Transition, #7

Transition and growth is always good.

I’ve been shuffling through life for the past three months now, and transition is alive and well. Many different aspects of my life have been changing, and are still changing. It’s crazy to recall back to almost two or three years ago, contemplating a miserable existence, while at the same time, I was convincing myself life was mine to grab. Things weren’t going my way, however life has been pleasant to me thus far, and I’ve been taking it by storm.

Many aspects of my personality are changing, which is something I didn’t quite honestly expect. Throughout my college years, I was someone who was weak, gullible and had no control over the nature of my choices, where I had to ask everyone around me for advice. There’s nothing wrong with asking others for advice, however it showed me clearly that there was something faulty in my own behavior, and in my own personality. Growth in a person usually takes time, and I feel like the past few years have all been building up to this moment, where I break the chains of the average, and transcend, ,and finally make something out of myself.

I have a job now, which was something I never had before. I didn’t anticipate or it never came up to me, that the responsibilities at hand, might actually be enjoyable. I understand the nature of growing up now, and taking matters to your own hands now. I don’t care that all this came late in my life, I’m just thankful to be alive, to have responsibilities, and most importantly, I’m thankful that there is a future for me to look forward to.

A Touch of Happiness, #4

Not a great time to be alive, but hey, it’s all about the little things.

I’ve been feeling blue lately. I don’t feel as energetic as I usually am, heck even getting out of bed is becoming a drag. Living a routine life is truly soul crushing, but I always realize that it’s necessary, and well… I just have to go through the motions of the mundane everydayness.

I’m very familiar to these terrible mood swings, and they affect me in ways that hinder me in dreadful forms. It gets as far as working the effort and energy to crack a smile that I truly mean, or to even converse with people. The worse part is that I’m not putting enough time in my studies… I always faze out, and my mind gets blurry whenever I attempt to read, or even write. It’s horrible alright, and I hope that things get better real soon.

The only thing that I look forward to however, even with all my sadness and state of being right now, is seeing her everyday, well… not everyday, but whenever my eyes fall on her. It’s crazy I know, and I’m usually not like that. But when the love bug crawls in, oh boy. All hell breaks loose for me, but in a good way.

Seeing her makes me happy, even a little hello, and a small nod or wave, make my shitty present days better. That’s how bad of a state I’m in right now, but I’ll take whatever I can get. It helps and I don’t mind having this naive sort of high school reminiscent crush. It’s the little things that get me by, and that’s the only little thing that does get me by, or the only little thing I have going on.

I’ll take that small dosage of happiness, even if nothing eventually happens, and most probably nothing will.

Imad’s Barbershop

The best there ever was.

 

Barber Shops in Beirut are a complete mystery. Every time I go to get my beard trimmed or my hair cut, I always end up surprised. From the gossip, to the weird sex jokes, to the religious satire; everything and anything can be expected at a barbershop, except for a decent haircut…

Stepping inside the small crowded store in a small crowded alleyway, I entered Imad’s Barber Shop: the most famous barber in Mreijeh (the area where I live, in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut).

“Hello come in come in, my place is your place. Hussein! Come and set up Ibn l Hakeem (that’s what he calls me, he has called me that ever since I was a little boy. I bet he didn’t even know my real name. It means the son of the Doctor, yes it’s because my dad is a doctor, so I guess it’s just easier to do that).

Hussein, a little child from a poor family around the age of eleven came over and greeted me warmly and led me to the chair. Workers like Hussein are typical and easily found at any local barbershop. Barbers usually look for cheap laborers to clean the hair off the floor and to trim beards when they don’t feel like doing anything. Hussein was new. The last time I was here it was Adam. These small kids get paid 200,000 L.L (more than a 100$ in a wee bit) per month. But here’s the twist, the barber tells them it’s some sort of an internship. If the kid turns out to be a learner by sight and picks up the craft by observation, he’s hired! That obviously didn’t work out for Adam, and I fear the same fate for little Hussein. When I asked Imad why he doesn’t clean up the hair after he’s done with each client, he simply said that he can’t lower his back down much often and the extra pair of hands is always needed. He finds these kids wandering around the streets trying to sell tissues for the passing car passengers. Having to think of it, he’s somehow getting them off the street. He also added that hiring Hussein was a big hassle to him because his father wanted a piece of the money. He just had to hire him. He felt pity for him. Imagine living in a small canned house with a drunken father and seven other children. That’s no life at all. At least now Hussein has a steady income (even though the amount is absolutely nothing), and his father is getting a small bribe from Imad. It’s a win-win situation for all sides concerned.

