I remember reading an entire book on Healthy Living and Stress Management, without any idea of what stress means-I was thirteen. Internet was nonexistent to me. Stress is a very recent phenomenon in my life. Looking back at a time when stress was nonexistent, I wonder what it was that made my life so stress free. For some reason, I always flash back to one scenario in my life:
I was eleven. In the front yard of our house, which was a concrete floor with reasonably high concrete walls, open clear skies, we had a blue wooden table tennis table. I would stand on top of this table to get a closer look at the stars. I could spot Venus’s location before it even appeared. The weather at 7:00 in the evening was blessed-right after the scorching sun had set. I star-spotted every evening. I would stare into the sky till my eyes got used to the darkness and I could get a chance to peek deeper into the universe. I even remember seeing my first ever meteor shower, a magnificent event.
In addition to all this though, I was a very diligent student-incredibly dedicated to school-loved by teachers. Poetry used to be my top skill back then. I used to perform in several stage-shows that I wrote with my classmates-I was called the queen of the stage. I don’t recall having any sense of family or religion. It was all about me and my progress in life. I wanted to be an astronomer. I generalized this passion to say that I wanted to work for NASA. I spent a massive portion of my time in my room preparing for my future. I would never get bored. I had no time for television.
Shortly after, I moved to a different country. Then, to another. Things never were the same again. Now all of a sudden, Family and Religion are top priorities and astronomy almost holds no place in my life. Suddenly I was introduced to concepts like ‘identity’, ‘culture’ and of course the differences. My personality hasn’t changed at all. I’m a muchbetter person-I actually like myself. So many changes. Makes me wonder, what makes me who I am? I feel quite insecure leaving this question unanswered.
I love life the way it is now, alhumdulAllah. But I truly believe that we humans can hold a stress-free lifestyle. The reason why I keep flashing back to that scenario of my life is because back then I had nothing to lose–I had everything-well, I took everything for granted. I was selfish-life was purely about me. Now it isn’t-I’ve come out of that room now. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: I am going to go off to a meditating tour to discover my place in the world. I want to be in a state of bliss.
The only common thread between back then and now is that I still write-and I write very much in the same tone that I used to. That aspect of me, my friends, is untouched by my surroundings.
This is an aerial view of the city that I lived in.