Meaning That Doesn’t Mean Much

I’m late in posting this. And in a way it worked out marvellously, because I’m not too certain what the purpose behind the post would have been had I written about it earlier. I was merely planning on throwing some pictures on a draft page with some scribbled on words and a voila! But waiting a few days has made meaning and recollection of the days I spent a little blurred, causing enough distrait for me to wonder:

Why did I think this was a good post idea?

I’ve reached a comfortable solace with sharing fatuous photos of a day with me, but it was only after I realized that I had given meaning to something simply because I was in it. And after that recognition, I began to notice how I’ve given these meaningless meanings to so many other aspects in my life.

As the social creatures we are, we like to know we haven’t wasted our lives. We enjoy resting our heads on our pillows assured that there were little to no regrets in our daily choices — that we’ve done the right thing and that we’ve taken everything we need. When a child begs their parents to pay for that one swimming lesson because all the cool kids are doing it and the parents sigh, shake their heads but finally agree, the child will feel their first sense of responsibility to ever bombard them in the face. They will abide by their words that described a passion for a flapping around in a puddle of water until they can resist it no more. That time span may range from one to forty three minutes.

“Alright, fine! I don’t actually want swimming lessons anymore.” they’ll mumble under their breath.

The parents will hopefully sigh, laugh and shake their heads, “Let’s go for ice-cream then, no one gets sick of that!”

Just kidding, when I told my mom that I actually didn’t want to feel the elephant of responsibility dragging me to the grounds of child despair anymore, she laughed and didn’t let me quit the team until I fell in love with the water and then grew up to an age of capable cognition where I reflected and pondered once more and asserted a “no, thanks!” because I was really bad at the butterfly stroke. I got the bronze medal once though, but it never happened again and because I clearly hate the feeling of responsibility I also don’t know where that medal went. I know I’m brilliant.

How did I get to this?

Right, no regrets. Before that Freudian slip, I wanted to just elaborate on our very potent need to love and appreciate what we do because we picked it out. It’s different than if someone else pressures us into something, because if it sucks, we just blame it on them. But blaming our own selves is the worst feeling. There is little that is heavier than the feeling of squander. And there is actually an excellent word for that feeling in the Arabic language.

الغبن

In English, the definition is injustice and I suppose in a way it is an intrinsic feeling of injustice that eats up at us if it’s not dealt with. But the word isn’t exactly that. I’ll write out an example, maybe that will illustrate it’s definition better.

A man with no wealth wishes to live a full affluent life. He finds a rock on the streets he walks and knows of too well and from his despair yells, who’ll buy this rock from me! Please, I am only a poor man. I only want food in my mouth and clothes on my back. A young gentlemen passes by the poor man and pities his state, I’ll buy it from you. And he pays him two gold pieces. Another man passes by the two men and screeches at the site of the rock, you have found the King’s missing jewel! There is a promised one million gold pieces for whoever finds it! The young man rushes to the palace and leaves the poor man behind.

That feeling. The one that the poor man feels. The feeling that he squandered his choice in selling the thing he had found first. The feeling that he deserved that reward from the king but now knows he can never get. That crappy feeling! That is what غبن is. It sucks. And no one wants to feel it.

And so when we are engaging in things we chose, it makes all the sense in the world for us to want to absorb every second of it. It makes sense that it would be an event flourishing with meaning and purpose. But if after it has ended and after I had already been pleased with it, if I look back at it and don’t remember the meaning or don’t feel the meaning I had originally given it, does that mean it never had meaning? Does that mean I still wasted my life?

I don’t know what the right answer is, but I’m sitting staring at these pictures feeling nothing. I’m shrugging right now because there isn’t much else for me to babble about. I think I have to feel this with some things. I have to feel meaning that never actually meant much, because it’s understanding those moments that will help me make less vacuous decisions in the future. I think.

Anyways, besides that weird epiphany, my family and I really genuinely had a nice time. It was relaxing, invigorating and fancy. My kind of getaway.

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The place was originally a palace and garden but was converted into a hotel and private beach. It’s crazy gorgeous.

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This man was walking around the beach selling sweets. It was such a soothing way to engross myself in the culture of the place.

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This is me pretending like I have cool camera skills. Shh, stop laughing.

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And in the evenings, after a calm shower, there is nothing like that warm feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea. Green tea, obviously. Unsweetened, yes. Well done.

I recently launched a vsco page and am currently loving it. The photos of this post were edited on there. What a fantastic place.

Here’s my page in case anyone wants to check it out: vsco.co/fatimahbadawy

 

endnote: all photos are my own photography

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6 thoughts on “Meaning That Doesn’t Mean Much

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