Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Repetition

It’s been some time since I last wrote here. I had a hundred things I wanted to write but not one of them felt right. I was told an hour ago that a very close relative of an acquaintance of mine had passed away. I don’t really know the person very well but that piece of news shocked me more than I thought possible. I never know how to feel in situations like these. I know how to react and what I’m supposed to do or say, never what to feel. It was as if someone had held my throat and squeezed until my very last breath slowly seeped out. My heart was pounding so slowly I couldn’t tell even with my hand on my chest.


I have been writing and erasing lines for close to 20 minutes now. Just starting at this blank white screen. I’m slowly getting more free time. Things were going great until the last few days. Nothing of any importance minute or major happened. I have come to realize that it is nothing other than a cycle that I keep going through week in and week out. I thought working out is a great way of reducing stress and letting out everything that I usually bottle in. It was working at first, it was working splendidly because it was new. It’s done now. It’s not working for me anymore. I need something new. I need to pick up a habit. Good or bad I don’t really care. I need to find some sort of addiction that could hook me and tie me up for the next month or so. My mind is completely blank and I’m not really attempting to make a point. Okay so here’s what it is. It no longer is an issue of where I am. It has become what where I am made me. Someone who is intolerant. Someone with an even shorter fuse. Someone who is disgustingly unimpressed with anything. I don’t know whether this is going to be something permanent or just for as long as I’m here.

Everything is going by like a dull flashback. No sound. No color. These past 2 days I’ve been waking up with absolutely no motivation to do anything. I ever so enjoy complicating my life by thinking about things that I know will aggravate me. I was almost a somewhat optimistic man. Always see the glass half-full. Always try and find the good thing in whatever happens. This is being slowly taken away. I just do whatever it is I think I NEED to do. Apart from that,,, nothing. I keep thinking to myself, it’s alright, just a couple of weeks and you’ll go on the vacation that’s going to change everything. Who am I kidding. Time is so irrelevant whether I’m here or there. A few weeks for a man on vacation is nothing, a few hours for a man in prison is a lifetime. There is something fundamentally wrong and needs fixing as soon as possible before something even bigger breaks.

I need a motivation. Wait,,, motivation? Why have motivation? For what? Life is all about repetition, in which you need no hope and is contrary. However routine should not be seen as a bad thing, it removes choice, it demolishes free will and with choice and free will comes doubt and with doubt regret and with regret, melancholy. Think of Sisyphus, forever doomed to roll a boulder up a hill, but in the moment when it rolls down he is free. I might have digressed but the point remains. I’m going to try something. As contradictory as it sounds at first, me making those choices to begin with (you’ll get it in a second). I’m going to try and create solid routine that I follow “religiously” (for lack of a better word, I’m not exactly the most dedicated practitioner) and see how that goes. No impulsive out of the schedule actions. If that works well, so be it. If not, I still have every single lifeless intellectually mutilating day here to try other methods.


God bless you.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Revelation

It's a little after midnight and I am back in a very familiar setting. After months of not writing I found myself staring at the blinking cursor on the top left of a blank screen. See, this always happens. I jump at the opportunity to negate someone when he/she give any opinion on anything. I find myself diving into an hour long debate and dragging them down with me. Best part is, more often than not I could not care less about what the topic is. Better yet, I find even more pleasure in arguing against someone who shares my opinion.

I digress. The ironic thought that I wanted to mention a "few" words back was that I always have something to say about anything and everything; except when it comes to writing it all down. This made much more sense in my head so I'm going to try and break it up a bit (for my sake more than yours, trust me). I never had a problem expressing myself, nor have I had any issues in finding the right combination of words to be able to get myself out of (or into, on a more morbid note) anything. Problem is, when it comes to me wanting to have a daily journal or something along those lines, nothing seems to come out. I envy those who sit and write their daily events and conquests. I tried that oh so many times but to no avail.

In order for one to be able to nurture his/her sense of achievemnt

I've been feeling my frustration, anger, and intolerance building up again. My relief options are being crossed off the list by the day. I need a break and I need to leave. The one thing I'm worried about is the aftermath of a break. Things are usually much easier when you have something to look forward to. I have an upcoming trip and the mere thought of it is as energizing as anything could be. Then what? I return and sink into this baron emotionless slow paced gut-wrenching soul exhausting abyss of a routine. Sleep - Work - Gym - Sleep.

