(N)Ever Have I Ever

So apparently we live in w a world that wants us to dare do as many things as possible.

I found this post on some Facebook group, and apparently the fewer points you get the cooler you are. Because everything on the list is adventurous activities you must be proud to “Have ever” done them.

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Everything becomes a competition, and to be able to present yourself to the world as an interesting, sophisticated, adventurous person you have to do many things you wouldn’t do if you were a normal person, or you’d have a normal living situations.

Looking at the above picture, I find myself wondering: What if I can’t give birth? Can I still be a daring person? What if I’m not rich, and I can’t go on a cruise trip?

Do I really have to do many things to prove myself as a daring person who likes going on adventures? What if I find the life I’m living an adventure? What if I don’t want to go scuba diving or skydiving? What if I don’t like tattoos? or weird piercings? why do I need to do daring things to be a daring person?

And when it comes to accomplishments, why do I need to be a person who keeps accomplishing things? isn’t my life an accomplishment by itself? Shouldn’t I be satisfied with whatever I have now?

I hear people saying constantly that they love trying and accomplishing new things every day, but isn’t that tiring? to never have the ability to be satisfied with what you have for a bit, and then when you’re quite at your leisure, you can try new thing?

January deaths

New year began, with January. New year’s resolution we want to begin with, but there’s no time. Maybe after we finish our current assignments we can hit the gym to work out more. And after finishing some papers and exams, we can read more books we wanted to read a while ago.

There’s no time to start working on our new year’s resolution. There’s no time to start working on our new selves.

And there’s no time to say Goodbye to the dead.

January started with many posts of death announcements on the social network. I check my Facebook every day to find it flooded with death announcements. Many has died: old, and young.

January is still not over, and this month I saw around five death announcements of people I know.

“My condolences.” and “Sorry for your loss.” is now a mantra.

Has it been like that for a while? for January to bring deaths? and people  to wait until after the holidays to die?

Why is it that January has to come with death?

Why does the beginning of the year must bring many ends?

Why is January the month of depression and grief?

I’m anxious.

 

A poem I wrote few years ago:
Goodbye January
“Frigid January,
the month of death,
Why could not you resurrect?”
(2013)

Morning rain

It’s six thirty in the morning. I woke up. I don’t wake up that early, but I’m happy I can get out of bed at that hour. I hear the rain falling down so heavily.

It’s a bit chilly. I wake up and look at my window near my bed. It’s all foggy.

It’s the perfect time for a cup of coffee. I enjoy every sip and every drop of rain.

It rarely rains. It rarely rains when I’m at my cozy home, having the chance to sit cozily with my cup of coffee.

It’s comfortable. It’s safe. It’s a bran new day – filled with new opportunities.

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From my window – Haifa Nov 22, 2017

New name, new address, new home

I decided to change the address of my blog. From arwa13.wordpress.com to strawberryfields.blog. (Yes, it’s the first time I’m using and paying for another plan on wordpress.com).

I’ve been blogging on WordPress for more than ten years, and I’m the most satisfied with this platform. It provides easy blogging, and the blogs/sites look professional and modern. I always enjoy using WordPress and like to explore every feature it provides.

Last month I made a decision that I’m going to upgrade my account to the paid personal plan. My weblog is personal, and I don’t think it should change. I share my personal experience, thoughts and writing. I wanted to boost my blog and give it a more fancy address which includes a domain.

I spent a month thinking about a new domain for the website. And I knew I couldn’t be creative enough to come up with a very unique and creative name, so I looked at titles of my favorite old songs. And it wasn’t easy, and it was nearly impossible to find something that would look like a name of a blog, until I decided that the name Strawberry Fields would sound so poetic and simple at the same time.

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Strawberry Fields Forever is a song by one of my favorite all time musical bands in the whole world, and maybe I shouldn’t have used it as a title of my blog, but I feel that my blog itself is a fields of Strawberry.

Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone
But it all works out

It was part of the fantasy

“For some it wasn’t perfect, for others it was totally wrong, for me it was the fantasy …”

Me, seven years ago, after a college Theatre performance

It was seven years ago, when I was a child. I was naive, and I wanted to learn. I was eager and passionate, and I had no idea how to learn. I’d known I was a special one, and I needed to exploit my distinguished personality.

