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Growing Up

I had quite an argument with my parents today. But we all get into arguments with our parents. One could even say it is a normal and common part of growing up and learning.

I will not go into the details of the argument, nor the reasons behind it, as I am not here writing to a jury trying to point fingers, defend my standpoint, or state my case. I am also not here – surprisingly – to vent (I’ve already done that elsewhere). And I most definitely do not want to hear anyone’s verdict, or have someone decide who is at fault here.

I will say this much though: for an argument to occur, both parties must be at fault. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact.

Here are my thoughts post-argument:

That moment has now become a single speck of memory down a long line of memories that will in some minute, infinitesimal, minimal way mold me just that tiny little bit into my future self, (mind you, future is relative here. It could be the future that exists in the next second, the next hour, the next month, or the next 10 years.)

That moment is now out there, it is done, it is gone, and it is irreversible – unless someone discovers time travel, but if someone were to discover time travel, they’d probably use it to take over the world and change history as we know it and many other things that I guarantee you won’t be good, so let’s just stick to the current scenario.

That moment is going to come back and haunt me one of these days in the form of my mother or my father. When we are all sitting down watching TV, or having lunch or a late snack, perhaps with guests over, relatives, my husband and children even, and I open my mouth to complain about one thing or another, or tell off my son or daughter. Suddenly they get excited and jump in to finally teach me that lesson they were trying to teach me many years ago when I was too obstinate to listen.

And immediately they will assail me with their “I told you so!”, the “oh, so NOW you agree? Remember when we tried to tell you that, but you were adamant with your views and said this and that?”, the “how many times did I try to tell you, but you always refused to listen”, or better yet, the classic, quintessential “SINCE WHEN?” (and trust me, it sounds even better in Arabic).

Is it odd that that is all I could think of during and after the argument? I don’t feel bad, I am not racked with guilt, nor do I regret the premise of the argument, but I can’t get that thought out of my head.

As it happens, I know for a fact that ten, fifteen years down the road, I will be saying all the same things my parents were saying to me today to my own children. And that scene I described to you up there will take place, and I will probably argue with them again telling them it’s different, and they shouldn’t compare – and all that other nonsense.  Or perhaps I will simply agree with them and then try to change the subject to shift the attention away from my younger, sillier self.

In any case, here is what I do believe. Whatever the argument may be, despite its significance at the time, or how it was initiated or by whom, it is important to understand that one will never learn unless one makes his/her own mistakes.

You can advise a person, talk to them, tell them your thoughts on the matter, give them a nudge in the right (or wrong) direction, but at the end of the day one needs to make his/her own mistakes if they are to learn anything. It’s true you could learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences (and you should), but that also should not become an impediment to one’s experiences and how they live life.

There are two sides to every story, and each and every experience is different from one person to another. I am not saying stop it completely, but limit the amount of restraint that you have on children. Let them go out there and get their hands dirty every once in a while, let them fall and chafe their knees; they will get up eventually and be even stronger for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having people around me who care for me so much they try to control every aspect of my being. I am smitten with that notion and fascinated by it. However, the older one gets, the more set in his/her ways they are, and that includes even me at 24.

So if I seem stubborn, headstrong, impertinent or determined, it is only because I will always want to go out there and experience things for myself. Because no matter how our society is set up, or how many life-stories I’m told, or how much wisdom is shared with me, or what experiences others have had, it will never be enough. I will always want to go out there to learn and explore on my own.

Right or wrong, it’s how I feel.


About smshamma

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe


12 thoughts on “Growing Up

  1. Reading this was the highlight of my day.

    Thoroughly well-written. One expects no less.

    And, (humble opinion alert): I agree. I think you’re right. One only learns if one has the audacity to act, then has the flexibility to assimilate the accumulated knowledge.

    Thanks for asking!

    Posted by ahmedsamirsalama | May 28, 2012, 23:01
    • Your comments, opinions, posts, thoughts – everything – are always the highlight of mine!

      And thank you, once again, for your comment. You couldn’t have said it better, and I’m loving the double alliteration =)

      Posted by smshamma | May 28, 2012, 23:17
  2. Ok I love reading your articles, they are amazing bas mshan allah make them shorter next time :P:P

    Posted by Ahmad Al-Refai | May 28, 2012, 23:05
  3. من امتا؟!؟

    Ok, for the fact of both are at fault is not a fact. Other than that, all above are FACTS.

    Well said Sos :)

    Posted by Tariq | May 29, 2012, 00:48
  4. You are right–every person has to make her own mistakes. And you are also right–it will come back to haunt you when you have your own children. :) But maybe not in the way you imagine. It will be the feeling you have as you watch your child do or experience something you also did, as you watch them walk straight into hurt, and you are powerless to do anything about it. And then your parents laugh at you. (I know. My mom has done this to me often.)

    Posted by Jeannette Monahan | May 29, 2012, 20:40
    • Yes, that is another possible scenario =) I am so expecting it all to happen. It’s not stopping me from being stubborn right now though hahaha

      Posted by smshamma | May 30, 2012, 22:26
  5. Love you Sue!!!! <3 I know you told me not to comment in a childish way but I just thought I should let you know how much I love you again and again even if you're sick of hearing it I just want you to know that…your articles are amazing as usual mashallah and keep that up I have a feeling my comment makes no sense but I'm not good with writing so don't mind :D Hope this proves how much I want us the sisters to hang out together a lot because its not fun when we are left alone so don't get mad at me for what I said on Saturday. So anyways that is all keep up the good work and sorry for saying this on your blog I know you probably hate me at the moment for saying this here…sorry. LOVE YOU!!!! <3

    Posted by Mariam & Dimah | June 11, 2012, 20:07
  6. Amazing Amazing Amazing…your blog is so good I want to subscribe to it so I get an article first thing in my email every morning…MashaAllah so uplifting and thought-provoking.

    It is as a couplet goes in Urdu…”Girte hain shah-sawar maidan-e-jang mai; Woh tifal kya giren ge jo ghutnon ke bal chalein?” (The warrior falls from his horse in the field of war…how can a child fall who drags along on his knees.)

    Keep it up and loved it.

    By the way, seriously, is there some way I can subscribe.


    Posted by Fahad Suleman | June 13, 2012, 18:28
    • Fahad, thank you so much for your comment. Means the world to me.

      I love the couplet, makes a lot of sense.

      And you can follow the blog by clicking on “Follow” which should show somewhere on the bottom right part of the page. Or go to the top of the article and click on “Follow blog via email”, or to the very top of the page there is an orange tab that say “Subscribe To RSS”.

      Of course you can always do all three =)

      Posted by smshamma | June 13, 2012, 18:59
      • You’re very welcome :). I just subscribed and I’m reading more of your articles. They’re a great read and thanks for writing. :)


        Posted by Fahad Suleman | June 14, 2012, 11:25

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