Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pride

They talk about ‘dignity’ and ‘pride’ as things that stop them from reaching out. I understand, or at least I used to. I never really cared for such things, it never crossed my mind that my dignity is on the line here. Although, in many instances it were. And I put myself in situations I alone could be blamed for. I talk a lot of nonsense, I do silly countless things, I act like a kid, and most people would tell me to calm down a little. Sometimes it’s for my own good, and sometimes it’s for theirs; to preserve some of their dignity.

That’s all very fine, but when it comes to doing someone good it becomes a different matter altogether. You’re putting yourself in a situation where you can get rejected. They might not appreciate it, you might have tried before and you’ve reached a limit. Maybe your pride can’t take it anymore, and people can be challenging in many ways. They have enormous power to break you. And you start to think, is it worth it?

I’ve recently noticed how I’ve begun to care about my pride as well. I catch myself thinking a thousand times before doing something good which shouldn’t be thought twice about. I haven’t felt that my pride did me any good. It only made me regret so many missed opportunities at kindness. So I’ve started to wonder, what good will my pride do me? What good is a pride that maintains distance, offers no solace, leaves you alone, cold and unfeeling?

So what if you’re rejected? So what if they don’t take the hand you’re offering? If one out of a hundred or thousand extended hands were taken, it would make all the difference. How do you know which help you offer might lighten a heavy soul? How do you know which smile you offer might make someone’s day? How will you go on being selective about giving when you want help every time you’re down?

Everything you do finds its way back to you, believe me. And even if it doesn’t, even if your pride is shattered and your kindness rejected, what a humbling experience it can be. And we all could use some humility.
I write this to remind myself that in order to receive kindness, one must be kind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Remember this

"Don't let the issue take control over you. And if it still decides not to play nice. You grab it by the neck and threaten to drop it from the highest building. 
And if that doesn't work. Nuke it. Nuke the hell out of it. And if everything fails. It's time to fly away from this planet and find us habitat else where."
- A good friend.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What the world wants

I don’t want to take pictures, I want to be here and now. I don’t want to sit down when I’m talking passionately, and I really don’t want to lower my voice when I’m talking excitedly about something.
I don’t want to feel anxious about saying something I really meant and felt like saying. I never want to hold back because of how I might be misunderstood. I don’t want to change the music I listen to, and I want to spend time alone. I don’t want to do things together, and I wish you’d tell me when I do something wrong. I don't want to feel pressured into making a show of the things I am, the things I love, and what I hate.

I want to be lost in books, and I want to dwell in silence. I want to forever keep smiling at everyone and wave when there’s absolutely no prospect of them seeing me wave. I want to philosophize my way into life, and I’d like you to indulge me every now and then.

I want a place of my own, a spot hidden from everyone’s eyes where I can just be. Somewhere to go when I feel the burden of my thoughts too heavily. When I can’t answer the ‘what’s wrong’ question. I wish I wasn’t so easily read, but in a way, I’m glad I can be transparent.

I am well aware of my naivety, and I wonder if anybody can be called naive when they’re aware of it. I don’t think of it as a good or a bad thing, it’s just part of who I am.


I will continue to complicate things because my mind's default is to over-think everything, and though I tried to fight it, it only led to more over-thinking.
I will not conform, at least I'm trying not to.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Foolish hope

I want to write about those moments we catch ourselves waiting for something we have absolutely no reason to expect other than our irrational and foolish hope. The anticipation, the bubbles, the giddiness, and then the depression. How we surprise ourselves, feeling down and frustrated because of how it hasn’t happened yet, how we try to convince ourselves that it doesn’t matter. And how we fail miserably.

We know expectations are irrational but we always have them. We fight against them but they implant a seed in us before we manage to vanquish them. And we’re left waiting for things we’re absolutely certain we have no reason to wait for and yet…we wait.

