Friday, April 25, 2014

Why I Write

I started this blog when I was so frustrated and had no place to air out my feelings. Talking to a friend of mine after I shared one of my pieces with him and he told me to publish it in a blog. That my blog will be my own public private place, because despite what I thought, so many people are going through the same things I was. That we are more alike than we are different. And sometimes my openness can clarify out another person's situation.

Eventually I started sharing more, and more and became an active blogger. Then I disappeared for a year. In retrospect my absence has taught me so much about myself. I used to crave this freedom of speaking my mind. I hated wallowing in my own feelings and feeling so lost that even when I tried to string along two sentences I couldn't. I had misplaced that part of me who was fearless in her honesty and thoughts.

I like to believe that I have changed. One day when I was having a conversation with the committee in my head, I asked myself, what was my passion that could help me find release. Surprisingly, the one thing I missed the most was writing. Sometimes I feel proud when a piece I write gets a lot of reading, sometimes disappointing that no one reads. But no more. I restarted this for me. As an escape. As an exploration. As a hobby that gives my heart joy.

If through pieces I write I can make you feel something, a connection, an understanding, an appreciation, I would have been happy. If by reading my frustrations makes you feel less alone in your aloness, I would be honored that my simple words can alleviate the numbness of your situation.

I can isolate myself from my situation through my writing. I write because my sanity demands it. My heart craves it. I write because I must. 

Ijumaa Kareem People

A Guilty Pleasure

I love this movie. It the first Disney movie to teach young girls that you don't need a man to save you. A departure from the usual Disney love stories, its no wonder this movie with its songs is topping charts across the world. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's Real

Fat Girl Woes in a Skinny World

I had no idea how I found myself in this predicament. It feels like one day as I woke up, looking at the baby lying next to me, and I was the joke that they were laughing at - the fat girl. How did this happen so suddenly? So busy being pregnant and having a healthy child I forgot that I was supposed to look like I wasn't pregnant. For two years the monstrous fat crept into me filling all the crevices and bones, oblivious in my joy to be a mother, to get a rude awakening doze of how dare you be so fat?

Do you know that saying to truly understand another person you have to walk a mile in their shoes? Finally I was in a fat woman's shoes. I had always been laughed at because I was fat at a size 8/10 but now at size 16 implicit bullying, rudeness, comments, diet tips, exercise regime advice are a norm. I used to think it was a Western Culture thing to pressurize the woman into a certain size, to condemn a woman for being fat, ah hark, calling anyone fat. The African culture has caught on too. Much faster and much worse.

In the beginning I used to laugh it off. I was young and I can shed the pounds quickly. I wanted to conform and look the size that can be considered beautiful, it was after all my obligation to the society I was told. The work in store as a new mother, breastfeeding full time when I am home, working full time, taking care of my home and nurturing my relationships, slowly getting into pre-pregnancy mania took a back step, while I focused on what I considered to be more important. My baby did not understand my dilemma; she just wanted her mamma, all the time. Hubby appreciates how grueling demanding and beautiful it was the journey that my body had undergone to create a life; that the extra pounds is a small price to pay.  Consistently telling me, "I love you just the way you are, and if the weight bothers you so much, you will find a way to lose it in your own time. In the meantime I am enjoying your real womanly curvaceous body". Of-course he is lying to protect my feelings, I tell myself and force myself to brush off the obvious admiration in his eyes.  

As I eventually rejoined the world, inside I felt like a much better person. I have been through so much. I have been tested. I have grown as a person as a woman, and I had a whole new title: mom. At work I was promoted shortly after I rejoined after my maternity leave. In my heart and head I felt grateful, appreciative of who I am and what I can endure. Of the second love of my life I nuzzle to sleep everyday. I was superwoman. 

Not quite. 

Society finally felt that they had held their tongue long enough. I was not loosing the weight. I was proud to be fat - the abomination. Well meaning friends and family started to make comments on how to lose the weight. Asking me what could be wrong, why I hadn't gone back to being Sabra. They didn't like the person I had become, how dare I? Be fat? Be happy being fat. Then the insults piled on the regular. I could brush it off and be so surprised at the comments. People came into my office to look at me because they had heard how fat I was. The most hurtful people were the women. Mothers themselves. But as the comments became more rude, more personal, attacking my intelligence, my personality, my vanity of daring to think I am beautiful, my marriage - I felt that I had kept quiet long enough. I started to retort to all my attackers. Oh boy, was that the wrong move. I seemed to make them feel the need to be more creative in their insults. Finally I yielded, I started believing what they were saying. Afterall even strangers, acquaintances made the same comments. I had never felt more unclean. More not belonging to the society. Unhappy and depressed. I hated looking at my reflection in the mirror. Yet all this was an internal struggle. I had no right to voice these concerns. My friends failed to understand why I believed the stupid people, why I am giving in, they know me as a strong women who is always standing. At times they suggest the different things I can do to make it better. I felt they did not get my plight. I wanted to be accepted regardless of how I looked. My mom didn't know what to do, and I hated seeing my pain reflected in her eyes, so I started shielding her from my feelings by burying them deeper and deeper into the black hole of my fears. 

