REFLECTIONS: a work in progress

HelloHalima

It’s officially 31 days until 2020, what are your biggest accomplishments? Greatest downfalls? What have you learned? What are you proud of? Take a second, ponder it. 2019 has felt like whirlwind of losses, of wins, of some stagnancy but quick realizations that have turned into progress. Of understanding where you stand and where you want to stand. Of working towards something- a slow burn that you know will pay off in the end. Of meeting people who have changed your perceptions of how you love or want to be loved, or discarding of people who make you not love yourself to the best of your abilities.

Regardless of its inactivity, I’m still proud of this blog. I’m proud of my bounce-back game- my ability to move on and flourish from troubling situations that have plagued my life. I’ve learned that you will never be enough for someone- despite how hard you try, despite the work you put in- you cannot place your expectations of how someone should be/treat you on them- it will never be reflected the way you want it to be.

I was on the train the other day and an obvious but still alarming thought came into my mind: You can have what you’ve always wanted and still feel inadequate, undeserving of it- like it’s not enough, like it will never be.

I think that is the saddest downfall that we are faced with as human beings.

We search for happiness and when we have it right in front of us- when we have it in our midst- when we feel the embrace of what it feels like, when we see what it looks like and manifests into- we hardly recognize it.

Sadness becomes familiar, aching holes- voids that are left undone forever. Sometimes you’re tricked into thinking you’ve found something to fill the void, finally- you think to yourself- I won’t feel empty anymore

But like all gaping wounds- you are unable to stitch this one back together,

The sepsis spreads, makes you wish you never would’ve searched for remedies as the remedies are the cause of a deeper affliction,

The imposter syndrome that I feel dreads the truth, if you tell yourself something a million times, does it magically turn true?

It never feels quite enough, we’re grasping at straws only to come up with none,

Hope floods my mind as I wonder what the next chapter will be in my life,

Happiness and hope- they go hand in hand, until that sadness starts all over again. It’s never enough for any of us. What a shame.

I say all this to say, slow down, take a minute. I know that at the end of the day- the way you feel will be a catalyst for how you move through your life. It’s easy to bury the feelings of emptiness or loss- of unhappiness and hide behind distractions. To distract yourself with success or the pursuit of it and use its shield to “move past” traumas or feelings you have yet to heal from. Take a breath, take a minute, ponder what’s been hindering you, what you’ve been running from in your head. Take these 31 days to think about your year, your life, what you are working on, what you are proud of, what you are leaving behind. Once you do so, it will make all the difference.

Evading the inevitable

HelloHalima

What is it about the truth? That makes you want to play the avoidance game,

If you avoid something long enough- it’ll disappear right?

Wrong.

Erosions of miscommunication,

Deliverance of blunt truths,

In swift acts of self preservation,

I retreat within myself.

Terrified of what you might say, scared to see what could come of our new normal.

I want to save myself, I wish I could snap my fingers and trigger sudden on-set amnesia to forget

But I can’t.

You bring me great dissatisfaction,

knowing that I was your Achilles heel and yet you’ve gotten over what it was like for me to wound you.

It all feels kind of amateur- the idea that all it took was being true with yourself and suddenly I don’t want you?

Just like how you don’t want me?

Lying to each other seems like the obvious truth here, but maybe,

Just maybe,

It’s not a lie anymore.

It was an avoidance act all along.

We tried to get it together-

to sow seeds that were in need of something much stronger than water and sunlight,

Wishing and hoping for something to come out of this bleak and dreary situation.

But alas,

Talking in metaphors won’t solve the obvious here,

Neither will yearning for candy cane clouds to rain down sweet deliverance.

You painted me a pretty picture that I happily bought,

Naively framed and used as a pedestal to worship you.

The thing about letting go is,

when you see the truth- you kick yourself for not seeing it earlier,

For not forming the strength and ideals needed to get out of sticky situations.

I’m kicking myself for using candy coated language when talking about you,

Fantasizing about dreams that involved unparalleled realities,

Crying floods of tears when you’ve never shed any for me,

It is a tale as old as time,

How do you forget when it’s so etched inside your mind, into your heart and soul?

