I start typing and then I stop. Three, four times. Then I pick up the phone again. And I start a new draft. And thats the mind of a troubled human. It goes back and forth. Stops.starts again. I am in the farthest point I have ever been from home.
Today, I was waiting my uber driver, without any internet. And so I anticipated his arrival time as it showed, as I am in a new place, not so familiar with the address, we could not meet and he cancelled my ride. I started crying, again, found my soul, getting tired from such a simple thing, feeling lost, homesick, and homeless inside. After I shed few tears, I said, you are strong, no need to cry for this, just find a solution.
I went in a nearby restaurant, with hot tears in my eyes, and asked for wifi. The guys eyes showed much empathy. And he gave me a hotspot. I ordered a car again, and waited outside. A lady came out and asked me, are you okay, do you need any help? I have missed this kind of kindness from people. And I smiled, with some more tears falling as I reply, thank you I am just bit tired.But thank you for asking me.
The new driver came, and asked me how I am. First reply was Im fine. Then I shared how the first car cancelled. As my eyes watered again. He said sorry this happened to you. And then asked me where Im from.as we started speaking, he shared some Arabic words he knew. The effort put into these attempts to try and connect with a total stranger like me, are efforts I will always remember.an ex military, and police officer, who has seen countless dead bodies, gun strikes, and who has sensed the smell of death for 15 years, was trying to comfort me, with the best way he knew. I asked how it felt. How it felt to survive these pains, how it felt to go back to an “ordinary” life. “This seems like a different world to me, I have seen it behind a tv screen, and never met someone who has actually lived this” I said. “You never forget these things, you remember, but I think of all the people I helped, and that helps me” he mentioned. And he continued…” In life, you will give your energy to people, to help, and then its their job what they do with what you give”. “I am sharing this energy with you now, giving you some positivity, you take it, and give it to someone else”.
With this being said, I told him you see why my first driver, cancelled, because life wanted me to sit here and hear to this, I really needed it today”. Specifically, today, when my mind is sinking back to the darkness. Someone was sent to me, to remind me.
With this story I end today, to share more with time…
Give to someone, what you have received today. They may be, just like me, in the darkness, needing this tiny beam of light.
I wanted to write ever since I was a young kid. I was always journaling, writing poems, letters, and short stories to express myself.
This blog was done in a midnight session, after a very critical, nerve wrecking summer. After series of heartbreaks throughout my year, disappointing people, and being let down by friends, and compatriots as well, I went through a long cycle of giving up. After long cycles of toxic years in my life, Last summer, had two main events, the best 2 months so far, and the worst months that followed.
As I look back now, I only feel gods merciful love.
I do not know how I got here, or when, all I can say is I did. I did with the love given to me by many people, the support I received verbally,mentally,financially, psychologically and all the endless hugs. The cups of coffee that followed long car rides, the endless listening provided to me, and the moments of silence shared.
I remember not being able to wake up for days, not being able to shower, to wash my dishes, to clean my flat, not even buy food. I remember crying a lot, and then long period where I couldnt shed a tear, times where I felt severe sadness, and times where I felt nothing at all.
Starting from august last year up until today, I can only look back and see a very long trail behind.
I’ve come a long long way…
Pain, has a very tricky dynamic, it comes and goes bit by bit, we barely notice the weight of it, until one day, it strikes all at once, and drowns us under crashing waves of giving up,surrendering,dispair,uselessness and grief.
Suddenly the world stops. We stop. Time stops. Our entire reality becomes so distorted, that it doesn’t seem so real anymore. And we seize to exist, emotionally, mentally and physically.
This is what we all call depression. Not a disease, nor a syndrome. It is a simple reaction to reality. The astonishment and being taken off guard all the time. The betrayal of people and life, tires our mind and feelings. That is all.
Depression, is a deep realization of the nonsense of reality, of the unfairness,and the disappointments.
I cannot say I fully healed. I have been trying , to let go, forgive and forget, myself and others. Though I have come a long way, I still feel, there are times my mind takes me back to sad incidents, and reminds me to be more careful from people. I have forgiven, but not let go. The feelings we get from situations cannot be easily overcome. The pain leaves its scar, and keeps bleeding whenever touched. But I know one thing for sure, now, I can look back and see it. I am slowly able to see, a bit further and further, how it was.
How I got here, was not done by a big magic wand. How I got here, was not one big aha moment. I got here with very little, extremely consistent tiny gestures of love. I got here with medication, I got here with a trip back home, with an everyday message of ” I don’t know how you are feeling, but if it helps, I am here to go for a walk and a cup of coffee, to talk, or be silent” , with a daily “get ready Im coming to pick you up” a daily hold by the hand to help me get out of my doorstep, a daily “you dont have to wear anything fancy, keep your pijama on, we can still go out for a ride” , some chocolates, some food brought and placed in my fridge, some washing my dishes, some “before we sit, put a batch of your laundry and we can then drink some tea”. Some “get ready we are going to Berlin, you can sleep and eat there , no need to do anything else” , some night rides with music, lots and lots of hugs, lots and lots of shared silence, lots of jokes, lots of ears given, lots of tears dried off my cheeks, gifts and gestures… messages of “i love you so much, you are my best friend”, “you are a lovely person”, “you are a blessing”… lots of covering me in a blanket waiting for me to finally sleep, combing my hair… The endless calls from my dad hearing me cry, listening to my unclear feelings, and the bravery to handle it from abroad, the trips of my mother from another continent just to help me clean my home, cook for me, and reorganize my space. The empathy I received, the acceptance, the understanding, and the unconditional support during my sinusoidal waves of emotions got me where I am today. Today, being able to smile, to laugh, to joke, to enjoy, to shower everyday, put on makeup and a nice outfit, go out, socialize, go shopping, clean my room, and have a new little target.
After a few sessions of therapy, I couldn’t go through with it, it was intense for me, and I didn’t have enough capacity, but one thing I took with me is to learn how to write again. As a way to do that, and a way to get back to what I love, and a way to share and feel useful, this blog was opened.
I can still see tiny gestures of care, when someone of my friends or family immediately reads my post, when someone shares it to their profile or when someone likes the page right after its created and many many other things. In the ” I felt what you were writing about has also passed with me” , “what you wrote took me back home” , ” I teared up while reading…”, “in the line x there is an exta point removr it”, ” you made a typo in …” ..
I have a long way ahead to heal, to mend, to help myself, to love it, care for it, and let it grow. But I am grateful, and blessed, and lucky, that I was and am so much loved, day by day, that now I can say, I see it when I look back, a very long trail, in less than a year, a long trail however, it is behind, and I am looking ahead for the path opening infront of me bringing with it a tiny light.
Where I am now, is of limited to little energy to hear other people problems, limited energy to keep connecting all the time with everyone, my focus is more narrowed, as I need to build strength and regain energy. I hope nobody would feel sad or left out. But this is something I have to do to save myself and then be able to be there for others.
To all those who were there to hold my hand, whether physically present or emotionally from afar, thank you, for being a big blessing in my life.
