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.

Optimistically Naive

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

img_6135

Optimism feels new to me,

when you have been burned one too many times- the options feel slim.

You’re looking at me with love in your eyes,

Like you’ve known me for lifetimes on end, it is as if you scoured every burrow wondering where I lay down my head,

Once you finally found me, you vowed to never close your eyes,

Piercing stares giving me shivers down my spine,

But like human nature’s curse- pessimism teaches you to wait for the next shoe to drop-

The next false move that you could have sworn was always there,

Over thinking has always been the death of me-

Feeling hope materialize into hopeless places,

Is it too good to be true? We’ll see.

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

Muna Abukar: A BFF love story

HelloHalima

giphy

It is a tale as old as time…. it exists in literature, film, media, in real life- that idea of having a ‘person’, a ‘best friend’, a ‘soulmate’, someone who is your other half. Some of us are fortunate enough to be blessed with this one person in our lives. One that you truly ‘get’, who gets you in return, someone who can humble you, who can cut through the bullshit and tell you like it is, someone who sees what we want and hope for, who encourages us, motivates us, who understands us to the depths of our very core, who makes us laugh until our stomachs start aching… to me- you are this person.

 

Selflessness, confidence, the sheer ability to make you feel so comfortable so quickly, that’s how you made me feel- so early on in our friendship. I’ve never met anyone so driven- so focused. Not only in following her dreams and her goals but in her friendships, in her love life, in her life in general. You are someone who embodies strength and courage, resilience being one of your best qualities. And wisdom???? The truth trickles out of you like a faucet, no matter how much I am hurting, you are always there to take the pain away. Your wisdom encompasses such compassion for others- a empathy that makes you feel truly seen, loved and understood.

“If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person.” -Greys Anatomy

I remember meeting you, a confident yet quiet girl- looming over me with a long multicoloured Diraac (Somali dress) dragging on the floor, I didn’t know it then but our ninth grade multicultural show (tbt parring hijabs and see through diraacs 🤣) would be the beginning stage to our lifelong show.

Image result for serena and blair gifsWhat is it about a best friend, a sister- that allows you the ability to see the truth from an unparalleled point of view? You’ve been there through the highest highs and the lowest of lows- through painstaking heartache to can’t believe it happiness.

You are my voice of reason, a person who truly understands the pages to my diaries. I’ve seen the evolution of our friendship, it’s been constant through transitional phases, through moving apart from one another, to different postal codes and neighbourhoods, we’ve continued to grow together- while other people may have exited stage left in our lives, I’m glad you’ve been a constant in my life. The Serena to my Blair, the Cristina Yang to my Meredith Grey, the *real* love of my life. Happy Birthday to my best friend Muna.

Image result for meredith and cristina gifs

I’ll dance it out with you any day!

 

May Allah (swt) protect you and your dreams, provide eternal love, happiness and joy in your life and May all your hopes and dreams continue to manifest into tangible realities. May Allah (swt) continue to protect our friendship. I love you forever.

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.

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?

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

HelloHalima, Life, Poetry

Hi, it’s me again.

Ugh… dont say it

don’t say it

don’t say it

don’t say it

….

back at it again with another blog post!

mocking-spongebob

I HaveN’T posTED iN A WhILE HEADASS! 

UGH!

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

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

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

big_mouth_s01e03_8m22s12047f

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

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

An Anthology by Halima Farah

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

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

Manifestations for 2019 and for this post:

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

Till next time, XO.

losing

HelloHalima

c7d876160b1f87bc879b6278ebe06d10It has taken me a while to get the words together, words that I’ve never thought of uttering, of even contemplating. I always found a home in you, a type of recognition that only love could find. We’ve been through a lot together, the pitfalls that life had created for us, experiences that should’ve bonded us together but instead, here we are. Separated by a difference in opinion, a shift in daily routines, a divide in understanding each other- perhaps of caring. Maybe I took you for granted, maybe you did the same of me. Somewhere along the way- we forgot what we meant to each other, for each other. A crumbling of our connection, of our friendship- an untethering of what bonded us. I used to forget about where it began, this sharpness in tone, playing catch up games instead of understanding the fluidity in each other’s lives. I used to dream of knowing you forever, of our kids growing up to call each other cousins, of family parties and a building of memories for the rest of our lives.

Now there’s a halt in those dreams, a disconnect in our lifestyles and a break in the ground that used to lead me back to you. I used to have a hard time letting go- of things or people- of grasping the realities that shape who we’ve become and what we deserve in life. I used to connect letting go to living with a broken heart- one locking the door of our experiences together- forever. I think I am okay now. I am ready to let you go, to look fondly on what you meant to me and what we’ve experienced together. I will miss you, perhaps when I stumble upon a photo or contemplate a memory in bouts of nostalgia. I wish you nothing but the best. I wish you a life of happiness, of building incredible memories in the life you always spoke about wanting to cultivate, of loving someone unconditionally- of finding sheer happiness- unconditional always. Goodbye my friend.

