18 in Beirut…

Beirut at 5a.m

If I had to breakdown my life into phases; I believe so far it has went something like this… from the day you are born till you are about 12 you mostly don’t exist; you just eat poop and sleep… Around the age of 12 you discover that you did not come out of a lettuce and a new need and desire arises…. So you end up spending most of your time from the age of 12 to 16 in the bathroom erasing the prints off of your right hand…. You develop a crush and think you’r in love a few times.

But at the age of 16 things start to change… At least for me they did….

You actually fall in love for the first time, and your right hand stops cramping.

Now between the ages of 16 and 18 you are as free, as relaxed and as stupid and happy as you will ever be. You have no obligations and no duties but to get into college, and enjoy the dumb amount of loving you feel towards your first real girlfriend.
Your biggest fear is getting caught eating a cookie in class….

10 Days after I turned 18, the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006 began. It was the last summer before college so my crazy ass group of friends, my girlfriend and I spent the entire war in Faraya from day one, in a summer that unfortunately and sadly turned out to be one of the best summers ever.
Then college started.

I got my first job (5 stories underground as a stock keeper for Pull and Bear Verdun… Or as I would like to call it: The Bat cave) I got my first apartment (It was my grandmother’s place and she wasn’t in the country…. She kicked me out because of the damages, the day she got back.) long story short it was a fresh new start.
From the age of 18 to 21 you actually start living. You get your first paycheck, pay your first bill, set your first budget. You start to learn that the people you work with are not always nice, you start learning that most people are selfish. You go through your first breakup, you die a little on the inside but eventually understand that it is not that big of a deal. You say goodbye to your first friend at the airport, you cry your heart out. Then another friend leaves, you cry a bit less…. until most of them leave and you just get used to facebook chat.

You suddenly realize that 90% of the people around you also have sex… so you get your share. You start dating a lot, You get drunk a lot, try to eat raw pasta because who has time for cooking, you meet new people, dance on the streets, try to write a book until you realize you suck.

You dream and you believe you can change the world.

You take long walks through Beirut at 5a.m, you read books on a bench in the middle of nowhere for 4 hours straight. You drop a few courses, you try some cheesy pick up lines (the dumb shit I have said… Horrible). You move to new apartments, get your first roommate and have the most amazing time (sadly we once woke up next to each other sleeping in puke…. Till this day the question remains “who puked?”).

You question God, you question politics.

You hide behind the Lina’s Hamra fridge because you feel shy you work there, while your classmates dine there. Then you meet the second girl you’ll fall in love with… while being her waiter. You learn what “a relationship blessed by Satan” is; (it was mostly nice but the end would have been a huge hit in Greek tragedy theaters), you learn how unbelievably crazy, women can get (you’r all crazy somewhere inside just admit it…. you’r so pretty too that’s the fucking problem)

And you learn that you’ll do it all over again because Love is just another word for what I like to call “mutual acceptance of stupidity”.

You learn that you can actually gain 35 kilo’s and think “ca va man w 2er deghre bchilon”…. La2 man kol khara rou7 rkod.

You break a few hearts and get your heart broken. And through it all you feel on top of the world. Until you realize that in fact you’r life is just about to start…. And what a fucking kick in the face life is.

You turn 22 and you realize that all the hard work you did through college does not matter. You realize life isn’t exactly fair. You realize that a childhood best friend can stab you in the back, you realize that money changes people. You realize that the rules of life are so much different from anything you have read in a text book. You suddenly realize you cannot change the world, you realize how good you are does not matter a single bit.

You get disappointed, you try and you fail. You lose some friends. And you watch TV for 6 months. You discover a side of you that you never knew existed and you go from doing everything right to doing everything wrong… BUT…. you get the fuck back up.
You realize life is a fight. You fight your way through it, you get used to disappointments and you never stop trying. You keep going until you get what you want, you never stop, you never look back. Because life will keep hitting you with shit in the face. People around you will die, things will keep changing, disappointments will grow bigger. You will try so hard and get so little in return, until you finally try hard enough. Do not nag and do not question your happiness unless that answer to “did I give it everything i got?” is yes. Learn to fail, failing is the most amazing thing that can happen to you. Be a person who has principles and no matter what never break them for anyone. Keep updating your bucket list and have a monthly to do list. Read as much as you can, listen to good music, hangout with people that make you happy.

So from the day you are born until you are 12, you are nothing but a poop machine. 12 to 16 you are a chief wanker. 16 to 18 you are nothing but a dumb happy fuck with no responsibilities. 18 to 21 you think you got it all figured out and you are trying to make it through without an STD. The moment you are 22 you’r in a fight…. hang in there and you’ll get where you want.

Laugh a lot.

And mostly do not die before changing something in this world. Leave a mark. Be stupid.

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