Writing is the free therapist that we all have

After a ridiculously long hiatus of sorts, I find myself coming back to my second love…writing. My first love was books of course, what with the vast adventures you can have from the comfort of your warm blankets and soft lighting. But ever since I learned how to put letters into words and words into sentences, writing came as naturally to me as breathing. When other kids were struggling to make up all the words for the 500 word essays assigned to us, I was struggling to condense everything I had to say into the maximum allotted. Which is not to say I was (or am) a good writer, because I am not. Not even a little, or in any sense of the word. I just throughly enjoy it, and I have never had a problem putting my jumbled thoughts into (mostly) readable writing.

I didn’t completely stop over the last couple of years of course. There is a plethora of unfinished, un-posted, rambling posts that have been saved. There are various journals, slips of paper, post-its, and backs of envelopes that have a few lines here and there of my thoughts. And most recently, my Happy Planner has been occasionally filled with musings, goals, and things I noticed and found funny and/or notable. But all this time I’ve still somehow felt like I’d shoved my writing under a table and hadn’t looked at it in a while. I was an active blogger all through my teenage years, it was my outlet to the teenage angst and depression that I was in at the time. That was my main medium. For years I wrote articles, posts, and stories. Built up a tiny bit of a following, made some friends through it, and it made me happy that people (even a small number of people) found me interesting enough to subscribe. Then all of a sudden, I stopped.

I tried to get back into it after a bit of course. I privatized my old blog and created a new one (this one) to start afresh, and did get around to posting a few things here and there. But generally, I just couldn’t do it. I felt dumb and ridiculous and my mind kept saying “oh stop it, why would anyone want to read your rants and stupidity anyway.” So I stopped, and the more I neglected blogging, the more I felt distanced from that part of me. Thinking of sitting down and typing something out, or writing something out, gave me more anxiety and guilt than anything else.

Since I haven’t really writing anything, my mood and personality has gradually changed. I’ve lost feeling of contentment in my life. I’ve become dissatisfied with my thoughts and who I am. My mind feels jumbled and unfocused and I find myself keeping busy with watching TV or immersing myself into conversations with people about their lives. Mine is something I don’t want to talk to people about, mainly because I feel that if I haven’t sat down and rationalized things myself, what on earth am I going to tell people. I’ve shoved my feelings down and it’s made me a miserable person.

In retrospect, my anxiety and depression have probably been legitimate problems, a fact that my own brain couldn’t (and mostly still can’t) handle accepting. I’m a Psych major (as laughable as most people find that, I actually love Psychology and intended to become a Psychologist, but thats a story for another day) and even after learning and knowing the symptoms and whatnot I kept saying to myself that there’s no reason for me to be sad and scared and dissatisfied with who I was. That my mild to moderate panic attacks over small things weren’t really panic attacks. That the feeling of a weight being on my chest and the feeling of doom and unhappiness were ridiculous, and that I was being such a selfish stupid girl for feeling like that when there are so many people suffering from real problems all over the world. Objectively, I know that thinking like that was/is unhealthy, and that it probably stopped me from seeking help when I needed it most. But I kept saying to myself if I could just bring myself to write what was happening in my head, I’d feel better.

After accepting it was happening, seeking a bit of counseling, and starting to journal properly again, I’ve surprisingly been feeling better. I’ve managed to get a lot of my feelings down on paper, so I can visually look at them and start to work through them. And after coming to terms with a lot of things, I finally summoned the courage to write and post this.

I need to get over my fear of getting back into this. I need to allow myself to feel confident and sure in what I have to say, even if it is irrelevant to most people. I need the comfort of writing again. While I am a very spiritual girl, and my relationship with God is my greatest comfort, writing needs to be a part of my life again. And as ridiculous as it sounds, the only medium that has ever truly worked for me is a blog. So here I am. Regardless of who, if anyone, reads any of this ever…it is going to help me to heal and become completely comfortable with who I am again.

