It’s been a long time since my last blog post. I’ve been really struggling lately and here’s why.
I recently completed my Masters and I’m left in this state of limbo where I know what I want to do next – but I’m not a 100 percent sure about it. For instance, in November I will be taking the Teaching English as a Foreign Language seminar. I have also decided to take some French in December (to enhance my spoken language – otherwise, I’m pretty good with reading and writing).
I’ve been really hard on myself lately. Most of my friends are back to school and I’m ‘taking the year off’ or so to speak. I haven’t been able to focus on writing or reading or anything but this sense of loss and confusion. I’ve been feeling bored and that I should be using my time wisely. But fuck it. I need the time off. I need the break I didn’t get to take over the summer, and I need to just accept that this is only a phase and that it will be worth my while in the end.
For the longest time I was looking for a word to describe how I felt. I was looking for something to describe this feeling of displacement and then I found it.
Monachpsis: “the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach…”
A few nights ago, I was out at a bar mingling with friends and some new people when I was asked what I was doing with my life – in a causal and non offensive way of course. I answered that I had a Master’s degree, and that I worked in a pharmacy for the time being until I went back to school for my PhD. I was surprised at how easily I answered the question – without a moment of hesitation.
Then it dawned on me. I had been telling people that ‘I just completed or was done my masters’ but never that I had the degree. It put a smile on my face. It felt good to finally say it.
So. Fucking. Good.
#21: Something I miss
I have all the feels about his particular post.
Two years ago (2015) I spent most of my summer in Lebanon visiting family and friends. It still makes me smile when I mention my visit to anyone. I consider it to be the trip of a life time and I can’t wait to go back.
One of my fondest memories from my visit is the time when my cousins and I drove across the country to walk through the Cedars of Lebanon.
As I close my eyes, I can feel the cool, crisp air. The memory of climbing over large rocks and tree roots as I walk down the winding path, brings me joy. The patches of sun beating down on my shoulders and the warmth it brings my body is exhilarating. I can reach out and touch the leaves between my fingers; their texture is soft yet rough. I am at ease with the people I am with.
Family and friends.
The late nights sharing drinks and anecdotes.
The hot days of Beirut.
The family lunches and dinners.
Being called ‘my cousin from Canada’.
Hiking in the mountains.
Swimming in the ocean.
Driving down winding roads to new adventures.
Being teased about my Arabic pronunciation.
Teasing them about their English.
Playing bubble soccer.
Sitting on the beach.
The promises made and kept.
Bar hoping and day drinking.
Dancing in the car.
The shenanigans, pranks, and silly stunts.
The way my aunt and mom used to dance when they were happy.
My uncle’s dad jokes.
‘Kiss me again’ as a recurring curse.
… so, so much more.
But mostly, I miss the experience, and the cherished the memories.
#19: Worst Habits (in no particular order)
We all have ’em right?
- This is in list form because I’m lazy (so I guess that’s habit number one).
- I run on ‘Arab time’ (If you’re unfamiliar, it means I’m often but not always late).
- I never get enough sleep (or rather, it’s rare when I do).
- I spend way too much time looking at a screen (I’m surprised I don’t need glasses).
- Poor as fuck posture (I sit on my ass all day 8hunched over my laptop).
- I don’t workout as much as I would like to.
- I don’t deal well with stress.
- I drink too much caffeinated stuff in general (if that’s a thing) – coffee and tea mostly.
- I have a tendency to skip breakfast.
- Emotional Eating (boredom).
- I get distracted easily (by the internet) and end up wasting time rather than getting things I need to get done, done (like posting this for example instead of working on my Research Project).
- I’m terrible at removing distractions/time-wasters.
- Not having a work routine.
- I’m overloaded with opinions/information (so I tend to lose track of ideas quickly).
- I’m indecisive.
- I ‘wait’ for the ‘right’ time to work (Inspiration or whatever).
- Online shopping (need I say more?).
- When I’m nervous I twirl/pull my hair, pick at my skin, or fidget with whatever item I am holding.