I was at the wrong place, the wrong stage, in front of the wrong audience. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was constantly surrounded by the wrong people. People who didn’t understand my essence or my desires and passions.

I imagined myself performing my own fictional identities. And I had some of them, most of them were beautiful and pure.

 

New Year – not too much of a big deal

I was thinking about the whole perception of “The New Year”, and “new beginnings”. I was thinking about the notion behind writing New Year’s resolutions, and why we do that.

I live in a country that doesn’t really make a huge fuss about celebrating the New Year. It’s considered a Christian holiday, and as a Christian you take a day off from work/school and celebrate the holiday with your family.

I go online and I see people writing thing about not bringing their 2017 problems to 2018, or starting new adventures in 2018, etc. And I’m sitting here, thinking that after 2018 I’m going back to work, and to my school assignments.

2018 will not be any different from 2017, or 2016 or any year. It’s just another year, and another number. Time goes on, and we’re only responsible for our actions, decisions and what we do in our lives, regardless of the concept of our plans for the upcoming year.

For instance, I want to write more in 2018. I simply plan to write more in the future, regardless if it’s 2018, or 2019. I want to lose weight this upcoming year, but I’ve been saying that for the last 5 years (when I started gaining weights again). It has nothing to do with the New Year, we’re just taking this new year as an excuse to start thinking about decisions we’ve made.

2017 has been a great year for me: not great as only in a positive sense. It has been a year filled with both success, failure and great changes. I simply wish that 2018 would turn to be a calmer year. Though I have a feeling, it wouldn’t be.

I wrote few resolutions for the New Year (See previous post), and even though I don’t need the number 2018, or the term New Year’s resolution to write them down, I felt great writing them down. And sometimes I feel that we should write resolutions every few months. Simply because we need to be hopeful that we’re doing good things in our lives. Regardless if we feel like taking breaks from accomplishments, or just hoping to accomplish more in our lives. Knowing that we can improve our lives makes us carry on living an exciting life.

Sometimes I feel that if I have no resolutions to think of, I have no life to live, and I might as well do nothing in my life, or die.

Keep writing resolutions. These are just plans that will make us believe that we can become better versions of ourselves.

And Happy New Year!

December 2017 – Christmas and New Year

It was Christmas few days ago. And for some reason, I’m kind of glad it’s over. Indeed it’s the most joyous holiday or time of the year. But the fact that it’s considered the greatest holiday of the year, puts a lot of pressure on me as an ordinary person who has no idea how to celebrate. And my life isn’t a great accomplishment: I’m nearing the age of 30 and I’m still single. For my family, I have nothing to be proud of.

This year has been a great year for me. I started writing down everything that has happened to me this year, and I highlighted two elements that made my 2017 a great year. For many people my accomplishments this year are nothing, but for me they made a huge difference in my life, and I feel that for the first time in my life, I am indeed happy that the current year was not a complete waste.

I always measure my success with my previous accomplishments (that is when I convince my self to avoid comparing myself to others). I always measure my age with my previous age. I am in a complete different place than I were 5 years ago. And that is indeed amazing. Five years ago I had no real job, and I had no idea what I wanted to do.

Sometimes I still feel that I have no idea what I want to do, but I have a good job, and I’m preparing for Master Studies. I’m not entirely a different person, but my lifestyle has changed, and perhaps for so many people, like my family, I still lack the husband. It’s like I chose to lack a husband.

I think I’m blessed that the year 2017 made me go through an adventure: losing a job, moving to a new apartment, trying to find a job, doing some activities, wasting time on nothing, and finally find a good job and go back to the academy.

Just because I have no one to share my year with, it doesn’t mean I can be put down for just a minute. I have many plans for the future, and I can’t wait to see what happens next year. Though I’m a bit under the weather these few days, and I can’t feel hopeful, I should remind myself that I’m doing fine, and things will be fine.

