in space we’re here a million miles away
"but for the common wages of their most secret heart.”
I am writing this post because the taxi service company won’t pick up and I am all dressed and ready to go with endless energy so I am just going to write about whatever comes to my mind. I am biding my time, drinking some wine (I am actually drinking lemon flavored iced tea, obsessed).
so for the few people that followed my short-lived, embarrassing, cringe-worthy hair blog, I have a few hair updates. that blog eventually turned into a journal of all my to-do lists and just got more and more revealing, like stuff about my weight (sidenote on passive bullying: for those who think I don’t get bullied. possibly the meanest of my readers told me that their goal weight was the same as mine, despite being 6 foot tall and male. it was obviously a cruel way to let me know they had read my weight+goal weight despite me trying to make the blog private. whatever. I am always trying to improve my health, mind, inner and outer state, but that doesn’t mean I am not happy with what I have. in fact I am really glad I am not exactly what I want to be, because that gives me a reason to make lists and execute plans, and that’s basically my favorite thing to do and when I feel most inspired, so what would I do if I was where I wanted to be? I’d be so bored and uninspired. but to my meanest reader I’d like to give some hair kudos and say the super short hair cut right above the ear looks adorable. pay it fwd, a-hole)
Basically I went to this psychopathic, elitist hair dresser in psychopathic, elitist Karachi and he saw my long, disheveled hair with bleached ends (fail DIY dip-dye project) that had been dyed over with a super dark brown then again with a lighter brown and he was like what the f—-. and then he proceeded to tell me my hair was aging me (which is confusing because he simultaneously told me I looked 16) and also said I needed to be able to walk into a grocery store and impress people with my so-called (?) wealth and so-called (?) status. Even if I had none. Erm, ok. I don’t think he realized the time I spent in the granndd Amreeka was spent in small-town Iowa where they’re about as elitist as a farmer’s market can get. And that while Dubai has the reputation of being incredibly materialistic, status-obsessed and I don’t know, flossy, practically everyone I know in Dubai has an absolutely insane work ethic, some of the craziest hours and longest commutes I have ever seen in any part of the world, and if they drive fancy cars and buy crazy shit it is because they work crazy hard for it. I am specifically talking about the non-Emiratis. To call a spade a spade, I just think it is unfair to complain about their lap of luxury. It is their government. It is their country. Their money. I don’t want to get into a rant about the Dubai-hate, b/c that deserves it’s own post, what I am trying to say in too many words as always is—the hairdresser was wrong. That is not what I wanted. I didn’t want anything. I was just bored and I when I am bored I make stupid decisions like get something pierced or cut off all my hair, though at least I can recover from both, so… I hope I stick to those two domains. If I am seen in my 30s, practically bald with 9 rings in each ear, plus my nose, plus other places, then my 20s were invariably, decidedly boring.
Anyway. He cut it all off, I was miserable, I had moments where I thought all was lost (I spose I can be slightly dramatic but only slightly), I had moments where I tried to convince myself it kind of looked like this:
but those were obviously moments of sheer madness. she can pull off being bald so she can obviously pull off such a weird awkward length. she can pull off anything.
Though once the excitement had died down, it gave me something to do, a goal. And to not fuss with, cut, dye, treat my hair was a pretty big deal because I know I would get the itch, get bored, and do something. But this happened in August and it is now February and I haven’t done anything to it. The back of my head is full of split-ends but I haven’t done anything. I am starting to get to the really out-of-shape state but I am not going to give in to temptation and even get it trimmed. I will not succumb.
I am really frustrated now because the taxi service is obviously messed up, because this never happens, and there is a banana conditioner at The Body Shop with my name on it… Also I hate going out in the evening when it gets crowded.
listen to Norwegian Wood
and have some iced tea
he who is fixed to a star does not change his mind
—leonardo da vinci
"they’re just public mausoleums—the living dead fill every room"
I’m back. I had a really fun and dramatic exit post to 2013, but the truth is, I just cannot stay away. I need to write, and while I want to be someone who writes a hundred journals, I am just too lazy and not cool enough. I can happily say I no longer blog to release some unwarranted sadness, because I am not really sad. The sole purpose of blogging will now be procrastination. So some of my posts might be the article-y type shit I usually write, with carefully organized headings and pictures, but some will be more rambly, sort of unfiltered journalesque posts. Like this one. I am also thinking of venturing into a new project (*** I shall get to that at the very end).
