I am a person who prescribes to the thought process that all people are fundamentally good, or at least have the ability to be so.
I find that there is a basic level of good that can be found in all persons, and simply finding that is what can sometimes prove to be difficult.
There is a person I have met who has the kindest heart and the most gentle soul of anyone I have had the pleasure of spending an extended period of time with. Knowing when you are around people like this is highly valuable, because they will seemingly effortlessly improve your life without your notice.
Admittedly, I am an inherently stubborn, short-tempered, and cynical person. Staying conscious of these traits each day helps me work against them, attempting to be more open-minded, patient, and relaxed. However, working alone can be difficult, and support systems are almost always necessary for many walks of life.
I have a person who shows me by example, practically every moment of everyday, how to be everything I am currently not. He encourages me when I am skeptical of my ability to do better. A heart as pure as his cannot go unnoticed, nor unappreciated.
Being an independent person is a quality I have always prided myself on having. However, if you are even better with a partner, why operate alone?
Having an individual in my life who pushes me out of my comfort zone and into a place of transparent change is arguably the best thing for me.
The person I am today is vastly different from the person I was a few years ago. That is because I am not just one person attempting to charge to the world as an island. I am a person more consumed by love, happiness, and trust—qualities I could not have attained by myself. I have become more fundamentally good with this amazing person in my life.
I thought I would never see my family again. I was told I was a disgrace and that I had committed one too many betrayals against the Arab culture. I went to my half-empty dorm bedroom and tried to kill myself. I was so sick of the pressure and the blame of being who I was, and I figured I’d be doing everyone a favor. An honor killing, if you will, except contrary to normal tradition, I’d be inflicting the “honor” on myself.
Clearly, I didn’t succeed, considering that I’m writing this right now. I was drinking and had a pair of scissors and two bottles of pills to help me in the act. My roommates came in to our apartment and I was then caught.
And later, after I woke up from a dreadful alcohol-induced sleep, I got up to deal with the mess(es) that I had made. I forced myself to act strong, like it wouldn’t hurt, like my parents’ absence in my life would be for the better and that the only detriment would be finally paying my own phone bill.
My work ethic and relationship with my boyfriend were struggling. It’s improbable that this was a direct result of family problems, but consequently, I felt like I was losing all of my support systems at once. It came out that my boyfriend was cheating on me, and we temporarily broke up.
Already sick, I didn’t eat for days and started slipping back into the toxic habits of drinking myself to sleep and hanging out in sketchy places. My classes threatened to be too much for me in seven weeks, and I, once the valedictorian with a 98.6 core average, prayed to pass with B’s.
I struggled emotionally and physically, finding it difficult to keep food down and enjoy the things that used to give me any pleasure, like sex, reading or spending time with my friends. Thunderstorms blackened the unbearable Georgia summer heat, and I doubted that I would make it to the fall.
My boyfriend and I reconciled and got back together – I elected to choose forgiveness because resentment and anger never got me anywhere I wanted to be in the past – and things gradually returned to a semi-normal state.
I buried myself in schoolwork and started drinking less. My parents began speaking to me again- it wasn’t how I wanted our relationship to be. I still didn’t trust them, and I know that mistrust went both ways. But I stayed with them for a week that summer, and it went well. While fearing the loss of the essential scholarship due to my difficult upper level summer classes, I received a report card covered in A minuses and felt relief.
The past year has had its stressors: getting mugged and lost, genuinely fearing for my life on multiple occasions, a sex addiction, numerous cases of adultery, my parents’ marriage failing (and my father’s use of me as a scapegoat), and adjusting to a rigorous class and work schedule in the big city.
But every time I thought I was drowning, I came up above water. I’ve found confidence in myself to face whatever obstacles life throws at me and faith that I will survive it.