Archive for December, 2014

31 December me-s

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

Dear 31 December 2013 me,

I don’t know why, but I couldn’t go to sleep tonight before writing you this. I was thinking about you, and how you were sitting all by yourself in our old living room on a night just like tonight, with no one in the house but your sleeping sister. It was very dark and late, yet I remember how much you enjoyed the silence and the solitude.

You were typing up every tiny incident that annoyed you during the previous couple of months, to be sent with a resignation email to a person who has… (what can I say?) almost destroyed you. Do you have any idea how proud I am of you for taking that decision? You’ll never know. Many people do blame me now for doing it, and many others secretly think that I regret it. But I never did. Thank you for leaving me something that I could forever be that proud of. I know how hard it was for you. I actually very well remember how the reply you got the next day broke you down into tears. I remember the same silence that you couldn’t bear that night, and how you abandoned the entire house and went to sit on your own in the darkest spot of the farthest room, just to let your tears down and plead. I know how much it hurt. In fact, I am pretty amazed that you’ve passed through it all. I remember how you would randomly catch yourself tearing up every other day for the following month, how you avoided every possible human interaction, and how no one was able to reach you back then because of your extremely abnormal state. Actually, I can hardly do that now by the way, lol. People are always all over every possible social network, you were lucky you could disconnect. (Can you imagine that even WhatsApp has a read sign now?? I KNOW!)

Anyway, looking at you back then, and at me today, I realize that without you there would have never been me. I needed to go through what you’ve passed through, and I needed to experience the feeling of being a complete failure, which I know continued for the following 6 months. I needed to go that deep, so I’d finally be able to bounce back that high. You literally wouldn’t be able to recognize me if you were to meet me now.

I am way more strong, and way, way more independent than I ever was. I now understand that it was kind of God trying to get me back to Him all along, trying to let me see that as long as I continued ignoring Him, nothing was ever going to be smooth. I realized after then that He is the best listener one can ever be granted. I know how much you talked with people before taking the decision, and how the disappearance of certain people then pushed you even more to take it. It’s not the case now at all. I’ve grown quite detached from human beings in general, and quite close to Him. I’ve finally found the balance between knowing how to get the best of them without having them bring the worst of me. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without seeing how negatively it was all affecting you. You made me realize how badly I needed to change.

I’m also more honest now, I guess. I still keep things inside me at times, but when I am asked to offer feedback, I never stop at the positives anymore. I realized that no one would ever grow solely from hearing their positives. I realized that it’s okay to have my negatives being told out loud as well, and how important it is to actually openly discuss them with people. If everyone was meant to be a perfect human being, there would be absolutely no point of existing after all.

I learnt that for every problem, there always has to be a solution. It’s a given. And so I don’t stress myself anymore over the things that I don’t have a say in, for what’s the use of that if they will still go the way they’re supposed to anyway? I’ve learned to always weigh the drawbacks and outcomes of anything, before simply deciding it was a failure.

I’ve learned a hell lot of things in a very short period that I could forever keep on listing, and none of it would have happened if it weren’t for you. Tonight, last year, was the first time for me to take a fully self-decided decision on my own, one that was truly tough though. It was my very first step to being independent. It was my very first step to learning how to trust myself and believe in her. It was the first time for us, to not despise being me.

I will write you again soon, that’s a promise, for I’m still yet to learn a lot. And you’ll be surprised at how much I’ve seriously changed. I personally am. I will never stop telling everyone that because of your down, I am now up so high. I am not very sure where I’m going, but I’m sure that for someone like you to offer me that much, you must have really seen something in me.

I will never let you down, I promise.

Sincerely,
31 December 2014 you.

Advertisements

Background:

Who are introverts? We are not special creatures, I can assure you. We’re just the type of people who would prefer to get their energy from different sources than your regular ones, and we might need to be treated a little bit differently than your norm. You need to be cautious – and a little more considerate – when dealing with us, but we promise not to be a burden if you put some effort into trying to really understand our needs.

Sometimes we seem quieter and less interactive, but rarely do our close friends perceive us this way; since they get to see certain sides of us that no one is easily allowed onto. What’s mainly different about us is that we happen to recharge and regain our energy when we stay away from people. We need lots of alone time, since we get most of our energy from being on our own – just like others might get theirs from hanging around people.

  1. What do Introverts need?

If you have a friend who casually disappears for a few days and then reappears as if nothing happened, you do not have to fully understand what’s going on, just let it go. We’re only recharging; no depression, no sad feelings, everything’s completely normal. Yet in case sadness makes its way into our lives, we still dislike involving people in what’s bothering us. We might sometimes need to talk about it, but we’d rather settle it ourselves. Solitude heals. The important thing is, when we come back; don’t make us feel like we’re walking aliens. We really appreciate it more when you pretend that nothing big happened. We know you care, but talking about it makes things worse.

  1. Introverts at Home:

If you have a daughter who spends a lot of time in her room, do not worry. She isn’t secretly talking to misleading guys or coordinating with her drug-dealer. She just needs her space. Home might be the only place where she can finally get that, so don’t ruin it for her. Even worse, do not make fun of it, not in front of people – especially not in front of people. You can keep complaining that she hardly spends time with you, but you’re going to completely regret it if she decided to do it only for the sake of stopping the complaints.

