Archive for February, 2014

My pen pal!

Posted: February 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

I grew up always wanting to have a pen friend. I remember watching as my sisters exchanged letters with people from different countries when they were kids but I was always too young for that. Technology shortly took over and that wish moved from my want-to-do list to my would-certainly-never-get-the-chance-to one. I might have gotten the chance to do that though with people over the internet, but at the end it would always be within my circle, within my country, and they would eventually turn into very close friends.

Just this semester, I’ve luckily signed up for a children-writing course which offered us an opportunity to have pen pals from the US, with whom we’d have discussions over books, reading and children. I was excited about it, but deep down I knew it was going to be for academic purposes anyway and I wouldn’t really get to enjoy it. I was wrong!

I gave the professor my email, and waited for destiny to get me together with the person I was meant to get in contact with. On Thursday the 13th, I received my first email from my American pal and the words have been flowing between us since then! It’s literally one of the best experiences in my life. I’ve been discussing books with someone I’ve never met, and would most probably never meet, while still collecting pieces of her and myself along. It’s very interesting being exposed to a new culture through someone’s eyes, and answering her questions about our own culture that I would have never paid attention to its details if it weren’t for her. It’s very interesting having someone mess with my thoughts, without ever minding it because they’re just beautifully doing it.

I love it when words are the reason I’m connected with someone. I love the sight of our 1500+ worded emails that neither of us would mind reading even if they exceeded 3000 ones. I love painting my own image of someone in my head based on nothing but their very own thoughts. I love how the emails are still not coming to an end even though we haven’t gotten too personal even once. I love spending my whole day either imagining the possible replies to my questions, or typing up my own reply to her inside my head.

Even though I would have loved this if it were a letters thing, but still, this would definitely be the highlight of my entire semester. Thank God for the existence of words, and for the existence of those who’d always appreciate them.

A new challenge

Posted: February 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Six years ago, I used to attend this school which offered us what I now look back on as a blessing overlooked. In the midst of our busy school day, they’d set aside just 20 minutes following our break time, in which the whole school would do nothing but READ. To me, it was one of the most breathtaking scenes ever; walking through the corridors and seeing our classes full of nothing but students immensely engaged in their books. Both, the teachers and the students, took those 20 minutes seriously; the teachers always making sure that the atmosphere’s comfortable enough for everyone to read, and the students never skipping that part of the day, always having their books along, and quietly sitting down to read.

Looking back at it now, it wasn’t really just about those 20 minutes, it was about their effect and all what followed. I’ve noticed how every time I’d get too involved in my book, I’d come to the realization that the 20 minutes were over already and that I’d have to wait for the next day’s 20 minutes to take off from where I’ve left. It was too frustrating for me that I’d often catch myself involuntarily stealing peaks at my book whenever I had the time to, just to discover what the next pages were holding for me. I’d make use of every free minute to continue reading. I’d read on my way to and back from school, I’d read whenever I was done studying at home, I’d read during the weekends, I’d just always manage to find the time to read.

As soon as I came back to Egypt, it all eventually vanished. I’d just end up reading during the summer vacation, always coming up with the excuse of “not having enough time” during school time, even though I’ve already proven the opposite of that earlier. Last night, I decided to get back to this habit and see how it’d go. I only gave myself 20 minutes to read before sleeping, and surprisingly, for the whole day today I couldn’t stop myself from getting back to the book again and again. I unconsciously managed to get done with more than 100 pages on a day that I’ve normally been referring to as a “busy” one. It turned out to not be THAT busy after all, I just wasn’t giving myself the chance to lose myself in a book in the midst of everything happening around.

I’ve missed that. I’ve missed not minding how crowded the roads are, because I’d just want to continue reading. I’ve missed being able to lose sight of everyone around me as soon as I notice the words lying between my hands. I’ve missed not paying attention to the details of my day because I’m too busy thinking about the details of my fictional friends instead. I’ve truly missed all this. And it just turned out that, if I really wanted something bad enough, I’ll always know how to find the time for it everyday.

Sophomore me, take two.

Posted: February 2, 2014 in Uncategorized
Again, first day of the semester, on my way to university early in the morning. I think I’m growing into liking this habit; writing at the beginning of each semester, and I’d definitely want to continue doing it.
 
Despite that, it’s getting kind of hard looking back at who I was just a few months ago. I’ve matured, and I actually don’t think I mind aging that much now, which is a first. I think part of why people dislike maturing is because they sometimes start growing physically but stop doing it mentally, and I think I’ve gone through enough changes already that did help my mental state, a lot. It’s just hard to believe that I’m still not even half way through my journey yet, and that what I’m currently experiencing is just a glimpse of what I’m still about to.
 
First days usually excite me, I don’t know why. It’s like they’re a promising state of something new, or more of something unexpected. When I try to imagine how this semester’s possibly going to turn out to be, nothing really comes to my mind and that’s the exciting part of it. I’ve had my group of friends change almost every semester, I’ve had my interests develop almost every day, and so it’s hard to predict how anything would go. But it’s one of the few times in which I’m actually looking forward to all those changes I’m yet to go through, for I’ve learnt that they’re going to happen whether I want them or not, and so trying to make the most out of them is with no doubt much better than constantly wanting to stop them, for they’d certainly continue to happen anyway. I find the acceptance of such a fact fascinating for a person like me, and I so like the feeling of that.
 
I’ve grown into liking university even though I despised the whole idea a few months ago, and by university I mean the actual place; the campus, the buildings, the rooms, the people, everything, and it’s interesting that I already do have favorite spots, and places that remind me of other old days. This place is starting to seem like home, and it’s one of my favorite feelings in the world.
 
One thing that’s totally different about this semester is, I’m finally content with what I’ll probably be spending the rest of my life doing. I know where I find myself, and I know what I do best. It’s been a messy journey, but finally reaching this stage makes it worth all the effort. I’m done trying every possible thing, trying to understand what I like and what I don’t. I’m done studying things I dislike just because I’m obliged to. I’m finally doing what I want to do and being where I want to be. I just hope that this semester would not force me to change my mind about it all once again.
 
I’m excited about what this semester is holding for me. I’m excited about all the changes that are yet to happen, and all the new people I’m supposed to meet. For there’s one thing I’m sure about now and that is, I’m never getting out of this semester while still being the person I currently am, and for the first time, I’m actually looking forward to it all.