Uninspired 

HelloHalima

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I always get into bouts of creative energy- kind of being on a elongated sugar high (see: day after Halloween/Christmas/Valentines Day when you stock up on 50% off chocolate and candy) which tends to last for a few days until I get stuck. Just like that sugar high, I come crashing down and so do all of my ideas. I can’t even seem to write about my day- the crippling fear of judgement comes back in huge ways- in a similar way as the sugar high… except I never come down. This was kind of numbed in 2016- I learned how to push past the nervousness and just press ‘post’ whether or not the material is considered to be ‘good’- if it’s bad, if it’s complete trash, the feeling of posting allows you to finally be finished with a piece. It allows you to share your work with the world and move on to different material. It’s 6 days into 2017 and I’ve forgotten what that feels like. My creativity is still stuck in 2016- unable to make the leap to this brave new world.

2016: a year of many heartaches, losses, self-discovery, growth and renewal. In the span of 2016, change and loss have become more frequent as I have learned about what I am no longer willing to tolerate. I was also fortunate enough to meet people who showed me what friendship and loyalty really is.

All in all, I am trying.

While it is a little bit too late to be pitching New Years goals and resolutions, I have a 3 that I would like to set out into the universe and perhaps revisit a year from now.

1. Goals can be quite daunting to accomplish, start by setting a ‘beginning goal’, ‘middle goal’ and ‘end goal’ and work towards each one every single day. Do goal ‘check ins’ every single Sunday. Explore questions of, what did I accomplish this week in order to bring me closer to my goals? How can I do better for next week? What is yet to be considered?

2. Do not let people make you feel bad about your goodness or how kind you are. Many will try. This sounds kind of lame but I often find myself at a loss for words when I see people trying to take advantage of me. I think it is because I expect the best from everyone I meet because almost everyone I meet end up being such kind, positive and amazing souls. When I am introduced to fake and negative people- people that try to hide their manipulations with a smile or a compliment, I become vigilant in how I let that energy around me. I will no longer be apologizing for my positive outlooks on life, how kind or ‘nice’ I am because when people try to make you feel bad about yourself, it is because they are unable to feel good about who they are inside.

3. Keep it moving. 2017 will be the year of getting my LIFE! No more dwelling on situations, problems, friendships that are not positively conducive to my growth as an individual. I will take more chances in 2017. I will reflect before I say ‘yes’ to things- while 2016 was the year of yes, 2017 will be the year of contemplating NO. No more piling on activities or projects that I am unable to handle, no more feeling bad about saying no because it is not selfish. A wonderful person in my life recently told me:

“Halima, don’t be afraid to say no to things sometimes. No does not equal being selfish”.

 

J COLE, A REVIEW ON HATERS, ‘THE NEIGHBOURS THINK I’M SELLING DOPE’ AND HOPE

HelloHalima

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Instead of studying for my exams, I am sitting here listening to J Cole’s latest album ‘4 Your Eyez Only’. The fire that is emanating from my speakers is quite distracting (oh god Halima that was so corny, this is why you don’t write any reviews!). This by far is NOT a traditional music review- I am just a mere mortal who has immersed herself into the cold world of J Cole. Personally, I feel like this album is quite different- a visceral and emotionally charged account on themes of  mass incarceration, racism, love, marriage, growing up, mortalities as a black man and the perils of fatherhood. While these are ideals that he has touched on in the past, this album feels different. It feels like a good-bye letter, a joint effort cultivated through the experiences of his fallen friend (James McMillan) and the experiences that he wishes us to know about. This is a direction that was quite interesting to experience through our eyes and through Cole’s eyes as well.

At first, I was expecting a powerful classic, one that mirrored the same intensity and power as ‘Born Sinner’ or ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’,  I ended up listening and being exposed to a sad and climactic goodbye. A farewell to familiar themes, ideals, beliefs, experiences. This narrative consisted of a 10 track story told through the perspective of Cole himself and that of his friend (possibly- James McMillan). What I loved about this album is how you can just close your eyes and be transported to wherever he is. The nature of his storytelling transcends traditional norms of the rap music that exists these days- with the rise of the Lil Yachtys, the Macklemores, the Madeintyo’s,  it is easy to be dazed by the appeal of trash music and not be able to recognize heartfelt sound when it drops and hits you in the face. It is also easy to be confused and not appreciate the full power of ‘4 Your Eyez Only” when the interconnection between fake trap- actual trap and plagiarization of this Cole-esqe type of aesthetic is all you are familiar with. Was that an attempt of me trying to dissect this album on a macro level? Who knows? What I do know is a few of my friends have come out the woodwork as newly coined Cole haters by saying all of J-Cole’s music “sounds the same” and “is not original” to which I say, first… no two J-Cole songs sound the same, it resembles the snowflake effect or that of eyebrows, you will never have the same Cole song. It is because all the lyrics are beautifully poignant, paint lovely imagery in your mind, so real you start to see it come alive (remember how visceral wet dreams was?) and second, I can’t take music advice from people who think Macklemore is a work of art. Sorry not sorry. 

The most striking song (and my favourite off the album) is ‘Neighbours’. It tells the story of J Cole renting out a home for his Dreamville producers, artists. What was supposed to be a haven and a safe space to create music and be inspired quickly became poisoned by the influence and patriots of white suburbia. ‘Neighbours’ is a wonderful representation of the racism that is ravaging the world as Cole recounts what happens when you become a victim of the discriminatory beliefs and racist ideals his neighbours had. Cole starts off the song with a powerful intro: /I guess the neighbours think I’m sellin’ dope, sellin’ dope/ Okay, the neighbours think I’m sellin’ dope, sellin’ dope/ Sellin’ dope, sellin’ dope, sellin’ dope/. The irony is that Cole is indeed selling dope, his dope music, his dope persona, his dope story-telling all culminating in this amazing song and album to come out of it- horrible and typical experiences that are a result of such deeply rooted hatred from white people who only think black people at J-Cole’s caliber can be either drug dealers or rappers. Cole later on explains that he “can’t sleep cause [he’s] paranoid, black man in a white man territory. Cops bust in with the army guns, no evidence of the harm we done. Just a couple neighbours that assume we slang. Only time they see us we be on the news, in chains, damn” This diminishes his personhood as they do not lend him the courtesy of seeing him as a neighbour, as an equal. This just goes to show that levels of fame are not enough to protect you from these kinds of experiences. I feel as though some ignorant people would expect experiences like this to disappear and not affect prolific artists once they reach a certain level of fame- it does not matter if you are one of the president’s favourite artists or if you have grammys and oscars to your name, ignorance and racist ideals will seep through and hatred will become an overwhelming force to be reckoned with. Cole mentions this in ‘Neighbours’ but later leaves us with a sense of hope, a sense of renewal, a sense of clarity as he says ‘My intuition is telling me there’ll be better days’.

