Life is but a dream


As a twenty year old man, the roads I have ahead of me are plenty. Roads come with decisions and which one do I take, that I don’t always know. I was out with my parents today and we had a little argument in the car. I was telling them about my plans for the future, in terms of studying and elective courses in the US, and one thing led to another and we were talking about my future career after graduation.

I’m a true believer in helping others, and by that I mean giving my time to make the less fortunate feel better. I believe in volunteering and I don’t care for material return because to me, a smiling man, woman or child is gain enough. I know I sound cliche, but I’ve never had a materialistic view of life. I live a happy life and I am fortunate enough to have two wonderful parents who almost always give me what I want. They always work and sacrifice for me and my brothers and now that I’ve hit 20 years old, I realize it is time to give back as much as I’d gotten over the years.

Over the past few years, particularly since I started studying in Jordan, I’ve had my views changed on many ideas of my life. My origin, Palestine, has grown deeper into my heart and memory. My career, medicine, has become a part of me and has changed the way I treat others. My experiences with everyone I’ve gained or lost during my 3 years at college has shaped me in various ways.

The discussion with my parents brought up issues on life, and how hard it is to make it on your own now. This is a small part of it, it went something like this:

Dad: I wish that you guys would be able to achieve in just 5 years what took me 25 years to achieve.

Me: Yeah, I don’t care for money.

Dad: Oh so you think that your skills are how you’re going to help people, and then what?

Me: Dad, I don’t care la for money wala for fancy cars. All I want to do is help people.

Dad: I’m not saying you should go out and buy everything fancy, bas bokra lama tefta7 mostashfa, instead of asking 10K for this specific operation you’d only ask for 6K.

Me: Yeah, that’s not the type of audience I want to reach.

Dad: And what do you want?

Me: My view is further than people in my community, further.

Mom: Ya3ni sho bidak itroo7 3ala Darfur.

Me: Yeah, why not? Why not Palestine too. I want to work with the UN.

Mom: And what about your kids, your wife? Ma itjebelhom ishi?

Me: They’d have to understand that my life is not mine when I become a physician.

Mom: Yeah, good luck getting married.

Me: If my wife can’t understand that, then balaha, baseer 5oori.

Mom: Bokra ibtekbar ow ibtet3’ayar.

Me: My views on life will never change.

*Then we walk into the mall*

Hala2 when you’re 20, you see life differently than your parents would. I want to be free like a bird, able to speak my mind about everyone and everything. Sacrificing my life to help others is something that I always think about, can it easily be done? Don’t I want a family too? A lovely wife and two lovely kids? The conversation with my parents was one where I was talking out of my heart and not my mind. I know how passionate I am about helping others and that made me block out everything else in life. I know that one day I want to have a family and right now I’m passionate about much more than I can handle in one lifetime.

Bokra bakbar, zay ma galat mama.

The human race is greedy, ow as good as we are, it’s impossible not to think of yourself. It’s very important to be happy and it’s very important to be satisfied with who you are as an individual because that will affect everyone else around you and everyone close to you. I’m not saying I want the best clothes, and the best cars, and a gigantic house, I just want to be happy so that I can help others around me, and in our modern world, achieving both at once is not an easy task. To have a family you need to think of your wife and kids first, before yourself. To be a physician you have to put your patients before yourself. My career path is not an easy one, and it’s one I chose myself, so if you’re a fellow physician you understand the roads that are up ahead for us.

For now, I’m twenty and I want to enjoy being twenty. I live my life, day by day, enjoying every moment, gasping every breath fully for myself, to shape myself into the best person so that I can be the best person for my family and those I want to help.

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7 Comments

Filed under Life, Personal

7 responses to “Life is but a dream

  1. the bff

    I realised how much I miss your parents after I read this. I’m glad that your views on life are ones that you can hold on to and will try uphold as years pass, just don’t forget to be happy, none of the patients that you will save nor the riches of the world will matter if your not happy. I’m not saying put yourself infront of everything and everyone, because like you, my life comes last and I put everything ahead of me. So I can relate to your post, but an ounce of happiness will make the difference.

    Here is something for you, “A man walked along a path, towards the end of this path, it split into two. Each path lead to different parts of his life. Unsure of which to choose, he asked God which to take and God replied, “where do you wish to go my son?” and the man said, “I don’t know.” Finally God said, “then it doesn’t matter.”

    Be happy. Live life.

  2. KJ

    My parents believe I am going to be the death of them, after 25 years of being the wonderfully obedient son.

    I rarely, if ever actually, say no to my parents. Sure, I grunted and disagreed with many things, and sometimes found a way to argue myself out of a situation. But, while their decision was never resolute, I never said “no”.

    Of course assertiveness was never my concern while I lived under their roof. The last time was when I was 17.

    Fast forward 8 years and I am at a crossroads of sorts. Now that I am “unemployed” it’s time to rethink my strategies, choices, education and career.

    My dad is a free bird, a pheasant who joined the city life. He graduated with English Literature and moved on to journalism. After being jailed a couple of times for what he wrote, and the lack of freedom of speech when he worked as an editor in Saudi, he gave up on that front and joined the business world. It went uphill then downhill, and after many tears and sacrifices and decades later, he wants to go back to journalism. He sits and writes his stuff on pieces of paper here and there. I should collect them – I know he has a genius brain and this collection is priceless. He’s particularly fond of Gilgamesh and any religious topic.

