On Happiness

I tend to overthink about happiness, and how happiness can affect my life. I look at happiness as the main ingredient of a healthy life, and I do aim to obtain a healthy life, and a good life.

I want to live my life to the fullest, I want to do and achieve everything I desire on my own way. I aim to be happy, I want to be happy, and I simply want to be content and love living my life.

I always struggled with finding my own happiness, until I realized that I can’t carry on like happiness should be a result or an aim. But the more I live, and over think about the subject and look around me, and reflect on my way of living, I came to realize that I need to heal myself from all of my agonies and live a happy life, while the rest will simply tag along.

Someone once told me that I should think of money as a mean, not an aim (or an end) to succeed in life. I should add that the same goes for happiness, it’s a mean to a successful life, not an end.

 

The following video is not new, but I only came across it today, and I would like to share it as a clarification of what I just said.

A blog post (somehow personal)

It’s been awhile since I last posted anything in this blog. I have been neglecting my writing, and this explains why my writing is poor.

I’ve been going through a lot in the past few months that I’m contemplating whether I should share them in my blog. I haven’t been doing well when it comes to sharing private experience in public.I feel that this makes me feel weak.

Today is the international day of women. It’s the day of people’s greetings, and the pretentious statuses on Facebook (I did share one status two years ago, just to provoke some people around me including my mother). Regardless, what do women do today? Really? Write about injustice and chauvinism? Shouldn’t we talk about that all the time?

It’s like people forget there’s misjustice against women (and many other people,nations, animals, etc), and on a specific day alone, they start pretending to fight.

Why do I feel that I need to get myself out of all these places? Maybe I do need to log off the social media and start a life without the internet. But in doing so, I will lose access and exposure to all kind of programs, job opportunities and important events. This might sound ridiculous, but without Facebook, I wouldn’t be able to join the Scrip writing workshop, and I won’t be able to find a job as a research assistant and a director assistant. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind logging off Facebook. And no, I don’t have many connections outside of the social media to keep me posted on any kind of social and cultural events in town.

On another personal matter, I’m completely lost. I find myself wandering through my thoughts, and then still wondering why I can’t be more stable in my life.

The past few months haven’t been treating me well. I moved to a new apartment to endure the life with a roommate, and within two days I lost my job. With all honesty I can say I was having a dead-end job that meant nothing to me, but at least I was doing a good job, I had my own office, team and a decent salary at the end of the month that helped me live on my own, buy nice stuff, travel and save money at the same time. I was content.

Now I have no source of income, I have no source of direction, and I have no idea what I should be doing in order to gain control over my life. And all of my surroundings do not help me. No one cares, they all want me to find a job as soon as possible, and not any job, a stable job that I can be stuck at it for the rest of my life. Or maybe it’s just my mother. I do need a break from her. Everytime I go home, we fight, over and over. I can’t hold my temper when someone is pressuring me to do anything I can’t do. It’s the same with the obsessed-with-keeping-things-cleaned housemate, I can’t live in a place where I have to keep worrying about cleaning, and making sure everything is clean all the fucking time.

Today, late afternoon, I went to the University, which I haven’t been at for over four to five years. I must confess I was anxious. I was anxious to go to the university. Can you believe that? It’s has been years. But I would never go that far to the campus of the University of Haifa (though I live in the same city, the bus ride is extremely long), while having no business there.

I was invited for an introduction meeting for a new programme – a graduate programme for the theatre department. It’s a new programme and they’re introducing it to the Alumni of the theatre department. It was somehow interesting, it’s the first time they’re opening a graduate programme for the theatre department. Though I love this field of theatre, I found the programme unrelated to my future research field. I swore to myself that if I have to study anything in the future, it has to be inspiring and extremely, over-the-top interesting to me, or otherwise I would find it challenging, demanding and I will complain endlessly.

After the meeting I took a walk, a tour, at the university. It had been my home for four years, and I haven’t seen it in forever (five years are like forever to me). It was getting dark, but I enjoyed my walk in my favorite spots, including the library. Every spot brought me back to some memories, and flashbacks: some of them painful and ridiculous, the others are cheerful and nostalgic.

During my small tour, and on my way home, I thought about the new programme, and I thought about my other plans for my future studies. Even though everyone recommends studying abroad, I know I can’t afford it, and I don’t think I’m ready for any kind of scholarship. Getting a scholarship abroad requires more than I can offer, especially when I’m not quite certain about the field in question, and it means I won’t be able to work while studying.

