By Mariem Habibi
By Mariem Habibi
TUNIS – This is a story that is deeply carved in my heart and that will never fade away from my memory, a story that ended up by swapping the bad for the good. It is about the past, present and future. It is about a tough childhood but a pleasurable adulthood.
I have lost my father when I was two years old. I remember nothing about him. I cannot remember his face. I cannot remember his smell. I cannot remember his voice. My family members used to always tell me stories about him. They told me that he works in a very far place. I believed that; but not for a long period of time as I started asking questions. I never gave up till I got that ominous answer:
“Your father is in heaven.”
Being a child, I did not care about being an orphan. However, when I started school, I went through a mixture of deteriorating feelings when I witnessed a father playing around with his daughter. This scene hurt me a lot. It broke my heart into millions of pieces. I went back home crying. I told my mother about it. She held my hand and said: “Baby, don’t cry. I’m your mother and your father. Look at your family and see how much we all love you. Be grateful for the family you have for many other orphans like you do not have that.”
Although my childhood was full of grief and sorrow because of the excruciating crack I had in my heart because of my father’s absence, it was also blissful because my family gave me a lot of love, especially my mother.
Growing up, the dark side in my heart was very hard to remember as it vanished through the light of hope. It was hard for me to grow up in such fatherless circumstances. Every once in a while I get some irrational ideas. I say to myself what if my father were alive and it was my mother who died instead, he would have looked for another wife, the thing that would have ruined my life especially with the fact of being forced to live with a stepmother. I also once watched a TV series saying that people can return to life after death. Although it’s delusional, the idea itself gave me hope. Thoughts like that were practically driving me crazy. I knew that I seriously needed to stop thinking that way or I will end up in an asylum.
I hated the way I used to look. I wanted to be pretty; but, I was overweight, the thing that kept me from being happy. At the age of eighteen, I felt really down. I looked for someone to love me, someone other than my own family, someone that would be capable of compensating the lost of my father’s love. My long-lasting search was in vain. I couldn’t find someone worthy enough to break the chains imprisoning my heart. But then again, if I had a lover, I would probably be married now and I would not be able to finish my studies and pursue my dreams.Time healed me. I got used to my father’s absence. I came to realize that everybody dies eventually and we can change nothing about it. My days got better when I found a solution for my weight problem that helped me lose weight and enjoy a healthy life at the same time. Now, I am satisfied with the way I look. I decided to have more friends rather than a lover. I decided to delay the desire of having a lover as love can wait.
Oh! Welcome spring.
I converted my weaknesses into strengths. I used to be a mean, arrogant and greedy person. I didn’t feel like I had complete control over myself. Now, I am a grown-up. I control my life, actions and attitude. I am able of loving and appreciating myself and others around me. My future plans are awaiting me to be fulfilled. I want to resume my long trip and change the bad habits and ways of thinking because “life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams,” as Ashley Smith put it.
Oh, leave it to fate!
Writing this, I felt proud of myself as facing one’s reality is not as easy as some people would think. We should always remember that we all go through ups and downs in life, but the most important part is that we learn from them. We should also keep in mind that life is a learning curve, and that thanks to the hard times we go through, we can make beautiful and wise people out of ourselves. I know that my mother suffered a lot as being a single mother is no piece of cake. I hope that one day I will make my mother happy and proud of me.
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