A New Me

It’s crazy how a few days can really change a person. I sat with my dad the other day and we had a discussion about my “transformation”.

As some of you may already know, this is my first year in college. We’re already 2 months through the semester, and I believe these two months were enough to mold me into a different person. You see, at school, I had always been a good student…but I used to stress a lot. For as far back as I can remember (probably going back to like 9th grade), I was the kind of student who would stay up late at night revising, just to make sure I didn’t leave anything out. I would explain things to my friends and revise every single example. I was always tired at school; I didn’t get the 8.5 hours of sleep I needed.

Also, my relationship with God had its ups and downs. Well there were those times when I would talk to God only to ask Him for something. It was until the last two years that I’ve learned that no, I shouldn’t ask God for things that are just for my own needs, nor tell Him what He should do. Last year, I passed to the school’s chapel every morning and prayed. It really made my mornings like-able.

And lastly, the last 2 years were really the most stressful years of my life…on an emotional level. As I mentioned previously, I used to stress a lot because of my studies and now add to that the emotional burden I carried with me throughout my last two years at school. For those of you who have been following my posts on this blog, you have probably noticed that I’d written a lot of very sad and depressing posts. The kind of emotional stress I was dealing with wasn’t related to my family in any way, thankfully, but more to my friends. Well, technically, to the way I imagined things with my friends should be.

So here is where I tell you that I have made a few decisions.

First of all, I have decided to throw everything that has to do with my academic past at school behind me and start from zero. I have decided to adapt a new method of studying that involves studying as much as possible on a daily basis. It’s going almost perfectly so far, with a few exceptions of course. I have also decided to try (as much as possible) not to stress. Stress kills motivation. Stress kills focus. Stress kills will. Stress kills energy. Stress is horrible. I don’t want it anymore. I won’t lie to you though; there were times when I DID stress out, but they lasted a few minutes. Good job, Maria. It’s what I like to call progress.

Furthermore, my goal is to do my best. I’m doing everything my professors are asking me to do, I’m studying well, I’m doing well, and that’s more than satisfying. No stress, no staying up late, no uncontrollable coffee consumption.

Also recently, I’ve made another decision. I have decided to be happy. I have always been a very happy and actually a very innocent person. So, obviously, that period of sadness in my life was really tough for me because I had never felt so down in my life before. As we say it in Arabic, “nafsiyyete kenet bel ared” and this means, in a way, that I felt extremely down and was negative about almost everything. To tell you the truth, I had imagined things. Remember how I said I imagined how things with my friends should be? I always had this fear that my friends would leave me. I always had this doubt about being a friend worth keeping or not. Now I look back and say, “Hey. You’re wrong to think that way. You’re a good friend. You were there for your friends when they needed you, and it’s all that matters. You’re a little clingy, but you can work on it.” I am done with delusions. I learned that people will love you for who you are, and the ones who leave were never meant to stay in the first place. So here is where I made a change: I deleted all my sad posts from this blog, and turned this whole thing back to its original purpose which was to write down my thoughts on a certain social problem, or share my experiences and ideas with you.

And lastly, I am working on my relationship with God. See, in my university, we have this small chapel. The situation on the roads in Lebanon is so good to the point where I got stuck in extreme traffic every morning, but that was until I decided to leave very early. Anyway, leaving super early in the morning led to arriving super early to university which gave me the chance to go to the chapel and talk to God.  I’m going to be honest with you and say that my daily 15 minutes of prayer make it easier for me to face the day. I’ve learned to say that whatever happens, I’m still blessed, and honestly it’s what’s most important. God has given me so much, and I’m thankful.

I’d like to add that yes, my major is exhausting and I’m kind of overloaded with work to do, but I’m enjoying it. And I love my university.

I hope that my enthusiasm will persist the way it is now, and that my relationships with my friends will last. I’m a new person now. I’m an adult, I’m independent, I have what it takes, I’m in the choir and the blood donation club, I’m blessed, and I’m happy.  I say do a little soul-searching and see if there are any decisions that need to be taken. Until next time. x

Smile more!

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Controlled

It’s been a while since I last shared some of my drawings here. 

I’ve been looking at other people’s drawings on Instagram and Facebook and I saw that some of these drawings have a deep meaning behind them; things concerning society and culture. 

