Reality slaps on the face

Yara Jrashi, a graduate from Bethlehem University who is trying to shoot the stars. Her pen is her nuclear weapon and her brain is the catastrophe director. Punk not with a little girl who is trying to tame life as she tames her dogs. She has a heart with a vision, a brain with sagacity and eyes with a sharp gaze. The rest of her story can be read between the lines of her written fantasy.

We at JustPost would like to thank Yara for her great writings wishing her all the best in her live. Enjoy reading...!

Reality slaps on the face

Reality slaps on the face

It took me two slaps on the face to wake up from all the commotions and emotions that ran deep as oceans exploding inside me. I was out of conscious, literally and metaphorically, mentally and physically, totally and solely. I did not know why, how or when I ended up in that position. I only wished to wake up and find out that all of it is just a dream. Unfortunately, Santa does not bring you what you wish for all the time.

For all my life, I have been trying to find out what is hidden behind what I see. I have always tried to come up with patterns and motifs for my life events. At some point I was obsessed with noticing and catching all what goes on around me that I became mesmerized most of the time. So many patterns did not work out, so many assumptions were refuted, and so many thoughts were dismissed. But, there is one hypothesis that has been going on well with me. It is the theory of months. They have been playing a game with me since I was less than a teenager. It took me a while to realize it, but I did, eventually. Now I am sure of one thing: I am pro-November, anti-May.

Summer 2009 was such a remarkable one. I was a tenth grader and my whole life was revolved around finding a way out of this country. I was too fat to fit in this society, too odd to keep up with its people, and too little to understand that I have no choice. I used to spend most of my time hanged on the highest bush of the Mulberry tree next to my house. It was my shelter away from all the disruptions of life, and my brain storming refuge away from all the distractions. One day, I ran to it after a fight with my sister who made fun of me for being a tomboy and for riding the bike better than any male kid in the neighborhood. I fled to my private world and started thinking about my friend behind the seas; the one I talked to for years without ever meeting her once. She was called Amanda, a Swedish girl who hates the fact that her family travels a lot and rarely lives in Sweden. She was my friend since I was a fifth grader when her mom came to my school and saw me drawing “the most beautiful bird” as she said, although I was drawing my own version of airplanes! She decided to foster me and add me to her small family. Since then, my tuition was paid every year on time, and I had to make a bunch of thanking cards and send them to her. I used to wait for her reply, which was written by Amanda and sent with a group of pictures and a box full of gifts, always from a different place. That day, I was thinking about how lucky this Amanda is and how stupid she might be not to realize the boon she is in. I started wondering what I can do to get a chance to travel to Sweden. I thought really hard and came up with the conclusion: the Swedish language is the first step! I climbed down the tree, ran to my room and turned on the computer. I stated searching for online language courses and signed myself up to a Swedish beginners’ course. I was so excited that by the end of the day I was done with the first 10 lessons!

Day by day, my Swedish started to improve. I finished a course after another, until I felt that I am ready to read Swedish books. By that time, the summer break was over and I had to go back to school. I dedicated less time for my Swedish and spent more time for school work. It was a tough semester and a very depressing one until November finally arrived.

On the fourth day of that month, I woke up early, grovel dawn my bed and got ready for school. It was not the perfect beginning of a day specially when my brother’s car broke down in the middle of our way to school. I arrived 20 minutes late for my class and had to visit the principles’ office to get my portion of reproof. She was busy with some “very important people” as her secretary said, so I had to wait for few minutes until her office door was open for me to inter. She was really mad at me but had to smile because the “important people” were watching. She scolded me with a very big smile and a very strange gaze. It was one of the worst contradictions I had to go through. When she was done, I turned around and took few steps towards my class. I was thinking of the group that stared at me as a lost puppy in a neighborhood of lions. They must be Swedish, I thought, for their lofty heights, blond hair and blue green eyes. It was a Swedish school and its supporters where mostly Swedish. It was my chance to test myself and figure out how much Swedish I know. I slowed down, the principle stared. I turned around, the principle gazed. I headed to the group, the principle called my name nervously.

“Yara! Your class is the other way.”

“Are they Swedish?” I asked.

“Yes, go to your class right now” she yelled.

I did not really care about what she was saying. I am not even sure that I heard any of what she said after that sentence. My little brain was too busy structuring the Swedish sentence I am going to start the conversation with. I had so many things in mind, but nothing impressive came out when I reached the old, tall, blond, smiling man. I said “Hej, jag heter Yara” [Hi, my name is Yara]. He seemed shocked for a moment and then started laughing! I said to myself “Oh My God! I must have said something wrong! I screwed up!” He stopped laughing and explained to the group: “Hon talar svenska!” [She speaks Swedish!]. A lot of “Oh”, “Omg”, and “Wow” came out at that moment. That is when I really became the lost puppy! They all gathered around me and started talking to me in Swedish. I understood most of what they said but could not reply. My tongue was stuck, frozen, paralyzed, I don’t know what! I took a deep breath and explained: “I speak only a little Swedish”. My heart was bumping really hard and I was almost out of breath. The principle interfered and asked me to go to class. It was my chance to run away! I went to my class and sat down calmly. I felt like a solider that just arrived from the battle field.