- I tend to unintentionally space out sometimes.
- Swearing in public (but who doesn’t these days?).
What are some of your worst habits?
#18 What am I afraid of?
I tend to take my time when it comes to answering questions like these.
In a few words, I find questions about love, fear, death and life quite difficult to answer.
Death has always been difficult for me. I’ve a few people I’ve loved over the years but I was always too young to understand what it really meant. I’ve never been properly equipped to deal with it. Nor do I think I’m capable of dealing with it now.
When someone I know has a family member or friend that passed away, I do this thing where I try not to let it get to me. I feel like this blob who’s just there to offer a hug and my condolences without really understanding what the death of this person means to them. I tell them that they are in a better place, that they’re happier in heaven, that I’ll say a prayer for them that… I understand how they must feel.
But I don’t.
I’m not afraid to die.
I’m afraid to love.
I’m afraid to lose someone I love.
#17: Favorite Childhood Book
I didn’t get into reading until later into my childhood. I was more interested in playing outside than anything else at the time. I was around the age of eleven when I picked up my love of books. The first novel I ever read that wasn’t read to me was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
I was instantly drawn in. Harry was eleven in the first of book series – the same age I was when I started reading. This fact made it all the better. I felt easily connected with the characters and fell in love with each and every one of them. Frankly, I still love the series.
I read each book carefully, some of them were in the span of 24 hours. Yes, I really got into it. Frankly, I still call myself as a Ravenclaw among other Potterheads. This series opened the door to many more series and other books along the way.
I’m a class-A book hoarder and I just can’t stop.
#16 Dream Job
Sometimes, things in life are simple; other things in life require a lot more work. Growing up, I thought I knew what I wanted to be: a doctor. I wanted to be a psychiatrist to be exact. This meant years of school, learning medicine and and doing god knows how many years of clinical work. Boring right? I didn’t think so at the time. Once I entered university, psychology, sociology and the like were my top pick for classes. Then science happened.
After discovering that psychiatry may not be for me, I opted for the idea of being a therapist. I ended up changing my mind again, so I decided that maybe I could do a degree in Sociology instead or English. I hated sociology but loved English. Besides, it was around this time that I had taken my first Women’s and Gender Studies course and knew that I found my calling.
Over the course of my undergrad I had had some pretty wonderful instructors and some… not so wonderful.
I want to teach.
I’ve always been interested in teaching and learning and the idea of learning through teaching. I was grateful for the experience I received in my Masters program. I was given the opportunity to be a teaching assistant which allowed me to lead a discussion group twice week for an hour.
Being up there at the front of the room with twenty faces starring back at you was intimidating at first, but I grew to love it. I grew to love the excitement, energy, enthusiasm and ambition from the students who sat in my room. I grew to love the sharing of knowledges, whether these knowledges come from personal or academic experiences. I grew to love my own enthusiasm for being there, helping them and answering every tiny yet banal question asked.
Creating a safe environment where teaching and learning are one and the same.
What’s your dream job?
#15: Timeline of my day from three days ago.
I forgot to post this.
0930: Wake-up call.
0930–1030: Morning Routine (Wash face, brush teeth, put on makeup)
1030-1055: Dressed (Jeans and a tee-shirt).
1100-1115: Breakfast (Glass of milk and some fruit).
1120-1150: In the car to pick up a friend (we had plans to hang out).
1200-1220: Picked up said friend.
1220-1110: Drove to coffee shop (and obviously purchased coffee).
0115–0130: We bought food to go (Cheese and Spinach pies) and some chocolate and chips for snacks.
0130: Decided to picnic in a park with our goodies:
0130-0415: Hung out in park next to the waterfalls. It was a nice get away from the stress that is research (self-care and giggles).
0415-730: Decided to go shopping (between the mall and the thrift shop, we found some cute goodies).
0800: Dropped friend off.
0810-0850: Picked mom up and took her grocery shopping.
0900: Late Dinner (something light of course).
0930: Skype call with the bestie.