I’ve sketched two drawings really quickly the other night and I thought I should share them with you. 


The first drawing (if you can tell) was inspired by the idea that “skinny” is people’s, and especially young girls’, goal. The man is being suffocated by the waistband, even though he’s gotten too skinny to the point where his ribs are showing. 

The second drawing is pretty obvious. Our emotions, as well as society’s standards and criticism, control us. We are like puppets succumbing to the desires of society and to our emotions and feelings. The hardest thing for a puppet is to come alive and break free. 

I’ll make sure to post more drawings from now on…so many things I want to share with you. Until next time, create and keep blogging. 

Confessions

Nick and I were invited to a birthday party the other night, and we were the last two people to leave. Even the girl whose birthday it was had left. It was 1AM, can you blame her? After all, she did get surprised big time that night.

We held the birthday surprise at one of our hangouts, The Lonely Corner. If you saw how crowded it always is, you’d think the name was pretty ironic. Anyway, behind The Lonely Corner lied a swing set. Nick was like, “Hey! I haven’t sat on a swing in ages. Look, I’m 10 again.” I sat on the swing right next to his and acted a little childlike myself.

Nick stopped swinging. He saw me rubbing my hands together and blowing some hot air into my palms, trying to feel warm. Before I knew it, he took off his jacket and covered my shoulders.

“No, Nick, now you will feel cold and I don’t want you to get sic-” I said, a little aggressively.

He insisted I wear it, and that was when he looked straight into my eyes. He smiled.

“You know what’s funny?” I said. “I never noticed that little twinkle in your eyes.”

“Well, you have beautiful eyes too… and they talk to me.”

“And what are they saying?”

“That I looked absolutely hot tonight,” he said, and we both burst out laughing. He then continued saying, “I don’t always tell you this, but when I want to, I don’t get the chance to do so.”

I shrugged.

“You know how we’ll be off to college soon? Yeah, well, among all the people that I could possibly stop talking to in the future, or all the people that I might let go of, I pray you’ll never be one of them.”

A smile was drawn on my face. I couldn’t believe what I was just told. You probably are wondering why I was so stunned, considering Nick and I were best friends and all, but what you don’t know is that Nick and I had had a huge argument a month ago, and made up after tons of apology attempts. You didn’t know about this simply because we didn’t tell anyone.

“I feel the same way,” I finally uttered.

Nick started blowing hot air into his palms. “Told you you’d feel cold,” I said, “My hands are warm now, hand me yours.”

I grabbed his frozen fingers and I could see he felt better. I looked at him firmly, and said, “Tell me something. Anything.”

“I love you.”

“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“Okay. I’ve been having a great time lately. Everything’s been going great; my football team won the finals, my grades are outstanding, and I have healthy relationships with everyone. I’m happy.”

I looked down, and bit my lip. Then I contemplated Nick’s face attentively. “How do you do it?”

“Do what?”

“How are you so good at everything you do? How do you maintain strong connections with everyone at all times? How do you not stress out all the time? How do you do it?

“Alright, fine. I want to tell you something I don’t usually talk about. The truth is I don’t know if I’m ready to go to New York for college. I’m scared, Jane. I don’t know how I’ll handle a long-distance relationship with Rosie. I don’t know how I’ll keep in touch with my parents all the time. I don’t know how I’ll handle being in New York while you’re here in Chicago.”

I grinned again.

“And who says I don’t stress out?” he continued. “I’m at the top level of stressing out right now. Oh, and one more thing: it’s important to keep in mind that the most essential thing is to be someone good, someone passionate, someone loyal, someone determined, and someone who loves. It’s hard, but I manage.”

“My best friend is so wise.” I said with a cheeky smile.

“I’m wise and am the way I am because my best friend always motivated me to be the best I can be. Because my best friend told me about a quadrillion times that life doesn’t stop at failure. Because my best friend was awesome to me, and I wanted to be like her to other people.”

“You wanted to be like me? But I’ve always wanted to be like you!”

“Yes, Jane. You’ve had a great impact on my life. You don’t know how many problems I had before we met. My parents were trying to help, but you made things right again.”

And at this moment, we stopped talking, started swinging again, looked at each other and laughed…and that was when we saw car lights. Our moms were here to pick us up.

“Bye, Nick.”

“Bye, Jane.”