I am now convinced more than ever that I need this, I need what I'm doing. I need to have a reference to see where I am years from now and where I was now. I am a slightly arrogant person but then again who isn't. I am far from the worst I've ever seen. There is something missing. There is a thirst that I'm dying to quench but the difficult part is knowing what it is. I am sick and tired of the useless godforsaken advice everyone keeps throwing at my face. Prioritize, fill-up your time, find something to do. Yea well I am doing all these things. I am capitalizing all my free time but for all the wrong reasons. I started boxing again.I'm working out. I'm doing non-work related projects. I'm socializing more. That sounds great on paper but why I'm doing those things is something I don't know. I don't know why I picked a sport that completely shattered my nose that I can hardly use my nostrils anymore but I do it, and quite frankly, I have never had more of a passion for anything. I don't workout to be healthy I'm doing it because it is the safest way of getting all the anger out. I'm not socializing because I have this need in me to be around people. All of these things I use to completely eradicate every second of free time I have because free time means thinking about a lot of things which is I'm trying to avoid. I keep convincing myself that me being here is me doing the right, smart, and mature thing. I'm not really thinking of the future or whatever it holds. I'm living it day by day which is completely hypocritical to the reasoning behind me being here.

I don't know what it is but what I do know is that I need to do something drastic so I don't fall back in the same havoc wreaking reckless spiral I was in when I first came here. Actually, I think being here helped me out in a few manners. For starters, I am forced to learn how to calm down; how to take things lightly. Most of my problems have always been because of my short fuse. I decided to change a lot of things and the reason I never took this decision before is because of my ego. I wasn't ready to decide to change and then when not succeeding hanging up the gloves. It was too large for my pride to swallow. In any case, here I am now with a large project on my hands. Whether I can mold myself into what I think I should be. This conclusion isn't for anyone or to impress anyone; its because I have become far too physically, emotionally, and psychologically tired of being so angry all the time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sick & Sour

As opposed to the deafening sound of my alarm clock, I awoke this morning to a barage of shrapnel infested coughs that made me feel like my lungs were being ripped apart. Great, now for the next week or so I'm going to have to go through this mind-numbingly annoying rocky road mix of coughs, teary eyes, runny nose, and fatigue.
And so here I am sitting with a group of family friends having lunch. Nodding along as I succumb to the social necessities of politeness, fake gratitude, and unimpressed interest. As boring as the conversations are, to myself at least, someone on the table said something that struck through me like an iron cold blade. The Lebanese-Syrian borders are apparently closed and the Lebanese side is being quite unhelpful in letting in the Syrian refugees. I'm not quite sure as to how old this news is or if its recent. Regardless of when, the fact of the matter is I was one of the hundreds maybe thousands of people who left Lebanon to Syria during the July 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon (or Hezbollah, which ever side you think it is). The Syrians were extremely helpful and so unselfishly caring. At least I'm speaking about the few hours we were there. Point is, they were. I don't care if it was genuine or not, they did it anyway.
What drove me crazy is that Lebanon is making the process of refugee support all the more difficult. I'm not a fan of the Syrian regime, I never was, and probably never will be. I will also never forget what the Syrian regime did to Lebanon but this is the people we're talking about. The people who are as against this dictatorship as myself. This is such a shame. Instead of making sure that we stand by them and support them, regardless if you like them or not. I'm speaking from a purely humane point of view.
Then again why am I so surprised. I'm speaking about the same country that was giving the Japanese cars a hard time at customs because of potential nuclear hazards due to what happened in Japan. Really? So Lebanon doesn't mind going 9 months without a president, 6 months without a government but when it comes to the divinely unlikely chance of us getting any nuclear residue from cars, they go full speed. This is pathetic. I don't blame the government though, I blame the people who still vote for the same war criminals who are still in rule today. This topic is probably the most hackneyed in the history of books written about Lebanon. I'm not going to bother and get into it further.
I'm going to make myself a nice cup of tea with lemon while I pray for sweet blissful death instead of feeling my lungs being ripped out of my throat.

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Faith

I was born a Muslim and always lived my life that way. I had a bit of a setback growing up which made me read up on Islam so I can then argue in the future that I am a Muslim because it is the religion of my choosing not one that has been brought upon me from my family. I have always been a non-practicing believer. I attend the occasional Friday prayers and become extremely committed one month a year. One of the main reasons I believe in God is because I need there to be a God to explain things to me. My concerns are more social than they are divine. I need to know that the children that die in their mother's wombs, the tens of thousands of people killed in natural disasters, the women who get raped, the massacres that happen, all have explanations.

