Friday Night Wonders
My god, I miss writing! It has been a long time that I have not written anything more than a bunch of dry policy memorandums for school. I am almost scared of letting myself write rather freely. Just a few nights ago, when I was feeling emotionally fragile and academically exhausted, I decided to stay in my room and just read a short novel. I started and finished Olivia by Dorothy Strachey. By the time I finished the last line of this well-written story, tears had already covered my face. That night, I realized how much I miss hiding away from this world and its noises once in a while and spending time with fictional characters. Real people and things are sometimes too much to handle. I remember how I was tired of being disconnected from the world and its current events during the years of studying literature in college. And now…I feel exactly the opposite. I just sometimes want to shut my eyes and my ears to this world. I feel we talk too much about ourselves, our allies and adversaries, our objectives, perspectives and goals. Sometimes I feel I have turned into this machine that knows well how to talk and strategize her life in a way that seems very much aligned with the norms of this society. I might just be tired or aching to rebel. All I know is that there must be more to life. I remember having felt that there is more to this life during some of the hardest times of my life in the past. But somehow lately I feel very machine-like with a vision that is perhaps shrinking everyday.
The only time that I realize bits and pieces of the passionate, brave and emotional human being that I used to be are sill left in me is when I remember the past. Remembering the past…such a funny phrase! I remember years ago when I was a happy child in Iran despite all the political insanity that had forced peace out of our life. I remember how happy I was every time I would see my parents smile, talk and discuss their daily plans. I remember how happy I was in high school in the U.S. when I kept thinking of myself as a future leader that I desparately wanted to be. I remember the years that I felt I belonged to a land named Iran and how I used to think I would eventually feel that I also belong to the United States of America. Little I knew how much of a displaced immigrant one becomes every day. It’s like the moment you leave your home—the land to which you belong—, you will always be leaving and departing from one place or another. You will always be walking around with your luggage looking for a home. Sometimes you think you have found a home. But you never will. In fact, you will become displaced everyday a little more than the day before.
Looking around my room, I see a piece of the past hanging from every piece of furniture and my walls are covered with photos and memories. Memories…I miss all the places that I once used to call home: in particular Tehran and Oberlin. I miss loving and feeling loved. I miss feeling safe in the arms of those who meant the world to me. I miss feeling innocently hopeful about people and things. I miss closing my eyes and imagining that someday I will change the lives of many through my hard work and writings.
Nowadays, I simply don’t dream. I go to bed hoping that I don’t wake up to some nightmare about the life that my father miserably lives in Iran. I go to bed hoping to wake up and be able do something so that my mom’s life becomes easier in this exile of hers that is full of cups of coffee and sighs. I go to bed feeling ashamed that young men and women are being humiliated and terrorized in a million ways in Iran while I live my fancy Harvard life. Each one of them deserves to get a Public Policy degree from Harvard more than I do. They are the ones who are courageously changing history; not me. I go to bed thinking about my little friends in Bangladesh who work hard and dream big dreams against all odds. I go to bed hoping that I don’t wake up to a nightmare about how much I miss my best friend and the love of my life. I wake up to the hopeful songs of Darya Dadvar, smile for a few short seconds, try to remember where I am and why I am where I am, wash my face, look in the mirror and decide to be numb throughout the day so that I can successfully take care of my to do list and be a reasonably responsible student and employee. And this has become the story of my life. I never wanted to lead such an elitist and customary life. I wanted to be out with the people who possess little and yet know the value of this life. I am tired of this never-ending journey of working towards a “strong resume” and “the ability to persuade”. It seems the more advanced we get in our career the more we are taught and expected to lie and to design our insincere words and plans with sophisticated ornaments.
Maybe the bottom-line of all of this is that I desire more power in this world in order to, one day, make a difference in the life of a few other human beings. And I somehow unintentionally feel stuck in the part that is about learning how to have more power and how to have a stronger voice. The process of learning about power sometimes feels so unpleasant and artificial to me that makes me miss the times that I had a voice that was insignificant.
Maybe it’s just that I miss writing…I should write more.