A lifestyle diary by Nadia Darwesh.


Monday, August 08, 2016

While on the subject of getting older, isn't it interesting to note the kind of impact some ages and numbers have on one's subconscious? Mine have always been the oddball odd numbers: 11, 15, 17,
and now 23...

A year older, a year wiser. As of Tuesday 02 August 2016, I am now 23 years old. It's a strangely surreal feeling.

How did I get here, I wonder? What have I been doing to this point? Why does it feel so significant? Have I really been around for this long? Wowee, I can't help but muse, I'm practically a wizened hag. I half expect that next year I'll be burrowing my fingers in my hair in search of elusive greys. That's the funny thing about time--how it's consistency often lends itself to numerous more inconsistencies.

While on the subject of getting older, isn't it interesting to note the kind of impact some ages and numbers have on one's subconscious? Mine have always been the oddball odd numbers: 11, 15, 17, and now 23, which calls to mind a Rei Kawakubo quote I came across recently, where on being asked what her favourite number was she quipped, "Odd numbers, because they are asymmetric and strong." There is no over burdensome matching with them in order to fit in with often pointless ideals. They just are, and try as you might, you can never quite figure them out. (Inserting the fatigue that comes with every division question involving the number '3'. Ack.)

Therefore here I am, at 23, happy, content, excited, anticipating things I have not yet seen and cannot yet understand.

Appropriately, or perhaps coincidentally, something that's been lying heavily on my mind of late has been the concept of reinvention. Not anything too obvious like getting that nose ring I once wanted so badly at that strange age of 15, or the loud hairdo I so craved at 17, or the total overhaul of everything I was that I so desperately felt that I needed at 21. Nope. It veers more towards the innate, revolving around one question: Am I where I am meant to be? To supplement it: Am I who I am supposed to be at this point in time?

Heavy stuff, yes, but much needed if I mean to move forward in my path in life.

In considering the prospect of reinvention, a few key words float into my head. Re-alignment, for one, in that what I feel inside goes along with what I project on the outside, and vice versa. Rendering, for another, so as to take all those lessons I learned at 22, which turned out to be my year of reluctant adriftness, and use them to mold my life into what is for all intents and purposes new. Or at the very least, different from the past. Finally: becoming.

Hence, and understandably, this all means change. Yet herein lies the beauty of reinvention: said change doesn't have to involve a complete scrapping of the past, or alternatively, a total replacement with the new. On the contrary, what it means is adaptability, fluidity, moving with the times and all that jazz. When done wrong it can come off as a con, but when done right it is lauded as a stroke of pure cosmic genius. There's something anarchic about it as it hurtles between intense purposefulness and complete madness. In short, reinvention is perfect for my asymmetric and strong 23.

However, there must be a word of caution thrown in. There is no straight way to go about it, nor is there a magic cure of relief (keeping in mind our supposed millennial mindsets of now! now! now!). It's doesn't always happen as a swift leap of grace--although it can choose to manifest itself in this way for some. If 22 taught me anything, it was the patience that comes with falling in line with one's allotted series of torturous little steps. I resented them even as I went through them, but it was all worth it in the end as somewhere along the way I looked up and realized that Oh, life is moving again!

Finally to the matter of adaptation vis-à-vis reinvention; all I can do is paraphrase a favourite Bible verse of mine: there is nothing new under the sun, if we must strive for anything first it should be to eat, drink, and find satisfaction in our work. Further that life as a whole is not linear, it is cyclical, and our one focused duty should therefore be to find our own individual places in the sphere and in doing so, find our own happiness.

Philosophy of the day over.

Now to wrap up this introduction of the upcoming month(s) theme, as well as the overall theme for the next year in my life, I feel the need to reiterate that 23 is the place to be. Oh, I'll miss 22, just as I've missed and waxed nostalgic over all those other years of my life. Yet time is a relative on which we all stand and contextualize to fit our needs. Just as today exists as one day's past as well as another's future; I plan to live 23 holding onto all the lessons of my past whilst remaining hyper aware that I am setting a foundation for the future. As a girl who likes to plan her plans, I am positive that this will be no easy feat. There will be curve balls, and I am counting down the days to my next crying jag. However I do enjoy a challenge every now and then, able to assume the role of competitive you-know-what when I set my mind to it. In other words, bring it on life. I'm game. Let's go.

And oh yeah--happy new year, me ;)