I finally changed the time on my phone from Dubai time to Karachi time, moved the clocks an hour forward.
Its only a time zone but it felt a lot like saying goodbye.
I want to live a life worth writing about. These days I often find myself wallowing in self-pity, on my worst days I lie in bed just thinking about the alternative lives I could have lived. I want new, exciting experiences. I started working 4 weeks ago and the novelty of having hot chai on demand and my own desk is quickly wearing off, I crave adventure, fulfillment, the Gemini in me is restless. These days I have a lot of time, that's the bad thing, if I don't keep myself occupied I ruin myself, consumed with negative thoughts I want to be the type of person that chases after what I want but these days all I do is talk about things I want to do but never get around to doing them. I was supposed to start uni a month ago but I'm in a funk and I truly want to believe it gets better but the only progress I've made is transitioning from depression to a sort of reluctant acceptance of this is my life this is who I am now, this is what I do.
I want to talk about this, about my failure, I want to be able to stand tall and say:
"Yes, my life has completely been derailed right now but that doesn't mean it'll be like this forever, I have faith that whatever has happened has happened for a reason". I want to make the best of a bad situation but I don't know how I feel like I've lost my way, my GPS has completely rerouted - I must have missed a turn or something I don't know where I went wrong but I'm not at my destination, I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
It will get better it will and I want to be able to talk about it, to not let something like this define me or set the tone for the rest of my life but sometimes I get so sad it scares me.
But maybe this IS the life I need to write about - everybody talks about sneaking out with their friends, smoking as you watch the sunrise or some bs like that. No one talks about this - the loneliness, the alienation, being in a familiar city, being home but not being around the people that make it home. It’s like I spent 4 years lost at sea and when I finally embraced the waters as my home I found myself sailing to shore, landing on soil that once seemed so familiar but everything around me had changed.
I want to update this blog more - talk about my favorite books, movies, failure, getting through hard times but I realized that I can't fake this positivity, the idea that everything is okay when inside I am crumbling. So from now on I'm just being real.
And yes, it isn’t as bad as it seems, there are good days and they are glorious. Sitting on greasy chairs in boat basin, fingers digging into oily parathas and kebabs that melt into your mouth, hair smelling like smoke. Or chatting with my colleagues during lunch break, ranking the best Game of Thrones deaths, making movie plans, talking about our futures. There is this, there is belonging, there is hope.
There's a Virginia Woolf quote that rattles around in my brain every now and then - I am rooted but I flow, I may be rooted out of circumstance but I don’t want that to stop me from flowing.
The universe has a lot of things in store for me but I need to be patient, sabr. I should enjoy this time, there will probably never be a time like this again where life will slow down for me like this, I want to spend this year working on myself, on growing, improving, taking care of myself – of my body, enriching my soul, watching all the movies on my bucket list, reading all the books I never got to finish, writing my novel, learning how to drive, to play an instrument, to volunteer, to give back to society. Learning how to slow down.
I will write as I always have done, and the words will come as they always do. They will come to me when I am ready.
Meanwhile, I'm listening to the La La Land soundtrack on repeat and eating gummy bears, self-care is important after all.
I feel like I'm on the precipice of something but I don't know what, I don't know whats coming or how many more curve balls life will throw at me. I keep swinging between anger and gratitude.
Anger because life is unfair, and no amount of hope or optimism can make it better.
Gratitude because my friends, my family have been trying to mend me, keeping me held together with sello tape and glue when I'm falling apart - shattering.
I mumble praises to Allah as I make my way to the window, heart thumping loud, so loud as I watch him look for my parcel.
He hands it over to me, I stare at the glossy silver package in my hands. It contains multitudes. It contains my destiny. I hastily rip it open, fingers shaking as I do so. Heart in my throat, I find a letter, hand it to my mother, too scared to read it. Too scared to face the 2 A4 papers that will ultimately decide my future. Instead, I open my passport, the green cover cool between my fingers as I scrupulously turn page after page looking for a visa, a stamp, something in the shape of a red maple leaf.
It contains nothing.
Grief becomes too bitter of a pill to swallow so I choose to simply ignore it. My brain is running on autopilot now, give the lady my token – collect my phones, wait for the lift to arrive, exit the building. Exit.
Outside I am surrounded by the cacophony of a typical Thursday afternoon in Karachi, the main road teeming with life – cars, buses, motorbikes, rickshaws all trying to squeeze into one tiny lane, their horns composing an all too familiar orchestra. To Karachi, to me, however, this is all background noise. Underneath the bridge two ladies in frayed black abayas argue with the fruitseller over the price of 5 apples. The smell of damp earth mixed with festering garbage lingers in the air. I accidentally walk into a man with piercing hazel eyes and a dark beard, he looks down in humility as he mumbles a quick apology. A rickshaw that says ‘plz don’t hurt me’ stops in front of me, my mother haggles over the price while I quietly watch two men on a motorbike make kissing noises at me. I am still holding that godforsaken piece of paper in my hand, the desire to let it go, to watch it twirl around in the air along with polythene plastic bags and newspaper clippings becomes strong. I want to tell Karachi to take it away from me, take away this grief, throw it in the ocean along with all the things we don’t really want. Carry it into the seabed and with you my heart, I don’t want it anymore it is no longer of use to me.
