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.

giphy

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

Time’s Tale

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

norvz-austria

-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.

love me, love me not

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

 

picture-7-300x227

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.

 

Ghosts

HelloHalima, Life, Writing, Written Pieces

1

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

memories p1 

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry, Poetry, Writing, Written Pieces

 

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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

IMG_5062

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

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.01.42 PM

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