Resilience.

Isn’t it intriguing how language can have such a great effect on us?

And how our minds can process certain emotions in pictures and interpret what we see for us, on an emotional level.

This photo somehow made me think of the word ‘Resilience’. She, along with four other ladies, were cooking in this room that didn’t have a roof. It’s was just so interesting to experience it with them. So familiar. The feeling of women talking, mothers. It made me miss my mum in that moment.

I’m pretty sure you interpret it differently too. But when I explain myself, you get it. Right?

At different junctures in my persona, I find myself gravitating towards certain words.

Recently it’s been resilience.

Resilience.

At times it’s joy. Love. Strength. Beauty. Intellect. Class.

I repeat these words to myself as reminders – affirmations – whenever I get a moment of presence. They seem to be distant these days so whenever I do get one, I hold onto it as long as I can.

I enjoy the walks home from the bus stop. How the trees look when they catch the security light in their leaves.

I’ve noticed they’ve been blooming a bit more. There’s this scanty bush that has these fragrant little white flowers that fill up the entire area with a sweet, soft scent of a million flowers.

Like perfume.

Yesterday I picked one and put it in my hair.

Tonight, I’m exhausted. But extremely grateful. I want to push harder. I want to be better.

I want to be great.

breaking the silence

“Why Aren’t You Smiling?

You’ve gotta keep going.” – Jhene Aiko – W. A. Y. S.

 

Hills

My previous post is dated 27th May 2017, which is more than a month ago.

Much has happened, and yet things are pretty much the same still.

I’m growing. Still dreaming big and audaciously.

I took the month off to focus on fasting and prayer during the Holy month of Ramadhan, and it was really good for my soul. I even deactivated my Instagram account for a week, hah. There was a sense of calm that just filled my soul that even in times of distress I felt really close to my Creator. Like He could hear me when I’d ask Him to show me a way, and I really miss that.

I always question my purpose on this earth, and as each day goes by that yearning builds up. Almost like how you try to recall someone’s name – it’s on the tip of your tongue and swishing about in your brain – but you just can’t grasp it yet.

I meant it when I said I was elated for the BAKE Awards nomination. I wasn’t very honest when I said I was okay with not winning. You see the thing is, I felt like I was so close. That maybe this was my big break. Or just a victory I really wanted, you know? And when it didn’t happen, well, I guess I sort of had to reconfigure my strategy, which I’ve come to realize always seems to keep changing.

I find myself wondering and searching for a special solution that will make all my dreams come true, ignoring the fact that this ‘searching’ takes away the joy from the present. Always chasing, searching, yearning, forgetting to be present. To be grateful for what is, for the now. And to stop comparing, or setting time limits for my achievements because everyone’s journey and life purpose is different. The important thing is that I’m trying. I’m getting started. And even in moments when I’m weak, scared or feel like I’ve failed, I get up and march on.

Still marching.

Lots of love,

Fatma.

chasing dreams

“Artists have so much more control of their futures – they don’t need to rely so much on major labels or big companies to help them. You have artists like Skrillex that can dominate so much that he gets 5 Grammy nominees, and he’s clearly an underground artist.”

– Steve Aoki.

concert1concert2concert3concert4

Sometimes an incident, big or small, can occur that will make you second guess yourself. Your abilities, your dreams, especially when your purpose is unclear (it doesn’t need to be clear because everyone has a different rate of growth). I was in the dumps for a few days, second guessing whether I should proceed with my ‘pilgrim adventures’, asking if it’s worth it, do the easy thing, give it up, and conform or if I should do the difficult thing – keep going one step at a time and see where it goes. Then one evening I got a wave of an emotion I can’t describe as anger, but similar to it. Whatever it was, even after a long day at work, it kept me at my bedside table editing these pictures for the next two and a half hours until past midnight. It reminded me of something I read once that Maya Angelou said about the difference between anger and bitterness; ‘Bitterness is like cancer, it eats upon the host. But anger is like fire, it burns all clean’.

