12:34pm on a Thursday, manifestations, dreams and friendship

HelloHalima, Life, Poetry

Hi, it’s me again.

Ugh… dont say it

don’t say it

don’t say it

don’t say it

….

back at it again with another blog post!

mocking-spongebob

I HaveN’T posTED iN A WhILE HEADASS! 

UGH!

I HaveN’T posTED iN A WhILE. I can’t help but laugh whenever I say such phrases.

I am going to stop putting such a premium on posting and see if that alleviates any sort of pressure or blame within the self. A lot has happened since my last “updates” post, I turned 23, in the process of *shuddering* applying my masters programs, employed but looking for a new job that is sandwiched between my two loves of health studies and English (employers, here’s looking at you!) and overall just trying to live “my best life”.

Recently, I’ve been living in such a writing drought that late night twitter had me up writing twitter poetry. 😭 it’s interesting how you yearn for all your hopes and dreams to come true but your self sabotaging monster (can you tell I started watching Big Mouth On Netflix?) will awaken within you and you end up blocking your own blessings.

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I don’t think I have a hormone monster, I have a self sabatoge monster. Can that be a thing?

You become ignorant to what you once dreamed of, the goals you wanted to establish, the realities you wanted to create. When I first started this blog, the goal was twofold, one part was to just post poetry, articles and have an outlet for my creative expressions. The other goal was to eventually write a book of sorts, an anthology inspired by love, loss and everything in between. By halting- self sabotaging my blog dreams, I indefinitely put the book dreams on the shelf. I don’t know what it is! Is it depression? Anxiety? Fear of disappointing myself? Whenever I do it, I kick myself… imaging being your own worst enemy. This is not energy I’d wish upon my worst enemy.

An Anthology by Halima Farah

I spent the better half of 2018, slowly grinding- trying to get over things… trying to live a life free of lived trauma, trying to just read, work and apply for these masters programs, trying to get over major friendships that have broken my heart, trying to get back to my dreams. There’s trying and then there’s being reminded that there’s an end goal. That’s just the part I was missing and did not know how to find. In the process of getting back to my dreams, I received a remarkable birthday present from my friends Niya, Heaven, Nikita and Rochelle. A published anthology of all my poetry, articles and everything in between! A tangible example of my dreams coming to life. Inside, every single poem I ever cried writing, articles that I’ve mulled over, ideas that I have pondered since the inception of this blog. To say I cried was an understatement. It was a wonderful reminder of your friends not giving up on you- not letting you give up on yourself- to continue to fight for your creative ideas and freedoms, to continue to imagine, cultivate and create.

It has definitely helped to jet-start my love for writing, my ideas and has left me so inspired. This post is dedicated to them- my angels and to all my friends who constantly leave me with inspiration, motivation and endless support and love. THANK YOU. This is why supporting your friends is so important- you could be the catalyst in healing their creative spirits and souls. Sometimes we get by with a little help from our friends. Thank you.

Manifestations for 2019 and for this post:

  • I will write more/post more content on hellohalima
  • I will work towards publishing my own anthology by the end of next year
  • I will continue to look for inspiration in my friends and my lived experiences.
  • I will spend time saying no, putting myself first and working toward my goals…

Till next time, XO.

Inconsistency n Anxiety: What gives?

HelloHalima, Life

How easy is it to be consistent? In the hobbies you have, the books you *attempt* to read after someone recommends yet another “coming of age” novel to you, in the relationships you have or the dreams you try and pursue? Are you consistent? I can begin by saying, no I am not. Not as much as I wish I was. If you would like to see the opposite of consistency- take my blog for example. I post sporadically. Once in a blue moon, I will strike up the creative means to create content then I will save everything as a draft and publish it months later never. //

This is where my anxieties come out to play: Perhaps my inconsistencies are being overshadowed by my fear of inadequacy, perhaps I am just a lazy person through and through- perhaps the idea of writing and the idea of people reading my words scares me. Who knows? What I do seem to realize is that inconsistency *sometimes* allows for a newfound perspective to be gained from the challenges you are trying to tackle. To have a routine, a plan, a dream and work towards these goals at a set time and at a set pace everyday allows for consistency to flourish within your life.

In some cases, it is easier said than done… especially if you suffer from anxiety or self-doubt. In my case, I suffer from the former and it sometimes has a way of creeping into what I try to accomplish in my day to day life. I find myself doubting my craft, doubting what I am interested in, doubting my own abilities and this may sometimes call on an anxiety attack or two. It is easy to dream up a plan in your mind but the realities in life (or in some cases, your own mind) sometimes find a way to deter you from your goals. It is easy to just take your inconsistent behaviours and dismiss them by saying “I am lazy” or “I am not good enough” but then what do you really accomplish? You not only hinder your own path to greatness but you miss out on opportunities to really *try* to perfect your craft and work on yourself.

