I am so not ready to let go of this semester - it seems to have passed much sooner than I ever anticipated.
I’ve been trying to study all day, but I can’t help remember where I was this time last year. So much can change in a year. But so much can also stay the same.
Good luck, everyone, on whatever endeavors we’re all facing. I’m sure we’ll all come out having passed whatever it is we must, insha’allah. As for me, I’mma make some more tea and burying myself in my notes.
I’d like to talk about your comfort zone for a moment. You know, that place where you exist but you’re not really living. You’re just floating vaguely throughout the days; accepting whatever the circumstances around you have to offer, even when it’s not really what you want. It’s so easy to get comfortable, to get used to the things and people around you, to snuggle up in your comfort zone where nothing flourishes. You’ll only find yourself standing at a standstill. Tell me, have you ever drifted mindlessly throughout the day and end up with your head on your pillow at the end of the night with thoughts of what could be starting to flood through your mind? When you know there’s something better, something more out there, but it’s not here?
There is so much more out there to the world than you think. Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t settle down so easily. Don’t be afraid of adventure. Don’t be afraid to take that risk. Don’t fall for the illusion that you can’t be who you choose to be, that you can’t live the life you want to live. Don’t allow the hands of society to dictate who you will become when it’s not what you want. Don’t settle for just anyone when they don’t even move you in ways that you’ve never felt before, when they don’t push you to grow and grow. Don’t be afraid when those around you don’t want you to change because they’re used to the idea of how they want you to be. Don’t fall into the endless and mindless routine that everyone else strives for—the very same routine where people are desperately looking for a way out; any way to escape the dull reality they live in, abusing themselves with moments that don’t last for pleasures that temporarily fill in the void.
Fear will cloud your mind and it’s only because it’s letting you know that something is about to change. And the only way that you can truly live is if you grow, and you can only grow if you allow yourself to change. Change isn’t always bad. You need to feel afraid and uncomfortable. You need to feel challenged. You need to be shaken up. You need to step out of your comfort zone. You need to feel like you’re stepping into dangerous territory where there is no light, because at the same time, you may be embarking on the most wonderful and rewarding experience of your entire life.
Sorry, I realized I just spat out a lot of books but I really loved these and you asked.. so haha :P
HARRY POTTER (Order of the Phoenix was my FAVOURITE)
The Inheritance Cycle (Eragon, Eldest, Brisngr, and Inheritane)
Gone: The Series (Gone, Lies, Plague, Fear, and Light)
The Enemy: Series (The Enemy, The Dead, The Fear, The Sacrifice, The Fallen)
The Mortal Instruments Series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, (waiting on) City of Heavenly Fire.
Althought technically it’s own series, I’m gonna amalgamate The Infernal Devices with The Mortal Instruments, since they are “in the same world” (Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince (Currently reading) and Clockwork Princess)
The Farsala Trilogy and His Dark Materials WERE REALLY GOOD TOO.
I’m also working my way through A Song of Fire and Ice (currently have read the 1st one and on the 2nd)
For some not so “high-fantasy/zombie/post-Apocalypse”:
The Messenger both by Markus Zusak.
Yeah, I don’t really read a lot of non-fiction (unless it’s in the form of biographies, historical accounts, anything to do with history really, or religious books - but I’ve left them all out here). I like to escape into crazy magical worlds in my down-time - when I’m not actively pursuing knowledge. But, I guess, one could say that all forms of literature contain traces of wisdom.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me… but when I stay at home all day for more than two days without leaving the house, I feel severely restless. I feel as if there are things that I should be doing that are not getting done (and this is why summer isn’t the most enjoyable time for me. I mean it was when I was a younger - but now all I wanna do is keep “doing”. Whatever it is I need to do; to better myself, to further my opportunities, to meet others, interact and make something beautiful, even if all it produces are sweet, sweet memories. And maybe that’s also why I feel so restless here in the suburbs outside the city. I feel as if I’ve exhausted all my opportunities. And even though there are people here I love, quite deeply, it’s time I leave the nest and do some exploring).
I mean, I love vacations just as much as the next person - but I would never spend it doing nothing.
I guess this is how I’ve learned to live. Constantly in motion. For now, I guess it’s okay. Even beneficial - only in youth do we have such fervent energy to pursue our dreams. At least, I pray it’s beneficial.
The Circle of Life (Love, Attachments, and Everything Else Inbetween)
This past year, more than anything, I’ve come to understand the importance of love. More precisely, I’ve recognized the difference between love and attachment.
It’s a very hard thing to grasp, and I’m still working through a lot of things - but what I’ve realized is that there is a VERY fine, yet evident, line between love and attachment. They can be mistaken for the same thing and in a lot of people this causes confusion. I was always confused. Mystics, of all religions, always preached to forsake one’s worldly attachments. But for me, love was such a central tenant of faith, how could I even conceive faith without love? Of course, I was confusing love with attachment.
