i don’t know who i am. i don’t know what i want. i can’t tell if my desires are real. i can’t even distinguish the chatter of my mind from the whispers of my soul. it’s the end of the year, and i feel like a part of me is being chipped away. i’m losing something. or maybe i’m subconsciously giving it away. i know that change is good, and evolving is wonderful, but the thing is that i’m not sure if that’s what’s actually happening to me. my hands are itching to grab a pen and write. but something’s holding me back. i’m afraid. i’m afraid of the moment when my flow of consciousness comes to a halt and there are no more words to write. and the funny thing is that i have somewhat been in that state of writelessness for the majority of the year. i’ve forced myself to carry on with a certain writing project that’s taken the joy and spontaneity of writing out of my soul. i haven’t woken up in the middle of the night with a poem bubbling to vapor into words for many many nights. i haven’t been in that timeless realm of pouring words and creating worlds in what feels like forever. words feel far away from me. i’ve somehow betrayed them by making myself stick to them in a particular manner to continue the project i’ve set for myself. and i can’t stop writing for it until the last day of the year or else i would have failed. i would have failed myself, my own promise, and i would have set myself up to the curse of incompletion for all the projects i will take on in my life. i need to finish it to show myself that i can. i need to finish it to tell the universe that i am a woman of her word. i need to finish it to have evidence in my mind that i finish what i start. it’s disrupting my usual flow of writing, and i know that whatever i’m writing isn’t authentic and creative as what i usually write is. but at this point, i am doomed to reaching the destination rather than enjoying the journey. i’m aware of how miserable and counterproductive that is, but i am learning. i’ve learned to set my goals realistically. i’ve learned to never again put myself in a system that forces me to write in a specific way every day of an entire year. it’s draining. it’s burdensome. and that just cuts the delicate thread of inspiration and leaves me breathless and lost. i’ve learned to see writing as being rather than doing — as something i am rather than something i do. and i think that all this suffering and frustration of the past months was worth it for me to arrive at this marvelous insight.
i’m starting to understand that life composes itself in the form of a series of seasons. you go through phases in which your personality portrays attributes and behaviors and beliefs and emotions which ultimately aim to expand your soul and fulfill its earthly purpose with the lessons you come out with. some seasons are harder and darker, while others are smoother and carry winds of serenity and peace — and only the wise of us can combine both, maintaining the innate and ceaseless peace of their spirit as they tackle the unpleasant circumstances in their outer world that are but reflections of their inner subconscious workings. i think that there’s no such thing as a mistake, no such thing as time wasted, and definitely no such thing as a bad person. we are made up of dualities and we have the innate ability to embody the exact opposite of what we are at the moment. by that i mean that one cannot value the magic of joyfulness without knowing the misery of sadness; that one cannot display genuine kindness and compassion without having witnessed or been an embodiment of anger and cruelty even in the smallest scale like a loss of temper or a slip of the tongue; and that one cannot possibly have a presence of peace and serenity and an attitude of equanimity without having been through the kind of deep suffering that seals itself with immortal divine wisdom.
in essence, we play the role of a canvas; we are the sky whose blueness is exposed by the light of sun, and whose darkness is revealed by the absence of it. our bodies are the vehicle through which our soul manifests itself; and our lives are the screen on which the movie of our minds is constantly playing — all to fulfill the sole purpose of soul expansion through a human experience.
i am in the recovery phase.
i fell and shattered and took a turn to a decision that elicited more fear in me than peace, and that smelled more of wrongness than rightness, and that felt too early than in the best possible time. the decision was to drop out of university at the age of eighteen, before even finishing my first year, and with no guaranteed plan for my coming days, let alone my years.
at the exact middle of the week, i faced the reality that having no purpose in life and nothing to fill my mornings with was not the way i wanted to spend my days, so i put the gear on reverse and spurred back to the decision-making district. i accepted the fact that even if i struggled through the coming three years, it would be more peaceful than suffering through purposelessness and floating in the sickening skies of uncertainty. the path of university has a guaranteed end to it, while the latter is plagued with foggy nothingness and fear. lots of fear. so i took the decision to carry on with my studies.
now it’s the end of the week and my mind is up in the sky, testing the cloud of the state i would currently be in had i remained in the same state of mind as i’d been in during the start of the week, and feeling utter relief and gratitude for lounging in the fluffy cloud of having done the right thing. hence, i refer to this as the recovery stage; i’m here, in the better position, but i can’t stop thinking about the mistake i would have made and the position i would be in at the moment had i carried on with it.
i feel like i’m a bundle of dwindling potential
for i have all these ideas and all these dreams
without a single clue on how to go about
bringing them to life
i feel as though i am nothing but a shadow
of the life i could be creating for myself
dark early morning
that makes me feel
like the whole world
that there’s no one here
and it’s not lonely
i wish it was in my own language that i befriended words
i wish it was in my mother tongue that poetry flowed through me
i wish, with deep anguish and shame, that i didn’t lose myself and stray away from the greatest language of all that i so happened to be luckily born into
photos by the incredibly talented Noor Al Ali