How funny human behavior is sometimes, how foolish hope is. And yet without it, where would we be?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Colors and my world

Our sheets are the pink that they like to call hot. They leave traces of their pink on our clothes when we sleep. My bed is high and when I sit on it, my legs dangle. It’s a freedom in itself being able to dangle your feet and swing them a little. How I wish I owned a swing, my house will have a swing no matter what, even if it was a flat and we had to put it on the roof, or in the balcony or wherever.

Green must be my favorite color, my glasses are green, my phone cover, my notebook. It’s like green is trying to tell me to accept it as my new favorite color. But I refuse the concept of favorites, it doesn’t mean anything. I don’t have a favorite color, there are shades of each color that are simply dazzling. I don’t like confining myself to one thing. This is an example of me complicating everything in life.

I don’t know how we managed to have so much clutter in our room, I guess there’s a hoarder inside of me. God help me. The problem is how my desk is always such a mess, I have a problem with keeping things around me tidy. It just never works out that way.

The other day a girl wanted to borrow a book, and I don’t like recommending books to people I don’t know. I found her with Shantaram in her hands, but I managed to persuade her to take Middlesex (I like that book, but I feel no emotional attachment to it as I do to Shantaram). I guess I didn’t want to give her Shantaram, it’s too close to my heart to be read by someone who might stop midway and leave it. Or worse, call it a good book. Shantaram is NOT a good book. Shantaram is…. everything. I didn’t realize I had such strong feelings towards it till lately, when I went back and read the review I wrote about it. I poured my heart out. I’m looking forward to re-reading it, but I don’t know when. This year the resolution has been to read the books that I’ve been procrastinating about. I don’t care about numbers anymore, I want to read the stuff I know I’ll love.

 Will the world offer itself to me, and if it does, will I realize it?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My life

I don’t want my life to be a series of books in which the character sees the light of day at the last chapter, gets convinced of the wrong of her ways, decides to change and goes to sleep happily only for the next sequel to start with her still stuck in her old ways and the only way that makes her change is an outside force that leaves her no other choice, that kind of change is meaningless. It has to be a struggle stemming from a decision. I don’t want my life to be inspiring at intervals but throughout to be so ordinary. The reader won’t even stick out to the end, because the character reminds him so much of his failings. He’d much rather spend his days with a book that makes him discover his inner good, rather than rediscover his shortcomings over and over again.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happiness

I hope that when you’re happy, it’s the content kind of happy that fills your heart tenderly and makes you accept things in life. The one that makes you remember the good things, and doesn’t blind you from the bad at the same time. Instead, it makes you view the bad as blessings in disguise. That even if you really can’t see any good to a situation you’re in, you still think there’ll come a time when you’ll realize why you needed to go through that.

I hope it’s the kind of happiness that makes you smile to everyone you meet, even if they’ve never smiled back. And that it makes you give, without thinking, without being selective about giving.
I hope it’s the kind of happiness that gives you space to be sad, for a day or two. But not a sadness that makes you hollow. A sadness that makes you reflect.

I hope you’re happy when you’re alone and when you’re around people. I hope you allow yourself to be, to just simply be without scrutinizing your every move and your every word. I hope you’re happy with your imperfections, and at the same time you’re happy that you’re working on them.

And most importantly, I hope you’re not on an emotional high that leaves you empty when the bustle ends. That happiness makes the hard days easier, but it’ll suck your soul dry. It’ll make you only give when you’re feeling good, it’ll make you generous only when you’ve got your way. It’ll make you say things you don’t mean, and it’ll make you do things you regret.
I live on the highs of happiness, and even though it feels wonderful, I suffer from the withdrawal. I wish more for you, I really do.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

This shade of green

The grass is greener on the other side. 

This is something I keep thinking about, always because I'd rather be 'there' when I'm 'here'. Sometimes, regardless of where these places are. We sit here knowing we can't be there, and from our distance we see only the color but we're not close enough to see the weeds and thorns of there. The demons of there are invisible to our eyes, you haven't even vanquished the demons of here yet. Imagine going there carrying those with you. Too many demons for you to fight at once.

