I write

I write.

I write because the words I want to say remain jumbled in my mind, the voices repeating themselves again and again – so loudly yet remaining silent. Taunting me with the “you should have said this” and “you could have responded with that”. Hindsight. I want to feel the joy when I say it like I meant it and you get it like I intended it and we connect – even just for a little while.

I write so my heart aches less and to fill the void in my soul. To release build up of pain and bottling of frustration. I want to feed the juices that run through me, feel the buzz, rejoice in the energy.

I write to hide from my world. The judging eyes and piercing lips that with just a few sounds can crush my spirit. I want to feel unchained and winged. To say what I want without the fear of politics or religion or love getting in the way.

I write to be the many sides of me. To be more than my big brain or small body. I want to be multi-dimensional and fluid. The happy, the angry, the strong, the lonely.

I write because I can. Because I can’t say. Because you don’t see. Because we don’t listen.

Nature v Nurture

This place disgust me. These people are horrible. The music is too loud. These people find everything hilarious (said to people being pushed around on a skateboard – which did look very fun). London is too busy a space. 

And on and on he went. His pessimistic views grinding me down. My lips sore from the tight, fixed smile I would show at each of his statements. My heart growing wary, my mind bored. My eyes glancing round for anyone else I knew, anyone at all, who I could escape to.

People have genuine hardships in life, I do not wish to trivialise this mans hardships. Graduating with a 1st class degree from a university employers don’t seem to acknowledge. Then completing a Masters course at a more reputable place, to still be ignored. Struggling to start his career and having to apply for a job he is very much overqualified for. All this with many other struggles – financial, disabilities, academic. No, I do not trivialise his hardships.

I just wonder about the various outlooks people can hold. The glass full and glass empty kind of people. I am definitely the former. Always trying to find the lessons in hardship, trusting that this is for the best – and leaving everything to the best planner of them all.

But why am I like this? Some characteristics we are born with. Others we gain due to our interactions. Nature and nurture. Nature: my academic ability that has allowed me to achieve the grades at the university I did. But it is also nurture: my mum’s constant positive outlooks and unfaltering faith that pushed me to even dream. It is the very strong network of friends who are, on the most part, positive and encouraging, that allows me to make mistakes but see the lessons in them. I believe both play an important role, but lean more towards nurture.

I asked him, “why are you always so pessimistic?” He replied, “it’s what pushed me to achieve a 1st.”

Interesting, how he used his negative attitude to achieve, and me my positive attitude.

Speaking to him further I learnt about how unsupportive his parents are, how he grew up with few friends. I wonder if things would have been different, had he the support I often take for granted.

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. – Stephen Covery

This post is the start of my weekly Fine Fridays – a time when I will reflect on the things I am grateful for. Fine – as in beautiful, hot. Friday is the perfect day for this: jummah & it’s the start of the weekend. This is a task set by Blogging 101.

Happy Monthiversary

Now I don’t want to appear like the overzelous partner in a relationship, but it’s my monthiversary! It’s been a whole 30 days since Being Woke was born. 30 days of daily posting, gaining 115 followers and 800 hits.

Oh yes, being awesome. (disclaimer: I don’t like anonymous and don’t associate myself with them)

I want to say but it’s not about that. And in truth, it’s not. I did not start this blog knowing about the reader, tags and community pools. And choosing to stay anonymous would mean I wouldn’t even be able to share with my offline friends. So it really is not about that. And I would like to think I would be writing the same things in the same way regardless of how many people actually read what I have to say. And perhaps I would, but the encouragement and thoughts certainly help keep the motivation up.

But it got me thinking about my readers. I wonder if they’re like me – women, Muslim, person of colour, petite? Or if they share my interests – I have way too many to list, and it will probably be easier to list interests I don’t have: cats, cars, horror film.

So, help me celebrate my monthiversary. Introduce yourself – what are your pet peeves, what one word would you describe yourself with, what’s your favourite thing in the world? Anything – whatever you’re comfortable sharing.

The terror: #WelfareBill

I am terrified. Those quiet whispers of dissent now clear voices – spoken out loud and turned into policies.

But what words will let you know of my terror? How do I show you I am not the enemy? Wake you up to the twists of the media that make me the villain when it is them – the 1% – who we should be fighting? Unified by terror and hate when it should be love.

