This is a pointless post, but feel free to despair along (or tell me about your writing projects)

Heyo!

I feel like I haven’t heard from anyone on wordpress in pretty long. Are you guys still here? I hope you’re doing well.

Me? I’ve been frustrated, haunted by an unrelenting writing/ reading slump. The rest of my life has been chaotic and overwhelming, but in times of quiet I still feel desperately stagnant. I’m too busy to pick up a new hobby, and the very little free-time I have has been going into keeping my sanity intact. It’s a period that will pass along, so until then, I’ll keep my head up.

I’ve talked about this quite a few times here, but I miss having something major to work on, a big project or a long story, that, although challenging, does not confront me with the unbearable stress of my creative bankruptcy.

But what about you, reader? Is there a craft in your life that makes it a little easier to wake up in the morning?

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Two thousand friends and another update you don’t really need

Hello!

So my blog’s hit two thousand followers recently. Thank you so much! I have been doing none of you justice, but I genuinely appreciate your time and kindness. There’s really nothing as gratifying as knowing that someone’s enjoyed what you’ve created, so I’d still be happy if just one person cared to read this blog, but I guess I’m two-thousand times as grateful now.

Currently, I’m as writing-blocked as I always have been. My last post, Soft callings , was actually written as part of a twitter activity. I asked my followers to send me emojis and used them to write tiny stories. This was my favorite.

(I have around 10 more requests but I’m so creatively bankrupt to the point where I feel like a joke saying that I write for a hobby)

Have a great rest of the day, friendos 💓

Hearts in tribulations

I’ve been anxious for about as long as I remember.

I really have; and whether I owe it to my blood or to a wrecked gut-brain connection I don’t know.

At seven I was anxious about a war suddenly breaking, and at twelve about death, my own and others’. At twenty-three, I doubted that I’d ever be loved; I felt lacking and wasting away, always giving too little for the life flashing by. I felt unworthy and undeserving, and guilty about the blunt pain that had always been nagging.

These worries have been life-long companions, and they’ve aged me far beyond my years. They took away beauty when it presented itself, or my ability to see it, at least, and the joy of youth along with it. When you’re anxious, you’re just waiting for all your happiness to end.

“Weak,” people have called me, or “crybaby.” But as much as I’ve grown to hate being a crier, I know it’s a problem far beyond weakness. It’s the result of a heart worn out by worry for months and months, then shoved into a point of breaking.

In my 24 years, these fears were never realized. Hadn’t been, until last month.

It came as numbing bad news; it wasnt unexpected. I’m anxious, I’d dreaded it, but then it actually happened. I heard my pulse in my ears, and the muffled sobs of my aunt across the line. It had happened.

I’ve had my sorrows, as unworthy as I’ve felt of them, being blessed with more than I can thank for. But this one is a sharper pain, like shards of glass tearing at my insides. I cried more that I ever had, my tears streaming against my wavering will. I let them; it’d left no strength in me to fight.

It’s been a month now, and I think I’ve been learning to mend; to grow around it, to grow against it. They’d called me weak, but I’ve become the pillar, and the steadfastness of the big sister finally emerged. I’ve become one to be told the truth raw, as seemingly harsh as it could be, no longer sugar-coated, because maybe, I’m a little stronger than I’d expected.

In all honesty, I think could be a little proud of that. So bear it, heart; don’t fail me now. Don’t fail us now.

This is sorrow like I’ve never felt, but I have faith somehow, that happiness will follow, something so profound that it’ll piece it all back together. The trial has begun, so bear it, brittle heart of mine, bear it and brave the journey.

إن شاء الله.

In the Land of the Rising Sun

This would be one of the posts I write as I go along (and I’ve forgotten how to write by the looks of it, so apologies in advance).

Anyways, hello!

I went on a trip to Japan for 10 days. I walked more than I had ever, and I saw lights and snow and mountains and shrines. I held up a hedgehog called Mina, and pet deer that roamed around the parks of Nara, and the owls in its cafes, and touched a shark and screamed when I felt its pulse. I hiked up a mountain to a monkey park and bought a Ghibli music box that made me cry when it played. I also sprinted across Hong Kong Airport twice cause I was too busy eating melons and almost missed my transit trip.