I’m so happy and proud that finally I can prioritize who I want to see and who I don’t. I’m not as motionless as I used to be when I was faced with confrontations. I can take my own stance and make sure what I want is heard and compromised for (when it matters). I can finally decide who matters and who doesn’t; who I really want in my life and who I don’t.
I used to let people walk all over me; I would glady take all the shit and happily pick myself back up and brush off the dust… I’m not gonna sit here and say that that made me unhappy - because it didn’t. In fact I did it gladly. I would also gladyly do it again if it was needed of me. But I’m quickly learning some people are worth it and others aren’t. Not everyone is worth that much energy. But some people are. It’s just about recognizing it.
I have that bone-crushing feeling when you miss someone so much you question everything in your life.
Like I’m talking to you right now, but tbh I could call you a million times and I could talk to you for a million minutes and still that wouldn’t be enough. I need you close to me. That’s it. That’s all I ask.
How to love, without expectation I use to love with lots of expectation. I’ve now learned that it leads to nothing but pain. Love should be free of all attachments; free of even our own needy desires.
How to be forward and brazen However, that doesn’t compromise my friendly and nonchalant tone. I can now just be forward when I want to be. And this means that I no longer avoid confrontations like I use to - I’ve learned which fights are worthy of being fought and ultimately how to stand my ground. I no longer melt away to just to keep the peace.
I’ve grown a lot these past few months. This year I feel as if I’ve built relationships and deepened others to a point I’ve never experienced before. I’m astonished, daily, at how much the human spirit can endure. How much it can give, without tearing at the seams.
The song of tonight was definitely Summertime Sadness.
In that high, after party mode when you come home totally covered in sweat and reliving the night - falling in love over and over again with all the people you danced with. Ahhhh. I am so thankful for my friends. I am so thankful they accept me for me. And I’m so thankful I can dance like a crazy mofo, express all my emotions - and still come home feeling loved.
I hope I never forget how the light reflected and danced across all our faces tonight. Tonight was really one to remember!
People are always confused about the relationship between fear, love and God. And I think it’s because often, its explained in an incorrect way.
Here’s my take:
I love my mother, yet I fear her disappointment. I love my mother more than I love myself, and it is from that love that sprouts fear. I’m not afraid OF her so to speak, but I’m afraid of what she will THINK of me or how she will judge my actions.
I often say you shouldn’t give two flying shits about anyone. And while that is true, I think truer still is to say that one should selectively give two flying shits. I care what my parents think of me, what my siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends think of me. And of course I worry about how God see’s me. But where everyone else is concerned, I don’t.
I guess, it is my view of love. For me, love is only pure when you want the best for the one you love. My mother loves me, and of course God loves me, so I don’t want to disappoint. Both have blessed me, (my mother through the will of God), and I want to use these blessings in a productive and meaningful way.
Udein, khule aasaman mein khwabon ke parindey Fly, in open skies do my dreams, like birds, fly. Udein, dil ke jahaan main khaabon ke parinday Fly, in the realm of my heart do my dreams fly. Oho, kya pata, jaayenge kahaan Oh, what do I know of where they go, Khule hain jo par, kahe yeh nazar Now that these wings have spread, it’s as if my sight says, Lagta hai ab hain jaage hum Finally I have awoken. Fikrein jo thi, peechhe reh gayi All my worries, I have left far behind. Nikle unse aage hum We’ve moved far past them. Hawaon mein beh rahi hain zindagi My life now flows upon the whims of the breeze. Yeh hum se keh rahi hai zindagi For this is what life has said to me. Oho.. ab to, jo bhi ho so ho.. Oh, now what ever happens, so let it be.
(Tried my best to translate it to English, whilst still trying to maintain it’s lyrical beauty. Such a wonderful song give it a listen - very soothing)
I’m so thankful that one by one, all of my dreams are beginning to take flight. It’s as if for the past two years, I was building a runway for them to take off from. And finally now, I’m witnessing the fruits of my labour. It was slow, but so worth it. Alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah, a million times alhamdulilah. It would be untrue to say that that runway was built entirely by me. Nay, it was built upon the backs of all those who poured their love, their mercy and their kindness into my soul. The winds that my dreams soar upon is not natural. It is the well wishes, the prayers, and the faith that others put in me. I am nothing but the combined efforts of dozens of individuals who lent me their strength, who held my hand through all these years, and who gave me shoulders to bury my tears.
"Hawaa ke jhonke aaj mausamon se rooth gaye Gulon ki shokhiyaan jo bhanwre aa ke loot gaye Badal rahi hai aaj zindagi ki chaal zaraa Isee bahaane main bhi kyoon naa dil ka haal zaraa Sawaar loon, haye, sawaar loon”
I tried translating this into english, but alas I was not able to do it with the poetry it is conveyed in the original vocabulary. Such a beautiful song though, regardless.
I never was terribly close to my maternal and paternal grandparents.
We moved away from Pakistan when I was very young, and the times we visited I wasn’t mature enough to understand how much they would mean to me one day.