It all started last Thursday. I was in the office and wanted to go get my suits from the cleaners. As I was leaving the office I ran into a colleague of mine and decided to have a smoke with him to kill the time before heading out. The topic of religion and faith was brought up and after an hour long debate this is when it hit me. The vast majority plan their days around prayer times. 'Okay so we do this this and that after/before this prayer'. If one truly and so passionately believes in whatever religion he/she follows, wouldn't everyday life be revolving around religion and prayer? If you believe that Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) went through a painful and stressful of a life spreading the words of Allah, wouldn't one dedicate their entire lives praying and worshiping? If one really believed in what one followed then the priority would be how to kill the time in-between prayers. Okay here is where my confusion begins. If a person was to truly believe that we are living in a transitional phase before moving on to the eternal afterlife, doesn't that, more often than not, kill all ambition? But here I digress from the point I originally intended to shed light on with this post.

I got to leave relatively early today. So I had all these plans for an unspectacular night; hit the gym, pick up a friend, meet the boys for a quick cup of coffee before I head back home, put in my ear phones and surf the web a bit before I crash in all my clothes. As I was heading out my plane ticket falls out of my folder. My flight to Beirut is in a month. One small accidental thing stirred up a thousand thoughts. They're not exactly crystal clear in my head even but this is what came up. I intend to go to Beirut and have a week that I will never remember. Just completely consume as much liquids as I can get my hands on. I would be lying if I said that I am drinking purely to enjoy my night. I would also be lying if I said I am drinking because of the lack of it where I am. I do it for a lot of reasons and enjoying is but a minute one. I remember 3 maybe 4 years ago, I would stop 40 days before the expected month comes around. Some might think its hypocritical but I don't like mixing things together. What I need to do and what I want to do are two completely separate things. Assume I die before even finishing this post, I would much rather be someone who drank and has prayed rather than someone who just drank. Many might argue well then why don't you stop drinking and the answer is simple, same one I use for smoking, because I don't want to.

My flight just so happens to be within the 40 day boundary yet for some reason I don't see it to be a problem this year. I know it's not for lack of faith neither is it me distancing myself from religion because I intend to fast and pray and do all the things that would make me a "good" Muslim. I still believe in and fear God to the bone. I also believe that God is a thousand times more merciful than we could even fathom. I just don't necessarily believe that God will torment you for eternity because you slipped up for a few years while you're here. I don't know if you're going to be able to dissect what I just wrote into something that makes sense because truth be told, I feel like I just put a hundred unstructured thoughts into a few paragraphs but hey, isn't that what a blog is all about.

It begins

I was never a big fan of blogging. It never really appealed to me until I stumbled across Amina Arraf's blog which was extremely inspiring. With the help and support of a few friends, along with the ridiculous amount of free time one tends to accumulate living in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), I figured I might as well give it a shot; see what comes up. I didn't really set a clear purpose or objective for this blog. After having a good 15 minute contemplation on whether I want to go embark upon this I decided I should (It needed some thought because I wasn't planning on starting something and giving up on it half way through).

A few weeks ago, I traveled to meet up with a few friends in a city near mine. After coming back, something stuck with me. There was something on my mind I just couldn't really put my finger on it. I completely disregarded it and went on with my 14 hour shifts 6 days a week. One morning, as I was checking my mail, I saw an email from a friend talking about the potential increase in the nationalization percentage of the workforce. It was/is a huge topic amongst a cloud of debate. 6 people were in the forward and we kept messaging back and forth arguing about the subject matter, what it means, what it entails, the pros and cons of it, and how/when it would be put into action. That's when it hit me. This is what's been missing. I have been here for 2 years and the number of intellectual debates that revolved around anything that's not hot actresses/singers and the likes were close to none. Now I'm not sitting here claiming to be the philosophical guru of this day and age; much like every other guy, women are of interest to me, but it is a completely different story when this is ALL that is being talked about. Not to undermine the people I see here, it's just that they're not as interested in self-development, or anything else for that matter, as I had hoped. Some got overthrown with depression from the ever-so exciting life here that all they care about is the salary that comes knocking at the end of the month only to disappear half way through. As much as I attempted to bring something interesting to the table it all backfired with a reciprocated level of excitement about staying home and watching TV.

Limiting myself to the few I have direct contact with will surely destroy whatever energy and optimism I have left. By expanding the circle I'm hoping this will get me to where I want to go. Writing this was much simpler than I thought,,,didn't really think whilst writing. Until the next post,,,