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

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?

what are you afraid of?

HelloHalima

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December blues + UPDATES

HelloHalima

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

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

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

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

Summers Over Interlude

HelloHalima, Written Pieces

It has been forever since my last post! I have definitely missed writing, a luxury that is hard to indulge in when you are busy with the trials and tribulations of school. Summer 2016… I started off thinking that this would be an awful summer- the idea of summer school discouraged me, it made me feel overwhelmed and filled to the brim with anxiety. Taking classes in the summer meant graduating on time the following summer. Then what? The idea of the end being so near was so daunting, this coupled with the idea that taking classes in the summer meant an absence of all the fun that summer usually brought.

Boy was I wrong. This summer was quite a learning experience- I strengthened some of my friendships while simultaneously growing apart from others. The growing pains of coming into my own as an adult have passed and with it, an entire summer of wonderful memories and experiences. 

As summer is over, we are now back to the reality of day to day life. School! Although I am already feeling the Fourth year blues, I am ready! I am going to share 3 goals of mine that I hope will help whoever is reading this in their academic/personal lives.

My goals for this 2016-2017 year are simple:

  1. TAKE BETTER CLASS NOTES: Start off by printing out any and all notes the teacher provides at the beginning of the class, then write down what the professor verbally says directly on the printed out material!  Writing down notes is way more memorable than typing it out. The guide below is definitely a great aid to help you formulate your lecture notes and help you in your courses.

awkward-ted-mosby-forgets-how-to-spell-professor-on-how-i-met-your-mother2. Make connections with Professors. I cannot stress this enough! My first two years began with me dodging Professors, afraid to look them in the eye as they would often catch me on my phone or falling asleep in their classes. I did not know how to maintain relationships with Professors that would have 100-200 students in their class, even when I went to office hours, I was often a rambling mess- trying to think of things to help me sound intelligent in the particular field that they were from. Don’t worry about any of that! Start off every class by finding an opportunity to introduce yourself to the Professor, “Hi, I’m Halima and I am really looking forward to this class!”- a little goes a long way as introducing yourself helps you to be a memorable student. As the course progresses, go to office hours! Talk about the readings, what you understand, what you don’t understand! What you want to know more about… conversations will allow you to not only further your education but will help you deepen your understanding about the material at hand. Finally, ditch emails for face to face interactions. Often times, emails are so overly formal and personal. If you find an opportunity to explain your questions or problems with the Professor in person- you will be able to make an impression that will last longer.

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3. Ditch any and all toxic things/people/influences in your life. This summer has taught me how draining it is to be constantly worrying about what other people think about you and what happens when you do not meet their expectations. In life, you will often come across experiences and instances that will shake you and try to redefine who you are, the goal is to not let it. The process of who you are is something that you can only begin38_zpsvknai4q5 to work on. By letting others influence your worth, you become lost and disillusioned in who you are and what you are about. I was inspired by a video I recently watched a video titled: “Dumping My Ex Saved My Life” created by Shannon Boodram (my favourite Youtuber! She’s amazing, please check out all her content, she is the best!) it was an update video where she talks about the different facets of her life. What
really struck me was what she had to say towards the end of the video about life. “Start being in process. A lot of us have an idea about who we are and what we want to accomplish but because that feels so far from where we are right now, the beginning is too daunting” My goal is to constantly be in process with who I am as an individual, to constantly be working on myself because once you stop, you cheat yourself from what you really deserve in your life. The process of working on myself includes shedding myself from the negative influences that make me feel bad about myself, that cloud my judgement in my life and by doing this, I am inherently bettering myself in the long run. I am now in such a happy place and my number one goal is to continue this for the rest of the 2016 year and the rest of my life.

I hope these goals have inspired you in some capacity and I would love for you to keep up with me and my blog by signing up on the email list at the bottom of the main page as well as keeping up with me on Instagram. I hope wherever you are, you have a wonderful start to the school/work year!

Xo

-Halima

In Between

HelloHalima, HMFpoetry

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I have found myself in a state of in between, 

 a limbo-like state that makes me constantly feel like I’m dangling from the edge of a cliff,

one hand simply separating me from plummeting to my untimely death.

I am between two selves,

two feelings,

two possible outcomes of my life’s journey.

I am between liking the way you make me feel and hating you with every fibre of my being.

Between laughing at your jokes, no matter how corny

and wanting to forget about you entirely.

Between hearing you say “I love you” and wishing desperately for

an “I hate everything you stand for”, 

And yet I dangle,

my feet off the ground, far from any sibilance of safety, my heart gone with it.

I am in shambles, 

Torn entirely. 

Time’s Tale

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

norvz-austria

-Norvz Austria Art 

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I was thinking about this quote a lot today. I thought about it when I first read the novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han and recently it re-surfaced in my mind as I was on the bus ride home. I don’t know if I would consider it to be an epiphany but I started to think about the truth in this sentiment.

Time is an instance that is always fleeting, it continues to evade us as we are constantly in pursuit of completing something. A goal, a task, a long-term or short-term dream. Some of the relationships we possess are placed on the back-burner. We do not even recognize that this is happening. We always believe in the fact that we have time, time to catch up. Time to reminisce about the good times, time to create new memories. We do not possess this time. Circumstances and everyday life interferes with the plans you aspire to create as well as the ones that are creating right now.