Is this starting to sound like you? Are you reminded of any inconsistencies in your own life? Think of it this way, what are you inconsistent about in your own personal life? Perhaps it is a friendship you once held dear, a romantic relationship, progress with school, a partnership, a dream or an aspiration in your own life. What happened to make you lose hope? What happened to make you lose touch with your desire to complete this *said* project, to work on those relationships and to push yourself each and everyday to accomplish your dreams? These are questions I ask myself whenever I find myself falling short or not accomplishing the dreams I aspire to have.

What happens when your anxiety tries to eat you up alive and you are paralyzed with self-doubt? The worst part of inconsistency and anxiety is that you are often your own worst enemy. (I will try to stay away from cliches and catchphrases that may make you roll your eyes but) this type of crippling and paralyzing fear is what usually stops people with anxiety from contemplating and going after some of their dreams. It becomes apparent as you feel like you are constantly battling yourself-

Inner dialogue: “Should I do this? Should I attempt that? WHAT IF I am not any good? WHAT IF I am judged for pursuing this dream? WHAT IF I fail?”

While many of us (with and without anxiety) feel this way, it is a special type of worry that often takes away from what we are able to achieve within ourselves. It feels like a tug of war- an inner battle that is often hard to break free from. Just when you think you are over whatever hump and whatever debilitating feeling that is preventing you from going after what you want to achieve, it slowly but surely creeps up on you. A feeling that you just cannot shake. All throughout University and (now post-grad), I have had to shake this feeling as it tried to get in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. The trick to beating this and trying to rise above this type of feeling and contemplating prevention is to follow these three steps by Ijeoma Umebinyuo (three routes to healing):

  1. You Must Let The Pain Visit: Breathe in and out. While the initial feeling of anxiety- that pressure in your chest, the worry in your head and the debilitating feeling of losing hope or losing yourself may feel deafening, if you breathe in and out, rub the fronts of your wrists in a circular motion and repeat whatever mantra (I am enough, This too shall pass, My current situation is not my final destination) makes you feel the most at ease over and over, you will feel calm and at ease for the next two steps.
  2. You Must Allow It To Teach You: Know that “this too shall pass”, whatever situation you are in, whatever situation you are trying to get to and whatever you are experiencing is not going to define or take away from who you are. If you feel stagnant- stuck at whatever position you are in within life, do not stray away from how hard you are working. Do not lose hope in the fact that your dreams and goals will be tangible and attainable. The anxiety you are feeling will also pass. By knowing that it will, you are one step closer to your future progress.
  3. You Must Not Allow It Overstay: Understand this feeling, embrace it, allow it to show you what steps you need to take for growth, redemption and rediscovering what passions you are interested in. If you find yourself inconsistent in any aspects and areas of your life, follow these three steps and make sure you do not dwell with this feeling of inconsistency in your life. While your anxiety may make you want to dwell, to linger with self-doubt and self-criticism, know that you will be able to move beyond this and move forward with your dreams by recognizing that everything will eventually be okay.

While these 3 steps are easier said than done, focusing on these steps have helped me move beyond any moments of stagnation in my life and move towards focusing on what I need to accomplish to achieve my dreams. Inconsistency and anxiety may always go hand in hand for me but I know that my dreams and goals are attainable if I just hold onto the fact that temporary inconsistencies and self-doubt will not be as tangible as putting forth my efforts to work hard to become who I have always dreamed of being.

If you have read this far, I sincerely hope these ideals and steps help you in any way shape or form in the progression and success of your life.

Xo,

Halima

REJECTION: JOBS, SHOOT YOUR SHOT 2017, GOALS & ASPIRATIONS

HelloHalima, Life

Rejection. As the great Oprah Winfrey once said: “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me”. I have been dealing with this reality a lot lately. I was told- perhaps even warned about how it would begin to consume my life. You go through 4 years of undergraduate to complete a degree and in that time, you work hard. You try to accomplish everything you put your mind to and you are able to see the fruits of your labour four years later. But what happens when you don’t?

Maybe it is premature but I did not expect to experience this much rejection so early on. As a newly minted university graduate- I experienced the first instance of “rejection” when someone close to me decided it would be best to refer me to apply to Sephora instead of aiming for ‘real-life jobs’ associated with my field. It is as if I went through the trials and tribulations of school just to apply to Sephora. Don’t get me wrong, Sephora seems like such a dope job- the makeup, the perfumes- the skin care! It is like a little piece of heaven in this Dunya but to hear this type of advice from someone you looked up to? Disappointing. Perhaps I naively believed that a degree would equal job experiences and chances from “the real world” but all it qualifies you for is a licence for disappointment and retail outlets letting you know that you are either overqualified or underqualified to work at Old Navy. When you apply to jobs in general- in many instances, experience is needed for that experience so if a job posting needs 1-2 years of experience, you start to wonder, how can I cultivate this experience without someone taking a chance on me?

It is inevitable and yet every time you experience rejection, it is hard not to lose a little piece of your confidence every time. As frustrating as it is- I find this moment to be quite promising as it will make whatever opportunities that I am working towards- that much more worth it. From the jobs you apply to, to the #shootyourshot2017 moments you indulge in- it seems like rejection is at the forefront of the opportunities you try to go after.

