Your guide to growing up is here. I agree with all 24 things, though they are not the only items on the list. Read along with me, and try to relate or think of scenarios of your own.
1. Facing your parents is one of the toughest decisions we are raised to fear taking. Your mom would instantly cry if she has a different opinion, your dad will rage, your older siblings will most probably support your parents and try to convince you to stay/quit/calm down/solve/enroll in/break up/stay for you own good, the good that everyone in your family pretends to know better than you. I remember when my sister moved out. She was 27, and mom could not handle it. She made a rather big issue out of it (which was totally expected), asking me, my other sister and brother to talk her out of it. “There’s no need,” “what will you do,” “what will people say,” “why Ashrafieh” and many other questions flooded, to which my sister felt the only logical explanation was “mom, I need my own space, that’s all.”
That was the problem, mom was used to a different lifestyle. She was used to sticking to her parents’ side, in their house, till she got married (which wasn’t late by the way, she was 17 when she was hurled into an engagement). Mom was used to keeping her chicks close to her, something my dear friend describes as the Chicken Syndrome. Mom was used to adapting rather than creating your own lifestyle. She didn’t understand the whole “I need my own space” explanation; she thought space was physical, bound by a room and no curfew, while my sister was rather explaining how “space” was more of freedom to decide, act, cook, clean, wake up, prepare, follow up, treat, take care and enjoy a life.
2. This was a difficult one to tackle, but I accomplished it and don’t wish to express my opinion much about it. I’d rather only say “don’t waste your time.”
3. It wasn’t easy given the drama, the latter being the main reason I had to let go.
4. How hard is it to accept this reality? Very. You know what’s harder? The feeling afterwards that needs time to exit your mind, let alone yours truly is an overthinker… I’m fun and I get that the whole time, but I recently got a fascinating new comment “my mind likes you but my heart doesn’t.” THAT was a new way of wording things. Nevertheless, and again “don’t waste your time.”
5. This happened on Friday. Boy, wasn’t it difficult explaining to an old friend why he should stop trying to talk to you everyday when you’re single and forgetting about you when you’re dating. You obviously cannot keep a friendship, how do I date you? Top that with the fact that I am not interested at all in dating him; had I been I would have gone for it 6 years ago, or had I developed the interest I would have actually talked to him lightly about it.
6. I’ll comment in two years *swallows big gulp of coffee*
8. Sleep is not my most precious commodity, but it’s just that I’m not interested in a party every weekend anymore. I do sometimes decide to leave everything behind and go for a drink with loud music and close friends, but this is not a weekly routine. A good book, a hot coffee, or a simple conversation with someone might mean more. Much more.
9. Yikes, to judge or not to judge?
I once made the mistake of interfering and giving my perspective about a relationship. It cost me three months of a fight with my best friend. That was the last time I did it. I don’t regret it, it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I now give advice based on facts, and I keep my feelings, gut or shallow, out of it.
10. I haven’t had close friends divorce, I mean very few are married. But even if they do, and I see it being the worst ever, even if he beats her and she cheats on him, I would never give the advice of separating, and I don’t think you should, either. You never ever know how the wheel turns, things change, and convinced they become of their marriage…
11. I expect everyone to understand this because I say it more than hear it. I always wish I could change things, I could teleport myself to a coffee shop with this one person I wish to see. But I really am busy, and reading a book can be “busy,” the same way working on a report is. Busy is not always work-bound, I might be busy having a drink with a minster or driving my grandma back home. Busy is relative.
12. That was a month ago. I knew I had lost him, and that was it. He built an umbrella of “I want some time alone,” which gradually expanded to not replying to any text, which made me feel so pushy in sending a “have a nice day” note. This umbrella confuses me. You know why? Because not everyone is honest. We have a saying in Lebanon that means “ignore till they go away,” we say nayyim, which literally translates to “put to sleep.”
I hate this act. Why can’t you be honest? Why can’t you come up to me and say “Lara, I don’t think this friendship is what I want/need right now?” Don’t come up to me, text it, and I will give you full privacy and keep my distance. But don’t expect me to understand the “I want some time alone” for a month as something that wouldn’t be eternal!
13. I never move myself away in a sly manner, or just drift. I confront, it’s in me. I just say “I’m busy” or “I’m growing up” or “I don’t think we are on the same level anymore.” It does hurt to go away, but it’s bound to happen…
14. We aren’t always the most helpful creatures ever, and we don’t go calling a rehab center when we know one of our friends is involved in a serious issue. I don’t have an opinion about that, really.
15. We witness this without noticing. Reread it, some ten times, and you will understand what the author means, and you will instantly know examples from your surrounding.
16. Expectations are the root of every disappointment. Understand this, and you will learn acceptance in general.
17. Perfectly logical.
18. Oh my, this is a thriller.
19. There is no rule for success if you define it as achieving something. Sometimes, success can be failing and trying again. Success can be setting a very simple goal and achieving it. It’s not always who made it to Forbes or Fortune500.
20. Wow, the generation gap is one of the worst to tackle. It was a different era, mom. Dad, you wouldn’t know. Do they really know they lived in different times? If not, oh well. But if they do, why do they keep those expectations?
21. They wouldn’t know. But in the end, they turn out to be right. Not always, of course. But in some major decisions in your life, you will look back at what they said and think deep down “I should have listened, but it’s okay…”
22. I am the youngest of 4. The oldest is an amazing senior sports technologist, straight A student, cofounder of a company, residing in Colorado and bringing one success after the other to the family in all aspect. The one right after is my eldest sister, a Canadian temporary resident, very balanced and poised, a reader, blogger, cook, photographer, strong woman. The remaining sibling is one of the best graphic designers I’ve met, and I have met many of them indeed; web design, packaging, brand identity, walls, book covers, posters, she just does it best and nails awards and appraisals on all levels, most important of which is our encouragement. And I am normal, I was brighter when I was a kid, but I am sane enough not to think about all what they’ve done as competition. We’re all amazing at one thing or another at this house and I believe in that.
23. No explanation needed. We’ve all, almost, experienced this. Millions of articles, books, publications, poems, idioms, odes, and notes have been written about this topic, but it is one of life’s biggest lessons. It can teach you to better control, choose, prefer, prioritize, appreciate, handle, and every other verb you can think of. This experience makes you and doesn’t break you. No drama needed, you can always go on with your life and keep your feelings for yourself.
24. Simply put, it is never too late. You want to sing? Sing. Write? Write. Propose? Propose. Divorce? Divorce. Quit? Quit. Don’t regret, think it through, make the decision and live with that.