Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Six Days

...Until I start my 'career' as a full time grad student. I cannot believe that I am going back to school?? haha. It's so bizarre. Honestly, I dont think i'll believe it until I am sitting in class... and probably not for a few weeks after that, even.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Flying, Vacation, Anxiety (Mixed Up)

Whats with the post-vacation blues?

I suppose that it's all because you take a holiday from reality; your real life, worries and anxieties are sort of put on hold for a while. And you can float. What a magnificent feeling that is. Floating.

Flying. When I fly, I look out the window and I look over the wing, the massive wings... that suspend you 6 or 7 miles above the earth. Can you imagine what that really means or looks like in the grand scheme of the entire world? Incredible. Maybe thats why I love flying so much. When you are there in the air, there is a distance and a peace that is unattainable anywhere else. No one can call you or bother you. You just look out the window and hurtle over millions of people. You just go.

I am tired of worrying. Worrying is what always makes me tired.... you see, anxiety is very taxing. And when you are put back into it (your real life), you are sent running back to that very spot and moment that you wanted to escape before you left on vacation.

Maybe I like holidays too much. Or maybe I fear reality, so I constantly look for vacations. Is that abnormal? Is it too much to ask?.... probably, yes.

My anxiety lately has to do with going back to school. Is this the right decision? Is this the right program/career path for me? Sometimes I felt like I pushed myself too hard to 'want' this- which is a little alarming. But maybe I needed to push myself. I guess I'm gonna go and see what its about. No one will force me to continue if I come to a realization that its just not for me. Sadly thats what it comes down to. But thankfully I'm in a position where it wont be the end of the world if thats what happens.

Its ok, I tell myself. Explore and see where this takes you. Stop being afraid to make mistakes... stop being afraid, I tell myself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To My Beirut

I recently returned from a trip abroad. I went to Italy, London, and of course... Beirut.

I miss it more than I can describe.

We have a house in Lebanon. It's high up on the side of a mountain, and from it there is the most beautiful view one can imagine. You can see all of the northern suburbs of Beirut- Jounieh, Dbayeh, Ghazir. And way off into the distance, you can see the lights of Beirut, jutting out into the Mediterranean. From inside my house, we have sliding glass doors that lead out onto large balconies. But if you are in the right place inside... you look outside, and it seems like you are floating above everything.

I could stand there for hours. Maybe forever, and watch the cars move up and down the coast. I could watch, as the sun rises over the mountainside, and sets on the sea. here is a view of it at night:

As you can see, the view is quite stunning.

But it is not just this view that I miss. I miss the anonymity, the feeling of blending in with people who look like me. Olive skin, black hair... I miss the food, which I love so much and which stirs in me, emotions of my childhood, my youth, my heritage and my blood. I miss the Arabic music, and the amazing energy that is there. Its a different energy. I miss the resilient people, who have worry and happiness etched into their faces all the time. They have so much to worry about; living in a nation without stability or a clear future. But they live. They dance, they celebrate, and they say, "ma leysh" (its okay) and continue on with their lives.

There are fireworks every day in Lebanon. I can see them from our balcony. There are pristine beaches in the south, where the sun shines all the time. There is the corniche, which is lined with palm trees, walkers, runners, students, Lebanese, Saudis, Americans, and everything between.

The smell of the falafel and shawarma shops wafting in the air. The noise of the constant traffic that rumbles through Beirut without end. The constant boom boom boom of the bass at some of the world's hottest and most exclusive clubs. Rolls Royces and Lamborghinis parked right next to taxis that are painted four different colors.

Coming back from a vacation like the one I had - with my best friend with me - is like being thrown into an ice bath. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life, sort of. And as I flew westward, I felt the stress and worry trickle back towards me. First as I was pulled away from the mountains and beaches of Lebanon. And then as we crossed the Atlantic ocean into the Americas.... and now I sit here, worrying about this and that. Wishing to board the next plane that hops the Ocean. Make it Paris, make it London or Munich. But after that make it Beirut......

But still, I'll miss the feeling of floating...from my house on the mountainside.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lost! Part II

So, the reason why this song is so fitting for my current mood is because I actually do feel lost.

I've made many important decisions in my life, in the past few months. And yet I feel a sense of foreboding... like I maybe made the wrong decision. But I dont know. This feeling is mostly regarding my decision to pursue a Doctoral degree in clinical psychology. I think it's what I want, but I am afraid it might not be. And that is my constant mood lately- afraid. And I realize, I am always afraid, and always have been motivated by fear.

I've been really anxious lately. For many reasons... and it has perhaps affected my health- as I've been dealing with some bizarre physical symptoms that have not yet been found to have any clinical origins. (There is yet some testing to do). If this continues to be the case, the conclusion will be that my anxiety is finding an outlet by causing these various symptoms... yay for hypochindriasis. Just pray/hope with me that I don't have some awful disease. I'm not even 25, and I'd like to at least have my 20's (and hopefully the rest of my life- which should be long and prosperous ;) )in good health.

My question, to anyone who reads this and to anyone who might have some insight to my fears... is: how do you know when you are making the right decision? How normal is it to have doubts when choosing a career or path of education? Does it really matter? What happens if you make a mistake? Ok. So that was more than one question.

