Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Updates on finals, hating people and welcoming the holidays.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh.       
Hey guys!


It’s currently night time and I’ve been intending to post something for the past two days. However, multiple things keep getting in the way. Things like me perfecting the art of doing nothing, coerced chores and watching bad tv. I’m back home, in Mombasa for the holidays, and you could say I’m stuck between the bliss of not having a myriad of urgent things to do, and the misery of not crossing anything off my  to-do list.

I had forgotten what free time looked like and I don’t think my heart is ready to get back into the hustle and bustle of to do lists. Nevertheless, in between the toxic television and social media I’m helplessly indulging in, I need to find the time to create. Even force myself if need be. Consequently, I feel that i am in need of a detox from all forms of negative vibes. Be it people, feelings or various forms of ‘entertainment’. 

My journal has lately been filled with drunken words about becoming a better Muslim, stupid boys, my fears, people I love to hate and life in general. I’ve been quite exhausted this past semester, and I’m utterly grateful to be over with it.
However If there’s one thing I’ll miss about last semester, it has definitely got to be my storytelling class. In the formal academic dialect, the class is known as ‘Principles of broadcasting’, but to me, it’s the storytelling class. It was through this class that I bloomed as a writer. I’ve mentioned my lecturer from this class on my blog before, so I doubt that it comes as a surprise. Not only was the class absolutely fun to be in, but I actually learnt something worthwhile and not just to excel in exams. Most importantly, learnt how to write clear and hard about what truly hurts. I learnt how to be honest, which still does not come naturally to me. My lecturer kept pushing me to tell my stories and at first I had no idea what he was going on about. I knew I wanted to write my stories. I thought that was what I had been doing.

Until one day when I just decided to write what I truly felt. From the heart, and all the pieces magically fell into place. I stopped letting myself get in my own way and started listening to the voice within. Most times, that voice doesn’t come at you screaming. Most times, it whispers in the faintest of voices. For some people it takes years before they can hear that voice let alone start deciphering and mastering it. For others, they just know. For me, it’s a work in progress. And progress is what I believe truly matters.

Finals went great. I know, those are words rarely heard of. But they did Alhamdulillah. I only had two sit in exams and the other two were hand in assignments. For my story telling class, we had to hand in a treatment and proposal for a 60 minute documentary. As much as I was freaking out because I had never delved into such a project before, I relished every moment of it. I might post it on here in shaa Allah, not sure though. My documentary was about Sharon Mundia who is one of the top fashion bloggers in Kenya. The documentary implements a follow me around kind of technique, so the audience gets a glimpse into the life and work of a fashion blogger. I would definitely be interested in filming such a production. The thought of actually doing it however, is terrifying to me.
Speaking of fear, graduation is in two semesters and I still cannot wrap my head around that. I’m literally freaking out at this ‘new chapter’ that’s about to begin. Sometimes I feel like I’m too young for my age and life is coming at me way too fast. I mean where does time run off to? Kind of like how one minute I’m in Nairobi, and the next I’m in Mombasa.

The ambiance in my room back in Nairobi is exceptionally breathtaking. Not only because I know it, but everyone else that comes into the room, does not fail to re-emphasize this with their compliments. I put fairy lights all across the ceiling and wall, and it definitely brings in a whole new feel to the room. One night, I got a tad bit overly sensitive and decided to go through my high school diary. I realized that as much as I hated high school, I experienced some amazing moments there and I thank my diary for taking the responsibility of refreshing my memory. 

There was this one girl who always pestered me to stop keeping a diary, because one day someone was going to get their hands on it and all my secrets would be exposed. Like I flipping cared. Like anyone else cared. I bet she was the one who even wanted to know what was hidden in those pages. Just thinking about her makes me want to punch a wall. I thought my high school scars were healed, but no. I just really detest some human beings and I’m honestly not sorry about that. Even though I feel I should be. But they made my life a living hell, and I need time to get over it. If I ever get over it.

This holiday is all about being productive, creative and being happy. I got sick the other day and it suddenly became evident that I need to slow down and re-learn how to relax and be more present. I also think I’ll start posting more lifestyle oriented posts as opposed to ‘my life’ posts because as much as I enjoy pouring my heart on this blog, I think it’s healthy to give people a break from my disturbed mind, at least once in a while.
Ps. I'm exploring blogging from my phone so please excuse any irregularities.Thank you!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Allah I wanna thank You for the Good Life.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hello everyone!


My shopkeeper recently mentioned to me that i complain way too much.We're quite close my shopkeeper and I. I mean I buy eggs and bread from him almost every day so I believe that warrants a closely knit relationship. He didn't say this to offend me, rather it was all in jest. But we all know there's always some level of truth behind what people say. However minimal it may be. I could see why he would say this though. It is true, I do complain too much.

I wouldn't consider myself to be a shrew but I definitely think that lately I have been quite the flop when it comes to positive energy. To be honest, I had gotten tired of pretending to be happy when I wasn't. I've always been the type to lift everyone's spirits. The one who always kept a positive outlook on life. The one who always said, 'don't you worry,its all going to be just fine', but experienced a mental break down the instant I was alone in my room. And I think it happens to the best of us from time to time. Hence,you can only imagine my surprise when a friend of mine was commenting at how miserable our lives were and I felt this tingle beneath my chest. There was a sense of warmth and fuzziness that emanated from my beating heart, engulfing every bit of me as if to say 'hey, despite everything, i'm actually really happy with my life.'

I know, weird right?

It was as unexpected as it was exciting. I marveled and reveled in the feeling as my friend went on and on about how everyone else was having such a great time in uni and there we were,with no agenda. I don't clearly recall  what else she said from then on. Her words sort of faded into the noisy busy street. It was a Thursday,also known as turn up day in uni. It's basically when the weekend begins because almost everyone is done with their classes for the week. Except for those who have Friday and Saturday classes. Those who are cursed to party with everyone else on Thursday only to miss their Friday classes because of extreme hangovers,or worse. To go to class extremely hangovered. Personally, I prefer not to blame it on the alcohol.