Before you know it, years have gone by and you are still on your grind, separate from the reality you once lived in.

The idea of living for right now is something that I am starting to grasp. We spend so much time trying to cultivate ideas of future dreams and future goals but we forget that living for today is just as important as dreaming for tomorrow. I recently found a list of goals I wanted to accomplish by 2016, strange feat as I am only 20 but the remarkable thing is, my goals are still the same as they were years ago. I knew that I wanted to start a blog (check!), maintain relationships with my nearest and dearest best friends (check!), make new friends at school and find my “people” at school (check!), lose 10 pounds (eh… almost check?!) and be happy (in progress). These goals are an ongoing process in my life but my goal for everyday is to live in the now… always.

“When feeling overwhelmed by a faraway goal, repeat the following: I have it within me right now, to get me to where I want to be later.” -Karen Salmansohn 

Good-Bye

HMFpoetry

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It has been 5 years and quite some time now,

But it still feels like I have just lost you.

I remember the phone ringing

and with it my life was forever changed.

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.

Then I realized that it is truly difficult for me to even fathom

The idea that every second without you

 is a reminder of what no longer remains.

I realized that just like ripping off a band-aid, the pain was still there

lingering and slightly above the surface.

What I would give to have

mere seconds with you,

To update you about all the new chapters in my life,

To laugh with you during the joyful moments,

ones that are filled with wonder and glee

To cry with you when life becomes dark and dreary

But original thoughts eventually re-surface

and you have to face the facts,

You are gone and have left me.

Good-bye.

I will love you, always.

Ghosts

HelloHalima, Life, Writing, Written Pieces

1

What does it mean to ghost someone? I am not speaking from a literal perspective as I am well aware of the social and emotional ramifications this *newly formed* concept has, but what does it truly mean?  I always wondered how someone could lose feelings for someone so quickly… feelings that have been cultivated and shaped to create a long-lasting bond between the two people. I’m talking about memories and inside jokes, experiences and shared ideologies. How is that just simply disregarded to the point where ghosting is even a possibility? I’m talking friendships, romantic relationships, etc. The ability to just cut someone off without a moments notice. Is this what life has become? The ability to end longterm relationships based solely on the deeply rooted secret dislikes that they possess? Now when I am talking about ghosting, I am not talking about the guy you may or may not have dated for 5 minutes or the temporary friend you had for a semester. I am talking about the longterm and consistent relationships an individual possesses in their adult life.

Does the process of this “ghosting” have tell-tell signs? Is it something that has been contemplated and considered? Or are the perpetrators just people who have had enough of an individuals bullshit? Is it because the victims of “ghosting” are just in denial and oblivious to the experience and the state of the relationship? These questions run around in my mind as I ponder this confusing yet intriguing conflict. What happened to the idea of ending a relationship based off of mutual closure or are the people who believe in this just optimistic in a world so harsh and lonely? I am only thinking about this because I am reminded of a specific conversation I recently had with someone on the bus.

(For privacy purposes I will omit the names) Jess* was talking to me about the problems she was having with her best friend Leo*.

“I’m just so pissed about Leo not responding to my calls,” she says in a small sad voice. “I’m not sure what happened or what I did but we got into a weird fight about movie tickets…” She glances at me and notices my quizzical face and answers before I can even get a word in, “Yeah, don’t ask about that, long story. The thing is, I think he’s ghosting me. The vibe between us does not feel the same, it’s been the same for a while and I think he is just done with being my friend…” she continues to talk about the history she has with him and how she can’t believe a ten year friendship is fizzling out over nothing. I stare at my smart and beautiful friend and wonder, if someone is capable of ghosting her then what does this mean for our society? I thought about it for a second and wondered, you grow out of shirts, you grow out of trends but is it possible to grow out of friends?

In life you are bound to experience losses, some are through unfortunate circumstances, some are through time but now it is through the art of ghosting. Is this the first tell-tale sign of growing up? It seems the most painful breakups are the ones with best friends.

XO,

Halima

 

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

October+Autumn

HelloHalima, Life, Written Pieces

October

Hello October. It’s nice to see you again. I missed you. I remember being excited for your arrival as a young child. The first of October meant 5 more days until my birthday. 5 more days until growing up and growing taller, growing wiser and feeling older. It symbolized something more to me, something amazing and had me full of wonder. I wanted it to be October forever.

I am now no longer excited for that. Instead now, the meaning has changed for me. October is now the month where I am bombarded by midterms, endless assignments/quizzes and that dreadful dreadful day that still symbolizes growing older: my birthday. It’s incredible how you can feel a certain way about something as a child and have it completely change as you get older.

Autumn is a completely different story for me. I love Autumn, always have and I think I always will. Keats said it best: “How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air — a temperate sharpness about it.” The crisp and fragile air surrounding you as you leave the house, the idea behind pumpkin spice anything, the warm and sweet scent of pumpkin cinnamon engulfing your senses… it’s beautiful.

For this month, I’m planning to blog every single day (give or take a couple of exam days) so I hope to see you on the next post of Hello Halima 🙂 

P.S for all the people who like this piece, feel free to follow me on WordPress

and on instagram: hellohalima

Xo

© HelloHalima 2015