2017

Hey guys.

I know it’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to write a sequel to my previous post but as you can see, I didn’t get around to it. I got such overwhelming positive feedback from you guys, it felt like anything after that wouldn’t be good enough. I just stopped trying at some point. But I promise, even if it kills me, I will write that sequel.
Unwillingness to post substandard work isn’t the only reason I haven’t posted. I have also been feeling a bit substandard, generally. Haha, that’s so sad and pathetic. And yes while the first reason counts as growth, I do remember the reason I started this blog wasn’t to amass a following, it was to vent. So today, I’m going to write for that same reason.
So here goes, a review of this past year, in some fashion.

For a year that generally seemed good, it sure did kick my ass; emotionally, mentally, educationally (whaaat?!) I mean, I graduated and I sort of figured out what I want from life and how I want to go about it. And that’s a big deal, I just never got around to celebrating it. Also, I stayed alive.
Anyway, here are the highlights.

Books.
At the beginning of the year I set out to read at least one book a week. That didn’t happen, because, I’m broke. But I did read a lot more than the previous years (Thank you Vushya.)
My favourite book this year was Khaled Hosseini’s, “A Thousand Splendid Suns.” As I’m getting older, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stomach books written by men (especially, straight white men.) They never seem to do the female characters justice. They all portray this stereotypical woman; sexy and girly, smart and boyish, powerful but mean and unmarried. While women are and can be these things, I find it dangerous to box women into stereotypes. Because then it propagates the notion that a woman who isn’t these things, is fundamentally flawed. Women are multi-faceted human beings and I think it is important that they are portrayed as such, because then we can normalize women living to the full extent of their humanity and sexuality, and not have to be labeled weak, sluts, intimidating and not fit for marriage or just bitter hysterical bitches. I like that Khaled Hosseini in this book, in as much as female subjugation is a major theme in this book, doesn’t portray the women as damsels in distress who are finally saved by this man. They fight and they earn their happiness and liberation.
Aboyami Adebayo’s, “Stay With Me” comes a close second. I was a bit underwhelmed because I heard so much about it and I went in with really high expectations. I think it’s one of those books I’ll have to read more, than once to fully appreciate. I came out with this quote, “If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.” I came really close to ending an important relationship because stuff got overwhelming and this quote weirdly put things in perspective.
I think my all-time favourite quote however is in Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” She was talking about her brother when she said, “Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope of wholeness, is the unshaking need for an unshakable God. My pretty black brother was my kingdom come.” All the lonely children in me come out to weep every time I read this quote.

Owning my pain.
I had suppressed or just blocked out a lot of painful, traumatic experiences over the years and these last three months, my demons came out to play. They were seated on my chest and dancing on my throat. I was sleeping fifteen hours a day at some point just so I wouldn’t have to listen to my chest heave as soon as I opened my eyes. Sidebar: can we just take a moment to realise how lazy and uncool I am? I could have done heroine, but instead I chose sleep. The beauty (or cruelty) of life however, is that it goes on and as long as you’re alive, you eventually have to get out of bed and catch up. I honestly didn’t think it would be as hard because I’ve been really down before and I dealt with it. You however don’t feel the same kind of pain twice and yeah, my ass got thoroughly kicked. But now that I’m slowly getting out of it (or maybe just not fighting being in it), I’m beginning to appreciate the importance of unpacking your trauma, of laying it out on the table and examining every crevice. Oi had to admit to myself that I wasn’t oaky and consciously take steps towards healing. Some things are a matter of waiting it out and others require standing up for yourself and confronting the people that hurt you. It requires that you stop apologizing for your emotions and keep reiterating, even if it’s just to yourself, that you’re not a bitter, unforgiving person. Sometimes things take time and you can’t rush through your emotions. Sometimes you need to scream and kick and through it all, not forget that you are deserving of a space free of judgement and fear to do that. If somebody wants to be in your life after they hurt you, they have to be willing to let you go through the motions. They have to own up to their shit, and sometimes just sit there and let you speak your truth as uncomfortable as that may be for them. Because really, a relationship that can’t survive brutal honesty and mind-bending introspection isn’t a relationship you want to invest yourself in.