 

I’m going to write few resolutions for 2018 now:  (very simple and casual)
1. Lose weight (and workout more).
2. No more wasting money on clothes (which don’t fit me that well).
3. Study more. Just a bit more.
4. Go out less. (it’s not like I go out a lot, and it’s not like I’m missing anything out there).
5. Reduce the number of my friends. Not all of them are worth it (no worried, my friends don’t really read my blog).
6. Travel. Really, even when I have no one to travel with.
7. Don’t date. At all. Unless they prove their worth.
8. Write more in this blog.

I just hope to keep at least half of these resolutions.

Cheers to everyone who’s reading my blog. Just don’t get too drunk on New Year’s Eve. I know I will, if I physically feel better by then.

This month I turned 28

October is a very important month for me: mainly because during this month, on the 13th, it’s my birthday.

I never had the opportunity to have a very special celebration for my birthday. I always celebrate my birthday with few friends and some members of my family. I don’t have many friends, I know many people, but no one loves me enough to organize a grand celebration for my birthday.

I spent my birthday at the Dead Sea with some members of my family, which for me was enough. The whole day was not organized for me specifically, I merely joined. But it was fine. We spent few hours at the Dead Sea and the rest were on the road. It was fine.

And I keep saying fine, because it wasn’t entirely amazing, but it wasn’t that bad. I could have spent my birthday in bed, logging in to Facebook every two seconds to check who wished me a Happy Birthday.

On the day of my birthday, I had the chance to see a relative of mine in the US, whom I visited ten years ago, in New York, on my birthday. “Ten years ago, today, you were waiting for us at the airport.” I was 18 years old. I was young, just finished high school, and had no idea how the world works. I had no idea what I was doing, and what I was aiming for in life. Not saying I do now, but I changed, a lot.

Now, I’m 28 years old. I’m older, a bit wiser, and more successful than I was 5 years ago, let alone 10 years ago. I have a good job, and I started studying for Masters degree in English literature. Some people would never think this is a great achievement, but for me, it definitely is. I try not to compare myself to other people around me, but sometimes I do. But mostly, I would compare myself and my lifestyle now to my lifestyle 5 years ago, and this is a success for me.

I’m 28, almost 30. I’m single, and mostly tired and depressed. But why does that have to negative? I don’t need a lot. I’m a very simple person, and when I lack anything, I try to find a way to obtain it. As long as I spend my days and night doing what I feel comfortable doing, why do I have to worry much?

Je suis contente.

When a door closes _

I’m not usually an optimistic person, I’m very pessimistic and I complain most of the time. But throughout the years I’ve learned that many things don’t work out as we plan, and yet we shouldn’t lose hope. When things don’t work out as we plan them, or imagine them, they don’t turn out necessarily better. In many situations we learn how to deal with them better, and we become better than before. It’s not always the case, but things aren’t exactly fair, and we don’t live in an idealistic world.

This year started our horribly and nicely at the same time. First of all, in January I moved to a new lovely apartment with my very good friend. Though not the most fabulous, I’m enjoying the current living and the apartment is extremely comfortable and nice. Living in our current apartment was a beautiful beginning for which I’m still excited.

The minute I moved to the new lovely apartment, I lost my job. For many reasons that had nothing to do with my work performance. When lost my dead-end job I became confused, concerned, disappointed, hopeless, and empty. I had no idea what to do and I was unfocused for some time. Most of my friends thought that losing the job was to my advantage, and that it’s time to look for a better job that will take me further in my life and it will be something I will pursue for the long-term.

 

During the unemployment period, I had the chance to work or be involved in few projects that had no real direction. Though my unemployment period was frustrating and depressing, I learned few things about myself, and I enjoyed the freedom to choose, and be able to be idle to try new things.

During that period I lived with the unknown, I had no idea what the next day would bring, and though it sounds adventurous, I was anxious. I wanted to have a focused life, and be part of something stable.

And I did. I found a stable job that is ten times better than my previous dead-end job. It’s a new beginning, and now after few months, I feel more focused, comfortable, stable, ambitious, challenged and mostly lucky. I’m lucky that when a door closed an entire gate opened up for me, to give me stability and a better future.