If you have a sister whom you haven’t seen in months because of country boundaries and you’re rushing to make plans for her summer stay, think it over again. If she’s an introvert, she’s most probably only staying over just to be with you. Outdoor activities are not the only way to celebrate her presence; it might simply take just one heart-to-heart conversation to make her day. If she’s comfortable with staying at your place and doesn’t always feel okay about going out, do not make her feel bad about it; she’s just trying to be herself around you.

  1. Introverts at School:

If you’re a teacher, you probably enjoy randomly pointing at certain students in class to answer your questions. Do not do that with introverts. If the question needs processing, do not pick on someone unless you’ve already mentioned it and allowed them the time to silently prepare. It’s not just about you asking the question after all, it’s about the other twenty something pair of eyes that suddenly shift to us as soon as you point, with the pressure of their gazes touching every part of our brains and paralyzing them. It’s about the answers inside our heads that we know we’ve got but can’t find the right words for on the spot. It’s about our fast and loud heartbeats that hardly stop, blocking every possible thought. We don’t mind interacting in class, we’d just appreciate it if you’d wait for us to raise our hands; it’s always better to let us decide for ourselves that we have something worth sharing.

  1. Introverts on the Phone:
  • Hey, Jane. What’s up?
  • Nothing much. How are things going with you?
  • All’s well. Listen, can you please send me some of the pictures you took last night? I need them urgently.
  • I’ll send them now.
  • Ok, thanks. See you tomorrow.

This could be the ideal, most perfect phone call an introvert would enjoy; short, and to the point. Even better, some introverts are so into texting, that they wouldn’t actually mind spending hours talking to you about anything in the world over texts. It gives us enough space to process your words, to think and ponder, and then to type up a reply that we wouldn’t later regret – the way we would regret a forced one on the phone. Talking on the phone requires a lot of effort from us, and we don’t usually have the energy to talk just for the sake of talking. We only resort to phones when we have no other option, so don’t get offended if we hang up as soon as our target’s achieved or if we intentionally ignore your calls; it really has nothing to do with who you are.

  1. What not to say in front of people:

When we’re in a large gathering, never even think about discussing the fact that we disappear a lot or try to ask people for logical reasons behind that, for we’d probably make sure to never be there again. If you think that openly discussing things would make introverts do less of them, think again. When introverts are forced to be around people when all they need is to be on their own, all they’d do is unintentionally ruin those few hours for you.

  1. What not to ask Introverts:

“What’s wrong?” could be our number one worst enemy, for how often it’s thrown at our faces when we seem unusual to people. Your unusual is usually our total norm. It takes so much energy to convince someone that this is just the usual us and that nothing’s wrong. You will know it when an introvert needs to talk, so take it easy on the guesses.

  1. What not to expect from Introverts:

If you’re not feeling well, don’t wait for an introvert to come and ask what’s wrong. We would always put ourselves in your shoes, and being left alone is definitely what we’d want. That’s what we’d do with you too, not because it’s easier to ignore you, but because we believe that all what anyone needs in such cases would be themselves. Don’t expect us to ask or blame us when we don’t; just go ahead and talk if you want. We know how to listen and we’d certainly make you feel at ease.

Finally, a message from introverts:

Never mistake us for not liking you. We do like you, a lot, more than you’ll know. “Here’s the lowdown: We feel desperate or clingy when we ask someone to dinner, fake and slimy when we network and self-absorbed when filling in a distant friend on our lives.” So bear with us, and show us that you understand.

الخلاصة

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

النهاردة كان أخر يوم في السيمستر، والسيميستر ده يُعتبر الـ”تيرنينج بوينت” اللي في حياتي، لأن أنا لو السيميستر اللي فات كان حد قاللي إني هاكون “برزيدنت” السيميستر ده، كنت ضحكت. وضحكت قوي كمان. عشان أنا فعلاً كنت شخصية تانية خالص من كام شهر. شخصية كانت شايفة إنها نوعاً ما “فاشلة”، ومش قادرة تثق في نفسها تاني. وشخصية مش قادرة تكون نفسها، مش عشان حاجة غير إنها عند نقطة معينة فعلاً ماكانتش عارفة هي مين، والا إيه الحاجات اللي هي بمؤمنة بيها، والا أي حاجة.

إيه اللي خلى الشخصية دي تتغير وتكون أنا؟ أكيد الموضوع جه تدريجياً بس كانت البداية ببساطة في يوم، قررت أقعد فيه مع نفسي وأفكر. أفكر أنا عايشة ليه أصلاً، وأفكر أنا كنت إيه قبل لما أدخل “جلو” واتعلم يعني إيه يبقى عندي رؤية وهدف لحياتي. وأفكر أنا لو فضلت في نفس الحالة اللي كنت فيها دي، هاوصل لإيه في الأخر؟