Forgetting is easier said than done,

But what do you do when you’re forever stuck?

You are evading the inevitable,

Putting aside intuition and gut feelings and trying to further what you already know to be true,

If you keep lying to me,

when will you stop lying to you?

relationship rain check

HelloHalima
“Stop spending so much time trying to pour yourself into people that aren’t ready or willing to hold you.” -Maxwell Diawuoh

Recently, I’ve been introspective on the idea of friendship- on what occurs when there’s a standstill in communication, in trust, in love. Often, sometimes- perhaps knowingly or unknowingly, we shrink into smaller versions of ourselves to please people who could ultimately care less. We wonder- why don’t they love us? Where is the same amount of effort we are giving back? Where is the joy when they see me? Why does it look like they are nonchalant in their love? Complacent in their communication. How did we get here? To such a silent space- where it’s not miles that’s between us but discomfort- mistrust and unfamiliarity festering. You think, what next? How do you begin to figure out a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing?

I found myself thinking about what happens when we are faced with a disconnect in a relationship. Why do we push-pursue and annoy people when it is clear ideologies, perspectives and opinions are not mutually shared? Why do we invest and divest in relationships that are one-sided? The better question and the one we should all be asking ourselves is: WHY DO WE KEEP PEOPLE WE CLEARLY DO NOT LIKE ON SNAPCHAT? WHY DO WE WATCH THE STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT THINK TWICE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING? Do we like the thrill of the access? Jackie Aina said it best: “Know the difference between support and surveillance.” We pour ourselves into people who *frankly* could not give a fuck about how you are doing in this world.

I remember my biggest downfall- perhaps it can be considered to be a toxic trait- would be spending so much time wondering what people thought of me- perhaps this is a insecurity that has manifested by social media or within myself but I have since realized how draining it is. It takes a toll on you and you realize the negative ramifications of being “cordial” in order to keep relationships you have outgrown in your life/on social media is settling when you shouldn’t have too.

Why do we settle for one sided- heart feeling drained- stress whenever you talk to them- relationships? Why do some of us value what people might think instead of how people make us feel? I feel like resentments in friendships start when a relationship is nearing its expiration date. Most of the time, people don’t know what to do with this phase. When you’re confident in your communication skills, the end of a friendship isn’t as terrible as you think. It slowly fades, respect and mutual admiration remains. It’s when resentment festers that a situation turns sour quickly.

Due to this, when we are stuck in endless cycles of the same sort of relationship/friendship, we forget to go where we are loved and celebrated. I’ll say it again if you haven’t heard me clearly!

Go where you are loved and celebrated and appreciated. Way too often, we sit idle- hands clenched together- thumbs twiddling- wondering why we feel drained in our relationships, constantly giving to people who drain you, always reaching out first, half hearted semblances of friendship. It’s clear when we’re not being loved and appreciated in our relationships, in our friendships- we ignore the warning signs! We justify changed behaviour. You see it in the micro aggressions, in the manipulative undertones of a conversation. You ever have a friend that was just constantly mad? No matter what you did or how you tried to better any situation- their angry facade never wavered? What about the friend who knows another friend is talking shit about you but doesn’t say anything to you? Is she at fault too? Let’s talk about the friends who make you feel bad about yourself in sly comments and fake comments masked as jokes- throw in the backhanded compliments and you got yourself a shitty friend. Words impact you a lot harder than people believe. Sometimes we shrink ourselves to fit their perfectly crafted molds and expectations of who we are. You don’t notice until pieces of you are scattered- intwined in misunderstanding- in communicating superficiality rather than mending what’s broken.

Alhamdulliah. I am thankful for everyone who’s ever entered my life. I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I want as a result. My friend Basma recently said “focus on the friendships that are blessings and that do appreciate you”, more often than not, we are so stuck on the negative in our lives that we forget to cherish the blessings that are constant in our day to day experiences. We forget to choose ourselves, to focus on what makes us feel like pure light and joy- so… I’m no longer going to apologize for other people’s shitty behaviours, actions, excuses- I’m no longer going to invest in people who want to be tuned into my life when it is convenient for them. We have to want better for ourselves and for the relationships we hold dear. I’m gonna take a rain check on shitty relationships- thank u, next!