It was night time and the streets around uni were now starting to get busy. Bright lights and fancy cars. High heels and short dresses. The club around uni was starting to get filled up as students and club goers from all around showed up to welcome the weekend in style. There were flashy cars parked all along the path we were using, some with people inside indulging in the Maryjane herb, others with a bunch of kids just standing outside their cars, as if to proclaim that they were on top of the world. The night was filled with an array of sounds, from club music to cars hooting to young laughter, and not to mention the smell of weed that wafted in the air. Basically,it would make for a great teen indie film. Because isn't that what they're all about? Young adults embracing their youth through drugs,sex,friendship,heartbreak? Living the life?

And yet here we were, my friend and I, amidst all this energy, going to get groceries to prepare supper. We were completely excluded from the circle. Voluntarily or not. If we were to be in a teen indie film,we would basically be the kids who never got invited to any parties, didn't drink or smoke, probably rode bikes to school and genuinely loved spending time with their families more than their 'squad'. Mostly because we wouldn't even have a squad to begin with. We would be the observers,the unknown, the ones who really saw people for who they really were. The genuine friends and the ones who the cool guys secretly had a crush on or wanted to be friends with. We would be the ones who actually loved books,science and art and weren't afraid to show it. We would be the free ones.

Or at least I would be. My friend,not so much. That's why she kept going on about how boring and miserable our lives were. Because she was looking at all these kids,with flashy cars and fancy clothes and how they were living the life. They were young,high and in love and here we were, going to the 'Mama Mboga' (grocery lady),to get some kale. So I understood where she was coming from. I get her.

But me, I love my life. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is but I love it. Maybe it's the sense of tranquility from living as a Muslim. Maybe it's sense of accomplishment I get from being ambitious and striving to achieve my goals. Maybe it's the joy of striving to live a healthy and productive lifestyle. Maybe it's the sense of contentment I get from the simple things like the smell of books,or ice cream on a Sunday. Maybe.

Needless to say, I don't drink, smoke, club or do most of these things that society paints every young person in the world to be indulging in, and coercing young people everywhere to believe that for you to enjoy your youth and in turn enjoy life, you have to engage in all these things. The truth is, not every young person in the world is doing drugs or having random sex or is uninformed about their society or values like the media portrays.
Some of us actually have our crap together. Or at least some of it. And you know what? We love our lives. In my opinion, life is not lived through drugs,alcohol,sex or all these things bombarded to us by the media. Life is lived through experiences. If that is what your experience entails well and good. But experiences none the less. From the simple ones like spending time with your elderly neighbors and listening to stories about way back then to more complex ones like relationships and bad days. I'm no expert on life but that's my two cents.

I know I complain a lot. And I'm sorry about that. To myself first and foremost. Because I really am extremely grateful to Allah (sw) for all the bounties bestowed upon me. And complaining is such a terrible trait to have. Eww. But I am human so I tend to forget about these blessings pretty easily. I never claimed to be perfect but I am working on becoming a better person. And isn't that what life is about in the first place? I tend to think so.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Identity Crisis of a Kenyan Muslim girl.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hey you.


I went through some of my old posts recently.I don't really have a solid answer as to why, but lately that little mental voice in my head has been nagging me as to why this blog even exists in the first place.I guess i felt i would find some answers back there.I feel like the ghost of the girl that i want to be and simultaneously,the shell of a girl that i used to know.Its like I'm in this weird limbo zone.I also seem to be all over the place with my posts, just like my life.I can't seem to find my voice. Or my place.Everything i do feels right in the moment, however i keep discovering new sides to the prism.And every time i make a new discovery,i start to doubt my previous ones.

I have this theory that one day i'm going to do this one particular thing, or this one event is going to happen to me and it's going to be spectacular because it's going to be my eureka moment.My epiphany.And i'll have found my voice and in turn myself.But now i'm starting to conjure a new theory,what if i'm not meant to have a magical eureka moment.What if i've been having my eureka moments everyday in little installments. Multiple epiphanies that seem ordinary only because i've been too busy looking for this grand eureka moment, instead of noticing what was right in front of me.Maybe i'm a formidable force of a number of voices that add up to one magnificent song.But i don't even know where to start deciphering these voices from.

My lecturer keeps telling me that i need to tell my stories.I need to tell the stories of this Kenyan Muslim girl living in a secular modern society.But he doesn't understand how confusing all these identities are to me. Kenyan,African,Nubian,Muslim,modern...which voice do i listen to?Which voice do i tell my story in?He doesn't know that i strangled that Muslim girl in me.I almost killed her because i wanted to fit in to this modern,secular jungle.But then her heart still beats.And i can feel her resurrecting.But where does she fit in in this big bad world where a scarf on my head makes hearts tremble?Maybe that is the story he wants me to tell.At the same time,i've kind of forgotten what being African is all about.I'm not sure i even knew what it was about to begin with.We did this production in class,and my lecturer said it was not any different from what an American student would have done.That we needed to make our work indigenous to Africa.To who we are.

I thought about that excessively.I thought about my evolution till date,as a Muslim girl and maybe for the first time as an African.Or rather a Kenyan Muslimah, i don't even know.I also thought about my blog name and if it would be indigenous enough for my lecturer.Probably not.I thought about changing it.Maybe i will.Then again i'm quite the indecisive one,so it might take a while.

I don't think people even think about being African.I think that we just know we are.Whether modernized or not.Whether born and raised in Africa or not.The question comes into play when you have to step out of Africa and suddenly you wear your identity like the clothes on your back.Whether stepping out virtually,like me when sharing my work with the world,or physically when you visit or move to a place outside of Africa. To be quite honest, I don't know how to be Muslim and African.Because, i've always known i was African,i didn't have to even think about it, until now, now when i have to mould my 'Africanness' into an external manifestation.
Where do i even start?What does it even mean to be African? Is it the songs i listen to? The cultural dances and rituals? The words i say? The food i eat? My attire? How can i say i love being African when i don't even know what that means anymore?