And what sense can I speak to break your ignorance. Make you see how they steal your freedom, lie about your safety and share false pride. When they simultaneously, shamelessly boast about British values of democracy when we have hereditary peers in our legislature and an unelected, taxpayer funded head of state; equality when the equalities minister voted against equal marriage.  Continue reading

That smile 

He smiled at her from across the room. One dimple appeared on his right cheek, eyes shone and forehead creased. Beautifully sculpted lips slightly apart to reveal a perfect set of teeth. It was as if he had reached into her stomach and squeezed.

And she knew. She knew she would bare her soul to that smile. That smile that made her forget what she was reading. That smile that made her forget about the in crowd that surrounded him. That smile that made her forget how cruel he had been to her friend yesterday.

She looked away, cheeks flushed, hands clammy. How was he even looking at her? She was a no one, invisible. Too afraid to move in case she stumbled and embarrassed herself.

She glanced up. And his face still held the smile that would cost her everything. But she didn’t know that yet. And for now, all she knew was that smile would be her everything.

Inspired by Daily Post’s prompt Brilliant Disguise as part of Blogging 101. 

Those perfect days

“Baby, you light up my world like nobody else.”

Yesterday was one of those rare perfect days. The sun was shining – and doesn’t everything feel better when the sun is shining? – but there was a gentle breeze in the air. The world was in technicolour, the sounds louder but somehow softer. It was one of those days where I could not bare to stay at home, my mind yearning to go exploring and skin yearning for some golden magic.

I painted my lips plum, lined my eyes dark and picked out florals. My attire projecting the bursting brightness I could feel burning inside. Overdressed for a lunch with old friends but I didn’t care. For today demanded notice, excitement and courage. And I would take heed.   Continue reading

Life without Google

Making plans in a group chat like – @tbhjuststop

You would assume with all the information we have access to at our fingertips, planning a simple meal out with 6 would take, at most, a few minutes. You’d be wrong. With practically unlimited choices – but then factoring in the various limitations: cuisine, location, price range and the added requirement of halal – you end up with hundreds of Whatsapp notifications, frustrating searches through blogs, reviews and Instagram, and waiting for that one person who just goes MIA in the middle of a very important decision making process.

Do you go for somewhere local because you just know you’ll feel lazy? Do you go for somewhere safe and trustworthy but boring or try somewhere new and exciting but risky? Burgers or curry? Can we all afford a treat?

We did get there in the end and I am looking forward to finally catching up with my oldest friend group for lunch. No doubt we’ll have a great time irregardless of the food – but when you’re spending money, you may as well spend it well.  Continue reading

53 days of summer 

This morning I woke up knowing I have nowhere I must be and nothing I must do. Today I am a free women – for 53 days. 53 days of summer (roll credits).

I start my graduate scheme in September, leaving me with 53 glorious days to myself. This is the first year in six years when I am in this position. Since college I have filled my summers with internships, volunteering roles, holidays abroad and/or work. But this year I have enough money saved up to last me two months of being purely idle – pure bliss.

That is until I realise this is the first year in six years when I am in this position. And I remember why that is the case. I do not enjoy doing nothing. Through all the stress of overworking and taking on more than I can handle, my mind is at peace. I have a purpose and I feel like I am moving forward. I need to feel like I am moving forward. Continue reading

So it ends, so it begins

Feels like the last scene of Friends. Yes, it’s that sad.

And it’s over – handed back my keys, wrote down all the social media passwords and we’ve held our last meetings with the managers. All I have left to do now is enjoy the leavers do and cry.

Well maybe not cry. Or perhaps I will. This has genuinely been the best year of my life: I’ve found myself, I’ve found the people I want to be around and I’ve found the cause I want to fight for. And I’m not sure I’m ready to leave.

I (mis)used my last access to free colour printing to print out pictures, tweets and statuses from the past year – all ready for my scrap book. So many memories, so many times I felt vital and alive. And really – how many jobs are there that make you feel like that? Vital. Alive.  Continue reading

Giving too much

I give too much of myself.

I give up too much of time – checking emails whilst in bed, writing press releases on the train, meetings during the day, attending events during the evening and planning my own late into the night. I take on new projects others have little time for. And I mentor those who care, helping them focus their energy.

I give up too much of my love – continuing to help even when they’ve turned away before, remembering to forgive and give ‘just one more chance, just this last time – I promise‘. I prioritise the feelings and happiness of others above my own. And I will put myself on the line for the people and causes I care about.  Continue reading