Hope, Ambiguity, Confusion: a ménage of dreams

HelloHalima

Photo by Alexander Milov

Ambiguity masquerading as hope,

I reached for it, siphoned it into my life-

hoping that it would somehow transform itself into the answers I was searching for,

But Hope left me empty, left me wondering what was next-

Hope did what she always does- like a chameleon, she transformed herself into something new-

something different,

something shiny and alluring,

I reached for it, hoping it would lead me to another path, one that was not disturbed by traffic or decay,

But alas, I was stumped again, trying to rack my brain- wondering what I did to deserve such treatment,

All I wanted was for my love to be received and given back tenfold, but all I was getting in return was 1 percent off my investment,

Scammed, cheated and searching for another way out- I mistook friendship for love,

And Hope disappeared for a while.

I enjoyed Friendships company, she left me feeling full with love- with respect- with a big heart and sometimes a big head,

But those pesky feelings, creeped back up again,

There she was- sitting pretty, Hope.

I sighed, exhausted by this cat and mouse game- a game that I did not have the rule book too

I was saddened by his heart, wondering why I was not apart of his affections,

Wondering why hope did not transform into what I wanted her to be,

I was in love but the only one that could see it was me,

Well- me and Ambiguity,

I saw how he cradled his confusion, feeding into it until it destroyed Hope,

she was no match for what lied ahead-

He chose confusion and chaos over figuring out what he felt for me,

I felt cheated and I missed Hope deeply.

Egos bruised, wondering why I wasn’t enough

But I quickly realized, it wasn’t me

I realized I couldn’t be sad over someone who did not want me,

That’s a loss that will register in his mind eventually,

I offered him love in plentiful heaps,

He chose confusion over me,

I hope they are happy together.

They have to be.

Valentine’s Fool

HelloHalima

It’s easy to say that I miss you- but perhaps that’s a lie,

It’s only when the memories rush through my mind,

Montages of happy beginnings and abrupt endings,

Maybe I miss the memories the most

And you the least,

I definitely do not miss the pain you caused me,

Sometimes if I shut my eyes tight enough, I can almost forget,

But something always seems to stir it back up again,

What is it about dwelling that breaks your heart wholeheartedly,

What is it about the cycle of you and me?

I remember the naïveté would wash over me-

Daydreams of us living blissfully,

But reality came knocking- wanting to shake some sense into me,

You cannot make homes in people who live in confusion,

That’s what I tried to do with you,

You cannot be blissful with people who are hurting inside,

That’s what I tried to do with you,

Their bitterness will swallow you whole,

They will convince you that you’re the broken one,

That there’s something wrong with you,

an optical illusion they have orchestrated in their minds too,

Instead, I will wish you away,

I will wish you the best,

Maybe that will help me love you less.

Happy Valentines Day

Anxiety+Mental Health in the age of #BellLetsTalk

HelloHalima

I wrote this poem a couple years ago when I felt consumed by anxiety/depression. For me, it wasn’t about the quality of the poem but the outlet it provided me to feel calm again. An anxiety attack makes you feel out of control, elevates the beating of your heart- to create intense palpitations, makes you feel like you can’t breathe- preys on the deepest darkest thoughts you have and brings them to life. Although most of the sentiments in the poem below still ring true in my life, I feel better when I am able to cultivate work that communicates exactly how I am feeling. For Bell Let’s Talk this year, I wanted to post it as a reminder that it will always be apart of me but doesn’t have to consume me the way that it once did. While Bell Let’s Talk is a commercial- way for industries to feel like they are apart of the mental health initiatives, it is an amazing way for the conversation to begin for people who are not apart of it as of it. If you feel lost, hopeless, anxious, empty, low- try to talk to someone! As terrible advice as that might sound, sometimes getting it out and out from your head into words will alleviate some of the pressures that you feel. I know it does for me. Write it down- if you don’t want to talk to anyone- writing down how you feel is so incredibly cathartic. Therapy also is a really great tool to use, I used to shy away from the idea of telling a stranger all your problems- I used to think- why would they even care? That’s weird! The stigma is something that I once fed into- but I’ve since found it to be the best way to bring myself out of days of complete despair and get myself back to feeling like myself again. According to CAMH, 1 in 5 Canadians are struggling with mental illnesses right now, by the age of 40, 50% of us will have experienced it first hand. With statistics like that- it is heartbreaking for places and people to still value the idea of physical pain as more important than that of mental health. It is as debilitating, confusing and detrimental to our health as well.