The place looked like one big rectangle crowded with cheap leather couches and hair grooming equipment. There are three seats for the barbers to operate on and just on the side behind the entrance a small stand where you can buy some hair gel (this is how he makes most of his money as he told me).

Having skipped the wait, I was surrounded by fierce looks from all over the store. “Who’s this guy to skip after all of us? Is he the son of a leader or something?!”

I felt really bad at that moment. I mean if it was for me, I’d wait for my turn. But the irony is that I can’t wait for my turn. If my father finds out I had to wait in line at the barbershop, then no free medical care for Imad! This country works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

Twenty minutes have passed and Imad has yet to come to give me my haircut, and the customers are growing impatient. Just behind me was a mother with her twin sons. They had long blonde curly hair, dangling down to their shoulders. They were exceptionally quiet. Kids usually turn into the spawn of Satan himself in a barbershop. Just beside the family on the couch to the right two guys with short hair, VERY long beards, and had shoulders and muscles the size of my big head. They look kind of like your basic Lebanese gym freak who clearly has an insanely imbalanced set of hormones.

To the left however two old mean who clearly already had their hair cut, were just sitting there arguing whether the Syrian struggle will be over anytime soon, and both of them with great disappointment, felt that no current solution will occur.

After many prayers Imad came to me after a mere forty-five minutes, not that much of a wait, no? Not that much of a wait to be honest. The past year I remember waiting for an hour or so hours because Imad wasn’t there and I had to get a haircut by one of his employees.

“How do you want your hair cut habeebi (which means my love, I know it’s weird)?”

“As you like, everything is fine”

“All your life you’re a man of style! For your eyes! The best haircut for you!”

As I was getting my hair cut, Imad drifted every two or three minutes to have a chat with one of the customers. I’m used to it. He does this all the time. It just fascinates me how he’s still running this business and how come he’s more successful than any other barbershop in my neighborhood. He’s slow, doesn’t tend to the needs of his customers, favors them over the other based on personal interest, and doesn’t give a rat’s bottom about the hygiene of his place and yet, his crown is yet to be taken.

Imad the king of barbers, the best there ever is. Just be sure before deciding to have your haircut here to free your schedule. You’re in for a long wait.

Sweet Stuff

Time to lose that weight.

 

Food has been one of the major mishaps of my life, yes I mean that quite literally. I eat way too much than my body needs, and this has been keeping me down for quite a long time.

I’m not excruciatingly obese to the point where I can’t get out of bed, but for sure I could lose a lot of weight, no doubt whatsoever.

Personally, I’ve thought this through and through, and I always come up with the same interpretation as to how much I eat of course, and it isn’t something mind blowing or spectacularly psychological, but the reason for my over-eating is the simplicity of the fact that I love the taste of food, way more than the regular person. Just the sensation of good (junk) food breaking down in my mouth, gives my euphoric sensations (which is a bad thing thinking about it now).

I wouldn’t classify myself with those who would say that the reason they overindulge in food or ‘binge-eating’ is due to some personal dysfunction or as a coping mechanism to fight something off, a way to forget some things that an individual might be going through. Don’t get me wrong, that’s quite harsh when a person truly suffers from this, and it can be a huge pain to overcome this on a psychological level. Many obese people fall for this due to many complications, and this is an actual disease, which can be very hard to overcome.

Whenever I’d have an overwhelmingly delicious meal, or any kind of sweet savoury mouth watering type of food, I feel bad. I don’t feel bad for eating, but I feel bad because I can do better. I’m not one of those who thinks that being ‘fat’ or ‘overweight’ is okay, no, I think it’s something that anyone can get out of with the right amount of work and the perfect suitable diet for his/her needs.