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Speaking of Shoot your shot 2017? We’ve got to talk. It is only May and I feel like I have really taken advantage of this phenomenon this year. I have shot my shot with the best of em, I have put myself out there in all aspects of life: academically, personally, emotionally and succeeded- maybe most of the time but what happened during this season of #shootmyshot2017? It seems to me that the time has come and gone for people to shoot their shot with a prospective bae or boo(s). Rejection and #shootyourshot2017 are a little interchangeable as you never know how someone will react to your vulnerability. Perhaps you are brave enough to approach someone in a coffee shop, say… leave a note on their table as they use the washroom facilities? Perhaps you engage with a wounded poet at a poetry slam event but are shot down after you realize *some* poets are a little socially inept? Perhaps you quickly scribble down your number on a moving train and drop it into the lap of an unsuspecting woman who is *coincidentally* drawing you for her OCAD portfolio.  

The possibilities are endless! (If any of these examples sound specific it is because I just happen to have a interestingly vibrant imagination). Whatever the case and the possibility may be, it is easy to get frustrated with the idea of no results. When you work hard enough on something and are unable to see the results that you envision in your mind, it is easy to get frustrated with the overarching ideal that you are apart of. It is easy to then reject the notion of putting yourself out there in the first place as it has garnered little to no results. 

From the jobs you apply to to the #shootmyshot’s that you experience, what happens when rejection starts to feel like a looped song, playing over and over again with no future or promises of ever changing its tune? How do we deal with rejection when it is always feeling like a constant? The truth is- you just keep going. My mother always says: “rejection will humble you” and as painful as rejection feels, as stagnant as you feel your progression in life is, you will move forward that much stronger and wiser due to your experiences. Rejection can feel debilitating especially when you are someone who suffers from any sort of anxiety or self-esteem issues but to keep going even when you are faced with “defeat” will allow you to build a tolerance to how you are feeling. It will allow you to continue and learn from what did not work out, from your failed experiences, from the ‘shaky’ guys you shot your shot with and ended up being total creeps- from the people who you went above and beyond for and who rejected you as a means of their own insecurities, you will be able to learn from it all and rise above.

While rejection may ‘humble you,’ it is important to note that it is an essential part of furthering your future goals and aspirations. It hurts in the moment but I find rejection to be the best thing for personal growth. While I may be feeling the plight and the depth of rejection right now, I hope that by this time next year, I am fully integrated into a job that compliments both my majors, to continue with the growth of this blog, to continue writing, to not allow people to take away from my victories or my truths and to live each day as a start for a new perspective on my life. 

BACK N BETTER: Updates, What’s Next?

HelloHalima, Life

After a very long blog hiatus, I am back! The real question is- am I better? I’ve been so caught up with the stresses of school, final exams, assignments… but I’m DONE! I am happy to say that I am finally finished my undergraduate degree in Health Studies and English. It has been a long and gruelling four years but I am so excited to be done! I will be writing on my undergraduate experiences and putting out a reflective piece on my last four years later this week. Lately I have been bombarded with one overarching question: what’s next? unnamed

I wrote a poem on this in my final English Portfolio on Anxiety and how unsettling it feels. The answer to this question is, I don’t know. The idea of a gap year is something that I hadn’t really contemplated as I have been going to school consistently for the past few chapters of my life. An entire year to just explore- to work- to grow? Without the bounds of an institution to support you? Insane idea to even fathom. While the answer remains as “I don’t know”, I am excited to grow and find out exactly what’s out there. Yuck Halima… you’re starting to sound like a tired cliche, the end of a sappy teenage Netflix original.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 4.34.58 PMTo be honest, the worst thing I have ever done is stop writing for this blog. I wish I could convey how debilitating it feels- this type of anxiety overcomes me when I think of writing for this blog on a daily basis. On one hand, some days I am overcome with excitement. I am overcome with ideas for material, for posts, for photos, for content, I am writing and writing and then I start overthinking. What if no one likes it? What if no one reads it?  I do not know if it was the school stress or the lack of motivation but I found myself hiding from my blog. How crazy is that? I think that may sound like the most ridiculous thing ever but I found myself engulfed by a major case of imposter syndrome. Who am I? What makes my work important? Why do people want to read about what I write about? What am I afraid of?tumblr_ol9d8eoyrA1r352jbo1_500

I woke up this morning and thought, Who cares? The work that I cultivate will be a reflection of my own experiences, my own ideals, my own beliefs and as a writer it is quite important to make sure its accessible to a general population so that they are able to then take in your work and empathize and see their own experiences in the work you provide, but that is where it ends. Over the course of having this website, I have found myself at the mercy of many opinions, many people trying to take my work and piece together how it “should be” or “should have been” and that is something that I am striving to shed in the coming days, months, years.

May is Mental Health Awareness month and an excellent time to share my truth and show you all my revamped ‘anxiety series’ by putting forth my own experiences with taking care of your mental health, as well as the many interconnected facets that plague me on an everyday basis.

I hope you stay tuned with my work and I look forward to sharing a lot more of my life with you in the coming days.

 

XO,

Halima

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 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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