There are immediate resources (listed below) if you need help, would like someone to talk too or want to understand mental health further:

1. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has a 24/7 Psychiatric Emergency Department at 250 College Street location.

2.Toronto Distress Centres (416) 408-4357 or 408-HELP

3.Assaulted Women’s Helpline 416-863-0511, Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511

4.Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868

Live Chat: https://kidshelpphone.ca

5. WHAT’S UP! Walk In Clinic: http://www.whatsupwalkin.ca/service-providers/

@ashsgreen

an anxious soliloquy:

Anxiety won’t let me rest

Palpitations and waves of arithmetic sensations fill my chest,

It doesn’t change when I turn over in my bed,

scattered thoughts echoing in my brain, making me feel “insane”,

Chest feeling heavy, brain feeling dizzy,

It’s 4:11 am and I’m feeling weary…

Anxiety knows no time,

Responsibilities and duties do not matter when anxiety’s around,

I wonder if it will always be this way

Or whether it will consume me,

Because right now it feels like my anxiety is winning

And I’m always losing,

The worst part is when my depression comes out to play,

Anxiety’s first cousin- twice removed on any given day

It makes me feel hopeless, like this world wasn’t meant for me,

hopelessly searching for a remedy,

Therapy helps- sometimes at least

But when they team up- it feels like an all out war against me,

I try to explain how I feel to my loved ones,

Some tell me to pray, others gently tell me “get over it”,

It’s hard to explain how you are feeling when people do not understand you-

Comprehension completely removed,

It’s not their fault, I think to myself,

Maybe it’s me- maybe I just need help.

I know now that that’s not true,

Not everyone is meant to help you,

My anxiety will always be apart of me- but at least now I’ve found coping mechanisms that work for me,

Setting aside time for me- removing people from my life that always belittle and doubt me,

Writing out my feelings is a huge win for me,

Makes me remember what I am feeling so I can better deal with it,

Verbalizing your stresses and pains are cathartic and soothing

It’s unfathomable to think,

That physical health is valued and understood more than mental health

But as long as I keep vocalizing my truth, I’ll always be fine.

forgetfulness

HelloHalima

You are a stranger in my mind- roaming about with no substance of memory to hold you up.

Pedestals you once occupied- now torn down-

renovated into vacancies that will never be filled again.

Souls cascading into an ever flowing stream of

awkward encounters and empty relations.

The love- one that was once plentiful and felt by everyone now ice cold

frozen to the touch.

I don’t know whether I miss you or want to forget you completely

If I think about it hard enough,

my mind unlocks a memory a day/ like a twisted advent calendar.

Instead of sweet decadent chocolates-

I get mirages of pure happiness turned bitter by the sadness in my heart.

Your impact on my life- left like bootprints on freshly fallen snow,

But like all snow fall, more eventually trickle down from the sky

Covering up any and all comprehension of our ties.

It’s hard to think  of how far we’ve fallen,

from the highest peak of our Ivory towers,

Now splattered on the ground- run over on the asphalt- gone forever.

You’ve become a ghost in my heart, a spirit that I so badly wish to resurrect but how can I?

Familiarity replaced with resentment,

Resentment in cahoots with constant misunderstanding,

Isn’t it easier to lock away the cookie cutter ideals of starting over than to

endure moments of Deja Vu?

Who are you?

Word Vomit/ What’s Next?

HelloHalima

Source: Melissa Grant

Free falling into an unknown abyss/ reliving dreams shaping up into nightmares,

sleepless nights and empty thoughts/ feeling kind of lost, distractions only last a while.