If you are feeling depressed, or if your loved ones suffer from depression, I hope you can see how tiny things matter, how this is a long journey, how intense feelings vary from sadness, to loneliness, anger and rage, to suddenly nothing. From wanting to talk a lot, scream, and cry, to being completely silent and not having energy to even frown or smile. From sleeping for days to not sleeping at all. From overeating to not eating at all. The phases do not come in a straight line and a chronological order, they go back and forth, up down, they sometimes occur several times and some only once. The only sure thing I can say, don’t forget those tiny gestures. Those little things that matter. Maybe not to you, but to the one in pain. Please know that a person with depression cannot take a decision, even in the tiniest of things, and even if they do, it might be completely irrational. Please keep an understanding and an open heart, and open arms, to take in someones aggressive words, passive behavior, and sad tears. Please keep those cups of tea and coffee, even if they do not want them. This is what healing is about. And a promise I make to you depressed person, it might be overwhelming now, it might be even scary the numbness you feel, your carelessness scares you, the tiredness that does not go away no matter how much you sleep, the pills you keep taking that do nothing for you, and demons in your head will tell you, you are not loved, maybe loved, but not enough, nobody knows what you are going through, nobody will understand, your life is so tiring and miserable, they might even be bold enough to tell you hey you should not be living. Believe me, “this too, shall pass”, the only thing you have to do, is say, I cannot anymore. Get a doctor’s help if needed, tell your friends, your family, get away from work, give yourself a chance to be properly depressed . You are not irrational, you are not crazy, you are not all over the place, you are not too much, you just feel sad because sad things happened to you. This completely makes sense! I promise you, you will wake up one day, and look back, just like me, and see a long trail behind, not knowing how or when it happened, only with time. Allow yourself the right of “time”. If you are a believer, keep praying, even if it seems useless at many times, if you are not, meditate, into nothing or something, or even dont. Just allow yourself the right to be fully depressed.
Do not underestimate the power of a gratitude journal infront of you, open, all the time, where you sit, and write down, anytime you have an achievement, “today I washed my laundry”,” today I took a shower”, today “I slept 20 minutes earlier than yesterday”, “today i woke up 1 hour earlier”, “today I cried”, “today I stepped outside my door”…
I will end my post today by saying, the strongest I have ever done, was admitting my own weakness.
More to come on this…
Leaving with the first picture I took, the day the journey downhill started.
First, let me start by celebrating the peace and love shared during the holy month of Ramadan. It is truly beautiful to see so much devotion to giving throughout this month…
1. On Pain:
An easy thing to do, is hurt others. And what is easier, is justifying our actions with our own feelings “im hurt too”. Somehow, humans have justified a new sense of fairness that if someone is hurt, they hurt others and by that it is a simple equation of balance.
It’s not fair, and its not correct. In fact, its the wrongest thing we can do, and the weakest and ugliest of all.
Instead of admiting to our pains, we go around acting tough on others who seem to be “weaker” than us. It does not necessarily mean weaker, it could be just someone who we trust won’t leave us, and someone we take for granted.
When we are hurt, we dont know how to share these feelings and reach out for help. We rather think that self torture is an act of strength when in fact its the opposite. True strength occurs when one admits to their weaknesses and pains.
3.On Ripple effect
I am a strong believer of the power of ripples. There is nothing stronger than micro levels. I am hurt, I hurt you, you hurt someone else,… I am hurt, I reach out to you, you help me, someone else helps you,etc…
Ripple effects are there in our society, everyday ,everywhere, it just needs attention from us, how do we want to impact something? Do I want to start a chain of pain, or do I want to start a chain of help and support.
People usually take this for granted, and endless justifications happen, “everyone else does it”, ” how can I change anything”, “I am just one person what effect would I have”…
There is only one answer to all that : the ocean is made up of endless tiny drops of water.
Today, I will stop with these simple thoughts, just to get you thinking, and to talk about more and more in future posts.
Leaving you with an image of Vltava River with all its possible ripples.
Being traumatized or manipulated by someone, eventually causes lack of trust. And when we lose trust in our close circle, we lose trust in our own self as well. And that opens up a pandora box of endless doubt and suspicion.
What I learnt after several heart breaks and disappointments, when someone hurts you, its because they are just sometimes simply bad or not capable of healthy love.
Love is simple, love is clear, love is love,it builds and doesnt know how to destroy. Those other feelings people associate with love are just several types of sicknesses manifested in possessiveness and wanting to feed the ego.
Jealousy is always human, just it doesnt go more than it should, beyond a normal childish jealousy, that is lack of trust or further trying to control the other person as if they are an object. Sometimes, jealousy is indeed caused by an untrustworthy person, or someone who is asking for attention that is not being given to them, which could be a very fair reaction to receiving lack of love. Beyond that, it means someone is molding another person into what they think is their version of partner and that is not love.
Love is not selfish it is giving, love is not letting down it is being there all the time , love is not ego it is humbled, love does not reply defensively it listens with empathy and care. Love knows how to appoligize even when it does nothing wrong. But it sits there to care and heal not wound and destroy.
Love does not ask for money, houses, gold or land. Love only asks for love in return. Love changes and molds into the best version of ourselves and not the worst. It does not push our buttons, does not cause anxiety, frustration and does not push us away. Love brings together and mends what we on our own could never mend in a lifetime.
Whatever people say, apart from that, as love, is not love at all. It is the hypocrite version of ego, a beautified version of evil, and sugarcoated phrases to cover up negative emotions.
I’ll say, love is so simple. It is black and white, it is there with its peace and truth or is not..
To those people who are incapable of love, and who keep distorting it into toxicity, leaving behind martyrs of trust issues, frustration, hatred,and passiveness, to those we should simply say we see your truth. Your truth is not love. And we shall not allow you to distort the only truth known clearly to human kind.
We are born knowing how to love, and somehow those hypocrites make us forget through time, making us think love is toxic and not real.
We lose faith along the way in our decisions, we lose confidence, we stop knowing if what we know is true or not. And sometimes the simple truth is sitting there, without excuses, without any further explanation, this is toxicity, it had never been love, and never will be. It is just so smart to hide undercover.
We cannot change people, we cannot change who they are in their core, we can only be part of their life lessons and experiences, and it is up to us, to decide, what we allow ourselves to have, and what we choose to be in control of. Who we allow in our life, and who we choose to walk away from. Who we admit to showing us what love is, and who has added up to the wounds in our souls.
For all those who give love humbly, who accept our failures, who bring us up even when we are unable to push ourselves through, who accept our insecurites as wounds and try to help us heal with their love ,those who dont deny our pains and who hold our heart with empathy. Life is great because of you.
And for those who carry their egos on their sleeves, you think you love, but thats just your ego. We feel sorry for you, as you will miss out on all the good people in life..you have no place here with us on our table.
For everyone reading out there, if you have been let down, it doesn’t mean you are blind, it doesn’t mean you should doubt yourself, it does not mean you don’t deserve to be cared for and appreciated. It simply means the wrong person came into your life, and it took time, situations, and behaviors, to realize it. And that is how we humans learn more about each other. Sometimes it takes only a moment, a month or a year, and sometimes it takes even 20 years until we reach the true core of someone. What truly matters, is what we do about it, and what we choose for ourselves after we realize this.
I have said so many goodbyes in my life, for people who have lied on big and small things. And I never regret, because when I go back I realize, these people took out the worst version of myself, the insecure, anxious and scared version, and never tried to understand it. Instead they always felt bothered and were a bit even aggressive about it.
While others with their empathy, showed me, how peaceful, blindly trusting, and forgiving I can be. Those who made me love myself a bit more everyday, because of how pure their love was and is..
Leaving you with a picture of southern Lebanon seaside which I Love💜💙
As I get in touch with people, and see how they all differ. I can only see the beauty of the people around me, and how thankful I am and lucky to have people who love me, people who encourage me, who hold me when I’m down and pick me up after I fall. Those who witness life hurting you, and try to make it better. Those who witness others hurting you, and make sure you know how special you are.