Last year I thought about graduate studies in Films and Television. I thought if I can join this field, I can get into the whole movie business. But I spoke to my cousin (who is an Alumnus), and she advised against it. She said that if I want to learn film making, I have to force myself in the field itself, actively, rather than go to the university to study it.

Another graduate programme I’ve been thinking about for years is English Literature. I already have a BA in English Literature (combined with Theatre), and I enjoyed doing it,studying it, exploring it, and somehow excelling at it.

I wasted my time doing my teaching certificate for English, and for what? To teach? I don’t even want to be a teacher, at least not in schools. I must confess I do feel fulfilled while teaching, and I’ve tried teaching many times in my past. I would pursue it, but not in fucking schools. I simply hate going to school. Even as a teacher.

I would though consider teaching in the academy. It’s fascinating and challenging to teach something I absolutely love, and the more I think about it, I do love English Literature. I do enjoy researching literature: researching the psychological, philosophical and the historical aspects of the literary texts. Career wise, MA in English literature might lead to Ph.D, and that is lecturing at Universities. Or I can simply enjoy the benefit of having the opportunity to study English Literature further than just in BA.

I have few months to think about and apply.

In the meantime, I can continue working in the theatre, if the circumstances allow. And maybe I can try working in films as well, hoping that won’t jeopardize my near future studies.

I started writing this entry at the beginning of the day. I was frustrated, confused and anxious. My tour on campus today was therapeutic, and it led me think about my possibilities for next year, or the near future. It indeed helps taking a walk, going on a journey to the past. My journey, through the walls of the University, and the between the shelves of the library, made me think about my past experience, and my future experience, which contains more light than I imagined.

 

—- This is my first long post, and my first post about my private life. I usually write about my private life and feelings through poetry.

New year, nothing new

So the new year started yesterday. And so well it started: by a terrorist attack in Istanbul.

Isn’t it great? the way the new year starts?

We’re all hungover the next day, unable to do anything, but cope with the disastrous news of the expansion of terrorism through out Europe and the Middle East.

And yet, we keep on writing our very-much hopeful resolutions. Which none is resolved by the next year. Simply because we have too much going on and we have no say in anything.

So this hopeful new year has already started with terrorism, attacks, and there’s still war in the Middle East. Same old, as always.

Some people asked me “are you ready for the new year?” I so innocently responded with “It’s going to happen, whether I’m ready or not.” 2017 is just a number. Time is just a number anyway.

We can write resolution in May and still call them new year’s resolutions.

I decided to be vegetarian in September 2014, and I still am. That was the biggest resolution I kept. I didn’t have to wait for 2015 to start this lifestyle.

We can constantly make new resolutions that will make us better people, and we can only keep them if we truly believe in them and  want them as part of our lives. There’s one thing I learned from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which I read ten years ago: if I want something so badly, it will happen. Simply because I’ll find a way to make it happen, and somehow, nothing in the world can stop me.  And the same goes to my resolution, as long as they’re real to me, and I want them to be part of my life, I will find a way to make them happen. Now I’m working on becoming vegan. I can’t be part of the whole the animal product processing industries. I know I can do better than this.

I also decided to be healthy. I realized that good health is one of the main factors of well being, and living a fulfilled life. I want that. I want to be and remain healthy. Simply because I love myself and I want to take a good care of myself.

I also decided to be productive and focus on simply aims. For instance, I want to be a writer, therefore I’m looking for methods, whether by keep writing or taking lessons, to improve my writing skills. I need to be determined on this goal. Otherwise, time, which is someone made of combination of numbers, will just take its course on me and make me anxious.

I will also try to go to the gym more often.

Unsent Letters

We all carry a package filled with feelings. Whenever we meet a certain person, fall in love, or even just like a person; romantically or platonically. Sometimes, even at work, or at school, or anywhere, we meet people, we build a certain kind of friendship, relationship or even hostility towards or with any certain person. We carry feelings: of hatred, disgust, disappointment, friendship, admiration, compassion, love, heartbreak, etc.

Sometimes, we fail to tell people how we feel. We find ourselves tongue tied, embarrassed, shy, afraid, or even angry, and we think of avoiding doing to do anything irrational.

We are unable to show them how we feel.

For my defense, I always say how I feel. At the exact moment, after a short while, or even after a very long while.
I’m old fashioned, I write letters. Pages of feelings, thoughts, and ramblings.
I send those letters, mostly via e-mail. And I wait…
For a response, understanding, compassion… or simply nothing.