While there is a lot I can say about this album, what I will say is for the people saying “I was expecting better…”, “This is not his best album….”, “J Cole fell off”, I can only say I’m sorry for your loss. The impactful nature of this album and the ability Cole shares by being able to not only rap and express himself from multiple points of view and perspectives but share in the perspectives of others is astonishing. I do not believe ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ was meant to be the next “2014 Forest Hills Drive” or even a carbon copy of any of his earliest works. It is meant to be an album that speaks to the nature of today- an emotional, political and powerful commentary that is able to speak to the many. A narrative that honours his friend and shares in his legacy and allows for us to do the same. Thank you J Cole.

 

 

 

Temptations Rising

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

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Our eyes meet, begging to have a conversation;
The twinkle in yours draws me in closer and closer.
The intoxication I feel is better than a mediated high,
One that takes me into mindless euphoria,
One that shapes the way I feel for you.
The point of the matter is discussed through a slight touch,
Gentleness contrasted by the flickering of the room luminosities.
I feel enveloped in the cliché of cloud 9,
Words are unspoken,

As our pupils dilated in the tide of lust do the talking
The attraction seems to know no bounds,

A craving that’s filled yet unsatisfied by only touch.
A feeling as if our souls were cascading.

Through an ever-flowing stream of emotion,
dancing gently through a monstrous storm.
The sensation you leave me with has me begging for more,
An ideal I cannot consummate.

Written by: HMF & FQ 

 

Strangers  

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

“Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of the love is lost.” -Khalil Gibran

Like passing ships in the night, we keep missing each other.

Your presence felt heavily like a gust of wind or a perculation of goosebumps.

We miss out on the little instances of each other’s lives

and the thoughts we would collectively share

the little instances of life muddled up with the big things we post to instagram.

Superficial mirages that portray fake truths.

the funny jokes or experiences we want to tell each other, halted by bitter realities

Our pride gets in the way of reaching out, catching up.

I wonder if seeing the good in you was a bad thing

You see, we are not just made up of one thing– one quality or positive attribute 

We are made up of a multitude of tiny little quirks and characteristics, actions and opinions. 

These little wonders about you shaped my feelings towards you, 

allowed me to disregard the bad in you, 

the awful, 

the ugly. 

Instead I embraced your good

 and let the rest retreat

to the back of my mind. 

Hidden behind the everyday urgencies one faces.

What is said and not meant

is often truths that bubble up

and stay deathly silent

Truths that, when spoken out loud

Fracture bones and shatter hearts.

Truths that do not allow for reconciliations

but rather the endings of relationships

Truths that are blinding to the iris and reconcilable to the soul.

What is meant and not said hinders all.

Shakyyyyy

HelloHalima
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Back when I wasn’t buried in the stress of final assignments + presentations. All smiles and a slight development of an Arthur fist.

 

The life and times of Hello Halima have been a little bit shaky recently. I am just a mere mortal, an undergraduate student trying to finish up her last year of university. While some things have become like second nature to me like- editing papers, doing readings, talking to professors and TAs about assignments + getting help when needed, I still struggle with the dreaded 11:59 rule. The feeling you get after submitting an assignment is quite frightening.

Symptoms similar to Eminem’s Lose Yourself plague you as your palms are sweaty, knees get weak, arms are heavy. There’s vomit on your sweater already, mom’s spaghetti. I become nervous but on the surface, I am definitely not ready. My feelings towards this are about to dissipate as I just submitted my second to last final assignment for the fall term.

While I have a handle on school, it’s been this blog that I’ve been neglecting 😦

They say posting everyday helps your brand. If that’s the case then I have surely been suffering in that regard. While this post is an update to all my friends + followers of this blog, I am happy to say that I will be posting everyday this month with the hashtag #30daysofhellohalima.

Good news is my writing has definitely not been as shaky as my procrastination skills. My latest article for The Underground can be found here. Everytime I see my work physically published, it just makes me so happy. The plausibility of it is quite a sight to behold. Writing about Representation in the Fashion and Beauty industry was very dope- it allowed me to explore a new dimension of writing. A kind that I had not been exposed to before so it was very interesting to try out.

Stay tuned for more hellohalima…

If you are reading this, just know that I am praying for you. I pray all of your exams, assignments, trials and tribulations, relationships and friendships flourish in this crazy and a little bit frightening month.

Xoxo till next time,

Halima

OCTOBER 31st

HelloHalima

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Here we are in the last ten minutes of October and I am feeling content. The 31st has been quite a “full-circle moment” type of day. I found myself going through the day just completely and wholeheartedly content with where I am in life. It made me reflect on last autumn, where I was a little bit lost, a whole lot confused and muddled up with the misgivings of life. It has been a while since my last update post. I always do this thing where I post and feel very positive about the content I am posting but then I get lost in the grand scheme of things- school and life swallows me whole and I lose touch with what I want to say. I think of different prompts, ideas, poetry, quotes that inspire me to write but then it just falls flat- ideas forgotten before pen even hits paper.

The last time I posted something, I was 20 years old- excited for the start of October and for my birthday to arrive. Excited for the opportunities that October so often presents. With a new month comes new opportunities, experiences and ideologies so this month was no different. If we are being honest, October was supposed to be a month of finding myself as a writer- I dared myself to write a post everyday for 31 days, I dared myself to think outside the box as a writer. But then reality set in- MIDTERMS… STRESS… SCHOOL. These three factors teamed up to turn my attention away from my wants in life. Other than that, I have found this October to be a month of insight, of new experiences and shedding the layers of toxicity that once covered me up.