Home now, walk numbly up the stairs, straight into my room. Lock the door. Here I am free, here I can cry.
And cry I do, I howl, I yelp. I cry until I cant cry anymore then cry some more.
I don’t eat until mid-day. My sister cuts me mangoes and brings them to me, I watch them, I watch her. I don’t want them and I don’t want her.
My mother brings me a sandwich, some water, tries to cuddle me, I push her away. Leave I tell her, I do not want to infect you with this grief. Leave.
My mami comes to visit me, brings me gol guppas, your favorite she says. I am filling au pair forms and tear up all over again. She tells me rejection is a burden she too had to carry, it all works out she says. Tells me to keep my chin up, to keep hoping. It doesn’t work that way I tell her with a smile, but eat two gol guppas anyway because she asked me to.
I go to say goodbye to my friend, my parents think saying goodbye to someone leaving for university will make me put aside my grief for a while. I tear up while watching her pack her suitcase, have to leave the room when she talks to her mother about bed linens for her dorm, a new electric kettle, what else does she have left to pack? My friend thinks I am crying for her, says to keep hoping, says she loves me. I force my mouth into a smile, feeling selfish in my grief, feeling too sorry for myself to say goodbye properly. In my head I keep thinking, that could be me, that could be me talking about bed linens, me failing to fit all my clothes into a suitcase, me, me, me. Why couldn’t it be me?
Home now, except its not home its foreign and I want to go back. My father keeps telling me I’m a fighter, so I tell him to get me my visa, he tells me I’m going after the wrong things. They’re trying I know they’re trying but its so much easier to get angry at them, to blame them, to blame myself, to blame the embassy than to blame God, anger is easier than being patient and trusting in His plan.
And I know that Allah mian is testing us, that there is something SO much better waiting for us but that doesn’t make the burden of failure, of rejection anymore bearable. What does make it a little bit easier is knowing that tomorrow is a new day, that the sun will rise all over again, as it always has been, as it always will, that the fruit peddler will return to his spot underneath gizri bridge all over again as he always has done, as he always will. That tomorrow the cars, buses, rickshaws and motorbikes will return again to the Gizri bridge orchestra, as they always have been, as they always will. And that I will go to sleep with a puffy face and swollen eyes knowing that things will be okay, as they always have been, as they always will.
Today, I'm going to be sharing a couple of my favorite things *cue Sound of Music*
Seriously though, this blog has mainly been a portfolio for my writing and poetry so I thought it'd be fun to switch it up and talk about some lipsticks that I've been loving this summer.
Two of my absolute favorite, must try lippies this summer have been a beautiful peachy-nude Huda Beauty liquid lipstick and this gorgeous reddish-burgundy color by Mac.
#1. Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trendsetter
If you guys are lipstick addicts like me then you know how hard it is to find the perfect nude lipstick that doesn't make you look too ashy or washed out. And I am so, so lucky to have finally found my everyday nude. This is literally my go-to lipstick, I've already finished an entire tube of this lipstick, it is beyond amazing. I've tried a bunch of Huda's lipsticks and Bombshell, which most people rave about as being a perfect nude made me look SOOO washed out so this may look darker on people with fairer complexions but I'm sure it'll look gorgeous regardless.
Why I love this lipstick:
Where can I find this? This retails at Sephora in Dubai for AED 100 or you can buy it on Huda Beauty's official website here for $27.
I'm not sure where you can find an original in Pakistan but I did seem to spot some at Vicky's in Khadda Market in Karachi and in the Ammi's cosmetics section.
#2. Mac Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Diva
Okay, listen up, I know this is more of a fall shade per say but I couldn't resist adding this to the list. I'm generally someone who tends to shy away from reds and dark colors, preferring to stick to browns, nudes, and plums so you have to believe me when I say that this lipstick is TO DIE FOR!
You have no idea how beautiful and creamy and smooth this lipstick is.. This is perfect for evening wear - for parties or a formal dinner, to dress up a casual outfit or add a pop of color. This is the holy grail of reds I'm telling you (don't tell me this is too dark to be a red, I will fight you)
Why I love this lipstick:
Where can I find this? It is slightly on the pricey side but most Mac cosmetics are. It retails for $17.50 on Mac's official website, I think in Dubai it's more expensive at 120 AED.
#3. Soap and Glory Smooch Operator Lip Butter Balm
Sorry, couldn't take any pictures of this one - this is just a regular type lip balm that comes in a small 8g jar, it has a pink sheen to it but goes on clear. I saw this at the pharmacy and couldn't resist the cute packaging, plus I'm a sucker for lip balms and chap sticks. I have chronically chapped and dry lips no matter how much I moisturize and how much water I drink because I have the tendency to pick at the dead skin on my lips (TMI?) I only started using this last month but I have noticed a slight improvement and I literally cannot stop using this because of how nice it smells.
Why I love this lip balm:
Where can I find this? I got it from Boots for 50 AED I think but you can get it online on the Boots website or their website for £5
Bonus: check out some of their other stuff, slightly pricey but such nice packaging and totally worth the cost!
That's all for now - bye guys!