Monday, August 18, 2014

Stockholm

Things I miss about Stockholm:
- Cool clean tap water
- Lakes and water view everywhere
- Easy transport system
- Great ice-cream everywhere you go
- Yummy pastries in the morning (or anytime of the day!)
- Getting lost in the streets and finding cute cozy bookshops
- Swings at random places
- Parks that feel like forests
- A solid beautiful shade of green
- A great transport system that takes you everywhere
- Keeping an umbrella in your bag and actually using it
- How easy it is to find a good reading spot outdoors
- Finding myself getting used to seeing dogs in the streets
- Doing so much during one day 
- Awesome artists playing good music in the streets

Note: the list isn't comprehensive. Perhaps I should elaborate more on my month spent there but I feel like I'm still processing everything that's happened and I'm not sure I know which stories to share and what things to highlight. I'd say it was nothing short of an adventure I shared with really genuine people.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Please believe

When I was a teenager I imagined that by the time I hit my twenties I'd have become the accomplished young woman who knew what she wanted in her life, was out to get it and knew which things mattered in life.
I'm 22 and I cringe at the mere thought of being called a woman. I think I'm still clueless and no way as strong enough as a woman needs to be. So I take the easy way out, and convince myself that "girl" or "woman" are just labels we create for a female so we know what she is as a person. That's just my way of rationalizing an issue that bothers me. Finding a way to make it seem insignificant.

Do you see how we keep saying the same things. Do you hear your own thoughts going around in circles, do you see how your advice is something you wish you could do and how your arguments revolve around a line of thinking you wish to adopt?
Not every time I argue it's in favor of what I believe in. And I realize, we're just trying to convince each other of things we want to believe in, hoping that their faith in something might reach us too.

But if I wait for you to believe in me, or to approve of who I am in order to think myself worthy, I might lose myself completely. If I'm going to wait till you call me a "woman" to see myself as one then I might end up thinking myself a "girl" all my life. I shouldn't be waiting for you.
I'm telling you here because I want to tell myself, it's the only way I can get it to listen to anything.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

About a girl

This goes out to A. 
 
Sit there and hear someone say they wish someone else was there with them, what a humbling place to be. Sit there, and know you're not doing anything to make the pain go away. You're there, true. You can walk around acting like you made a difference. But truth of the matter is, it changed you whether you want to admit it or not. Because I know it changed me. This is how I make it about me when in fact it's nothing to do with me at all. 'Sit, stay quiet, listen', I remind myself. I felt if I said anything it'd stop the raw honesty of it all. 

And I couldn't or rather wouldn't compromise that. After the first time, I kept wishing I wouldn't see her because I thought if I saw her then, I’d probably have an urge to hug her and say nothing. Or I was scared I'd stare at her too long and she'll regret having me around. But I’ll probably hold back. I help her pretend I didn't see any of that, but I load my smile with an extra care. I don't know if it shows, I don't know if your smiles change when you want them to but you realize you care about people when you'd do anything to fight their demons away. 

I stayed up till 6 a.m. In the beginning she was lucid enough. She made her usual jokes and witty remarks, to prove that it’s not as bad as it looks, so that she doesn’t look weak in front of us. I think it was more about not allowing herself to show that side in front of anyone, not because of what we might think but because of what she'll end up thinking herself to be. It'll only confirm one of her worst fears. 

Her weakness. What's wrong with you, people suffer much more everyday and you can't even handle a single headache? She makes light of her pain, isn't that what we do? Belittle our suffering so we can face it better, or to help us ignore it completely until it shows up again. 

She grew fidgety, kept turning this side and that, she kept trying not hold on to me but in the end relented. I remember her calling her friend’s name first. And then her mother. The worse part is the helplessness. She knows it, that's why she'd rather not tell anyone until it's over. She's extremely aware of what she's going through and I don't think anyone is more capable of showing up the next day as if the previous night wasn't one of the worst she's ever had. 