أدركت وقتها إني لو سيبت نفسي للحالة دي كنت فعلاً هاثبت لنفسي ساعتها وللدنيا كلها إني بجد فاشلة. إكتشفت إن لما الواحد بيكون عنده حاجة كبيرة مؤمن بيها قوي، عمر ما شوية إكتئاب هيوقفوه عن الوصول للحاجة دي. إكتشفت ساعتها إن الإجابة لكل الأسئلة اللي سألتها لنفسي كانت على طول بترجعني لفكرة “جلو”. المكان اللي غير حياتي وخلاني أؤمن بفكرة الـ”ديفيلوبمنت” لما شفتها بتحصل قدامي، معايا ومع غيري. المكان اللي كل موقف صعب حطيني فيه، طلعني منه أقوى بكتير جداً، وعلمني حاجات عمري ما كنت هاتعلمها غير كده. المكان اللي طلعت منه بأقرب صحاب ليا، الناس اللي عمرهم ما بيتأخروا عن أي حد محتاجلُهم. المكان اللي ممكن أقعد أرغي وأتكلم عنه لمدة سنين، بس خلاصة كل ده هي إني خدت قرار إني أقدم برزيدنت لمكان زي ده في يوم. يوم قررت إني عايزة أتغير. ومن ساعتها عمري ما ندمت على القرار ده.

السنة اللي فاتت، أهلى كانوا بيتحيلوا عليا عشان أقدم على سيميستر أسفره بره، بس أنا فضلت أدلع لحد لما ميعاد التقديم عدى ومالحقتش أقدم. السيميستر اللي فات لما كنت حاسة إني ماليش أي لازمة في الحياة، حسيت إني لازم أسافر ولما رحت أسأل وقتها لقيت مفيش أماكن وكنت متضايقة جداً. بس سبحان الله، لو كنت قدمت فعلاً السنة اللي فاتت زي ما أهلى كانوا عايزيين، أو كنت لقيت أماكن لما رحت السيميستر اللي فات، ما كانش زماني هنا دلوقتي وكان زماني لسه مقتنعة لحد دلوقتي إني فاشلة.

المشكلة مش في إنك تكون شايف نفسك فاشل، المشكلة في إيه اللي إنت ناوي تعمله بعد ما تحس الإحساس ده. هو كان إحساس بالنسبالي، لو كنت سيبت نفسي، الإحساس ده كان هيبقى حقيقة. بس عشان أنا قررت أعافر، رجعت أصدق في نفسي تاني وأحاول أكون ناجحة. وإكتشفت إن أهم بكتير من إني ألاقي ناس حواليا تساعدني، هو إني أنا اللي أساعد نفسي بس بإني أرجع أصدق فيها. وبقيت مؤمنة جداً إن كل حاجة في حياتي مكتوبة، فإني أقلق وأتوتر وأفضل أفكر في نتيجة اللي أنا باعمله كله مالوش لازمة طول مانا مش مركزة في اللحظة اللي أنا عايشة فيها دلوقتي وفي الهدف الكبير اللي أنا فعلاً باحاول أوصلله.

أنا فعلاً إتعلمت حاجات كتير قوي السيميستر ده. زمان كنت فاكرة إن الشخص اللي بيكون برزبدنت ده، ماينفعش يغلط. بس إكتشفت إن أحلى حاجة في الدنيا إن الواحد يغلط. مش مهم خالص إيه هي الحاجة الغلط اللي عملتها، على قد ما مهم إنك تخرج من الغلط ده متعلم حاجة أكبر، وعارف إزاي عمرك ما هاتغلط الغلطة دي تاني.

Letters -Hermit Crab

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Dear Iam Allears,
I’ve bumped into my childhood best friend a couple of days ago and it felt bad. I remembered how close we were. Everyone used to envy our strong bond and we knew it was going to last forever. But then we got introduced to the idea of “distance” when we both had to change schools. It was the beginning of our end; we hardly found any common grounds then and started drifting away. Problem is, I’ve previously shared with her my most childish and naïve thoughts and now that I’ve completely changed, I don’t think she remembers anything about me except those conversations. I feel bad about the way she looks at me and how she treats me as if I’m still that old person. Eventually, I’m finding it hard to trust any of my current friends, because I fear that one day we’ll part and they’d continue to carry the wrong pieces of me. Will I forever get anxious when I bump into her?
Regretful,
B.

Dear Regretful B,
It really isn’t about that friend, is it? I believe it’s more about the way you perceive yourself. Your friend must have changed too and would understand that it was only a phase. Here’s a question for you though: do YOU happen to look at her as if she’s still that old person? If the answer’s no then it definitely is the same for her. But if it’s yes, then you should really rethink this, because you’d basically be doing what you’re already criticizing. Change the way you look at things. Remember, friends are not the only source of comfort in our lives. There’s so much that you can do when you need to talk. Pause and think.
If you need more clues, write again.
Yours,
Iam Allears

Dear Iam Allears,
I thought about your advice and started looking for other sources to open my heart to, but it’s getting more complicated. I thought that since we’re gifted with sisters, then they should play an important role in our lives. I started getting much closer to both my sisters during the last period. They were always there to listen and help. They kept me going and I’ve grown quite dependent on them. Then distance decided to ruin my life again and sooner than I could grasp, they were getting married and moving away. I couldn’t understand how someone would choose some random guy over their own family, but before I could even wonder, they were out of town. Now I despise marriage, and I feel alone. Strangely enough, I’ve been distancing myself from them, and it doubles the pain. I don’t know what to do.
Broken,
B.