Because although i have an African name,speak Swahili, was born and bred in the soils of Africa and the colour of my skin emphasizes the amount of Africa in me,my name is also Mariam.According to Wikipedia, the Aramaic name for Mary mother of Jesus Christ (peace be upon both of them). I pray five times a day and only eat halal foods.My way of life stems from the teachings of the Qur'an and i feel extremely exposed without a scarf covering my head and neck.I am almost always in my black abaya when i leave my house and my Creator's name is Allah (sw). I guess you could say i feel more Muslim than African. At the same time, i am almost always falling short of my duties as a Muslim which then makes me feel less Muslim and more hypocritical.

 Then again i feel the comparison is somewhat disproportionate ,i mean Islam is a religion and being African is a decent.Right?You can change your faith but you cannot change your decent.Then again my heritage is both Islamic and African.Are the two even separable in the first place?I've always deemed them to be intertwined.But now,now i have to think about it.And i feel that only serves to complicate things.Do i have to?I've always lived my life as a Muslim and without even thinking about it, i've always been African.But now that i suddenly have to keenly listen to both voices and understand how to work with both of them,i feel like i have no idea how to start telling my stories.I feel more of one and less of the other.I've always told the story of the Muslim girl,in the Islamic setting because i felt that telling it in any other setting would be disrespectful or shunned upon.But he wants me to tell the story of the Muslim girl in an African setting,in a secular modern society.Which is weird because now that i think about it, that is my story.I should be able to tell it easily, but somehow i have no idea what i'm doing.

My lecturer keeps telling me that i need to tell my stories.I need to tell the stories of this Kenyan Muslim girl living in a secular modern society.He doesn't know how confusing i find that to be.I love my faith and way of life, and I also love my culture.I love being African,even though now my concept of what being African is, is completely distorted.I love having Nubian and Giriama blood run through my veins, and i love knowing that my home is here,in these soils.I'm so grateful to Allah (sw) for all this, i guess I just never really sat down and thought about it.It's like sitting down and now thinking about your breathing.Who even does that?

So maybe i'm just new at this.Maybe i'm learning how to tell my story.Maybe i need to explore more of what is, rather than what is suppose to be.And maybe this is why my lecturer will keep telling me that i need to tell my stories.Or maybe i'm just not good at telling my stories.But then if i'm not telling my stories, whose stories have i been telling all this while? I wonder.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

I'm Tired.I need a Sadness Nap.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh

Source: conniewonnie
 It's weird.I haven't written anything in two weeks.It feels quite hollow.Sometimes it even scares me that i could actually bring myself to avoid writing for so long.Yes,i've been actively reluctant to write.Everywhere and anything.Not because this span of time has been uneventful,on the contrary,it has been quite the adventure.For instance,I told a really nice guy to stay the hell away from me even though deep down i didn't want him to, i had the 'marriage talk' with my uncle,almost went broke,suffered a couple of panic attacks,made the decision to curse less,got back into training and i'm also now getting more into African literature works.Just to mention a few.

However,i seem to constantly discover new excuses to not write.I'm too exhausted,i have assignments,i'm hungry,my journal is too far.Oh yes,quite the extraordinary reasons to prevent me from partaking in something that i absolutely love.I am yet to discover why exactly i am in this writer's rut if i may say.Is it that i'm lazy or afraid?And if i'm afraid,what exactly is it that i am afraid to find in my own words?

Last week i got into trouble with my community service instructor for being late to the site.According to my University,engaging in forced volunteer work is supposed to inspire me to look outside my own bubble and notice that the world does not revolve around me.That there are other human beings and creatures to care about.And while i completely agree with the envisioned outcome,i feel that giving back to the society shouldn't be something that i have to do,rather something that i want to do.So when i was late to my community service site on the day when my instructor was to come  and oversee whether i had been slacking on the job,my instructor basically blew a fuse.

As i was sitted in the matatu, negotiating with my instructor through the outbursts of anger that poured through the phone call,i couldn't help but wonder why he was so vexed with me.I mean he was VEXED.Was it because i was late?I was still on my way though and only an hour away.I think.Was it because i had made him wait for me? Because an elder made to wait for his or her junior is not something very socially acceptable in the African context.In Africa,the older you are the more respect you deserve,even when you don't deserve it.Maybe that was it,maybe the power distance between the young and the old had finally caught up with me.Maybe i deserved it.Nevertheless,none of that mattered anymore,this was it,i was getting an F.Even though i had completely dedicated myself to the work i was doing,that didn't matter anymore.The cultural - social system was going to hand me a big.fat.F.

This ordeal had me racking my brains night and day,trying to come up with a solution.I don't sit well with failure,it drains the life out of me.But i guess we all have to go through it from time to time.Basically because of this,i couldn't write.I didn't want to write.There were many times when i sat in front of my laptop only to end up staring at the white screen like a demented soul.I'd hop over to my journal only to stare at the blank pages.There was too much to think about. Am i getting an F?I can't repeat this course again i'm too exhausted.I worked so hard, how could he decide not to come and evaluate me?Should i go talk to him?I can't seem to find the time.Furthermore, I haven't written in a week,i need to write.Speaking of finances, I'm running out of money and its the first week of the month?So much laundry to do, my closet is beginning to look like i got robbed.I haven't finished my assignments and those requisitions that need to be forwarded to the office for that club's event?Deadlines,deadlines,freaking deadlines.I have a taekwondo tournament to train for but i haven't been to practice in over a month.I'm tired.I need a nap.A sadness nap.A long sadness nap.