Of course I have two very delayed, very complicated tasks, and I will write, watch youtube videos, cook for myself, workout, etc. before I can even process the idea of getting started on them.
2014 has been great thus far. I said bye to a bunch of friends who went back west (where they belong? LM reference). Had a mildly stressful time learning how to drive in the heavy Dubai traffic, and prepared myself for the upcoming semester, which for me, starts February 1st. A new chapter to my life. I am honestly the most excited I have been in a while, because I can’t wait to be filling my days with tons of work, cruiising through Dubai (uh oh, the world will never be the same again), and planning my outfits that will hopefully not be black track pants with a flimsy black tshirt…
Not being in school for a semester has also made me innately lazy, I took my time but eventually grew altogether too comfortable within the confines of my warm duvet (ooh, thinking about slipping in right now? nope. god. conflicts). I can feel my bones slow down, if that makes sense. It’s terrifying.
I watched a film last weekend and I thought I’d write a brief review:
The movie was a short budget project basically catalyzed by the gracious presence of Nasirudin Shah and it explored the themes of escapism and illegal immigration out of Pakistan. It is set in Lahore, a city which itself serves as a pleasant and well developed character that supports the (rather amateur) depictions of the frustrated youth of PK. The best thing about the movie by far was the theme. I am a sucker for any movie or book that by the rules of social psychology, brings together a group of people with the united motivation of getting out of there. What the movie lacked in finesse, organization, and glamour (which doesn’t count b/c it wasn’t meant to be glamorous, but then it should not have had really random musical numbers in there unless they could afford some better editing and choreography), it made up in humourous writing, soul, and a poignant message. Perhaps the biggest flaw in the movie was the lack of focus on what it was that made everyone hate their present life so much (though one can argue that that was deliberate), because if you aren’t familiar with Pakistani’s you could easily mistake the main characters as ungrateful, bitter, and consistently not working hard. And a film like this I think would have a non-Pakistani audience. Anyway, it would have been nice to capture a glimpse of why their own lives had failed them. One of my favorite things about the writing was the leading lady. The only strong character in a film about a trio of men. She was focused, she worked hard, she fell in love, she reaped all the benefits, and when she was accused of being a slut, she walked right out and never looked back. She had what every man in the film lacked: honest determination without obsessing over the easy way out. She was kickass. So it was overall it was a worthwhile watch.
I also watched Bridesmaids on my laptop—yes I know, like, 3 years too late. I am really picky when it comes to comedies and the trailer just made it seem like it was going to be a female Hangover. And while I enjoyed The Hangover, I think, maybe, it just didn’t seem like something I would enjoy. My sister watched it and didn’t like it, and somehow I just never bothered with it. I did notice that the film met with an unusual amount of critical acclaim for a commercial comedy with a cast that was primarily ex-SNL folk (OK why didn’t I watch it earlier) and extras from The Office. It won a lot of awards for writing and Melissa McCarthy was also lauded for her portrayal of Megan.
Now, I thought the movie would be really out there. Over-the-top gimmicks and situations set up inorganically to generate cheap, easy laughs. Not stupid, but hollow humour, if that makes sense. So when I read about it again this past week before watching it, I read all this stuff about how it was a revolutionary film in terms of female-driven characters, and how it was one of the few to pass something called the "Bechdel test" , etc. And then I thought, wow, this is going to be great.
