Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A New Chapter

Autumn 2014 Photo by Deb Jackson
A New Chapter

There are some words I hear and they always stay with me. These words for instance:

"You can either feel sorry for yourself of treat it as a challenge, an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing... You choose."

I recall every word in my head. I reply, to myself "Yes, it IS my choice". I have always wanted to live rightly and thus, I choose to do so. Never mind what happened and regardless of any pain. The pain I feel now will be indeed my strength tomorrow. I will learn from the past, I will learn from "this" experience I am going through and I will continue to work hard for the future that I so deserve.

I do believe there is reason in everything that happen to us. We are yes left in this world, helpless. But it is not about achieving anything. It is about the "struggle". The struggle leads to progress. This is the fact about life that people seem to overlook. In recognizing my life struggle, I grow. I refuse to be blinded by obstacles in my path that hide from me the sources of strength within me. My eyes are open and even though I may seem distracted at times, my life is clear to me. I am here for a reason. It is not to achieve a goal, and it is not to reach a target. It is to "be", to "live" to "experience" and to "struggle" in order to grow.

I refuse to be chained down by tradition, although I respect it. I refuse my mind to be clouded by trivialities of life and people's chatter. The essence of life is to become who you want to be, unchained, unburdened by anything and by anyone. The concept of love to me now has changed. With the change in my life situation, the concept carries now different meanings. But this cannot burden me. This can only drive me forward to realize my mistakes, my shortages and weaknesses. 
I am not a victim, I am not a fighter. I am a survivor.

The only place my dreams can become impossible is in my own thinking. Photo by Deb Jackson
My thoughts are my weapon. Resilience and perseverance are the most important tools in life. This is what I learned over the years. It is in my recognition of the means to cope with my problems and the ways I can manage my weaknesses to bring about my strengths. A man who does not see this and admire it in a woman, is not a man worth sharing the struggle with. Life is not easy. The journey is full of obstacles and it is naive to believe it is otherwise. The fault that I carry on my shoulder today, the pain that I feel in my heart, will be dissolve with past memories and wrong choices. The consequences of my past actions which I endure today will empower me to carry on and will lead me to a new chapter of my life. The exciting journey ahead will not be tarnished by those who do not deserve to be part of it. I believe a stronger force have finally saw it is time to give me a helping hand. It unclouded my eyes and will gradually show me how to relieve my pains. My strength is not a weakness. My strength is not "the problem". My strength is who I am. I embrace this and my weaknesses are also my strength...

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