Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dear 26

Dear 26,

Remember that if you ever wanted something to happen you have to work hard in order to achieve it. Some things will come easier than others, it's just how things work in this universe. It might feel like some kind of choreography, that familiar dance move; two step forward one step backwards. Keep dancing, even though you're as rigid as a corpse on rigor mortis. And when things go really slow, slower than you ever thought, keep going. Follow whatever sound that's telling you not to stop.

With every passing day I feel more distant. I no longer have my thoughts, feelings and my physical body aligned. I feel out of place, separated, not whole. I've realised that I, at 24, am not living my life as I'd like to. I've realised I'm very hesitant, always scared I'll make a mistake or god forbids fail in something that's important to me. I find myself more often than not stuck in the same place, walking two steps forward and one step backwards.

Whenever I get out of this slump I'll make sure I write about it. But for now, don't stop writing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Documenting My Life | February

This is the fourth time I attempt to write this. I don't want it to be a negative post. Let me try one more time...

This February felt like a fancy cold drink in a hot summer day, one of those with a scoop of ice cream and an umbrella on top. When you really need something to quench that thirst. It's not your ideal drink but you still go for it. You drink it and realise it doesn't taste good, it gives you a painful brain freeze, but it does the job. It's over with all its bittersweetness.

The first half of February was all about seeing my friend prepare for her big day. I tried to be there every step of the way. As cheesy as this may sound, she looked like a princess from a fairytale. I'm sure she'll create her very own fairytale, she has always been original. Celebrating Mariam was the ice cream, the best part of the drink. The first half of the month also coincided with a beautifully unexpected visit with Ksenija visiting Oman. It was an extremely short visit and I can't wait till she's back again. Having Ksenija around was the umbrella, a little bit of something extra nice.

The second half of February was bittersweet. The fact that it coincided with the book fair makes it all better. For a big crowd to be sheltered under one roof with the company of books is an amazing feeling. You know that the majority have a deep connection with books. The book fair taught me that a book seller is not an easy job and it's not for everyone. A good book seller will give you a book for free if you didn't have the money because they they respect books and cherish the idea of reading. It's the right atmosphere for a book lover.

Let's forget all the hard times, the sleepless night and the overthinking.

March-ing till April.

Sunday, February 05, 2017


In the past 2 years, there was just one constant thing that I clearly knew I wanted. And as the days passed I've tried hard to keep myself focused, one step at a time to make things work the way I want them to. Of course life has a mind of its own, things don't always work the way they should. There are hiccups on the way, road bumps, whatever you want to call them, and the stronger you hold on to whatever you want the more attached you get to the idea of it. And you might start doing things that people don't understand its significance, don't let that stop you. I constantly find myself wishing. Call them wishes or prayers. It doesn't matter.

When the clock strikes 00:00, I make a wish.

Before I go to sleep, I make a wish.

After waking up, I make a wish.

Accompanying every prayer, I make a wish.

I search for my idea of a good omen, and I make a wish.

When a cold breeze blows, I make a wish.

When that bird rests on my opened window, I make a wish.

I make wishes as I go, whenever I remember and when things get tough. I gain some kind of strength from every wish. And it ruins my day when I realise I missed an opportunity to wish upon.

And I wonder where do all those wishes go?
If they reach Allah or I'm doing it all wrong?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Documenting My Life | January

I felt every tick and tock, every breath and every heartbeat. I felt myself being slowly and painfully dragged on that concrete road they call January. I couldn't wait for it to be over. I found myself religiously waiting for the clock to turn 00:00 for me to make my usual wish and a bit of relief that another day has finally passed which means I'm a day closer to something. Throughout the month I kept my hopes tamed to a non-existing state, I'm not ready for more disappointments. I don't think I could handle it.

I've seen what stress can really do, when it manages to shut you off and dances over your tired body. We take our health for granted, forgetting that at any given minute we might lose it. I admit I'm not one that takes care of her health and my diet is not the best. I was lost for too long in my thoughts, forgetting to give myself a break. I stayed up longer than I should and barely ate. My body tried to warn me before it crashed, I just refused to listen. Until it crashed. I don't want to go back.

I visited the south of Oman for the first time. It wasn't the right time to be there and I was too tired to enjoy my stay. When I felt better I walked to the beach with a book to read, and at that little time spent outside I wished if everything was better. I'm glad I managed to go though, it's a good change and a reason to go back and compare.

On good days I found myself with good company and refreshing weather. At a BBQ party with my favorite people. At a tea party beautifully set up in blue and white. At my best friend's engagement party. At a family gathering with entertaining topics to discuss. On good days I found myself immersed in a good book, lost in a fictional world and a city I've learned to love. On good days I found my dad open up and speak more about the past. On good days I was at peace.

February, please be better.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On Following Dreams & Looking For Signs

I've recently re-read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho as part of a bookclub read. I probably read it the first time when I was 16 and didn't remember how the story went. The novel kept popping up and being the person I am and my obsession with signs I decided to give it another shot.

I definitely remember the book to be much better the first time I read it, the second time wasn't that special. And I'm really not sure if The Alchemist was part of the reason that got me into this obsession with looking for signs and believing that the dreams we get while sleeping are not just our subconscious trying to be creative. I guess I'll never know. Sometimes I wish if I could download a book that includes all the thought processes I went through along with the decisions and opinions I ended up with. Now that would be an interesting book to go through.

