Joie De Vivre

I’ve been looking at old photos recently. Not “infant” old but more middle- to high-school old. Watching old videos too, listening to the songs we used to listen to at that point.

I couldn’t figure out why, I couldn’t understand why my brain wanted me to rehash the past, and see things, see people, more importantly, that aren’t a constant in my life. Not to say I didn’t care about them anymore, but more weren’t people I would talk to every day.

Being me, being the over-sensitive, over-emotional, over-everything-that-I-should-be-able-to-control-but-can’t person I am, I start to over-think, wonder what happened between then and now, why I’m so different now. Why aren’t those people in my life? Most importantly, why was I happy then, and not now?

And then it hit me, like a train; joie de vivre.  I used to enjoy life, no matter the circumstances, no matter where I was. There were places I would enjoy more than others, of course. Dubai more than Beirut, school more than university (yes, I know it’s odd), a friend’s place more than a nightclub, but I would try to make the best out of it.

Joie de vivre translated means the exuberant enjoyment of life. It’s what we all should strive for. Instead of me sitting in my office, hating not only life but myself included, trying with all my might not to cry over something silly like a little girl holding a teddy bear. It’s that much of a struggle for me that the innocence that’s paired with a child that resembles my very own childlike persona could tip me over the edge.

I’m not going to say I’m going to go find my happiness, or whatever people do when they have an epiphany. I’m too far gone to find where it is; also adults don’t really get to have joie de vivre, at least not at this point.

At the very least, I do have a plan. A plan that could possibly get me out of this depression and that is kind of exciting. It’s exciting whenever I see myself trying to change my circumstances because I’m not happy, because it reminds me of who I used to be, it reminds me that I’m not just going to be a doormat. It reminds me that someone inside me knows that my happiness is worth fighting for.

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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.