We underestimate the value of our close support group, those who encourage us to be outside our comfort zone. Those who despite all the pain of change, are there to keep motivating us and reminding us that change is always painful yet we are brave to go through it.
I remember times in Prague, when I would feel I want to quit everything and go back home. To the problems I am used to, and to the joys that I know. It’s like talking to an ex even if they are toxic , but just because you want to spare the loneliness.
Those moments of change and transformation are usually full of pain and continuous wars, between what we are used to and what we aspire to have. And between those two worlds, our weaknesses arise, we go back to find ourselves again pushing forward, until we fully heal, fully transform, fully adapt, and get ready to move on to what we wish and deserve.
Transformations in relationships are usually tough, we know we are in the wrong place, we know its toxic, yet somehow we lack the power to step away. It is like being injured during a war, and realizing the threat yet not being able to move. Imagine how much anxiety and trauma this would cause, yet only to realize later, throughout our lives, we are horoes of survival, and heroes of transformation.
I can see many things happening around, all the things people are trying to get ready to face. We are not ready to face change, we are not ready for breakups, we are not ready for death, we are not ready for whatever that is coming next. Yet, we can never be ready, and it only takes a leap of faith to step forward, a bit of courage, and trust that no matter what comes we are strong enough, and we have enough love around us to help us through whatever things coming our way.
I can see myself, in the middle of all this world’s chaos, sitting aside, watching it, watching the hatred, watching the hypocrisy, watching mean people, and being away from all of it, in my own world, between people of my own kind, and thinking how grateful I am to have at least 10 people whose presence in life, makes it worth a while, and whose own nature, makes me believe there is some super extra strength that lets them be so kind and pure. In the middle of all of this, some chose not to change, and chose to save their goodness despite all toxicity and all surrounding evils. Those are the survivors of this troublesome life.
To the close friends who read this, thank you for being who you are, every single one of you, and for being strong enough to stay warm and kind. And for everyone else, I hope you are always strong to overcome change when its for the better , and to keep alive all the good things inside of you.
Leaving you with a picture taken during transformation times…
It sure happened to you many times that someone asked what do you want to eat, and you simply couldn’t decide!
How do we make decisions?
Its very easy when you are asked, do you like the beach or the mountain, the summer or the winter, purple or blue. We know what our emotions incline towards, and we understand our brain responses to things and people that make us feel good.
But what about those rational decisions.
For the past weeks I have been trying to get myself to decide certain things regarding my life, career, personal development and many things which I and every other human are always concerned about.
I notice that as I grow, decision making process becomes slower and harder.
I can even say that 3 years ago when I took the decision to move to prague, I didn’t even think about it and I just went for it.
How can you weigh things? Even when you make pros and cons list, there is this final decision where you need to choose one thing over the other. Career over happiness, mental well being over finance, safety over staying at home and so on.
Its like they always say, you can’t compare apples and oranges. Some decisions are not as simple, some have different criteria and then we are stuck weighing what is most important for me, what will do me good now, what will serve my future well being, and at that point, many contradictions arise.
Choices choices choices.
It’s simply unfair from life to keep asking us to choose between things that we love, things that we need, and things that all matter.
How do you choose when you get 2 good offers at 2 different companies yet equally reputable. How do you choose where to live between 2 houses, 2 countries and many other things.
What about, when you have a great career shift or promotion being offered at the other side of the world. Do you choose to go for it, giving up your family, friends and well being, in exchange of a “living”. At that point, what is a living can you say? Or do you choose to stay, being happy and content with what you already have in hand.
Would you choose, or would you let life choose things for you?
Leaving you a picture of just one clear road where there is no confusion what so ever.
Far away from all the world news about war. From all the chaos taking over this earth. I am here , about to clean up my own mess.
I started this blog with much attachment to the past, because it hurt, and what hurts, keeps reminding us that it hurts. Just like a wound, it will keep hurting until fully healed. And maybe pain is the most vivid feeling we get and the most real. We can manage to fake all other feelings, yet pain is either felt or not.
By its own nature, it is there to show itself to u , im here, whether u want me or not, im here and u cannot avoid my presence.
Pain accompanies us since we are born, and it changes forms and faces and intensity. It goes up and down in circles and waves has no shape no direction, we cant change it we cant reform it we can only learn to live with it and turn it into power to create something else. So pain, is a resource.
Pain knows no ally or enemy, but it sure is heavier on those who carry their truth on their sleeve.
My pain was my country, and I carried its load with me, as I moved to this new place, where further pains kept coming my way, and got fused into a great masterpiece of frustration.
As I look back, I let go, of all the strings attaching me back , and stopping my path forward, I let go of all the people who disappointed me, who hurt me,intentionally, and non intentionally, who realized their mistakes and apologized, and those who were cursed with blindness in their heart, who could not see they did wrong, and who did not find courage to genuinly say sorry.
I let go of the expectations I had of loyalty, and I leave a feeling of pitty, on all those people who , if they didn’t lose me, lost my trust and respect. I let go of all the toxic coworkers, who are hungry for money and would do anything for that, I let go of the people who decide to exclude me on an outing that might cheer up my day or week or even month. I let go of people who I care about and who don’t reciprocate the care. I let go of the people who pretend. And I let go of the people who found ways and ways to make me cry. I let go of the people who saw my tears and didn’t care enough to make them stop. I let go of the weird people I met, of the scary things I felt, of the lies that faced my truth ,I let go of the ego that faced my humbled heart.
I let go of the country that let me down, of the regime that failed my life, of the selfishness and carelessness. I let go of bullies and ignorant people. I let go of the fears, of the bombs, of the war, of the warior planes, the anxiety and the lack of hope. I let go of the simple small dreams…
Come whatever may come, it is time to feel light, and unburdened by the carelessness of others, and uncontrolled by any emotions once imposed because of someone.
Flying outside the nest, began to make some sense. And flying alone, feels better than ever.
Hope you all get the strength to clean up your minds and let go too 🙂
Leaving you with a lovely picture of the sun setting behind Beirut. Letting go, with all possible colors floating on the Mediterranean horizon💙
Another post related to the work place and far from homesickness or travel.
“Nat, you take some things too seriously..” is what I keep hearing. One thing I want to say to all my beloved people who tell me this : I respect the pain I have been through enough to make proper use of it and turn it into a change catalyst instead of letting it go like that untouched..
I wanted to tackle a topic which I find so critical and at the same time very much under-rated. This is from the many people I have seen suffering around me from corporate “ok’s” and “not ok’s”. And I hope I will continue this path of doing what is right as much as I can and as long as I am working…
Have you been working for a bad manager before? What’s a bad manager? Well there are so many forms you can describe a bad manager, however one thing for sure, a bad manager is not just someone who is different from us or opposes us. The way I have seen and experienced, there is a certain set of criteria that cannot be easily measured but rather tracked in small actions and details.
A bad manager could be someone who micromanages you or who does not care at all. It could be someone very moody, or someone completely cold and distant. It could be someone too much of this or too much of that and the key is always balance.
We cannot measure human balance, but there is a factor where results can be measured and it is monitoring the peace index of another human being around us. Measuring the trust and faith someone develops and puts into a certain relationship is an indicator that this is a good manager. A manager is not someone who has a 9 to 5 job. A good manager simply means a good human before. And hence, interpersonal relations and patterns of social behavior and aspirations should be taken into consideration before we say good or bad manager. There are certain skills that can be developed and polished through experience and coaching, however there is an intuitive empathy, understanding, and connectedness which the manager should have prior being assigned. A person cannot be taught affection nor ethics like that.
