A year in tandem


They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger — but only after it makes you wish it had killed you. And there is no one who can attest to this more than I.

As I wrote nearly six years ago, time is the unkindest cut of all. It sweeps by, impenitent and without a care for whether or not we are willing to go along with it. It hovers about, watching us make mistakes, but never allows us to do penance for them even if we have learned our lessons. It lets — and occasionally even helps — us make decisions and then only shows us the consequences of those decisions when it has become too late to undo them. It turns us against our principles and into people we’ve striven for most of our lives not to be. Worst of all, it will never wait for us.

Which is why today, exactly a year since I got dragged into the travesty that is Empire: Lebanon, I am reminded more than ever of how Time is also the biggest excuse for not doing what we know we should. We spew the incredibly clichéd declaration that “there is a time for everything in life”, because we are too weak and too cowardly to do the right thing, and before we know it, Time has swept by and left it all a little too late.

I am guilty of the same sin. I spent the past few months trying to figure out what to do with this joke of a life that I lead now, because a part of me was too terrified of the unknown, and too angry to accept that the most of important part of this life was under the control of someone I neither know nor respect. And now that I’ve finally decided that what I really need to get out of this life is to literally get out of it, even if it is a little later than I had originally intended, I know that Time is of no consequence, because there are some things that one can never get away from.

The past year has been, hands down, the most insane of my life. In an almost out-of-body experience, I have watched myself living day by day wondering when all this hoopla will end, how to get out from under the telescopic eye of my 48-year-old stalker, and how some people can live with themselves knowing that the people they claim to love are miserable because of their own childish, selfish choices.

But this past year has also been a blessing of sorts, because after making me wish that it had killed me, it taught me to divide and conquer my anger and grief, and channel my energy into making the most of what I have left and finding a way around such obstacles. And I know now that some things need no name or label, because there are some things that will never be understood by anyone except those who are living through them, and no name or label or person can ever change that.

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