I ate so much, and I wore so much. It was colder than the last time we’d been there and definitely colder than Dubai. I started understanding why people who don’t live in the desert hate the cold, but I didn’t come to hate it anyway.

It was a wonderful trip, and now it’s over.

(Photo credits to my brother @_bnfahad)

I’m not really sad, I’m grateful about how smooth it went. It was the first two-person trip I’ve ever been on (joke’s on you and all the people of Japan who thought we’re a couple staying in different hotel rooms. I went with my younger brother), and the first I was primarily responsible for planning. Needless to say, I was anxious as heck every time we had to catch a flight or a train, or to check-in into a different hotel. Which means a lot of anxiety, because we stayed in 3 cities excluding the ones we went for one-day trips to.

But I’m feeling less grounded now. It’s hard to explain, but I was so dependent on this through 2018. Every time my thoughts would get out of control, I’d remember that there’s a trip waiting for me at the end of the year, so I would look up places to go to things to do. I’m glad the trip lived up to my expectations, and there is something I am anticipating in 2019, so I’m grabbing hold of that now, and using it to keep my eyes set on my goals.

Speaking of which, have you any resolutions? I generally don’t believe in them, but I’ve decided to write a small review/summary of (almost?) every book I read and movie I watch in 2019. I’ve gotten frustrated with forgetting the substance of all the media I consume, so what better time to begin something like this than the beginning of the year?

And finally, thanks for putting up with this loser of a writer (me) who posts once every blue moon. I wish you all years of happiness and prosperity 🙂

 

 

 

 

Elevator to the Twenty-Fourth

Ding

The elevator stops with a pleasant chime. I look down at my feet; they’re in two little shoes with pink bows.

There’s a whole world behind the doors that pull apart. In fact, there are two. One is filled to the brim with the laughter of kids and their mischief. I’m a good girl, I have always been, so I’ll keep to myself. In the other world I see home, and that one is brimming with my screams, because there are bad thoughts inside my head, and I am only as evil as they are, no matter how gentle the distraction of my mother’s perfume is. It is quiet at home, and I feel loved and cared for. But I am broken, and I deserve the unnaturally sinister sneers of little girls, as they look my way and whisper and laugh, and laugh and laugh, until I can bear it no longer, and I crumble and fall apart, and open my eyes back in that same box.

I look down at my feet again. This time, they’re in sneakers. My shoes are a little worn and tattered, but I’m bigger, and more grounded. The chime leads me to a dark place lit by tiny yellow lights and a carousel. Not unpleasant, but oddly comforting. It looked like a carnival, but it’s behind an invisible barrier beyond the doors. I muster up my courage, and cross over, and it’s bustling and warm, and the air carries the scent of candied apples in it. I hear my friends in the carousel, so I join. I spin along, savoring the carelessness, and laugh along with my friends, and there’s a world out there, and a life to be lived, but I can’t be bothered. I’m enjoying my time enough to spoil me rotten. But then, a call pulls me out; that I can’t go on like this. It’s a too-pleasant dream, and awareness draws your dreams to their end. There are struggles to overcome, and strength to be gained, and a life to be lived.

So this time, I find my way back on my own two feet, in the tattered sneakers that have become more worn. The elevator chimes, and behind the doors is the ocean, the very dark depths of it. I don’t find it threatening because I am ignorant. So I pass through the invisible barrier at the doors, first with my fingertips, then my hands, then my whole body.

It is not terrible at first. I suppose that I am still a little skewed, maybe not quite right. But it won’t get so bad. So I let the water consume me, bit by bit, grab hold of my fragile mind, and crush me inside out. It is deep, and I am suffocating and there’s no air in my lungs, and my voice can’t push anything out. I can’t say it because I’m drowning.

A hand pulls me back into the box this time, and I’m soaking and shivering and worn. My feet are bare, because I didn’t think I would escape, but that gentle perfume I can recognize. The elevator leads me back to the ocean sometimes, but I stand and resist when it happens, because I’m not falling again.

