Sunday, September 27, 2020

To Salima and Huda: letter 02

 Dear Salima and Huda,

I’m writing from the comfort of my couch (and the last part of this letter on a train). 

The other day I had a conversation with someone I’d just met who was telling me that he didn’t have friends, because he’d been unable to find a friend who adds something to his life, help him grow, and keep him away from the gossip and drama of other people. That conversation stayed with me for some reason. I feel like I definitely changed how I view a lot of the friendships in my life over the past few years, part of growing up I’m sure. Not all of my friendships mean the same thing (and they shouldn’t) and not all of them make you feel the same way (and they shouldn’t). And as you grow older, it is definitely harder to make friends. I’ve realised it more recently as I’ve changed 3 jobs in the span of less than 2 years.

I definitely miss home. I miss the people who know me. I miss not having to explain myself. I miss not having to try extra hard to be easy going and still feeling like I’m an outsider.

That’s why I thought how lucky I am to have known someone like you. A friendship that definitely has added heaps of good things to my life. And throughout the years, distance or time has not changed this. So happy birthday, and just know that we celebrate your existence and wish you all beautiful things the world holds.

Okay now, here’s my list:

1- I’m empathetic and I’m a good listener.

2- I don’t get upset easily, I take things lightly. (But once I’m upset, there’s no getting over it for days.)

3- I tend to be able to look at something from more than one angle. (But it makes me indecisive and also makes me bring the negative to a positive and the positive to a negative – just like I’m doing now).

4- I can always count on food to bring my spirits around. (Not sure if that counts, but hey, I say it does).

5- Can’t think of more. But the above should do.

All my love,

Noor 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

To Salima & Huda: Letter 1

Dear Salima & Huda,

I'm writing to you from my dinner table with wilting flowers by my side. Writing letters has always been one of my favorite things to do, and receiving them is such a joy. Ramadan (and the state the world is in) inspires a lot of self reflection.

Being the last to reply says quite a bit about me. I live in my head. It's both a blessing and a curse. The bookmark I'm using these days says "It's lovely to know that the world can't interfere with the inside of your head." But that's not always a lovely thing, if the inside of your head is a dark place you would like someone to interfere with it.

Are we ever kind to ourselves when we self reflect? I think not. Your question about self worth hits a very tender spot. And to answer what keeps me up on some nights are thoughts of inadequacy, which I think have haunted my for most of my life, and by the looks of it, will continue to do so. I think it's human nature to always dwell on the cup half empty, rather than half full.

I spend my days either at work or as a professional couch potato. I feel in many ways blessed to still be able to go to work, socialise with people, and maintain that sense of routine, despite the drastic change this pandamic has done to our daily work. What gets me through this is the thought that it will pass, perhaps things won't be 100% back to normal, but what is normal. Life is forever changing.

Salima, I can't imagine what it's like to lose someone, and someone so dear to you and so young. Please don't be so hard on yourself.

Huda, you're currently my role model in life (for realz).

I'd like to end this by giving you both a task of writing a list of at least 5 things you appreciate about yourselves. And really think deep and elaborate. Not things that people appreciate about you, but things you often overlook but should be celebrated.

Love,
Noor

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Shades

Wear black. Flaunt your class and inner goth. (All at once). Let sadness meet the lovely curve of your mouth. 
Switch to white, let your inner innocence blind them while you count all of your sins in your head.
Engulf in the flamboyant secret of red. Let emotions bleed and run wild while putting on the facade of a poker face.
Be royal and wear that velvety purple while really knowing that you could be as base as the world requires you to be to get ahead, but at the same time knowing very well that you won't. 
Radiate a bright yellow. The sun’s out all right, but there's always one that could use an extra reminder. Hide your inner dull. 
Let them drown in blue's serenity while you fight all those raging emotions inside of you.
And then wear all the other shades, mustard, olive green, navy blue, hot pink. 
You are not what you wear, you are not what you look like. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Cloud's Journey

You are a cloud floating above. You're the one that's moving past the others, faster and with more purpose. Like you have a mission. 
You started off light and innocent, fluffy white. But then the closer you got, the darker you became. You were dark, angry and falling down like you couldnt get there fast enough. 
You always make sure there's someone to watch you falling. Afterall, the thunderstorm you bring deserves some respect. 
But you're eager to fly the next day, you can't accept to be a poodle. So you go back up again. 
And the cycle continues. Your only escape is to turn into a flood. 
But life has other plans in mind for you. 
Eventually, you'd exhauste yourself. Falling. Falling. Falling. 
And one magical day, you're contained. 

