A year Pt 2

So, you may understand that I didn’t think much of my life at that time, and I wasn’t planning on furthering the suffering for much longer. I had given up everything at that time, notably my studies, I stopped going to class, it wasn’t worth it anymore, I didn’t study on my own, I just spent the days in my room, not doing anything, watching my life go down in flames, I failed more tests than I could count, and I wasn’t the least bothered by it.

Liberated from my religious restraints, I was, at last, free to experiment. First, came the smoking, I didn’t  think much of my life, let alone be bothered if I was breathing cancer into my lungs, I wanted to die, who cares if I smoked. Then, came the alcohol, all the beer I drank trying to escape for a few hours the terrible reality that I called life.

Then, on a lovely Saturday morning, as I came out of a physics test that bored me out of my mind, I learned that my grandmother had passed away. It’s strange that I spent the majority of my life at my granny’s house, I was even raised by her and I loved her as my mother, it’s strange that you spend most of your life with someone, but you’re not with them when they die, instead you’re rotting away in some miserable university away from them. I don’t know how my grandmother died, I don’t understand how she got sick while I was away, all I know is that I wasn’t by her side when she passed away, and that is a regret I will hold all my life.

Her death was absurd, just like everything else, but it made me realize that the existence of some people can have a great impact on your life, my grandmother didn’t revolutionize science, nor did she end world hunger, all she did was do right by me and I loved her for that. That was the purpose of life, to leave a positive mark on someone’s life. Life is hard, and you can choose to give up on it if you wish, but if you choose to live on, know that there are some beautiful people like my grandmother who will make the journey bearable.

At that moment, I hated how my life had turned out to be, I hated my university, I hated the field I chose, I drifted away from my parents and I felt that I had made a mistake, and I wasn’t going to be able to recover, I wanted to give up on engineering, I wanted a second chance at something else. And, so I had a talk with my father, told him I hated myself for being stuck there. He told me, nothing in life was easy, you can’t get whatever you want,  if I didn’t like engineering, I just have to succeed in it, get a degree then do whatever I wanted. I had to force myself through something I disliked and force myself to appreciate it, because that’s the reality of life.

I forced myself to get out of my rut, during the last couple of months of this year, I can’t say I’ve achieved phenomenal results, but I can say it was during the last months that I actually sat down on a desk and studied, even if it may be too late and I may be expelled from the university, I’m glad I got to work and tried, that I conquered whatever feeling of fear or fright that came whenever I faced something that I didn’t understand and felt like an idiot.

Life is a constant effort, you give it meaning by that constant effort, whether you succeed or fail, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you tried.

A year Pt1

A year has gone by and it’s the first time I feel that something actually changed. This year has had its fair share of “firsts”, it’s the first year I tasted independence, it’s the first year outside a community I belonged to for years, it’s the first year I spend without seeing your face and it’s the first year I lost someone close.

A year ago, I received my high school diploma and had no idea what I was going to do with it. I had so many choices on what career to pursue, and I finally chose engineering. Frankly, I wasn’t too eager but I thought no matter how it turns out to be I was going to stick with it and succeed.

And, so a summer went by, full of anticipation of what was to come. Came September, I left home to the dorm room n°303, in the capital. The first two days were days of exploration, we had the school to ourselves, a whole city to ourselves and it was time we learned to be independent, and did whatever we wanted. Freedom at last!

Lessons started on a Thursday and it didn’t quite meet my expectations, the teachers were a disappointment and the courses intimidating. Then, came the homework, and I realized I didn’t understand a single word, I felt like an idiot. It was then that I started feeling the fear and the general malaise that will intensify over the course of the year.

The first two weeks were normal, I hadn’t felt any changes. It was the same life, the same thoughts, the same feelings, the same me. But, as the weeks went by, a general depression overtook me, and it seemed all the bad moments I had witnessed over the years started coming back to me, and I started evaluating everything that had ever happened to me.

