By Nada Faris and Q80 Hillbilly
My initial response was to consider awaking as Q80 Hillbilly himself. Think of all the havoc I could wreak! I would begin by commending my opponent’s writing style, her impressive wit and her choice of metamorphosis. After a pair of puerile jests, I would declare undying devotion to Britney Spears. Then I remembered that the transformation does not include a return to the original state. Hence, it would be me (Nada posing as Q80 Hillbilly ) who would have to suffer the consequences, and the encomiums will be wasted on a non-existent writer. If I am Q80 Hillbilly, who will be Nada Faris? Even worse—if I am Q80 Hillbilly , will I survive the diwaniya after my prank? Jaber you’re safe (for now).
So who else could I become if I were given the option to rise as anyone but myself? Notice that the question I ask is not “Do I want to be anyone else?” because I take the pressing need for an alternative pair of shoes to walk in for granted. I live in a capitalist world that sells me dreams and desires in every shape and color. Tall is beautiful, thin is in, chic is clique and I am none of these. Ain’t got no bling to fling, no grill to grind, no cheese, no style, no “gangstas”. MTV tells me that I’ve got to be a soldier but I’m already missing in action. Hollywood tells me that I should hang for my thread.
I almost said, “Hey I think I want to be a pop star,” but pop star to rock star is Nescafe to Turkish Coffee, chicken nuggets to machboos. It would thus be paradoxical to counter my current inferiority complex by replacing it with another one. Eliminating pop and selecting rock does not alleviate my discontent either. Truth be told, I cannot stand long hair and I’m too short for a motorbike. And what’s a rock star without a motorbike? A pop star posing as a rock star, that’s what.
After severe ruminations, I resolved to omit entertainers in general. Whilst their profession enables them to receive vast amounts of money and attention, a majority of the public dismisses it as a frivolous career. And welcome back inferiority complex! How about business? Well I couldn’t become a cut-throat businessman even if I surgically removed my heart. And without that “Trump” attitude, I’d be ripped apart—you might as well set up the table and serve me on today’s menu.
That’s when I considered becoming an athlete, but I play football to learn about human behavior, the essence and composition of talent, authority, and my abilities in particular. Am I capable of obscene discipline, undergoing rigorous body-changes, synchronizing my thoughts and endeavors with others in the middle of a nimble game? This might cost me a couple of my readers, but I also play sports to reconcile with my scientific knowledge. I clot my head with equations and quantifiable questions such as, “what was my center of gravity as I headed the ball?” or “what was the velocity of the ball when it escaped the goalkeeper’s hands?” Needless to say, I am not the star of the team. So the question is: do I want to sacrifice my ratiocination for ostentation? Do I want to wake up tomorrow as the Christiano Ronaldo of my team? Not really.
Due to the constant fluctuation of capitalism and its persistent ostracism of non-ideal forms, I’m afraid that I am forced to pick “Ditto,” the purple Pokémon blurb with its basic shape shifting ability. Only then will I be happy in this seductively material world.
At the risk of sounding like the Greek god Narcissus, I would want to wake up as myself. It’s not that I adore myself per se, nor is it self conceit that is behind my answer; if anything, I am motivated by the urge to better myself as a human being, and in doing so, I find myself reacting to a culture of self importance, of greed and enmity.
We live in a society that has reinvented the ancient traditions of hero worship. We want to be someone else to escape our own inability to overcome our shortcomings, and so we imbue the heroes of our times with the qualities which we think we lack. Very little of what we deal with on a day to day basis is new, that is to say, the themes are ancient but the ways in which they manifest themselves are new. The oldest form of transportation is walking, the newest form would be flight, and in between, we have the horse drawn carriages, the bicycle, the train and so on. When history repeats itself, it does so with minor changes in the who, the what and the how, but the why remains the same. We are still driven as a species to repeat the sins of our ancestors.
I can’t think of one person in the world whom I find my self envious of, be it their wealth, stature or popularity, and the reason for that is that I don’t crave what they have nor do I covet it. I find wonder in the simplest of tasks, I see new things in the mundane and I explore whole new worlds in my thoughts. I wake up every morning wondering what new perspective I will gain, and I can’t wait to explore that new perspective. None of these tasks come easy, they require constant vigilance on my part, to make sure that I don’t fall into a shallow and repetitive mind set, and it is in that struggle or effort if you will, that I see the endless possibilities of human awareness and the infinite levels of consciousness.
My existence is a gift, as much in the rewards that come my way, as in the misery. These are the things that shape me as a person, and in turn, determine how I interact with the world around me. Being myself is a full time state of being, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything or anyone. For me to wake up as someone else would be the death of me, and that’s not something that I would want to experience. Sure, we’re all going to die someday, but until my number is up and it’s my turn to shed my mortal coil, I want to milk this experience of being me, I want to experience my own evolution of thought and consciousness, I want to be me.
If I was to wake up as someone else, I would lose the love of my life, the person that for years only existed in my imagination as a sort of perfect woman whom I would never find. Well folks, I finally found her, and nothing in this world can tempt me to give her up or put myself in a position to lose her.
For more information about the author, please visit www.nadafaris.com.