In the beginning of 2016, I took a decision to quit everything, and keep a distance from almost everybody. I decided to question everything and take things slowly. One thing at a time. I was carrying a lot of memories, strong emotions, fears, beliefs all on my shoulders and I became really overwhelmed.
Being the introvert person I am, that decision did not come as a surprise to anyone in my friends or family circle. However, It probably was to society. It honestly did not matter to me. Eventually, people stopped asking mom why I did not accompany her to certain event or a wedding.
“She is an introvert” they would whisper as a comment to my complete absence of their occasions.
If I hear that a few years ago, I would feel offended. To be an introvert in Saudi is rather an accusation. The truth is I am an introvert at heart but I am at peace with it now finally.
I quitted my job. I traveled. A lot. I met new people. I made new friends. I changed careers. I skipped family dinners. I skipped relatives and friends weddings. I ate raw fish. I went hiking. I meditated. I learnt how to swim. I overcame my fear of heights. I read Russian stories. I watched Spanish movies. I fell in love. With the new me.
Okay. I exaggerated. I didn’t fall in love with the new version of myself yet. Not yet. I know I will do so. Eventually. I’m still drowning the old version of me. But there are parts that keep floating into the surface every now and again. They show up just to scare me. But I have grown a thick skin now.
It took me a life time to understand that my life journey is my own. Nobody no matter how wise or supportive, can take away that late-night pain of not trying to do something that you really want to do. The pain of regret is always stronger than that of rejection. Always stronger than that of failure.
When I started my “social” solitude, I started to be aware that I should not be apologetic for who I am and for my deep core values. The closer you get to who you truly are, the more friends you will drop off your list. You might as well end up alone. That won’t really matter. You will actually enjoy your own company. Your shadow will be your show!
At this stage of life, I got to realize that to allow myself to expand fearlessly, and explore new horizons of myself which I never knew existed, is the real definition of life. Are people out there ready now to receive the new me?
I don’t know.
I am Noor Elhayat and I am a Saudi writer. I also teach English online, where I rely on edutainment. Here’s a link to my English learning project on telegram:
I like to read, write and dance.
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