Yesterday, when we were walking around the city on this absolutely gorgeous day and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures, my friend asked me “So what do you want to accomplish in your life?” (It made sense in the context of the conversation, trust me.)
In the moment I wasn’t sure how to answer. That kind of Big Question that ends in “life” feels like it deserves one of those Big Answers like “change the world,” but those seemed trite and didn’t fit me quite right. And I don’t think I can honestly claim to be someone who consistently places “the world” over my personal goals and relationships.
I kept thinking about it on the train ride home and my favorite of the answers I came up with was “I want to change the way people see the world.”
Maybe it sounds pretentious, but it seems to cover a lot of what I do. Or what I want to do.
Maybe a few people. Maybe a lot of people. Maybe a little change. Maybe a big one. Maybe it’s the first step to creating actual change in the world. Or maybe not. Maybe the change in perception itself is just as important and real as “actual” change is.
I want to make people see the world differently. What about you?
A slightly delayed, assorted collection of thoughts from my way back home:
It’s 4 am. Why am I awake?
I’m waiting in the short line at customs because I have a Lebanese ID. It’s from when I’m four and I don’t look particularly happy in the picture. That’s weird. Most of my toddler pictures are pretty smiley. I kind of remember going to the photographer to get that picture done, but I don’t think I knew what it was for at the time. I remember that green dress.
The whole Lebanese citizenship thing gives me mixed feelings. I mean why should I have one and not people who have lived here forever and want to use it for things like employment and healthcare, not just waiting in a shorter line every couple of years (it’s paternally inherited)?
I don’t have to take off my shoes at this security check? Awesome.
I really don’t mind sitting in the economy section, but why do we have to walk by those beautiful first-class seats on the way there?
Was that a First World problem?
No SkyMall on international flights. This duty free catalog only has expensive-but-not-fundamentally-ridiculous things.
Layover in Germany. I’m still not sure why European women wear tutus to the bathroom.
I can’t figure out how to rest my head on the tray table without causing neck damage.
I read The Fault in Our Stars, and I really loved it. Even more than the love story aspect, I appreciated the honesty and realistic cynicism which stripped away the heroism-speak/”Everything Happens For A Reason” sugarcoating which typically surrounds discussions of tragedy. (I get that the “EHFAR” approach is comforting to some people, but I personally find it dismissive). It’s sometimes nice to see acknowledged that tragedy actually really sucks and is just as likely to bring out the worst in people as the best. And that neither adds to or diminishes the fact that there is still humor and love in the world (just not the perfect fairy tale kind).
I tried to read Gender Trouble and got to about page 30 before my brain unraveled.
I played Candy Crush until the app on my phone decided to stop functioning. Maybe these things would stop happening if I gave in and downloaded the current iOS. Yup, I still haven’t done that.
What time is it? Where?
Is that a glacier? Damn this earth is beautiful.
And that. Woah.
Is that an estuary? It kind of looks like veins running through lungs.
Maybe I don’t give the Bay enough credit for being awesome.