I hope this will inspire other people, this is not about me.
Today I made a decision, one I thought I made months ago over and over again.
Today I did something a lot of 18 year olds long to do, but hesitate to.
I get it you know, it’s scary.
Today I walked down my department’s hallway for the last time as a member. It’s all white, with labs everywhere; it smells like in a hospital. You see, this smell, these people, that jargon, this world is my safe place. I grew up in a home where my parents were always supportive to whatever I was passionate about. But I also grew up feeling the happiest in Hospitals’ Hallways, always looking up to my dad in scrubs. This home I grew up in however was a medical specter. My whole life I’ve learned, without even knowing it, about the different drugs, their side effects, surgeries, illnesses, new scientific discoveries. Ergo my maintaining interest in Life Sciences. “I’m so good here”, I thought.
I found my passion when I was only twelve years old. I simply never took it seriously, “It’s just a hobby” “Keep it as a Hobby” “Have a good job, and do whatever you love aside”.
Last year, I let that little beast grow and scream when I transferred to the Economics and Sociology section. I found myself. My passion wasn’t just a simple hobby anymore; it was a part of me. Something I could and would never get rid of.
If you’re a friend of mine, you’d remember the days when I was asked “So, what are you applying to at AUB?” And I’d say “God knows.” Then, “Nutrition, but I don’t think I’ll stay there, I don’t know”. And we’d just laugh, like it was a joke; obviously, Nadine the nerd will get in nutrition, fall in love, pursue it with ambition and become successful.
This vision turned into my dream. My path was clear; clinics were waiting, patients were right at the door. I’m “bent el-Hakim”.
I jumped on every-one-I-know’s necks when I got accepted. Little did they know, I’d applied for Business too, Public Administration, after struggling between PA and Literature. Still, I wasn’t ready yet. I was convinced; the good, reasonable path was the right one, and hell did I love it!
I still do, I always will. It’s this first love you’ll never stop loving.
Until my English teacher walked in the classroom. Like an epiphany, it’s like I’d been blind my whole life. I finally got THE answer to the world’s question; “How do you see yourself in ten years?” Ever since, for three months now, I’ve been struggling between the voice in my heart, and the commitment to my good, right, future. I asked so many people, the right ones, not because I wanted them to choose for me, but for simple research. 90% of the people I talked to, all of them being graduates or doctors, didn’t do what they “really” wanted to do. Why? “Ma fi cheghel” “Cava, betreka hobby” “Haram mosryyet ahle”. Also, others who did do what they wanted to do told me “Nadine, I know you want to follow your heart, but at some point, you’ll dream of the job you can have in the right, good path.”
I struggled between doing a double major, have the best of both worlds, or leave my passion for writing aside.
Double major was a really good option. I’m a nerd, I can do it. One day though, I realized that once I graduate, I’ll leave my BS in Nutrition aside, and go for my dream. My heart was just screaming too loudly, it could’ve exploded and ran towards the old Fisk building on campus.
Today, I decided to do something for the youth who died early.
For all of the people who didn’t pursue their dreams, or didn’t get to.
Who were too afraid of the future, who wanted to do the right thing.
I’ve always been a “Good, right, person”.
Today I choose not to be. Not while getting drunk or cheating on someone, not by lying or getting high.
Today I chose not to be good and right, leave my safe place, and jump into the emptiness that is my dream.
I won’t let my job status define my happiness, nor the money.
I won’t let my reason suffocate me anymore.
I refuse to take my life for granted.
This is what “You only live once” means.
With loads of support of my family and friends, I still wasn’t ready to do it. With all my prayers, I still wasn’t ready to do it. It’s so scary. It’s terrifying. I love it.
This is one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Because the problem here isn’t society, or pressure, the problem is me. I am afraid to open that door.
I’m still afraid
however I’m confident: This is my right thing.
I have big dreams, you’ll see.
Today I said goodbye to the home that is a labcoat.
I said goodbye to Erlenmeyer flasks and test tubes.
I said goodbye to my family.
Today I said hello to Art, Passion, Humanity in its source, and true Wealth.
Do I know what I’m going to be once I graduate? Haha no.
But I know who I am.
Today I left for the first time my comfort zone
Goodbye childhood, today I chose to grow.
Today I chose adventure and I’ve never felt so alive