A new beginning.

As 2016 races towards the finish line, I try and reflect on it and think of the new year that will be soon upon us. What I can do better and what mistakes I should not repeat.

If I’ve learned anything this year, it is that I will never be ready for what life throws at me. I won’t have the right words when it counts, I may be rash and disgruntled even when I try to be calm and composed. I won’t know what to chose when fate itself is staring down at me especially when I know what’s right and what’s wrong, but you want what’s bad. But I now know that I don’t always need to have the right answer. I don’t always need to ‘do the right thing’ as long as I know and believe in my gut and instincts.

I’ve learned that knowing what your true worth is, is the biggest discoveries of life. And allowing another to tarnish your true worth is the single most conscious decision one can do. Its always deliberate. Its just easier to stay and endure than leave and think that your world will fall apart.

I’ve learned I can go on waiting for something, sustained by hope and nothing more- or I can put it aside and shrug my shoulders but I seldom do. I’ve learned that I’m the kind of person who’d seek hope and believe in blind faith knowing I’ve been let down and I can’t change myself. I believe in giving not one, but many chances and everytime I’ve put my foot down, I’ve lifted it right back.

I can bravely accept the fact that I can’t keep my heart safe any more than I can stop love from taking everything from me. But the understanding of what self destruction  can do is maybe what courage is. To not let it affect me. To not let it take away or know that I am responsible for it.

I have learned to stop saying yes when I don’t mean it and to live as authentically as I know how to. To be bare bones against the storm and be proud of being raw, real and honest. To allow the tips of my fingers to skirt the darkness, as long as I remember to keep my eyes fixed on the light at the end of the tunnel.  And as one door opens and another closes, I will move forward with the knowledge that unlike so many others, I have another year ahead of me, another shot at making it all the way around the sun, and a chance to get it right this time round. Or maybe to make more viable choices. Maybe make the hard choices. To give up when needed and to give in when you know its the right thing to do. To let go when all you’ve done is held on.

As 2017 hurtles towards us, I will hope to be wiser and if not wiser, be stronger to take the things that push me down with a smile and not anger. I will learn that a smile is the most beautiful thing I have and can wear and it is the reflection to my soul. I know that I am kind and compassionate and self admiration is sometimes your own strength.

I hope everyone else realizes their own worth, their own flaws and admire themselves regardless because you are all you have.

Welcoming 2017 with open arms and ready to ride the new adventures. Merry Christmas y’all!

Peace & gummy worms,

-T. x

A meh day.

Some days, you just feel like meh. I’ve been sick lately and my ‘person’ who kind of gets me through everything really have been on leave so I have no one to go to. So I’m just slouching on a couch in my head. My mind just wanders around in circles and I’m not quite sure whether my head has swollen or that is just my eyes. Its all a bit clouded and blurry and meh.

I hate these phases. I need to just drink some soup and cry on the couch. Well not really. I’m usually more positive than that (maybe) but on days like this, a grown adult turns into a child and I would rather have F come over and tell me shit and laugh with me. Soup needs to be fed, sitcoms must be watched and life needs to happen. Or not. I’m just comfortable with life not happening right now. Just blue.

I cannot think of one exciting thing right now. I’ve had a great weekend, one of the most amazing, relaxing, comforting, perfect weekend, doing exactly what I love, spending it with exactly who I want to and being exactly where I wanted to be. I had the most successful Sunday too, first day of the week, bring Will Smith down and host to him (job perks?) and have praises rain down for the efforts. Come Monday, my person has left town on holiday, I’m exhausted after the surge of events, the relaxed weekend has vanished and I’m left with no voice (no idea how that happened!), a bad case of flu and fever, lost appetite and insomnia.

Seriously. Seriously? Seriously!

So now, I’m all mopey faced, red eyed, tired and don’t like people. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me and try not to breathe if you are in the vicinity. When you breathe it annoys me. Or something similar. *Looks for bubble to reside in for a few days* Worse, I expect a happy call or a pick me up from the person, but the person is away. My sister is away. So basically everyone sucks. Plain, blatant- sucks.