I reached a stage where I can no longer say what I feel. Especially after considering the consequences. The fear of rejection,to be misunderstood, to be pitied, or even he fear of knowing the truth.

I end up writing letters, many letters, in my head, in my journal, in my “Drafts” e-mail folder, on papers, in my poems, on my blog, on my phone, anywhere, and I never send them. They’re never delivered. And that specific person I had my heart to utter, never received a word from me.

It’s like having the ability to sing, yet I’m too stage frightened I can never even dare to go up the stage and sing the music I love.

It’s scary… to keep those unsent letters. But I made a folder, in my head, to save all of them. And never ever having the courage to send them.

They will be part of my memory. My journal. I’ll look at them in ten years, and I’ll either delete them for good, burn them, or just just contemplate whether it’s too late to send them, at last.

il_570xn-165858939

27, almost an adult (30)

In few days I’m turning 27. It’s 27, not 26 or 25. 27 is close to 30.

I mentioned before that I don’t care about age, and I even cannot wait to be 30. But somehow, thinking about turning 27, getting closer to 30, made me ponder over my age and who I am right now.

I’m 27, no longer young.

As far as the term “youth” is concerned, one can argue. Who is young? You can be 35 and still be considered young. And you can be 50 and people can also say “It’s so sad he died, he was so young – 50 years old.”

But in my world, I’m no longer a child. Looking around me, women in their late twenties are not young, and they all should get married and start a family. I’m way too far from that world. I’m not ready to take care of a pet, let alone my own offspring.

Maybe I’m not a children person, but that’s not what I’m mostly concerned about. I’m only concerned that I’m 27, and I still feel a child. In many senses: I don’t know what I want to do in the next 5 years, I have no real home, and I don’t feel that I’m doing what I should be doing. I always imagined that by the time I reach the age of 25 I would be on my way to lead a successful life.

I always imagined, dreamed and day dreamed that I will be something in my thirties, or even my late twenties. And I feel that I’m still the same person I was 10 years ago. I don’t even feel that I achieved anything. I look at my resume, and I still feel it’s empty, empty of success. I always imagined that I would be already a writer, an actress, a lecturer or even a business woman (not all at the same time of course) when I’m in my late twenties. And here I am, in my late twenties, nothing. Will I still be a nothing when I’m in my thirties?

I’m a loser. What is a “loser” person? in my own definition, a loser is someone who leads unsuccessful life and does not have many friends. How does that apply to my life?

1- I have a job. None of the mentioned above of course.

2- I’m planning a birthday gathering, because no one would ever hold a surprise party for me, and I was trying to invite everyone I’m a friend with. It took  me four days to make a list of people I was going to invite, some are close friends and others are not that close, and only five are coming. That somehow sums up my social life.

3- I have no love life. At all.

So, yes, I am a loser. And in three years I will be a thirty-year-old loser.

 

The love song of J. Asshole Profuck

Let us go then you and I
Where we left our hopes and dreams
getting drunk in that local bar
a friendly one, like most of them,
made us lose our conscious.

We can go outside and praise the sun
we can go to bed and forget the day
Yet, you need to wake up early
To leave me in peace
With my toys and all of my paint

You go out each night
To fuck around like a whore living in a park
You live in your own red light district
And then you drag me with you
Believing I belong to the darkness of your streets.

If I have to drink again
It will be without you
Provoking you to lie to me again
And again
Until your lies become my own reality
And your own as well.

The more you lie and make up things
You create our own reality
Filled with lies and dreams
Believing we belong together…
But the only place we belong together
is the one-night-stands
(all of them)
you imagine you had with me.

And indeed there will be time
to lie more and create
a world where you live in love
and passion
There will be time and there will be time
you will constantly say
until you realize that you have only said
there is no fucking time
for us to meet and clear everything
between us.

There will be time for me
to ask a question I never dared to ask
Do
I
Dare disturb your world again?
And I will.
I will disturb you till the end
because I’m obsessed
with everything you had with me
and everything I thought would happen.

You held my hands and said
“you’re beautiful.”
While we both know I looked pale
and wretched that night.

Yet, I believed you saw through me
and that beauty is what you,
and you alone,
can see.

But indeed there will be time
to believe again
and dream again and again
that you died and had finally gone.
There will be time
to live again and be content
far away from you.

May, 2016

(some phrases in the poem and even the title are based on/inspired by expressions from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. by T.S. Eliot.)

