living my enlightenment
October 11, 2009 § 5 Comments
+i am turning thirty years old in a few days. the saturn return has come and gone.
i am glad that my twenties are finally almost done. they were a lot of fun and heart ache but also exhausting.
in my thirties im planning to be a bad ass mama. a revolutionary rockstar. a literary artistic genius. and living my enlightenment.
you may have realized i have been in a ranty mood lately on this blog. i think it is me house cleaning before i turn thirty. twice a year (my bday and new years) i re evaluate the year and stop to see where i am. where i am coming from. where i am going.
but you know. we make the path by walking it.
+i found out that my in laws are in hawaii. good for them. god i would love to see a beach again. i have been to the beach for a total of around ten days since summer 2005. and most of that was spent at my in laws cabin in the upper peninsula of michigan. its funny. because u know most of the fam thinks that all we do is travel and vacation in ‘exotic’ (god i hate that word!) locales. even though most of them spend a lot more time doing that than we do. we go overseas on the minimum amount of money, live really simply and minimally, and volunteer and work with marginalized communities. whether they be africa refugees in minneapolis or african refugees in cairo.
i spent 60 pounds ( eleven dollars) on two tshirts a couple of weeks ago. and worried about the splurge.
+i havent seen nature in months. and that hurts. as much as i love cairo. it kills a little part of me to not be able to escape to the beach. or just to a place with trees and fresh air. we’ve been here for 9 months. the air here burns the throat some days. but at least we got to go to the beach for a couple of days 6 months ago. we took our tax return and splurged. i dont regret it for a second. we couldnt afford a hotel or motel. we slept in a hut on the beach.
people like to call what we do: adventures. a lot of times what they see as ‘adventures’ is just what we can afford. srsly. i would love to take a plane rather than a 20 hour bus ride with a 6 month old through mexico. but we do what we can.
most expats go to the beach here every couple of weeks or months. most middle class egyptians do too. its expected. the way in the states ppl are just expected to have a car.
but then most expats dont live in our neighborhood either. they live in the fancier parts of the city. parts of the city i have never even been to.
but then ive never been to hawaii either. not that i would want to go. i dont really dig being a tourist. well, i guess i would want to go because i love the feel of the wind off the water. but i mean it wouldnt be worth it to me. what it would cost. versus what we could really do with that money.
+ this summer habibi was working part time. and i hired a teenage girl from eritrea to babysit aza a few hours a week. (like less than ten hours/week) so that i could get my class work done. habibi’s parents asked (or so i heard from habibi…so this is hear say) if the twenty dollars we spent/week on childcare was necessary. and if i couldnt just be more flexible.
sigh. like as if class deadlines or submission deadlines are flexible.
or i guess it was that since i am not bringing in a lot of money lately. then i didnt have the right to spend money so that i could work.
you see why i dont go the beach? can you imagine what they would say about it?
most of my friends say. fuck it. why should they have an opinion on what we do with our money. and for the most part i wholeheartedly agree. its just that. i want habibi and aza to have a good relationship with them. and it seems to be really normal and expected for them to critique their children’s finances and life choices.
i know that my mother and brother love me.
i am luckier than a lot of people i know.
+but ive decided to be kinder to myself. to go to the beach again. and to aswan upper egypt-where i have been dying to go-i didnt know that nubians were an ethnicity and not just a mythology-and all the cairenes that we meet tell us that aswan is the most beautiful city they have ever seen. i deserve beauty. too.
maybe we’ll go to the beaches in turkey. and sleep in treehouses. and watch the natural bonfires at night.
maybe we will go to venice. where my mother has dreamed of going for years and years. we will meet her there on the edge of some canal. and call out to each other in piss poor italian.
maybe i will go to paris. where i have dreamed of going since i was seven and taught myself french. i always said i was going to move there as soon as i got to be an adult. i still havent been.
maybe. maybe. maybe.
i know one thing. that i have to start feeding myself what i need. ive needed to go to a chiropracter for the past six months. but ive been afraid to be seen as ‘irresponsible’ with money. trying to be flexible. trying to push through it. self medicating cause its cheaper.
and i need to take some felucca rides. its the closest i can get to a beach for right now.
and i need some new articles of clothes. most of what i have is simply unraveling, because i buy cheap clothes that dont last long. esp. since we dont have a washing machine. well. its more manual than automatic.
i guess what i am saying is that. other people’s visions of me are not my truth.
and that is a hard truth to live. when you are trying to be ‘flexible’ and ‘nice’. when you are in pain and pushing through it. when you deny yourself beauty and clean air. when you censor yourself so that others are comfortable around you.
what i have learned is that denying my truth. never works in making other people respect me or my truth. they may not respect it if i say it. or live it. but they certainly will not respect my truth if i dont live it.
hopefully my daughter wont have to be thirty years old still realizing that.