Usually people look for certain skills while hiring people managers , technical experience, more or less could be super detailed or could be very generic, and then they ask for experience in managing people.
Dear recruiters, we are managing humans our entire life. You have to bet on someone that they will make it. Give them an opportunity, and invest in a future leader.
Experience in managing people does not necessarily mean this person has successfully lead a team. And leading a team could be done and is usually done by an engine which is usually not in an authoritative level. And in this sense , many bad managers are hired, and many potential leaders are missed , for the mere literature and art of writing a resume, where your job title is main point of attraction.
Moving on with the subject. When collective resignations occur from a toxic environment, how can a candidate applying for a new job explain this to an interviewer and how can the recruiting company aquire credible reference checks?
Office politics and diplomatic affairs!
What if I conduct a reference check and I get a negative feedback, from 2 or even 3 people. What if these people are within a clique that usually occurs within many cultures and in most work environments. With that, a person’s potential to get hired would be almost impossible, and the scale to measure Toxicity and professionalism levels of the candidate’s old company is almost impossible.
Social media propaganda, political words and impressive charisma, will always manage to manipulate real life situations , and capturing poor leaders and bad managers in the spot becomes almost impossible. It is this fine loophole that the corporate and work environment has set for us. Rules and codes of ethics can always be written , and can be strictly applied, however that does not make them correct or fair. In the absence of human intuitive goodness, kindness and ethical standard , we can never ensure these documents and standards are there for good reason , and us, let me adress my Human Resources peers mainly who should be advocates of ethics and morality, fairness and humanity, would lose track of our main role in the workplace and would actually participate in further corruption.
How can we ensure ethical and good managers and leaders are hired if we keep looking into technical experience of managing a team rather than the potential set of skills a person can intuitively have and which could be further developed through time. How can we catch those toxic reference checks that haunt an employee simply because they once had a bad manager who happened to be incompetent and is insisting on bringing them down no matter where they go. How can we ensure leadership trainings are actually creating human leaders who can empathise sincerely, coach genuinly and celebrate the success of their subordinates. How can we ensure that all these procedures we have set actually serve as truth ambassadors instead of rules and bureaucratic procedures. How can we track the poor leadership presence, and the toxicity, and psychological manipulation, even within environments that encourage “psychological safety” and yet not miss out on these managers that make use of their subordinates’ need of a job and money.
How can we track unfair promotions, unfair psychological biases, poor skilled people promotions and the loss of good talent which could potentially have created greatness within the processes of a company. How can we mark bad managers even if they speak politely, dont micromanage, and empower people, however they fail to appraise good morals and reinforce bad behaviors, seem not to understand, lack empathy , cannot advise, and are focused on their own self.
A bad manager can be bad in so many ways, and an employee can seem bad in many other ways. Up till now some HR people abused their positions , some tried, and some just operated in their positions. But let’s talk truth, HR should be the change advocate, they should fully gain power of their own function and message, and reinforce healthy workplace practices, where more human aspects are taken into consideration, and more trusted actions which don’t fall under any “rule” or “code” but rather use more wisdom and emotional intelligence to read and interpret what is being unsaid.
Employees till now fear retaliation, they avoid speaking up, then they fear bad references, and still they dont speak up, and they leave their companies without having helped in the development of previous organization on any level, and the cycles of toxicity continue, while companies lose money and resources on useless trainings and trying to figure out how to motivate their people. When sometimes all it takes is firing the person “up there” and setting up a healthy recruitment process where a real good human is placed in the right position.
I was once shown a very offensive sexual video in the work place by someone who I didn’t even have a friendship with. Apart from me being the HR of this person , I was shocked as a colleague, as a lady, and as a human that someone would approach me and find this offensiveness a joke. There was an ethics committee designated for that, and immediately with my shaking hands and shocked mind , I went to my manager and reported this. The decision was left to the General Manager which I assumed since she is a woman, would understand the intimidating feeling this action has been and how offensive. Instead of finding support as a colleague, and support as management , and support as an ethics committee member, I had to sit and listen how she was once “harrased” and how she refused it , got over it, and kept professional relation with this person. The situation was then manipulated and my feelings were belittled saying that this video was a joke and many people found it funny. I couldn’t do anything because of the fear that my manager would be retaliated for escalating this situation. And since then the relationship has gone bad and I lost my respect and trust in a management which was supposed to process what code of conduct said. However, because of the unspoken and unsaid interpersonal pressures, bullying, exclusion and many other things, I had to let go , and protect myself and my manager from psychologically suffering in the workplace simply for fighting for what is right and for applying what code of conduct says. I am sharing this story publically today for the first time. And I see this person still in her career path, and still holding management positions, I ask myself, how many would have suffered after me, and what could a junior person like me back then have done? And would I have found proper support and action taken on her…
