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The Importance of Being You

After a brief hiatus, Karim Rahman, AKA Kiki, is back and he's more Kiki than ever.

Hi, Cairo. I'm back. I finally took the "sabbatical" I've been yapping about ever since I started this column and let me just say; it has done absolutely nothing to benefit me. I am neither more relaxed nor do I have a smaller workload (surprisingly, the work load seems to have increased). However, what this limited amount of time off has offered me is a chance to pretend that I have any semblance of hipster depth and reflect upon the direction my life is headed and, more importantly, the direction my column is headed (i.e: I took some really cool Instagram pictures).

In all honesty, this column has been a point of constant debate and strife in the short period since I started it. What was once supposed to be a weekly reflection upon my position in the Cairo social hierarchy and my attempts at climbing the social totem pole has slowly transformed into a column about non-existent dating and party hook-ups. While I was perfectly happy with that transformation, a lot of people seemed to be against the quite personal and private view my column started to adopt. Words like "unrelatable," "not a diary entry," and "utter bullshit" were thrown around with reckless abandon, with absolutely no regards to my feelings on the matter. To speak specifically, a particular friend of mine thought I should "get over myself" and occasionally wondered why my column entries were not as relatable or as funny as Hassan Hassan's were.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter: if my column was comparable or similar to someone else's, then what's the point on giving my point of view? What would be the point of writing my take on certain things if I'm only going to try really hard to make them sound like someone else's? More importantly (and this sentence is the real reason I begrudgingly got out from my under my duvet and pulled this entry out of my ass), what was the point of writing a self-titled column if I'm not going to be who I am/write what I want to write? When did this become more about pleasing other people than it was about me? 

We all strive to become accepted and liked for whatever it is we do; it's not a case of fame whoring as much as it is a case of peer pressure in Cairo being more tangible than that of the atmosphere. But, in a society where everyone thinks their two cents on the subject matter are super relevant, and where almost everyone thinks they should, nay, MUST have an opinion on everything, how does one go about keeping their own individuality? Even the concept of individuality in this country has to have a reference or someone to compare it to. Example: "Why can't you be more of an individual like [insert someone cool's name]?" But, wouldn't that defeat the purpose of individuality? I'm not saying upset the status quo (status quos exist for a reason), but how about instead of trying to be someone else, or constantly trying to shape and mould people to your liking, you don’t? Let people be and, consequently, be whoever you want to be. Judge them, hate them, resent them, feel however you want to feel about them, but don't think for a second that your opinion on what/how they should be matters in the least. It doesn't. It never will.

I'd much rather be in bed reading Vogue and pursuing trivial and shallower topics than writing this entry that feels like it's ripped straight out of Dr.Phil's autobiography. But, I really miss writing this column and I felt like I couldn't move forward with it before making this point very clear. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what maturity looks like (I think). Actually, no, I'm pretty sure I have yet to mature but wouldn't it be fun to watch and see when that happens?