Cycles of repetitive charades, will I ever be content?

Premature happiness brought on by moments of complete bliss, will it ever be enough?

Incomplete contemplation and contemplated hesitation, what’s next?

Can you dream when your hopes lay awake?

A syrupy sweetness invades, filtering out bitter truths- realities that are meant to be lived instead.

What’s worse than your mind on fire, unable to extinguish what ails you?

Wandering and constantly contemplating artificial relations- meaningless connections of superficiality

Wanting more and seeing zilch- opportunities always gone amiss, anxiety eats me up but I persist, what happens now?

flashbacks of kenya

HelloHalima

Do you have a happy place? A memory that you constantly hold dear? One that stops you from going to the deepest darkest places in your mind?

Kenya. I dream of you. I stop to drink everything in. The sights, the sounds, the long stretch of road between Eastleigh and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as we are zipping through- peacefully. The constantly busy and always bustling streets are silent, a ghost town of beings- almost eerie. Especially at night. The way the cold air feels against my skin- reminds me of October’s air. It is a relief from the sweat inducing heat that filled the air earlier- I am in love with the feeling of it. the way the air fills my lungs as I roll the windows all the way down. I am at a crossroads with my emotions- feeling peaceful and incredibly happy to have had this experience yet so sad- filled with anguish, beautiful melancholic heartache as I do not know when I will be back next or if I will ever be back. It is the uncertainty that hurts the most.

It’s October 25th. I’m back in the throws of my regular life in Toronto, life hardening me into someone I don’t recognize, everything in my life- up in the air. Sadness has become my default emotion. It’s quite interesting how you wish you could wish away your unhappiness when you experience so much of it. Sadness that seems to swallow you whole, the epitome of all consuming. I feel the same uncertainty I felt in Kenya, except the difference is- I am bombarded with questions about my future, about my relationships, about who I have become and what I hold dear. Anxiety becoming the silent killer, whispering doubt into my ears- uncertainty filling me up once more. Questions of- Will I ever be enough? Will you ever understand me like you once did? Will I ever be the version of myself that I have always yearned to be?

I hope so.

Poetic Rebirth

HelloHalima

All my poetry is starting to sound like it is for you.

Beautifully written prose all strung together, encapsulating how I feel.

But how do you feel?

It’s been clear that the mountains you wish to move are not for me,

The songs you sing, not meant for my ears.

But how do you feel, really?

Perhaps it is only in my mind, but I find your feelings to be a greatly skewed facade.

I wondered what it would be like,

To crack open your mind, dig a little deeper and excavate all the feelings you wish to wish away.

As if 11:11 will stop you from feeling this way.

Sometimes I wish I could take a break,

From the reality that you and I have cultivated.

That way, my poetry and my mind will be baptized from your charms and reach.

I will not be writing another poem inspired by you any longer.

Universal Pull

HelloHalima

What you don’t say becomes you.

It feels like it’s vocalized in the thickness of your silence.

The universe is working overtime to correct and rectify the death of your decisions.

The less you say, the more you become a permanent fixture of your anti-self.

The baritone of your regrets are bellowing out like a speakerphone,

Drowning out what could have been great.

Change washing over us like a riptide of you and I.

You, walking miles on end unnecessarily does not become you.

It’s ironic how the more you tug on threads of cemented routines,

The more it unravels, revealing the mess you left, permeating beneath us like hot lava.

We’re slipping and sliding incessantly, wondering when the next shoe will drop.

All due to the built up tension of our kettles steam.

You used to dream about how the universe pulled your dreams together,

weaving in moments that we shared and memories that were blissful blips in your life before

Is that still true?

INTROSPECTION

HelloHalima, Poetry

The after effect shocked me to my very core.

All this bliss but I still felt torn,

All I could think of is the state of you & I,

Do you even love her? Or is it just I?

You try to have your cake and eat it too,

I used to marvel at the things you do.

The manipulations cultivated by comfortability,

When you’re with her, do you think of me?

When you’re near her, do you dream of me?

