I was about to write yet another political rant, this time linking Miss America and the Middle East – this is how far I can go when it comes to the Middle East. It’s unsettling, really.
I have been thinking about that column all day Monday, when I realized I just didn’t want to write it. I wanted to write something lighter, maybe something a bit more personal. By doing that, I would be following the advice of a trusted friend, who asked me to try to mentally “get out of the Middle East.”
When my friend told me that, I remember thinking, “but it’s where I’m from and it’s what made me who I am,” which in fact, inspired the topic of this editorial.
One night while I was in the Middle East this summer, my sister asked me and my other sister a “deep” question. “What would you say the milestones in your lives are to this day?” she asked.
Zain, the 26-year-old, said it was the time she spent completing her graduate degree in Hartford, Conn. While Reem, the profound one with the life-changing questions, said her life changed the minute she joined the company she works at currently.
I was not ready to answer that question at the time. Partially because it came out of nowhere, like all other questions Reem tends to ask and partially because I knew I didn’t have a clear-cut answer like the two of them, so I brushed it off with a joke.
“The most important day in my 20 years of life was the one I was born on.” It sounded funnier in Arabic so needless to say, we just all laughed and that was that.
In truth, I didn’t have one life-altering moment in the two decades I have graced the world with my presence. My personality and who I am today are a result of a mixture of relatively normal events, many of which are sad, others joyful.
They, of course, start with the day I was born a month prematurely, after which I was forced to live in an incubator, despite my cries and fits of anger. It was terrible.
Fast-forward 15 years, to the day I got accepted into my high school. That was arguably the most important day in my life, unbeknownst to me then. I got involved in every extracurricular activity I could find on campus, partially because I hated taking physics and mathematics, but mostly because I enjoyed each of them thoroughly.
My extracurricular transcript, along with my curricular one, got me accepted into Gannon University, where with the encouragement and support of key people – you know who you are – I managed to survive my first year and was guided to find myself in several organizations, like The Gannon Knight, where I currently am editor-in-chief.
Oct. 12, 1992, was the day I came into this world, and if you would’ve asked me that day and every day since if I saw myself where I am today, the answer would have been a straight “No.”
I don’t know where I will be 20 years from now; all I know is that I won’t be making plans that far away. Something always comes up.