 

Their Independence is our Nakba

Nakba = Catastrophe in Arabic (or as I refer to it: the Palestinian Holocaust).

I don’t know how anyone would think it’s fair that we, the Palestinians living in Israel, have to acknowledge the Israeli day of Independence.

What should I feel when I see the Israeli flags hanging in every corner?

Why can’t we remember and mourn the Nakbah Day while we have to stand in the minute of silence for the Holocaust victims and their soldiers?

Why do I have to hide my distress with the state at work?

Why do I have to hide my true identity when I walk down the street?

And then I have to commemorate and mourn in silence on the Nakbah day or the Land Day.

How can all that be fair?

nakba_day_by_graphic_resistance-d3ga83r

 

Chemistry teacher

My sister handed me her phone, to show me her Facebook news feed and said “He used to teach you at school, right?”
I looked at her phone, not entirely grasping what was going on, or what was she trying to show me, or who was in that picture.
And then I read carefully, his name  in bold. His funeral was at that moment.
(This was yesterday, Saturday, April 30th, 2016).

This is how we find out who die now a days. On our news feed on Facebook. Facebook has become our source of news, any news, local, international, weddings, funerals, etc.

He was my chemistry teacher, let his soul rest in peace. He taught me chemistry for four years until graduation, and here the memories start.

It was ninth grade, before he started teaching me chemistry I thought it was a subject I will never understand, even if I studied twenty four hours each day. But he made it so simple for me, and I was believing in myself again.

I remember when it was the time he was going to retire, though he loved teaching, and we begged him to stay, because we know without him we will never know how to deal with Chemistry again. And he did, he stayed with us till the end.

I remember when we asked him about his birthday, and he said it was on March 8, The International Women’s day. And he refused to celebrate it, so we lied and told him it was one of our classmates birthday and we celebrated his birthday with him. He was happy. And I still remember I was quiet that day and he was concerned.

I remember I once took the highest grade in class and though he showed everyone how proud he was of me, he took me aside and said “I expected more from you.” I was his favorite and he always pushed me forward. He made me believe that I am smart and I can do better than I was doing. Though I took the highest of grades with him. I was never the best students in any class, except his.

I remember his classes, how I understood everything and how I developed a sense of humor during his laboratory classes. And he always went along with my jokes about every single experiment we made. I wanted to be the clown of the class, and he allowed me. And yet, I did wonderfully in his classes.

His death came as a shock to me. I never kept any contact with any of my teachers. And I always thought of them, how wonderful they were to me. How they helped me go through in high school. And this teacher in particular, he always believed in me. He always believed in my abilities, and always pushed me forward.

I know everyone will die eventually, I just never thought I would find out, as this experience in my life is over and I thought that the less I know about my school teachers, the more they will live in my memory as I remember them. But knowing one of them, a dear one of them, is gone, it makes me feel empty, upset, and mostly like I have missed a moment I will never get the chance to get back.

My condolences to my teacher’s family. I know I will remember him. He will be one of the best teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn many things from. If not Chemistry, then about my self and who am I now.

One after another

Here it goes again
one lie after the other
And here they go again,
every single feeling I have left.

Just by walking down the street,
I see your lies,
in an empty carousel.
The history of only five years,
flashing in front my eyes,
in just a mere moment.
Those five years felt like only five weeks.
Of complete agony.

Here it goes again,
another feeling of betrayal.
Another feeling of ridicule
and ignorance.

Here it goes again,
another moment,
of complete emptiness.
Worthless words,
pointless plans.
Vanished
within your hollow bosom.

Here it goes again,
one lie after another,
covered with your illusory affections.

And here I lie again,
ready to forgive and forget,
like I’ve done repeatedly before.
Risking another chance
to be real with myself
and finally move on.

 

April 8, 2016

On Friendship

Friendship will always be part of us, humans, we grow up on friendship, we live, grow old and die on/with it.

Friendship is a concept that many of us has failed to comprehend, or to grasp. And yet, most of us think we know what it is. We seldom succeed in appreciating it, or appreciating what we have. We try to look for friendship at the wrong places, on the wrong contents, and we end up all alone.

We live years trying to find ourselves, and we think we’re way too lonely to see what we can do, and eventually we settle for what we have, and loneliness comes again, this time stronger than before.

When we finally find our perfect soulmates, our own pick friends, we feel happy for a moment, and we realize that friendship isn’t randomly or selectively picked, it is found. Found in the corners of our hopes, our dreams, our sorrows, even our loneliness.

