Monday, 6 July 2009

Birthday letter 2009


Well, it's your birthday today.
It's been on my mind for a while, I'm not exactly sure why since birthdays were never really big for you, and after you went away, dates surrounding you aren't important to me much either.

But this year it's been on my mind. And I think its because of Time, not dates. I think now I've felt the Time. It crept up on me, I was not aware of it. Suddenly, like a tap on the shoulder I turn my head and two years have gone by.
And I realise that I miss you.
And that we have not spoken or seen each other in two years. Then again, how could we?

And, being as stubborn as you know I can be, I decided I was going to talk to you, tell you how I've been, and that it was going to be a yearly thing. there's nothing that can or should stop me.
So, on your birthday, as a gift to you I'm going to take the time to look back at the year, and tell you about it, and tell you of things I've thought about or done. You not being here doesn't have to stop that. You're still my father after all, and maybe by writing it out and asking things I want to ask, I'll hear your voice in reply somewhere in my mind. Sounds a bit silly no? No, of course not.

I took a big jump this year baba. I don't know if the jump was right or not, and I've come to believe that there is no such thing as a right or wrong. It just leads where it does. It's not the jump that matters, but where you land. I haven't landed completely yet, but I've taken the jump. I decided to pause my life as a typical graphic designer. I've realised I don't like the corporate world, and the job it inscribes to me. This makes me remember when i was into my second year at AUB, and you told me how you would have preferred I'd gone into architecture. I got so angry! How could you, a graphic designer, tell me, a graphic design student, that! Maybe because you were feeling then, what I felt now, although I really doubt architecture would have been the way to go.
Anyway.
I decided to stop the cycle. I was not enjoying my work, and I realised that i was being drained by it all, and my creativity was waning. I was tired, and the weight in my head was getting heavier.
So I'm going to Australia for a bit.
Crazy I know, but perhaps not as crazy as one would think. When I went there a bit more than a month ago, i was lucky to be in the presence of people who spoke to this part of me. I had conversations with strangers about one's essence and need to do what they feel deep down they must be doing. to not fear failure, and just follow one's heart and instinct. I have a feeling I need to be concentrating on my writing, and my art, and my creative outlets, and the atmosphere there as well as the people I was lucky enough to be around seem to be the perfect medium for it.

Thank you for the sign by the way.
I got it loud and clear, and I'm sure this is where I'm supposed to be now. And I'm sure if it is, you know that already.

I'll probably take small jobs bar tending or waitressing (I'm sorry, I know you never liked me to do those but have faith in my up bringing. I do), or maybe even design freelancing. Whatever comes my way to make my ends meet while I concentrate on satisfying this part of me is up for grabs. The corporate machine can wait. I'm making it wait. It's now or never.

But I'd also be lying if I told you I was not a bit scared. All this confidence I have in voicing my plans collapses sometimes, and I feel like huddling and staying close and just falling into line. But I suppose fear is meant to do that. But it's not for too long, and whatever happens during my stay in Australia, it'll be something that I'll learn from.

Did you used to feel alone? Regardless of having mama and I and anyone else who meant anything to you around? I do sometimes. I thought about it the other day. The stereotype of the artistic mind, the creative personage who is tormented by their thoughts and their inability to produce at the pace that their mind works. The inability in making it clear to those around how they think, or express and how this leads them to shutting the world out, and isolating themselves. I said this to a friend of mine, and he wondered how I could feel this way, considering the amount of friends I have. I told him its not about the friends you have around you, but how you feel inside. Sometimes I come back from a night out spent laughing and enjoying myself, but I get in the car and it's like I'm another person. I cannot smile, and I feel like it was not worth the time or effort. That I did not learn anything new. And I feel alone and disappointed with myself, as though I have not been true to myself. I started to think if you felt this way. I never stopped to notice if you had that in you, if I've gotten it from you, inherited this weird feeling of being a part of many scenes, but the one that matters the most feeling lacking, and unaccomplished. I'm so sorry if you felt that way. At least now I can tell you that I understand.

I wonder how different I am now, then I was when you saw me last. Not in appearance, but in attitude. I wonder if I'd surprise you, if you'd be happy, or proud. I'm sure that sometimes I do things, or act in ways that I know would instigate that look you sometimes give me that spells out "you know better than that", and I do, but I'm trying.
I'm noticing more and more things that I do, mannerisms, or ways I think, or talk, that reflect you strongly. I remember when you first left, how I once froze solid when in the middle of a conversation with someone, i clasped my hands together behind my head, leaning back with my legs crossed, and continued the conversation. This was not something I'd ever done. This was your seating position, not mine, and although it startled me, it also comforted me that you were coming through in all sorts of ways. I find so much comfort in that. I even think twice these days (Sorry Bob), once for me, and once for you, regardless the situation. I ask myself twice, and in my head my voice comes through, and I try to imagine what you would say. I try my best, I really really do.

I am realising now that this letter idea is more than I thought it would be. I'm writing and writing, and although I've told you a few things, there's so much more to talk about,
but it'll have to stop here for now. Till next time.

Here's to another year. Here's to moving forward and taking you along with me. Here's to you, and mama, and everything in between.

Happy Birthday baba.
I love you kteer kteer.

Karma

6 comments:

Néphèle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caramel said...

ah.
it left a pang in my heart as always, karma.
beautifully melancholic and bitter sweet.
i kinda understand the being alone part,
being constantly surrounded by friends etc, but feeling completely alone after a day.
i feel that way now.
never was before nick left.
sigh. oh well!

Anonymous said...

it made me cry. I never cry.My heart feels heavy.
i love you.
mimi

M. said...

Touching and beautiful.

It's mariam y. by the way. I got here through your facebook post of the Samandal article.

I have a question: Are you leaving because you feel you need to be somewhere relatively new or do you feel that what is calling to you cannot be found in Lebanon? Or have you found that in Australia or other places too perhaps that the community you fell into fostered it more? Just curious.

Ziz said...

I have to say this is one of the "realest" display of emotions I've been exposed to in a while.

Ana b7ibbik kteer kteer Karma. Thank you for this post.

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