At least, I’m trying to.

The chime takes me to an all-white wall, and puts me in black kitten-heels. I trace my palms on that wall and walk along its side. I find a gap; the wall is a maze.

In the white maze I stumble and fall, and get lost more times that I can count. Others find their ways out easily, I think, and I have to remind myself that it is not always how it appears. But I can’t help it, and it eats me up, that comparison, and that desperate feeling of falling behind. I’m losing, and only pretending that I’m not, and I am clueless about the way out, or what sits at the very end. I’m dreading the next fall, or the next loss, and sometimes it’s not too bad because it really isn’t a race.

But today my eyes stung and my tears filled them all the way up, then they overflowed and burned down my cheeks. I can’t find the strength to fight them, but I think I’ve found something else. I’ve found the stairs, and I’ll kick these shoes off and run up and stumble and fall. There’s a purpose to be found, and a life to be lived, and I will soon learn not to fear any of it.


 

It’s ya girl’s birthday, and I cried out of existential dread, but had to write a little something here to celebrate (?) or to actually remind you guys to wish me a happy one. I hope someone takes the time to express what they’ve interpreted from all of this 🙂

Purpose

I spent the first 21 years and 9 months of my life trying to find my talent or a productive ability of some sorts. From graphic design to crafting, I found myself switching between smaller versions of activities my peers were exceptionally good at. But me? I’d never been the best at anything besides being a self-righteous little crap.

I remember the first piece of creative writing that I’d given to someone; I remember how easily the words tumbled down onto my keyboard and how much fun I had. It was a short piece, and a really bad one. It received a good reaction from the recipient, although I don’t think it was anything more than half-empty flattery.

For long after that, I didn’t write. It never particularly appealed to me, not when my friends were out there climbing up higher with their own work. What’s a bland hobby like writing compared to that? Anyone can string together a couple of words, right?

Writing is an art, and art is expression. That, friends, I was exceptionally bad at, always expressing too much or too little and overall just wrong. I think I still am a mess for no reason; no one’s ever forced me to grow so emotionally illiterate. I wouldn’t say I started to write to express things I otherwise couldn’t, but maybe it’s that creative energy that was building up and needed an outlet. I wanted something to be good at, something to work to improve; a fling to the future that I needed to compare my improvement to. I needed a craft, an art, as disrespectful as I’d been towards it. I pride myself in being a woman in STEM, and frankly, possibly because I am conceited and horrible, found other fields including the arts.. not as necessary.

But we crave it, don’t we? The luxury of art and beauty that comes after fulfilling all of your basic needs for survival. Maybe there is a truth that lies behind John Keating’s quote, “And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

(I’ve never seen that movie, just so you know. But I’ve grown to recognize the worth of the other half of the statement, although I’d only thoroughly believed in the first.)

I suppose my first naive conviction that my writing was good as soon as I started regularly practicing it was a blessing. But I don’t write for money, I don’t think I’ve even considered it until this very moment, and am not planning to. That’s not to undermine the efforts of people who do write for money, since my reason to write is a far more selfish thing. “Write for yourself,” some might say, but I’ve done enough for myself. There was a post on social media that said something along the lines of “when I’ve spent six hours baking a cake, I’d want people to eat it” to describe the creative process. I understand the importance of receiving an indication of people having spent time appreciating your work. I won’t write exclusively for myself, because I’ve done enough, watched shows and read books aimlessly, wallowed away in hobbies that produced nothing tangible (not directly, at least), or in ones whose products I was too embarrassed to share. It’s about time I put this out there for the world to see.

I write for attention. I write because I want people to read my work, to appreciate it; I write for feedback, to have people tell me that they relate, or that my writing’s put them on edge, or that it’s eased something in them, or dragged them through harder times. Maybe it’s a far-fetched hope of mine, but I really hope that one day, people will seek my writing to get their minds off of the harsher realities of their lives; maybe my writing is a little defiance, an insignificant effort to add a touch of beauty to this world.