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I only barely proofread this post, which should bother me but surprisingly it doesn’t. I feel so happy at the prospect of blogging about my comically normal and boring life. I can’t wait to be me again.

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Teenagers are hilarious. They are also very sad creatures.

Also, my completely shit internet service is my official cause of failing at NaBloPoMo. I barely manage to get coursework in on time weekly, much less decent blog posts on a daily basis. 

Moving on from my never-ending failures in life. 

My dad insists on tiling/fixing the bedroom that my sister and I share. So over this lovely Thanksgiving weekend, instead of joining the rest of America in overindulging in soul food and hitting the malls from midnight, I have been attempting to take EVERYTHING out of that room and pack it into boxes/neat piles. Mind you, that room has 16-17 years worth of crap from two girls (moved in 17 years ago, sister wasn’t born until almost two years later). We’ve thrown out very little over that time. From toys, to clothes, to books that I can’t bring myself to let go of. It is Saturday and I haven’t finished a quarter of the work (that has to be done by Monday). 

I did manage to get all the books out. In doing so I found a journal that I kept when I was 16. It’s both laughable, and deeply sad to read all at once. Apparently, instead of worrying endlessly about boy drama and gossip as most teenagers do, I cried over worry for my family. Some of it is just ridiculous, from worrying my parents would divorce to worrying about my younger brother’s developmental health (maybe taking Psychology in highschool wasn’t the healthiest thing for my own mental health). But some of it was completely dead on, like my worry over my sister. It gives me heartbreaking shivers to read some of my little accounts of her behavior. I wish to kick myself for not realizing something was wrong sooner. I also wrote a lot about how being 16 just sucked, and many of my entries were written around 2 or 3 in the morning due to my seemingly endless insomnia issues. I wrote mini poems and song lyrics, hinting at the fact that maybe I wanted a boyfriend too. Someone to hold my hand and tell me they loved me. 

It’s funny because I never think of myself as having been a typical teenager, but evidently the terrible rush of hormones and misery hit me just as hard. Instead of rebelling and whining verbally about all my teenage angst though, I just had a grand old time pushing them all down until they manifested themselves in insomnia and general unhappiness and paranoia. 

About a half way through that journal the entries abruptly ended, and I have no recollection of why I stopped writing. I only know that a while later I wrote a last entry. I was 17 (a month shy of 18), and much much happier. I had a bit of a cry when I read the last bit, and this is what it said:

“I’ve learned a few main lessons this year. Enjoy the good moments, smile through the bad. Ignore the ignorant people. And remember that life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. I’m happy and excited for my future. Alhamdulilah. And if the world ends in 2012…that’s okay too.”

It’s hard to think that just months after I wrote that, our family was to be tested with trials that I have absolutely no idea how we managed to get through. I guess I’m stronger than I gave myself credit for. It is incredibly lovely to think that whatever I may be going through now will one day be looked back at from a much brighter perspective. 

I plan to destroy the entries. I’ve already ripped the pages out. You may ask why, and my answer is that after reading them once I don’t think I want to again. Too much happened right after, and I don’t want to ever have to think that maybe if I wasn’t so self absorbed about my stupid feelings I might have realized quicker that something was about to happen. I know deep down that it’s not my fault, but I don’t want to leave option for that idea to ferment. I’ve read them and took positive messages from them. That’s all I think I need.

Also, I kind of don’t want anyone to ever read them. Ever.

My family has a habit of reading my journals for kicks. Which I think has influenced my lack of journal writing as of anytime recently.

Now, I have 4 math assignments due tonight, a room to empty, and more memories to find.  

Campus is creepy during the summer time

I have classes Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting at 8 freaking o’clock in the morning and ending at 12:40 pm (10:15 on Fridays). The campus looks like a ghost town, and it’s deeply unsettling to walk past the coffee shop and find no groups of loud Hispanic guys sitting at the tables in front of it. 