Often times I think I give this ‘excuse’ of simply loving how food taste as a shield to fend myself off the reality that I need to exercise more, I need to eat healthier, I need to eat cleaner, etc.

This notion of being fat by choice has only kept me down for a long time. I have to change, I mean, I always find myself thinking, ‘is it really THAT hard to get my ass off the couch and go for a run, or to join a gym?’. The answer is simple, no it’s not that hard.

I’ve delt and been through alot in my short existence of twenty-one. By hell, I won’t let the excess fat on my body, that was my own doing, to keep my down anymore.

I’ll go as far as saying that this is not okay. I don’t want to be accepted in a society in the way that I am now. This is one of the harshest mistakes and wrongdoings caused by political correctness. Being fat and obese shouldn’t be celebrated. Being lazy shouldn’t be celebrated, and yes, I’m applying this to my own self. I won’t find any excuses anymore for being a lazy, food junkie that doesn’t want to better himself. I’m better than this, I’m better than all this crap I keep shoving down my throat. I’m not falling for the oh so standards of society in terms of fitness. I’m not one of those who shout ‘yeah! It’s okay to be fat! Rock that body you go, random fat person!’. That’s wrong and on so many levels I’ve come to realize. Being fit and healthy isn’t a ‘social construct’, it’s the only sane choice a human being can make in order to have a healthy and lasting existence.

No more excuses. I will become a better person, not for society, not for anyone else, but for myself.

I’ll try my best, and I will fight as hard as it takes, to achieve my goals, and to lose all this heaviness that I inflicted upon myself.

All that sweet stuff, I’ll have to put on hold. Time for change.

Nostalgia Spree, #3

The power of nostalgia.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about many things. I know it sounds something common, and it is true, that everyone gets nostalgic every now and then. However I’ve reached the point where the past is mostly everything I think about, and I honestly find this quite dangerous.

I’m still twenty years old (almost twenty-one in a couple of days), and I know individuals who are much older, yet they’re much more excited for what the future has to hold, and this is problematic. Everything is going great in my life, I don’t have anything to complain about, but I have this itchy yearning for what has already happened and to what I’ve already lived through, and experiences I’ve already had.

Perhaps this is all normal, and it’s a phase of some sorts, because I’m in a transitioning phase right now, and I’m about to embark in the newest chapter of my life. Maybe I’m dwelling on what could’ve been, and the life I had as a child? Who knows, knows.

I’ve been playing older video games I used to play as a child. Games like Runescape. I used to put an alarm on my old watch on every weekend at 6 A.M, to wake up and have an insanely long session that consisted of mostly cutting trees, and trying to get a Runescape girlfriend (usually bought for 10k gold or a few expensive items. I have to say though, my Runescape girlfriends were all better than the one’s I had in real life, oh the irony). I also remembered all the books I used to read. I used to be crazy about R.L Stine, which was quite normal considering what I was into. I used to read those horror stories with every shred of excitement a small human can garner and manage to summon. I miss going to our countryside house, playing on the swings and outside the house, getting myself dirty and dragged down, having those long sunset walks with my child-self, and thinking how the hell was I that deep of a person when I wasn’t really as aware back then. I’d kill for one of those 2-3 hour bike rides just about right now. It’s the small trivial things that I miss mostly. I miss having all the free time in the world, to indulge in what I truly loved doing and all the works that go along with it.

I keep reminiscing on the time where things were just so very damn simple. Maybe it’s the lifestyle that I’m leading that is keeping everything off-balance? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I want ease of mind, and I want that real soon.

I have to be honest now, this spree of nostalgia is great. I never realized I could remember that many events and things I used to do as a kid. I never thought I’d have the capacity to keep hold of all these memories, or I never thought the human brain was truly this powerful. I was shuffling through past events like I shuffle through recent pictures on my phone.

Nostalgia is great folks, it truly is. Be sure though to always look to what’s forward, or to what’s coming ahead in your horizon.