…وقف يا زمان

Disclosure: The following piece might be controversial. It narrates recent real time events that occurred in my life. The sole purpose of composing this article is to shed light on life events that may resonate with other individuals. If you are not able to continue reading at any point, please close the page and refrain from commenting or shaming and please respect free speech.

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I lived most of my life hiding away from what eventually shaped my personality. Culture, religion and the world are busy judging people for what they are, not who they are. I live in a world that does not accept humans for their essence. Labels are being used, and the stereotyping is never ending. A religious man with a beard can be an extremist, another with long hair, dark features, body art and piercings, is a Satanist. A lady with revealing clothes, lots of makeup is a who**. We judge people in a manner that subconsciously penetrates their bodies, souls and minds. We give them the look of disgust, shame, pity, questioning why they took that path. The set of rules and traditions that we live amongst, even against our will, to make the world around us; but not us, happy and content. A certain pressure looms around us from the day we are born to meet the world’s expectations and standards to be a good child, exceed in school and university, earn a degree, find a respectable job, seek a partner of the opposite sex and build a family. The cycle goes on, and as such we will be expecting the same from our own children too. We can’t aspire to change the world when we cling to a sensitive life cycle were any new input might jeopardize the picture of a perfect family and a perfect world. We want our children to grow up into engineers, lawyers or doctors. We want them to get married to beautiful partners, generate beautiful babies. We set the goal of their existence. It is not how they envisioned their lives to be, it is how we want it to be. To make their families proud, people give up on their dreams, and sometimes they give up on the actual person they are, so the cycle is uninterrupted. Life continues to go round and round.

As we evolve and become confident about who we are, settling in to our ‘differences’ and eradicating the conflict of being our true selves, something that has followed us from childhood through our teenage years. It is here where we soon realize that we are strong individuals that the world is not able or ready to absorb. Unaware of the fight we go through, the world tries to ‘cure’ us. A disease that with the right dose of religion and traditions can set us on the right track. We can be eccentric with our ideals and thoughts. We have a high acceptance for people of different backgrounds and behavioral characteristics. We open our hearts to be the kindest we can. We hide our differences behind a shield of success and creativity. Despite our ‘default’, we are human beings, and instead of resisting the need to be the ‘perfect’ image that society want us to be, we make our own choice and we choose to be ourselves.

It is not long ago that I recovered from the haunting memories of a bad break up/end of a relationship. It is rare that we speak about the people we lose/ or the negative experience we go through. In real world, we project and share with the world what we want them to believe is a great life; energetic morning workout, beautiful wardrobe we buy, delicious meals we indulge, views of places we visit and other happy moments. Rarely people invite us on their social media to the tiring and frustrating times such as; broken ties of a friendship, loneliness, anger, troubles in marriage and divorce. We feel pride in trying to convince our audience that we are flawless, our lives are perfect. The struggles we live with, our secret, our battle and our fight, needs no audience. It is only shared with the privileged few; close family members and friends that truly know the ins and outs of our lives.

It is not the pain of losing the physical figure that penetrates the thoughts and twists the arm. It is the companionship, presence and care that those individuals bring to our life. Recently I stepped out of the aftermath of a relationship that reshaped who I am. One that released several dark traits of my personality I was not aware of. It is the broken heart and the overthinking mind that continuously wanted to seek answers, to understand, to reason what went wrong; where I went wrong. The road leading to peace is a rough one. Months after, I remember: a late Thursday night, my bloodshot eyes, talking God knows what and venting all what I have been holding in for a long time, to wake up the next day feeling the weight on my shoulders released. A reset to both my mind and my heart, burning all the past, with the good and bad. It was the only way to overcome the subconscious depression that I harbored; the anger I was holding was finally released. On that night, I shed the skin that I was carrying, I left it behind on the floor and walked away. I dropped the barriers and cracked the walls of deep secrets, incidents from the past and scars of my life. I was released from a cage of repressed memories. The past two years are locked somewhere in my subconscious mind, the key of which I am in control of. Not until that Thursday night that I put away the key in my back pocket and freed my hands. I held the wheel and drove away, looking back every now and then. A brief look as not to totally erase the mix of beautiful and stressful memories. I don’t want to risk giving up on the moments when I made him feel safe and loved, or when my thoughtful actions drew a smile on his face. I don’t want to risk losing what I learnt from that experience. I will forever cherish those times and will always keep them safe. I will carry on, knowing that every experience molds a new me. Each step I take, every person I meet and every man I fall in love with, will create many paths and possible wounds, and it’s up to me to choose the smoothest path, the shallowest wound.

Sinan S Gharaibeh

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