And because everything sucks, there is no nice way of saying it. Probably not the best thing to say on a public blog where everyone is amazing and reads and leaves wonderful comments, what would the best way to be all people loving, rosy and cheerful again? A suggestion that wouldn’t be curling up on the couch with your favorite person, watching sitcoms and getting hair stroked and soup fed that is.

Yoga you say? Even my dogs or my dog and his dog friend haven’t been able to raise my spirits too much. Help!

-T x

Therapy.

There are a few different types of it. Therapy that is. Some people associate therapy with a big leather chair and a pair of spectacles assessing the subjects on a brown leather couch. They associate therapy with white washed walls, a window with the sun peering through and a white vase of bright flowers (a sign of positivity). For some, therapy is meditating. Time away from time. Time away from people and things and places and responsibility. Therapeutic.

Therapy also takes the form of hobbies; cooking, art, yoga, reading, travel.

I was told I need therapy. I should see someone and ‘talk’ to someone. I had a small war raging inside of me thinking about the positives and negatives of Therapy. Should I see someone? Why do I need to see someone? Do I have a problem? I don’t really think I have one that I can’t identify. I was too posh, too perfect, too intact (delusional) to go to therapy. Little miss fancy. But the truth is, I was terrified of what therapy might bring. I don’t need someone to talk to ‘figure me out’. Or so I thought. I know I may be stereotypical about the whole idea and it does help a lot of people. People who can’t talk to themselves or to people. Maybe commutation difficulties. Point being, I didn’t think therapy was right for me and I was too scared to give it a shot. What if they made me do what I didn’t want to? Make me forget what I didn’t need to?

Today I discovered the kind of therapy I need. I’m not a white walls and bright flower pot kind of person. And you know what, I think I could even do the white walls if I had to now. I could stare back at the spectacles and run with it. I am now okay with the idea of the walls, the spectacles, the leather couch, the intent gaze. Because my dear person, you’ve made me realize that just a little bit of attention goes a long way. It is the therapy that works the best. Love and attention.

Therapy to me, my friend, is you. A listening ear, a comforting hug, a cup of coffee, a silly comment, a cheeky grin, good music, the wind sneakily blowing through a small window crevasse, the first morning sunshine. That’s real therapy. Good conversation, in any setting, and knowing that someone cares, can heal wounds that haven’t even been born yet. That’s the kind of therapy that touches not just the mind, but the heart and soul.

So my person, I’d like to thank you for being my person. For being the comforting touch, the healing hug, the smile on my face and for picking me up everytime I fall. I’d like to thank you for being the therapy and the therapist and everything in between. I can ‘see someone’ but I’ve realized that there is nothing one can’t tell another who they are comfortable with and there are very slim chances that, that route may not work. Sometimes all you need is someone who cares. You maybe my downfall but you are my pick-me-up. There is so much power in a strong gaze, a stare right into the eyes, a mirror into the soul. I believe you now. But not a person you pay to listen to you, but a person who stares into your eyes and tells you how much their life would be incomplete with you and your sanity. There is so much power in commitment, in trust, in faith. There is so much that the two together can rebuild. I’ve been wandering around to find the meaning of a soulmate. A true soulmate who’s souls reflect each other’s. Therapy to me is having found that soulmate and allowing them to heal you. Therapy is counting stars under the night sky. Listening to the rain. A puppy dog with lots of fur. A healing of the soul that no number of countless hours in sessions can bring. They may reach your brain but can they heal your heart? They can tell you and teach you and ‘talk you out’ of your crazies but belief- only another who really wants your crazies yet needs to you keep your sanity,  can teach you.

I never had a doubt on who you were but I always doubted the flaws of society, the flaws of reality that push and pull us and tear us down. People need therapy because we are bruised by words, trends and lack of faith. I too didn’t have it. I didn’t have faith. On no one, on no thing or place. I sometimes didn’t know if I could trust myself. The world is a stage after all and you’re just an act. I thought we were merely playing our parts. That is not entirely false, we are playing our part but that very stage helps create our own little story too. I now have faith in my little story.

