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.

January 2019: c-c-changes!

HelloHalima

It’s that time of the year again, a new year/ the freshness of a new start. Snow’s falling on Toronto’s cemented streets, lush pilings that’s pretty to look at but dreadful to walk/drive through. In true global warming fashion, it’s all gone the next day. Kind of makes you feel hopeful! The feeling of a fresh start- while a new year doesn’t necessarily erase old bad habits, stagnant lifestyles or immediately begin change, it brings a syrupy sweet inspiration that helps you bring forth changes in your life. I- for one- have been inspired to write more- at least- recap months of experiences in the form of reviews, prose/poetry- pieces to not only inspire myself but others.

“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.”

Anaïs Nin

It almost feels like déjà vu, this time last year- I was paralyzed by all the changes in my life! Being a recent graduate, changes in friends, in dynamics, lack of changes in my personal life- jobs! This year I feel so motivated, inspired already! I have so much planned, that thinking about it is already exciting me. The idea of a full circle moment just feels surreal, that a isolating- dark moment can make you feel hopeless but when you embrace every facet of change- you are able to will it into how you want it to manifest within your life! I’m going to the gym everyday, I feel comfortable with the people in my life, I’m looking for employment within my interests, planning trips with loved ones, squirrelling away my masters applications, taking coding classes and working to better my side hustle (of course… hello halima!). Change is here and I am welcoming it with open arms.

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?

KEVIN’S HEART, INFIDELITY, MICRO-CHEATING AND J-COLE’S K.O.D: A REVIEW

HelloHalima

It is Sunday, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and last week J-Cole released his fifth studio album on 4/20. Fitting and ironic as the title is “K.O.D” is “Kids on Drugs” or “King Overdose” or “Kill our Demons”. All three titles being homages to the ways in which drugs are the biggest forms of distress to our mental, physical and emotional selves and well beings. “K.O.D” serves as a 12 song- 43 minute landscape encapsulating a culture of drugs and how it has shaped the dichotomy of music: through the form of addiction, over-popularization of recreational substances, as well as people using drugs as coping mechanisms to fill empty voids in their lives. This album feels just as gritty and important as “For Your Eyez Only” (perhaps even more so) as the themes he uncovers in K.O.D are an extension of what Black and radicalized communities feel in the world. A particular theme that he delves deeper into with this album is one of Addiction and Mental Health. He highlights the different facets that addiction can intersect with, love and addiction, social media and addiction, infidelity and addiction. It was interesting to see the switch in the topics and how addiction manifests in different ways through his words.

Songs like “1985: Intro to the Fall off” discuss Cole’s perspective and thoughts on a younger rap generation and how artists like Lil pump, Xxxtentacion (etc) showcase a high level of drug use that’s popularized in the choruses of their songs, using that as the pipeline to popularity rather than rapping about things that actually matter and are important in the world. His subliminal jabs are beautifully articulated as he says “You coulda bought a crib with all that bread that you done blew/ I know you think this type of revenue is never endin’ but I wanna take a minute to tell you that ain’t true / One day, them kids that’s listening gon’ grow up/ And get too old for that shit that made you blow up. Now your shows lookin light cause they don’t show up.” He is foreshadowing the future and the end of the artists who are capitalizing off of rap that’s all mumble- all trap- no substance- infused with drug references and belligerent club rap. He even ends it off hilariously by saying “In five years you gon’ be on Love & Hip-Hop nigga“- the Where Are They Now equivalent for one hit wonders and people who rise to fame quickly and lose it when they become old news. Hilarious.