While reading The Alchemist I wondered if I would ever be as courageous as Santiago to actually follow something I've seen in a dream. I actually wonder if anyone would do that. It sounds crazy, in the case of Santiago, to leave Andalusia and head to the pyramids in Egypt because of a dream where a child tells him a treasure awaits. That's crossing continents and a wild desert, yet he still did it. And along the way he followed the signs the universe laid on his path, and he chose to follow. And how true is it that "when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream"?

I must admit in the past 2 years or so I've made a decision based on what I thought was a sign. I sat one night on my bed and finally faced a fear I had by making a decision sparked by that sign. I knew all along that I was trying really hard to make something work based on a decision someone made for me and I'm very grateful for letting that sign guide me. Facing fears based on signs eventually became something I relied on and I'm not sure if that's a good way to deal with things but so far it hasn't disappointed me. 

My sister explains signs as a manifestation of what you deeply want but you don't know it is what you want. She explains it the same way that famous decision making idea goes; if you want to make a decision flip a coin and in that second when the coin is in the air you'll know which side you want it to fall on. It could be true but whatever it is, it helps. 

While writing this, I'm realising why The Alchemist is a great book. I probably just needed to sit and rethink about it for me to realise why it's a good read. I think I just like the idea that the universe is here to help out if we give it a chance

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear 26

Dear 26,

There is something soothing about following a recipe. Its very well structured and the end result is usually something you're familiar with. There is something satisfying about using raw ingredients to come up with something completely different and tastes 10 times better. There is something about focusing on perfecting a recipe that helps your mind to just take a break from over thinking and focusing on whats in front of you.

Next time it gets a little too much, when your thoughts get out of control and you find it really hard to get out of bed. When the constant running of thoughts through your mind gives you a headache you don't know how to deal with. When no painkiller in the fridge helps and sleep is no longer an option, I suggest you turn to baking. Trust me, I've tried it today and I feel a bit better. Not better to the point of sleeping early or being back to my usual self, don't get too excited, but better. And for now, better is better than nothing.

When you decide to bake, I suggest you go for the hardest recipe you could think of. Something that requires a lot of effort and time. It's even better if you don't have all the ingredients in the kitchen, it'll force your to leave the house (sadly, I had all ingredients today).

I went for the honey cake today. I patiently waited for the sugar, honey and butter to melt and combine. I gradually added the eggs and whisked, giving no chance for any thoughts to pass my brain other than pouring and whisking. I added the baking soda and whisked until my eyes went a bit funny. And then came the part when I had to add the flour. Half a cup at a time I wished I had stronger muscles. The pain of folding the heavy dough, I can still feel it. It was good to feel frustrated at something other than myself, to be frustrated that the dough was still sticky. Then came the part where I had to bake all 8 layers, 2 at a time after having to roll them out into circles. That definitely didn't give me a chance to think about anything bothering me. And after all layers were baked, after burning myself a couple of times, it was time to make the frosting. The sound of the hand mixer silenced a lot of the thoughts that were trying to find a way to get my attention.

When I was done assembling that 8 layer honey cake I wasn't really ready to be done. I wanted something to be missing. To find another recipe or find any excuse to keep my mind busy. But it was over. And eventually everything will come to an end. There is always space for another happy ending.

Get baking

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Documenting My Life | December

At some point in the end of November and the beginning of December I decided that I shouldn't be going out. That decision was influenced by a lot of things happening in my surroundings that I found comfort in staying longer hours in my room, preferring to stay alone than meeting people. I somehow managed to convince myself that I shouldn't be enjoying my time and instead I should be focusing on one main task I've been trying to get to.

Back in January I had very high hopes for December. I imagined it in a very different way. I thought I would've figured things out by then. Have things sorted. To have things lifted off my shoulders and not just me alone. I absolutely hate it when things don't go according to plan, it makes my ignore everything good that ever happened and just focus on everything that didn't. It's normal I guess.

Negativity aside, December was the month I allowed my feet to touch the beach in a pretty long time. I felt the sand between my toes, the cold water after its rage and smelt that familiar salty smell that reminds me of my childhood.

I appreciated the time I spent alone more than I should. I asked myself so many questions and spent a lot of sleepless nights thinking of answers. I don't have a lot of them incase you're wondering. I journaled, although less than I hoped I would.

I saw my father as he slowly started sharing more. He seemed like in a good mood and shared stories from his childhood. He discussed with us random topics from economics to farming and water supply. We talked about land prices, investments and the future. We attended a lecture at the National Museum that allowed us to discuss topics on the history of Oman in more details. 

December was also the month that made me realise how lucky I am with the people I'm close with. The time I spend with my sister is something I always look forward to. My friends are great, always making sure I'm alright and taking that extra step to force me to go out, to let go of some things and just breathe. And my cousins, those whom I haven't seen in a while and when we meet its like we're 12 again watching Disney movies and waiting for my sister to tell us a story she made up. 

To be honest I'm glad December is over. I'm glad 2016 is over and I'm more than ready to the start the new year with more hope than I currently have. I documented a whole year by answering 365 questions in that Q&A journal, by documenting monthly and by journaling whenever I felt like it. I think I enjoyed it and I'll continue with it in 2017. Or at least I hope I will.

Happy New Year! And may 2017 be the best year yet :)