I am a sponge. I automatically absorb traits, behaviors, even ways of thinking that I like. I absorb experiences. I absorb anything I deem absorbable.
I walk into the office each day, “Good morning!” I say smiling to whoever is there. One day, one of my colleagues scoffs at my ‘optimism’ and says “She’s too young, she hasn’t seen anything yet,” to another colleague.
Smiling out a good old fashioned “Good morning!” has become too optimistic for some people now. How dare I greet people? That’s not the smartest move. I was astonished. So I started to think about our views of optimism, pessimism and our attitudes towards life with all its tiny components.
It’s very easy for us to identify sadness, negativity, depression. We’re humbled by them, they’ve become our comfortable and safe zones. But happiness and positivity? The different keys to them and the various ways to sustain them? No. That’s a luxury. Too luxurious. Lavish. Extravagant. Almost wrong. We’d be too greedy to merely think about attempting to attain them. And if one way or another they do come our way, we’re confused. Ecstatic but unquestionably bewildered. Oh. It was brief. Short-lived. Now we’re back to our humble comfort zones.
We focus on negativity. Let’s slice it up and analyze it. Peel it. Open it up. Fix it. We must fix it. Let us fix it. Exterminate it. Make it vanish once and for all. A lot of us keep failing though. We keep looking at things from a certain perspective and our outcome rarely ever changes. Cue the quote from a famous philosopher making me sound smarter, like I’ve done my research.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates.
Maybe that’s a perspective that could work for some. Others may have to fight the old first. The key is to actually take initiative. Let’s be honest, few of us seek and fight for happiness, satisfaction and contentment. Many of us, wait patiently for any of them to come knocking on our door. Alright. Then what?
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect.” – Unknown (at least to me)
You can create that moment or someone or something can bless you with it. A moment that almost has the potential to serve as a tipping point; drastically changing everything. One moment. A few moments. A car ride, a phone call, a holiday, an uneaten breakfast with a growling stomach filled with butterflies, impatiently waiting for a probable soon-to-come overwhelming occurrence.
You got the moment. What are you going to do with it? It has several effects on you. Most of which are superbly splendid creating a ripple effect of new perspectives on so many things in your life. You start to enjoy your morning tea more. Breakfast has never tasted better. Work offers a plethora of hours for you to think about that moment. Traffic isn’t so bad. Outings are more fun. You find yourself lacking time to think negatively. Physical exercise becomes easier, you’re enjoying life more. Life? Oh life isn’t so bad after all. Is it perfect? Surely not. There are wars, famines, droughts, discrimination, harassment and an unfortunate and heartbreaking on-going list. Oh and there’s your baggage as well.
Baggage so full that your reply to “She’s too young, she hasn’t seen anything yet,” would be a pitying smile. But back to that moment. That ripple effect. That glimpse of green light for a new beginning. Those delicious consequences.
You’re confused. You’re allowed to be. You dare to say that you’re afraid that this, like most happy experiences, will be short-lived. Will those moments feeding your thrilled soul run out? Could they be nourished and replenished? Now you get this thought. It’s a crazy one. One that’s going to make you sound too gluttonous.
Oh fine, you’ll say it. You would like to change your comfort zone. That submissive, modest zone you’ve become so accustomed to. I mean, after all, this is one thing that most of us could agree on? We want to be happy, right? You want to change your comfort zone to a positive one in which you’re generally satisfied. One that is not without flaws, negativity and bad or sad experiences, but one in which you can cope with those negative situations. One in which your default setting would be positive and pleased, looking at things from various multi-colored perspectives, learning from the littlest and biggest encounters in life. One in which you can work on sustaining your own pleasure and fulfillment.
Oh, child! You’re too young to think this might actually work. You haven’t seen anything yet.
We’ve all heard the comparison of life to a rollercoaster before. Well, surely that sounds about right. Look around you. It’s filled with ups and downs, sideways and in-betweens. Look around you again. It’s filled with a cornucopia of events and experiences! Ups, downs, sideways, in-betweens, and all other possible directions. The tipping point to changing your attitude towards life can be in the tiniest thing you do or the simplest thing you accept from another. It doesn’t always start small though. Point is, it’s attainable. Dare you say this attitude, these new perspectives could be nourished and replenished? Dare away. Put some effort and they will be.
I’m not an expert. Not on anything actually. I’d rather know sufficient information about many things than too much about just a few things. That’s me though. You’re different and that’s okay. Not okay actually, it’s great. Each one of us is an exquisite concoction of different traits, backgrounds and uniqueness.