Dear Broken B,
It’s sad to hear about your sisters’ departure. I understand how hard it might be, but try not to distance yourself from them; they probably need you too. Think about the positive sides of this. Maybe this is your chance to grow and experience the upsides of independence since they’re no longer around. Do not let this negatively affect your entire life.
Try looking for more sources. The world definitely doesn’t end here. I believe you will eventually find your way.
Sincerely,
Iam Allears.

Dear Iam Allears,
I don’t know why your advice doesn’t seem to work. Here’s a new side to my story: A few weeks ago, I’ve finally been asked out by the guy I liked and I desperately needed to tell someone about it. I found myself spilling it all out to Mom one day even though we were not that close. Yet I thought that was going to bring us closer. However, she mistakenly mentioned it in front of Dad a couple of hours later and before I could even think of an explanation, I was grounded for a week. Mom was never able to keep anything away from Dad, yet I thought she’d understand that this should’ve been different. I knew then that certain things are not meant to be told to my parents, and I’ve started growing even further from them.
Back to the guy, there was something different about him. No matter how much I resisted getting closer, he knew how to get the words out of me. Eventually, I started telling him everything and I believed that this person was sent into my life to show me that I could in fact trust some humans. Yet again, I’ve found out that he had been letting out my secrets to other friends, completely betraying my trust, and it’s been one hell of a heart break.
I truly don’t know whom do I turn to now. No one knows how to keep a secret, my sisters left, my parents don’t understand, and even if anyone wanted to listen, I would always regret letting anything out to them years ahead.
Please help me!
Confused, B.

Dear Confused B,
Again, I am sorry to hear about all what’s happened. However, I thought that reaching this point would guide you to where you needed to be. I am unhappy to realize that you haven’t found out about it yet, to be honest.
B, as you’ve seen; humans tend to let you down every time you decide to put your trust in them, and that’s the thing. Humans were not created to be perfect; everyone has their flaws. The only source that should be blindly trusted is the essence of all; God. He created humans to worship Him and without Him they are lost. He is the only flawless source of comfort. He will always listen, will forever keep your secrets, and will never let you down no matter how dependent you get. This is why He has created you; He wants you to experience the sweetness of being close to Him. Yet you’ve been ignoring Him all along, seeking His creation instead.
Talk to Him. Let Him in on your fears and secrets. He’s the only one who can help.
Yours sincerely,
Iam Allears.

The little moments

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Too often do we hear the word “depressed” being thrown around, with people rarely paying close attention to what it actually means. Having a couple of bad days, not being able to cope with midterms stress, or having a fight with your best friend totally does not always mean you can call yourself a depressed person. However, the problem isn’t about randomly using this word to describe any sad feelings; the problem lies in the fact that nowadays, we find it extremely easy to get depressed in a matter of seconds, yet it can take forever to actually feel good about ourselves or the things we’ve accomplished. In fact, it is effortless to just let sadness prevail inside and convince yourself that there’s no good in this world, yet putting more effort into noticing the very little things and their details, can lighten up your life for ages.

So many little things can make your heart smile, if only you let them in regardless of whatever you’re going through. They would make you wish you could have had the option to freeze everything, and just intensely stare at them as they happen. Life would have been harder without the existence of those tiny details.

And what exactly are those little things? They could be anything.

They could be the “beginnings”. Beginnings of absolutely anything. The beginning of a friendship; when you first cross paths with someone and build your own first impression about them during the very first encounter, then watch yourself as your thoughts about them change in a few weeks, if not days. You might think that this person is very cold, or extremely arrogant, but shortly realize that they’re too considerate and more down to Earth than you could ever be, that it melts your own heart. And those other few encounters when you feel you want to get closer to someone yet you’re afraid of rejection, only to find out they’ve been trying to get closer to you all along. Then you get to see what they’ve been trying to hide from everyone as you both grow closer. That feeling of realizing you were able to let down someone’s wall, that they’ve been trying to build between themselves and everyone for so long, is priceless. And those few moments of getting introduced to the dark side of someone for the first time still have their own beauty that you would later want to freeze and slowly get to experience.

Beginnings could be ones involving books or movies. Ones that you’ve always wanted to read or watch, but didn’t have the time to. Those first pages of a book when you get introduced to the characters and find yourself relating to one of them so bad that you feel like crying, for you thought you were the only person out there who feels this way about a certain something. Or when you read something you’ve been thinking about for a long time but didn’t have the ability to put into words, finding a stranger perfectly describing it for you.

Or the beginning of a hug, when you finally get to put your arms around someone you haven’t seen in a long while, putting into the hug what you would never be able to put into words. That feeling of closeness with someone, of transmitting all that’s inside you through such a simple gesture, can bring too much joy into anyone’s life.

It’s just too hard to not fall in love with beginnings. No matter how they go, they would certainly make you feel better than all the endings in the world.

And there are just plenty of other beautiful moments that often go unnoticed.

