Who hasn’t dreamt of a charming prince coming all the way from his castle with a beautiful diamond ring? That was Dalia’s dream, fairy tales and Cinderella stories which took her to another world where she could create her own path.
She was a little arrogant perfectionist who was obsessed with planning. She was very careful deciding anything that would potentially ostracize her from society. Calm, gentle, smart and elegant, that’s how everyone would describe her: Lebanese Dalia. She was given different model names in high school thanks to her shape and style. Like any teenager she has been dreaming of love, looking for someone she has sculptured: a sexy tall man with a magical smile who makes her fall for him more and more every time he opens his mouth. She imagined every detail about him and mostly about their relationship, how she must be treated, and even how he is supposed to behave. The missing part in her puzzle was recognizing that this kind of relationship is the recipe for her destruction.
It was her brother’s friend who she paid attention to. Not falling for him was impossible. During their first conversation, he gave her advice about choosing a career path. This one ten minute conversation led to nightly conversations, then they started meeting. She couldn’t recognize what drew her to him, he had nothing that she was usually attracted to. He was shorter than her, but he was very funny and seductive. She found herself attached to him and started getting stuck to a small device that kept their bonds stronger and stronger, at least that’s how she perceived it. She wouldn’t confess it, but she fell in love with him, someone who never existed in any of her dreams and had no characteristics of those super and brave men. After three months of non-stop talking and meeting, he disappeared without giving a reason. No more calls, messages, or visits. She tried to reach out to him in many ways but failed every time. That was the first time she felt broken, physically and emotionally. She has accumulated a gazillion reasons to hate, not only him and all men but even herself for letting things go easily.
Overcoming this seemed impossible since she had never felt that vulnerable. Since everything reminded her of him, an ocean could’ve been brought forth with all the tears she had shed. Days passed by and still, nothing changed. Her family and friends noticed the sorrow she had buried inside her and luckily they helped her surpass this period with powerful and encouraging words. The situation had to change, but it cannot change by itself.
New hobbies were discovered which fulfilled her soul, but the best event was self-discovery. She had forgotten how outstanding she was, and by highlighting her worth she focused on the person she always wanted to be and worked hard to achieve her goals.
In her case, a self-reminder was a must to keep her on track and fight all the black thoughts that may pop up again at any time.
It wasn’t an easy thing to experience, and she came to realize that sincere people are the ones who suffer the most. She came to understand that love has nothing to do with appearances and that the perfect and good world she has imagined existed only in movies. Life taught her golden lessons that had taken her spotlight, killed her, but taught her how to get up and face the world with a better attitude.
Her goals were reset and she achieved every single one of them. The broken Dalia collected her crumbs and glued them with gold, which created, shaped, and sharpened her and made her shine in a completely chaotic world.
Her happiness is no longer a slave. “Freedom” is what she gained. The person she is today is someone who owns herself, her life, dreams, and career. She is the first one in her family to get a full scholarship to join one of the top universities abroad.
The things that are supposed to destroy us are capable of empowering us. They open our eyes to the bigger world, what life can offer us, what we have been ignoring, and what we have been hiding from.
Seek what you most desire in an independent way and make sure to spread love in all kinds of situations. Only love is capable of healing you. Loving someone is letting them go on their way while you continue on yours; love has never been about owning someone but caring.
This is just one example of the important work produced by YaLa’s citizen journalists, a program funded by the European Union’s Peacebuilding Initiative in order to enable young leaders from across the Middle East and North Africa to document and share their experiences of the region.