We’re not alone as long as we have the right people to spend our times with, laugh with, cry with and share our deepest darkest secrets. True friends judge, but not so superficially, some don’t judge, not because they don’t care, but because they trust you. Other friends just want you to be happy, sometimes to be sad to be yet ever so happy again, to the fullest.

I’m not a person with so many friends, mainly I cannot rely on many, I cannot trust many, and I cannot afford superficial friendship of “Hello, have a drink, and goodbye.”

My true friends are my family, my home, people I come home to, feel their warmth around me, in the darkest and the brightest of moments, and sometimes in between. And I’m grateful, I would never want to be apart from them, because they are family. They are my friends.

And here is what Gibran has to say about that:

“Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

By Gibran Khalil Gibran. Source: http://www.katsandogz.com/onfriends.html

When I travel (Spain)

I don’t travel much, mainly because I don’t have the time, the money, or even the company to travel with. But when I get lucky and do travel I find myself exploring an adventure that teaches me a lot about myself and how I see things. It also teaches me a lot about my surrounding. Things become clearer in my vision, and I learn how to let things take their course and happen, or not.

I recently traveled for few days to Spain: Barcelona and Madrid. It was a very short, exhausting yet exciting journey. I traveled with strangers that became friends. I let myself be me. I let things happen, and I enjoyed every second of my journey. I came home with resolutions, with decisions, and with a content feeling about myself, my life, my job, my talents, my mind, and everything I do and practice in my daily life.

My journey was short and I disappointed that I did not take advantage of every little thing. With all honesty, it wasn’t how I wanted to be in Spain. I wanted to take a longer vacation there and explore every single spot in Barcelona and live in the Shadow of the Wind. But it was all I had. And I don’t regret a single thing.

I fell in love with the city of Barcelona even though I only spent some time there. It is a city that one can feel belonging to, and can feel comfortable being there. The city welcomes every single citizen of the world, and embraces them with its old yet common buildings, and let people enjoy being there without feeling left out or way too poor or different to be there.

I saw myself living there, and I saw myself feeling comfortable and like being at home. The weather was nice, and it somehow reminded me of the town I live in, Haifa.

It will be nice to visit Barcelona again and enjoy it more. I will come back for sure.

Two pictures I took with my Canon DSLR 1100D, with some editing:

IMG_20160302_101140.jpgIMG_20160302_100908.jpg

 

Getting Old, or just Older.

“Can I just stay 25!!!” among the things some people say who are growing beyond the age of 25.

I personally always reply “I can’t wait to my thirties.” which sounds ridiculous and out of place. But I always say that to allow people to know that there is much more than age, and growing up. Hell, many people are turning 18 who were born in 1998. Oh yeah, my baby brothers are turning 18 in few months, and I watched them grow. Now that is amazing. I’m 26 and I don’t want to act 18, I don’t want to be 18, heck, I don’t even want to look 18. I want to look my best, that is all.

I have found just one grey/white hair on my head so far, and honestly, I like it. I want it to stand out. I would also like to keep all of my hairs white/grey when getting older. Not because I believe in the natural look (which I do by the way, most of the times anyway), but also because white hair should look nicer (I’m racist and stuck with black hair), and they can by themselves be a symbol of wisdom (right?), and frankly they shine more than the colors we try out nowadays.

Some people consider the early 20s as the best age one can have: being young, free, partying without limits, etc. We’re all been there, maybe in a different way, we lived our early 20s as we wished we would. I lived my early 20s with books, which was nice for me. Partying wasn’t really my thing. Getting drunk isn’t something I would brag about doing.

I’m 26, and will be 27 soon, and before I even notice I will be 30 years old. As you see, time flies, one minute we’re young and careless, the very next minute we’re looking for real relationships and careers.

We try to think of justifications to why we couldn’t achieve what we had in mind few years ago, and we’re anxiously trying to achieve everything before the age of 30. Why are we doing that? why do we constantly keep connecting our age with time? can’t we just let time go on its own without our age interfering? Can’t we just look at growing up or old as part of what we are doing? can’t we just think that by growing up or old we are evolving, we are becoming the best of our selves and that is what we are living for?

Mantra: I don’t care about growing old, I only care about doing things my way.

It was fun being young and stupid. But isn’t it more fun to be old and wise? without even achieving anything significant.

 

So here I would like to raise a glass of wine (the one my friend brought me yesterday) to growing up. And remaining true to our own selves and doing our best to live our ways, and to aging gracefully.