With that incident in mind, I keep my promise to myself, to never care about what reference check I might get from her, or pote tial people like that, and to make sure to strive and fight for change even if it would be painful. And to keep my humanitarian cause within the workplace my number one motivation and driver, to make sure unwritten rules are there to defend someones rights when written rules fail to do that and to respect psychological contracts when written contracts fail to respect.
Leaving you with a picture of clear blue sky because I ran out of ideas of what would suit this the best…
عزيزي القارئ، هذا المحتوى لن يعجبك فهو لا يعجبني أنا ايضا. بل يؤلمني ويجعلني اكتب الساعة ٣ فجرا بدلا من النوم
اليوم قررت ان استعمل حروف لغتي. قررت ان استعمل العبارات بجذورها، والكلمات التي كونت شخصية وطبعة مجتمعي وحياتي.يجدر القول بأنني لم استعمل الفصحى منذ زمن وهذا يخيفني قليلا لانني اشعر بانني افقد جزءا من الماضي. ماض لا اريد ان افقده. وكأنني افقد جزءا من هويتي الثقافية العربية. من طفولتي ودروسي ومدرستي
لقد بدأت قليلا بالتاقلم مع واقع انني لن اعود الى وطني قريبا. ساكون صريحة جدا، جزء كبير مني كان يعيش في وهم، وجزء اخر كان يحميني، وجزء يريد ان يحلم ويتأمل. وبذلك، كنت دائما في حالة سياحة. اعيش كانني سائحة في هذه البلاد وفي اي لحظة احزم امتعتي واعود الى قريتي الصغيرة، ومنزلي بين اشجار الصنوبر، وسريري حيث استيقظ مع بروز اولى خيوط الشمس من الجهة الشرقية، وحيث ارى خطوط الالوان في الافق على بحر الغروب. جزء كان مستعدا للعودة الى طبيعته، حياة الصخب وعدم الاستقرار، حياة الخوف والتشويق، ضوضاء الاصدقاء والعائلة، اصوات الجيران وعائلاتهم، الموسيقى في جوف الليل عند الجبل المقابل، الاضواء وليالي الصيف الهادئة عند انقطاع الكهرباء، وماراثون القفز من سجادة الى اخرى في شتاء جبلي، حيث ترف الدفء ينحصر في غرفة واحدة فقط. زحمة السيارات وتسارع الناس في طريقهم الى بيروت حيث بضع دقائق متأخرة قد تصبح ساعة اضافية. بائع القهوة على “الاوتوستراد” و الالف او الفين ليرة الزائدة التي نتكارم بها كبخشيش لهؤلاء الاشخاص. سجائر الصباح وفتحة شباك السائقين.رماد، ثم شفة قهوة، نفس سيجارة، برنامج الابراج عند الصباح…حتى لو في قرارة انفسنا، الابراج خرافة، ولكننا نتمسك بامل صغير خرافي، لعل اليوم يصبح جميلا، لعله يحمل خبرا سارا، رزقاً طيباً، او شخصا جديدا يُدخِل على حياتنا القليل من الحركة، في وسط ديناميكية روتينية
اتصفح “الفيسبوك” ، ثم انتقل الى “انستاغرام”، واقفز كريشة “راكيت” من جهة لاخرى، ارى تعليقات الناس، تهجمهم على بعضهم، اختلاف وجهات النظر السياسية، تحديات البعض، انتقادات، تهديدات، لاجد نفسي كل مرة في تلك الافكار، انني انا، ومئات آلاف اللبنانيين، ندفع ثمن هذه الكلمات. فئة من الناس مغلوب على امرها، لم تستطع الهرب من الواقع كما فعلت انا. لم يحصلوا على تأشيرة، لم يستطيعوا ايجاد عمل، او حتى منحة جامعية، تنقذهم من براثن الاشخاص المسيسين المحيطين بهم. هؤلاء، فقط، احزن عليهم. لا تعني لهم السياسة، ولا السياسيين، ولا الطائفة، ولا الدين. يريدون العيش ، بسترة، بكرامة، بفرح، بقليل من الحب، عائلة صغيرة، وشريك يدعم، ورحلة من وقت الى آخر، بحر وشمس، وعمل ينجحون به
وهناك فئة، تدعي الفهم، وتدعي انها ضد الفساد، وتدعي انها متحررة، اشخاص من جيلي، ربما اصغر حتى، يتم اطعامهم وتلقينهم كيفية التفكير، وهم، اخطر من الفاسدين بحد ذاتهم، لانهم وبصراحة، غير مدركين لكيفية مشاركتهم في الفساد، والجهل اكبر عدو للتحرر والتقدم، واكبر عدو للانسان والانسانية. اشخاص يدعون الثقافة، والمشي على خطى اجيال عريقة، لكنهم غير مدركين ان الزمن تغير، وزماننا بحاجتنا نحن ، بفكر مختلف، وافعال مختلفة، ومبادئ مختلفة. هؤلاء، لا احزن عليهم، يستحقون الفقر الحضاري والحياتي الذي يعيشون به، لانهم اختاروه ، وشاركوا فيه، ولا زالوا يشاركون. في هذا الزمن ، لا حجة للجهل. نحن لسنا كأهلنا. هذا ابدا لا يعني انهم جهال، ولكنهم في شبابهم افتقدوا الى المصادر والموارد اللازمة للحصول على كمية المعلومات التي نحن نحصل عليها اليوم بكبسة زر. ومع ذلك، انحدر الفكر اللبناني، وانحدر مستوى المجتمع ، وانحدرت مبادئ الناس وطريقة كلامهم، معاملتهم لبعضهم، تهجمهم على بعضهم للاسباب الخاطئة، وسياسة الالغاء التي يتشربونها. انا او لا احد. نفسي ثم نفسي
سياستكم هذه يا رفقاء، تعيد تفعيل الفساد القائم في منظومتنا، بل تؤكد انكم انتم المشكلة، وليست السلطة ولا الدولة الا انعكاسا بسيطا جدا، لما انتم عليه في حقيقتكم. اسفي الوحيد، هو انني انا، واشخاص مثلي ندفع ثمن جهلكم، وغبائكم، وغطرستكم، ونرجسيتكم، التي تدعون بانها حرية، بينما انتم تتنعمون بجبال جميلة، وبحر جميل، وشمس دافئة، وطقس معتدل يرد الروح الى مكانها، تتنعمون بلبنان ونحن نمشي كالبدو الرّحّل من بلاد الى بلاد نبحث عن بديل قريب. شيء يشبه لبنان، ونبحث ونبحث، وفي رحلتنا، نخسر حب الحياة، نخسر هويتنا ، نخسر عائلاتنا، نخسر لحظات حياتية مصيرية، ونخسر اصدقائنا، نخسر الشمس والبحر، نخسر الربيع المزهر والخريف المعتدل، والصيف الراقص، ونبقى في غربة لا نهائية، نبحث عما يشبه انفسنا وحياتنا، ولا نجده،ونحلم بوطن فيه اناس يشبهوننا، حتى نعود الى لبنان جثثا هامدة ، لا عاشت فيه ولا عاشت خارجه. بينما انتم منهمكون بالدفاع عن فلان وفلان، وبينما تتعصبون لطائفة تافهة لا تعرف اصول الدين اصلا، وتتعصبون لكيان صغير لا فرصة له بالحياة ولا الكينونة، تصرون على إحياءه، وتنسون كينونة باكملها ، وهي ان تكون انسانا. وأن تتحلى بالانسانية. لا يكفي ان تتكلم وتكتب وتتعلم وترتدي الثياب التي ستعيش سنة او اثنين في خزانتك، وعطورك وسياراتك الفخمة او المتكسرة، كلامكم التافه لا يغير الواقع، بانه طالما كلامكم العدائي موجود، طالما انكم تساهمون في ما انتم فيه
والنظر الى المرآة صعب جدا. والجاهل واثق من نفسه بينما العالِم يشك بنفسه في كل لحظة
لقد وصلت بكم نرجسيتكم، لدرجة انكم تظنون بانكم مصلحين واخيار ، وان الاشرار هم “الآخرون”.طبعا لا يهم من هم “الآخرون”، المهم انهم “آخرون” ، لانكم في اعينكم انتم دائما على حق. ولكن ، في خضم ضوضائكم، تمر الحياة، ويتطور العلم، والكرة الارضية تتغير، والفضاء يصبح مألوفا اكثر فاكثر، والطب يتغير، ووسائل النقل تتغير، بيئة العمل تتغير، والحياة تمضي والناس مشغولة بعلومها وابحاثها، تتغير معالم الحياة البشرية كما نعرفها، بينما انتم مشغولون بتفاهاتكم وسطحيتكم وحقدكم على بعضكم الاخر. تستحقون ذلك، وعسى ان تدمركم كراهيتم، فيصبح هناك امل، لاشخاص يحبون لبنان، ويحبون الحياة، ويستحقون ذلك الوطن، بان يعودوا ويبنوا ما دمرتموه بافكاركم وافعالكم وفسادكم اليومي المتشرش في كل حركة وكل فعل
