I was really hoping that my next blog post would be more meaningful than just me whining about my life, and yet, here it is and here I am, ready to complain.
These days the one question I get asked a lot is "So, what are your college plans?" and its variation "How are your preparations for college going?". I can't answer I don't know, because no one believes me. Truth is, I really do not know.
Here's the visa, here's the ticket, and yet, I don't know. I should be all set with my ticket out of here, a ticket to my prospects and an actual future where no one can treat me like crap just because I'm a girl without a father. To be fully prepared to go to one of my dream schools. And still, I don't know. Because I'm struggling, because people back out of promised help, because there are a million things that have to be done before I can finally leave. Two months ago, I had a semester's tuition sponsored, somehow with some help from a friend. Now, all of a sudden, I don't. Disappearances, people going AWOL without notice- It's all too much for me to think about. I've stopped sleeping at nights, I think, and I think a lot. I think about rich kids. People tell me to stop "hating on them" but I can't help begrudging people the easy lives they lead. They don't know, they really don't, that while they spend 5000 rupees on a night, I'm thinking of how much the next year is costing my mother. How I can't even afford college even with financial aid that makes most of my peers' jaws drop. I hear it a lot "Thats ALL you have to pay? That's IT?! Wow man!", and I don't know how to explain. It's too much, it is still too much. So while someone's parents spend lakhs and lakhs on foreign education for them, and as these kids waste themselves away on love lives and booze and parties (not to generalize, I know a lot of people who don't do these things at college.), I sit here and wonder what will happen. With 57 fucking days to go.
In truth, my life is a million times better than that of the rickshaw driver who killed himself and his family a few days ago because of poverty. It's a lot better than that of the woman who threw herself on train tracks with her children because of poverty. It's better, I have food to eat, I have a home, I'm privileged to be part of the 1% of the population of Pakistan who lives what is could be called a comfortable life.
But I'll get to the whys and the hows and the whats. Family. I find that word laughable, except when it comes to my mother and my sisters. No one knows I'm supposed to be going abroad. My mother has been told it's a waste of money to spend so much on a girl, she's heard it all so many times, she could repeat it while asleep. Hell, she developed a heart problem overstressing herself. People stop caring when they see you've got the same old car. When they see you don't wear designer clothes, don't sport fancy accessories. When they realize you have no useful connections. When, generally, your father dies in this country.
It's a flaw, having a brain and ambition. A big one. It makes you realize you are so much bigger and better than what you see around you, that you deserve this chance because you have worked for it, worked to redeem yourself and to correct the mistakes you made. It's exhausted you. Sometimes, you wonder about the point of it all. Is it worth it? It takes so much away. Too much, almost.
All people see is, to cut a long story short, the trip to Boston. Like cake, that was served to you on a platter. You've stopped explaining, because it's too much effort to tell everyone that along the way, these things have have taken a lot from you, even while they've taught you incomparable lessons. Every achievement, every heartache, every rejection. How does one even begin to explain.
It's scandalous. The thought of working in a boutique, a shop, a Mcdonald's is scandalous. We don't do that in Pakistan if we're from a "good family". What does being from a "good family" mean anyway? Is it a stamp of approval? Is it living in a certain locality? Is it studying in a certain school? Is it the people you know, the places you're seen at? I never understood. So you sit and you resign yourself to having no money, because you're young and well, money is hard to come by. Because you don't have that expensive degree from that famous university yet.
Even when you're close to that degree, you can't quite have it.
So what do you do? You sit and you smile when your friends say "Thats ALL you have to pay? That's IT?! Wow man!". And you lose sleep, and your mind, thinking about what will happen, about how you deserve this because it's all yours. It's drastic, it's painful and it cuts. But you sit and you smile and you answer questions.
And count the days, I guess.