Take a leap of faith.
So I decided to pursue writing professionally and dear God I’m scared. But really, it’s the only thing I feel good about in my life right now. I’m prepared to make a few mistakes but all in all, I feel I’ll live a more fulfilling life this way than if I chose a different career path.
That said, my friend and I are working on a project that we’re super excited and proud of. We’ll be done in the next couple weeks or so. I’ll probably do a blog post to inform you of the details and availability of this project once it’s complete. So please spread the word and say tuned? (Does that phrase apply to blog posts?)
Also, I’ll be a lot more consistent in posting next year. I’ll be doing a post every week. I’m excited about that too.

Gratitude

I cannot thank you guys enough for believing in me and taking time out of your days to read my somewhat censored and scanty ramblings. Thank you guys so much. I promise to be a better host next year, and do everything in my power to make visiting this space a worthwhile experience.

I started this blog to just get stuff off my chest. And now it’s blossomed into a career and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated that before this moment. I went from being the girl that went for walks at one am in the morning because I was too sad too sleep to being someone that thinks, “hey you’re awesome. Hey you’re beautiful” when I look in the mirror and actually believe it. It’s all because of this blog. So thank you guys. I hope in my own sad, angry and intense way, I made somebody’s life a little better.

Happy holidays:)

Writer’s Block

Do you ever wake up mad at the sun? How it rises day after day? How it abides by this routine, never caring to honour the terrible nights we sometimes have? Nights full clear darkness and loud silences packed in the cracks of our heartbreaks. But more than that, how can a creation be so stoic?  You would think having a ball full of confused human beings revolving around you would every once in a while dull your shine. My question is, how did the sun learn to be so indifferent?

That is a strange question to ask. It almost seems like I am trying to humanize the sun. And in a sense, I am. I am trying to relate to the sun (another strange thing) and I feel the only way I can do that is if the sun was a little bit human. 

Why am I trying to relate to the sun? The answer, I imagine, is as simple and as complicated as feeling like a fraud would be. I haven’t been able to write these past few months. I have a case of the infamous writer’s block. As any writer will tell you, this is as agonising as a wooden stake would be to a vampire’s heart. My nights consist of hovering(trembling really) around a keyboard and my eyes fixated on a blank screen, only punctuated by a stinging eyes that sometimes go on to become full blown sobs. I am a very emotional human being. 

On nights like this, I stare at the sky. I stare at the moon and the stars. And on mornings that follow such nights, I stare at the rising sun.  A lot of times, it is out of anger and frustration but every once in a while, I feel a twinge of jealousy. Sometimes I envy everything the sun is; its immortality, its strength. I am awed by how the sun has thawed mountains and catalysed the decomposition of generations. I am amazed by how it simply never stops rising. Because such days begin with me wishing, praying, that I never stop writing. 

Because writing shall be my legacy, an immortality of sorts. So what right would I have to claim to be a writer if I can’t relate to the sun? How can I seek immortality if I can’t catch a glimpse of my soul when I look into the stars? How do I never stop writing? 

Fear of Photographs

My best friend is always trying to take pictures with me. Poor guy. That’s an endeavour I will almost always botch. I don’t get pictures. I don’t know why people insist on capturing moments. Can’t we just enjoy them and save them in our heads? The irony is, I don’t want him to ever stop trying to take pictures with me. I realise that is selfish; to subject a guy to mild forms of embarrassments every time he puts a camera in front of my face, but hear me out. I know pictures have no intrinsic value (as my friend put it), and maybe that’s why people take lots of them, because it’s no big deal. However, every time my best friend tries to take a picture of me, I want to believe that he treasures that moment and he would like to freeze it and have something to remember it by(To him it’s probably just a picture, nothing deep.) So call me selfish but I find the thought that he would stop wanting to freeze pieces of the moments that we spend together a bit alarming. And that right there is the paradox; me attaching so much sentiment to a gesture whose expression I don’t really understand, let alone care for.

That got me thinking about my phobia of pictures. Why is it that I don’t like taking pictures? Could it be for reasons as vain as not wanting to take a bad picture and have this eternal reminder of that one time I spent a fraction of my life looking ugly, terrifying people with my face? Maybe that was true a couple of years ago. These days, I adore my reflection in the mirror even on my worst days. Or maybe that is the problem, the image I have of myself in my head is so good, no camera could ever capture it. And when I say good, I do not mean superficial beauty. My friend says that’s a genetic lottery, no one deserves it. And I agree. There is so much more to people than the symmetry of their faces. If we take pictures of the moments we are proud of, then something as simple as a pleasant face that you were lucky enough to be born with shouldn’t be on that list. It really isn’t an accomplishment.