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.

Silence

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

It has been interesting, all the twists and turns,

The miscarriage of all the words involved.

Speaking and yet not saying anything of substance,

So why am I feeling so lost?

Affected by the debris of your broken promises,

Of narratives we tell ourselves to keep from changing orders already put in place.

Expectations dropped as disappointments ensue and yet,

You are speaking but not saying anything monumental,

Speaking yet silent,

Laughter used to hide nerves, nerves cultivated by one sided comprehension.

What’s that about?

Speaking my truth only to have it misconstrued, broken up piece by piece,

Subsequently altered by our reality.

A miscarriage of desolate dreams,

Irreparable and yet continuous all at the same time.

 

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.

4AM 

HelloHalima

I had a dream where I was submerged in water, unable to move. My body scarily still- as if it has forgotten how to fight or swim. Paralyzed. My mind racing and head swirling with thoughts of mortality and all I could see is you. All I could feel was you. Perhaps it was the warmth and reassurance your words always give me or the sweet and serene smile you continuously provide but at that moment, I felt it all slipping away. The dream felt so vivid, it was as if my actual lungs were fighting for air, eyes flickering like a broken lamp, it was all a perfectly curated series of movements: going through the motions of working and breaking down all within the same last breath. Drowning in my dreams and gasping for air in my reality, I am awake once more. 

BACK N BETTER: Updates, What’s Next?

HelloHalima, Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

XO,

Halima

Uninspired 

HelloHalima

tumblr_static_7uhsfa9o238ck0sgs0c0sco0w_2048_v2.jpg

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”.

 

Shakyyyyy

HelloHalima
15027499_10210939360817119_4446305835501587059_n

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

love me, love me not

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

 

picture-7-300x227

The art of rejection and feelings of unrequited love is similar to someone pouring salt into an open wound, it stings and hurts but eventually you clean it out and get over it. Or so we think. I remember as a child, the ideals of love were so simple, you meet someone, and you fall in love and live happily ever after, the end. At least… that’s what my naïve self believed. Growing up, when I thought about love, I envisioned a feeling, an emotion that is endless and all consuming, an image of two people falling in love and riding off into the sunset only to live happily ever after.  Recently, the idea of unrequited love boggles my mind. Where is the love for the ones who love but are not loved back? The dejection that is linked to someone not reciprocating your deeply rooted feelings, the sadness that is a consequence of wilful ignorance. Unrequited love is the illness to its counterpart, happiness and total contentment. A wise person once said, “Isn’t it ironic…we ignore those who adore us, adore those who ignore us, hurt those who love us, and love those who hurt us.” This wise person might have been onto something. Although highly cliché, this ironic sentiment is the basis for all of our romantic misgivings. While we might love love, we definitely do not like the idea of unrequited love. When we are not appreciated or loved in the same way, it creates a clash between the hope for our romantic present intertwining with that of our future relationships. The idea of unrequited love is something we have all experienced in some shape or form. Perhaps through a crush on the boy/girl at school, secret feelings for your best friend, a date or two with a guy/girl from Tinder but it does not work out. For whatever reason, fate, or the divine universe or whatever you might believe in is playing referee. Walking the halls of UTSC, I began to wonder whether this problem was a recurring phenomenon amongst my peers. How many times have you been dragged through the mud in the pursuit of love?

They say it is better to have loved than lost but what if you are a victim of both? This is precisely what unrequited love is, the painful instance of loving someone who does not feel the same way. To think about unrequited love and rejection, we must first look at the critical component of who is involved. There’s a naïve- butterflies in your stomach-can’t sleep without thinking about it- stage in a relationship that has you transfixed and convinced that everything is fine and dandy, when that is not always the case. The majority of the time, we fantasize and project our own dreams and expectations onto the other. This in turn allows for disappointment when things do not work out between the other person. I asked a few students at UTSC about this conventional set of notions and I was surprised to find out the different levels of unrequited love/rejection that existed. When asked about experiencing this issue, Idil, a third year arts management student said, “I remember back in high school, I guess I kind of experienced it with one guy…” she added, “it eventually led to something better cause I ended up getting with his friend instead!” after laughing jokingly, she later added: “When I think about love, I think about the relationship between me and my cat, Chester. He’s like a user and abuser, I give him my all and he doesn’t appreciate me as much as I appreciate him, and he chooses every family member but me! But honestly, it’s life! Not everybody is going to love you or like you at some point in your life but you gotta move on and appreciate yourself for who you are and KNOW that there are other people out there that will appreciate you back… maybe I should get a new cat though…”

