One year into it, Karim Rahman reflects on the column, life, and the things that happen when you least expect them to...
They say that life is what happens when you're too busy planning how to live it. While I may have spent the better parts of my teenage years planning for my adult ones, "life" certainly didn't happen in the spaces between acne treatments and hormones. Actually, here I am, at 21, with none of my carefully laid out plans having been fulfilled, and no foreseeable plans for the future, and life still hasn’t happened for me. Or maybe it actually has and I've been too busy obsessing about it not happening for me to realise it HAS happened?
All I know is that I'm 21, with one too many products in my hair and a severe case of quarter-life crisis.
There's one thing I need to acknowledge, though: it's been a year since I started writing this column. One year of bitching and whining, of rants and angst, of bad dates and falling in love with the idea of being in love. In a sense, this has been my longest relationship to date (except for that one relationship that lasted longer, but that I never mention).
However, the question begs to be asked: has it been my most successful? Probably not. Missed deadlines and fights with my editor linger in the air around me like the scent of the Vitamin B5 I just applied to my hair (it works wonders, seriously) and to be quite honest, I've lost interest in writing this column one too many times. Yet, somehow, I've always managed to come back to it and the fact that I just hit the one year mark proves that people kept coming back as well, and that means I must have done something right along the way.
So, apparently, life did happen when I least expected it, because I certainly did not expect that writing a column about dating and life in Cairo was ever in the cards for me. I couldn't help but wonder, though: if I did expect it, dare I say planned for it, would it have actually happened? If life is the thing that comes to pass when you have no plans for it happening, would this have been my life? Not to say that I've given this column a 100% of my time, but I feel like I could. Writing month in and month out on the web pages of a completely controversial magazine and talking about even more controversial dates in Blackstone seems like a good direction for my life to take. For now.
I could wax nostalgic about my column and pretend like it's been the best literary thing to happen to the world since that first short story I wrote when I was about 12. But I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to acknowledge something: a planned life is a boring life.
So I'll stop thinking about it too much, because apparently when I do stop, things like a sex column happen. I'll go out on more bad dates and I'll dutifully trot back home and type about them and then publish them so people can laugh at them, or relate to them, or judge them or even write angry blog posts about them. I'll deal with my dramas and the intricacies of living in Cairo under the watchful eyes of all two of my fans who still read my column (bearing in mind that I'm one of those two fans). I'll stop thinking too much about what to write in this column and start actually writing the damn thing. But most importantly, I'll work really hard on not sounding like some all-knowing Zen master and stop saying things like "wax nostalgic".
Here's to one year, and here's to the next one.