Our vision is just too blinded by the beautiful green of there, and our shade here pales in comparison. This is the illusion of there. This is one the of gravest flaws of us humans, we're never satisfied until we've exhausted our options. It's good to an extent, it pushes us forward so that we never stay where we are, but more often than not, it makes us never ever satisfied, always looking for the next thing. Always looking for that better shade of green. Only ask for there, when you've smelled the flowers of here thoroughly, when you've sat on the grass staring at the stars at night getting lost in their beautiful light, when you've taken endless walks on the pavements, when you've carved your name on trees and met everyone you're supposed to meet here.

If your smiles are strained here, work on making your heart smile first so that smiling becomes easier on your lips. If your steps are heavy here, unload the world from your shoulders, it's not a weight that was meant to be carried by you. If your hands can't hold unto anything and you're falling fast here, steady yourself on the certainty of here. The sunlight will show up tomorrow, it never failed you before, has it? If that doesn't help, fall freely. The fall won't last forever, the ground of here will feel firm under your feet after you stand again.

If nothing works, maybe here's not for you. But unless you've tried to make it your own, you'll never truly know.
We need to find pleasure in the substance of here, rather than dwell on the pale of its green.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wings

Today I read a book that made me think about my blog's name.
I thought about changing it a lot, I mean I've had this blog for a few years now and surely I've managed to spread my wings by now, right?
I'm not so sure.

Maybe I don't feel like there's any point in spreading them anymore because, well, I can't really fly. And if I could, my feelings of being caged/trapped by myself would be too strong for me to even attempt flying.

"I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you. And I fear them, for my sake, at the same time that I hope for them, for yours." 

I wish I could feel free and fly. My ultimate goal is to be tied down to nothing. So perhaps, till I can safely say I mastered that art, the blog name remains as it is.

And I remain yours,
Noor

Monday, October 21, 2013

[Excerpt] The Examined Life - Stephan Grosz



I get to her office. I ring the bell. Shes got a buzzer system. What am I supposed to do if she doesnt release the door straight away? Should I ring the bell again? If I ring again, will she think Im annoying? Then she releases the door. Her office is on the fourth floor. I have to take the lift. Id like to take the stairs, but if I walk up, Ill be sweaty. So I take the lift.
But the lift is a bit of a problem. I wouldnt want anyone to see that Im going to a psychoanalyst Im antsy about that. So I get to the fourth floor and make it to her door. On the door she has one of those push-button combination locks, so that patients can let themselves into the waiting room. Sometimes I fumble with the lock and I get the combination wrong. Is she listening? Is she thinking, What a klutz?
Im in the waiting room five minutes early. Should I start reading something? She once told me that it was interesting that I had started to read something despite the fact that I had only a couple
of minutes before the start of my session. Maybe I shouldnt read. What do I do if someone else comes into the waiting room? Do I smile? What do I do if I see her colleague do I say hello to him?
Is there a rule about this stuff?
Shes one minute late coming to the waiting room to get me. Now its two minutes. Has she forgotten me? She comes into the waiting room. Do I look at her, or not look at her? As I follow her into her consulting room, do I look around the room, or not look around the room? What do I want to see? Am I trying to avoid seeing something?
Now Im at the couch. Do I really lie down and put my wet, dirty shoes on her nice clean couch, or do I take them off? Do patients normally take off their shoes or not? I dont know. If I do take my shoes off and most people dont, I look peculiar. But if I dont take my shoes off and most people do then Im dirty. I decide that Id rather be peculiar than dirty. So off come the shoes.
By the time I finally lie down on the couch, Ive been through all of that. This entire discussion my sense of being reproached and my sense of self-reproach, this whole saga of doubt and trouble all of it has been conducted before either of us says a word.
Tom downed his espresso.
It took a long, long time probably a couple of years to really divulge all that toing and froing clearly because, frankly, who wants to let someone else know just how absolutely small your own preoccupations are? But Dr A. kept returning to this sort of stuff, kept encouraging me to talk about it. We spent weeks on that shoe thing, for Gods sake. I wasnt expecting that.

---
This feels like something I'd talk to my therapist about, if I had a therapist. This story touched me because of how real it sounded.