Here’s the little that I know about this topic though, that whole absurd notion of wanting to be happy (yuck!) and sustaining that happiness. You need to work for it. More importantly, you need to want to work for it, you need to challenge yourself and take risks. The outcome will surprise you. It’s not great though? You’re not happy with it? Try again. You eventually will be. You deserve to be. Change things around. Take on new adventures. Try different things. Try different ways. 5 ways maybe. Wear a skirt. Buy red socks. But keep wearing mismatched earrings and colorful clothes. Keep saying “Good morning!” with a big smile on your face. Do whatever it takes. And be grateful. Oh. You feel down today. But wait. This will be short-lived. You’ll feel better in a bit. You’ve changed your comfort zone. So breathe. Now Stretch. Repeat. Fight for your happiness. Get pinned to fighting for it.
Interpret this as you may,
for there’s one truth here to stay,
I personally vow to make the effort
and for everlasting, I will pray.
My dear colleague at work, Omar, asked me, “What is your life about? What do you want your tombstone to read?”
I completely froze at first. He caught me off guard and I felt cornered but he was persistant and wouldn’t let me go without an answer.
I thought about all the different things that I aspire to accomplish in life. Instead of asking myself why I want to accomplish them in order to prioritize my list, I asked myself how I want to do that. I came to a conclusion.
Perspective. Whatever message I want to get across to people, whatever story I want to tell, whichever initiative I want to start, I know that the way I can do it best is through presenting it with a different perspective. Changing perspective allows you to see a lot more, not necessarily in content, but in depth and terms of understanding as well.
I want my tombstone to read: “Ohoud Saad. The one who showed us perspective.”
What about yours?
Take Karma for example, poor thing has been called all kinds of names, most popularly ‘bitch’. For Karma believers out there, and for non-believers just bare with me for the point I’ll attempt to make, for the notion and not necessarily this specific cause; humans, hear me out.
Some people fear harming others or committing wrong deeds just so Karma wouldn’t come around to bite them in the ass. Right? Well, how about you try being selfish for a change? Selfish, you ask? Yes. It can be good for you. No, really.
Why doesn’t anyone ever try doing something good so that Karma would come back around and pat them on the back? Reward them, if you will. Or has Karma been irrevocably stigmatized as a bitch in your head, you don’t think she’s capable of doing that? What goes around comes around no? Initiate what goes around as something good, something positive and believe that what’ll come around is something of equal value and grace.
If you don’t want to do something positive for no reason, hey, I won’t blame or judge you, I’ll just ask you to do it for the reciprocation. Do it with the very intent to be rewarded. Do it as a seed you’re planting to eventually get to enjoy the fruits. Don’t fear Karma, reach out to her. After all, Karma will come around eventually to…
Well, you get to decide that. And the beautiful thing? Think about how often and where you can implement this concept. Countless times in countless occasions.
Perspective. It all comes down to perspective.
It emanates on the face with conspicuous subtlety,
walking about with shameful pride in its stride.
Thoroughly covering every inch of the body,
taking the chance to leave the tangibles behind.
It brings about a systematically unmethodical process,
fostering fights between the body, the mind, and the soul.
Throwing fists, punches, throws, kicks, and lashes,
they each win a round with an aimless, bitter goal.
Praise them, love them, embrace them three fools,
they’ll eventually find their way.
They’re trying to set forth an elegant beast,
coming with feeble strength here to stay.
Pain is it, I see?
It looks so lovely.
Could it genuinely be,
a cursed gift for me?
If there was something that would cause my mother to get off an airplane, it would be a female pilot. She doesn’t go to female doctors nor would she allow a female mechanic to touch any broken item of hers.
I’m not going to ask to amend any laws. I’m not going to ask for women to gain more rights. I’m not going to ask for men and women to be equal. I’m not going to fight for women to be superior to men. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. It just means that I won’t.
I will fight for conceptual and thus societal change regarding people. I will forever fight for equal opportunities in the fields open to both sexes. I will fight for tolerance and respect. I will ask you to stop categorizing, stereotyping, generalizing, and objectifying both sexes. I will fight for individualism. I will not answer questions like the one I constantly have to ask people for work, “Do you know what women want?” Because any answer will (un)intentionally aim to generalize, stereotype and categories women, due to the fact that the phrasing of the question itself nourishes all these factors.
I will ask you to know what you want, man or woman, and work to your last sweat trying to achieve it. Fight off all obstacles, sing off whoever tries to shut you up, dance off whoever gets in your way, and do not succumb to general beliefs and just go with the flow. Occupy yourself, understand it, love it, embrace it, foster it, cultivate it and your soul will find its way to fulfill your true destiny.