Everything was tranquil until the fourth class when the principle’s assistant knocked on the door of the math class and excused the teacher to take me out of it because “the administration wanted me”. The administration wanted me? What? Why?! Are they suspending me for my ill manners? Oh no! I am in trouble now. I should not have talked to them. Why could not I keep my mouth shut?! What am I going to say to my parents? How am I going to find a way out? What should I do now?

All these thoughts struck my mind with every step I took towards the administration office. When I arrived, there was a Swedish man with a camera and a smiley face setting near the principle who was smiling as well. It was not the mad smile she gave me in the morning! It was a true one; free of hatred. She welcomed me and introduced me to “Mr. Micheal” a Swedish journalist who was interested in talking to me. He asked me to sit down next to him and started talking to me in English and Swedish. He was impressed by what I did and how I learned a language all by myself and decided to write about me in the magazine he works with. He asked to spend the day with me and to meet my family. We spent the rest of the classes together and he went home with me to meet the family. When we arrived, mom was shocked. She did not expect a guest, at least not a Swedish one! I introduced him and we talked about a lot of things. He asked mom if she knew that I have acquired a language by taking online courses. My mom told him how enthusiastic I was when studying Swedish. She was proud of me, only as much as I was pound of myself. After a long day, he left and promised to make me happy.

Three weeks later, I received an e-mail from him with an attachment. It was the PDF of the magazine in which my story was published, and my picture is the cover! It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. But the real best thing was that two days later, I received an e-mail from a person offering me a full scholarship to Sweden! He was one of the board members and was interested in teaching me whatever I want as soon as I finish my high school. It was a living example of how perfect life can be.

During the next months, I focused on my studying as my parents ordered. I did whatever they asked me to do and tried my best to be a good girl so that nothing would stand against my travel to Sweden. On the other hand, I continued learning Swedish. I was also introduced to the host family which was so ready to have me for as long as I want because they have no children. I spent hours talking to the old lady and explaining to her what I like and dislike so that we can get along well. She did the same and took me as her daughter that she never gave birth to. We were so excited to meet each other.

I got closer to my dream every day, until the black May arrived. On the fifteenth of May 2010, I walked back home from school after finishing my last exam. My parents were sitting on the porch and they did not seem very happy. They asked me to sit because they wanted to talk to me about an important issue. I was wondering what could be an important issue for me other than Sweden. There was not! My mom started the conversation by saying: “I cannot let you go. You are too young to leave this house”. I then knew what this whole thing is about. They want me to give up on the scholarship. The tears streamed down my face. I felt like I was losing something that cannot be replaced. I was too weak to stand against them. There was nothing that I could do.

The summer break started bad. Now I have nothing to think about but my loss. I am locked in this country again. How dare they take what they did not help me to get? This is so unfair. I am a space-bound rocketship and Sweden is the moon. I should go there! I know they want me up in this cage, but I’ll come out one day in beast mood. They will never break my stride again. They will not.

I finished my high school and went to college. I joined so many programs in the university, and guess what? In November 2014 I was offered an internship to the U.S for two months. And again, I felt it was my chance to leave. I knew that if I went there, I will find a way not to come back. My parents knew it as well. They were happy that I got this internship and helped me getting my passport and prepare myself for the trip. Everything was perfect again until May which was one month before the flight in which my parents disapproved it. They did it again. “Two months is too long” they said. I collapsed. I cried so hard that at a moment everything was black around me. I was out of this world for some minutes. I think I lost conscious. They slapped me, two times, to wake me up. The first slap was Sweden, and the second was the U.S.

Now I’m awake. I am wide awake. I am expecting a slap next May. But this time, I am not going to sit in the corner of my bed, lamenting my luck with the tears all over my face and bad thought all over my head. I will fight. I will be strong and I will get what I want.

The two slaps woke me up. Now I know that reality slaps on the face in order to wake us up when we over think, dream or wish for things that are not meant to happen. It does not slap realistic people pretty often. They are dastard sheep feeding on crumbs and leftovers of unaccomplished dreams. But dream catchers like me are slapped harshly all the time pushing them to start being realistic. I will start being realistic when reality starts being majestic. I will not compromise. I will not normalize. This is me. This is what I was meant to be. I do not want to live here, and I will not.

By the way, I am not someone who would show a lot of affection, but I might hug the plane this November! I am moving to Germany with the company I work with for two-year work contract as I savvy! I am planning well this time. Reality will not be able to vandalize my scheme. Guess who is getting the third slap? No, not my parents, they have approved it, but reality.

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