Clearly i was overwhelmed.In some ways i think i still am,maybe i always will be.I keep on asking myself,is this what being a grown up is all about?I'm always worried, always stressed that there's something i haven't done.There's always something that needs to be done.Even when i'm happy i'm not.Because the thought of a deadline to be met hovers above and around me like a dark,strange cloud.Constantly reminding me that my happiness will always be tainted.It got to a point where i even started to wonder,does it even get better?Because last semester was extremely chaotic but in comparison to this current one,it feels like a breeze.

People keep on telling me,chill out,you're going way too fast, remember there are others out there who have it much worse than you do.And i keep thinking,how are you moving so slow?This is the only pace i know of, i've even forgotten how to relax.And it's not that i'm oblivious and insensitive to the pain and suffering of others, but i don't want to downplay my emotions because someone else is having it worse.If i'm having a bad day,i'm having a bad day.Allow me to have a bad day.Let me experience the feelings of a bad day.Don't tell me or expect me to feel better because others have it worse,my emotions matter too.I'm having a bad day, that means i'm feeling sad,or bad.And i just want to sit in my dark room and snack on biscuits dipped in Nutella.Allow it.

And while i understand that people only say this to help,i think that it's ok to have a bad day.Its ok  to have a bad week.But it's not ok to sit and wallow in a pool of pity for the rest of your life.Neither despair nor desperation is cute.Bad days give us experience.They make us better story tellers.Without them, we would not know what good days feel like.Do they taste like shit?Hell yeah.Do they happen more often than the good days?Hell freaking yes.But so what? I think they are as important as the good days,maybe even more.

Somedays,i think to myself,what if a bad day was a friend and not an enemy?What if a bad day was actually a random,nice geeky guy just doing his job?What if he actually wanted what's best for you?To teach you,to mould you.I don't know if it gets better,i'm starting to think it doesn't.I think we just get stronger.But one thing is for sure,bad days maybe shitty as hell but that doesn't make them any less important.

Ok, I think i've rambled enough for today.Hopefully the next time,my thoughts will be presented to me in a more clarified manner and not this tangled web of...whatever this is.And i will have recovered from the writing blues.And the life blues.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What we talk about when we talk about love.

 Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hey guys

Lately i've been doing an immense amount of research on writing. For the simple reason that my skills are an abomination to the writer's community.And this research endeavor is my feeble attempt to improve on that. To be quite honest, the bulk of information that lay in wait for a rookie writer only serves to amplify my neurosis.It basically screams out the plain fact that i have absolutely no idea what the hell i am doing.The whole situation has been quite daunting on me to the extent where i am left completely paralyzed.But still i stand, persistently searching for creativity and inspiration in every corner of my artistic world.

Today i want to share with you a quote that always seems to inspire me whenever i feel like my well of motivation is running low.I feel that every writer experiences those days when they outrightly do not feel the joy of writing.You simply don't want to freaking write and it's utterly frustrating!In my case, it is often usually because everything i write only seems to unravel into absolute shit, and i unfortunately have no idea how to fix it.On those days,i like to read.To read and to focus on the good.Like this quote here.

I extracted this quote/ passage from the movie Stuck In Love.Of course it had to be!What can i say?I had to do it for the fans.This is the speech William Borgens gives to a class of young writers at Samantha's celebration for the publishing of her book.The aura that surrounds this scene tends to remind me of all the abrupt mini bursts of motivational talks that usually spurt out of Mr, Mutua's (my principles of broadcasting lecturer) interesting self.He is a vibrant man with a passion for journalism and nurturing young talent.In such motivational moments,there is a certain tranquil feeling that descends upon the class.The room is dead silent and you can almost see the colourful waves of inspiration that begin to surround each and every student when Mr.Mutua speaks.

"Your Professor while a very nice man is a sneaky son of a bitch.The reason Lesley (the professor) could never get me up here to talk about the process of writing, is i'm not sure i have much to say about it that could benefit you.I still find it all very mysterious, years after i wrote my first book.And i'm not sure what it is that compels a person to continue to play make believe even after they're an adult.My favourite book is a collection of stories by Raymond Carver called 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love'.And in the closing lines of the titled book Carver says, 'I could hear my heart beating, i could hear everyone's heart.I could hear the human noise we sat there making.Not one of us moved,not even when the room went dark'.And i think that is what writing is.It's listening for that beating heart, and when we hear it, its our job to decipher it, to the best of our abilities." 

I couldn't agree more. The story itself i found to be quite riveting and refreshing.I definitely recommend it.You can download and read the full text here: What We Talk About When We Talk about Love. Ps. It's free and you're welcome.

Monday, October 26, 2015

On crying over boys,being Stuck In Love and not being a good writer.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuhu
Hey guys

This is what 4a.m looks like where i am.Well its actually 3.47a.m and i still haven't had a wink of sleep.It's becoming quite a trend unfortunately.I also pulled an all nighter on Friday because i had an assignment due on Saturday as well as an exam that i had absolutely zero preparation for.I keep saying i won't be doing this to myself anymore,but there i am, in the same situation every other exam season.Quite frankly, i'm really glad exams are over.I always seem to have this cycle where i think i have enough time to study,realize i don't,realize that i have not even a single piece of information on that particular subject,panic,get my shit together and finally study like my life depends on it.It seems to work for me but i can only do it for so long.Its quite exhausting actually.

Its cold outside.Not freezing cold but you can feel the coolness and dampness in the breeze.I don't like the cold to be honest.Well actually i don't like to feel the cool breeze brush against my bare skin.But i like it if i'm dressed warmly and my clothes feel like a bear tight hug.The frogs in my neighbour's compound are croaking.Its quite annoying because its not at all melodious or harmonious.Just a bunch of frogs with croaky voices competing to see who will be the loudest.Normally its the dogs that are just blatantly irritating with all their endless barking,but today they seem to be well behaved.And i've been up all night so i would know.I wonder how the neighbours deal with all the fracas though.They must really be knocked out.Probably after getting high.