You see the thing is, I know I’m not perfect. I know I have a long way to go, a lot to learn and I don’t shy away from that fact. I embrace it. I came across a quote on Instagram that goes something like, ‘let the space between who you are and where you want to be inspire you.’ That is exactly what I live by. I will try something new today, may turn out well, or not. And I will get up and try again. The important thing is to keep creating, sharing, growing. I can describe more of who I want to be than of who I am now, so if I could describe myself in one word, it would be ambitious. This felt like an appropriate pretext to this post. Read on, I’m getting to my point.

On the second day of the Grand Prix, the entertainment section was just as incredible and exciting as the races. The organizers had planned activities for different age groups, and a post-race concert that began at around 7 pm just a few minutes from the viewing stands. Underneath the huge tents, were ladies dressed as mushrooms and fairies from Peter Pan, clowns on stilts and in inflated costumes, candy canes plonked into the ground at random places, the sweet and sticky smell of spilled soda, ice cream, candy, pop corn, pizza and Red Bull. An array of colour and activity, with furniture to seat at and observe the life around you if you’re as in awe as I am in new places! Additionally, there were several themed stands like the bubble making stand, sadly for children aged 5-10 so I just stood on the perimeter of the stand taking pictures, haha.

My family and I then dashed to watch the races and at 7 pm headed back to the stage early enough to get a spot at the front. My reaction to seeing Enrique on that stage was, drum rolls please, tears. I was tearing up remembering how at age 10 or 11, my dad bought his first CD and I’d sing along my terrible version lyrics to Hero and Escape. ‘Here’s how it goes, you and me, up and down but baby.. mumbles.. mumbles.. mumbles.. If you feeeeel like leaviiiiing’, you get the point 😀 I’d carry that CD with me in my schoolbag to show my friends (we’d call ourselves the Blooming Ladybirds lol) where we’d then appropriately scream and giggle like little girls.

I kid you not, at least 1000 views of the Bailando song on YouTube are mine 😀 And so by the time Enrique performed that song, my mascara and kohl was a mess, my voice was hoarse and I was in a dream like trance. At one point, he got off stage and came down to the barricade to mingle with the fans. I was star struck, paralyzed, and just stood there in amazement asking out loud, ‘Is this real?’ ‘Take pictures, be present,’ I’d then tell myself. At the end of Enrique’s set, Steve Aoki was next and woah, that energy! It made me think about people who I look up to professionally, leading the lives of their dreams doing what they love. Innovators. Artists. People who do different things and dare to step out of their comfort zones, prepared to take on whatever challenges are brought their way.

People like Enrique Iglesias, Steve Aoki, the formula 1 racers all take a huge risk stepping out onto the stage of life, opening themselves up to create and face criticism. They keep working hard at their dreams. I’d never been a fan of Steve’s genre of music but after watching him live, I now have a great respect for his craft. The visuals, his energy and enthusiasm. Wish I got to watch the whole performance but alas, we had to be home before the clock struck ten (and this was only because we were actually being chaperoned haha).

This post took me back to that barricade at the concert. Watching people I admire live their dreams, have people adore their craft and inspire others to do something too.

The easy thing for me to do would be give up on this blog (or any other ridiculous dreams I have) which is not only a hobby, but also what I see as a vehicle to help me live out a larger purpose. To push me towards following my dreams, and help you (whoever is reading) see that hey, if Fatma can get started then so can you. Whataver it is. Doesn’t matter who gets there first, just that you get started and keep going.

I’m writing to myself now.

If you have a dream, you will have to work at it and deal with whatever challenges that come your way. You will have to change some habits, create more time (borrow time from the future as Professor Anyamba would say) to accommodate all the responsibilities you need to balance. You will need to get things done. It’s the only way to grow.

Dream. Strategize. And work.

Watch this.