March is right around the corner, the days are getting warmer now.
I am bursting with stories, I am surrounded by them, there is so much to say, so much to be written but I'm not ready I think, I keep telling myself "not yet" because maybe the world isn't prepared to hear what I have to say yet, maybe I'm not prepared to say it.
I love this time of the year, there is a certain stillness but a good kind, not unbearable. I am keeping myself busy, busy, busy trying to keep the what ifs and what nows and buts at bay, they are there of course like a constant humming in the back of my mind, like a song I just can't get out of my head. The blues baby. But I have learnt to tune them out.
If you take the time out of your day to read my blog ever so often, just to see what I'm up to, if I've updated, thank you. You make this little heart of mine so happy.
The city I was born in was named after a woman. Home is not four walls and a roof but something more concrete than that.
It is listening to my Amma’s hoarse voice singing along to 70s Bollywood music as she washes the dishes. It is a person. It is belonging. The sun is more forgiving there. This is not a metaphor. It is permanent, a state of being. It is what longing feels like, the familiar ache almost like a phantom limb. The unfamiliar too. The best parts of me. The spoken and the unspoken. The subject of all my poems. It is saying goodbye but also saying hello. It is driving past Sea View at 2am and tasting sea salt on my lips and Karachi in my lungs. It is a song that tastes a lot like the first day of July. The sadness seeping through a long distance phone call. It is a December sky or a polluted sunset or maybe both. It is sunlight filtering in through the window and casting shards of rainbows all over my kitchen floor. It is in the Muezzin’s call to prayer. The matching creases my father and I wear on our foreheads while doing the Sunday crossword.
I find home in the way my taxi driver’s eyes cloud over every time he talks about his beloved. It is far away. 11,000 miles away to be exact. Intangible.
Home is everything
Nothing at all.
If I could pick one word to describe 2017 for me it would be Azmaish.
(s/o to Insoo for giving a name to the way I've been feeling)
Azmaish (n.) - a trial, or a test.
This year was rocky for me, and while there is so much to mourn there's also so much to celebrate. I graduated school, I worked my ass off and got good grades (say MA!), I moved back to Karachi and I got my first job. I don't usually give too much importance to new years because I believe we as human beings are constantly changing, constantly evolving and we don't need Mondays or 1st of January's to help identify that or kick start our goals. I don't do resolutions either because I try not to expect too much from myself so I don't end up disappointed but that's a shitty way to live so here's to 2018 and changing negative thought patterns. Here are a couple of 2018 resolutions/promises/reminders from my heart to yours:
1. Stop being so afraid: of rejection, of new experiences, of sharing my heart with people, of not being good enough. I owe it to myself to be brave.
2. Do not settle for mediocrity: my goals, my dreams, the places I go, my writing, the friends I make. My whole life I've had high expectations, high standards and I''m not giving up on them now no matter how many times I'm disappointed or how many hurdles I face. I was always meant for bigger and brighter things. I get defeated way too easily but I forget that I'm 19 and that I haven't seen enough of the world yet for me to let it defeat me or let one tiny tragedy define the rest of my life.
3. Stop half-assing things: write that novel I've been wanting to write, learn to drive properly, play the ukulele. just do it already.
4. Always, always be kind. To other people and to myself, especially on days when I think i don’t deserve it.
5. Learn to say no. (generic but important)
6. Pray more
7. Spend more on the people I love, not just money but time too: buy Amma flowers, take Ubeer out for coffee, help Abba rearrange his sock drawer.
8. Stop being so hard on myself, or feeling self-pity. This negative attitude needs to go, there's no place for it in my life.
9. Write. Write. Write.
10. Remind myself that I don’t always have to accomplish great things to give my life meaning. Alternatively, stop searching for meaning, not everything has to matter (this one was inspired by the lovely Alaska Gold)