Child Meets World – Nour ElBorno

Sometimes it is difficult to fight away the urge of wanting to write. It is not – usually – about having certain ‘things’ to say, rater certain emotions you wish words could explain.

This is one of those times.

I will, most probably, fail at producing and sewing the right wording that would elaborate on the certain tickles I am feeling. It has nothing to do with the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. It is basically about me knowing that in few days I am meeting the world for real. That in few days my life will no longer be school-centered. That I will graduate -in shaa Allah- from, not school rather, my first phase in life. I am not imagining the future so much different from the past, but somewhere deep down I know the real journey begins when I no longer have a class to attend or a test to run late to study for. I always felt that once I am entitled for a full-time job, I will feel more important as a person, more productive. I always believed that at some point in my life I will be to the society of value, that I would be a hero. (Something I could not do as a person who still feared the anxiety of a difficult question or the anxiousness for answering a distinguishing one).

It is easier to understand the people who pass by us in life and pass through us. It is easier to see their reflections, to see their angles, to see their flaws or their awesome ingredients that make them perfect – that make you desire their everlasting taste. However, when one decides to see who they truly are or to meet their true selves, it is hard. Really hard. We all have our expectations and our hopes and our dreams. We all see ourselves as the protagonists of our own stories and we never tire ourselves of imagining the center of the earth being a stranger whom we run into in the streets and never meet again. We fail to understand that these people, too, are protagonists of their own stories and to them –  we are the strangers.

When I was a child, I knew that once I am done from college I will have to be a 100% grownup. Someone who does not make mistakes. Someone who embraces life as it truly is. Someone who knows right from wrong and against all odds someone who chooses the right path. Because being a grownup means you have a responsibility towards the world that held you close as a child. That saw you growing up and made sure you are where you are. You have a duty to answer. A work to do. You spend your first phase of life (i.e. from the day you are born until you finish college) living as a consumer. You take from your family, you take from your environment, you take from other people’s lives (such as teachers, doctors, the man who collects the garbage you might throw in the street – a man you would probably  never meet to thank or he to curse you). You realize that it is time. That you take one step towards the future – the one you have been seeking since you were a kid. “What do you want to be when you are old?” We are always asked; and that you are there, “What are you going to do now?”

This question has troubled me ever since I was a kid. When I am old enough, what will I do? What will I be?

My truest desire has always been becoming a teacher. Someone who is in the right position to do the right thing. A grownup who could show other children that we do not need to be old in order to be responsible. In order to be wise or careful. That maturity has nothing to do with age. That the first phase of our lives is much, much more precious than to be wasted on nothingness.

Nothingness, sigh, is a scary word of emptiness and hollowness.

Mostly, when I dare to, childishly, express to people that I want to be a hero, I am usually made fun of. However, what none understands is that being a hero is not only about saving the world – sometimes it is about saving one soul. (And sometimes that one soul is ours) and that sometimes we could be our own heroes – when the world fails to be so.

In a journey of meeting the world and finding everything else, we tend to find the one thing we were not looking for: US.

 

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