to say to be good parents, I know the good is not necessarily yet to come, yes good times will come  but shitty times will always be there as well.

 Lately I have been finding comfort in religion, but I don’t know if I am doing this out of belief and faith or that I am finding this comfort in religion because it’s my last resort, I mean, I don’t know if I am approaching God because God is worth approaching or that that my motive is personal and I want to approach God because I just feel safer when I approach God.

 And now the final word is to God, Dear God, I believe my relationship with you is too personal, you know that deep inside I want to be a good human being, I don’t do all the things that they tell me will please you, but I know your eye is different from theirs, and I know you know that I am trying to be someone good so please help me become a better person, keep my sanity and protect me from those inner irritating voices.

Mubarak steps down..!

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Regret..

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For those of you who regret things, and we all regret things every now and then, things don’t work out the way we want, and we are disappointed, it happened before, it happens now and it will happen till the end of time. it’s about time we change our prespectives about regret. For me,  I have been really trying to find a proper way of dealing with regret, but it’s all in vain. I grow up and I am always disappointed with things. nothing worked for me, so I realized that there’s no permenant solution for regret, you just have to accept it as a part of the nature you have been enslaved to, yet, it’s good to remind your self with a few things about regret..

Sometimes I start thinking that the whole regretting-things thing is really meaningless, if things worked out the way I wanted, I wouldn’t have become the same person I am now, in other words, there are so many life-scenarios that I could have lived  if things worked out the way I wanted them to, but I don’t know these scenarios, so it’s like I want to go back in time and live another life “one event changes, your whole life changes, butterfly effect” but the thing is all these lives could have been worse than the current one, meaning, I am not missing much, since I don’t know if things worked out my way where I would have been right now and I am thinking may be I would have been regretting that things worked out my way, in other words, I would have regretted regretting in the very first place and thought that I am stuck in this life, the life I thought I wanted.

The point is, no ones knows which life-scenario is the best for him/her yet deep inside we all want to live different lives, yes, by regretting things, by wanting things to work out your way, you want to live a different life. We always regret, we always want things to work out our way, when, if things worked out our way,  we might have regretted regretting in the first place because may be, the crappy shitty life you have now is the bestest of the so many horrible scenarios out there, It’s not pessimism, it’s just that I am realizing that regret is really pointless, you don’t know the lives you missed, so why do we long for a life that we know nothing about? why do we assume that bad things happen to us? when these bad things are, may be,  not so bad compared to the worse things that could have happened if things worked out our way.

Why do we even think that if things worked out our way we would have become happier? we don’t know what makes us happy, you think you would be happy when you do this, and you do it but, oops, you are not happy. Marriage is the best example, all those fighting couples out there didn’t see this coming when they decided to get married in the very first place, but things do look good, sometimes really good from the outside. My point is, we don’t really know what’s good for us so we shouldn’t be too control freaks especially when it comes to life, thus, flexibility and learning to accept that things do happen for a reason is really a healthy thing, even if I don’t believe that things do happen for a reason, I would like to believe that things happen for a reason so I don’t freak out when things don’t work out my way.

There’s this quote that I really like to remind myself with every now and then, it goes like this  “regret not what you have done, regret what you haven’t” and I am really trying to live by that. I know every now and then I will feel frustrated about things not working out my way but victimizing one’s self and regretting is a waste, yes, a waste of everything, your time, your energy, your self esteem and basically everything. we have all tried regreting and victimizing at one point or another in our lives, and it did prove to be a waste. so I am trying to think that may be I am not meant for the life that I think would have made me happier. Things look good from outside but again, nothing is ever as it seems. I don’t have to let TV, society or whatever influence it is to decide, for me, the things that would make, me, happy. I don’t have to be the richest, I don’t have to get all the hot girls, I don’t have to be the best at anything, I don’t have to meet their expectations of conforming and feeling bad about myself. TV made so many people disappointed, either directly or indirectly, with their lives but this is another issue..

No matter how shitty your life is, things could have been much worse, so be glad for what you have now, or  at least try..and I am trying to appreciate the crappy life that I am stuck in, cause probably this is the bestest life for me, and probably it’s not as crappy as I am seeing it right now, it’s like hating your high schools times but once you are done with high school you wish you could  just re-live a day of high school. So may be when we are done with our lives and wherever we are going to be in the after-life we would have thought that our lives were really great and we would have even wished  that we could just relive one of it’s always-referred-to-as crappy days..

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