What If.

The human story narrates a mundane tale of the ‘every day’ until a ‘what if’ comes along to provide a refreshing, and sometimes necessary interruption. What if, there was more to life than 9 to 5? What if there was meaning in the little things – like the slight chill in the air and a numbness of the winds that reminds me of how I imagined the weather in Jane Eyre’s town? What if teary eyes at the memory of that packet of Maryland cookies back in London is crucial for keeping me grounded? What if the lights shining at 2 a.m. at Times Square were so bright in order for me to preserve them in my memory? What if the guy playing his guitar at the diag, on the way back from Walgreens after midnight, in Ann Arbor was extremely loud so that I could remember the music? What if…

You Deserve Love.

A few weeks ago I was at rock bottom. Overworked, stressed out, everybody’s neighborhood counselor who doesn’t charge a penny – but worst of all – Lonely. And so I started to think. I write this word (Lonely) with a capital ‘L’ because it satisfies my sense of wanting to express the devastating intensity of this very raw and real human condition. We all feel it, yet we are afraid to express it. Why do we have so much shame? Because vulnerability is seen with the eyes of fear. You are called weak if you let your guard down. And because society never forgives you for it, you don’t forgive yourself either. And in doing that, you close the doors to love, and hold people at arm’s length – slowly but surely robbing the essence of the girl who would be awed by photos of orange trees in autumn and the snow in winter. But, like Taylor Swift beautifully says in State of Grace: This is the golden age of something good, and right, and real – to me that is letting yourself be softer, gentler towards your soul, opening the door and welcoming compassion inside. Remember: the people most worthy of being cherished enter your life not only when you least expect them to, but also when you make space in your heart for them by telling yourself that you DO deserve kindness and you DO deserve to be treated well. That is when the universe realises that you are ready to set sail.

photo credits: Tumblr

By History

This rain makes me think twice

Of green grass and first light

Those shores where my heart lies

All a dream on a cold night


And you were there with your black ink

Carving words into stone hills

Which would fall in the sea and sink

As the tigers move in for the kill


But by the time they find you

Already you’re far gone

Like the terror was your cue

And a new era is born


Honey do they talk?

Honey do they talk? My mama asked

Holding flowers in her hands

They love to fill their lives with words

And time with games of pretend

I said Oh Mama don’t you worry

Your child is marching to her own band

And one day you wait and see

All this hate will end


An Exercise in Introspection

Writing usually flows from me. Like water spilling over the banks of a river that is too tame for the former’s love of freedom. And then it just stopped. For six months. And what remained was an utter state of panic. I remember I would stay up late at night trying to grab hold of words as they passed through my mind like a song playing on repeat.. Unstoppable and fast forwarded to an extent where it was all a blur. I could not snatch sentences and put them down on paper: Such was the intensity of my lack of clarity. I often wondered why this happened. No wait, scratch that. I often wondered why I kept trying to avoid facing the reasons why I knew this happened. Classic denial = control. Often in life, we settle into our usual patterns of beliefs, whether those beliefs be about ourselves or the world and people around us. They become comfortable for us and we always assume that the complacency that comes with nourishing those beliefs will allow us to control our lives. We do everything we can to constantly validate the ideas we hold so close and in the process of doing so, we becomeĀ terrifiedĀ of facing circumstances which would shatter our perceptions of life situations because we feel like we cannot survive it. This is what happens that leads to a complete and total shut down of our own emotional, psychological and physical mechanisms: When our biggest beliefs are challenged in one way or another, and because we are so unprepared for dealing with the event that we have not equipped ourselves with the tools necessary to get through what we consider an ordeal. Cognitive Dissonance. At least that is what happened with me.

However, now when I have spent the last six months introspecting, I have realized that perhaps sometimes our beliefs getting challenged is a blessing in disguise because ultimately we may end up learning that they were irrational and unhealthy, which gives us the freedom to replace the old and archaic ones with new healthy perceptions. In my own experience, I came to learn that perhaps not everything I used to believe in was right for me. Some of my biggest fears turned into reality and it hurt so much! But guess what? I survived and I am still here: And that is the most important lesson that ordeals teach us – When everything you rigidly hold as true, safe and comforting is shaken up and tossed upside down, you will still be alive. You will still go on and achieve great things. And when you do that, you will know how strong you really are and how free you can be.