And that’s a lesson I like to teach: never lose hope; you’ll always find the golden gate that will open wildly to welcome you to a new world of opportunities. All you need is to work on yourself, and be yourself.

On Happiness

I tend to overthink about happiness, and how happiness can affect my life. I look at happiness as the main ingredient of a healthy life, and I do aim to obtain a healthy life, and a good life.

I want to live my life to the fullest, I want to do and achieve everything I desire on my own way. I aim to be happy, I want to be happy, and I simply want to be content and love living my life.

I always struggled with finding my own happiness, until I realized that I can’t carry on like happiness should be a result or an aim. But the more I live, and over think about the subject and look around me, and reflect on my way of living, I came to realize that I need to heal myself from all of my agonies and live a happy life, while the rest will simply tag along.

Someone once told me that I should think of money as a mean, not an aim (or an end) to succeed in life. I should add that the same goes for happiness, it’s a mean to a successful life, not an end.

 

The following video is not new, but I only came across it today, and I would like to share it as a clarification of what I just said.

A blog post (somehow personal)

It’s been awhile since I last posted anything in this blog. I have been neglecting my writing, and this explains why my writing is poor.

I’ve been going through a lot in the past few months that I’m contemplating whether I should share them in my blog. I haven’t been doing well when it comes to sharing private experience in public.I feel that this makes me feel weak.

Today is the international day of women. It’s the day of people’s greetings, and the pretentious statuses on Facebook (I did share one status two years ago, just to provoke some people around me including my mother). Regardless, what do women do today? Really? Write about injustice and chauvinism? Shouldn’t we talk about that all the time?

It’s like people forget there’s misjustice against women (and many other people,nations, animals, etc), and on a specific day alone, they start pretending to fight.

Why do I feel that I need to get myself out of all these places? Maybe I do need to log off the social media and start a life without the internet. But in doing so, I will lose access and exposure to all kind of programs, job opportunities and important events. This might sound ridiculous, but without Facebook, I wouldn’t be able to join the Scrip writing workshop, and I won’t be able to find a job as a research assistant and a director assistant. Other than that, I wouldn’t mind logging off Facebook. And no, I don’t have many connections outside of the social media to keep me posted on any kind of social and cultural events in town.

On another personal matter, I’m completely lost. I find myself wandering through my thoughts, and then still wondering why I can’t be more stable in my life.

The past few months haven’t been treating me well. I moved to a new apartment to endure the life with a roommate, and within two days I lost my job. With all honesty I can say I was having a dead-end job that meant nothing to me, but at least I was doing a good job, I had my own office, team and a decent salary at the end of the month that helped me live on my own, buy nice stuff, travel and save money at the same time. I was content.

Now I have no source of income, I have no source of direction, and I have no idea what I should be doing in order to gain control over my life. And all of my surroundings do not help me. No one cares, they all want me to find a job as soon as possible, and not any job, a stable job that I can be stuck at it for the rest of my life. Or maybe it’s just my mother. I do need a break from her. Everytime I go home, we fight, over and over. I can’t hold my temper when someone is pressuring me to do anything I can’t do. It’s the same with the obsessed-with-keeping-things-cleaned housemate, I can’t live in a place where I have to keep worrying about cleaning, and making sure everything is clean all the fucking time.

Today, late afternoon, I went to the University, which I haven’t been at for over four to five years. I must confess I was anxious. I was anxious to go to the university. Can you believe that? It’s has been years. But I would never go that far to the campus of the University of Haifa (though I live in the same city, the bus ride is extremely long), while having no business there.

I was invited for an introduction meeting for a new programme – a graduate programme for the theatre department. It’s a new programme and they’re introducing it to the Alumni of the theatre department. It was somehow interesting, it’s the first time they’re opening a graduate programme for the theatre department. Though I love this field of theatre, I found the programme unrelated to my future research field. I swore to myself that if I have to study anything in the future, it has to be inspiring and extremely, over-the-top interesting to me, or otherwise I would find it challenging, demanding and I will complain endlessly.

After the meeting I took a walk, a tour, at the university. It had been my home for four years, and I haven’t seen it in forever (five years are like forever to me). It was getting dark, but I enjoyed my walk in my favorite spots, including the library. Every spot brought me back to some memories, and flashbacks: some of them painful and ridiculous, the others are cheerful and nostalgic.