“And…Nick? Promise me we’ll always push each other to do our best, and that no matter what happens, no matter where we end up in college, no matter in which country life puts us in, we’ll always talk.”

“I promise. I love you.” He turned around and headed towards the car.

“I love you way more,” I whispered as I watched him walk away.

Little Random Post

I have to be honest and say that I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. Let’s see…

My 15 years in school are practically over. I graduate this year. MOMMA, I’M GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL IN A FEW MONTHS! 

Okay now that I let that out, I would like to confess that the idea of “the future” scares me. My dad says to live day-by-day and not to worry about the future but guess who finds that impossible

I can’t help but think of how I’m about to jump from one phase of life into another without going through a sort of try-living-on-your-own-for-a-few-months experience. I don’t know. I mean for the first 18-to-20 years of your life everything you want is taken care of by your parents and you’re still their little baby and suddenly woop! You’re off to college. You’re now an adult and you’re supposed to handle your life, stress, studies and problems all by yourself. Cool.

I’m applying for a major in biology. Many have asked if by “biology” I meant “pre-med biology” and one can clearly see that they lost interest the second I said no. I have repeatedly received comments such as “PURE BIOLOGY? Then what? Teaching career?”
In fact, yes. I’m aiming for a PhD. Soon, you’ll be calling me “professor”.

However, even if I know that I’m passionate about biology and that I find pleasure in studying it, I still have some doubts. Is it really what I want?

***

Another thing that I’d like to talk about is something regarding school in general. Listen, kids. High school is tough. You will  face competition, you will have emotional breakdowns because of grades, you will face a stress that will sometimes lead to failure, you will go through sleepless nights, you will get heartbroken, you will face disappointments, and you will meet new people and let go of the ones you thought will always stay by your side. But if there’s something I have learned from high school, it’s that grades will never define how smart you are. Perhaps in middle school you never fought for your grades, and maybe other people’s results didn’t mean to you when you were younger. Everything was fine. You did your best and that seemed enough. Now you realized that other people’s achievements do affect you, and that you are indeed fighting for your grades, but guess what? You’re not the only one going through this. In middle school, teachers and administration members push you to do your best so that you can make it to and through high school. However, ever since you start your sophomore year, every teacher starts following you, telling you that you have to excel in everything, enroll in extracurricular activities and all that bullshit because if you don’t, university X won’t accept you.

We all want to get into the best universities. I know that from myself. But I think that school shouldn’t push you to do this and that. The school’s job is to guide you in order for you to choose the university that is best for you and whatever major you want. I think that, in the end, it’s all a matter of reputation. You know, a way for administration members to brag and say “yeah well we have a student, X, who studies at Harvard” and “Yes, our students are going to the American University of Beirut”.

Well, I think I made a point. I’d like to wrap everything up by thanking my parents because they never made a big deal out of a certain bad grade since they know that I’m doing my best, my best friends with whom I grew up because they’ve always had my back, the people I’ve met recently (a few years back) because they have been wonderful, and finally, God, because He always listened to my prayers and eased my pain.

Let this be a lesson to you: do your absolute best, all the time. If you succeed, you’re on the right track. If you fail, try again. Don’t let one, two, or even eight bad grades get you down, because life is about much more than academic results. And finally, the stress you will face is only temporary. When you’re down, always try finding a reason to smile. Stay positive, stay determined, and keep blogging.

Tuesdays with Morrie.

A pure masterpiece.

A book that teaches you about life values, love, sacrifice, family, relationships, how to deal with death, how not to surrender to the love of money, how to view life from a new, better, perspective and much more…

Morrie, a professor in the field of sociology and diagnosed with ALS, teaches each and every single reader a valuable lesson: how to live happily. Morrie is going to die, and he knows that he’s going to die, and he keeps reminding others that he’s going to die, but he never lost a single taste of happiness. Throughout the story, Morrie teaches Mitch, his ex-student, many valuable and inspirational lessons, including how to love endlessly, and most important thing of all, how to be human.

I cannot describe how powerful the impact that this book had on me was. It is by far the most touching and amazing book I have ever read. If you don’t end up crying, then this book did not move you enough, I can guarantee you that.

To the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom, you are a pure genius, and I respect you as both an author and as a person.

Here are very few of the many — many — memorable passages found in the book.

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