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.

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?

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?

Inconsistency n Anxiety: What gives?

HelloHalima, Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xo,

Halima