Stop Asking “Why”

One of my friends was right to point out that for someone who is otherwise very open about her life, I can be quite puzzling at times when I blog. Be forewarned: this is going to be another one of those posts.

God, I can be so bi-polar at times, ranging from the highest of highs (in the midst of eating cake) to the lowest of lows (when I inevitably realize I’ve eaten all of the said cake), all in a matter of minutes.

This week(ish) started off with some highs. Suma Fiore and I have signed a writing pact – legalese and all – and I’ve commenced work on my memoir… which I am doubting will ever be published. But that’s OK. The point is: I have started writing “The Girl Who Never Went to Disneyland (Or World).”

But there have been some lows, as well. Just yesterday, I spent pretty much the entire day crying, feeling useless, and incapable of doing anything I’m proud of. Who knew I was such a reservoir of tears?

We all have those moments of “WHY?” I don’t think we’ll ever truly know. I like to think I’ve made peace with all most of the whys of my past. But there are some whys that I find to be quite the little pests. For example “Why did you do your Master’s in Religious Studies and then just stop there?” is one that likes to pay me visits from time to time.

Asking “why” doesn’t really add much to your peace of mind, I don’t think. As someone who believes in God, I know that God is not beholden to provide me ANY answers. That theology might not be palatable to a lot of people, but I’ve never been one to ascribe to the idea that faith can be broken down into little bits that satiate us and make us feel good. That’s not what faith is about. I’m not saying that I should become a defeatist and sit around in my PJs all day. But “why” is not the response. Instead, what we (I) should be doing is asking ourselves (myself): “What can I do about that thing that’s making me go ‘Why?’ Have I learned any lessons from this ordeal? Can I help others who might be going through similar struggles?”

Hey, I know I’ll never be Oprah. But I do know that the only way I can make peace with the less than ideal parts of my life is if I do something positive about it. It’s like my cousin Asiya (of Chocolate & Chillies‘ fame) used to say to me, “Turn that frown upside down.” That’s a pithy of way of saying, “Take that sucky part of your life and do something positive with it.” The results might not be what you had envisioned, but life is so much more interesting at least when things don’t go according to (your) plan. I, for one, thought I would be fat for the rest of my life, be married off to some guy my parents chose for me, and never go to Disney World.

Okay, the last one is still true. But instead of asking “Why,” I have taken this fact to serve as fodder (hehe) for my writing.

18 thoughts on “Stop Asking “Why”

  1. It seems that life is just a series of highs and lows when you think about it. I agree with the idea of trying to do something positive with one’s life. I honestly think you just need to find your niche in life, and it seems to me you are in the process of doing just that. It might be a little messy, a bit touch and go here an there, but eventually one finds his/her footing in life. Just remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination itself.

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    • Do you feel like you’ve found your niche? I wonder whether it changes, depending on what stage of life we’re in. It’s so gosh darn hard to not compare life to the veneers of what I see. I know there’s more going on that I don’t know, but it’s like my subconscious doesn’t want to listen sometimes.

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      • I think you end up finding your niche by figuring out what you definitely don’t want. It’s a bit like a process of elimination, so with every stage of life you get a better understanding of who you are as a person and you re-evaluate your life goals. I can’t say I found my niche in life, but I have a better idea of what I want (at least in some areas). I had to let go of a lot of delusions I had, things I thought I absolutely needed or wanted, only to realize I actually didn’t. The hardest part is letting go of these fantasies we create about who we are, what we want, what we want to accomplish, in order to embrace the real YOU without any pretences. It is an ongoing process of growth.

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  2. I think I like life better when I have lows. Because then, the highs are magnified. And the feeling I get at those highs are just immeasurable, and a portion of that is because feeling happy isn’t meant to be constant. Doubting myself, losing confidence in my abilities, all of these things eventually turn into their opposites. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s a part of growth.

    I’ve been looking into self-publishing lately btw. Just seeing the different options there are to publish. Glad to be doing this with ya Rafia.

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    • I suppose you’re right, Suma! Cake does taste better, if it’s been a while (who am I kidding? A week) since you’ve last eaten it ;) I never considered self-publishing before, but maybe I’ll look into. Watch, I’ll get a rejection from my self, too! Haha. I’m so glad we’re doing this, too! <3

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  3. Hey Raf!
    It’s great to be reading your awesomeness again. You trigger humor! DUDE! I am writing my memoirs too! I figured being 30 qualifies for starting a memoir. I’d probably end up publishing it online to leave a legacy. I have never been able to answer the world’s Why’s and When’s. Well, I don’t really have to but I end up answering. Blah!

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    • Awww, thank you, Abbie! You are writing one too? That makes me feel a bit more encouraged. How far along are you? I could always just publish it on my blog too. So what answers have you come up with ;) ?

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  4. I 100% agree with you here about faith, and it’s true. Lots of wisdom behind what you are saying. God doesn’t owe us any answers, yet we still have to acknowledge our own feelings and realize that the question “why” is there for a reason, to push us and guide us, even if we’re not getting the answers we want. Faith isn’t blind but it’s also not meant to bring total clarity about everything. Love this post.

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  5. Writing is a dog’s life, but the only life worth living. — Gustave Flaubert

    Wooooo Rafia and Suma! I’m very proud (if that doesn’t sound too cheesy) of you ladies. Wish you both all the success in the world with your respective projects.

    I totally agree with the points you mention in the second half of your blog entry. It’s something that, even though I think about it regularly, still struggle with. I think we humans always want to know the “why” when something not so great happens. Maybe because if there’s a reason, then the not-so-great thing is easier to bear? Because otherwise, it would be bad things happening for the sake of bad things happening.

    It feels like an 18th-century French salon up in here!

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    • Thank you, Laura! *hugs* I think humans want to know why for good reasons, mostly. But I do believe there is a mystery to life that makes it all the more beautiful because we don’t know all the answers. It’s like a puzzle we get to solve, in a way. If it were easy to solve, it wouldn’t be much fun. I’m not saying I want bad things to happen though! Oui, oui. Merci! J’espere… ah, forget it. My french plain sucks and I’m too lazy to Google it ;)

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  6. I don’t enter the World of the Why. It’s honestly a personal cesspool of negativity. I’ve also realised that sometimes your why’s can be answered – just not as quick as you might think. And in time – you may just be doing that ties it all together :)

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    • I like “The World of Why.” It sounds so mythical, like it could be a fictitious world in some YA novel. Ooooh, maybe it should!!!!! ;) I do believe that, in the end, we get our whys answered. It’s just a matter of being patient with God’ decision to reveal them much later in life. But I suppose, out attitude plays a big role in this too.

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