Those days when you wake up without an alarm’s siren that usually ruins your sleep every morning, or someone calling your name and interrupting a dream you were immensely enjoying, only to realize it’s a day off and you can go back to sleep. Those few moments between opening your eyes and coming back to consciousness, when you totally forget who you are or what you’re doing in that place, and absolutely anything that has been bothering you the night before. Those few moments do bring along so much peace.

Then there are moments like waking up in the morning to check your phone, and finding a reply to that message you’ve sent the day before but never got a reply to. Or even better, waking up to a “Good Morning” text – not a WhatsApp message or a Facebook one – from someone too special, knowing you were the first person to cross their mind as soon as they opened their eyes. That smile you have on your face when you read the name of the sender and their words is one of the sincerest you’ll ever experience.

Or those other moments when you’re thinking about someone, then you randomly find them calling or texting you. The idea that two minds can be thinking about each other at the same exact moment is enough to let you fall in love with how this universe works.

There are also those times, when you spend days working on a paper; researching, writing, paraphrasing, then suddenly the computer decides to shut down before you get the chance to save a large chunk of your work. You realize that the deadline is in a few hours, yet you have nothing to submit. Desperately, you keep looking everywhere on the computer, when suddenly you bump into the document you’ve been working on, and discover that the computer automatically saved it for you somewhere. That’s always a happy moment that can literally bring you into tears.

Then there is the feeling you get when you’re finally able to close all the programs, websites, online references, and documents that have been your only companions for days, after you submit the work needed. Nothing compares to that relief.

Or those days during finals, when your days are crammed up with exams and you can’t even find the time to sleep. You feel extremely unprepared even though you’ve stayed up all night studying for the hardest course you’re enrolled in, only to find the questions on the exam the next day coming straight off what you’ve studied. There’s this huge sense of accomplishment that follows, completely erasing out the sense of hesitance that prevailed.

You’d never fail to find joy in those moments when you pray for something that might seem too trivial, and out of nowhere, you realize your prayers are getting answered just like you wished for. Like a time when you’re tired and really wish for a comfortable ride on a full bus, then the person sitting next to you spontaneously decides to get off the bus to catch another. Or when you’re sleep deprived and want to get back home early, then your class miraculously gets cancelled. Not to mention those times when you lose something and search the entire house for it with no use, then you decide to repeat that prayer associated with losing stuff, and out of nowhere, you find it right in front of you, knowing God was only waiting for you to remember Him.

There are tons of other quick moments that do need you to stop for a minute and think about them the way you want. Like deciding to cross the street then realizing it’s completely empty, allowing you to cross as slowly as turtles do. Who wouldn’t love walking through really large roads when they’re empty, imagining they were only constructed for them? Or those times when you reach a bus you’re supposed to take, and it starts moving as soon as you get on. It does feel special; realizing it was only waiting for you to arrive so that everyone could finally take off – even if that was only in your head and it just happened to randomly leave then.

Or times like when you’re driving and all of a sudden the car on your left decides to move across to your lane, almost causing an accident. Just as you’re about to get mad, you find them sticking out their hands in an apologetic manner, trying to let you know that they really didn’t mean any harm. The anger vanishes in a moment. Knowing that there are still people who drive and are ready to apologize when they do something wrong sometimes makes up for the things you see on Cairo’s streets; from breaking the rules, to the crowdedness that might be the cause of a single car parking in the wrong spot. Even better, those drivers who stop their cars just to let you pass when they realize you’re struggling, letting you know that there are people out there who still care – even if they’re rare. Driving in Cairo can be the toughest experience of the day, but if you just allow yourself to notice the good sides about some drivers, it can brighten up your day.

Written messages do have their own effect too. There’s a certain kind of happiness that accompanies seeing the “read” sign on certain messages that you send. After impatiently waiting for it to appear, you might start reading your words all over again, yet this time through the eyes of the person you’re sending it to. You try to stay on track because if feels good to know there’s a possibility that two people can both be reading the same words at the same exact time, on two different sides of the world.

People who notice things about those around them are literal blessings. No one can deny how special it feels when someone notices those certain phrases that they unconsciously repeat through their conversations. It feels even more special when you notice that someone is unaware that they’re actually using your phrases through their own conversations. We all love the parts of us that we find in people, and even more, the parts of people that we find craved in the deepest parts of our souls.

And don’t you just love it when you look at that special someone from a distance and realize they’ve been staring at you all along? When your eyes meet, and they feel the pressure and quickly decide to look away, only realizing they couldn’t resist looking back again as soon as your eyes move the other way.

Endless are the moments that might seem very trivial, but do bring joy. Moments like when you reach home after a hectic day to find it empty, jumping into your bed and doing nothing but staring at the ceiling and enjoying the solitude. When you’re in the middle of a conversation and forget what you were about to say, then you keep trying to squeeze your brain for you know there’s still something stuck in there; there’s this certain moment when the thought finally makes its way to the top of your head again and allows you to happily continue the conversation.

Little moments like these and more, only need someone to notice them and they’d go ahead and add magic to our lives. They might not all be “joyful” moments, but they are moments that can make you feel something new, something intense, something that you would want to repeat. They are moments that break the routine of your day and show you that there is so much going on beyond your bubble. They are moments that can get you out of your not-so-real depression, showing you that there is so much happening beyond your midterm’s grade or the argument you just had with your mom. Such incidents are not worth getting “depressed” over, but only when you start noticing the little things and getting your mind off them, will you be able to notice the difference that they can make in your life.

