The Wrong Path

I read somewhere once that when coming to a crossroads, the only people who are happy that they picked the wrong path are gamers. And, it’s very true.

To those of you who are non-gamers, let me explain why. When there is a crossroads in a game, there will always be a path that leads to a dead-end, and a path that leads to the continuation of a story – providing there is a story. And sometimes, when you pick the right path, you might not be able to go back.

Some of you may be wondering why is that a problem, why go back at all? That path is probably filled with things you need to fight to reach some wall and you’ll need to head back anyway. And you’re right, you always need to return to the right path, but the wrong path is often filled with items or treasure or countless other things you might need later on while you continue on your right path.

“The right path” has always been this elusive path that I would eventually find. I mean, when you’re young, your parents always try to steer you towards the right path, and make sure you don’t stray or pick the wrong path. We’re always hearing “oh, you’ll pick the right path, don’t worry.” But what is so wrong with picking the wrong path? If we’re strong enough, we often make our way back.

And the experience (XP – gamer joke) we gather from the wrong path will definitely help us against bigger obstacles in the future. For example, a sword you pick up for a character in the game from going down the dead-end could be very rare, and help you fight a boss in later stages. I’m not saying that without the wrong path, you fail on the right path. But mistakes you made could help you out and make you stronger in the future.

What I’m trying to say, very messily, is don’t dread the wrong path. Make your mistakes, learn from them, go back to the right path and continue your story. I’ve always believed that you learn more from making mistakes than from getting everything right.

And, truly, if you are strong enough, you can always change your path. Even if you’re on what you consider the right path, but you always have that nagging at the back of your head saying that you should do something else, that you’re on the wrong path for you, go ahead and do it. Because different paths, crossroads and mistakes are what build character, and what make us different.


Let’s Talk About Emotions

I’ve been studying relationships for the past few weeks and I’ve noticed a pattern. A common tendency in relationships (I’m not going to generalize and say all, because, let’s face it, I’m 21) is that one person in the relationship is very emotional, and the other person is more reserved. I’m not saying one person likes the other more, although that is the case sometimes. I’m saying, more often than not, one person expresses it more.

One of my friends, let’s call her Jane, is a more reserved and doesn’t show emotion (to say unemotional would be wrong) type. Me? I’m the opposite end of the same spectrum, I’m over emotional. I feel things around 1000 times more than a regular person would. A bowl of jello could make me ecstatic.

Now we, Jane and I, have an agreement: to teach each other how to control our emotions. You see, recently, my emotions have been raging. They’ve been all over the place and making me happy, making me sad, making me cry, making me laugh, just everywhere. It’s what happens when you go through a change, and I’m going through many.

So, I’ve been asking Jane to help me find what she calls the “off switch.” Up till now, I still don’t believe there’s an off switch for emotions, because I like to think that instead, there’s a way to steel your emotions, be in control of them, and don’t let them show too much.

And while I’ve been looking for the off switch, I’ve been trying to help Jane become more emotional. Because always having to mask your emotions and not letting them show could be off putting to someone. But more importantly, it could be off putting to yourself. You’ve got to show emotion once in a while, people respond to others who show an interest. Behaving like you couldn’t care less makes you seem exactly like that. And Jane doesn’t want to be like that anymore.

It’s funny that when you’re the over emotional one like I am, you wish, more than anything, that you could just turn off your emotions for a while, just stop thinking about everyone and everything that keeps you up at night. To delete all the memories that make you ache, and just for once sleep with an empty mind. But I’ve been going about this all wrong. Just because I’m over emotional doesn’t mean that people like Jane don’t stay up at night. They could stay up for the exact same reason, but from a different perspective. For example, I could think about why I need people all the time, and a counter thought would be why do I push people away.

You see, you can’t really judge who you’re not. While putting yourself in someone else’s shows is always helpful, and sympathy when needed is great, don’t forget that everyone has problems, and your problems are just as real as someone else’s. People who live a more reserved, quiet life, yes I do envy you, but I get that might you envy me sometimes. The thing with over emotional people is that we’re starved for emotion, mostly love, that we’ll give so much of it out just to receive an inch back. And with under emotional people,  I know that you care, and your actions speak levels of how much you love us.

