I realise I made my last post about a week ago and said I’d post again soon, but I’ve been overwhelmed with exams, and I’ve just stepped into the post-midterm period, which, needless to say, is rather stressful itself.
Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase.
Last week a former teacher of mine linked me to the US Embassy Website, specifically to a post that offers young writers a chance to travel to the US to sharpen their writing skills. At first glance I was frenzied; I have always wanted to travel abroad, and I had been doing everything I could in order to improve my writing, and a trip to the US was the most unexpected God-sent win-win opportunity to have ever been presented to me. It was meant for me.
The post said that talented young writers between the ages of 16 and 19 had the opportunity to travel to the US on a two-week educational trip to attend a workshop at the University of Iowa and several other cultural and educational sites. All in all, it was a dream come true.
Skimming through the post, a paragraph titled REQUIREMENTS
came up. And well, the more I read, the more hopeless I became. Here’s what they needed:
- 6 to 8 pages of prose and/or poetry in both English and Arabic. School essays and non-fiction will not be accepted.
- A writing sample of 2 to 5 pages in prose/poetry in response to one of the 4 proposed writing prompts
- A one-paragraph statement of purpose describing why I want to participate in the program.
Deadline: February 16th.
The reason I was so freaked out is that, besides the fact that the deadline is extremely close, I could never put up a decent piece of writing in Arabic. Although my native language, Arabic is a rather difficult language, and writing decent, formal Arabic was a lot of work, for me, at least. Other than that, I have my school work to worry about, and just thinking about school and its horrors gives me the chills. Keeping up with school has become increasingly nerve-wrecking. If spending 3 weeks of incessant studying isn’t enough to give me the results I’m dying to have, I don’t know what is. I’m giving up on schoolwork and my scholarship; I wish I could give it all up and leave, but I can’t, and I don’t want to because I’m better than that, and I know I am. I’ve never given up on anything my entire life, and, as much as I’d love to shift that load off my shoulders, I won’t. I want to reach a point in my life where I look back at times like these and thank the Heavens I held myself together. There’s a part of me that yearns for satisfaction, self-satisfaction, and it won’t get it until I push myself to that finish line.
My parents have yet to agree on my traveling halfway across the globe all by myself, but that’s not much of a surprise. I understand that.
Anyway, never lose hope; you never know how it could turn out. I might end up going after all… or not. At least I know I’ve tried.