I cried over a boy today.The last time i cried over a boy was in 2013.It feels yerky and stupid now that i think of it.I now remember why i put it off for so long.I keep looking at myself in the mirror to see if the swelling in my eyes have gone down.People compliment my eyes alot.But they've never seen how ugly and blood shot they get when the waterfall starts flowing.I'm quite the ugly crier.I think i might even be worse than Kim Kardarshian, and she's really winning in the ugly criers category.There's someone playing 2pac songs right now, and i can feel my head migraining to the beat.But this being a building full of college students i think late night playlists are warranted.Loud late night playlists.Especially since we're all recovering from last week's mid-semester exams.

Stuck in Love is definitely one of my favourite films ever.Since i've been taking my Principles of Broadcasting course,i've become quite analytical when it comes to watching films.Or anything for that matter.My lecturer asked me when i got married the other day. He noticed that i was wearing a ring on my 'wedding-ring finger'.I honestly pay no attention to such things.I just wear rings because i want to.Also, my fingers tend to magically expand and contract so sometimes my rings only fit on certain fingers.Does this happen to anyone else?Anyway, i was in the middle of my exam when he put a sheet of paper on my desk with the question 'Kadzo, when did you get married?' I simply replied that it was a strategy to confuse all the thirsty college boys.That felt like a much more comprehensive answer compared to 'my fingers got fat and this is the only finger my ring could fit into'.Best lecturer ever if you ask me.

The course is basically about learning how to tell stories through pictures.Filmmaking in simpler terms.Which is why i've fallen even deeper for the movie 'Stuck in Love.' There's a scene where Bill, a successful writer is caught red handed reading his son's (Rusty) journal when it's clearly an invasion of privacy, and he also promised he would never dare to.Bill pays his kids Rusty and Sam to keep journals so that they can focus on their writing.The two are also aspiring writers.It's basically an awesome movie about love,books and a bunch of writers.How awesome is that?Their conversation flows a little like this:
Bill caught red handed reading Rusty's journal.

(After Rusty confronts his dad about reading his journal and his dad explains to him why he read his journal...)

Rusty: Flattery is not going to get you out of this.
Bill: Oh no, that's, that's coming to an end right now. You know Flannery O'Connor?
Rusty: I know Flannery O'Connor.
Bill: She said, nothing needed to happen in a writer's life after they were twenty.By then they'd experienced more than enough to last their creative life, so-
Rusty: So what's your point?
Bill: My point is... Rusty, i don't think you're experiencing enough.I mean the reason you're so comfortable leaving your goddamn journal here on my desk is because, there's nothing you're trying to hide from me in your life.And that really worries me.

To be honest it worries me too.I don't know why but this conversation really resonated with me.My mind keeps on skipping to ten years from now and the regrets that my heart will harbour.Might harbour. And i look at myself now and wonder if i'm seeking out life and really having experiences that will last me a lifetime.And quite frankly i came to the realization that i'm really not that good of a writer.I can see the characters in my troubled mind going on about their different activities.I can hear their breathing, their laughter. And i can almost see what they feel and even feel what they feel.But i just cannot seem to get it right on paper.My words never seem to do these characters and their stories any justice.

Hence in my helpless attempt to gain more experience, i find myself questioning the worthiness of my cause.But then again here i am.Crying over a boy.After two years of not really stopping to feel anything for anyone.So i would say it seems to be working?Also, i called a boy a whore today.Well technically yesterday.Not directly, although i did say he sounded like a whore.And he got vexed with me.At first i did not care or rather convinced myself that i did not care, because i barely know him and vice versa,but now i feel that it may have been more of a hoick in terms of my actions rather than a well thought out agenda.I do hope the poor lad is okay.

I've become quite mean lately.I think.Moody and even misanthropic.Also i curse more than i usually do.But to be honest i find it quite exhilarating.I'm scared that i may be changing way too drastically in a short period of time.However, my diary entries have increased significantly which is something i am happy with.Although the content i find to be a bit troubling. I had stopped journaling completely but i now remember how therapeutic it used to be and still is.Hopefully i get better at this writing thing.And this whole life thing in general.It's now 5.14am. I don't see myself sleeping a wink today, but we'll see.I have my Principles of Broadcasting class at 3.30p.m. Let's all pray that i don't fall asleep in class.Also, it's my brother's birthday today.Happy birthday M!
I can hear the Cock crowing now.I pray it's a good day.Hopefully coffee will suffice.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

When I feel unworthy.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hi everyone!

Source (how gorgeous is this image though?)
I always have those days when i feel unworthy,when i sit down and wonder if i can really achieve all that i want to achieve.When i ask Allah (sw) why He chose to give me these dreams and aspirations.Everywhere i look i see amazing people doing amazing things and i can't help but feel so inadequate.I know i shouldn't be comparing myself to others because everyone's journey is different and Allah (sw) blesses people in different ways,but i just can't help it.

Sometimes,that feeling of unworthiness can be paralyzing.Other time's it's the uncertainty and fear.What if i can't handle all these things that i want to achieve?At the same time,i don't want to forsake my goals because of fear.What kind of life would that be? E.E Cummings said," It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are", and quite frankly,i couldn't agree more.The only problem is, i'm not even sure of exactly who i want to be.Everyday i discover new things about myself.I change my mind.I change what i like and what i don't like.I read new books and form new opinions and ideas.I develop new theories about life that people would think to be totally insane but to me they're actually quite accurate.Everyday i learn and i grow Alhamdulillah.

I guess what i'm saying is that i'm scared.I'm scared of how powerful my dreams are and how hard i'm willing to push myself to get there.Because what if i get there,and i don't like it?And i want to change my mind?Will all that hard work,the exhaustion,the tears and sweat be all for nothing?Would i have to start all over again?Am i even cut out for that?