Now some people might call that clingy, or too sweet, or whatever crap people have labeled being decent nowadays. But I’d rather kill someone with kindness than have them take away what I think some people might love about me. The people who truly love me don’t care that I say I love you perhaps 5 times a day. They don’t care that sometimes I need them just to cheer me up and tell me that they care about me. They do it because they know who I am and that life is rough sometimes. And in return they don’t need to ask me to tell them I love them, and tell them they’re special, because I’m already doing it.

You see, over emotional people get along with other over emotional people and sometimes it’s just a plethora of emotion, spilling out like water out of a fountain. But quite rarely, over emotional people find people who don’t share that publicly displaying emotion is that endearing but they mesh perfectly together. It’s the perfect mixture of give and take. I have been lucky enough to find that type of relationship, more than once, and I relish it.

Jane and I are learning from each other. We’re not going to become each other, I think we’re just going to get closer on the same spectrum, closer towards the middle. For the right people, it’s alright to be yourself, but when it’s comes to a new relationship, remember to give it time, to be in control of your emotions. Let people get used to a person they can connect with before you start releasing all your emotions. That’s a lesson I have to learn myself.

The Perks of Intelligence

If I were a smarter person, I’d probably not put myself down all the time. I’d understand that everyone has their off days, including me, and I’d just take time to myself to heal. Emotions are nothing to be afraid of, and they’re nothing to hide either. Everyone feels down at one point, but if you’re feeling down, you shouldn’t make yourself feel worse; that’s just cruel. However, when I feel down, I start to recount all the things I hate about myself, and that’s a long list, believe me. Even worse? I go around telling people, willing them to make me feel better, knowing they can’t.

If I were a smarter person, I’d start exercising, instead of complaining about eating too much. I love food, and I’d like to believe food loves me. And I’m not talking about calories and becoming fat and all that. Of course most of us want healthy, sexy bodies. We want to be desired, there’s nothing wrong with that. And though nothing will stop my love of food, I need to get my sorry ass off that couch and do something with my life. But no, the only place I go to is my kitchen, and that’s only to pick up another bag of chips to eat on my red couch.

I were a smarter person, I’d probably be prettier too. I’m not talking about increased intelligence making someone more desirable at this point, just increased awareness. Instead of constantly looking in the mirror and noticing all my flaws, grimacing at what I’d see, I’d highlight my best features, and feel pretty myself. And once you see it, and internalize it, other people start to see it too. Instead of unconsciously saying “ew” or avoiding eye contact whenever someone complimented me, I’d say “Thank you” and take it in stride. No one has to compliment you, no one has to tell you you’re pretty. They do it because they want to. They do it because they see something pleasing to their eyes and the want to say it.

If I were a smarter person, I would do all these things. But I’m not. I only know all these things and can’t apply them.

Insecurities are not a joke. They’re not something to take light. They’re not something that should drive people away. They’re not something you tell another person to get over. I wish I could. Every day I wish I was someone different, and that I lived in a world that belonged to other people as well as myself, not just my own. People can tell me time and time again that I’m a great person, but nothing will ever settle unless I believe it myself.

For the whole of 2015, I have tried to love myself. But for some absurd reason, I cannot. It’s absurd because I know love. I love other people with such a passion that they can feel it. And if they can’t? I make them. I love love. I love loving people. I love making people feel loved.

But why can’t I love myself? They say you can’t love anyone until you love yourself but that’s not true because I spend my time just loving others. Putting a smile on their faces. It’s even better when they’re not very emotional people and they just love me because I feel like I’ve gotten through to them. Talking like this makes it seem like it’s a prize I’ve won, but it’s really not. It’s just what I like to do.

And see, if I were a smarter person, and I loved myself, I could give even more love to people. But because I were a smarter person, and I loved myself, I would give it to the right people, those who won’t hurt me. Because all insecurities stem from some place, and mine stem from the hurt that people caused me. And that alone should make me smart enough to not trust everyone right away. That alone should make me wise up and only give love to those who plan to love in return, maybe not right away, but at least some day.