During my small tour, and on my way home, I thought about the new programme, and I thought about my other plans for my future studies. Even though everyone recommends studying abroad, I know I can’t afford it, and I don’t think I’m ready for any kind of scholarship. Getting a scholarship abroad requires more than I can offer, especially when I’m not quite certain about the field in question, and it means I won’t be able to work while studying.

Last year I thought about graduate studies in Films and Television. I thought if I can join this field, I can get into the whole movie business. But I spoke to my cousin (who is an Alumnus), and she advised against it. She said that if I want to learn film making, I have to force myself in the field itself, actively, rather than go to the university to study it.

Another graduate programme I’ve been thinking about for years is English Literature. I already have a BA in English Literature (combined with Theatre), and I enjoyed doing it,studying it, exploring it, and somehow excelling at it.

I wasted my time doing my teaching certificate for English, and for what? To teach? I don’t even want to be a teacher, at least not in schools. I must confess I do feel fulfilled while teaching, and I’ve tried teaching many times in my past. I would pursue it, but not in fucking schools. I simply hate going to school. Even as a teacher.

I would though consider teaching in the academy. It’s fascinating and challenging to teach something I absolutely love, and the more I think about it, I do love English Literature. I do enjoy researching literature: researching the psychological, philosophical and the historical aspects of the literary texts. Career wise, MA in English literature might lead to Ph.D, and that is lecturing at Universities. Or I can simply enjoy the benefit of having the opportunity to study English Literature further than just in BA.

I have few months to think about and apply.

In the meantime, I can continue working in the theatre, if the circumstances allow. And maybe I can try working in films as well, hoping that won’t jeopardize my near future studies.

I started writing this entry at the beginning of the day. I was frustrated, confused and anxious. My tour on campus today was therapeutic, and it led me think about my possibilities for next year, or the near future. It indeed helps taking a walk, going on a journey to the past. My journey, through the walls of the University, and the between the shelves of the library, made me think about my past experience, and my future experience, which contains more light than I imagined.

 

—- This is my first long post, and my first post about my private life. I usually write about my private life and feelings through poetry.

New year, nothing new

So the new year started yesterday. And so well it started: by a terrorist attack in Istanbul.

Isn’t it great? the way the new year starts?

We’re all hungover the next day, unable to do anything, but cope with the disastrous news of the expansion of terrorism through out Europe and the Middle East.

And yet, we keep on writing our very-much hopeful resolutions. Which none is resolved by the next year. Simply because we have too much going on and we have no say in anything.

So this hopeful new year has already started with terrorism, attacks, and there’s still war in the Middle East. Same old, as always.

Some people asked me “are you ready for the new year?” I so innocently responded with “It’s going to happen, whether I’m ready or not.” 2017 is just a number. Time is just a number anyway.

We can write resolution in May and still call them new year’s resolutions.

I decided to be vegetarian in September 2014, and I still am. That was the biggest resolution I kept. I didn’t have to wait for 2015 to start this lifestyle.

We can constantly make new resolutions that will make us better people, and we can only keep them if we truly believe in them and  want them as part of our lives. There’s one thing I learned from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which I read ten years ago: if I want something so badly, it will happen. Simply because I’ll find a way to make it happen, and somehow, nothing in the world can stop me.  And the same goes to my resolution, as long as they’re real to me, and I want them to be part of my life, I will find a way to make them happen. Now I’m working on becoming vegan. I can’t be part of the whole the animal product processing industries. I know I can do better than this.

I also decided to be healthy. I realized that good health is one of the main factors of well being, and living a fulfilled life. I want that. I want to be and remain healthy. Simply because I love myself and I want to take a good care of myself.

I also decided to be productive and focus on simply aims. For instance, I want to be a writer, therefore I’m looking for methods, whether by keep writing or taking lessons, to improve my writing skills. I need to be determined on this goal. Otherwise, time, which is someone made of combination of numbers, will just take its course on me and make me anxious.

I will also try to go to the gym more often.