You pull me in close in fear of losing me,

but how will you recreate me when I am gone?

what are you afraid of?

HelloHalima

636037141990688898-1508755838_leaving-your-fears-insecurities-behind

Fear. It manifests itself into the aversions you have, the ghosts that you are afraid of and of course- through the dark and immense wonders of the world that we are taught as children: the concepts of life and death. As a child, I possessed three fears: 1. swallowing my gum and it becoming etched and stuck in my stomach for 7 years (what kind of myth/fear was this? sounds like it was perpetuated by elementary and middle schoolers and parents to convince you that chewing gum was not beneficial for your teeth) , 2. falling and scraping my knees (did this from my bike once and had to get multiple stitches and have to deal with a lifelong scar that is a constant reminder of the hill I should not have rode down) and 3. disappointing people. It was as if these fears were heightened as an adult, perhaps not the first two but more so- the last. The fear of disappointment becoming an anchor on my heart every time I contemplated making major decisions that could potentially alter the course of my life- especially when you feel like the decision you are making is in your own best interest but is met with a lack of enthusiasm from the rest of the people in your life. But how do we move past this?

Karen Thompson Walker has an incredible TEDTalk about Fear, about how fear and storytelling are intertwined and contain the same components that live within our minds. She speaks about the fables that surround fear and how its misconception has flouted our minds into believing its debilitating nature. But what if it isn’t? What if fear can be used as a mechanism to imagine the unimaginable, to move the mountains that stand in our way, to conquer the plights that we deem difficult and to finally- dream the type of dreams that can turn into stories. Walker uses this ideology in her TedTalk by equating fear into storytelling and using it to further our understanding.

“What if instead of calling them fears, we called them stories? Because that’s really what fear is, if you think about it. It’s a kind of unintentional storytelling that we all born knowing how to do. And fears and storytelling have the same components. They  have the same architecture. Like all stories fears have characters. In our fears, the characters are us….”  -Karen Thompson Walker

So if storytelling and fears have the same genetic makeup, why is it hard for us to see this as something positive and move past it by a means of conquering what ails us? Why is it hard for us to move past our fears? Especially when the elements of storytelling allow you to rewrite what the problems in the plot are and reimagine what present outcome you are apart of? Maybe Karen Thompson Walker was onto something. If the elements of fear are components of storytelling- How can we indeed move past this? What are YOU afraid of?

Picture it, your fear I mean, envision it in your mind. Is it preventing you from seeking the realities that you dream of? Is your fear tangible? Something existent in this world and as a result- grabs a hold of your every thought and breath? Envision it so you are able to say it out loud. One of own my biggest fears involves not being good enough at what I seek out to accomplish in this world. This coupled with my anxiety, my fear allows me to participate in self-sabotaging behaviour where I squander my opportunities in fear of ruining them with anything short of perfection. So much so that whenever I see any sort of success, the saboteur in me wants to come out in full force.

By saying this out loud- in the form of this blog, to my loved ones, I am able to rewrite the rules to my fear and as a result, I am able to work on conquering this fear. Once you are able to do so, you will find yourself weight-less, like the weights that were on your shoulders have been relieved and the fears that kept you up at night are on the road to no longer being apart of your life. The manifestations of fear gone, the narrative you are apart of, rewritten. I found that when I hold my fears in, keep them to myself- the progression of ridding myself of this pain and turmoil that comes alongside these fears grows and worsens over time.

By speaking your truths out loud and in technicolour, you will be able to take charge of what you are afraid of and in turn break the manifestations of fear.

December blues + UPDATES

HelloHalima

It’s happened again! This time, the reason for my mia-ness have been a combination of a matter of domain wars with WordPress + Godaddy.com + writing for NaNoMo and trying not to rip my hair from my scalp. I feel as though all my creativity  has been sucked dry by trying to remain consistent in my writing routines for this past national novel writing month and yet I found myself missing the strokes of my keyboard and writing for this forgotten and left in the lurch blog named hellohalima.