Happy day to everyone :)
I am becoming a tree, unlike any other. My feet, shaky on the ground, elongate and sharpen, unsteadily delving into the wet soil beneath me. I feel disoriented. Trees are tough and fierce. I’ve discovered that I’m not, even though I sincerely and naïvely thought otherwise. Nonetheless, I am still transforming. My skin is turning rugged, maintaining its soft texture. I slowly lose one sense at a time. My eyes turn blurry as they fuse into the rest of my body as it’s transcending its humble form to become something else. My painful shrieks and cries become hums and whistles as the wind gently caresses my forming branches. I look down to find my trunk black. My trunk. I’m startled by the fact that I’m unquestionably becoming a tree. I don’t feel stronger, I somehow feel more fragile. This process is more exhausting then I had contemplated.
My feet are still stretching out to become one with the earth. My toenails are sharpening as they find something to hold onto, curling and crooking like hooks. The hairs on my legs stand, pointing outwards from my black stem. I’m becoming more comfortable. I no longer recognize my torso, I’m losing it to what I’ve become. My ribs have changed shape and color and now stand vertically in my insides to create the backbone of the tree. They’re still not strong enough. I’m flailing instead of standing my ground; losing strength instead of sucking it from the soil; my vitality is escaping me and I’m wasting energy attempting to reenergize myself.
I can no longer see, speak, smell, nor hear. These senses have all merged into one then amalgamated with my sense of feeling. It’s almost unbearable. I feel too much. I feel my roots still trembling beneath me, my organs shifting place and darkening, taking new positions and functions, my hands distorting and spreading out wide open with bones sticking out to make branches. I feel my hair being whetted. It’s green and stands out like that of a cactus. Swiftly and abruptly, I feel one last enormous pang. Collectively, my hairs are nailing me. I’m becoming a deformed, inverted, ruggedly soft and inexplicably smooth cactus tree. Yet somehow, I exist.
If someone accidentally shuts a door on your finger, deeming the pain unbearable, you’ll quickly open the door to release your finger and put an end to the pain. That sounds fairly reasonable and common. Your finger is your own and you can feel anything that happens to it. The door is an object with several benefits and a proper function. The act of it being shut on your finger is unpleasant and undesirable. A problem occurred and you knew what was causing it and you devised the solution for it and thus you opened the door. The pain will linger for a while but you’re certain that eventually, inevitably, it will subside. You wouldn’t just keep your finger stuck and be deluged with the pain. It’s invidious and displeasing, remember?
Then why is it that sometimes, when you’re in pain and you know what or who is causing it, you don’t attempt to free yourself and diminish the pain? You don’t enjoy it. It hurts. You know what’s causing it. Why can’t you let yourself off the hook? Why don’t you let go? Why don’t you open the door? Why are you holding on?
I had no arms. I slept to dream that I had no arms. Dream? I instantly deemed it a nightmare, an atrocious one. I had no arms. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to drive, dress, eat, drink, hold anything, shake hands with anyone, wave, type, draw, cook, make anything, work. Would I be rendered useless? Yet, the first thing that came to my mind was not any of the above. Without arms, I wouldn’t be able to be honest. I wouldn’t be able to rant, to speak the truth, to dream, or explore. I could talk, right? I’m one of the most talkative people I know. But when it comes to writing, that’s when I’m most honest. I didn’t think about any other arm function I’d miss. All I could think about was writing. I can’t speak of the truth, of how I truly feel, except in my writing. I can’t be honest with my self except through my writing. I don’t explore the real me except in what I write.
Was this a wake-up call for me to finally build up verbal and moral courage and put my over-use of speaking into good use? Into trying to speak more often of what I write and say the things that I know, if said out loud, would help me psychologically and physically? I don’t know. But I know that nothing, besides death, has scared me this much in a while. My arms shook at the thought of losing me; leaving me to my mind all by myself and my soul.
is a goblin that follows me wherever I go; watching my every move.
is a virtual version of you that perishes each night.
is a cup of tea to keep my sanity, but spills and burns instead.
is a light that I don’t seize.
is a doctor’s diagnosis and prescription.
is one of several boxes concealing, trapping, repressing.
is a lid that I desperately search for; only to never find.
If you were my pen, I would use you to scratch anything beautiful I wrote. I would use you to scratch any positive thought I scribbled. I would use you to turn any smiley face I ever drew into a sad one. I would passionately write everything horrible and obnoxious about myself. I would draw my nightmares into reality. But I’m my pen, you’re not my pen. Yet, somehow, we both manage to do all of the above anyway.