But, hey, I think the one thing we’ve learned from this blog post is I’m not a very smart person.

A New Chapter

Yes, I know. The title is so cheesy. But I am really moving into a new chapter of my life.

I’ve moved out. Technically, I’m still living in my parent’s house (in Dubai) but I have moved out of Lebanon. It still hasn’t really hit me. I mean, I unpacked, I’ve said it out loud, I’ve had family (my extended family lives here, too) lunches celebrating my return, and it still hasn’t hit me.

I feel like I’m on vacation. A permanent vacation, maybe. Is one not supposed to be happy with the place they live? Or is that just my Lebanese 6 year experience talking?

In all fairness, and quite shockingly, I miss Lebanon. I don’t miss its problems and how unbelievably bored I was there, but I miss the people. I miss my room (how lame is that? But my room was pretty awesome). I miss the routine I had come up with for the past 6 years. In Dubai, it seems like I’m always rushing to do something. And I don’t have much time to myself. And I love having time to myself. To do whatever I want with it.

I suppose a routine will happen sooner or later. I just need to settle in for now. I need to deal with the fact that my university life chapter has closed. I guess that’s the weird part. It’s a cliché to say I’m starting a new chapter of my life, but in those movies/books/other outlets, they never mention how hard it is to close the chapter you were currently in. Yes, every day I wished that chapter would come to an end, but now it has happened and everything is happening so fast and I have to become an adult now?! An actual adult that has a job?

I don’t know how to adult, the concept is so foreign to me. Are there any schools that teach that? No.

To all of you in Lebanon who are/were (that seems sad but it’s going to happen) my friends, know that whenever I hugged you, I hugged you with all my heart. Whenever I said I love you, I meant it, and I always will. I tend to love people for a very long time. And know that even though I might not be with you, all our memories are with me, and I will cherish them till eternity. And it’s never “goodbye”, it’s just a simple “I’ll see you soon.”

No, but seriously, anyone have any tips on adulting?

Guys, let’s be real for a second. Can you really live in a place for 6 years and not have any scars? Any memories? Any people you’d miss? It baffles me when I tell people I’ll miss it, and they go “Oh, but you love Dubai, you’ll be much happier there.” True, but it’s not like I only can love one place. Lebanon was home for a while, which is why it still feels like I’m on vacation. I do love Dubai, I love the place I was born and raised in, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hold similar home-y feelings towards Lebanon. I woke up, ate, was educated, and slept there for 5 years. It’s bound to have left its mark on me. If the mark was for better or for worse I can’t determine right now.

Ah, my insecurities. Yes, Lebanon, or rather, Lebanese people, thank you for those. I actually caught a glimpse of my insecurities today, asking my soulmate, who I’ve been best friends with for 11 years now, if she’d get bored of me. Uh, I think we’re past that stage by now. But you can’t shake insecurities as easily as you unpack your clothes. It’s going to be difficult, but I think soon enough, I’ll be a brand new person. Hopefully with less insecurities, and more confidence. But who knows? I might be just the same person I am right now, just in a new chapter of my life.

Music to Play Against your Emotions

Its currently 3:30 AM, and after crying my eyes out over something stupid and writing a little something for myself, I realize I’ve got to release my emotions.

So what do I do? I listen to my video game music playlist (which I’ve linked before, but just in case you wanted it again). I’m pretty sure if you read my blog or even know me just a little, you’d know how important video games are to me. But an even bigger part is the music to go along with those video games.

Never have I experienced music more suited to emotions. Happiness, sadness, victorious, nostalgia (a LOT of this), basically anything you’re feeling, I can find a piece of video game music that can make you feel that the music is a part of you, what you’re feeling, or make that emotion heightened.