I was on the verge of dozing off but I knew I wouldn’t, she managed to sleep for a few minutes until something violently woke her up. In the end, she grew calmer, I don’t know if she had no strength to fight it anymore, or whether she got used to it or she actually felt a little better. I was surprised when she started making sure I was covered well, and I didn’t want her to keep worrying about me so I left. 

This isn't as sentimental as I'd like it to be because I haven't said anything about how much I actually care and how I look at it as something that got us closer, in a way. But I'm glad that for an hour or two, it was me. And that's as far as I can go on about making it about me again. 

PS: You're human and pain is very real. 
 PPS: Don't worry you never said anything that might incriminate you. I don't have any blackmail material sadly.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

To you

There are beautiful things inside of you, waiting to burst of life but all you ever do is try to tame them. But you don’t realize how you have so much life inside of you. Don’t risk becoming like the rest, don’t risk one day feeling like the world’s too big a thing to fight and you’re all alone. Because there’s nobody else to explain to the world the wrong of its ways like you. Believe me, there isn’t.

Often, you’re fighting with yourself over what you should or shouldn’t do. Stop fighting yourself and stop worrying. Do what feels right. Do what even if it failed you’d still stand by it when people say ‘but why did you do it?’ and the little voice in your head stops arguing with you for sometime because the answer resonates within you, ‘it was the right thing to do.’ And people most probably won’t like that answer because they’re worried you didn’t get what you was rightfully yours, they’re trying to console you in a weird way, they’re trying to think would they had the guts to do what you did. And you didn’t have the guts, you just wanted your conscience to give you a break. You just needed your heart to stop being so heavy because of how there are things you keep loading into it. And your heart no longer feels as part of your chest. Your heart has settled into your gut. It needs to go back to your chest but it's so loaded, your whole body feels it. Your hands tremble, your feet are cold and you have bruises of unknown origin.

Teach yourself to be still, to look at the sky, to walk slowly and to not rush anything. Teach yourself to say prayers everyday and yes, focus on others, but focus on yourself too. Remind yourself that you don’t have to control everything, that no matter how much you control things, there will always be something that escapes your grip. Learn to be still. Learn to absorb your surroundings, not to run into your head every time you’re not happy with what’s going on around you. You will need to face the music sooner or later, and what a funny expression that is. Face the music as if music is something difficult to face.

Please stop fighting, I’m tired of having only words to try to make you understand. I need you to pick yourself up for me, fight for yourself and stop fighting it. Fight for yourself, even as you beat yourself up over something because you’re trying to make yourself see that you’re supposed to be better than that, not because you’re angry and all you have is you to snap at.

I’m not telling you you’re worth it, I’m saying there’s a life out there worth living. And the only way you’re gonna figure out how to survive is to stop fighting yourself.
“Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time.” - Christine Arylo
 PS: This post was inspired by this letter by Marwa.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A star, a leaf, a window.



I want to be up among the stars. Amazing how something burning that big is seen so small from where we stand, but can also mean so much.

I want to fall with the rain and travel the distance between a cloud and the hand of a child. I want to be a dew drop on a green leaf. I want to be that leaf falling as autumn makes it yellow and dry.

I want to join birds in their flight from one place to another, flying over mountains and seas. I want that freedom.

Sometimes, I wish I was a window. I don't exactly know why.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Counting stars

I saw stars in the sky tonight, it’s a little thing that makes me happy. They’re always there though, whether we see them or not.

I remember being told not to count stars when I was a kid. They’d say we’d get ugly pimples on our face if we counted stars, which is really weird. I wonder where that superstition came from. I remember catching myself counting them, while we were sleeping on the roof and I’d close my eyes and force myself to stop, afraid of their warnings. It’s amazing what they can get us to believe as kids.

Afternoons in the kitchen

The kitchen is a cool place to hang out in. The view here isn't bad, there’s a chain of mountains in view. And the first thing your eyes land on is probably the school nearby. I watched as the kids were waiting for their buses today and I remembered the joy we felt as the bell rang announcing the end of the 8th class. School seems a lifetime ago for some reason.

