Monday, 15 August 2016

Dear Owls, this summer.

This summer, I needed an adventure. And so, here I am... Away from the closest people to me for over a month for the first time ever.

Each summer I take with me something new, this time I learn that experiences come in pairs; the good and the bad.

I needed to feel alive again and so, I decided to do what scares me. I went hiking with the craziest people I know (Nesma and Sarah) and jumped from mountains into cold waters. I pretended not to care when I fell and cut my knee. I swam with frogs. I meditated on a roof till sunrise. I was around lizards, snakes and things I have no name for. It’s times like these, I realize that life is so short and we are so short tempered. This summer, I learn to love my hometown all over again. I went to historic sites, places that our ancestors walked on. I fell there too, because I’m that clumsy. I saw the best and worst. I can safely say, this summer has been an absolute dream.

This summer, I learn that people won’t always be nice, but you need to learn how to trust sometimes. This summer, Jordan taught me how to get ready in less than 5 minutes, because no outing is planned and I have OCD. Correction, had* OCD. I learn that sometimes the ugliest stores are the ones you can find the most beautiful bracelets in. And the ugliest places have the most beautiful views. And the ugliest people… you know where I’m going with this.

This summer, I meet my family again. I laugh at jokes I can finally understand. I tell stories because I am now old enough to capture their attention. This summer, I catch myself missing the ones we lost. It is the first summer I am in Jordan without both my grandfathers and they left a huge emptiness behind. Their memory remains in photos and their favorite places to sit at gatherings. This summer, I understand death for the first time and yet I am even more confused.

This summer, I spoke to God in a different language. I learn that Ramadan is about giving and peace. Although 3azayem (gatherings) make it seem warlike, it is actually a very peaceful month (for those who do not have to cook). I took the time to reconnect with things that I lost down the road; childish ideas, faith in happy endings, and trust that Allah does actually catch you when you’re falling. And this summer, I fell a lot. (twice down the stairs, thank you)

I travelled across Jordan, and for the first time in my life, I went on an 8-hour car ride with nothing but an IPod and good company. I sang my heart out in an Open Mic to strangers who soon became friends. Bad events soon became hilarious stories to tell. Dropping my phone into its death slowly became a blessing. Screens have a very interesting way of blocking experiences that could take your breath away. This summer took my breath away so many times. Literally. I almost got killed 3 times by cars (or drivers) that have no chill.

Despite my scary adventures, the bravest thing I did was leaving behind my brothers. My parents had a bet that I wouldn’t last two months, and for the first few days, I was fine- but somewhere along the road, I genuinely thought they would win their bet. I can’t wait to go back and share all the stories with them; turning each disaster into a hysterical bedtime story. Each memory into a tale, where I am the heroin- except in these stories, my brothers are right by my side. This way, I know that this summer is never forgotten.

And next summer… I hope is a whole other adventure.


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