P.S. I (obviously) have a thing for clouds. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Maps

The veins you see on my skin are a map. They lead the way to my heart. They're a work of art. Intricate blue patterns just beneath my skin.

Be careful, these veins may be deceiving. They hide a crimson red blood always flowing, keeping me alive. And there are deeper hidden ones. The path to my heart can't be all out in the open, you know. Or else, where's the adventure.

You have to be good at map reading to find your way in.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The quiet after the storm

I’m soft where people expect to find an edge. Like a quiet stream of water when you need a raging, angry ocean. I am but a disappointing breeze that failed to become the storm you were waiting for.
I’m only the spark of a candle but you’re looking for a volcano to erupt and burn everything.

I can be the balm that heals you after a storm. But darling, I can’t be the storm. You don't want to heal, you’re looking for a war. You’re looking for bruises and scars to show that you’ve lived and struggled and survived.

Be careful what you wish for, you’ll get the bruises and some broken bones as well. Life will break you. It breaks us all. You’ll wear your scars like medals on your chest.
You survived. You may limp but you're still breathing. You're still alive. You'll keep pushing the edge. But you'll always know when to stop.

But I can't be the one to start the war, I can only pray for it to end. I can only give the quiet after the storm.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chekhov



'We can't always know the whys and wherefores,' the old man said. 'A bird's given two wings, not four, because it can fly with two; so a man's not given to know everything, but only a half or a quarter. As much as he needs to know in order to live, so much he knows.'
Anton Chekhov

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A cloud



I try to imagine what it’d be like as a lonely cloud in the sky. No prospect of rain and no other clouds in sight to join. Moving where the wind blows… Its own solace is the thought of people trying to make shapes out of it. A turtle. A fish.

The cloud doesn’t know of those that eye it with envy. Wishing they were floating with no gravity, always cool despite the raging sun. Sometimes I wish I was a cloud even if I was lonely. It’s funny all the things you want to be, just because you’d get to be something other than yourself for a change.

I wonder, do all clouds end in rain? And what happens to those that don’t? But most importantly, I wonder what it would feel like to touch a cloud.

Note: Wishlist new item: [ ] Touch a cloud

Sunday, September 7, 2014

An inanimate object

I want to be a letter. Give someone the excitement of new words meant for their eyes only. Then I won't mind being forgotten in a book or a box to be found later by incident.
And maybe, you'll read me again. Remember the feelings I invoked the first time you received me.
Or maybe, you'll put me back. Not quite ready to read me again. Or not wanting your first fond impression to change. You don't want the words to lose their charm.
Maybe you'll lose me. Maybe keep me forever. I'll surrender my fate to you willingly knowing I have no choice in the matter. 

I'm tired of carrying words inside of me that I don't know how to convey. I'm tired of carrying things I'm constantly fighting to figure out. I'm tired of disappointing myself again.

A letter. Charming. Personal. Only one set of expectations to meet in a its lifetime.
It's not so simple thought, is it?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bookmarks






One of the many failed bookmarks I once attempted. I didn't make them because I felt creative or wanted to be crafty. I did it because I loved bookmarks and you just can't have enough. It was also because I wanted to gift them to people I loved so they could think of me whenever they used them. The point is you might not be good at something but that's never a reason not to try it or do it no matter how bad you think you are. The world needs people who are good at things true, but it also needs people who do things with passion.

I hope you know where your passion lies and that you can follow it. Mine isn't bookmarks, but I'm sure it's there.