When I was 16, I auditioned for a musical play and was chosen to represent my country in the performance that was going to be held in the UK, back in 1992, so you do the math. It was the first time I ever left my family and travelled on my own and although it was tough at first, it definitely was an experience I will never forget! Some of the friends I made back then are still my friends today.
Working hard to put a play together and rehearse it, being together through the tough times but most importantly creating something we love together is what brought us closer. These friends shared with me what I consider today to be one of the greatest moments of my life, at a time where I felt I was on top of the world; I was so connected to my purpose and felt absolutely alive! Nothing could stand in my way. This became my point of reference.
Since then I’ve known what it really means to be fully alive and claim joy, laughter, success and bliss. Of course, one cannot constantly be living at such a high but living this experience meant that I now know what it takes to get there again. Whenever I feel down, I know I have the power to pick myself up again and move forward.
Life is full of ups and downs, one day it’s sunny and the next the sky could be totally grey but it doesn’t matter! Grey skies make me miss the sunshine, push me to do something about it and bring that sunshine back. One of the songs I performed back in 1992 was entitled ‘I want to live’. I had a monologue first that introduced the song that I had written myself.
Being a child of the Lebanese civil war and the daughter of a man who lost his home and land in the Palestinian diaspora, pain was not a stranger to me and I could relay it to all those sitting in the audience through my words and my song. Here are some of the lyrics I sang:
“I want to live, I want the chance to live my life, I want to search far and wide, have the chance to wonder why, I want to fly through the air like a bird in the sky, I want a chance to show the world what I am before I die…. I want to have and to hold a child of my own… I want to live I want to love… a chance to grow old…”
Now many years later, looking back I realize how much the words of this song affected my life and the way I look at things. I sang it and believed every word in it. The song somehow became my motto. I’ve been claiming the right to live my life every single day and today I do have a child of my own!
I usually write about New Year’s resolutions in January but New Year’s resolutions come and go, you might achieve them and you might not. My message this year is to encourage you to live your life and give it your best shot even on the greyest days. Shout your right to live the life you want on mountaintops and never give up. Let this be your lifetime resolution. I leave you with this quote by Henry David Thoreau:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”