I really liked Bridesmaids. And weirdly enough, it was neither of the two things I thought it could have possibly been. It was neither over-the-top funny or crazy or out there, nor did it strike me as revolutionary for the portrayal of “real women” or whatever. In fact, I ended up enjoying it the way I enjoy a Kate Hudson movie, if that makes sense. It was surprisingly sad and touching and sometimes kind of funny (While I find things in real life funny all the time, somehow I never find anything in tv/film funny enough to actually laugh. In fact, I have this strange habit of watching all comedies with a straight face and if I think something is funny I say “that is funny” with a totally straight face. Kind of like that great scene in The Office when Dwight is like “I heard a joke today” and Angela smiles and says “That’s funny” and that’s that). I thought it was just a neat (literally neat, like well organized and clean camerawork), girly film with a great soundtrack. It wasn’t remarkable in anything except for the fact that it made my list of girly movies I want to watch when I’m in that mood, and that is a pretty short list I am always looking to add on to. I really enjoyed Rose Byrne’s performance, there was something wonderfully hilarious about how passively bitchy she was and no matter what she did you could never really point to her and say wow that was terrible, and that’s a very difficult subjectivity to write into a character. I somehow thought Melissa M’s character would be disgusting and out there (again, from the trailers), but she wasn’t, she was just kind of burpy and farty (I hate it when overweight people are written into fart/poop/burp humor, as though they do it more, or something, it’s so stupid, we all do it, just b/c you’re skinny doesn’t make you any more graceful at pooping) and I don’t fully understand her Oscar nomination, either. Except for this one wonderful scene where she literally beats the fear out of the lead character and offers some very moving, very real advice.
So, I know I had this dramatic “I won’t blog anymore” moment but I mean, truth is, I love dramatic exits, and then I tend to swoop right back in. It’s a fault. I can’t keep away.
*** Fiction writing???? Thoughts???
now I have this warm feeling that I can carry with me till we talk again
—my friend said this to me after a recent catch-up session and it was too cute not to share
I suppose everyone is expecting a cheesy new year post, which is altogether too convenient, because I am in the slightly sleepy but rambly mood and I want to write a cheesy new year post. And what can be more apropos than a cheesy beachy picture of my feet in the ocean?
2013 was one of the most eventful years of my life. I never go into details about my life, my personal life, academic life, etc. but it was definitely the year of milestones and the year of change. for one, I moved back home. this was probably the biggest change. saying good-bye to my love iowa city was one of my most difficult break-ups. but it wasn’t a bitter one, I will always have a special corner in my heart for a city that uses the phrase ‘kitty-corner’.
I think I may have possible become an ah-dult now. hard to be sure, when I find myself building sand sculptures at the beach for two consecutive days. I guess a part of moving out of one phase of my life into another meant things bigger than that, though. Bigger than the measures people oftentimes use to define and measure themselves or one another.
I noticed that things always happen to me in a very timely fashion (not to say they cannot be timely, ie, time is not involved at all). But I guess I mean, a specific time. For example, by no planning or anticipation, I got a semester’s worth (4 months) of time off between high school and college. Similarly, without planning, I got a semester’s worth (4 months!! good job) of time off between college and a grown-up life. So to speak. I never meant for this to happen, but I was glad in 2009 and I was very glad in 2013, too, for this unplanned vacation. The time I had after college, really, truly, for the first time ever perhaps, was time I had to myself. I always resent people who seem disconnected with themselves (bitchy of me, oops), but I didn’t even realize how great the disconnect was for me, within me. That’s okay, though. The greater the void, the more journeys and adventures and time we can take to bring it together. Anyway, after spending four months on my own, with no routine, no schedule, no alarms, no one to report to and nothing to do, I think I had a very clean ending to the year. I realized I was a step—and a big one, at that—closer to becoming the person I aspire to be. I am miles and miles ahead of where I was in 2012 going into 2013. Back then, I was confused and desperate to make myself snap into place, making lists and lists of things I will never do again and people I will NEVER speak to again and downward spirals that I won’t go down again, that I completely lost sight of how important those things were to me, that I was clinging them so close to my heart and it was only because of that, that I had to make such a deliberate effort to let them go.
I didn’t realize that I was blessed, that everyone is blessed, with the touch of fate (believe it or not), that with time, some things just slip away, some darkness just disappears. You cannot fight it when it is around, and I did, not to say it is all in vain, you should never stop fighting. But some things just have their own chapter in your life, a chapter that will close when it will close, no matter how much you push your pen into the threads of the pages to end it, end it, end it.
