Saturday, 13 December 2014

Because everything is temporary.

How many people fell in this abyss,
     I fathom from afar!
     There will be time, and I will vanish too
     From earth's exterior…….
For quickness of events as they come rushing,
     For truth, for play, say I -
     Please hear me! But do also please love me
     For this that I will die.

( Marina Tsvetayeva)

OK before I go any further, please forgive me, for this posting is written under continuous influence of pre-Christmas drinking. If it makes absolutely no sense it is because I have not been properly sober for what seems like a very long time. 

Today, at a yet another pre-Christmas party, two friends and I were discussing the transiency of Doha expat life. A mutual friend of ours just said goodbye to two close friends of hers who moved away. 'It has not happened to me yet', said one friend, and I thought that I, too, have been lucky so far. However, all of us, without exception, are only too aware of this simple truth- we are only here for a fragment of our lives. And, as we enter new friendships and begin building our lives here, we all think about that point, when we will have to move on or say goodbye.

But, to me, it has become much more than that. As I am becoming more and more used to the fact that everything here is temporary, I also am becoming more aware that it is not just my Doha life that is transient, but so is everything else. Of course, it is somewhat a statement of the obvious. Yet, I have never, in any of my previous lives, whether in Baku or in London, felt the transiency of everything so vividly, so tangibly.

But, before you assume this posting to be depressing, let me try and explain why it in fact, isn't.

This surreal, fragmented life we, expats, live here is like a rehearsal for the bigger play. And you have a choice, a very simple one. You can either get upset and worry about it all disappearing, or you can enjoy it more, precisely because you know it will disappear soon.

It is a complicated feeling. Let me give you an example. Husband wants a new truck. He does not really need it, of course. But he wants it. Can he justify having it? Well, no. Is it sensible? Stupid question. And yet, after thinking about it through my new everything-is-temporary prism, I told him to get it, if he really wants it.


I love this new prism. It is pretty cool, really, once your mind accepts it. Just say to yourself that everything is transient: happiness and loss, money and worries, friends, houses and cars…And see how simple life becomes. And people. People are very transient, too. But that makes them more interesting. You meet new people in Doha, and it is exciting because you don't know how long you will actually know them for before one of you moves somewhere else. So go ahead and enjoy your new friends, their stories and backgrounds, their cultures-so different from yours, and how they enrich your life, before they, inevitably, will go.

You can apply this to everything, good of bad. Terrible boss? Not for long! Hate the traffic? Not your country, don't worry about it! Just put up with it for a short while. Not that happy with your house? It isn't yours, anyway.

So what I am trying to say is I am learning to love this transiency. I love my temporary friends, with their temporary lives becoming a fragmented part of my temporary life. Because who knows how long we are all here for. And of course, I am no longer just talking about Doha.