You see, during high school, I had met many teachers who influenced the way I thought about life. I was a man of deep faith back then, but I had a deep inclination towards the old Greek tragedies where the heroes defied the gods, and breathed life into their creations as if they were gods… and I was introduced by one of my teachers to a thought movement led by Camus, Sartre and many philosophers that argued for the absurdity of our existence. As a religious man, I never gave the question of our existence or its purpose much thought. So, as I read “L’étranger”, “Le mythe de Sysiphe”,”L’été”…  And, attended the philosophy courses, where one openly studied the gods of the ancient and how they were created by the conscience due to a natural human fear of the unknown… I started looking, beyond my naïve religious arguments, for a purpose.

My religious beliefs started evolving from taking the literal meaning of the religious scripture to a more open belief that the text was open for interpretation. But, during the first months of this year, I found myself tearing apart the foundations of my belief, and gradually accepting it as an illusion. A God can not actually exist, he is, as is religion, a product of the fertile imagination of mankind. I had to face then, the absurdity of my existence, what is stopping me from putting an end to a life that was meaningless and unpleasant.

I had suffered all of my life of loneliness. A trend that started from when I was a child and I used to stay hours on end, on the roof of my grandmother’s house staring at the city. Later on, at school, I felt unable to connect with anyone, which resulted in a general feeling that I couldn’t be loved, that I was unworthy of it. But, you see, the only pleasure in life comes from loving and being loved in return, I loved over the course of my life but, it wasn’t reciprocated.

I thought

I thought it’d be easier to forget all about you if I weren’t to see you for a year. I thought I’d maybe meet someone new, fall in love, be happy… I didn’t think think that was too much to ask, or at least I thought your memory would slowly creep into that odd place of the brain where it was never to have any power over me. But, I saw you everywhere I looked, I heard your voice coming from every street, discerned the scent of you from every whiff of wind. I could’ve been a thousand miles away from you, and you’d still be there, wouldn’t you?

You’re that one part of me that hasn’t changed this year. I guess no one would recognize what I had become if it weren’t for that tiny piece of me that goes mad whenever it sees you, that one piece that hopes some way you are reading this, that you remember the good times we had, that you have the change of heart that will set me free, that you’ll suddenly realise you love me the same maddening way I love you, then I wouldn’t have to go on living the same damned life, for it is a damnation to love you, so painful, so haunting, so destructive.

I don’t know if you are at the root of everything that’s wrong with me or if I was already fucked up before I met you. I am a walking breathing disaster now anyway. I’m finding new ways to fuck myself deeper every day, because I’m so sick of this life, and I can’t wait for it to end, all the beer and cigarettes will hopefully make my ending closer. Why the hell did I ever love you? Why the hell am I screwing my life over for you? Why the hell didn’t you love me back when I tried for so many years?

The Three Day Quote Challenge – Day Three

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It was a bit hard to find a third quote, the previous two explained most of what we need to know on our journey on this earth. But, they didn’t focus upon the subject of love. Since, it’s the last day of the challenge, and one cannot neglect such an important factor in our live. I went on looking for a quote that raised the subject. And, Rumi finally provided me with a suitable quote.

It’s possibly the greatest emotion our fragile hearts can feel. One that sticks an ever-lasting smile upon your face, trigger a flourishing of the soul and brings soothing calmness to our minds. The disturbing reality, however, in a society desperately running behind love, lucky are those who actually find it. It’s quite sad, isn’t it? Most of us know that elusive feeling we get from love, as if the world conspires to bring us every need. Yet, it didn’t last for most of us. Now, we’re either contemplating our loneliness or in abusive relationships.

Our civilization has evolved so much during the past century, that we didn’t get enough time to cope with change. Our relationships, among other things, suffered deeply. Most of us carry deep wounds that have yet to heal. And, so we built around us these fortresses to protect ourselves from pain. We accept to live in a state of insensitivity and monotony than to expose our wounds to strangers and take a leap of faith.Why are people so afraid of love or why do they give up on it?