I am 21 years old. Alhamdulliah. Thank god. After a glorious 3 day celebration comprising of a surprise party on my actual birthday, dinner with the most amazing group of people on the Friday and hanging out with my soul sister on Saturday- I have come up with the conclusion that while a lot of things may constantly be up in the air- changing at a rapid rate, most things- especially wonderful and meaningful relationships- always stay the same.

It is interesting to see where I was a year ago- versus this year. You know that quote that people always throw around: “Think about it like this, will what or who you are worrying about matter a year from now?” is quite a true sentiment- the physical and emotional ties that were pulling me in different directions have been severed- my academic and personal lives have improved dramatically and because of this I feel so free. It is quite a liberating feeling to be able to live your day to day life without the baggage and influence of ideologies and ties that have once made you feel so hollow. Do not get me wrong- I am quite grateful for negative experiences over the past year. These experiences might make you feel broken in the moment but in the long run- it will reshape you and help you with your future self.

While 2016 has been a year of tribulations- it feels quite freeing to finally be in such a positive space- in all aspects of my life.

 

Tangibility

HelloHalima

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Too often we are stuck behind the formalities of hiding behind our pride. We become products of our own self-sabotage as we find ways to hide our real emotions and find the easy route to a lessened ideal of pain.

We become afraid of opening up to our loved ones because the truth becomes tangible, we do not apologize when it is the easiest option because fighting takes less energy than letting go of your pride to right a wrong. The options to salvage a friendship become harder to fathom so we end up just cutting ties altogether. In our idea of saving ourselves, we often end up hurting the relations we once held so dear.

That being said, some relationships deserve quick snips, severances so real and deep that looking twice is almost disgraceful. You are not fair to yourself when you choose to engage in ideals of toxicity. Toxic friends, toxic behaviours. A barrier and a block to your self-growth, a piece of the self-sabotage tree blossoming into branches of negativity, roots that overtake your life.

In this pursuit of tangibility, our grasp of our everyday reality is re-shaped and damaged. We rarely stop to fix and examine the misgivings that we are accustomed too. We lose pieces of ourselves in what we choose to shatter and discard. What happens to those pieces when we try to start anew? Our relationships tainted by holding onto what once hurt us, things that prevent us from fully evolving.

We hide behind our emotions- we do not text the people we like back in fear that we are being “too much”. We do not tell our friends and loved ones how much they mean to us in fear of being “too sappy”, “too cliche”, “too emotional”. These terms become catalysts in preventing us from furthering and connecting to our ever changing emotions. It is as if the arenas of our emotions become overfilled, the doors close as the last call for sentiment is made. We become disenchanted with the way we form relationships- superficial means hindered by rituals that become devoid of meaning. “Oh he took two hours to text back, I will take four…”, “She is snapchatting me but never hitting me up to hang out, I am going to ghost her…” “She’s my friend but sometimes I don’t understand her so I do not like talking to her…”

Our words become empty as we try to fight fire with fire, disconnect ourselves from people we do not even try to understand. We become stuck like glue to paper in certain relationships, the stickiness of it all becomes hard to remove. The relationships that occur in these social spaces become so strained and so hard to engage in- all hope becomes lost. We always think of the what ifs when it comes to engaging with people. We become numb to ways of connecting that when it becomes too late, the only blame we can place is with ourselves. Just like Kanye said, “If you admire somebody, you should go ahead and tell em/people never get the flowers while they can still smell em” 

OCTOBER’S SONG

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

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The air was crisp and thick with last nights rain,

The sun kissed the tall autumn skyline as birds sang their soliloquies

And I was standing there unchanged.

The illustrious clouds painted a vivid cascade, so heartbreakingly beautiful that it was difficult to leave.

It was difficult to comprehend

The boundless constraint of nature.

The quiet was deafening so I started to sing a song.

You could hear the octaves of my voice shake the trees

Echo in the mountains.

The song echoed as it reminded me of the beauty you possessed

Beyond the pines.

I sang this song in tribute of you.

Summers Over Interlude

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

It has been forever since my last post! I have definitely missed writing, a luxury that is hard to indulge in when you are busy with the trials and tribulations of school. Summer 2016… I started off thinking that this would be an awful summer- the idea of summer school discouraged me, it made me feel overwhelmed and filled to the brim with anxiety. Taking classes in the summer meant graduating on time the following summer. Then what? The idea of the end being so near was so daunting, this coupled with the idea that taking classes in the summer meant an absence of all the fun that summer usually brought.

Boy was I wrong. This summer was quite a learning experience- I strengthened some of my friendships while simultaneously growing apart from others. The growing pains of coming into my own as an adult have passed and with it, an entire summer of wonderful memories and experiences. 

As summer is over, we are now back to the reality of day to day life. School! Although I am already feeling the Fourth year blues, I am ready! I am going to share 3 goals of mine that I hope will help whoever is reading this in their academic/personal lives.

My goals for this 2016-2017 year are simple:

  1. TAKE BETTER CLASS NOTES: Start off by printing out any and all notes the teacher provides at the beginning of the class, then write down what the professor verbally says directly on the printed out material!  Writing down notes is way more memorable than typing it out. The guide below is definitely a great aid to help you formulate your lecture notes and help you in your courses.

awkward-ted-mosby-forgets-how-to-spell-professor-on-how-i-met-your-mother2. Make connections with Professors. I cannot stress this enough! My first two years began with me dodging Professors, afraid to look them in the eye as they would often catch me on my phone or falling asleep in their classes. I did not know how to maintain relationships with Professors that would have 100-200 students in their class, even when I went to office hours, I was often a rambling mess- trying to think of things to help me sound intelligent in the particular field that they were from. Don’t worry about any of that! Start off every class by finding an opportunity to introduce yourself to the Professor, “Hi, I’m Halima and I am really looking forward to this class!”- a little goes a long way as introducing yourself helps you to be a memorable student. As the course progresses, go to office hours! Talk about the readings, what you understand, what you don’t understand! What you want to know more about… conversations will allow you to not only further your education but will help you deepen your understanding about the material at hand. Finally, ditch emails for face to face interactions. Often times, emails are so overly formal and personal. If you find an opportunity to explain your questions or problems with the Professor in person- you will be able to make an impression that will last longer.