The last time I did any sort of “updating” post was in May when I was reeling with excitement over the prospect of being finished University while simultaneously feeling a sense of discomfort with the idea of treating this blog as a forgotten medium where all my stresses are channeled into something worth reading and comprehending. I truly missed this medium of having the space to speak my mind on the issues that plague me and in turn, find a remedy to it all.

Speaking of- last time y’all heard from me, I was a newly minted University graduate, on vacation in Washington DC and scrambling to find a place of work. I am proud to inform y’all that I’m now a washed University graduate (😂)- now working with children at a community centre whilst simultaneously applying for grad school and trying to find a research consultation firm that would want to accept one of my many trillion applications. Other than that, my hair is sorta red and I’m still unsure of my place in this world. But let’s not despair…. the understanding of that gets better with time.

I recently went through my camera roll and the memories I have cultivated in 2017 and I have come along way- while some things have changed (life situation, school circumstances, some friendships), some things have stayed the same in terms of stagnancy. 2018 will be full of power moves, will you join me?

REFRESH YOUR PLAYLISTS P1

HelloHalima

Hello guys! I am back but the real question is… am I better? It has been quite some time since I have written anything music-related on this blog. The last post would have to be my indepth review on J-Cole and his album “4 Your Eyez Only” and on the song “Neighbours” in particular. Well I am BACK and I have been listening to some fire bangers as of recently. I thought, WHY NOT bless everyone with a list of some of my favourite underrated bops… a list that you probably did not ask for but a list you never knew you needed! Perhaps you’ve been listening to a few of these artists already, perhaps I am way behind in the music game and perhaps you will find a new fav from this list… here’s hoping! Xo

 

artworks-000171543214-cpmx7n-t500x5001. Tobi Lou – Txt Me:  This song just makes me feel free and dance-y and happy and content with my life. The lyrics combined with the infectious beat and the sultry sounds of Tobi Lou are the perfect pieces to make this your new summer anthem. 

anders-669-5927a6fa95d70-500x5002. Anders – December ft LUCA: You know those days where you feel a little sad, heart tangled in the affairs of a love that you seem to always be having problems with or an unrequited love that keeps playing games (ugh, right!) or perhaps- like me, you just feel a little glum due to the ever-changing and tumultuous weather of Toronto? Or maybe all of the above? This song is for you. This song is the fourth track off Ander’s incredible EP, 669. The lyrics as soothing and soulful as they are recount the trials and tribulations of contemplating commitment and love with a special someone- with a catchy hook and a smooth beat, this song will easily be a go-to for situations of the heart.

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Still from “Too Fast” music video by Sonder

3. Sonder- Too Fast: If you have any take-aways from this post- the only thing I ask is for you guys to watch the music video for this song. The visuals for this music video are heartbreakingly beautiful and compliment this song so well. The cinematography, the casting of the actors, the transitions between scenes.. all so breathtaking. Everything about this song + the music video is art to me, from the gorgeous synths to the drums within the center of the song, this song has easily become my go-to when I just want to close my eyes and picture another world.

4. Yo Gotti, Mike WiLL Made-It- Rake It Up ft. Nicki Minaj: Do I even need to mention why I love this song? This is one of my favourite summer songs- all you need is a multi-colored romper and this song playing in the background to truly live your best life.tumblr_nyppz2kgoq1shm4qro1_400

tumblr_os724f0u711twik40o8_5005.SZA- The Weekend: When I first heard this song, I fell in love how realistic and relatable the lyrics are- it accurately sums up the basis of many relationships today with the lyrics of: “My man is my man is your man // Heard it’s her man too // My man is my man is your man // Heard that’s her man // Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday // I just keep tumblr_os724f0u711twik40o1_500him satisfied through the weekend”.                  It depicts the very harsh realities of never really knowing where you stand in a relationship, how it is scary to be the first to define what kind of relationship you are in (situationship, friends with benefits or an actual romantic relationship…) The song allows for a clear and literal portrayal of the hookup culture we are immersed in today. While the content of the song is my favourite subject matter to talk about, the beat, the sweetness of SZA’s voice are what make this song one of my absolute favourites off of her latest album “CTRL”. While some may dub this the ultimate side-chick anthem of the summer, it is a great song to wind down with after a long summer day.