I was so close to napping. Sleep is getting the better of me these days. To break the routine, I thought I’d come sit here and try to do something useful. And I found my way writing. So I made myself a cup of tea. I basically read, read, read, write, read, sleep in more or less that order these days.

I catch myself sitting quietly trying to get rid of everything running around in my head. I’m tired of fighting myself, trying to find the right words, trying to figure people out and trying to figure myself out. Pages and pages of words can do wonders to calm you down.

I can’t be tempted to go outside, the heat is unbearable. So I don’t know what to do with my time, well, I do know but I’d rather sit and do nothing instead.
I’m just not really interested in the outside world right now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pride

They talk about ‘dignity’ and ‘pride’ as things that stop them from reaching out. I understand, or at least I used to. I never really cared for such things, it never crossed my mind that my dignity is on the line here. Although, in many instances it were. And I put myself in situations I alone could be blamed for. I talk a lot of nonsense, I do silly countless things, I act like a kid, and most people would tell me to calm down a little. Sometimes it’s for my own good, and sometimes it’s for theirs; to preserve some of their dignity.

That’s all very fine, but when it comes to doing someone good it becomes a different matter altogether. You’re putting yourself in a situation where you can get rejected. They might not appreciate it, you might have tried before and you’ve reached a limit. Maybe your pride can’t take it anymore, and people can be challenging in many ways. They have enormous power to break you. And you start to think, is it worth it?

I’ve recently noticed how I’ve begun to care about my pride as well. I catch myself thinking a thousand times before doing something good which shouldn’t be thought twice about. I haven’t felt that my pride did me any good. It only made me regret so many missed opportunities at kindness. So I’ve started to wonder, what good will my pride do me? What good is a pride that maintains distance, offers no solace, leaves you alone, cold and unfeeling?

So what if you’re rejected? So what if they don’t take the hand you’re offering? If one out of a hundred or thousand extended hands were taken, it would make all the difference. How do you know which help you offer might lighten a heavy soul? How do you know which smile you offer might make someone’s day? How will you go on being selective about giving when you want help every time you’re down?

Everything you do finds its way back to you, believe me. And even if it doesn’t, even if your pride is shattered and your kindness rejected, what a humbling experience it can be. And we all could use some humility.
I write this to remind myself that in order to receive kindness, one must be kind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remember this

"Don't let the issue take control over you. And if it still decides not to play nice. You grab it by the neck and threaten to drop it from the highest building. 
And if that doesn't work. Nuke it. Nuke the hell out of it. And if everything fails. It's time to fly away from this planet and find us habitat else where."
- A good friend.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What the world wants

I don’t want to take pictures, I want to be here and now. I don’t want to sit down when I’m talking passionately, and I really don’t want to lower my voice when I’m talking excitedly about something.
I don’t want to feel anxious about saying something I really meant and felt like saying. I never want to hold back because of how I might be misunderstood. I don’t want to change the music I listen to, and I want to spend time alone. I don’t want to do things together, and I wish you’d tell me when I do something wrong. I don't want to feel pressured into making a show of the things I am, the things I love, and what I hate.

I want to be lost in books, and I want to dwell in silence. I want to forever keep smiling at everyone and wave when there’s absolutely no prospect of them seeing me wave. I want to philosophize my way into life, and I’d like you to indulge me every now and then.

I want a place of my own, a spot hidden from everyone’s eyes where I can just be. Somewhere to go when I feel the burden of my thoughts too heavily. When I can’t answer the ‘what’s wrong’ question. I wish I wasn’t so easily read, but in a way, I’m glad I can be transparent.

I am well aware of my naivety, and I wonder if anybody can be called naive when they’re aware of it. I don’t think of it as a good or a bad thing, it’s just part of who I am.


I will continue to complicate things because my mind's default is to over-think everything, and though I tried to fight it, it only led to more over-thinking.
I will not conform, at least I'm trying not to.