Don’t get me wrong, I love subliminal messages like the best of them but J-Cole’s “Kevin’s Heart” took it to a whole new level as he dives into the world of infidelity as he modelled the song after Kevin Hart and his recent cheating scandal on Eniko Hart. As I was listening to the song, I couldn’t help but think of the different parameters of cheating/micro-cheating and the concept of emotional cheating- a behaviour/actions that many people participate in and exhibit in today’s society. You are probably reading this and wondering: what the hell is micro-cheating????? Well:

Micro-cheating:

1. “A series of small (comments, actions) occurrences that indicate that a person is emotionally or physically invested or focused on someone outside of the relationship.” -Melanie Shilling (Psychologist)

2. “Micro-cheating is when you do [things] that might not be considered outright infidelity, but are nonetheless breaches of trust that could lead to genuine cheating in the future” -Jonathan Bennett

So if that’s what micro-cheating is, it’s very definition propels the nature of cheating, emotional or physical. J Cole covers this in “Kevin’s Heart” as he says, “She my number one, I don’t need nothing on the side”. This is what many men (who have been in situations nearing cheating) think until they find themselves in precarious situations. The irony is that in a culture that almost romanticizes side-chicks, it’s the side chicks that lose after falling in love with men that will always see them as a secondary option. When we think about cheating, many people think of the physical ramifications that are unthinkable. Many of my friends always say “Oh if my man ever cheated on me, it’s a wrap, I would throw hands, fuck that nigga”, they only envision the worst case scenario- finding your significant other in a precarious and physical situation. But what of emotional cheating? When your emotional intimacy is chipped away slowly but surely, taken by another woman. The secrets and conversations that were once had with you, are had with another. The dreams and aspirations that were once shared with you, now in replacement of fluff and sitcom commentary. I find that a lot more sad, a slow growing death much more deserving of mourning. Regardless of what form- cheating is still something that is hurtful, devastating to all parties involved.

J-Cole continues the double entendres as addiction and the idea of love fuse together with drug imagery: “But I’m only human, I know loving you’s a crime // If I take this cookie now, one day I’ll do the time.” That last line commenting on two things, the first being: what eventually occurs when you enter the perimeters of cheating, you not only hurt yourself but all the parties involved. The second being, when you are involved with drugs and the consumption of it in your daily routine- what was once “for fun” and “a one time thing” could come back to disparage your life one way or another.

Kevin’s Heart also touches on distractions- using people, using xanny- weed- molly even as escapes from real world. J Cole struggles with this as well. The idea of numbing, temporary satisfaction in different forms. Numbing the pains and trials and tribulations through distractions is one of the biggest themes. It is true that we all do this, we replace our troubles with distractions- from the micro distractions of other people and sleep to the macro of drugs and alcohol. It’s apart of human nature. What bothers me is using someone while you already have another to satisfy your needs, the idea of having your cake and wanting to eat it too. The Greedy Syndrome. J Cole touches on this as he says, “Wanna have my cake and another cake too // Even if the baker don’t bake like you // Even when the flavour don’t taste like you.” Greedy Syndrome!!!!!!!!!! It is true, in the case of cheating, of love, of relationships, people always want what they can’t have. Many people also try to have the best of both worlds and that does not always work out. Maybe what J Cole had to say at the beginning rings true: “All a nigga know is how to fuck a good thing up.”

While many thought negatively of J Cole’s previous album of “For Your Eyez Only”, “K.O.D” continues to ring as a Cole classic, one beautifully saturated in authentic Cole- world truth, activism and imagery that depicts of past, present and future selves. Is J-Cole Nostradamus? Only time will tell.

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?

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

Letter to Halima pt 1

HelloHalima

 

Dear Halima, it’s me again.

I spoke to you once, ten years past.

We spoke of love and life’s influence,

We spoke of dreams and disingenuous friends.

We spoke of what you needed to do next,

A type of confidence rooted in experience.

We spoke of your heart and how gentle it is,

We spoke of what you needed to harden it.

An encased glass of protection, your soul

being the catalyst of everything.

Oh Halima, another milestone you have reached,

Oh Halima, this has been a difficult feat.

Halima, how is your anxiety?

Lately, it has been manifesting itself quite strangely.

Oh Halima, what has come of our talks?

What was once implemented into your mind- has suddenly slipped out.

Oh Halima, I expected a lot from you,

To be strong and courageous- attributes once tied to you.

Oh Halima, does your anxiety consume you?

The gleam in your eyes are dimmed from life’s sudden surprises.

Oh Halima, I still have hope for you.

Work towards your dreams like how you used to.

 

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

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”.

 

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

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”