what are you afraid of?

HelloHalima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update: Writers Block

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

 

Writers block

 

I was talking to someone from school recently and she asked me “Halima, why don’t you post more frequently? I don’t get it, you have all this time and yet your blog remains dormant and all you do is watch netflix everyday, are you lazy…” While this is partially true, what I did not like was the polarizing attitude she had and the lack of understanding she possessed about writers block. Some say that writers block is a myth, just an imaginary and psychological barrier in your mind that you create when you want to avoid fear of being judged or justify not writing. To these people I say, to hell with you!

When you suffer from writers block, you feel the bubbling of the words at the tip of your tongue, the words and the intent are there but suddenly vanish as you are unable to retrieve them back again. It feels horrible, kind of like a sneeze that does not really come out but you are left with a strange sensation and a weird expression on your face. Recently, I have found myself at a loss for words but not really? I do not know how to explain it, if you have ever suffered from it then you know about what I am speaking about, the halting sensation you feel, the panic when the words do not feel or flow the same way on paper than how they did in your mind, the frustration of not communicating how you feel properly. I write and write and write but sometimes I do not feel like what I am writing is at the caliber that it is usually at. I am stuck like a piece of fresh gum at the bottom of my shoe, it is a annoying reoccurrence in my life.

Charles Bukowski once said “Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all” hence this post but what I still do not understand is the way in which people just think they know you. It is infuriating!!! The idea that someone can just speak about your intentions, your thoughts, your ideologies and just misconstrue them in a way that no longer contains the essence of you. It is like they project their own expectations, ideas and thoughts onto you and think that because of this, you are similar to them? No way. I found this quote that really helped me get out of my rut:

“If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to ­music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” -Hilary Mantel

And patient is what I’ll be.