I go to school in this dusty, sunny, miserable little town. This town is half stressed out, drunk and/or high college students and half motorists constantly asking you if they can take you somewhere. I find the latter funny, because more often than not, I’m always dying to go somewhere; anywhere else. Half the reason I always have my earphones plugged in is to distract myself from this apathy. The other half is people. I feel like I would commit suicide if I had to be constantly aware of this reality. 

On my way to and from class, I have to walk past this group of motorists. I notice that one of these motorists never asks if he can take me somewhere. I never thought much of it at first. I just assumed he was one of the very few people left who are respectful of other people’s spaces. Eventually, it began to worry me. This is his living. Why is he not as aggressive as the rest? Why is he so calm? Before I knew it, I was actively looking for him every time I passed there. Studying his facial expression, his body language, trying to figure out why he is so different from the others. Surely, he has to know something that the others don’t. Or he could be sick and dying. I don’t know. Granted, I didn’t find out anything about him (I’m not Sherlock Holmes.) I did notice however, that he always seemed distracted, like he was never really aware of his surroundings. And on the occasions that he wasn’t in his head, he was busy doing something else; like talking to someone or eating or fixing his motorbike, anything but asking people if he can take them somewhere. I think I began to relate to him. Here is someone who seems to spend his days distracted or being an oddity. That is kind of my story. So you can imagine how surprised I was this one time I saw him laughing. He was laughing so hard, I was scared he’d fall off his bike. It was the happiest I’d seen him in months. This is weird as hell but I was so proud, I wanted to take a picture. It literally was the first time in years I have wanted to take a picture of anything.

I once read this article about things that make you feel good about yourself. On that list, was take a lot of pictures. I do not understand this at all. Somebody explain it to me, how is taking a picture of yourself, especially when you are feeling down going to improve your mood. Essentially, all you’re doing is documenting a phase of your life that sucks. How is that helpful? Anyway, people seem to agree with this premise so I’m just going to shelf it with other arguments that I vehemently disagree with. An example would be the phrase, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” How is that even true? There is no way that something that could have killed you leaves you stronger. It just has to weaken you. Otherwise it wasn’t that serious. But that is an argument for another day.

But every once in a while I try to explain the urge to take that motorist’s picture. Me relating to him aside and thereby treating his happiness to be my own by extension aside, I wanted him to always have a reminder of how happy he looked. I wanted him to put that picture on his bedside table. I wanted him to wake up every day and look at that picture and strive to be happy like that. I wanted him to look at that picture on the nights he’s had an awful day and remember that despondence isn’t permanent. I wanted to give him hope. I wanted him to know he can be happy like that again and again; all he needs to do is find a really good joke. 

And so maybe when I say I don’t like pictures, maybe it’s just selfies and all other forms of pictures that require you to be aware when they are taken. Because I wouldn’t mind having a freeze frame of the moments I’m happiest. I believe, the moments we’re happiest, the moment’s we’re most beautiful are the moments we’re being ourselves the most, the moment’s we feel most in love with ourselves. When we are laughing at a terrible pun, or helping an elderly person cross the road. The moments we’ve forgotten about the acne on our face or the size of our butt; the moments we’re least aware of our insecurities, when our brains aren’t reminding us of our failures. My best friend took this picture of me in a supermarket holding this teddy bear. It’s not even the best picture anyone has ever taken of me, for one you can barely see my face and I look like I have no butt, but I love that picture. Because in that moment, it was just me, happy with a cuddly toy and a friend who cared enough to hand me that moment. And I think that is what pictures should do. Selfies on the other hand, require you to get out of that moment, and make a face or a force a smile for the camera. It just ruins the moment. They make us aware of our terrible reality. And it doesn’t matter how convincing your forced smile is, every time you look at that picture, you’ll always remember you were failing math in the moment it was taken.   

And maybe that is my fear. To look at a picture and think I’m not good enough. To have this frozen reminder of a time when I wasn’t the person I’m working towards being. I know it’s not a healthy way to perceive things, but my brain already is on overdrive, I don’t want to give it one more thing to obsess on. 