Therapy to me is having found that story. Therapy to me is having found the people who will play their roles. To me, therapy is knowing and having discovered what I want my story to be and who I want in it. Therapy to me is having someone to build my story with me, fix the plot as we go, fill it with creativity, help me make the best story there ever can be.

So thank you my person, for making me realize what I was throwing away. For gazing into my eyes and making me believe that not all hope is lost. For touching my soul and saying that mine mirrors yours and it would be incomplete if I tore it up. For telling me, even if the second, the third, the fourth chances are gone, the fifth will be created and you’ll help fix. For planting a seed today that will be a tree tomorrow. A very healthy, strong tree. A tree that can’t be uprooted.

– T x

I dream.

I sometimes dream of peace. Sometimes I just want the mind to shut down and stop thinking, stop wandering about. To think of nothing. Sometimes I want to care about nothing. Feel nothing. That’s a trick one. To feel nothing. I never stop. I start my day, sometimes at 4.30am in the morning, I go to work like 80% of the people in this country and keep at it, my mind is rushing but it has no time to breathe, to heal, it keeps running. Sometimes I want to slow down but that wouldn’t help either. You paste a face, the default expression that works for 95% of the days and pull a brave one and keep going. It’s only at times like today, when it’s 10.32pm at night and my weary eyes can’t keep up with my brain and my aching bones long for a snuggle, I can’t stop. The mind won’t stop wondering. There is a peace that is missing. That is stolen. While the world lays comfortably and settles into the goodnight, here I am fighting to stay up because I can’t settle. I cannot go gently into that goodnight. 

I dream of snow capped mountains and little buds of yellow blooming on the side of the hills. I dream of the winds blowing bare in my face. I can feel the cool breeze behind my ears and my freshly shaved head. I dream of puppy dogs wandering about on the fresh earth beneath my naked feet. I can almost feel the chills of the cool weather give me goose pimples under my maroon robes and I look up at the glistening sun over the hills that give me a small tear of joy while the edges of my mouth curl up into a smile. I dream of nature and the smell of fresh leaves all around me. The morning dew glistening on the bluebells and the rain of the previous night which has washed away the non-existent worries of yesterday. I can almost hear the beautiful hymns in the background and smell the incense sticks incessentantly burning away, giving fragrance to my soul. So pure, so divine. Oil lamps burning in a distance, little kids learning the good way of life. 

I dream the time when desire, lust, greed, expectation didn’t exist and a day when there would be no more wants, just the eagerness to give selflessly. I dream of living in a heaven where kindness is in abundance.

For we fear to die to go to hell, not knowing that hell is what we live in because we could never discover the heaven that we already have. 

-T x. 

Nepal Calling…

2 years ago, I went to Nepal.

That’s what the date on the saved draft says anyway. I’ve been wanting to write about Nepal and my travels and time there so badly but I never got to it! Just like I never got to writing about my Europe travels and most probably India too.. or did I already write about India?

Lately I’ve been dreaming Nepal. My memories on Facebook keep notifying me about the good times had in Oxford and the amazing time I had travelling through Kathmandu and Pokhara and I’ve been playing Nepalese music on loop on my YouTube playlist that I set in 2009. I miss Nepalese food, my Ghurkha friends and the amazing people I met in Kathmandu. I can’t wait to travel back in 2017!

Nepal was a magical experience. Kathmandu reminded me of the old Mumbai perhaps, a bit crowded and polluted but that doesn’t take away from the big smiles that people carry. The people are always so friendly and chirpy. Not that I had a doubt about Nepalese hospitality before, but even the small ‘chiya ko dukaan’ (tea stall) to the fancy hotels, the big smiles and big hearts were always so welcoming. I made friends with the bellboy and the receptionist and the milk man and the guy in the souvenir shop in the midst of bustling Thamel. It was hard not to!