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3. Ditch any and all toxic things/people/influences in your life. This summer has taught me how draining it is to be constantly worrying about what other people think about you and what happens when you do not meet their expectations. In life, you will often come across experiences and instances that will shake you and try to redefine who you are, the goal is to not let it. The process of who you are is something that you can only begin38_zpsvknai4q5 to work on. By letting others influence your worth, you become lost and disillusioned in who you are and what you are about. I was inspired by a video I recently watched a video titled: “Dumping My Ex Saved My Life” created by Shannon Boodram (my favourite Youtuber! She’s amazing, please check out all her content, she is the best!) it was an update video where she talks about the different facets of her life. What
really struck me was what she had to say towards the end of the video about life. “Start being in process. A lot of us have an idea about who we are and what we want to accomplish but because that feels so far from where we are right now, the beginning is too daunting” My goal is to constantly be in process with who I am as an individual, to constantly be working on myself because once you stop, you cheat yourself from what you really deserve in your life. The process of working on myself includes shedding myself from the negative influences that make me feel bad about myself, that cloud my judgement in my life and by doing this, I am inherently bettering myself in the long run. I am now in such a happy place and my number one goal is to continue this for the rest of the 2016 year and the rest of my life.

I hope these goals have inspired you in some capacity and I would love for you to keep up with me and my blog by signing up on the email list at the bottom of the main page as well as keeping up with me on Instagram. I hope wherever you are, you have a wonderful start to the school/work year!

Xo

-Halima

In Between

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

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I have found myself in a state of in between, 

 a limbo-like state that makes me constantly feel like I’m dangling from the edge of a cliff,

one hand simply separating me from plummeting to my untimely death.

I am between two selves,

two feelings,

two possible outcomes of my life’s journey.

I am between liking the way you make me feel and hating you with every fibre of my being.

Between laughing at your jokes, no matter how corny

and wanting to forget about you entirely.

Between hearing you say “I love you” and wishing desperately for

an “I hate everything you stand for”, 

And yet I dangle,

my feet off the ground, far from any sibilance of safety, my heart gone with it.

I am in shambles, 

Torn entirely. 

Time’s Tale

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

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-Norvz Austria Art 

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I was thinking about this quote a lot today. I thought about it when I first read the novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han and recently it re-surfaced in my mind as I was on the bus ride home. I don’t know if I would consider it to be an epiphany but I started to think about the truth in this sentiment.

Time is an instance that is always fleeting, it continues to evade us as we are constantly in pursuit of completing something. A goal, a task, a long-term or short-term dream. Some of the relationships we possess are placed on the back-burner. We do not even recognize that this is happening. We always believe in the fact that we have time, time to catch up. Time to reminisce about the good times, time to create new memories. We do not possess this time. Circumstances and everyday life interferes with the plans you aspire to create as well as the ones that are creating right now.

Before you know it, years have gone by and you are still on your grind, separate from the reality you once lived in.

The idea of living for right now is something that I am starting to grasp. We spend so much time trying to cultivate ideas of future dreams and future goals but we forget that living for today is just as important as dreaming for tomorrow. I recently found a list of goals I wanted to accomplish by 2016, strange feat as I am only 20 but the remarkable thing is, my goals are still the same as they were years ago. I knew that I wanted to start a blog (check!), maintain relationships with my nearest and dearest best friends (check!), make new friends at school and find my “people” at school (check!), lose 10 pounds (eh… almost check?!) and be happy (in progress). These goals are an ongoing process in my life but my goal for everyday is to live in the now… always.

“When feeling overwhelmed by a faraway goal, repeat the following: I have it within me right now, to get me to where I want to be later.” -Karen Salmansohn 

Update: Writers Block

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

 

Writers block

 

I was talking to someone from school recently and she asked me “Halima, why don’t you post more frequently? I don’t get it, you have all this time and yet your blog remains dormant and all you do is watch netflix everyday, are you lazy…” While this is partially true, what I did not like was the polarizing attitude she had and the lack of understanding she possessed about writers block. Some say that writers block is a myth, just an imaginary and psychological barrier in your mind that you create when you want to avoid fear of being judged or justify not writing. To these people I say, to hell with you!

When you suffer from writers block, you feel the bubbling of the words at the tip of your tongue, the words and the intent are there but suddenly vanish as you are unable to retrieve them back again. It feels horrible, kind of like a sneeze that does not really come out but you are left with a strange sensation and a weird expression on your face. Recently, I have found myself at a loss for words but not really? I do not know how to explain it, if you have ever suffered from it then you know about what I am speaking about, the halting sensation you feel, the panic when the words do not feel or flow the same way on paper than how they did in your mind, the frustration of not communicating how you feel properly. I write and write and write but sometimes I do not feel like what I am writing is at the caliber that it is usually at. I am stuck like a piece of fresh gum at the bottom of my shoe, it is a annoying reoccurrence in my life.

Charles Bukowski once said “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” hence this post but what I still do not understand is the way in which people just think they know you. It is infuriating!!! The idea that someone can just speak about your intentions, your thoughts, your ideologies and just misconstrue them in a way that no longer contains the essence of you. It is like they project their own expectations, ideas and thoughts onto you and think that because of this, you are similar to them? No way. I found this quote that really helped me get out of my rut:

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” -Hilary Mantel

And patient is what I’ll be.

food for thought

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry, Photography

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What if we actually decided to be honest about what we were thinking? What we were feeling?

What if we actually said what we meant to say instead of a redefined, edited and manufactured version of our thoughts? Our feelings? Our emotions?

What if we didn’t hide behind messages of “it’s fine” or “it’s not a big deal” and we told it like it is?

What if we allowed ourselves to live and breathe authenticity and not ignore everything with blinders on? What if we saw and responded without the use of rose-colored glasses?

Why can’t we just live in a world where we tell the people that we love, that we love them?

These questions race through my mind as I think about speaking to you, reaching out to tell you how I feel,

but I am halted by my pride so I hide like always, behind a facade of laughter and nonchalance.

In time, all these questions find their answers: realizations contemplated after epiphanies cultivated,

To be honest means to be truthful with myself, that’s a pill I am not ready to swallow.