The social aspect of rejection is one that is the basis of all fundamental romance. It is evident in the Films/TV shows we watch, the books we read and the music we listen too. “When I think of unrequited love, I think of rom-coms! Movies like Never Been Kissed and 500 Days of Summer are the backbone of our society.” says Nikita Singh, a fourth year Health Studies student. Time and time again, the hurt and turmoil that people feel through this unrequited love is one that is a synthesis of the romantic period. Hurt and pain sells, if you don’t believe me, ask Drake! In this commercialized appraisal of unrequited love, how do we even begin to pick up the pieces of our broken selves to ensure moving on? The idea of self-reflection and healing is the most crucial step in order to recover from the sting of rejection and unrequited love. The first thing you need to realize is, it’s their loss! As overused and wildly cliché as that sentiment is, your actions of infatuation are not made in vain if someone does not appreciate and love you for who you are. You are a badass! You are smart; you are loyal (I appreciate you *DJ Khaled Voice*). Aashna Thakkar, a fourth year New Media Studies student had some final wise words to share, “If a guy rejects you, it’s his loss! There’s plenty of other fish in sea, as they say!” So despite initial fears and reservations, continuously putting yourself out there will contribute to your experiences and drive you one step closer to your desired, everlasting romance.

 

Half-Written Scribblings

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

Hello there, it has been a while. I know I keep saying this. I’m starting to feel like a broken record. I’m starting to feel like Frank Ocean after he promised a new album for July. (Btw where is the new album at Frank?!?!) Lately, I have been swept up in a whirlwind called School. The deadlines, the assignments, the pressure… all culminating in a inspiration-less me. I am stuck. Like gum on a pavement attaching itself to the busy footprints of an annoyed individual passing by. I never really thought of myself as someone who succumbs to writers block easily but lately I’ve just been feeling like I have a lot to say but the words just are stuck… like a blocked sneeze. Yikes, what a weird way of describing it but that’s exactly what it feels like sometimes. This build up of pressure ended up being released in a journal, a bunch of half-written rants, fictional pieces and half-written poems over the course of October. So without further ado, here are a few of my favourite half-written scribblings.

Monday // 

This is what she wants most in the world: a new start. The ability to go back in time and re-write the most life-changing experiences. The ones that keep her up at night. The memories that she has pushed down but re-surface when a familiarity occurs in her life. A song or a book, a conversation that was memorable you know? The ghosts of her confusing past.

Tuesday // 

When you realize you are better off without someone or something,

you should embrace this feeling and concept and run with it.

Throw caution to the wind because despite the situation you may be in,

the particular instance that has hindered your life and hurt you

will ultimately allow you to grow.

Wednesday // 

It has been 5 years and quite some time now

But it still feels as though I have just lost you to the viciousness of this world.

Like a fresh wound just inflicted upon my skin,

the pain overwhelms me and shocks me to the core.

It is so terribly painful to think of a world without you.

So I try not to think about it and push it to the back of my mind

*Work in progress, sometimes I think of the right words but the redundancy of it all just forces me to erase it all.

Thursday // 

There’s a reason for everything, for telling the truth, for going through with something or someone… the list goes on and on. The reason for lying or not lying is no different. It is true that the ability to lie to ourselves is easy, sometimes incredibly easy. When we want to justify something, like that second chocolate bar or the obscenely expensive online purchase, we lie to ourselves. We seek the validation from our friends, our partners, sometimes our family. There are often three reasons for something: the reason we tell others, the reason we tell ourselves, and the real reason. The correlation exists to serve at the expense of the common denominator: You.

Friday //

What constitutes a good friend? Is it the amount of times you have gone out with the said friend? The kind of gifts they have gotten you or you two have exchanged during the holidays? The amount of time you have known each other? Or is it the experiences behind calling them during a predicament? Is it measured in the tough times you two have experienced, either separately or together? The advice that they have dished out during a bad breakup or bad grade? The inside jokes, endless laughter shared and unbelievable stories/memories… Is it the feelings you get from being valued, loved, trusted and relied on? This mixed in with the hilarious and loving moments from amazing and lifelong friends…

I cannot wait to take each piece and explore further… I hope you all have a wonderful week. Let me know what you think in the comments!

XO

-Halima

memories p1 

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry, Poetry, Writing, Written Pieces

 

 

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I was rummaging through my closet and came across a box of photographs and there you were.

Your effortless beauty and heartwarming smile

frozen in time, captured by a single random moment of wonder and curiosity.

I remember that day vividly: I had just purchased my new camera and you were the first person I wanted to photograph.

At the time, you were annoyed,

At the time, you did not wish to be photographed… but of course I did not oblige.

You laughed after you saw the photo and told me to take another, and another turned into another which turned into a photoshoot.

But who could even fathom that 4 years later, I would be sitting here and you would be gone.
It’s unimaginable to think that the happiness I felt with you in that sheer moment of spontaneity will never be felt or experienced again.

Instead as I look at this photograph, I yearn for the penultimate moments before,

I yearn for the moments after and to have one last conversation with you…

It’s quite tragic really, the emptiness and nostalgia that comes over me,

It is tragic how I can vividly remember this moment but cannot even recall the last thing I said to you,

the last thing you said to me, our final and distinct memory.

I miss you.