As Long As I Can Make Stories

Growing up in a small village in Lebanon, at a time when there was no internet, in a place where there were no public libraries, my biggest ambition was to get an education so that I could get a job and be able to buy the books I loved to read, and to write some of my own too. The latter I dared not talk about to anyone since I would be the laughingstock of my entire community. I would be labeled crazy, a dreamer, on top of many other names. Still in my teens I realized that I was wholly at the mercy of social conditions and standards. In the words of Sylvia Plath:

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.” 

I realized that I could never pursue my dream as a writer at the time and that I had to do something about it. Being a writer was never heard of then, especially in our society. So I had to choose to do something else. Something that would guarantee me a job and a place in society, our society. Hence I went into the sciences and studied mathematics.

William Shakespeare wrote:

“Our doubts are traitors, 
and make us lose the good we oft might win, 
by fearing to attempt.” 

I never even tried. I never even looked at other options. I chose the easy way out, silencing my dream. After I finished my studies finding a job became so easy for me, not only in Lebanon but also in Dubai as I had suspected. As much as I loved teaching and being with kids I was never happy. I had:

“The choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.” Sylvia Plath

I went mad bouncing off in between. During the day I taught full time in a school and late at night after I put my children to bed, no matter how tired I was I stayed up late to write. I did this day in day out to silence the voice inside me, this burning urge, this everlasting regret. In the words of Vincent van Gogh:

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” 

The Writer

If I knew then about life what I know now, I would have never sacrificed any dream for anything, especially not for acceptance and belonging to the norm. As Sylvia Plath wrote:

“Perhaps some day I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.” 


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4 Responses to As Long As I Can Make Stories

  1. adelnehmeh says:

    I am enjoying your writing tremendously. With every story you tell, you strum a chord that resonates in sync with your stories….
    All I can say, that little voice never goes on mute. We might burry it under louder voices, we might distract ourselves from its echo by covering our ears, but it is still there and will always be heard when everything else is silent.

    Look at you now, a published write with a blog and hundreds of followers, if not thousands.

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