To say what I mean, means to be real with myself and all that I feel in a world so hallow and cold.

Truth can be a fickle thing, coated in a syrup too sticky to lay my fingers on.

I wish I could embrace it, change it and swallow it whole,

Food for thought.

 

 

love me, love me not

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

 

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The art of rejection and feelings of unrequited love is similar to someone pouring salt into an open wound, it stings and hurts but eventually you clean it out and get over it. Or so we think. I remember as a child, the ideals of love were so simple, you meet someone, and you fall in love and live happily ever after, the end. At least… that’s what my naïve self believed. Growing up, when I thought about love, I envisioned a feeling, an emotion that is endless and all consuming, an image of two people falling in love and riding off into the sunset only to live happily ever after.  Recently, the idea of unrequited love boggles my mind. Where is the love for the ones who love but are not loved back? The dejection that is linked to someone not reciprocating your deeply rooted feelings, the sadness that is a consequence of wilful ignorance. Unrequited love is the illness to its counterpart, happiness and total contentment. A wise person once said, “Isn’t it ironic…we ignore those who adore us, adore those who ignore us, hurt those who love us, and love those who hurt us.” This wise person might have been onto something. Although highly cliché, this ironic sentiment is the basis for all of our romantic misgivings. While we might love love, we definitely do not like the idea of unrequited love. When we are not appreciated or loved in the same way, it creates a clash between the hope for our romantic present intertwining with that of our future relationships. The idea of unrequited love is something we have all experienced in some shape or form. Perhaps through a crush on the boy/girl at school, secret feelings for your best friend, a date or two with a guy/girl from Tinder but it does not work out. For whatever reason, fate, or the divine universe or whatever you might believe in is playing referee. Walking the halls of UTSC, I began to wonder whether this problem was a recurring phenomenon amongst my peers. How many times have you been dragged through the mud in the pursuit of love?

They say it is better to have loved than lost but what if you are a victim of both? This is precisely what unrequited love is, the painful instance of loving someone who does not feel the same way. To think about unrequited love and rejection, we must first look at the critical component of who is involved. There’s a naïve- butterflies in your stomach-can’t sleep without thinking about it- stage in a relationship that has you transfixed and convinced that everything is fine and dandy, when that is not always the case. The majority of the time, we fantasize and project our own dreams and expectations onto the other. This in turn allows for disappointment when things do not work out between the other person. I asked a few students at UTSC about this conventional set of notions and I was surprised to find out the different levels of unrequited love/rejection that existed. When asked about experiencing this issue, Idil, a third year arts management student said, “I remember back in high school, I guess I kind of experienced it with one guy…” she added, “it eventually led to something better cause I ended up getting with his friend instead!” after laughing jokingly, she later added: “When I think about love, I think about the relationship between me and my cat, Chester. He’s like a user and abuser, I give him my all and he doesn’t appreciate me as much as I appreciate him, and he chooses every family member but me! But honestly, it’s life! Not everybody is going to love you or like you at some point in your life but you gotta move on and appreciate yourself for who you are and KNOW that there are other people out there that will appreciate you back… maybe I should get a new cat though…”

The social aspect of rejection is one that is the basis of all fundamental romance. It is evident in the Films/TV shows we watch, the books we read and the music we listen too. “When I think of unrequited love, I think of rom-coms! Movies like Never Been Kissed and 500 Days of Summer are the backbone of our society.” says Nikita Singh, a fourth year Health Studies student. Time and time again, the hurt and turmoil that people feel through this unrequited love is one that is a synthesis of the romantic period. Hurt and pain sells, if you don’t believe me, ask Drake! In this commercialized appraisal of unrequited love, how do we even begin to pick up the pieces of our broken selves to ensure moving on? The idea of self-reflection and healing is the most crucial step in order to recover from the sting of rejection and unrequited love. The first thing you need to realize is, it’s their loss! As overused and wildly cliché as that sentiment is, your actions of infatuation are not made in vain if someone does not appreciate and love you for who you are. You are a badass! You are smart; you are loyal (I appreciate you *DJ Khaled Voice*). Aashna Thakkar, a fourth year New Media Studies student had some final wise words to share, “If a guy rejects you, it’s his loss! There’s plenty of other fish in sea, as they say!” So despite initial fears and reservations, continuously putting yourself out there will contribute to your experiences and drive you one step closer to your desired, everlasting romance.

 

15 for 2015

HelloHalima, Life

I remember thinking to myself, “Wow I cannot believe it’s 2015… sometimes I still catch myself writing 2010 as the date on papers!” after which I would quickly erase, frazzled at the idea that I would write 2010 on a university based paper. I did not expect to have such a whirlwind year filled with endless opportunity, possibility and dare I say, magic? The lessons I’ve learned have not only doubled as another year has gone by but have enriched my life tremendously. In truth, while the end of the year, New Years Eve in particular, is the perfect time to contemplate the year’s experiences, losses, and accomplishments, I thought I would sum them up for a particularly cheesy post. Tis the season for cliché’d lessons that have not only helped me but I am hoping these lessons will maybe help you as well! I am grateful for every single one of them.

