Some things are better left unsaid, in the pit of your stomach, festering heartache of what could have been. Some things are better left alone, in dark corners of houses that used to be your haven.
Love, your heart is a gruesome desire of “can’t be” and “what should have been”. Your soul is tainted by screeching voices coming out of your bones.
You’ve come a long way, put the past in a box, wrapped it up nicely in a ribbon. You’ve made yourself a little gift, haven’t you? Thinking that if something so ugly from within looked remotely pleasant, it would feed your imagination with crude images of maybe-s.
Straighten up, hold it in, smile little puppet. You haven’t even began to understand all the ways in which you are broken.
Stand tall, aim high, you know it’s only a matter of time until you fall. But that’s alright because in any case, what other choice do you have?
You’re made of tiny bits, glued together by hopeful redemption, by sorrow and ambition. And you are worthy of love, the kind that will turn your scars into works of art.
As I sit here, back in the garden I once was so familiar with, in the home that was once my haven, in the midst of the trees that were once 2 feet tall, I listen to the quite embrace of the breeze and I reminisce.
I remember the time when I “fell in love” with the first boy in my life. I was 12 at most. We used to ride the bike everyday through the summer. Then he had the brilliant idea of sending me a piece of paper with the question: “will you be my girlfriend” with three little boxes: yes, no, maybe.
Of course I said yes, and everything went downhill since that day. I was too scared to see him face to face and act all lovey dovey with him (even though by all standards that’s all we did before). And so I used to stand by my window behind the curtain and he would ride his bike past by and wave at me for hours…
Labels… how they ruin things.
My next boyfriend, when I grew up just a tiny bit older, I was more comfortable with for he was genuinely a nice guy who never pushed me past my capacities or my limits (or even the limits of our society which are very restraint, like very) and we used to talk on the phone all the time.
But then I had to tell my parents, who started planning and interfering, putting way too much pressure on a childhood crush and an adolescent relationship.
Again, labels crashed it all…
Then there was the big love in my high school life, my best friend. I suppose at the time we were confused between the limits between a close friendship between a guy and a girl on one hand, and the meaning of relationship on the other. And because we just had to label our relationship, I lost both my best friend and my boyfriend en un seul coup.
Need I say it again?
Then of course, you move out of your parents’ well structured cocoon into the real world that is abrupt, rude, condescending, ruthless and full of labels: the way you dress, your shoe brand, the people you hang out with, the major you’re studying, the music you listen to, the nail polish you use, the boy you date, the car you drive, the causes you support, the relationships you create.
It’s as if society wants to make it so hard for you to figure yourself out and know who you are and what you expect of this world, in order for you to fall in the standards it has created for you. Almost as if it is not conceivable to create your own personality from scratch and stand out from the rest.
As I sit in this garden that holds no secrets from me, I look at the now darkened sky. They sparkle, little shiny stars in the most beautiful sky. The all shine just the same radiant and sublime. But none of them is identical to the other. So similar and yet completely different.
How can a society grow and learn? How can a country evolve and mature? How can an individual experience their full potential in a country that still fights over religion, homosexuality and women’s rights?
A society is a generated result of many people’s minds, opinions and doings all put together. It cannot be confined in a box and have its growth potential limited.
And if so, it can no longer be called a society: un prison a ciel ouvert.
Merriam-Webster defines hypocrisy as “feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.”
It is socially agreed upon that a hypocrite person is anyone who pretends to be something/one they’re not. When you walk past a woman, who has obviously had a couple of plastic surgeries, this word comes across your mind. When you’re with a group of friends and one of them is talking about her bungalow in Faraya and her Chalet in the South (even though you grew up in the same village) you think to yourself “what a hypocrite”. When your roommate comes back each night with 3 shopping bags, even though you know her parents are abroad forbidden to come back to these territories, you roll your eyes as she turns her back…
Yes we face hypocrisy in each and every day of our lives. We come across it and feel proud that we recognize it and solemnly say to whoever wants to listen that “I can deal with all kinds of people, except hypocrites.”
Ah, but then comes the dilemma…
When your mother has herself a face lift, because it’s one of her horrors to be getting old and she wants to enjoy her youth as much as possible, that’s not hypocrisy. When you feign to be spending your summer at your beach house, in order to blend in with the social bourgeois you so desperately want to hang out with, that’s not hypocrisy. When you go buy yourself a gorgeous 200$ dress, even though you know your father is going through hell to put you through college, so you could attend your university gala, that’s not hypocrisy…
So which one is it… are all human hypocrite, or are they not?
The little loophole exists, but it is not to help you cover your actions, or to give excuses to people to act out beyond their character.
However, people must keep in mind that everything in this life is relative. Nothing is ever objective and general in this life. Variables change all the time and therefore all that is linked to them.
Before judging a person for who they seem to be, we must try to put ourselves in their shoes. Ask ourselves “why are they acting this way?”, “why does she feel the need to put on that mask around me?”, “why can’t she just be herself around them?”
Don’t get me wrong; as I said before, this has not a purpose of giving a person an alibi for their actions. But when you start understanding the reasons behind a person’s actions, a certain energy flow will go through both of you. Consequently, he/she will feel more comfortable in this safe/open/honest conversation and will lower their guards.
You see it’s not in a human’s nature to be hypocrite. Sure it exists. But it doesn’t come as an instinct. However, one of the most basic human impulses is self protection and preservation. Subsequently, when a person feels threatened in their society, such as their college or wok place – maybe even their family – they will lift the wall and put on the mask for two reasons:
1- To blend in with the masses
2- To limit the access to the vulnerable, honest and real aspect of their humanity
It is alright to want to protect yourself. However, keep in mind, that every day is a struggle for everyone: the hardship of blending in, the need to rise up on the social scale, the protection of one’s entity… but you have to try and be open to the various reasons why each person has the defense mechanism armor up.
On the other hand, you have to also allow yourself to let your guards down when you see a window of understanding or feel that energy flow with a person. It’s all a matter of give and take.
So next time you walk past that 40-something woman with a perfectly lifted face, think to yourself “that’s pretty courageous of her”. When you hear your friend showing off about the properties she doesn’t have, let her know that at least when it comes down to you she could be herself completely. And when your roommate walks in with Bvlgari and Longchamps bags smile at her and let her know how she is a wonderful person with or without those brands.