Now, when God has already taken them all from me - I’ve realized the blessing that I took for granted. I love them with all my heart, but I never got to ask them about their lives. About their choices and their mistakes. I never got to know them. And now it’s too late.
Insha’allah - by God’s side we’ll meet again in the afterlife. And maybe then I can thank them for their sacrifices, their wisdom, and their immense courage. Insha’allah.
have you ever watched someone make your loved ones feel small in english? do your parents ever ask you to look over their emails or letters because they want to speak like the amreekis? yes our parents leave the -ing off of the end of certain words, yes some words make them stutter, make their mouths twist uncomfortably, they repeat words over and over again until they can form them right. i want to kill the english in me, i want to rip my tongue out of my mouth. english makes me feel cold, it is a language that is dead to me. it is the language the colonizers spoke, it is the language they taught our children in when they set up their schools.
don’t you dare correct my english, do not correct the english of those i love. do not pretend our dark skin gets in the way of your ability to construct meaning.
listen- i can name all the parts of a flower outside of your cold scientific terminology. i can tell you a hundred different ways to love someone using a hundred different words. i can tell you about the land and the sun and the soil. your english is a bitter thing, it gets stuck in my throat, it gets in the way of everything i want to say. how do you say love besides love? how have you boiled love down to a single four letter, one syllable word?
english is economical, perhaps. it is sufficient, it is just good enough. the language of the world, the language of trade and capital. but what language do we speak in? those of us who carry the world economy on our backs? those of us who are dark and migrant and foreign and poor? who pave roads and build stadiums and watch your children?
what language do we bleed in, what language do we slave in, do we work in, do we die in? we do not speak english, we do not think english. we do not dream in your english, we do not dream in your dollars.
there is a word for the moon at midnight, there is a word for a woman in her second term of pregnancy, there is a word for a woman 40 days after birth. there is a word for the dead, for the living, for the sick. there is a word for fresh milk, for old milk, for a cow with heavy teats, for a cow without a calf. your english barely scratches the surface, but our words, our words can break the world open.
Gujrati, Marathi and Bengali are such beautiful languages.
So blessed to be exposed to so many languages. I may not be able to fluently speak them - but I can appreciated them all the same. Particularly through music, where the imagery and real character of the language comes out.
You don’t even have to be religious - in your kindness, in your compassion, in your love, I find Him. In your passion for what you do, in your fervent laughter and in your infectious smile, I find him.
Insha’allah - I wish to fill my life with more people like that. People who live and breath the meaning of life.
I don’t think any day should go by without us remembering the sacrifices our ancestors (or pseudo-ancestors in many cases) made to create the world that we have today. Many can complain, and yes there is still much yet that has to change, but we should be thankful that we are blessed to live such peaceful lives (in most places around the world). For me, Remembrance Day isn’t just a day about contemporary wars, (WWI, WWII, The Korean War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan – campaigns that Canadian soldiers have taken part in) but about any and all wars.
I’m putting a lot of effort into school, I didn’t know what to expect from pharm school - but now I’ve fallen into such a wonderful routine. I’ve never felt so ecstatic at the start of every day.
My favourite thing now is that feeling I get in the morning on my way to school. That feeling that makes me want to take advantage of every second that is given to me. Even though I’ve never been so tired, I’ve also never been so happy.
I’ve learned these past few weeks, that sleep is really for the weak. If you want something bad enough, what ever it is, you must be willing to sacrifice. And sleep is always the first thing to go.
“Jo na janne, Haqq ke taakat. Those who are ignorant to the strength of Truth. Rabb na devey usko himmat. To them, God provides no courage. Hum man ke dariya mein doobey We’ve all drowned in the sea of ego. Kaise naiyya? kya manjhdaar? The boat, nor the river matter.”
I am so amazed at how intricately simple and exhaustively beautiful the human body is. I use exhaustive because no matter how much you study, how much you understand, it’s magnificent perfection will always be out of your grasp.
My god, we’re amazed at the sun, stars and heavenly bodies but this, this is something else. The neural and blood system running through your body is so ravishing. Absolutely breath-taking.
I sound like a madman but truly. These systems, everything, conglomerates in us. Bones so carefully placed, our faces sculpted to pin-point perfection - able to express a myriad of expressions in mere nanoseconds. Our skin, wrapping everything in such a glorious manner. Radiant. Simply, awe-inspiring.
I mean, work of nature or God himself (whatever you believe, and both even), you have to appreciate such a work of art. Subhan’allah. Masha’allah. We take forgranted what beautiful machines our souls are housed in. Just - Subhan’allah. Lord, you are truly al-Musawwir (the Fashioner, the Designer, the Shaper). and we are truly ignorant of your perfection.
And despite all this, despite all this beauty, you know what I can’t stop thinking? For such petty things as race, as skin color, as language - we destroy and defile these magnificent works of art. The things that deepen our beauty, which signify the greatness of God, we use as an excuse for murder.
We are lowly creatures indeed. Unworthy of what is gifted to us.