Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can one lose one's self truly, and if one can, how does one get back?

I have been thinking lately on what it means to "lose one's self". I hear the expression all the time. "I lost myself in the music" "lost myself in thought." Is it truly possible to lose yourself in a Culture? I think, definately yes. I see Omani, Saudi, and Emirati girls go to University back in my country (I have never met a Kuwaiti in my life and the only Qataris I met were men) and abandon their black abayas for skinny jeans and shirts that are short and even knee high boots and cleavage sans scarves. My more religious inlaws would say they have lost themselves. Me, having found myself in black abaya and scarves don't feel lost floating in and out of the culture here, even in the village. But it leads me to think of those girls back in Uni all the way out West, taking off their abayas. Some, took them off to fit in with the crowd. Others did it because they were told to. All will put them back on when they come home. Reading "Shy Rebellious Arab Girl"'s blog I think, one can't lose themselves if they were lost already in their own culture. Some girls are more at home in skinny jeans than abayas. I am okay with that. I am more at home with myself in an abaya than skinny jeans in public. Maybe, it is more or less, always a case of finding one's self. Such was the case for me, and I find myself here.To lose one's self means giving up those things that make you who you are. If you never got to decide those things you were lost to begin with so I don't think you can "lose yourself" then, until you find yourself first. Rambling post, forgive. So if you have lost yourself can you get yourself back? I mean, if you run off somewhere where nobody knows your name and you do some zany stupid silly things that neither define you or are who you truly are, can you find yourself again?

This happened to me, when I first came here, to Muscat. I don't think, from those things, I will ever be myself, as I was before, ever again. Every experience changes a person for better or for worse. But what I do believe, is that it is never too late to start over, and that one can redefine what and who one is every moment that there is still breath in their lungs. So the moral of this ramble is, IT IS OKAY TO LOSE YOURSELF, AS LONG AS YOU CAN GET YOURSELF BACK. {end ramble}


Maymunah said...

Salaam habibti,

I don't think that you can get back who you used to be, because you have had new experiences, and they do change you.

You may not be who you were anymore, but you can fumble around until you decide who you are _now_.

I don't know about you, but that bright, passionate person I was died when I came here. I've become someone sadder and more cynical, but also wiser and better able to laugh at myself and the insanity around me.

Perhaps I'll find some of that passion again, but I'm not who I was when I got off the plane.

Alice said...

it happened to me and IMHO happens to many women married into Khaleeji culture, especially those who revert to Islam. At first they may embrace the culture in order to fit in with the society, in-laws, to please the husband, to avoid problems because of cultural differences, but later on many of them realize they'll never be able to completely fit in and become one of them. We are different and always will be and that's something to celebrate, to be proud of. I think later many of these women "find themselves back", they stop trying so hard to assimilate but instead try to balance the two cultures (their own and that of the land they came to live in). At least that's how I feel it happens to me. I got more confident about being different, being my old self. I think it was wrong when I was compromising too much at the very beginning of my marriage. I was new to the khaleeji culture and was accepting many things too easily. It made family life easier, but now I have to put with some things I really don't like. Then I think would I be able to change them if I protested from the beginning? Not so sure..

SunniSideUp said...

I think you've got the right idea - someone who knows who they are and is secure in their own identity isn't going to 'lose themselves' just because everyone around them is doing something different. If the only reason they were wearing black abayas in Oman was because that's what everyone there wears, then it's logical that they'd switch to skinny jeans after moving to a country where everyone wears skinny jeans. In that case, the black abayas weren't really part of their identity, just a societal expectation, and the same is true for the skinny jeans.

In my opinion, a person hasn't really 'found themselves' until they can do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing and be perfectly happy, because they know it's right for them.

Convert_chica said...


Re-evaluating yourself is always good.

Boxie said...

In my travels I have slowly changed into someone more cynical at times, and able to laugh at things better. I do not think I could go back to the person who I was as I have experienced many things, and that is something that has helped shape me and tot me. It is finding a balance within myself to know my boundaries that really defines who I am.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming you mean 'lose' rather than 'loose'? Otherwise that's an entirely different issue lol

Noor said...

I so get you bc I feel a lot like that in a lot of ways since reverting, marrying a Saudi and living in KSA.