It's true what they say, that our biggest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.That it is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us.I was recently listening to a lecture by Sheikh Zahir Mahmood where he said that believers should have high aspirations.That you maybe a loser to the people,but as long as you stand with Allah (SW),you will never be a loser to Him (sw).And who matters more really?He is the one who blessed you with those dreams and even gave you the strength to want to pursue them.Because honestly,it takes a certain God-given kind of energy to reach for the stars.And not everyone is blessed with that kind of energy.That only comes from Allah (sw).

Then i thought about our beloved Prophet (saw) and how he was sent to mankind as the final messenger.As a mercy to mankind and a warner to the people.Can you imagine being tasked with such a mission?Subhanallah what an amazing man,he took on the challenge head on.Despite the fear,the doubts,the haters and the bad days.Despite everything,he (saw) marched forward and strove to fulfill his goals.And that is my message today.

If you're feeling down know that you're not alone.And if you're feeling confused know that you're not on your own.Your not the first to feel unworthy or to feel afraid and you'll definitely not be the last.Just look at the lives of all the greats,they went through even more that what we go through,yet they never gave up.Which is why we call them 'Greats' today.So don't trip.Keep your head up and keep pushing.The key is to cast those negative thoughts away and keep pushing because yes.YOU ARE WORTHIT.And we are here for a reason and for a season.So lets make it count.Allah (sw) is with us,and if Allah (sw) is with us then we are definitely in good hands.Trust Allah (sw) and remember:

{And when My slaves ask you (O' Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he Calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor).So let them obey Me and believe in Me so that they may be led aright}.    [{Qur'an 2: 186}]

This quote was actually given to me by my high school desk mate Charlene,and i just want her to know that i'm really grateful and that She is such a beautiful soul mashaallah.It's from the movie, 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.'

"For what it's worth it's never too late to be who you want to be.There's no time limit,stop whenever you want.You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing.We can make the best or the worst of it.I hope you make the best of it.And i hope you see things that startle you.I hope you feel things you've never felt before.I hope you meet people with a different point of view.I hope you live a life you're proud of.If you find that you're not,i hope you find the strength to start all over again."

And that's all there is to it really.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Remind me about Ramadhan.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh!

Dear Maryam,

I want to remind you.Remind you of the time when you were younger and you used to get so excited about Ramadhan.You loved the whole hustle and bustle that came with it and even the mood in the air seemed to change.It was like the whole universe new it was a special time.Helping your mother around the kitchen and going out shopping for new items for the house became a treat, and you always looked forward to redecorating the house for Ramadhan.You were not of the age of fasting yet,but boy did you put your best foot forward.The environment you were in was just so incredible even little kids as young as five years old were fasting.It was amazing subhanallah.

But it seems like you forgot. People forgot.They got into a routine and forgot about what an amazing visitor was at their doorstep.They forgot about the real value and importance of Ramadhan.It became a month of routine rather than a month of reflection.A month of extravagance and wastefulness rather than a month of gratitude.They forgot about how the Companions of the Prophet (SAW),may Allah (SW) have mercy on them used to pray for six months prior to Ramadhan for Allah (sw) to allow them to see this great visitor.And after,they would pray for the next six months for Allah (sw) to accept from them their Ramadhan for fear that they may not have harvested from this great month.Subhanallah,what about you today?When was the last time you asked Allah (sw) to accept your deeds from last Ramadhan? When did you last cry to Allah (sw) for fear that your deeds were not accepted?Do you even care?Subhanallah.

I want to remind you and I,that Ramadhan is around the corner.Ask Allah,beg Allah,cry to Allah (sw) to allow you to reach this month because wallahy (I swear by Allah) it is not a guarantee.We walk around unashamed of our faults as if Allah (sw) is not the All-Seeing and All-Knowing.As if the angel of death is not going to pay us a visit.Subhanallah,this is a golden opportunity for you to completely change your life.Take it and hold on tight.It has occurred,that Ramadhan came and you felt like you did a good job but then three months later you were back to your bad habits astaghfirullah.But it happens.That doesn't mean that you should give up.Use this amazing opportunity,this amazing time to start a fresh.To change  and change for good and for the better.

This Ramadhan, is your Ramadhan.It is a time for you to beg Allah (sw) that He keeps you strong,firm and steadfast.That He makes you among those who strive for His sake.Who forsake this dunyah and leave off all that displeases Him.I won't lie to you.It's terrifying and it's not going to be easy.Shaytaan 'audhubillah (I seek refuge in Allah (sw)) keeps whispering to you that you won't make it.That this is just going to be another regular Ramadhan.But no,not this time bi'idhnillah.Don't let that arrogant coward drag you to jahannam with him!This time i've reminded you of who Ramadhan is.What Ramadhan is about.Its about polishing the heart.It's about making sincere changes to make your life better.It's about living life the way the one who gave you life wants you to live it.

If you have a stain on your shirt,isn't it more sensible to wash it rather than bedazzle it or perfume it?Therefore,if your heart is stained with misdeeds,doesn't it make more sense for you to leave off those bad deeds and then increase in your good deeds?Why do you then ignore all the wrongs you do and try to decorate, cover them up or forget about them while focusing only on good deeds?Do you not know that just like a good deed can wipe away a bad one, so can a bad deed wipe away a good one?Why do you then cherry pick the deen of Allah (sw) as if it's a game?Have you no fear?

My dear Maryam,i am only reminding you because the reminder benefits the believers and i love you for the sake of Allah (sw).I want to see you in Jannahtul Firdaus!The highest jannah because i know you can do it.Take this opportunity seriously.Ramadhan is a powerful time.Things happen.Magical,miraculous things happen.Don't underestimate the Power of Allah (sw),He is Al-Qadir, the most Powerfully Able.I know that if you trust in Him and strive for Him,He will not let you go.He will not disappoint you.

{Do`you know of any who is similar to Him? (Of course none is similar or co-equal or comparable to Him,and He has none as partner with Him).(There is nothing like Him and He is the All- Hearer, the All-Seer}.                                                                                                                     {Qur'an 19: 65}

{No doubt!Verily, the Auliya of Allah (i.e those who believe in the oneness of Allah and fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden),and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained),no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve.}                                                                                                                         {Qur'an 10:62}

Maryam,I have reminded you of Ramadhan.Now,the ball is in your court.