The time I had to myself helped me think about the decisions I made, and the life I want to build for myself. How I want to go on just being. I came into a place of clarity for myself, and I can only recommend to everyone to take some time off and do the same, if they are lucky enough to have the option. I am refreshed and ready to go back into a crazy routine, but I needed those days of redecorating the house and watching endless seasons of Gilmore Girls, and roaming around rows and rows of Paperchase stationary with a coffee cup in hand. I am already nostalgic for the time and it isn’t even over yet.
2013 is, though. And I have no resolutions. It seems as though everyone is either one of the following: the people who make tons of resolutions, and the people who make a ton of fun of people who make tons of resolutions. Ordinarily, I’d be the former, because I scarcely ever even need/jump at any opportunity the opportunity to be resolute. I love the idea of starting the new year with a list, first of all, a list of personal goals. And I have them, I have them every day, they just didn’t change this time around with our celebration of Jesus Christ’s circumcision.
I let go of a lot of things this year, and when they didn’t fight to come back to me, I was given the confirmation that my decision was the right one. As Xtina says “that’s how you know”.
Other things that happened to me was the vague irritation for the easy popularity of GenY: be open! Be open! Everything and everyone should be supported no matter what! The incredibly idealistic and somewhat stupid motto of the gen. An easy way to get likes. Don’t faulter. Don’t give up your values for anyone (as my boy jStew said “if you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values, they’re hobbies”). Even if they make you unpopular. Especially if they make you unpopular. They are not meaningful until they have some negative effect. If you are female, like me, don’t be let down by those who label strong, opinionated women as “aggressive” and “bold” (with a negative connotation, ofc), when men would be heavily lauded for being the same way. I am not saying these things as a means of sounding superior, rather, thinking of things I want to follow myself, and sharing them with anyone who thinks I might be slightly capable of setting good guidelines. I created this blog at one of the saddest points of my life, when I decided to channel all my negative energy into a semi-creative outlet. And it helped. I recommend that to anyone who needs it. Write, paint, build, create. Be essential. Be needed. Be helpful, be cherished, be ambitious, be confident. Be curious. Drown yourself in self-doubt. Don’t rationalize everything you do as the right thing and everything everyone else does as the wrong thing. Self-doubt is essential, self-doubt is where we start. Self-doubt is step one—where can you go within yourself, if you do not doubt everything to begin with? (Would love to make some references to existential authors here, but will refrain, because the truth is I read almost nothing in 2013 except for a book about parisian fashion). Look at yourself objectively and determine if you are where you need to be. You will never be, so work towards it, and stay on that path forever.
For the sake of the cheese factor of this post (»> level provolone? level labneh?), I will just go ahead and list everything I want to do in the upcoming year (even tho I said no resolutions):
1- read. I mean, I have basically stopped reading. If it’s not on a tumblr dashboard (no offense, but soo wish I had made a blogspot a year ago, didn’t understand the tumblr community at all, and definitely do not fit in!), or the back of a makeup kit, or the little legend of a chocolate box, I don’t read it. And I have a stack of books AND a kindle to order (thank you again to my wonderful friend for sending me an amazon gift card on my birthday after I had tweeted a list of the best books of 2013 saying “hope you enjoy the books”), so I really need to start reading again. Starting with “Island” by Huxley, and ending with, well, nothing hopefully.
2- stay fit. stay healthy! no number goals. eat well, exercise regularly. that’s all!
3- grow my terrible haircut out haha… been doing this since summer 2013, and honestly thought it would be longer by now, but it it’s been growing very slowly
4- do not give up academic research, no matter how tempted I get (sorry, it’s just way too dense for me, but I will try to stick with it)
5- give back. give back to this wonderful world that has given me so much!!
2014, baby! I will not be blogging anymore.
Happy life to all of you!
no more ugly smiley face Celine bags, please
woke up positively beaming after the longest time today. immediately put on one of my favorite outfits—all for no reason. nothing to do and nowhere to go but it doesn’t matter. I hope all of you (most of you) are as happy as me! xo
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater thar sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
—Khalil Gibran “On Joy and Sorrow”
"It’s just cloth"
Waris Singh Ahluwalia