I don’t actually mind the classes. The professors seem okay enough, if a bit boring. Although, that could be because my ex history teacher professor Martins (most amazing teacher ever) spoiled me and now I hold everyone to that standard. My biggest issue is not the math homework, or the immense workload in English, or whatever…it’s keeping my eyes open that early in the morning. 

Cuban coffee will be put to its test from now until June 21, when inshaAllah I will throw my papers in the air, call it a year, and hit the beach.

Or you know… I’ll put everything away quietly, make a cuppa, and curl up on my couch.

*nods

Today I had a bit of a chat with a girl that I’ve known for ages, and rarely talk to. I felt horribly bad about never putting aside time for her, and that was my incentive for sitting with her after my second class finished. Honestly, I don’t think pity is a good basis for a relationship, but oh well. Hilariously though, I think she pities me more than I pity her.

I’m not entirely sure what it is about her that throws me. It could be because her favorite time for classes is 7 am (my brain doesn’t function at 7 am) or because she texts the same way she talks, with extra letters on every word and multiple exclamation points at the end of every sentence. Or it could be because she complains about her classes all the time and then misses it when she has a vacation. I don’t really know. She also kind of makes really loud noises with her shoes when she walks, and talks really loudly and squeakily. She asks questions in a demanding way, and my natural “stay away from bullies” reaction kicks in and I end up sounding super defensive when I answer. 

I’m not backbiting because I haven’t mentioned any personal details about this girl, but now I’m feeling guilty any way. I just really don’t want to become close friends to her. It grates my nerves. And I don’t know what to do except for continue making lame excuses for the rest of my life. 

Ha. Me not knowing how to tell someone something. The world must be ending. 

“So you’re into all your books, and you play your part…”

Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Now forget the song, and turn that line into the title or inspiration for your post.

I failed the bloody English class. It is both hilarious, and intensely sad to think about, but what is done is done. I now have to re-take it over the Summer A semester (along with intermediate math or whatever the hell) which is going to be great FUN as it is at 8:00 am three days a week. Along with the lovely grade that I received in my favorite subject (no sarcasm there, English genuinely is my favorite subject), I received two A’s and a B. Clearly, I’m a good student. I just procrastinate, and I’m having a serious internal crisis regarding all of this crap.

College is stress. Anyone who says otherwise is either not trying hard enough, or is a genius. I just don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. In the time I’ve been in college, I feel like my Islaamic studies have just taken a bullet to the spine and is completely paralyzed until further notice. And I just really don’t think it’s worth it. I’m not a career minded person. I don’t see the point in slaving behind a job that you hate in order to make piles of money to buy material crap that you don’t need.

You could ask, why did I start college then? To put it quite simply, I love learning. I love the thrill and stress of learning. I despise exams, but I love that feeling when someone asks you something and you can give an educated and well-rounded answer. I believe that as a Muslim you should be educated, both in secular and in religious knowledge. Knowledge is power.

My problem does not lie with knowledge, it lies with our education system. Very few of us actually LEARN anything in our classes that we slave and cry over. Why? Because the system is meant to be a money-making, sheep factory. Most people I know who have graduated from college are still, years later, working crappy jobs that they hate and have nothing to do with their degree. They learnt nothing. In order to excel in any career (save the big ones, medical, engineering, law, blabla), you don’t need college education. You need training, experience, someone willing to give you experience, and network connections. So why do all of us fool ourselves into thinking we’re gonna leave and live fulfilling lives and it will all be worth it?

My major is Psychology, which is somewhat of a joke to the general public. And so many people are “majoring” in Psychology without giving a crap about it and taking up space in the field. I love Psychology. I love studying people, because people are amazing, crazy,  sometimes intensely dark minded, and beautifully designed creatures. I have no interest in making a ridiculous amount of money researching in Psych, I simply want to study people for a living. But then there is the issue that if I am to be blessed with children, I wouldn’t want to work, because I feel that the best person to raise children is the mother.