So, sit back, and allow yourself to enjoy the little things. You will be amazed.

موقف 1:
خارجين من إمتحان إمبارح، شفت واحدة معايا سألتني عملتي إيه وكده. قعدنا نشتكي من الإمتحان شوية وبعدين كان فيه سؤال أم-سي-كيو بخمس درجات محدش كان عارف يحله فبقولها عليه، قالتلي “أه، ما انا سألت الأسيستنت في الإمتحان وقالتلي الإجابة “دي” فعملتها كده وانا مش فاهماه أصلاً” .. ومن ساعتها وانا باكره الكورس والكلاس كله. مش حاجة جديدة عليا إني ألاقي كل اللي حواليا بيغشوا، بس موضوع الأسيستنت ده وجعني بزيادة. أصلاً إحساس إنك تكون عامل وحش في إمتحان ده حاجة وإحساس إن معظم اللي حواليك عاملين كويس (وهمَ من فاهمين) عشان أسيستنت قررت تغششهم ده حاجة تانية خالص، حتى لو كانوا على 5 درجات بس.

موقف 2:
بادور على ركنة النهاردة وأنا ماشية في شارع جانبي، وفجأة لقيت مكان فاضي على شمالي فدخلت فيه بسرعة. كان ضيق سنة فحتة من ضهر العربية كانت خارجة في الشارع. في الطبيعي العربيات اللي ورايا كانت هتعرف تعدي عادي بس المرة دي كان فيه تاكسي راكن على اليمين صف تاني فالراجل اللي ورايا ماعرفش يعدي غير لما عدلت الركنة؛ الموضوع أخد 7 ثواني مثلاً. بس الراجل إتعصب وعمل اللي أي حد طبيعي كان مفروض يعمله وفتح الشباك اللي على اليمين وقعد يزعق في سواق التاكسي، بالذات عشان كان بارد جداً وقاعد يعمل حركات مستفزة بإيده. المهم، الناس جت فضت الخناقة، قام الراجل اللي كان ورا الخناقة عدى من جنبي وحب يعمل معايا واجب. فتح الشباك هو كمان بس من على شماله المرة دي وقعد يزعق فيا أنا جامد قوي! “إنتي السبب، مش لو كنتي ركنتي قدام شوية ماكانش كل ده حصل، إنتي السبب في ده كله…” وكلام كتير كدة ماسمعتش نصه. برضه إن حد يهزقني في الشارع عشان عملت حاجة غلط دي حاجة، وإنه يزعقللي عشان حد تاني كان راكن غلط بس لولايا ما كانش الغلط ده بان قوي كده، دي حاجة تانية خالص.

فبقيت أنا اللي غلطانة إني ركنت في المكان الفاضي اللي طبيعي أي حد ممكن يركن فيه. وبقيت أنا اللي غلطانة برضه إني ماطلبتش من الأسيستنت تقوللي الإجابة وخلاص.

يمكن الموقفين دول مايكونش ليهم علاقة ببعض قوي، بس دول شوية من الحاجات الكتيرة اللي بتحصللي وبجد بتعصبني في البلد دي. واللهِ ما بقى فارق معايا مين يبقى رئيس جمهورية والا حزب مين اللي يكتسح في الإنتخابات والا مين ياخد براءة ظلم والا أي حاجة من الهبل اللي عمال يحصل في البلد بقاله شوية ده. لإن حتى لو بني أدم نضيف جداً جه شقلبلنا البلد دي وعملنا كل اللي إحنا عايزينه، عمرها ما هتتغير طول ما الناس بتشوف حاجة زي الغش إنه “عادي”، ومابيتكسفوش أصلاً يتكلموا علي اللي بيعملوه عادي كده. وطول ما الناس بتسيب الغلطان وتزعق في اللي كان السبب إن غلطه يظهر، وطول ما الناس مش مخلياها في نفسها، وكل واحد بيمشي في الشارع يلوم المصريين التانيين على الأرف اللي بنشوفه في كل حتة – على أساس إن هو مش مصري زيُهم وله دور في الأرف ده زيُهم بالضبط.

نفسي أعيش في مكان أحس فيه إني “بني أدم”، بس.
نفسي الكام مبدأ اللي فاضلينلي في حياتي يتبطل يتبصلهم على إنهم حاجة غريبة لما مفروض يكونوا همَ العادي. أكتشيلي، نفسي أعيش في أوضتي الكام سنة اللي جايين دول وماتعملش مع بني أدميين لمدة شوية حلويين. ياريت كان ينفع.

Take Two

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

“This could be the best day of my life!” Yasmine shouted, as she reached out to her phone to take a selfie with the rest of the girls. They had spent an extremely adventurous day at the park, doing the most childish things they almost forgot they were capable of. Yasmine wanted to take a picture that would always remind her of that day.

She felt her pocket but there seemed to be no phone inside. She checked her other one, but still, there was nothing.