   

The allure of bad boys

Five or so years ago I read (I’m not sure if it was a Jeffery Archer or David Baldacci) this novel. One of the reviews was “*insert book’s name* grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go until you are done.” And I have always wanted to use that line. People think it is weird because I am not a boy. But then again, when I have had a bad day, I say that day sucked balls, so no, I do not think it is weird. So finally I have found something that I could say grabbed my attention by the balls and didn’t let go until I was done. The Originals! This is a TV series. And I know I have previously stated that I do not like this genre but man, have you heard Klaus speak? Have you felt the vibe Elijah gives off? And have you seen Marcel shirtless? And before you go judging me for being shallow, I will have you know that I am a very picky person. I am one of those people who watch shows for the dialogue. If the script of a show does not appeal to my intelligence, I’m not going to watch it, I do not care how good the story line is. Basically, a good script for me should have loads of humor, sarcasm, smooth dialogue, cryptic conversation. Speaking of cryptic conversation, how good was Revenge? Like Emily and Victoria almost never meant what they said on the surface. There was always a hidden meaning, a malicious intention. They were the best.

Back to The Originals. So today I was on my way from class thinking about all sorts of things and then all of a sudden my mind cleared up and the only thought left was “ oh my god, I love Klaus.” It was so profound I had to stop and catch my breath. I’m telling you, it was like an epiphany. A few seconds later, I realized that this is very ironic because there are very few things I hate more than I hate bad boys. I detest bad boys. One time someone told me that deep down, every girl is attracted to bad boys. It took all of my strength not to slap them. Those of you who are familiar with The Originals know that Klaus is not the nicest person alive. He is a jerk. A narcissistic, arrogant, merciless, unforgiving bastard. So why am I in awe of him? Simple, that man opens his mouth, and speaks beauty. And seeing as I am female, how could I not love such a smooth speaker? Klaus is the kind of person that will make you forgive and forget all his transgressions by just uttering a word. And it doesn’t help that he has such a sly smile. Klaus is the kind of person that will admit to killing someone he didn’t kill, so that he can get people to fear him, because he has this God complex and he seeks to control utterly everything and everyone. At this point, you are probably like, “get over yourself Klaus.” And then Camille, some girl he fancies, will confront him because she helplessly believes that Klaus can be saved, ranting about how she is sure that Klaus did not kill this guy and Klaus being the beautiful jerk he is, actually tells her the truth.

You know when people admit paradigm shifting truths, it is a little ugly because of all the emotion and crying? I mean, moments like this are anything but poetic. Not Klaus. Klaus will say things like, “Of course I did not kill him. I only admitted it because I need to control them and the only way I can do that is if they fear me because I am the only one that can save them. A better man would save you with a lie, but I am not that man, so I will leave you with a burden of a truth no one will believe.” At this point, you are like, he is not so bad. He actually has some good. Then he goes off and slaughters a whole village. So yes, rationally speaking, Klaus is not good for any one. I am sure if I met a real life version of Klaus he would get on all my nerves and kill me with me with a migraine. But Klaus has a messed up past going in his favour. I mean, he was raised by a dad that did not love him and spent all his life trying to kill him. He has spent his whole life fleeing. Basically, he is damaged. And I think that is why I like him so much. Because besides his smooth tongue, he is broken and he sort of needs someone to love him hard enough to fix him. And isn’t that a little bit of all of us? Don’t we all need a little fixing? Don’t we all need someone who will eternally and irrationally believe in our salvation?

And so maybe when people say all girls are attracted to bad boys what they really mean is that all girls are suckers for people they can fix. And I honestly cannot argue with that. And if that person happens to come with a smooth tongue, then by all means, let him in. Because people like that will give you great conversation. They will give you rawness, emotional honesty. People like that, if you stick around long enough, will let you in so deep and as dangerous as that is, there is nothing more fulfilling than someone completely trusting you with their bare soul. I know because I’m a little bit like that. I’m not a jerk, but it is no secret that I can be difficult. You want proof? Klaus’ full name is Niklaus. So his mother refers to him as Niklaus instead of the conventional Klaus. So one day Klaus tells her, “You refer to me by my full name as though we are familiars. I find it insulting.” And I remember thinking, to hell with courtesy and being polite, I would totally use that on someone.