So many questions, and time seems to be screwing with me. I’m 19, and I will be 20 in 7-8 months. Seemingly a long time, but seriously man TWENTY?! What on earth would I have accomplished in 20 years of living? Most of it has been spent in school, “learning” stuff of which 80% I don’t remember.  I have only memorized the last Juz of quraan, and even that needs brushing up.

I feel like I haven’t done the things that matter. I do everything my family asks of me, parents/siblings/relatives/etc. Never asking questions, always playing my part. Mi madre says I’m a pushover, and it’s funny because she also says I’m the kind of person who will tell you off and make you cry if you hurt me. I think I’m only a pushover for family, which I’m fairly certain isn’t a good thing at all.

On top of this, my plans to marry at 20 are failing miserably. Simply because no ones come asking (har har) and anyone I’m interested in are considered out of the question by my parents. Why would I want to get married at 20? Because I want someone to build my life with. I have no interest in doing it alone. I also want to get married because God knows how ridiculously hard it is not having someone to call your own + trying to be a good Muslim + living in MIAMI of all places.

Life is a strange thing. All my focus on books and “learning” and whatnot, and I haven’t learnt love.

I believe a post on love is due soon. 🙂

Language

Over the course of my life, I have long since discovered that language is a beautiful thing.

In the fourth grade, my “gifted” teacher taught me the valuable skill of writing and the art of playing with words, and I have used every bit of what she taught me ever since. Never mind she hated me (she honestly did, never gave me an “A” in conduct and I was THE quietest child in class), she still set the foundation for what is now my most treasured talent.

Writing is something that comes naturally to me. Not to say I am a great writer or anything of that nature, because by my standards, I’m quite terrible. But I have realized over the years that the way words can flow from me like water from a mountain, it doesn’t work that way for everyone.

Language is so powerful. There is a reason they say words can either make or break a man. It is an often-overlooked fact that verbal abuse has more lasting Psychological effects than physical abuse. Words can pierce even the hardest of shells, and it can harden even the softest of hearts. At times it leaves me wondering whether the childhood lesson of “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” has any kind of legitimate substance after all.

It’s interesting to me how I have never actually appreciated my native language of English (how I wish my native language was something more interesting) until I began to study a different language (namely, Spanish). While yes, Spanish is far more beautiful in my humble opinion, there are also certain quirks that English has that you miss when forced to express yourself in other languages.

English, although fairly limited, has words that sound quite nice even though they mean simple things. Take the word “serendipity” for example, which is a word that tops many people’s “list of favorite words” or “list of most beautiful English words”.  It sounds lovely, but all it means is “a happy accident”. (For the record, I have yet to use the word serendipity in conversation…)

However, the fact remains that I’d rather a guy talk sweet to me in Spanish than in English. But then I wouldn’t quite mind Hindi either, so I suppose it’s an “I’m a hopeless romantic so shut up” kind of thing.

I’m not entirely sure where I was going with this, and I’m not even sure where it ended up.

Point: Language is beautiful. You cannot appreciate your own language until you study others, so go study others. I wish to marry a pious, sweet, Hispanic guy… who knows how to talk sweet in Spanish and doesn’t speak some horrible drawling “Spanglish” in place of actual legitimate Spanish.

Yes well, clearly, I need to get out of Miami.

I plan, you plan, we all plan

When I thought of creating a fresh new blog, I thought to myself that perhaps I should re-post some of my favorite pieces from my old blog. But it feels like I wrote those an eternity ago, and I feel so different and so changed. I figured that the best thing I could do for myself is start anew.

I have no plans for this. No promises that “I’m going to blog every day/week/month”. No stating “this is for book reviews/quotes/short stories/bits of my life/etc.” Because I have no idea what will become of it. I don’t know what I’ll wind up posting. I don’t know if I will end up abandoning it next week, or next year. I’ve found that making intricate plans only leads to failure and disappointment in my life, so I’m beginning to take things as they come. 

What I do know, is that I needed a place to put things so that they can form a little order in my mind. This is that place.