The minute I would say ‘hajur’ with respect like my ghurkha friends in Oxford had taught me or ‘kathi daam ho?’ (how much is this?) with a smile, they were won over. Not in a shrewd way of course, but they were so impressed that I got the best of the hospitality packaged with a whole lot of love. Getting love from people and getting people to make you feel like home… now that’s something you seldom experience while travelling. Having travelled a fair bit, I know Nepal made me feel so welcome and embraced my insides. Such a warm feeling!

I was in Kathmandu in December 2014 so it was a bit chilly. Though the weather varied heavily in Kathmandu from mid 20s to 30 degrees in one afternoon, Pokhara was constantly chilly and cloudy. Luckily for me, it wasn’t too cloudy to hinder the paragliding, zip lining, bungee jumping and the treks that I did. I did a short trek to the World Peace Pagoda in Pokhara and another night, got on a bike of a dai I met via this blog, at 4am in the morning to climb the Sarangkot view point to see the sunrise over the Himalayas. Typing the words out now, there are goosebumps forming on my skin- the view was that mesmerizing. Magical.

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The sun slowly rose from behind a heavy blanket of clouds and the orangey yellow glistened through. When the first ray of sunlight, hit the first mountain on the Annapurna range, the peak turned to pure gold. And then a sea of warmth shone brightly through the clouds, like a waft of golden honey being dripped on the entire mountain range, pinnacle to foothills and the whole range glimmered in the ocean of gold! I will always remember that magical sunrise as one of the most exhilarating and magical moments of my life. I’ve seen beautiful sunrises and sunsets but having trekked up at 5am, having done a freezing bike ride at 4am and knowing that the sun rose from behind one of the Everest ranges- nothing beats it.

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If I can disconnect myself from that fantastic view and moment, the momos of Busy Bee bar in Pokhara were the bomb! A backyard connected to a small alleyway leads you to Busy Bee where mind you, it is very busy. As the sunsets, live musicians serenade you to popular English songs where you sit around an open fire, shisha for those who prefer it and beers for others with steaming hot momos, ordered by the plate. Busy bee is definitely worth a visit, or worth many visits for the ambiance it creates and the momos! Momos are steamed dumplings with either chicken, vegetables or pork filling. Unfortunately pork ones were not available that night but I had the pleasure of having some on a short stop riding a bus to Pokhara from Kathandu.

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I also met a group of Chinese travellers who I eventually went paragliding with and did some lunch with. They thought I was someone special and we had some very nice photos together. On a weekday, Pokhara is quite lovely to just stroll around or sit by the Fewa Taal (lake) and collect random thoughts about life. Its so very peaceful and beautiful. The little tourist shops here maybe a bit more expensive than usual even though they are very luring and the products look very good! I brought back heaps of little artifacts and a Khukri (Nepalese dagger) home and you just feel like buying everything but its wiser to buy in Kathmandu.

Back in Kathmandu, I did the usual sight seeing of Swayambunath Temple and a few others including Bhaktapur square. The holy places, old palaces and ruins, its all so beautiful and some of them looked Tibetan inspired as well. For a solo traveller, I felt quite safe but I did not wander out after 9pm on my own as Thamel turns into a little club after hours. All the tourist shops close and the bars on the top floors of the buildings start coming to life. Most of them are called ‘dance bars’ and out of curiosity on asking, I found out that a Dance Bar has women dancing and people can dance which to me spelt out as a male attraction so I steered clear from it.

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I plan to hopefully do Everest Base Camp next year so counting down 359 days until then to visit Nepal again and relive the magic!

And a shout out to all my beautiful friends from Nepal. You guys are as beautiful as your little magical country!

Love,

-T xx

Group of Friends.

I was chatting to F about friends and groups of friends and I started to reflect back on how I grew up. When I was very young, I was mostly a loner with one or two close friends. I was not accepted into any of the popular ‘groups’ with doll clubs and what not. I was a chubby child. Even kids used to be snobs! When I grew older and was in junior high, I had a tight knit group of very close friends. It wasn’t exactly a group. It fluctuated from a duo to a trio back to a duo until it hit the number 4! That can be called a group yeah?