  1. Sometimes it is okay to unplug. Sounds like a difficult task as we are constantly plugged into the “world around us”, we unknowingly reach for our phones as the newest push notification comes through, reminding us that its so and so’s birthday from Facebook, or that someone so graciously liked our Instagram photo from last night… We are so used to being plugged in but when do we even ever consider the idea of logging out? Shutting off our phones for a few hours to achieve some level of sanity? Give yourself a chance to unplug and collect your thoughts! unplug-in-ng-pink
  2. Needing help is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether it be in school or in life, reaching out to people who love you and want the best for you is such a wonderful and relieving thing to be able to do. In all honesty, you might shy away from this in fear of not wanting to appear “weak” or “not responsible” and you may be scared of disappointing someone or the idea of what people might think of you but asking for help is one of the bravest tasks you will be able to accomplish and in the end you will not only be strong but you will truly thank yourself.
  3. The people you started 2015 with may not necessarily still be in your life at the end of this year but that is okay. Things are constantly evolving and circumstances change, if you truly think about it, there might be a multitude of reasons for why it just did not work out. Maybe you grew apart, maybe they ghosted you, maybe you guys just were not vibing in the same way and you broke up? Whatever it is, you should know that this person mattered to you and was apart of your life for a particular reason/time period and just be grateful for that and move on! The experience of that relationship will not be lost on you, perhaps you will continue to see a bit of that person in each of the people you meet in life, maybe you will be reminded of them through a particular song or nostalgic memory… either way, as cliché as this sounds… change is inevitable and you will adapt!tumblr_mklsd8l2021rwbhcyo1_500
  4. In matters that feel like it can be considered “the end of the world”, you will always be okay.                                                                       
  5.  Be money smart (this is something I’m still working on) do you really need to spend all that $$ at V.V boutique?                                          
  6. Be kind to those around you, a smile can go along way and maybe a compliment or two. Acknowledge that people might be going through the same (if not worse) experiences as you and by being kind, you can make someone feel at ease.                                                      
  7. Doing your eyebrows is a major key! Perhaps this one is more of a reminder then a lesson but whether you clean yours up with makeup, pluck them, tweeze/wax them or *if you were just blessed naturally with great eyebrows* acknowledging them in a daily routine should not go undone! The key to success is a great brow gel/set. I recommend either Milani (drugstore) or Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel if you are feeling kind of wild with your wallet.

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    These are eyebrow GOALS. Look how perfect the hairs look????

  8. Procrastination is the worst thing ever. This is something that I have known and struggled with for years and a concept that I am still struggling with. Waiting till the last minute to do something is one of the most nerve-racking things ever! I am talking about last minute papers, presentations, speeches, etc. It makes the most simple things difficult, depending at how *good* at it you are, it can take a 88 (A+) that you COULD work towards by starting an assignment early to a low 70 (B) or maybe even LOWER (dare I say 50?). It makes you feel bad about yourself as you curse yourself at 4:32 AM, crying and yearning for a minute of sleep but not being able to get any because you fucked up by starting your assignment at 2AM. It is truly an illness. A trick I learned from my best friend (shout out to M) is CONVINCE yourself that your assignment is due a week or two earlier then it actually is. I remember thinking how stupid this was as M cut our dinner/hangout short as she “had an assignment that was due tomorrow” when in actuality it was due 2 weeks from that date. I have yet to try this idea but if it worked for her, it can work for me too! the-5-stages-of-procrastination_o_302869
  9. Watching a movie alone, going to dinner alone, etc., is not lame! This year I found that there is often a stigma attached to doing these things alone. It is as if people pity you when they see you out to lunch by yourself or at the movies by yourself. “How many people will be joining you Miss?” says the perky waitress as she fumbles with multiple menus. “Um… it’s actually just a table for one” I admit, rather sheepishly. “Oh…” she says as she takes the longest pause ever, with a noticeable flash of pity in her eyes, “…right this way.”  It is actually quite freeing to see a movie by yourself, you are not bothered by noisy friends/siblings trying to ask you questions during the movie, you will not be judged/laughed at by whether or not you cry during movies like train-wreak, you can eat snacks as messy as you normally would at home. It is pretty  cathartic.
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Real life image of me crying-laughing at the movies. JK it’s Shia LaBeouf!

10. Be spontaneous. It’s pretty easy to blame a lack of spontaneity on a hectic school or work schedule but for the moments that you are able to swing it, be spontaneous in what you choose to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon or the middle of Wednesday. Being spontaneous has enriched my year and created some of the best memories I could ever ask for. 

11.  You cannot control everything. It is very difficult to just sit back and watch as life becomes chaotic, things get out of your reach and your immediate control and you are rendered unable to do anything. Sometimes you just have to realize that some circumstances are beyond your own control and just let things work themselves out in life. 

12. GET ORGANIZED. I cannot stress this one enough. Organization has truly helped me in 2015, just by always knowing what’s on the daily agenda, I have seen major improvements in not only my life but in my academic career. 

13. This one might be a bit of a sappy cliché’d  lesson/reminder but don’t ever forget about your dreams. A year or two ago, I had aspirations for a blog, I wanted to continue being a writer and I had all these plans/goals that I wrote down in a journal. Within those two years, I let my dream get lost in the shuffle, hindered by life’s experiences. I put my goals and aspirations on the back burner and let any thought of it  dwindle away. I’m so happy that I have since then found my voice again through this blog and I’m excited to work on my dreams as I greet 2016. 

14. Be true to yourself. I know this and many of the lessons in this post may be tired clichés, but hear me out. By remaining true to yourself and never allowing anyone to make you second guess yourself, you remain your best self; authentic, unique in every way. When you try to conform to society’s unfair expectations of what it means to be a woman or you focus way too much on your social media follow/follower ratio, you take away from who you are and the authenticity you radiate. Social media, truth be told, can be smokes and mirrors, a mirage in the desert as people only showcase their best selves. Try not to lose sight of who you are, what you know and just accept that the best version of yourself is the version that YOU create.

15. Last but not least, say YES. I was reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and it truly hit me, saying yes allows for a world of opportunity and a lifetime of experiences. You might be thinking, say yes to what? Say yes to possibility, allow yourself infinite chances to experience new things (in school, work, life) don’t shut them down just because you haven’t tried it before or might be scared of change. Saying Yes helped me start this blog, saying Yes helped me accomplish things I would not otherwise even dare attempt. So for 2016, say yes and reap in the rewards. 

I hope you gained something from this post as I have. Happy New Year! I am wishing you all a blissful 2016 filled with good health, constant happiness and joy, unconditional love and the power to make all your dreams come true.

 

XOXO

-Halima

 

 

Good-Bye

HMFpoetry

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It has been 5 years and quite some time now,

But it still feels like I have just lost you.

I remember the phone ringing

and with it my life was forever changed.

Like a fresh wound just inflicted upon my skin,

the pain overwhelms me and shocks me to the core.

It is so terribly painful to think of

a world without you,

So I try not to think about it and

push it to the back of my mind.

Then I realized that it is truly difficult for me to even fathom

The idea that every second without you

 is a reminder of what no longer remains.

I realized that just like ripping off a band-aid, the pain was still there

lingering and slightly above the surface.

