Separate souls that grow together, and the thought that hierarchy is complacency.

Maybe today is a day about inter-twining lives, souls that live separately but grow together…

I was writing to my brother the other day. Has it really been 8 years apart? Why am I suddenly feeling these pangs of absences. And each time we speak, he has grown up. A few nights ago, it struck me that this was a boy I brought up, loved and took care of. A boy who had been the center of my world as a child. And now I only know him through leaps of time. I know his changes. But I don’t experience them as he changes. I am not sure where to place these fragile emotions; inside I am trying to find a life where he is a routine part of it. I don’t know what to do with family time lost. It is the most painful experience of living in Afghanistan. Not the trauma of the outside, but the trauma of the inside. I don’t like to think I have sacrificed my family for work. But either way those are years I have already lost. And I am not sure what to do with it.

I spent 5 hours with Amir yesterday talking about life, about spending time, about work ethic, about things that were important to us, about how we see ourselves growing, our frustrations….talking to him is like experiencing two souls that live separately but grow together. Somehow he is always me and I am always him. We perceive and digest things so similarly, it is a mystery how mirrored we are despite the 8 years apart.

I will never get over being away from home. And I don’t want to. Even if it makes me sad. I think this longing I feel is my only discipline to ensuring I make substantial time in my work life to return home and be with the people who will always be there with me.

So July/August it is in Singapore, and December in Germany with my other family.

I came across pictures of the Chinese Garden in Singapore and it reminded me of adventures with Amir. The turtle museum, the broken railway track, the bird shop, universal studios, little guilin, the adventure path behind guilin, and other obscure places. We are naturally very enthusiastic people and so its exciting to explore places with Amir.

~~~

What makes one dedicated to a cause or organization? Amir recounted all his experiences with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) as a Divisional Security Officer. Where does the drive originate to want to change a system that is not operationally successful? Hard-work? Is there just a will to make things better even if it does not benefit us individually? We talked about functions and complacency. I suggested hierarchy and rank may be a gentler word for complacency; because one supposes merit from rank and function from position. And this may not necessarily be so.

We also talked about this thing we call a career. The need for a constant trajectory. That the ladder never ends. There is space for new growth. We want to be challenged. The discontentment is a drive and yet a frustration. Amir and I are natural workaholics and we expressed and acknowledged the space for a social life outside of work. Shoaib in a way disciplines my balance; I would have sunk into a world of case and legal reviews chasing three organizations. He suppresses the inherent drive to push myself beyond my limits. Amir talks himself to agreeing to allocate remaining work for the next day’s hours. We both cannot wait to return to school. I miss the engagement with like persons, the idealism of youth, the excitement of meeting friends, the challenge of intellectual pursuits, reading and writing. Most of all, I miss walking, seeing people walk past by me, drinking coffee in an open cafe.

I miss walking. I miss the open air. I miss feeling comfortable being a woman. I miss Amir.

Love,

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