Just, the thought that there is someone out there waiting for me and wondering why it never worked out with anyone else, keeps me hopeful. Until the time comes for us to meet, I will try to be my best self, heal myself and make sure that I don’t push people away. Until, you’ve learned to love yourself, will people learn to love you. I don’t know who wrote, but it stuck with me ever since I read it. What do you think?

The Three Days Quote Challenge – Day Two

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The previous quote was from the late French philosopher Albert Camus. It explains the purpose of our lives: why we’re here on this Earth. Camus stresses upon the fact that we’re here to help others, to make the world a better place. Man wasn’t born to be solitary. He is a social creature. And, as we tend to find out as we get older: human relationships can get tricky and people get hurt. I chose this quote because it shows us the ideal way to handle relationships. An ascent to such perfection and ideal coexistence is going to be hard. Still, everyone of us needs to go on that journey to find inner and outer peace.

When people are confronted with this quote, they generally think it’s about sacrifice. You’re giving away your own happiness and calmness in favor of others: hating no one, forgiving those who have wronged you, keeping in touch with those who have forgotten you! But, that’s not the way I interpret the quote. Everything Ali Ibn Abi Talib asks you to do is in your favor. Forgiving others releases you from the power they have over you. If you’re still angry because of what they did to you, you’re still their prisoner. You’ll never reach that state of peacefulness and happiness. You’ll always be tormented by their actions. I’m not saying you should go back with them and accept their abuse. No! Just accept what happened to you and never talk to them again. Know that hurt people hurt people. And there’s nothing you can do to change it. I’m quoting from Prince Ea here. (I’ll put a link to his video down below).

Extend your hand to those who have forgotten you, so that they know you remember them. How many times did you suffer from loneliness and wished there was someone out there who remembered you and thought about you? Be there, if they need you, they’ll find you.

Do not stop praying for the best for those you love. They deserve it, don’t they?

The Three Days Quote Challenge

After a very long absence, I am wishing this series will bring back on track. My loyal friend and blogger Shruti has always been there pushing me to go back to writing. So, thank you Shruti. You’re amazing.

These are the rules of this challenge:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Done)
  2. Post a quote each day for three days.
  3. Nominate 3 other bloggers to take the challenge. (I’ll do this later, what, are you the wordpress police?)

Honestly, I am not great at remembering quotes for a long period of time. I fall in love wit a quote one day and betray it with another the next day. Here comes a quote from a writer that became very dear to my heart after reading some of his books this summer. The great, wonderful, charismatic and possibly the coolest philosopher of all time: Albert Camus.

“Notre tâche d’homme est de trouver les quelques formules qui apaiseront l’angoisse infinie des âmes libres. Nous avons à recoudre ce qui est déchiré, à rendre la justice imaginable dans un monde si évidemment injuste, le bonheur significatif pour des peuples empoisonnés par le malheur du siècle. Naturellement, c’est une tâche surhumaine. Mais on appelle surhumaines les tâches que les hommes mettent longtemps à accomplir, voilà tout. ” – Albert Camus ( L’été )

It’s a shame if you do not understand French. Camus has a talent of practically knitting words together so beautifully. I am going to attempt a translation, hoping that I don’t butcher the meaning.

“Our task as humans is to find the elusive formulas that will soothe the infinite anguish of free spirits. We have to stitch what has been torn apart, bring justice to a world that is so evidently unjust and significant happiness to the people that have been poisoned by the melancholy of our era. Naturally, that is a superhuman task. But, we tend to call superhuman, the task humans take a long time to accomplish, that’s all.”

If anyone has an alternative suggestion, feel free to correct me.

I hope that sounded as beautiful to you as it did to me. I think this quote actually gives meaning to our short lives on earth: to make this planet a happier place.

