June 18, 2008

Incomprehensible to Ourselves.

I have done a lot of whining here at Intrepid Flame the last few months. I have, selfishly, assumed that being fired from my job was some sort of global calamity. I have assumed that being out of the classroom has somehow been on par with the millions of people who never have the opportunity to work for enough food for their families, and here I am drinking five-dollar cappuccinos, upset because I have to wait eight more days to start my summer vacation which includes air trips to Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, and New Mexico.

I am not proud of my behavior, but it has been partly beyond my control. We often react to our lives in ways that are incomprehensible to ourselves. My wife and I were arguing this morning in the car. She asked me to stop being so grumpy and get out of my funk. I am tired of being in Doha. It is hot and the sky is filled with a ten-day-old sand storm. I haven’t seen the sun in just as long, and I yearn for the days when it was simply hot and stifling. It is hard not to be grumpy.

I try not to be so selfish. I see the laborers on the side of the road working themselves to near death for little to no money as I drive by in my air-conditioned car. I make myself sick. I hate Doha more for the guilt it inflicts on me. It is a vicious cycle. But really, my time here has got to be a test. I do not want to be the kind of person whose happiness is determined by his environment. I want to be able to wake up and see the sky filled with sand and smile. I want to walk the streets feeling the 120-degree heat and bask in it. I want to delve into the freedom of boredom and come out refreshed and lighter.

These are not easy tasks to accomplish. Our egos demand more attention than we may want to give them. I am writing this post as an apology to my wife for being in a constant state of funk. We have an amazing summer ahead of us, and we are lucky enough to be careless and free- even here for the next eight days. We have our four-year anniversary to celebrate, as well as day-after-day of relaxing and spending time as a family. Who cares if the weather is not perfect? Who cares if there is nothing to do? Who cares about anything? We are alive and free to do what we like.

In closing, I received the following email that put things in perceptive:
Dear Intrepid Flame,

Thank you for your writing. I have no idea who you are or where you came from, but somehow I stumbled upon your blog several months ago and fell in love with your words - your wisdom. I couldn't go to sleep tonight without letting you know that - for what it's worth :)

No, I'm not a stalker or flatterer or a maniac at that. Just another intrepid explorer sharing her thoughts. Hope this finds you well and I wish you and your loved ones all the best.


Thank you Sama. It is funny, when I started this blog I wanted to have a huge following and connect with thousands of people, but since then I have learned that I write more for my own sanity. Having said that, it is always reassuring when someone out there in the universe hears my voice and makes the connection. I am glad you find my ramblings wise, because I simply see my words and thoughts as they are: life. We all connect to it in our own way, it is reaffirming when we connect in the same way.


  1. bz- if we connect with one person it is meaningful and you definitely have. as human beings and as americans- it is easy to fall into the pattern of focusing on what we don't have or what isn't right or perfect for us. the trick is retraining our minds to focus on the beauty of the moment. realizing that life on this planet is so very fleeting and that we are so very lucky to have what we have. i, too, feel guilt over all i have. i used to lament living in a small 6 room apartment with my husband because it was too small for us and our things. i stopped to think that entire families often live in 2 rooms. sometimes one. being funky is part of being human but we must not stew. stepping back to regain perspective is one of the most important things we can do- before remembering that people elsewhere have less than we. think of it this way- you have the ability to leave doha in a year. the folks on the side of the road do not. retraining the thinking takes time but it works. trust me :)

  2. Ur writing reflect your pensive mode, you known everything but still you can't get rid of it because of your initial inertia and super ego. Dont mind I've just felt to write it. And another thing,please keep whistling here.

  3. If knowing that some one out there envies your position very badly and wants to be where you are badly too will make you a bit happier, then I am in envy of your posh and want to be in your place oh so badly ...