This piece of writing was not meant to be a show of how strong I am. Rather the acceptance of how broken I am. How vulnerable I feel. How everything I have believed about myself has been questioned, debated and laughed at because I dared to be fat. I dared not to lose the baby weight ten months into giving birth. No one wants to hear how I am hurting. Sometimes I look at who I was, as pretty as I may have been considered at that size, but I am a much better person now. More sure of myself. I can stand up for myself. I have learnt to say no. I have downsized on friends who are not good for me and try to invest that into my husband. I am fat, but it has helped me realize how fickle I was. I have learnt that universal acceptance is not possible, and as I learn to believe my husband that he loves me more now than before. The tempestuous flight of my daughter into hugging my legs as I get back home. I am learning to enjoy simple pleasures. To stop keeping a score and live life at my own pace, my own way and my own terms. I am not always comfortable in my fat woman skin but it has been an invaluable lesson that I have not fully understood. I am ok. You are ok. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dem e-cards

Celebrating Men

As usual I started trying to find a picture to convey thoughts of mine. I wanted to write a piece to celebrate men. Our men. The good men. The men who make us smile. The men who are there for us. Our fathers, boyfriends, husbands, sons, and friends. However, I could not find such a picture. Everything it seems on the internet is written from the women's perspective. 

It seems that we are all obsessed with finding the perfect man. Countless articles have been written on how to find a man, keep a man, make him happy. It seems that all men are liars, cheaters, and so much of the blame for our failing relationships is being proportioned to men. I am not saying that men are perfect but hell, lets cut them some slack. 

So on this auspicious day, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the men in my life. The one who have hurt me, healed me, loved me, understood me, pushed me, believed in me, and countless others that I do not know. Because without you, our lives would not be complete. We need each other. 

Let us be kind to one another. Men and women, we are not the same. We are of different molds. But we complement one another. Re-read the above screen shot from my husband's facebook. Men are much simpler. It is much easier to make them happy. The don't triple analyse everything with their friends. They want loyalty, love, and happiness. We actually both want the same things. 

We can all love an imperfect man perfectly. Let us celebrate our imperfect men, and appreciate all that they do. Be grateful for all they are. Let us be proud when we see the men in our lives, to send a silent prayer to God and say thank you, for bringing us such blessings in our lives. 

A Toast to Women

Starting Over

I have been absent for a long time. From writing. From my  simple passion.

The contradictory part was that I had so much time on my hands. So many thoughts, so many things going on. So much to write about But I could not string two sentences together.

As I had turned my back on writing I had done the same in all other aspects of my life. Built more walls to see who would care enough to break them down.

I had been through to hell and now I am back. I am still standing.

I am not whole anymore as how I knew myself. This woman I have become I do not know who is all the time. She is new to me.

She is more reserved. More outspoken. More uncensored. More reserved. Such a walking breathing and living contradiction.

This woman is now responsible for another human being. It is a big responsibility. I feel that I am already failing but I am willing to take guidance. I try to remember that a mother is born the day the child is born, so I cut myself some slack.

On how I look, it depends on the day. Most days I love myself. Some days I hate how I have come to look. The constant criticism gets to me. I am human.

All the things I knew about love wasn't enough. I am learning so much more of the deep capacity of my heart to love. Sometimes love is simply being there. Silent. Giving and until there is nothing left to give, and then giving some more.

I want to breathe new life to this space. Write more. Share more. Explore more. Live more.

Life in Now

It is amazing how much time we waste on unimportant things. The time we spend showing off to our friends and family. The time we create an unrealistic image of our lives on social networks. The time we worry about all the things that we have no control over. Life is not about keeping score. We are so focused on everything else, preparing, creating, dieting, saving, waiting we forget that in life we don't have second chances of moments lost. There is no rehearsal. It is a live show, so lets live accordingly to whatever we believe in. Celebrate being here, now, it could me much worse. 

Re-finding my passion in writing

Three Generation Selfie

This picture, says it all. My daughters expression and me looking at the phone taking the pic and mum looking at me look at the phone. I love these women. May I raise my daughter to be a strong and phenomenal woman just how I was raised and I was honored to have such a woman in my life. I am deeply grateful to all that she does. 

Happy 3rd Anniversary

It is unreal. Our love has been through alot. We have been tested. We have been blessed. We are still standing. Alhamdulilah. May we continue to grow, to learn, to love, together. 
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