I hit high school and and my foursome broke up but with the original duo, we went on to become six girls and about nine boys. A big group! I always wanted to be in a big group of friends who were like-minded and shared the same passion for hobbies. Once we graduated from high school, most of the boys parted ways and we all had to become educated people with degrees and earn the big bucks so we moved around and shuffled until we were about five girls and 4 boys perhaps.

When I moved to Oxford to study, I made new friends there. At my part time job and at my university and even though two of my best friends from high school eventually joined me there and we lived the ‘dream life’ that we always spoke off back in high school, it wasn’t so dreamy all under one roof and my new friends seemed to be more like-minded and similar to me than my life long friends were.

It’s a bit odd. I spent my entire life fitting into a group of Muslim friends, who I still wish were as close to me, as we used to be in high school, but without realizing that I was neglecting the craziness in me. When I moved to Oxford, I met people of all walks of life. Local British people, Egyptians, Arabs, Africans, Far East, Europeans,  Nepalese, Russians and from countries I hadn’t heard, Australians, Americans.. it was a whole bunch of  people from all over the world! I had always grown up in a multi-cultural society, in a melting pot of culture where I was enriched with all sorts of people but being in school, it never exposed me completely, only made me comfortable being in a mixed bag.

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Having had the chance to mature in Oxford and to be able to make decisions and judgments on my own, to trust wisely and to choose for myself, I was able to discover a part of me that I’ve been sweeping under the rug to be able to ‘fit in’ and finally when I met people I could be free with, I changed, of course. I was truly able to be me.

The group of friends, I was so fond of (the theory and all), I had lost in the process of letting go of the need to fit in, because I wasn’t in sync anymore I guess, or at least I thought so and moving home after graduation it was all new. I had to start from scratch. I still have a small group of friends, mainly the boys. We are still struggling to find the divide between being in a group (also called a Whatsapp group) but 4 out of 6 people in the group are not fond of the same things. A, my friend is the only one who is all out and about and willing to do whatever ‘fun’ maybe defined as whereas as the rest are very preoccupied or disinterested. Having said that, in the rare occasion we do catch up for a good meal and laughs. I love these boys, they are always there for a good chat but by declaring that I miss a ‘group’, I think I mainly miss the ones with that streak of craziness. The girls though are nowhere to be found. We had our own crazies when in high school, but now they’ve just disappeared, like a hole was dug up on the floor and ate them all up!

When I say I miss a group, I miss those big groups of friends doing afternoon tea, or going for a lazy afternoon dip in the pool, a big happy brunch or a trip off to the wilderness. I find myself more often than not, convincing the people I know to do things and I’ve come to realize that, its not done that way. If people are not interested, they aren’t. You don’t need to convince them. A lot of the times I find myself straying a bit from invites to go clubbing for example because I’m more of a pub person and clubbing is not my jam so must be the same for others.

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So how do you find these people that are waiting to be a part of your ‘group’? The group is waiting to happen. Where do you find the like-minded people with a streak of crazy that fits your crazies? A lot of the times, joining communities with similar interests usually work well but usually I tend to be a little awkward walking into random mixers events. Most people seem to naturally fit into a ‘group’ or randomly fall into one. Is that the case? Have you found yourself in a similar situation with lack of belonging?

There’s however the argument of big groups mean fake friends vs. smaller groups of true friends. True?

Love,

-T x.

 

 

Just be. 

Sometimes you meet the perfect people and everything feels absolutely amazing. Reflecting back, I cherish the moments that have been had. It’s a wonderful feeling being with someone who makes you feel like an amazing, important person. Complete on your own and completed by them. Dependent yet independent. 
The person who makes you feel special and loved even when you are silly, embarrassing and would never show your true crazies to the world, they hold your hand and tell you that they can be silly with you because you are wonderful and that the world is missing out because they can’t be silly with us. That person who gets you excited to wake up in the morning because you have to tell them about your dreams, your passions that you’ve missed out telling on during the few hours that you sleep. The person who’s ecstatic as you are to hear your voice and know that you are together, in the world with each other. A kind of joy and magic that you’ve never shared with anyone or felt before.