لا تنظروا بحسد،على كل من سافر، ولا تنظروا بغيرة، من شعوب قد بنت بلدانا “راقية” فانتم اينما وجدتم لن تعرفوا ثقافة البناء ولا ثقافة الحياة. لانكم لم تنظروا الى غيركم على انهم بشر، ولم تكلفوا انفسكم بتضحية في سبيل مصلحة الغير. ولم تضحوا بمصالحكم لسبيل مصلحة الوطن والكل. طالما تعيشون في ثقافة ” نفسي وغيري يسطفل” طالما انتم لستم بشرا بعد. وطالما هذا الفساد والانهيار يليق بكم. انتم، واهلكم، اخذتم ارضا جميلة، وحولتوها الى مقبرة الحياة والاحلام
وعزيزي القارئ، قبل ان تقرأ وتضحك بتهكم، احرص على انك لست منهم
ربما هذا الشخص هو انت، ربما هو جار لك، او زميل، او احد من الاقرباء. الحقيقة تجرح. ولكنها حقيقة. اذا نظرت الى حياتك، او حياة احد هؤلاء ، ونظرت الى الاستراتيجية اليومية، سترى انك انت، او احد من محيطك ايضا مثل هذه المنظومة ، تعيش كالفطريات، على حساب صحة الجميع. تقود بسيارتك كالمتهور، لا تلتزم بقوانين، حين تسنح لك فرصة استغلال شيء، تستغل، بحجة رزقك، كلامك مؤذي غير بناء، وتعتبر ان هذا ذكاء وحيلة في الحياة. ترى انك ضحية، ولا تفعل شيئا حين تسنح لك الفرصة للتغيير لانك مقتنع بانك لن تغير شيئا. لان الجميع يفعل ذلك ، لماذا انا اغير؟ ماذا سأغير انا وحدي؟ اذا انت منهم.. انت مثلهم، وانت منهم
تنتهي حريتك، حين تبدا حرية غيرك وانانيتكم تنتهي ، حين يبدأ تشردنا في بقاع الارض
عسى ان ينظف هذا الجيل باكمله من وباء الجهل، وعسى ان تفتحوا اعينكم، على انفسكم، انكن ستموتون، دفاعا عن لا شيء، والحياة لن تذكركم، الا بانكم جيل قد مر، كان حثالة ، وفسادا وتخلفا وجهلا، جيل دمر حياة اجيال باكملها ومستقبل اشخاص وامة باكملها. وانتم لا زلتم في قوقعة غباءكم، تهتفون لفلان لانه حصل لكم البنزين، ولفلان لانه دفع اقساط مدرسة اطفالكم، ولفلان لانه “زفت” الطريق، وفلان لانه دفع ادويتكم. جيل قطع حياة جيل آخر، كان يجب ان يكبر في استقرار، ولكنهم الآن فقدوا ابسط احلام الطفولة
كيف ننتظر منكم معاملة الغير على انه انسان، اذا انتم لا تعرفوم حقوقكم ولا تنظرون الى انفسكم كبشر
عذرا، ولكني لم اشارك في الفساد السياسي ولا في فساد التصويت، ولم ادفع رشوة، ولم افضل حقي على حق غيري. كنت اقف في وجه الخطأ حتى لو كنت ضحية الاذى. لكنني كنت محظوظة بانني هربت. لا اكثر ولا اقل. لن اقاوم لناس مثلكم، ولن احارب كي ابني وطنا فاسدا مبنيا على كراهيتكم، ولن اضحي بنفسي من اجل ارضي طالما هناك كائنات شبه بشرية تعيش فيها وتحتلها. لكني احزن، بانني افتقد غرفتي، وابكي كثيرا وافتقد عائلتي. لدي كهرباء ودفء ومياه، وميترو وترامواي، واستقرار وهدوء. لكني غريبة في غربة، بينما انتم تعيشون انقطاع الكهرباء مع احبائكم. وتمرضون في احضان امهاتكم ، وتستيقظون تحت شمسكم . ريت هناك احد، يدفع تذاكركم جميعا الى الخارج، ونعود نحن، كي نبدأ كل شيء من جديد وخذوا الكهرباء وخذوا الدواء ، ودعونا نبني لبنان ببساطة ولكن ربما بأكثر نقاء
كلماتي قاسية جدا، ولكنها وليدة واقع نفسي متأرجح بين الحزن والكآبة. هي وليدة تجربة قصيرة ولكن مكثفة.
ابي قد كان يتحسس من احاديث السياسة والدين في المنزل، وعلى الرغم من انه كان يشاهد الاخبار ويتحدث عن الوضع باستمرار مع اخوته والجيران وبائع الخضار في ضيعتنا، لكنه منعنا من التحزب، ومن التكلم عن الدين. شكرا جزيلا له. لان هذا ما كنا بحاجة اليه، كي نجد طريقنا بقناعة وكي نتعلم حب الاخر من دون شروط. ولدت على هوية درزية، لام غير درزية، وتعلمت ان احب الناس، لاني احبهم، ليس لانتمائهم، ولا لانهم يصلون او لا يصلون، ولا لكيف يصلون. اخترت ديني بنفسي، وهو ليس الدرزية، لان كل ما تعلمته عن هذا الدين، هو سياسة الفصل والنظر باستعلاء عن من هم من غير هذا الدين. لقد سمعت من معلمة الفلسفة ، ان الذين يتزوجون من غير دروز، ابنائهم يحملون دما غير صاف. نعم. في ظل صراعي مع اكتشاف هويتي، وبلوغ المراهقة حيث كل شيء غير واضح، معلمتي التي كانت رسالة للفلسفة “والحضارات” قالت ان دمي غير نظيف، غير مدركة ان امي ليست لبنانية حتى. لا زلت اتذكر كلامها حتى اليوم، واشكر ربي انني ابنة أبي في هذه الناحية، انني تعلمت ان احب، واحترم الناس، واساعدهم، دون خلفية، دون حكم، من يؤمن، كيف يؤمن، اين ولد ولمن ولد. طالما هناك اشخاص مثل هؤلاء، في نظامنا التعليمي، لا امل ببناء وطن. ولا وطنية، ولا انسانية. ولا حتى حضارة
سهل جدا ان نلوم كل العالم على ما نحن فيه كلبنانيين، ولكني قليلا ما رأيت اشخاصا، مدركين لما يتطلبه التغيير الفعلي. وما هو واجب الفرد تجاه مجتمعه، وتجاه نفسه
كثيركم فطريات.. وقليلكم مغلوب على أمره، نحزن عليه، اننا لا نستطيع بامكانياتنا المحدودة انقاذكم من الواقع المرير في تلك الارض المحتلة
اترككم مع صورة سماء تافهة لكثير منكم، وذات قيمة لكثيرين اشتاقوا ان يجلسوا تحتها مع اهلهم
There is this popular song now in Arab world and it starts by saying “I hate this city, I hate its roads”.
I recently switched my taste in music to have more Derbakke (or Darbuka as you all know it ) based songs as not to feel nostalgic or emotional. This genre is usually more active and optimistic even if the lyrics are sad.
As I previously mentioned in one of my posts, language has great impact on emotions and deffinitely when Arabic turns to songs you can imagine how emotional and full of intensity the lyrics are along with rich instruments used to describe each emotional state. That is why I became more conscious of the songs I listen to as not to feel depressed more than I am.
When I hear this song, my feelings are not even activated. Its like , yes I dont like this city, and I am not enjoying walking on its streets, and I don’t care.
My friend texted me today, she is in Paris, and she just told me I feel nothing, and I imidiately told her, great, your brain immunity is healthy and functioning well. It is protecting you well from sadness. I said I feel the same. And honestly, I am aware that this is just my psychological “vaccine” that is blocking all sad emotions to eventually end up feeling nothing.
I feel nothing listening to sad songs , nothing listening to happy songs, nothing staying home alone, and nothing going out and socializing. And this has made me wonder, what is worth me doing this to myself.
3 years is enough time to make you either happy and satisfied with your life or simply not. However I was not able to put this all together and analyze it as I was much inside myself. My dad once called me and said it so simple, dear, 3 years you are not happy it’s enough time to know its time to move on. He is always right, he always knows what to tell me, when to say it, and honestly, with big life decisions I have always turned to him for guidance as his advice never failed to push me towards success and relief. And this time, somehow I wasn’t listening. I was too much feeling the intensity of change that I never thought of seeking advice on this. Just when I was completely down, he told me one thing that will always resonate : “nothing is worth losing yourself”. And yes, I have lost myself here. And No, it is definitely not worth it. Im sorry Prague, you are nice for few days to look around your buildings, but to have a life, you are so out of the world. And you are definitely not worth me losing myself.