What I would give to have

mere seconds with you,

To update you about all the new chapters in my life,

To laugh with you during the joyful moments,

ones that are filled with wonder and glee

To cry with you when life becomes dark and dreary

But original thoughts eventually re-surface

and you have to face the facts,

You are gone and have left me.

Good-bye.

I will love you, always.

Ghosts

HelloHalima, Life, Writing, Written Pieces

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What does it mean to ghost someone? I am not speaking from a literal perspective as I am well aware of the social and emotional ramifications this *newly formed* concept has, but what does it truly mean?  I always wondered how someone could lose feelings for someone so quickly… feelings that have been cultivated and shaped to create a long-lasting bond between the two people. I’m talking about memories and inside jokes, experiences and shared ideologies. How is that just simply disregarded to the point where ghosting is even a possibility? I’m talking friendships, romantic relationships, etc. The ability to just cut someone off without a moments notice. Is this what life has become? The ability to end longterm relationships based solely on the deeply rooted secret dislikes that they possess? Now when I am talking about ghosting, I am not talking about the guy you may or may not have dated for 5 minutes or the temporary friend you had for a semester. I am talking about the longterm and consistent relationships an individual possesses in their adult life.

Does the process of this “ghosting” have tell-tell signs? Is it something that has been contemplated and considered? Or are the perpetrators just people who have had enough of an individuals bullshit? Is it because the victims of “ghosting” are just in denial and oblivious to the experience and the state of the relationship? These questions run around in my mind as I ponder this confusing yet intriguing conflict. What happened to the idea of ending a relationship based off of mutual closure or are the people who believe in this just optimistic in a world so harsh and lonely? I am only thinking about this because I am reminded of a specific conversation I recently had with someone on the bus.

(For privacy purposes I will omit the names) Jess* was talking to me about the problems she was having with her best friend Leo*.

“I’m just so pissed about Leo not responding to my calls,” she says in a small sad voice. “I’m not sure what happened or what I did but we got into a weird fight about movie tickets…” She glances at me and notices my quizzical face and answers before I can even get a word in, “Yeah, don’t ask about that, long story. The thing is, I think he’s ghosting me. The vibe between us does not feel the same, it’s been the same for a while and I think he is just done with being my friend…” she continues to talk about the history she has with him and how she can’t believe a ten year friendship is fizzling out over nothing. I stare at my smart and beautiful friend and wonder, if someone is capable of ghosting her then what does this mean for our society? I thought about it for a second and wondered, you grow out of shirts, you grow out of trends but is it possible to grow out of friends?

In life you are bound to experience losses, some are through unfortunate circumstances, some are through time but now it is through the art of ghosting. Is this the first tell-tale sign of growing up? It seems the most painful breakups are the ones with best friends.

XO,

Halima

 

Half-Written Scribblings

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

Hello there, it has been a while. I know I keep saying this. I’m starting to feel like a broken record. I’m starting to feel like Frank Ocean after he promised a new album for July. (Btw where is the new album at Frank?!?!) Lately, I have been swept up in a whirlwind called School. The deadlines, the assignments, the pressure… all culminating in a inspiration-less me. I am stuck. Like gum on a pavement attaching itself to the busy footprints of an annoyed individual passing by. I never really thought of myself as someone who succumbs to writers block easily but lately I’ve just been feeling like I have a lot to say but the words just are stuck… like a blocked sneeze. Yikes, what a weird way of describing it but that’s exactly what it feels like sometimes. This build up of pressure ended up being released in a journal, a bunch of half-written rants, fictional pieces and half-written poems over the course of October. So without further ado, here are a few of my favourite half-written scribblings.

Monday // 

This is what she wants most in the world: a new start. The ability to go back in time and re-write the most life-changing experiences. The ones that keep her up at night. The memories that she has pushed down but re-surface when a familiarity occurs in her life. A song or a book, a conversation that was memorable you know? The ghosts of her confusing past.

Tuesday // 

When you realize you are better off without someone or something,

you should embrace this feeling and concept and run with it.

Throw caution to the wind because despite the situation you may be in,

the particular instance that has hindered your life and hurt you

will ultimately allow you to grow.

Wednesday // 

It has been 5 years and quite some time now

But it still feels as though I have just lost you to the viciousness of this world.

Like a fresh wound just inflicted upon my skin,

the pain overwhelms me and shocks me to the core.

It is so terribly painful to think of a world without you.

So I try not to think about it and push it to the back of my mind

*Work in progress, sometimes I think of the right words but the redundancy of it all just forces me to erase it all.

Thursday // 

There’s a reason for everything, for telling the truth, for going through with something or someone… the list goes on and on. The reason for lying or not lying is no different. It is true that the ability to lie to ourselves is easy, sometimes incredibly easy. When we want to justify something, like that second chocolate bar or the obscenely expensive online purchase, we lie to ourselves. We seek the validation from our friends, our partners, sometimes our family. There are often three reasons for something: the reason we tell others, the reason we tell ourselves, and the real reason. The correlation exists to serve at the expense of the common denominator: You.

Friday //

What constitutes a good friend? Is it the amount of times you have gone out with the said friend? The kind of gifts they have gotten you or you two have exchanged during the holidays? The amount of time you have known each other? Or is it the experiences behind calling them during a predicament? Is it measured in the tough times you two have experienced, either separately or together? The advice that they have dished out during a bad breakup or bad grade? The inside jokes, endless laughter shared and unbelievable stories/memories… Is it the feelings you get from being valued, loved, trusted and relied on? This mixed in with the hilarious and loving moments from amazing and lifelong friends…

I cannot wait to take each piece and explore further… I hope you all have a wonderful week. Let me know what you think in the comments!

XO

-Halima

Birthday Bliss + Update

HelloHalima, Life

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So I lied. Blogging everyday is no easy task… especially when you decide to do it in the middle of the busiest month ever: mid-term season. The stress, the anxiety… the readings… oh god. Nonetheless I missed you HelloHalima. I recently celebrated my 20th birthday in style of course… at an all you can eat brunch. I was blessed by so much love from my greatest friends and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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My friends surprised me with amazing “20” balloons that quickly flew away when we went outside.