The person that you want to be honest and genuine to because you want them to know the purest form of you, filter free. You want them to see the ugly, the bad and also the good- the fifty shades of you. Or all hundred of them. The same person that loves all the shades and takes you in, sweat and soul. The kind of person that makes your heart explode with joy and love, the kind of love that they do to you makes you want to shine so bright and scream off rooftops. Because when they say it, it sounds more beautiful than those three words could ever have been. 

The kind of person that you can watch sleep for hours and just have comfort with their warmth next to you. To see them sleep soundly like a child, with a little pout of their mouth and to feel them pull you in closer and give you that kind of peaceful sleep knowing you are safe in their arms. To just hear them breathe, chest heaving up and down, which automatically calms you down. 

When you find the person that makes you feel more beautiful from one photo that you send them than a lifetime of compliments ever given to you. If they tell you that could wake up to your face after a 1000 years of sleep, you know that you mean the world to them. The highest compliment ever paid. 

When they tell you that you are annoying, lazy, inconsiderate, mean, be with them because they see you as a complete, three dimensional person with flaws and all yet they trust to tell you upfront because they know you will take it. They make you realise that they know you aren’t a fragile rose petal who can’t handle the truths about life but a human being, a work-in-progress who would love their advice, comfort and concern and have the courage to brave the reality.

The kind of person whose accomplishments make you happy, their joy gives you pleasure and whose pain brings tears to your eyes. When a person has the power to affect you, be with them. If you’ve ever cried for them and they for you, especially a man, you know you mean the world to them.  That person who pushes you to surpass your best, who talks sense into you and keeps pushing you because they know that you are capable of much more and they believe in your potential. They know you can take it and you have the courage to endure what ever may come and know that you give yourself credit for too little. 

The person who makes you understand the power of caring for someone else and putting their health, safety and security beyond your own because it’s in these moments you realise who is really there for you and the immense amount of love and passion that can exist between two human beings. Proudly be with the person that makes you want to be a better person not because of pressure but because they instill so much respect and pride in you for them, that you want to strive to work harder for them, everyday of your life to be the best person you could be.

If the person has a scent that makes you feel at home, that you sniff out from a distance, that you keep sniffing on your clothes long after they’ve left, you know you can be with them. They can make you feel like a big massive cuddle and home with a spray of scent, imagine the power of other things. They make you open up your uglies and break down the walls and embrace your vulnerabilities because you know if you fell, they’ll catch you. Because they tell you they are here with the hammer to break the walls down but if ever needed, they will be your rock. Be with them because you know, that despite your reluctance and uneasiness, you will be safe opening up to them and free, more freedom than you’ve ever felt. Be with them because they’ll make you feel like a meek lamb and a wonder woman at the same time. 

They won’t make you feel like you are useless or like you are carrying the world’s weight on your shoulders, but they will make you feel like a part of a hell of a great team. One half of it. So that you can lean on them when you are hurting and they know that you can summon every ounce of courage and strength possible to be by their side when they are hurting and to keep them safe.

Be with them if the thought of losing them scares and shakes your insides or if something happening to them will sweep the world from under your feet and like soul mates ring true to its word where a part of your soul lives in them. Not because the worry and burden is something you deserve or are worth of but it makes you realise how real life is and how only real bonds and relationships can be taken into the universe and be counted amongst stars. Not materialistic things. They make you forget about materialistic desires, if they are there, that’s all you need. They will teach you what real love and happiness is and how it is truly branched out of people you care for. 

Be with that person who makes you feel so real and alive. Who makes you feel like the best version of you that you’ve ever been. It’s not because they define and determine who you are, but because of your feelings for them, the tendernessness, love and willingness to do anything for them in the world to make them happy are the things that make you feel the most human and feel the essence of your being- the essence of love. 

When you find those people, it’s like the perfect tango every danced and ever witnessed. It’s like magic. 

Love,

– T xx

P.S- once a woman left a comment on my blog. If she ever comes back and reads my post, she should know that it takes ‘two’ to tango. You can’t tango on your own.