With Love.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Finding Myself...

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh!
Hiiiiiiii! :)

Source: Tumblr

Assalam Aleykum guys!!Oh my goodness.I don't even want to count how long it has been,i mean are you kidding me?Subhanallah ok,ok let me just calm my nerves and explain to you guys where i have been and what i have been upto.

Last i checked,i was letting you guys know about all the adventures i would be taking part in, that is the meetings and school expeditions.Well,those happened.And then finals came and i just felt so exhausted subhanallah.I literally just wanted to throw in the towel and just take a breather.And so when the holidays came,even though i had the urge to write,i still couldn't because i had to prepare for the next semester's activities for the various clubs i'm in and i still had an assignment to finish!!!!Can you believe that?FYI our holidays usually last for about three weeks to a month and sometimes we get spill over assignments that are submitted through email...baah (-_-).So yeah that was my ordeal.As you can see,i have been quite busy even my holiday was full of random to do lists.But Alhamdulillah, i learnt alot and I survived!What do you know,what doesn't kill you actually makes you stronger!

To add onto all that,it got to a point where i just wasn't happy with where i was and who i was. There was an emptiness inside of me that made me lose my motivation. Everything felt wrong if that makes any sense.I had lost my direction and so i was walking around carrying out different functions that weren't fulfilling to my life.I didn't have that feeling of felicity and even when i did, it just wasn't enough.Thus i knew that i needed to take a step back and just rethink everything and really search within myself to find out what i really wanted and who i wanted to be.

So when the Journey of Faith conference came to Nairobi once again, i knew this was exactly what i needed.The Journey of Faith conference is a three day Islamic conference that is subhanallah,so amazaing!I was not able to attend the first one that happened last year,so when i had the opportunity to attend this one,i knew it was Allah SW's plan for me.I felt that i needed that recharge in my Iman and that this was what i needed in my life.That connection i had with Allah (sw) was lost and i desperately needed to get it back.Alhamdulillah,the conference exceeded my expectations.It was absolutely breathtaking and all the lectures were insanely inspiring tabarakallah.May Allah (sw) reward all those who were involved in making this fabulous,blessed event such a success.Ameen.

Alhamdulillah fast forward to current times,i'm feeling much,much better and it is only by Allah (sw)'s grace and mercy.I have made quite a few changes in my life that have improved my inner well-being a great deal.Although i'm still a diamond in the rough and i'm still working on becoming a better muslimah.Basically i'm at a better place,much better place Alhamdulillah :).
I have also been blessed so much that i'm now working on opening my own boutique in shaa Allah...SO EXCITED!So please make dua for me.

After all the stories,i would really like to apologize for the lack of posts.As my avid regular readers know,i have not been having wi-fi in my apartment and had to go all the way to the school library to access the internet.Furthermore, lack of a camera has also constricted my creativity flow which also contributed to my loss of motivation to post.Because i like giving you guys,creative,interesting content to indulge in and all this was killing my vibe :(. But Alhmdulillah i now have wi-fi again!!!May Allah (sw) make it beneficial for me Ameen.

I had really missed blogging and i absolutely love my blog and love producing beneficial content for all my readers.I therefore want to keep up with my blog  and my writing as i love doing it and finding a creative outlet to release my thoughts and emotions is always a healthy thing.I pray you guys are all doing extremely well in shaa Allah.I want to thank all those lovely sisters who have been checking up on me on  my facebook,leaving comments on my blog,following me on twitter, Jazakillah khayr!!!I love you guys so much subhanallah and i pray Allah (sw) increases us in love for His sake.Ameen!!
See you guys really soon in shaa Allah.Bye!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To My Dear Future Daughter...

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuhu!
Heeeyyy ;)

Image via Pinterest

Whenever i imagined giving advice to my daughter,i always envisioned giving her words that felt like ice cream on a sunny afternoon.But when i stumbled upon this on tumblr,i couldn't help but nod my head along to every single word.As a muslim girl, my mind never fathomed the fact that one day i would be able to relate to such aspects of life.But we all have our on journeys in life.

When i was little,i pictured myself living the life of the perfect muslimah.Going to school,getting married,raising kids.Basically smooth sailing,no bumps on the road.I had everything planned out.But one day i woke up and it dawned on me that the perfect muslimah is full of flaws.That she has perfected the art of making mistakes,that she cries and she laughs.She likes people she can't have and wants things she can't have.
But she also learns and grows.She learns that the beauty she sees in others didn't come easy.Just like she struggled to be the butterfly she has become,others did to.
And that at the end of the day, its all about being better than you were yesterday and giving it all you've got.So...

Dear future daughter:

1. When you’re at some party, chain smoking on the roof with some strange girl with blue hair and exorbitant large dark eyes, ask her about her day. I promise you, you won’t
regret it. Often times you’ll find the strangest of people have the most captivating of stories to tell.

2. Please, never mistake desire for love. Love will engulf your soul, whilst desire will emerge as acid, slowly making it’s way through your veins, gradually burning you from the inside out.

3. No one is going to save you, anything you’ve ever read or heard otherwise is bullshit.

4. One day someone is going to come along who’s touch feels like fire and who’s words taste like vanilla, when they leave you, you will want to die. If you know anything at all, know that it is only temporary.

5. Your mental health comes before school baby, always. If it’s midnight, and you have an exam the next day but your hands have been shaking for the past hour and a half and you’re not so sure you want to be alive anymore, pull out that carton of Ben and Jerry’s and afterwords, go the fuck to bed.
So what if you get a 68% on the exam the next day? You took care of yourself and at the end of the day that will always come before a high test score. To hell with anyone who tells you differently.

— Abbie Nielsen (Ps.i also don't know who she is,but someone let her know we appreciate this :) )

Friday, January 2, 2015

Looking back at terrific 2014!!