tumblr_o7uwhzstee1spe2u7o1_4006. Chance The Rapper- Big B’s: Another banger by Chance. Do I even have to explain? Big B’s has to be one of my favourite songs off this whole playlist. While Young Thug is also on this song, the beat, the lyrics, the vibes that the song/Chance provides will serve as a perfect getting-ready and getting crunk anthem. My favourite lines off this song include: “Put you in the friend zone if you start acting too friendly” and “Wake up real early but I eat late” If you’re reading this Chance, I love you. 

tumblr_orm54dhsgb1uggcp9o1_500 7. Young Thug- You Said ft Quavo: As lewd and wild the lyrics of this song is, there’s something about this song that makes it one of the best songs off of Beautiful Thugger Girls. Quavo’s feature just makes the song an instant classic and Young Thug just really makes you feel like a easy breezy beautiful thugger girl (lmao CRINGE)

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8. Drake- Signs: Is it really a premium playlist without at least one Aubrey bop??? The infectious nature of this song just makes you feel ready to turn up in the comfort of your own living room, whatever BBQ, Day Party or club event you may be at and will guarantee to lift your spirits and get your ass shakin’.

9. Briley Harris-Blessing: This song gives me PND vibes but the song is smooth enough to have playing in the car during a road trip, in the bathroom as you are getting ready or just on your morning/evening commutes home. My sister says the repetition of the song makes her a little bit angry (whatever that means) but I love it!

10. Travis Scott- Butterfly Effect: For this life, I cannot change… the lyrics, the beat, the tone of Scott’s voice just makes this song a ultimate BOP to listen too, I love it.

tumblr_n55ah9nteh1row9yqo1_400BONUS SONG: Spooky Black- Remember You: The Inuyasha interlude just grasps my heart and never lets it go! Just hearing the “Will you always remember me?” just makes me think back to my Inuyasha days. Total nostalgia. You may know this song and if you do not, I suggest a listen as this will quickly become a fast favourite.

 

I hope some of these songs from this playlist make their way to your own playlists. I hope I have blessed some of you guys with a new favourite artist or a new favourite song. Let me know what you think in the comments & please feel free to suggest some of your own favourites down below. Here’s hoping that the rest of the summer is filled with songs that fill our hearts with joy and make our bootys SHAKE!

XO

-Halima

FATE

HelloHalima, Poetry

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I know how painful it must be to yearn and yearn and yearn…

but never have it reciprocated.

How your smile must fade when you see him holding her,

a tight grasp that will never loosen.

Do your dreams fade a little, every time he speaks of her?

Do you feel like what once was is a shattered image of what will never occur?

How does your heart beat when you are contemplating this situation?

Regularly? Irregularly? A palpitation’s hesitation.

Do you feel incomplete without your regular heartbeat?

Breathe in, breathe out. I know your pain.

This feat is one that is difficult to meet as to

love another and to not have it be you is pain exemplified, 

pain that is hard to fathom unless it is you and I.

I wonder if this pain will follow you 

for the rest of your life,

Will your heart ever rest?

Will your mind? 

-HMF

Soulmates

HelloHalima

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do not believe in cliches, in love stories or narratives that end in happy endings- at least for us… I do not. All I know, all I know for sure is the depth of your smile and the warmth that emanates when you look at me and how I feel. But when you look at me, I think you see her. Perhaps in another life, another time, there is a happy ending after all. 

Do you feel a percolation of nervousness spread across your chest-

engulf your heart and mind as you think of her?

Do you feel the need to cry when love feels like it is suffocating-

suffocating enough so that the hollows of your throat enclave

but you are still able to feel the air slowly enter in again.

Does your soul feel a familiar tug of recognition, of recreation or urgency to know me?

Do you know me?

At a crossroads in life, I seek refuge in the idea that you & I will be reborn,

reshaped and restretched into another perspective,

another opportunity,

another you

another me.

perhaps in another life, another bane of existence, our narrative continues.

 

 

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.

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. 

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.

 

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 🙂 

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Xo

© HelloHalima 2015