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.