Left Behind Blues

Lately, I’ve found myself suffering from the “left behind” blues.

My dear friend and fellow blogger Farrah of Bambisoapbox.com is relocating to our other motherland – Los Angeles – for a good four months plus some. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around her summer-long absence. It's as if I’ve lost one of our breed to the other side, even if temporarily.

City of Angels (Photo source: https://travelmassive.com/chapters/los-angeles)

Farrah, like many of us Lebanese Diaspora who came “back” to the land of our ancestors and strived to build up a livelihood, has been wrestling with the what ifs of a foregone existence in the US. Having moved to Lebanon during the formative teenage years, she assimilated into school life and Lebanese culture as much as can be expected of an American transplant.

A graduate of AUB and LAU who put in the hours at a topnotch advertising agency before joining the family business in wholesale and grocery retail, Farrah feels stifled by the borders of the Lebanese frontier—literally and otherwise—and is swapping shawarma wraps for gourmet burgers. Ridiculous, right?!

Truth be told, I couldn’t be happier she’s going to explore greener fields, the so-called opportunity cost. Who knows? She might end up meeting her soulmate there, which is perfectly fine so long as she imports him with her on her return to Beirut. Has she learned nothing from the family’s import business? ;)

Another issue contributing to my feeling left behind is missing my brother’s doctoral hooding and commencement. John Paul will be graduating tomorrow from Tufts University with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and my parents and elder brother Andre flew out from LA a few days ago to celebrate his huge achievement.

I’m the lone ranger who couldn’t exact the voyage from Beirut to Boston, and it pains me when I imagine the Issa clan reunited in joy and merriment sans moi. Add to that my nostalgia for Beantown, where I spent two of the most memorable years of my young adulthood, and my sense of exclusion is compounded with a serious case of the sniffles.

Charles River in Boston (photo source: https://www.luggageforward.com/boston-travel-tips/)

On the bright side, John Paul will remain in Boston post-graduation to work in VC, and thus I’ll have an excuse to visit him in my favorite New England bastion. My parents will be joining me in Beirut this summer to rekindle their own flame for our beautifully chaotic country, and – fingers crossed – I may follow them back in the fall for a much-needed breather.

If the timing’s right and the stars align, I just might intercept Farrah, and together we’ll wolf down burgers at In-n-Out.

And between the two of us, I guarantee there won't be a fry left behind.


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