I must have left it in the bag… She thought, moving towards it. Her heart started beating faster when she realized that it wasn’t there either.

“Rana,” she immediately called out on her friend, looking quite puzzled. “I can’t find my phone…”

“What? Again? Why? When did you last see it?” Rana’s endless questions kept flowing.

“I have no idea. I can’t remember anything.”

That wasn’t the first time for Yasmine to lose her phone. Three years ago, the same thing happened, but she was lucky enough to get it back a few days later.

Please don’t do this to me. Just not this time, please. She silently pleaded.

She felt her legs taking her to all the places she’d been to around the park, ignoring Rana and the rest of the girls. She could hear Rana telling them all about it, but she couldn’t be patient and wait for them.

“Hey, did anyone hand you a lost phone?” Yasmine asked every person she passed, hoping to see her phone in anyone’s hand. “Sorry, but no,” was the only reply she got.

Please help me find it. I promise I’ll be a better person, just help me find it this time.

Those were the exact same thoughts Yasmine had every time she lost something or went through a hard experience. She believed that everything was a test from God, and she would always promise Him to change if only He helped her overcome that particular hardship that she was experiencing.

I promise I’ll pray on time from now on,” or “I promise I’ll help Mom more around the house,” or “I promise I’ll stop talking about people behind their backs if You just helped me with this,” were some examples of Yasmine’s endless promises to God every time she wanted something from Him. Strangely enough, she would get what she prayed for most of the time, yet she wouldn’t be able to keep her promise for more than a few weeks. But she’d keep doing it every time, not realizing that she was in fact the one in need of keeping these promises. Of course God doesn’t need anyone to pray for Him or do Him any good; we do those good deeds because we are the ones in need, yet Yasmine never gave up on her way of handling those hardships.

After looking around for a few minutes with no hope, Yasmine decided to go back to her friends.

“Did you find it?” Rana quickly asked.

“No, I didn’t. Now let’s go before it gets late.” Yasmine said calmly without making eye contact with any of the girls. She moved forward, yet stayed close enough to hear what the girls were saying.

“What’s wrong with her?” she heard one of them ask.

“Are you seriously asking that question?” Yasmine heard Rana asking. “What would you have done if it were your own phone? I bet you’d break down into tears right on the spot.” Rana knew exactly how Yasmine felt. They had been best friends for more than seven years, and out of everyone, she knew how important Yasmine’s phone was to her, and what losing it signified. She couldn’t handle any of their friends blaming her for how she felt.

“No, I wouldn’t!” Nada replied. “Why would I break into tears over an inanimate object that I can easily buy again?”

“It’s not about the phone!” Rana shouted again. “You would never understand.”

Yasmine moved towards the main gate and they all followed in silence.

You’re going to get it back for me, won’t you? She silently wondered.

Oh my God… the notes! She thought. Yasmine always made sure to write down her thoughts on her phone everywhere she went. At school, she would often be spotted sitting on her own, and focusing very much with her phone. She’d always worry that she might forget such ideas if she didn’t record them and so she made sure to write them down on the spot. She even made use of car rides and bus trips to write. The thing about her phone was that it was always available, and always ready to listen to her. It carried the most precious memories of the last three years, as well as the most sincere thoughts of hers. She never shared them with anyone for how personal they sometimes got, but they did occupy a huge part of her life. Now that she lost them, something inside her hurt.

Is it just the notes? She wondered. Oh, and the pictures… All the screenshots. And the conversations. Oh God, am I really losing all those memories?

They reached the main gate and stood there, waiting for the bus. Everyone was eyeing Yasmine, wanting to understand what she was up to.

I’m getting it back. I know You’re going to help me get it back. I believe in You so bad.

They all got on the bus and Yasmine chose to sit on the very last seat at the back. Rana followed her.

“Hey, are you okay?” Rana asked.

“Yes, yes. I perfectly am. Don’t worry.” she replied.

“What’s wrong with you then? Why are you so calm this time?”

Yasmine instantly remembered the last time she lost her phone. She used to stay in her room for days back then, refusing to talk with anyone. When Rana visited her, Yasmine wouldn’t speak; she would only hug her and cry. Everyone knew she was overreacting, but they left her to get over it on her own.

“It’s just a phone!” Yasmine’s Mom used to say madly, but Yasmine would just continue crying.

“You know it’s not just about the phone, Rana, don’t you?” Yasmine once asked her. Rana nodded. “Losing all those memories does hurt, yes. But it’s way more than that. It all made me realize how much God is mad at me. He wouldn’t have done something that would be this hard for me if He wasn’t extremely angry. I know I haven’t been praying well for the past couple of weeks,” tears started slipping down her tears as she reached out to get another hug from Rana. Silence prevailed for a minute, then she sat up and continued in-between her tears.

“He tried sending me messages before but I didn’t pay enough attention. The phone was a distraction. I used to keep using it all night and eventually miss Fajr prayer. And that’s just the simplest example. The phone was standing in the way between me and Him. He wouldn’t have chosen to teach anyone a lesson by taking their phone, but He chose to do it with me because He knew how much it occupied my heart.”

“Yasmine, you’re being too hard on yourself… God is the most merciful after all, He wouldn’t be happy watching you suffer that much because of something so tiny.”