"What happens if you make a mistake?" That's a question that someone who is paranoid about making mistakes asks. I guess I have made mistakes in the past, but never big ones, really. I've lived a life of fear and anxiety since I can remember. Maybe its perfectly normal that I feel afraid since I am actually taking a leap of faith and deciding to TRY this program out. That in and of itself is not something I would see myself doing. At least its a great program (one of the best in the country). I am lucky that if I choose to discontinue the pursuit of this degree, it will not cause me a huge issue. It will be but wasted time. And that sucks, but at least I wouldn't be in the red from it. I really want to complete this degree- that is my goal- but I am afraid that I'll get into it and decide, 'you know what, this just isnt for me'. And then what? Back into the deep abyss....

I think its interesting that I choose a career path- clinical psychology- when I still have so many issues of my own to sort out. I FEEL like I should be perfectly balanced, perfectly stable, and perfectly perfect in order to take on other people's problems and to help them. To analyze and understand them. To be an 'example' perhaps. But perhaps not... that's not really what being a psychologist is about. But I guess it feels like it is, or that it could be.

Maybe its a perfect career choice. Look at me, look at how analytical I am. I sometimes think to myself- either this choice is going to fix you or break you. But maybe its less black and white than that. Lord, it better be... black and white thinking. Its one of the worst things that one can do to oneself.

No, I tell myself now. The world is still grey and foggy. And I am still lost.


I am stewing on the meaning of a song that I've grown to like very much. It's called "Lost!" by Coldplay. As usual, their songs are emotional and beautiful to listen to. Here are the lyrics:

Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I'm in a cross

Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserve
No better and no worse

I just got lost
Every river that I've tried to cross
And every door I ever tried was locked
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause along may come
A bigger one

And you'll be lost
Every river that you try to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the firing stops
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off
Ooh-Oh, And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas


To all. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I feel nauseated. And I dont know why. Perhaps it was all of those sugar cookies that I ate today....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where I am...Where I might be...

For some reason, I've been reasonably happy these past few months. It was odd too- because my happiness and content was punctuated relatively briefly with a period of unhappiness and uncertainty regarding my 'future'. This is sort of the only cloud on my horizon now, as well. In this I do not refer to what will happen after I die... (haha), but what I am going to do with the next portion of my life. So how do we explain...

I've graduated college and for the past year gotten a job at a psychiatric hospital near where I live. It was hard work, stressful to the max, and there was nary a day that I didnt fear for my life. I worked with 'at-risk' adolescents with severe behavioral and psychological problems.... then... I applied to many grad schools.... for a mix of Masters and Doctoral programs in Psychology.... I got into all of them... Columbia, NYU and more.... top schools.... and as smart as I apparently am?? (I really did not expect to get into those schools) and as much potential as these universities think I have... I freaked out and didnt accept admission to any of them. I decided to work more at the hospital and reapply to doctoral programs only this time around (for fall 2008 admission)...

Looking back, I cannot say whether or not this was a good decision. I was held back by the fear that I would be committing a lot of time and money to a graduate school education...and its not something to just jump into without a lot of thought. And here I am... application time AGAIN. And that fear is back. The "what if I hate it" fear.... the thing is... I really like psychology. I would be good at it, and I'd help people deal with and hopefully conquer their issues- which truly is a rewarding job. But sometimes I wonder if I'd be happier going into other professions.... following one of my dozens of passions.

Life is fickle like cant DO everything right away. Let it be said that I am quite privileged, and I wont have to worry about how I am paying for all this... ie- grad school. And I recognize and appreciate that privilege for the blessing that it truly is.......

But I want to be a Psychologist and a Pilot and a World Class Clothing Designer and a Fashion Photographer a Runway Model and a Family Law Attorney and a Painter and an Author. And yet I have to jump back into my skin, and choose just one. Psychology would be continuing my path. My safe path. Right now its the path that I am choosing- I am sort of going with the "I have to try it and see if I like it or not...." mentality. I guess that I must try it to I know whether its for me or not. I am tired of feeling my way around in the dark....anyway, Any of the others would require even more time to 'reset' and 'relearn' so much that I did not learn in college...and they too require me to delve into the unknown- perhaps moreso. So why not go with what I know- and at least try it? Sometimes you have to just jump. Right?

I find it funny that people don't have this problem with great frequency. Though, I've learned that a lot of people are either A. less passionate about less things, B. more easily satisfied than I am, or C. dont see the world as a constantly changing field of what-ifs, maybes etc. In the end.... think I am spoiled or have too high expectations, probably, and just need to deal with the fact that I cant have everything. And I think that that sucks. But I also need to understand that life will not be ruined if I do not achieve every single thing I have listed above. I will be fine, and I can be happy.

You know, I even for the first time went and saw a therapist about all this. (Ironic that I didnt see a shrink when I was clinically depressed and wanted to throw myself in front of a bus...that whole gay-mormon thing is a doozy, it really is.) I thought that since I was overall happier than I have ever been- that I would be able to sort through my problems with a clearer mind. It turns out that I paid this lady 150 dollars an hour for me to talk to myself. No offense to you, Dr. so-and-so, but you did not help me. I actually vowed, after my second and final session to be a MUCH better psychologist than you were. At least you could have acted interested in what I had to say. Maybe interest is shown at 200 dollars an hour. haha.

In any event. After 300 dollars went down the drain, I realized that I really didnt have much to say to her. I felt like I didnt need her. My problems are apparently not serious enough- and my feedback was not good enough to warrant me continuing seeing her. So I'll save the money... a few sessions equals an entire wardrobe. lol. And as the designer-wanna-be that I am... clothes make me happy.

So whats it for me?

A Private Therapy Practice?
Captain of an American Airlines Boeing 757?
The next Tom Ford?
The Next Evandro Soldati (look him up, its worth it)?

I'll tally up your votes...... ;)