I found that Hot House Restaurant + Bar was essentially all that you would want for breakfast/lunch and basically dinner. It was a smorgasbord of heavenly foods and flavours and it just happened to be my second time there. The service was great as ever and the waitress was hilarious. She did however not realize I was the birthday girl when she asked me when I wanted the birthday cake and balloons to come out. I quickly let her know I was the said birthday girl and boy was she embarrassed… It was all alright because what happened next was incredible…

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One of the most amazing, magical birthday cakes ever made. My obsession with Greys Anatomy captured in a wonderful chocolatey Reese explosion. Basically… it was heavenly. Original Cast (just missing Addison Forbes Montgomery)

It just feels so great to have (lifelong) friends who love you and know you inside and out… friends who pay attention to the little things and show you how much you mean to them. So I would like to extend a big thank you and I love you to all the people that came (and even those who were unable to) who blessed me with unconditional love, thoughtful and amazing presents and spent the day with me. I love you all!

The night of my actual birthday (October 6), I came home after a long and exhausting day at school (boo all day classes!) and found my family singing Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs. I was once again showered with love and another delicious birthday cake.

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Delicious White Chocolate Mocha Cake.

I have a crazy amount of hopes and dreams for 20… so much more than 19 because 20 marks the start of a new chapter and beginning in my life. I hope you all have a great Monday night and I hope to see you soon.

XO, Halima

memories p1 

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry, Poetry, Writing, Written Pieces

 

 

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I was rummaging through my closet and came across a box of photographs and there you were.

Your effortless beauty and heartwarming smile

frozen in time, captured by a single random moment of wonder and curiosity.

I remember that day vividly: I had just purchased my new camera and you were the first person I wanted to photograph.

At the time, you were annoyed,

At the time, you did not wish to be photographed… but of course I did not oblige.

You laughed after you saw the photo and told me to take another, and another turned into another which turned into a photoshoot.

But who could even fathom that 4 years later, I would be sitting here and you would be gone.
It’s unimaginable to think that the happiness I felt with you in that sheer moment of spontaneity will never be felt or experienced again.

Instead as I look at this photograph, I yearn for the penultimate moments before,

I yearn for the moments after and to have one last conversation with you…

It’s quite tragic really, the emptiness and nostalgia that comes over me,

It is tragic how I can vividly remember this moment but cannot even recall the last thing I said to you,

the last thing you said to me, our final and distinct memory.

I miss you.

October+Autumn

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

October

Hello October. It’s nice to see you again. I missed you. I remember being excited for your arrival as a young child. The first of October meant 5 more days until my birthday. 5 more days until growing up and growing taller, growing wiser and feeling older. It symbolized something more to me, something amazing and had me full of wonder. I wanted it to be October forever.

I am now no longer excited for that. Instead now, the meaning has changed for me. October is now the month where I am bombarded by midterms, endless assignments/quizzes and that dreadful dreadful day that still symbolizes growing older: my birthday. It’s incredible how you can feel a certain way about something as a child and have it completely change as you get older.

Autumn is a completely different story for me. I love Autumn, always have and I think I always will. Keats said it best: “How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air — a temperate sharpness about it.” The crisp and fragile air surrounding you as you leave the house, the idea behind pumpkin spice anything, the warm and sweet scent of pumpkin cinnamon engulfing your senses… it’s beautiful.

For this month, I’m planning to blog every single day (give or take a couple of exam days) so I hope to see you on the next post of Hello Halima 🙂 

P.S for all the people who like this piece, feel free to follow me on WordPress

and on instagram: hellohalima

Xo

© HelloHalima 2015

Truth

HMFpoetry, Poetry, Writing, Written Pieces

HMF1

I wanted you to know the truth and nothing but 

and yet a spiral of lies consumed us.

the type that allowed us to be friendly for a while

and yet conniving and evil when the day was up.

the truth behind betrayal is that you never see it 

coming, it blinds you like a ray of light peeking through

a half-drawn curtain

it consumes you as you try to think of the reasons why

why? why? you wonder to yourself as you try to think past

the rage and sadness that overwhelms you

but the sun sets and the day is complete

the friend i knew no longer knows me 

the relationship is severed like a clogged artery 

and the night begins anew

                             -HMF

Questions

HMFpoetry, Poetry, Writing, Written Pieces

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I often wonder what would have happened if I had said it back then. Would things have been different? Would you still be the person I know today? Would we still maintain the relationship we have today? Would those three letter words impact the course of our journey through this world? Would it have made a difference if I did? These questions plague my mind and yet when I think of you, all I see is the darkness from that day.

-HMF

New Chapter

HelloHalima, Writing, Written Pieces

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First post aka the start of something new *cue high school musical song*. As the great Lorelai Gilmore once said, “My brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish!” SdfaksjdfkasdjfaksjdfJ!! Which roughly translates to, I can’t believe I am finally posting my first ever post on my blog! I don’t know why I’m using all these exclamation marks because I am pretty sure the only people who will be reading this consist of my best friends and 3 followers on Tumblr. Hi guys!! Shout out to all of y’all for real. There was so much pressure to have the perfect “first post”… for the past couple of days I would formulate what I wanted to say and then quickly save it as a draft, hesitant in releasing it and having it officially be real… But then I thought to myself, why do that? Why not just post honest depictions of what I am feeling or thinking? I found that in order to be creative, you have to let yourself feel and express yourself accordingly. The idea of writing has always been at the forefront of my mind, whether it be through the art of journals or *secret* diaries as my little sister likes to call it, or through notes on my iPhone, the ability to convey how you are feeling through a string of poetically placed words has always been my release. It has helped me in the darkest of times and has always been a constant. I am excited to see hellohalima grow and prosper into something that I have always seen for myself: a creative outlet for not only my frantic thoughts and ideas but for people to relate to as well.

I am actually pretty interested to see what this blog will look like in a year. I plan on posting everything from random thoughts, side notes, opinion pieces to reviews, poems and short/long stories… the whole 9! If you find yourself relating to or liking any of these pieces, feel free to subscribe via WordPress or via email. I would love to have you follow my work.

I am also going to try and stop myself from occasionally ending off posts with “XOXO gossip girl” even though I’m still bitter about how a (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) certain boy from Brooklyn, New York ended up being Gossip Girl. 

XOXO  Gossip Girl 

XO, 

Halima