Last summer, I was almost losing my sanity, from all the strange people I’ve seen here, that didn’t resonate at any level to my culture and values, my solution and insulence was a trip back home, and even that, I was not able to do. My close friend,neighbor and colleague, was sitting with me one night, and I told him, do you want to go to Lebanon? He didn’t even think and said yes. He was the one who booked our tickets, and that was my motivation to finally, get some courage and travel back home.
It was the best summer I had so far.
Imagine how stuck we tend to be, making decisions, even while we know that this change will make us happy and good. Somehow we are immune. Well, some people more than others. Change, for a person like me, even for the better, is such a difficult decision to make.
This character somehow was born here in Prague. When I even moved here, it was very spontaneous, I didnt think twice. I actually am not a risk taker but I can be impulsive making life decisions when it comes to my well being. I never hesitated cutting off someone dear to me if they were toxic, never hesitated quiting a job, nor moving outside my country. I do always calculate the risk, and do not mind consequences if this means I will end some toxic cycle in my life. And my blind faith in God has always made me trust the timing of these decisions. Just something changed. In these 3 years, I drastically changed, and booking a ticket to visit home, became so difficult. Going to new restaurant, became difficult. Trying a new dish, walking through new street, changing the series I watch on Netflix, and it goes all the way to daily habits.
To know the reason behind this, I am still unsure. I might be seeking some security, some familiarity, some stability even if it means routine. Or I might have developed a new fear of change after the last change I had which was coming here. Maybe somewhere in the back of my head, my own brain stopped trusting its own decisions. Maybe it is saying something like : ” oh we saw your last decision to move here how unhappy it made you, you are not doing any change again”. I watched friends on rerun around 8 times. And I would have kept watching if they didn’t remove it from Netflix. This shadow of my soul, I am not familiar with, and Im just getting to know it. I keep looking for new things to watch and then I end up being scared that I wouldn’t like it, until I go back to the familiar.same with food, same with my clothes, same with every other thing in my life.
That’s a great recipe to miss out on life.
I don’t explore new countries, I don’t risk on new dishes, new places, new restaurants…
And all the new things I experienced here, whether foods, places, or movies, were decisions actually made by someone accompanying me on that particular moment, and making the decision for me. I somehow ended up trusting others more than myself.
I was planning to go visit my family in Saudi Arabia, as that’s where they are all at the moment. And I have been postponing for so many reasons. First the work, then Vaccine, then the Visa, and now basically, I am not going because “I need to pack my stuff”. I got the Visa, just this time, there is nobody to book the ticket for me. I will have to do it by myself. And it seems to be the most difficult step to make.
I have made some progress though, I am going outside my doorstep. I succeeded twice this week in taking myself out to buy food. And in watching some new movies and series.
I succeeded in obtaining my Visa. Now all I have to do is book a ticket. I know I will feel much better with my family, just a decision to change seems so difficult.
How do you people make decisions? What goes through your mind the moment you try a new place? A new dish? The moment you book a ticket to a new country? Or to simply go to a new spa? How do you make these decisions? What is the emotional motivation behind it? I would love to know. I would love to get a glimpse of what your brain is experiencing at that moment, maybe I could take some new perspective.
How do you tell yourself enough? How you end cycles of sadness, how do you decide to change?
What happens when being happy is not enough of motivation to drive any change?
The funny part is, Lebanese are used to continuous change, nothing is as it is from day to day. I, supposingly am used to this chaos. What happened? Maybe it’s a reaction. Maybe its a new allergy.
Maybe it is just Prague not resonating with me causing this extreme need to be stable, or familiar. It has managed to weird me out to the point that I am clinging to anything familiar, even if its boring and normal.
I will let you know once I finally book my ticket, and how that goes for me. I am collecting the courage to do so.
For the time being, how did I jump from songs to this, I’m not sure. But I thought to share this, many of you would read and feel that change to them is a motivation itself, many would read and resonate with what Im saying. No matter who you are, and how you manage making change, whether you try out a new dish everytime in a restaurant, or keep ordering the same for years, share with us what goes through your mind whenever you do what you do. And keep in mind one thing, no matter how hard change is, “nothing is worth losing yourself”. And for now, this is the only “motivation” which is somehow pushing me, even if very slowly, to do some baby steps and take action to make things better.
May we always find courage to change for the better, and always trust our own decisions.
Leaving you with a picture of “change” from day to night. And how beautiful and colorful this change was.
It was 2016 when I first heard someone telling me that Im a marshmallow. It was my colleague who later on became one of the dearest closest friends to my heart.
Before you continue, you will need a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and lots of contemplating energy, you are about to enter, my VR.
So 2016, up until that time, I was mostly viewed as mean, rude, quick to react,tough so lets say an angry bird. Of the many words I hear from close people and descriptions from family members. Only person who never said that was my father, and my brother who was ofcourse viewing me as a little drama queen. Normal for big brothers in this side of the world.
I don’t know if people generally feel that, but maybe some do feel it more than others, it is very tiring to be me.
Yes, I argue a lot, No, I cannot nod and say yes. Complimenting in a society which is living on sugarcoating and admiring one another ( will get to that in later posts) was never my strength because I either complimented when I really admired , or shut up when I don’t find anything extra or interesting. So, people who were seeking extra validation, were bit unlucky seeking it with me. You can notice my facial expressions numb down, the eyes go in normal position, mouth gets a bit heavy from the sides, and the words don’t come out and if they do, they were better left unsaid because I was horrible faking it.
It was tough to let me out of trouble even if it’s not concerning me, and the inner defense attorney has been in me as long as I can remember myself existing. There were scenes from kindergarten where I remember some friend being bullied or discriminated and I would fight others for them not to feel as bad.
I used to hate seeing students being punished by teachers and I remember the instructor holding one young boys ear for misbehaving. If you are wondering, yes our schooling psychological wellbeing and discipline methods were not as developed. Physical abuse was ok, because generally older generation used this as way of disciplinary action towards any disrespect or misbehavior or even sometimes for just being a child. Luckily to say, we never had this kind of treatment at home, and when once it happened at school, the mama bear woke inside of my mother and I remember how she went to argue with the teacher who did this.
Nontheless, I really can easily get out of topic ( also something from childhood), so, I would be very upset seeing those scenes at school, and for me eventhough I knew some students were misbehaving, however I never approved of this way of socially shaming someone as way of teaching manners.
I was the one always respecting teachers, but also being very rebellious and defying in matters of principals and ethic. I would not suck up to the teacher in elementary school, I would not agree to go with the flow, eventhough it proved to give good result, but never for me was it a thing to be able to do, for the mere fact that if im good , I will earn my grades, if not then I rather not be graded high for something im anyways not good at.
Fighting with the bus driver, for the sake of others, getting a new bus driver and leading everyone into going with him, manipulating the crowd for their own good, and cutting the other guy out of the game because of simple misbehvaior and abuse of our need of him.
Growing up a little bit to mediate to parents and bring closer points of views of my best friends’ to their parents.
Fighting off discrimination against being child with a mother who was non-durzi ( druze is a small levantine religion, very closed and secretive,not inclusive, and does not accept any marriage from a non durzi, around 5% of Lebanese population only) so, to know more about it you need to just watch youtube because to be honest, we don’t even know much of it as its not so open, with this tiny community , you will find many beautiful well preserved values, ethics and manners, all except for being inclusive. And for my mom’s identity, one way or the other, I and many mixed marriage kids, were discriminated on many levels. And the discussions would even end up in being indirectly insulted by “Phylisophy” instructor because of being a “non-pure”. Yes, we are a breed!