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy
Hey guys!

Can you believe its already 2015?WHAT!?The year has just flown by like one of those goodbye tissues in sad cliche movie scenes that we just can't stop watching.Nevertheless,2014 has been such an amazing year for me and i am extremely grateful for all the experiences i managed to stumble upon.I therefore decided to share some of these reflections with my awesome readers!I do apologize for the lack of posts though, i have been super busy with uni,swamped with tonnes of course work.Plus,this semester was filled with a number of trips so i was constantly on the road which i am not in the slightest bit complaining about!
It was actually TONNES of fun! *insert mischievous laughter*

So now you are in the know,lets recap!

What were the three best things that happened in 2014? Well,
  • I got to travel to Uganda, which made it my first time out of the country.YESSSS!!!!
  •  I went for a hike and survived!!!Not only that but it was so much fun that i am actually thinking about doing it again.However,the blisters,pain and exhaustion that come with it lead me to second guess my decision.
  • I finally accepted that it is ok not to have all the answers.I was the kind of person who constantly calculated every move and worried about every outcome.I was not happy with where i was and Alhamdulillah 2014 was the year when i said, i am going to be bold and live my life to the fullest!No more sitting by the sidelines and watching life pass me by.Alhamdulillah now i can say i am so much happier because i put my trust in Allah (SW) and i know that wherever i am is exactly where i am suppose to be, and if i don't like where i am,i have the strength to change my situation.
Machakos scenery during the hike.

Up we go!

 What were the three worst things that happened in 2014?
  • I have to say i wasn't as involved in Islamic events such as halaqas (Islamic circles) and darsas (Islamic lectures) and i also didn't gain as much knowledge as i would have loved to.I was too preoccupied with school and everything else i ended up neglecting my Islamic studies.Gaining knowledge helps a great deal in strengthening one's eeman and so when you take your Islamic studies for granted,in the end you are sabotaging your eeman.Which no one wants.
  • My Camera was stolen.Yo i needed that camera.Anyways it is the will of Allah SW and i am content with it.
  • My phone was stolen.No i am not careless or clumsy these things happen ok!Moving on...
What did you learn about yourself in 2014? That...
  •  I want so many things and have so many dreams!My mind is constantly preoccupied with random things and if i don't take time out to just sort things out and put everything into perspective,i will have a nervous breakdown.Hence taking time out is key.
  • I also learnt that i am capable of so much more and i should stop making excuses because only losers do that.And while its normal to be afraid,don't let the fear of failure or what people think stop you from being who you are and doing what you love.
  • I really need to start being a morning person.Awwh man :(
My favorite 2014 experience.
  • Feeding Giraffes at Haller Park!!(Which is a game park btw). It was quite a new and need i say slimy experience.I mean those guys have super long tongues but i loved it anyways!Especially because it was a family outing which does not happen very often.Although the hike to Machakos and trip to Uganda were also super amazing.

My biggest accomplishment of 2014.
  • I would definitely say surviving my research methods course.Boy was that course a struggle and a half!At the beginning of the semester,my friends had warned me about taking that course with that particular  lecturer.Ofcourse being me i just shrugged and brushed it off.Little did i know i was signing up for my most challenging course yet.Looking back now i am really glad i took it up.If i had dropped the course it would only have been because of fear and that is definitely not what i am about.Furthermore, i am quite happy with how i performed so i feel that i did preety well!
Most amazing place i visited in 2014.
  •  Machakos was preety amazing,but the scenery in Haller park was also quite breathtaking.Then again it is a game park so...yeah.It is also located in my home area so i don't really think that counts.And for some reason i only visited the park this year?

Best food you tasted in 2014.
  •  Has to be 'Gonja' i hope i got that right, which is roasted bananas.A common delicacy in Uganda.Also 'Rolex' which is basically Mexican omelet rolled in chapati!So it's kind of like Shawarma only not as fancy seeing that its just plain omelet and chapati.
Favorite book of 2014.
  • Unfortunately,not much reading happened during 2014.I I was reading the book 'How To Be Hap Hap Happy Like Me by Merrill Markoe and although it did not turn out to be what i expected from a self help book kind of view, i still enjoyed it.I think its a great read full of humor and such rich literature so i was quite content and glad that i actually read it.
Favorite movie of 2014
  • I did not watch as many movies last year.2014 was definitely a series year.But,i did fall in love with the movie Stuck in love.I never get tired of watching it.
Best song of 2014.
  • Mesut Kurtis - Eidun Saeed feat. Maher Zain.I loveeeeeeeeeeee this song!It just makes me want to have Eid every single day.Love it
  • Sauti Sol- Sura Yako.I know it says favorite 'song' but come on, no one likes just one song!Everybody knows that!
  • Davido-Aye...need i say more?
  •  Moelogo- Thinking out Loud_6words (cover). I can't even.I just.can't.

Best event of 2014 you attended.
  • Has to be the Mshkaki festival!I mean i got off from the plane and felt super emaciated!So i told my brother i was hungry and the next thing i know we're at the Mshkaki festival which i knew nothing about.Hence my excitement.Can you imagine being hungry and then finding yourself minutes later at a festival with all the local delicacies you can gobble down!?The people,the music,THE FOOD and it was at night which made it even more magical.It was the first time an event like this had been held so i was really grateful i was able to attend it.By the way Mshkaki is a swahili word which refers to roasted meat on a stick and then the meat is dipped in various sauces depending on one's liking.It's quite the delicacy here in Mombasa. 


I hope you guys enjoyed reading my post!I pray that this year will be even more awesome for all of us.May Allah (sw) allow us to be better,improve ourselves in every possible way,may we strive to please Him (sw) and may He (sw) forgive us for our shortcomings.Allahumma Ameen.
That being said,what was your favorite part of 2014?Comment,tweet,Facebook or even Instagram me because i love hearing from you guys!Bye!