    Mom is the opposite. She’s an aristocrat, or at least belonged to one of the families which had traditions and a name and rituals. Like every day she would go with her grandpa to buy fruits, iron clothes in the afternoon with the other girls of the family, and study in the evening. She would hang out with her high class friends and linger around in the newest posh cafe’s and sport the funkiest and most colorful 70s hairdo. She was born and raised under strict rules where everything had an order, a place, and an unquestionable rule. She graduated with an English Literature degree as well and has been teaching for now roughly 4 decades.

    My sister got mom’s high class taste and dad’s free spirit. I got dad’s simple outlook on life with mom’s strict OCD thought patterns – which is a deadly combination.

    So here I am torn between fulfilling my parents’ expectations of being the richest and most successful man ever to live, and my own desire to lead a humble life where I contribute to society as much as I can while learning everything I could ever in understanding people, their emotions and how the world generally works from a philosophical point of view. Scientific excel sheets bore me as much as the visions I derive from their findings and potential allure me.

    Am the sort of guy who hates to be specialized. I am so specialized in what I do at work I got laid off for it, among other paradoxical reasons my brain refuses to comprehend. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be a programmer, a painter, a philosopher, not a mathematician, a teacher, a therapist, a comedian, a writer, and whatever.

    When I was a kid I enjoyed summer not because I went to swim and play basketball and watch TV endlessly. I enjoyed summer because I went to pick figs from the karm, clean up olive tree branches, test the soil, check how much rain fell, drew maps of tectonic plates and earth crust, studied human anatomy and how everything functions (I remember the Calvin Cycle like my name), hunt little birds (followed by crying and refusing to eat them).

  3. Doing what you want is selfishness to most people around you while they are the ones being selfish. Your wife (in the future) should give you support, she should also put you ahead… hence life would be fair, complementary and interactive.

    But again choosing a career a life where we can be happy thus give out our all to the people around us, may hurt those people. To travel, to choose a different, distant, individual life and career, you have to think about the people you are leaving behind!

    Is it only an adventure?

    Why our loved ones tend to tie us? Why they tend to make us feel bad doing what we love just because there is less time for them.

    That stupid fucked up feeling of guilt, the emotional blackmail! Can’t a person have a time on his own? A period in life with less responsibilities towards the family, more responsibilities towards himself. Before that person makes his own family and any dream of individuality, of freedom would be gone with the wind?!

    I restrained from talking to a friend for 4 months, since I was feeling inferior to him. I am forever proud of his accomplishments and hard work. I’m jobless, I worked many things in a little period, none of those give me the challenge or the ability to grow! I felt useless…
    But then I met him a couple of days ago! We spoke about our careers, I was honest about it all. I was shocked as he told me: “at least you are not a hypocrite, and you don’t work in something you don’t like”.

    Stupid society we live in! Stupid values for life! Life is not about making money, being married,making a family, working in weekdays, relaxing in the weekends! Life is about fulfilling your dreams, satisfying your needs, being in harmony with yourself… then and only then you can reach success and only then you will be able to give the people around you!

    You can’t give what you don’t have, you can’t make people happy if you are not.

    Doing what you love, your passion, is not selfish! It’s your way of contributing to society, since when you’re passionate about what you do you’ll excel, and you’ll improve the community around you, even if you only affect the couple of individuals around you.

    Why should we accept the terms that the stupid community apply? Why should we live our lives only because, this is the right way? Says who, it’s the right way?

    If we know that life is not about money, if we know the real value of the materials we use in our daily life, then why don’t we apply our terms to society?!

    You make your opportunities in life, you create them. Society can tell you how to live, but it’s up to you to choose. And I want to live my life based on my own values, and my own terms.

  4. M

    The thing with you is that you already know what you want [provided, of course, that you don’t change your mind in the upcoming 100 years before you actually become a doctor], and that’s truly the greatest thing.
    And better still, you chose where you are right now, and therefore what’ll happen next will YOUR life, YOUR path, YOUR own doing.
    That being said, I think that what you wrote up there is very mature for a 20 year old [yeah, yeah, I called you mature], since most 20 year olds now are exactly the opposite. They all want the fanciest houses, fanciest cars and overall, the fanciest life possible.

    ‘You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.’ Joe Lewis

  5. Thanks a lot for your comments guy 🙂 they’re too long to individually reply to them so forgive me, but I guess I’ve talked to each of you separately about this so no worries :D! mpwas to all!

  6. M: Me choosing this career path on my own is really good because I see lots of my friends struggling because they’re parents forced them into medicine. [Go figure, kol wa7ad sar bido el 3alam iysamo ibn el doctor]. Thank you for calling me mature, that means a lot to me, you have no idea.

    Miss quote ka 3adtek, bas they’re all good :D.

  7. Is life a dream or is it only a dream if we don’t live to turn our dreams into reality? When asked about how he came up with the concept for Disney Land, Walt Disney said that his ideas came to him in the form of dreams. He knew, or rather, figured, that his dreams were not unique — that if he did not do anything to turn those dreams into a reality, someone else, with the same exact dream, will beat him to it. I think different people are blessed with different talents, be it medical, artistic, musical, you name it. What matters is how we use our different talents to change the world for the better.

    The conversation you had with your parents reminds me of those I have with mine. I’m 23 and still haven’t figured out how to strike a balance between the humanitarian work I want to do and the grandiose lifestyle my parents seem to have planned for me. I constantly ask them for advice, and listen carefully to what they have to say because I know they will always have my best interest at heart — more so than any person in the world. With all that said, I think it is important to work hard and make your dreams come true — you’ll make yourself and those around you happy in the process.

    إذا أقبلت الدنيا على أحد، أعارته محاسن غيره. وإذا أدبرت عنه سلبته محاسن نفسه

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