A photograph of the Beirut Port post blast taken by Alyag Momjian.
“I was afraid of passing by it, but the workshops inspired me to collect my strength and capture it.”
Everything happens for a reason, they say. This was one of those cliché sayings, which, for me, had lost its meaning after having heard it constantly. I am a third culture kid, which, by definition, means that I grew up in an environment that differs from my identity, which puts the feelings of belonging here and there in me, and the feeling of which says home is nowhere and everywhere. I left home at seventeen, to get higher education, to catch my dreams, and to become a better version of myself.
As I have always been an adventurous soul, one who takes on new challenges, I kept hopping from one airport to the other, kept catching flights from one country to the other. I learned that goodbyes are painful, as I lost my grandpa while I was away from home, accepted the news, and grieved all alone. I learned how to wave at people and tell them to wait for me, but I also learned how to wave at them for one last time, and tell them not to, to move on, as I may take forever to return, or I may never even return. From one airport to the other, I fetched up in Beirut, in the revolutionary period. October 17 was written on every wall; I could find October 17 anywhere I looked. Beirut was not familiar to me, but October 17 was what we had in common; mine was different than theirs, mine was the day I lost my grandpa, but that fact somehow made me feel safe when I linked them as such in my head. A couple of weeks after my arrival, the Coronavirus made its first strides to Lebanon. While my hometown closed its airport doors, I was left in Beirut, hoping to adapt. Trying to cope with the given circumstances was extremely laborious, and the fourth of August definitely did not accommodate.
August was supposed to be the month during which I reunite with my family after prolonged months of carrying their longing in my heart, but instead, it began by breaking me, as new traveling policies were introduced, and the hope which I had in me to see my family, once more, faded away. As I was trying to push a bit more, to hold on longer, the fourth of August came along and shattered me into bits and pieces. For someone who has been living in peace, barely hearing a gunshot, experiencing an explosion was an enormous shock. No doubt, everyone was broken and hurt from inside. As I was away from home, as I had a lack of support system physically infront of me, it took me a while to realize what had actually happened. While being physically alright, mentally, there were no places left in me for other shocks to take place. I was not the person I was before the explosion anymore. An adventurous soul turned into an introvert who was ready to panic due to a slight movement or soft voices. I thought I was a mess till I saw stories of the Lebanese people, which reminded me, despite the awful pain, of how blessed I was.
Independency is a trait I have, and when I started hopping from one airport to the other, I thought that was all I needed. Too little did I know that safety is the most valuable trait. I now value the safety I feel when I am home; I appreciate our little world in this chaotic universe. Everything happens for a reason, yes. I am healing; I have a long way ahead, and the optimist who’s in me, feels grateful. I learned not to take anything for granted, to be kind, to respect even when I do not agree, to live today, at the moment, to express love, as life is short, and all these can be gone in a blink of an eye. These times will dwindle, and will, later on, bring images from the past into your mind, where you can relive any feeling. Stay true and strong for yourself because no one can help you as much as you can.
Here is a kind reminder for you not to be too harsh, for life is all about the little things that will eventually lead us to the bigger ones. Now, go ahead and stop worrying, for this too shall pass.