I believe that everyone needs a plan. Not that you can forecast what will happen in the future, not that you are guaranteed to follow it. But everyone needs something, sort of like Barbossa’s guidelines…it’s just a map to navigate one’s way through life, the destination always subject to change. My plan is to complete my studies, work, travel, most probably move abroad, get involved in various charities, make a difference and continue LIVE-ing. Whatever happens in addition to that, happens. Whether or not I get married, whether or not I have kids, whether or not I succeed…all that is up to The Almighty. It's destiny. I have no control over certain things in my life.
It’s one of those weeks. One of those rare occasions the world gets to see Azra feel a little down (yeah I’m human too y’know) and question the plan. I had a disturbing dream a few nights ago. I dreamt that I was paddling out into the ocean with some family and friends, the water calm and tranquil. And then all of a sudden this huge wave starts approaching us…I mean HUMUNGOUS, GIGANTIC, GARGANTUAN …of epic proportions. It was so enormous that I had to look up to the sky to see the top end of it. And I remember thinking to myself that this is it. Death approaches me, here and now and there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing worse than feeling totally helpless. I recall thinking that there was no use in running away from such a monstrosity…the speed at which it was traveling would have easily caught up with me and the sheer force would have most certainly wiped me off the map.
I awoke and found myself singing a strange song that was stuck in my head. A song I don’t know and have never even heard before. I’m almost positive that this song doesn’t even exist. So, as you can imagine, I was mildly freaked out.
I’ve been uneasy ever since. Water never bodes well in my dreams. And now I have all this anxiety that’s come from, literally nowhere. I’m not scared of dying. It’s what happens after death that leaves me TERRIFIED. One can never know what to expect. I usually think about death all the time, it helps keep things (and life) in perspective. It minimizes everything and makes trivial matters seem juvenile and irrelevant. But this is on a whole new playing field. To actually smell death…that dream was as vivid as they come.
It also got me thinking about the aftermath. Dying is a lot of work. If I had to go, my family would have to tell everyone. I mean EVERYONE. Aside from announcing it on Radio Islam, and arranging the funeral, calling up family members and friends locally and internationally, my sister would probably have to go onto my facebook and announce it there in my status so that all of my 324 friends can know. “Azra…is dead, so don’t bother anymore”. She’d have to log into blogger too, let you all know, dedicate a post to me. Good thing she already has all my passwords. And the poor soul is going to have to pack up all the shit I have. Hundreds of text books...Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Norton's Anthology, Organizational Behavior, Financial Reporting, Commercial Law...those text books that cost R1000 each. And those little momentos I've collected from all the lovely places I've visited. And all my pay slips and tax forms from Inland Revenue in London. What a schlep. At least she'll get to have her room back.
Bottom line, you can’t prepare for such things. All I can do is pray. Pray for my Imaan and faith, for protection and the strength to deal with whatever comes my way, as well as the courage to face it head on.
To make matters worse, like the cherry on my friggin cake (main ingredients apprehension and anxiety), I’ve been under so much pressure that I can only think that I don’t have time for an existential crisis right now. Maybe I’ll make time on Saturday after Nigella’s Feasts, between the Home Décor and Self Help programs. No guarantees though, because I still have all that Financial Reporting to do.
In between scheduling my nervous breakdown and dealing with all the crap that I’ve brought upon myself academically, sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say fuck it all, and then go and live off the land on some island where that colossal wave can come and get me good and proper. I want to think that if I’m going to die anyway, what the point?
But I won’t let myself go down that route. I’m stronger than that. I know the bigger picture. I’ve seen it many many times in my dreams and in those little signs bestowed upon me through some or other divine intervention. I have to go back to the drawing board, check my priorities, stick to the plan…pull together…all the strength I can muster, all the courage, all the determination and will-power to see this through. I have to keep with my theme, my mantra called LIVE…without fear and apprehension and paranoia clouding my vision.
What I have gathered thus far is that I am not worthy of my Lord. I know he’s there for me, I can feel His presence. I see His work in my life every day. But He’s not happy with me, I’m not doing enough on my part…not even nearly enough. I have to get my shit together. Put Him first. And stick to the plan.