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.

daring greatly

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

“The Man in the Arena,” an excerpt from Citizenship in a Republic, Theodore Roosevelt.

 

Daring.jpg

Day 87/ 365

I’ve been terribly busy this past week. A marathon – so many deadlines to complete in what seems like not enough time. And on some days, it feels like time has stretched itself out like fat men after a heavy lunch – just seems to drag on into a bleak existence.

I’ve had to change some of my habits in order to create more room for productivity. My days start earlier, and end much later. Without realizing what was happening, my hour (or two) of solitude in the evenings seemed to have disappeared. My alone time is essential for my sanity, so as a result, I became restless, increasingly self conscious and haven’t been sleeping well (the recent heat waves at night haven’t made it easier, sema global warming?).

The truth is, I’ve been exhausted. For the longest time, I’ve thought of exhaustion as a negative ’emotion’ but I realized today that it could be a reason to be grateful! Yes, I know. Sounds crazy.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat”.

Exhaustion is uncomfortable, but it means growth. Struggle means that you’re actually trying, you are in the arena. I did some reflecting today, and realized that one thing is for sure; I don’t wish for comfort as a mental state I identify with, I want to keep growing, and I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready for it. Are we ever?

I can’t remember exactly how I found this interview of Dr. Brené Brown on Oprah’s YouTube channel. Everything she said made sense, so I knew I had to buy one of her books. I got ‘Daring Greatly’ two months ago, and was ‘saving it’ for something special. That special moment was last night, and one paragraph in I couldn’t put the book down.

I’m now about a third done with the book. It’s difficult to summarize twelve years of Dr. Brené Brown’s research into a single blog post, but she summarizes it best on the cover.

Daring Greatly; How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.

Almost every page brings tears to my eyes and what Oprah calls ‘aha moments’ – discussing topics like shame, vulnerability and joy. It’s exactly what I needed to read right now. Once I’m done with the book, I’ll write a little more about the lessons I’ve learnt.

I’ll end today’s post with an excerpt from the book, where she talks about ‘Wholehearted living’.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, passion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done or what is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”.

You are brave, and worthy of love and belonging 🙂

Other useful links:

Listening to Shame
Brené on Oprah