I don’t know when it started to become so important to me. I started to listen to video game music, starting with the Legend of Zelda, as if it were my mantra. Religiously, day and night, I would listen to the 25th anniversary CD that came with Skyward Sword. Just listening to orchestral pieces, with no lyrics, makes you realize how much meaning and work goes into the music itself. I’m not saying I don’t love lyrics. I’m a writer, lyrics are my bread and butter. But, for that one month of just orchestral music, I fell in love with two things: the violin, and the flute. And those two together are just heaven. For example, my favorite Zelda theme, the title theme of Windwaker.

Also, a very important factor to add to this is that some songs give me a sense of home. I don’t know how a song can make you feel at home, but that’s what video game music has given to me. My favorite game of all time is Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (referred to as TTYD from now on) and in a game like that, you always return to your starting point as soon as you finish a chapter of the game. The starting place of that game is called Rogueport. And I remember as my brother and I were playing Super Smash Bros For 3DS, (if you’re not a gamer, this is just a game that combines all Nintendo – and co. – in one amazing fighting game) we played on a stage that was derived from the Paper Mario franchise. And at one point, the music from Rogueport came on, and I basically screamed at my brother, “THAT’S THE MUSIC FROM ROGUEPORT!!!” and it was like I felt at home. And since then, whenever I would want to feel a sense of belonging, and just feel like I’m home, I would listen to Rogueport. And besides that sense, it’s such beautiful music.

The same thing happens with Outset Island (also from Windwaker) just a small sample of that music takes me back home. And it’s not like I imagine a place or anything, I can’t think of a single home of mine that feels like a proper home, except one long long ago, although I have wonderful memories in all my houses. But the music, just gives me a feeling of home that I miss. A feeling that an actual home can’t give me.

Its tough to describe, but video game music has been my safety blanket, my comfy slippers, my bubble baths for a long time. It makes me feel better even when I’m sad and I’m listening to something sad. It makes me remember old things, of course, the games I played. While being purely wonderful to listen to, it also helps me settle my over-emotional feelings in a way no person, no thing, or no place has ever helped me to do quite as well. And that’s why it’s so important to me.

P.S Yes I know, I haven’t written in a ridiculously long time. But I’ve had nothing to write about till now.

Relatively Gotten.

Besides my best friend of 10 years, no one gets me like my brothers. As I sit here in my room, on yet another Friday night, listening to my Video Game Playlist on YouTube, humming along and smiling at memories those songs are linked to, I realize it.

In the 20 years of my being, my best friends are my brothers. And I would always pick hanging out with them over anyone else, because it’s so nice to hang out with people you don’t have to apologize to for being yourself.

Honestly, sometimes I think I’m too much of myself, if that makes any sense. And I drive people away, and come on too strong and basically all the issues that come with over-attachment that I dress up so well in the form of a shy, little, scared girl. But that’s all it is. I’m a scared girl, scared that no one will get me like my brothers do.

There’s this question I ask often. I ask those who I know very well if they love me. Not in any secret way or subtlety. Trust me, subtle is not my strong suit. I simply ask, “Do you love me?” But I realize now, I might be asking, do you get me. Do you understand what I’m saying. Do you know how weird I am, and more importantly do you accept it? Do you accept me, as I am?

Truth is, I don’t think anyone does. I have friends, and I know they love me and my company. I just don’t think they completely understand me, so I tend to tone it down. And it’s not like I’m mad because only my brothers get me. It’s not the world’s fault I’m different, and it’s not mine either, I mean, I’m pretty awesome (just kidding).

What I’m trying to say is I’m grateful that two of the most awesome people I’ve ever met turned out to be related to me, and that they love me and accept me for who I am, fully, with no judgement, and think I’m funny, creative and make me happy.

I just wish other people were like that too. I wish other people tried to get me.

Writing for two blogs!

Okay, this is getting quite stressful.

Basically, my university course, Journalism Workshop demands posts for the LAU Tribune.

So, most of the time I’ll be writing two blog posts in one week, but this week I’m just really tired, so excuse my laziness.

Also, I really love the topic of my post this week, so I’ll link you to it. It’s about old shows and how we all used to watch them and miss them.

That’s my fourth article on the Tribune. If you want to find the others, just type in my name (Nour Sheety) into the search box and you’ll find them! I hope you enjoy them as you enjoy these blog posts!