“I just know I deserve it…”

“No one deserves what you’re doing to yourself. Now get up, take a shower, pray and let’s hang out somewhere around the house.”

Yasmine did not feel like leaving her room at all, but Rana kept insisting and she had no other option.

“Okay, fine. Just let me pray on my own over here, and I’ll follow you as soon as I’m done.”

She had been focusing on her prayers really well since the day her phone was lost. She was becoming a better person, because she knew this was His last message to her and she couldn’t bear the thought of Him still being mad. She talked with Him a lot and told Him how much she loved being close to Him, but how much the whole experience still hurt her.

That day, was the day she magically got the phone back. As she was having dinner with Rana in a restaurant next to her house, a lady called her and said that she found her phone at the mall. Yasmine couldn’t believe her ears. The lady asked her to pick it up from her place, and they immediately took off to where she got reunited with her phone.

“How did she get your number?” was the question that no one got enough of asking. No one could really believe the story, for they had already given up on the whole thing a while before.

“When I asked her about it, she said that she took my Sim Card to Vodafone, and asked them to give her its number. I had already purchased a new one with the same number, and so she was able to call me,” Yasmine would innocently answer. Yet she would always continue, “The question is, however, not how she got it but actually why did she decide to give it back? She could have easily sold it. She had already formatted the entire phone and it was in a pretty good condition. That was what anyone in her place would do. But for some reason, she decided not to proceed and called me instead.”

Yasmine believed it was a test from God. He wanted to teach her something by taking away the phone. She truly was attached to it and needed someone to purify her heart and get it back on track. God wanted her closer and because the phone was standing in His way, He had no other option but to take it from her.

“Yasmine? Yasmine? I’m starting to worry about you…” She heard a sound coming from a distant place, before she shortly realized that Rana had still been talking to her on the bus while she wasn’t paying attention.

“Rana, it is different this time. You know how long it has been since I’ve last talked to God or even prayed? It’s been four months… Four months of everything that does not involve Him. I was having a hard time trying to get back to Him, especially that I felt He was giving up on me. I couldn’t see any signs. I wasn’t receiving any messages. I thought He didn’t want me closer anymore.”

“And how is that related to the phone?”

“Are you kidding? It has everything to do with the phone!” Yasmine shouted. “This is still one of the things that hurt me the most. Losing my phone means losing my life, but that is just because I am doing it all over again. I am getting the phone in the way between me and Him, and He just proved to me that He still wants me back!”

“Listen,” Yasmine said. “I really have no idea why I don’t feel the same way about it this time, but I’ve grown up in the past few years and I do view such things in a very different way now. Last time, my Yaqeen was being tested and strengthened, and it has lasted with me through the years. I don’t feel that empty from inside like I used to, even though I haven’t been on good terms with God, but something inside me has already changed once and forever.”

Rana smiled. She couldn’t say anything, but she was proud that her friend was truly changing. It was obvious that she wasn’t the same person anymore.

“Do you think you’re getting it back this time as well?” she asked.

“Yes. I’ve seen God a lot through the last couple of weeks that it’s becoming hard not to believe in Him or in what He can do. Last time, I refused to believe that I’m never having it again. I prayed everyday to find my phone. I talked to God a lot about it, because I knew no one was capable of getting it back to me except Him. I knew He was already mad at me because I was getting further and further away. I think by getting back to Him I actually got a part of myself back. And as soon as God realized His target was achieved, He decided to show me Himself even more, in the form of an unbelievable event. He planned it all, and the effect it has had on me afterwards was powerful.

“But couldn’t we just consider that you were lucky last time? There’s no guarantee that the same thing would happen. I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

“If He wants to bring it back to me, He will, despite how illogical it might sound.And that’s exactly the thing. God never said He would listen to our prayers only if they made sense or if they sounded logical. He simply said “Call on Me and I will answer your prayer”. He also said: “أنا عند ظن عبدي بي فليظن بي ما يشاء”; I am just as My slave thinks I am (I am able to do for him what he thinks I can), so let him think of me what he wants.””

Just then, the driver opened the radio and they heard a song say:

“And no one knows but me, the power that I see
And everybody thinks that I’ve gone crazy”

They both looked at each other and smiled. The song continued…

“People think that I’m alone, but I feel close to You
They don’t see that I can love, but I know You do
No one knows just how I feel, only You see through to my heart”

Realizing that this day was too good to be ending in gloominess, Yasmine decided to set aside the whole matter and started cracking some jokes to get her friends out of the mood. Everyone started laughing once again, and in a couple of minutes they were all back to how they were before the incident; singing songs, even making up some, and unleashing the child within each one of them.

You know I trust You so much, Yasmine thought, looking at the sky from the window. I just need You to know that even if you didn’t bring my phone back, those few moments meant the world to me. I never want to stop talking about You to people, and if this is only what I’m getting out of the experience, it is enough for me… But I still believe in You.

A warm smile made its way on Yasmine’s face and into her heart. She felt a kind of closeness with her Creator that she had hardly experienced before.

Thank You for never giving up on me every time I’m on the edge of slipping away from You, she thought before shushing her mind and joining the girls.