Growing up in continuous defense mode, I was not able to just say yes and deal with it. My mom on the other hand, is an admirable person, she landed in a foreign land, with very closed community , yet managed to understand them,integrate, overcome their discrimination and adopt their lifestyle. I, to be honest , could have never done it this way, and would probably end up fighting everyday with someone for some silly word or action.
I was always there in the front, holding all my artillery and ready for the battle, because if not me, then who? Because looking and seeing those surrendering faces around me, those diplomatic ways of survival, and the silent moments of simply disagreeing yet chosing not to argue, for me were acts of being passive and not existing. Ancient wisdom says, it takes strength to be able to be silent. Yes it does, but if all the great people in our history, decided to take this approach and be silent, we would never be in the world we live in now.
Those people who chose to fight off for their belief, for their views, for their visions and discoveries, were marked as crazy in their times, but they actually made a change.
What if Martin Luther King was dismissive, and he just decided to admit to the reality and just live with it and let it go? Just be silent and go with flow?
So many what ifs, and for me, I could bare myself living with many questions, with regrets over mistakes, but could never live with a what if? What if I did something that could have helped someone, changed a situation, did something. I rather regret doing than not doing.
The thrill of going into war for me, is my drive in life , and the believe that even if I get injured, it would save something, or initiate change if not now, on the long run, I feel achieved with all my battle scars.
And that’s where I can say, I am always out there to speak up when nobody wants. When nobody feels that it will make a difference to speak up, when everyone doubts the consequences of speaking up , my complete blind faith says if I do it for the right reasons, I will always win.
This always gave me strength and power.
At work, Im generally opposition, questioning hierarchy when needed, and fighting for change even if it means I won’t get my promotion or I might even risk my job. Yes indeed, if I were not me, things would have been easier. But I once said this, and will share it again, I come with a headache. Even in the family, I am not easiest to deal with.
As I gew up bit more I was referred as emotional and sensitive. Sometimes its even used as an excuse against any re-actions I make at work as a result of dealing with lots of bullshit and bullshitters. The thing which not many people are able to see, is that, I don’t work for myself, in this world I dont believe in I, as I believe human survival was built on collective effort, so was their evolution, and on this conviction, I function by default, to serve community where I am. So it’s not easy for me to keep calm, where majority of people function for their own success. Those generally view me as naive, simple or too good and stupid.
Im not saying one is right one is wrong, Im saying its my version of right and wrong, its my own reality, and the way I was made to be.
I usually end up standing up for someone and then see them walk in the line of their own “enemy” to end up being the one outcasted. In the beginning it wasn’t easy to accept, especially during teenage, but as I grew, this became normal, became a learning lesson for me, to do my work, and watch when people find out their own outcomes, and then realize my truthful intention all along.
Please, before I continue, I am not saying Im an angel , nor that I don’t mess up big time, just my reality is, rarely do I have bad intentions for people, because generally yes, I am naive. I don’t want to doubt every person around , that would be admitting to the nature of humans that its messed up, and that would frustrate me, I would prefer to live in my wonderland, where everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Yes, it means lots of disappointments, lots of unmet high expectations, lots of on off relationships, sudden cutouts from my life, and many many people in and out of it. Creates an image of an unstable person, and a lost one who doesn’t know a thing about people.
You know the worst part, I spot the bullshit in people, and Im able to name it and identify how it will affect the relationship from very few encounters, it’s just , I believe in people, and the effect you make when you are good to them. And I keep dealing on that basis, until something else manifests which makes me just eventually give up. I learn, experiment, and gain new knowledge from every encounter I have. And with that my instincts on people grow stronger. And still, to the closest of people I choose always to say oh I met this person and they are amazing. If I want to be careful all the time, treat people for who they are or what they do, many disappointments would come, and relations would be floating on surface. If i want to keep my shields up with ny expectations, how would I find happiness?
I keep hearing “you have high expectations of people”, I used to be defensive, used to deny this, and now I just say, so what’s wrong with having high expectations? How do you raise the bar and caliber, quality and impact, if you keep settling expectations. How would people learn to keep being better if we just keep letting go, if we just don’t allow high expectations. Honestly, I will keep having the same as I feel makes me happy, if i expect ultimate loyalty, honesty, support, respect, etc… does not mean I dont tolerate or understand, does not mean I judge, does not mean I am perfect, it just means lets both grow as people together higher with our standards and behavior. Lets learn and apply and keep trying.
And with all this being said, there is so much more to say, just for now I’m the marshmallow. The sentimental one, who gets affected by every single tiny thing, who captures unseen body vibes, comments, argues, displays disappointment
So many times I am just expressing the reality I live in, and its perceived as such. Everytime someone would tell me Im sensitive, it would burn some fire inside of me, as if im being underestimated, and my feelings are not real, and my thoughts are just vague, as if the whole substance im made of is not real, and the daily struggle to fight, is not there, as if this warrior feeling inside that has been driving me, has never existed, when all I know about myself , is this identity.
Yes I am sensitive when things require me to be , when I capture things that either should not happen, or would be better off not done, or have better alternatives. Yes, I become sensitive to that, and I express, and I do not accept and I should not accept because the reason humanity got to this point of being so careless about others is this, accepting and hiding sesitivity and just learning to deal with it.
I cry a lot, mostly when Im angry, and then when Im totally broken for being unfairly treated. Unfair to me counts even intentions, it seems so unfair to me, when I purely engage my heart, to find shortcomings from people.
And for a person like me , it is difficult to be me. It is much more difficult to be inside of myself rather than you seeing it from outside and having the option to run away and not deal with it. You can have a break from me , but I cannot.
Excuse my expectations, excuse my comments, excuses my honesty, excuse my tears in times of silliness, excuse my attention to details,excuse the way I blame, excuse the naive intentions, excuse my enthusiasm, excuse expressing anger and disappointment, excuse how seriously I take things and how seriously I take people in life, I live my life with my heart on my sleeve, and to many, this means easy pray. The one thing I say in my own defense, trust when I say, I will accept and forgive and learn and apologize and I won’t give up easily.
There is a polarity to who I am, and to what my character is, and for one thing, it’s so mich easier for me to sit back accept relax , smile and nod in approval. It is easier to maintain harmony, to keep cool. But, I was not made for this apparently, and for some innate natire I have since childhood, it would be unfair to not put into use what I can fully make use of. Even on the expense of so much tears, so much outcasting, so much judgement and disapproving eyes one me.
It was the first time I was called marshmallow, and since then, I understood who I truly am. A roasted marshmallow, burnt on the endges, soft on the inside, good for cold winter nights.
And the view of me being mean, tough or brutal, just placed itself in the right space, yes I can be that when necessary, I can do it when required, and when summoned and in the same time, I can be the one crying for one normal word being said with bad intention.
I felt like sharing a bit about me, and only me today, I know there is someone out there feeling tired of their own nature, just like me, and also some others tired of dealing with people like me…
Can’t explain much as Im figuring out my calling in life, just I understand one thing, if you have a set of skills, and you dont out them into use, you are wasting resources, and at the moment my set of skill is not knowing how to shut up, and I will try to use it for the benefit of it as much as I can.
To be continued in many many stories…
Leaving you with a picture from Lebanese BbQ remains, an accurate representation of what it feels to be me…