self-love

“There is no such thing as too much self-love.” Even as I type this, there is this voice in my head screaming, “Yes, there is. It is called narcissism.” But I read somewhere that your first reaction to something or someone is what society has conditioned you to think. Your reaction to that first thought is what defines you, makes you who you are. So what I really think is, you can never love yourself too much. Not practically. Hell, a lot of us don’t even love themselves enough. We don’t even do the bare minimum for ourselves. And I have been thinking quite a bit about this and its connection to what society has fed us. Correct me if I am wrong, but here it goes;

See, when you love someone or something else, no one will ever criticize you for overdoing it. Sure, some people might find it smothering. But really, what is annoying is what you do when you love someone too much. You might nag, stalk, kill them, I don’t know. My point is, it is your actions that are criticized, not the feeling itself. If anything, you are encouraged to love hard, to love with every piece of your being. But when it is yourself that you love to a certain amount, then suddenly you are egotistic, proud, self-absorbed, arrogant, you name it. Which is such a shame really. Because we live in a society that makes it so damn difficult to love yourself. I mean, none of us will ever be Kim Kardashian enough or have jay-z’s money. No one is just the right combination of beautiful, talented, intelligent, funny, rich, sensitive, curvy, skinny and everything society makes us feel like we need to be. And everyone on a daily basis has to struggle to see beyond what you lacking and just love, or at least accept what you packing.

So maybe you can understand just how annoying it is when someone actually gets to a point that they are actually comfortable with who they are, society starts to tell you crap and make you feel like a criminal for simply trying to live your life. Well I’m going to tell you this, love yourself. Love yourself even if it makes people uncomfortable. Love yourself to the moon and back and if that isn’t enough for you, do it to the ends of the world. Love yourself at six in the morning when you’ve just woken up and look like a thug. Love yourself at eight in the morning when you’ve showered and done your make up and are wearing your favourite lipstick. Love yourself at two in the afternoon when you are swamped and bored and hungry and cranky. Love yourself at seven in the evening when you’ve just gotten home and don’t feel like cooking so you ate a ridiculous amount of junk food. Love yourself at two in the morning when you can’t sleep and so you got drank, and all you can think about is that boy who said you weren’t enough. Because you are enough, hell, you are too much. If you ever just gave everything you have to offer, I promise you the world would not be able to handle it.

Because at the end of the day, that love for yourself is all you got. It is what stops you from overdosing, or jumping off a cliff. And it doesn’t matter how many close friends you have, how many people claim they will go to hell and back for you. If you do not believe it, it doesn’t mean anything. So the next time society tries to make you feel bad, don’t let it get to you. And if it ever does, you cry it out, let go and move on. Just don’t let people tell you how you can feel, or worse not feel about yourself. Do not let society school you. You have a mind, a heart and a soul for that.

Free Spirits

pain, anger, fear, loss
laughter, joy, love, hope.
I’m just saying,
there is much more to life,
much more than emotion.
locked doors,
dark rooms,
quiet times,
free spirits.
freedom to be who we really are;
who we are when everybody else isn’t looking.

Don’t tell me I am beautiful

Don’t tell me I am beautiful. See, I have spent years trying to grasp the meaning of that word. Because beauty comes from the inside out. And it goes through and through. Instead. Tell me something with depth. Tell me I am intelligent. Tell me my words make sense. Tell me I am a force to reckon with;that with a brain like mine, I could change the world. Tell me my eyes see right through you. Tell me there’s something about them that does more than just seeing the world. Tell me there is depth in them. Because I am deep. As deep as the ocean. As vast as the earth’s terrain. As rugged as the earth’s terrain;with its highs and lows. With my high’s and lows. From my silly goofiness to admirable intelligence. From my cool composure to emotional insanity. As insane as my notions on humour. Humour; what truly makes a woman sexy. So tell me I am sexy, not because of my breasts or hips, but because of my sense of humour, what’s inside my head, my ability to hold a conversation about a lot more than how my day was; whether it was bad or nice. As nice as that would be. As nice as I almost never am. But call me nice all the same. In as much as i wont smile when i meet you and hugs aren’t exactly my favourite things on this planet.but because I will say thank you and sorry and mean it. Because I will be there for you when you need me to, even if you won’t want me to. So don’t just pay me a complement. Tell me something I will remember, long after I have met you, even when I don’t remember your face, when the butterflies you stirred in the pit of my stomach have settled down. Tell me something that will make saying “nice to meet you” worth my while.