We spend our days complaining about the state of our world, yet we do nothing to change it. We have a tendency to think doctors and similar prestigious jobs are the only way to help people and better our world. But, that’s not the case. We literally have thousands and thousands of problems in every aspect of our life: social, economical, political, physical, psychological, environmental… And, we all have a duty to make at least one lasting change during our lifetime otherwise our lives would be just a waste of time. I’m not asking you to cure every disease, end every war, nourish every child, stitch the ozone layer. Sure, if you want to attempt such a task, go ahead. But, for everyone else, you don’t have to make all these grand projects. Change can be simple and you can do it. After all, that’s what you’re created and destined to do. Help someone going through psychological or financial difficulties, if you’re not the one who is going to find the cure to AIDS, maybe he will and he just needs your support to bring him back on track. If you’re an amazing thinker like Camus, teach us, the world no longer has common sense, we need your help. Heck, go and volunteer in some third world country, help eradicate illiteracy. Don’t be greedy, cook a warm dinner for your poor neighbor, bring his kids your used school books. And, don’t be an a****** and throw litter on the streets. Or, just take care of your kids, educate them morally so that one day, they might change the world.

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Ghosts of the past – A story that has no ending

He bent down and caressed the sand with his fingertips. He drew her face and watched as the southern wind wiped it off. If only the wind could breeze through his mind and erase her memory. He stood and watched the immense desert that lay in front of him. He had wandered away from where his tribe camped and hid behind the high dunes.

The sun was rising, and the frosty nightly air was slowly getting warmer. Soon, the tribe would awaken and each would assume his duties. He smoothed the hair on his horse’s back for an instant and then swiftly climbed on the saddle. He didn’t have to guide the pure breed, for it perfectly knew the road back to the camp…

He caught a glimpse of her, as he neared the camp’s well. The woman that reigned over his thoughts; the last image that flickered inside his mind, before he surrendered to sleep; and the first thing he thought about when he opened his eyes. And, yet, as their eyes met, no words were uttered, respecting an unspoken pact made months ago.

He tied his horse’s leash next to his tent and went inside. He found a jar of fresh goat milk and a warm piece of bread: gifts from one of his pupils. He was one of the few tribe members who knew how to read and write, and he was assigned to teach the new generation. He loved molding young minds, exposing them to new ideas and watching their baffled faces.

Sitting on the beautiful Bedouin tapestry, he thought about today’s lesson. It will be at night, and he was going to teach the kids about stars. The men will soon go out to herd the cattle, while the children stayed to hear war stories from the elderly about brave warriors who fought valiantly for honor and pride, who faced whole armies with a smile and who tamed beasts with a glance.

Pride ,bravery, integrity… the pillars of their society. He had since learned that these values were in fact a global code, respected throughout history by every culture. Yet, the modern city, as he discovered, chose to abandon these values and base itself upon treachery, disrespect, vanity, bitterness…

She had went to the city with him. They were inseparable the whole time, protecting each other from succumbing to  the perverse charms of the city.  What happened was inevitable. She had found a way to unlock the gates of his heart and carve her name upon the walls. He thought she loved him as well, but his efforts were lost in vain as he was knocking on a door that would never bulge without the proper key.

The worst or best thing about a Bedouin’s life was that you have plenty of time to think. He longed to hear her voice, to see her beautiful smile and look into her mesmerizing eyes. And, he questioned for the one hundred time his choice to leave her. For, months ago, when his soul craved more than her friendship and his heart longed for her affection, he had decided he had had enough, and simply stopped speaking to her, desperately trying to erase her memory .

That turned out to be utterly useless, for with every beat, his heart echoed her name over and over refusing to let him forget…

He motioned to the stars, scintillating in the dark sky, and told the children:

” What if I told you’re now looking into the past? Remember when I told  you can only see objects if they emit light? Well, light takes time time to reach us. Sometimes, hundreds of thousands of years. And, by the time, we finally see them. The stars could’ve burned out and exploded. What you see in the night sky can be deceiving. You may think you’re looking at a lively fiery star when you’re only seeing a ghost of the past….”

He was preparing to go back, when she appeared. She sat beside him and said:

“Someone out there might be pointing a telescope on our planet and watching our ghosts laughing in a park back in the city. They’re probably wondering how the story ends.”

“Well, nobody knows.”

Photo credit: arabianessence.com