Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Sentient Is Sent.

I need to be open and honest. I have nothing left to give to the world, nothing to contribute. All I can do now is give you my honesty. If I died, I’d want to be remembered for my truth, for speaking and sharing the things that others were too afraid to say. Having grown up in an Asian family, hiding and repressing things became second nature; it is partially the reason for my current distress. I understand now that I become a hazard to myself when I am not writing, I begin to internalise everything. I sink into myself and so the pain becomes magnified, it consumes my being and becomes whole.

I’ve been struggling more than ever this past month. I’ve always been able to fight through the pain because it usually comes in waves. It’s always manageable even when it’s overwhelming, but this time it’s too intense. It’s a different kind of dejection. I wake up everyday wanting the day to be over. I don’t leave the house, I don’t get dressed. I don’t talk to anyone. I don’t even talk to myself anymore. I keep seeing old pictures of the person I used to be. I recognise how much I’ve lost and it hurts more than the sadness. I used to be compassionate, affectionate, energetic, hopeful. People would always tell me that they remembered my positive energy. But I’ve lost it all. I’ve lost the things that contributed to my being. It’s almost like my body has run out of capacity and these things have just vanished over time.

I don’t enjoy anything. Nothing makes me feel good. There is no pleasure, no happiness, no stillness. My life has no purpose. There is no reason to wake up and whilst I’d love to find meaning in the things that I used to love, I can’t concentrate or feel connected to anything. I’m so withdrawn from reality, from myself. I don’t care about anything or anyone. I’ve lost faith and hope in the world, it was supposed to get better but all I do is spend every waking moment attempting to divert my attention from suicide. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m just trying to make it through the day.

The most difficult thing is knowing that I want to get out of this wretched oblivion more than anything, but not being able to. I need to see my psychiatrist to get the dosage of my medication increased but I’ve been putting it off because I’m terrified of them making me entirely numb again. It takes away my ability to write which is the final part of myself. Without that, I really am nothing.

I’ve been thinking about moving abroad somewhere, anywhere. I thought it would just be running away, but I’ll never be able to get away from myself. I think that’s the hard part, feeling trapped wherever I go. I don’t even know what I’m writing or saying anymore, I’m always too terrified that I need to censor my words in case some long lost relative finds this and reports back to the Asian network and makes it common knowledge that I want to die.

I live in a cycle of paranoia but I guess that just comes with being a part of an Asian family. I’m in this strange kind of limbo where I’m not dead but not really alive either. Everything is a blur, I don’t know what day it is, I don’t know what time it is. I don’t even know which month we’re in. I haven’t been exercising, I haven’t been shopping, I haven’t even been putting on makeup and I can barely look at my reflection. All I’ve been doing is eating chocolate as a means of finding some sort of spiritual purpose.

I’m so exhausted all of the time. Anxiety used to give me a rush of adrenaline; it would allow me to run for hours until there was no energy left in my body. Now I’m too sad and it overwhelms the anxiety so there is just a chronic state of indolence. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I feel like a failure. I worked so hard at university, I worked myself into oblivion at my job and I don’t know how I ended up here. I wanted a career; I wanted to do something that mattered. I wanted to make change; I wanted to be remembered for my greatness. I wanted to write, I wanted to finish my novel, I wanted people to read my words and find themselves amid the spaces. I just wanted to be somebody. I don’t want any of it anymore. I just don’t want to be alive.

I just want to shed every part of myself in an attempt to reincarnate my being. I just want to get out of my own body. I just want to stop listening to the narrative in my mind. I have to medicate myself to exist; I have to medicate myself to sleep. What kind of life is this? I didn’t ask to be alive and I think that’s what makes me so angry. I’m fighting for nothing. I don’t owe it to anyone to continue my existence. I don’t owe anything to the world and yet I’m still here. I feel like I’d be doing everyone a favour if I just left and I think the need for that is almost stronger than my own desire to leave. I feel like an anchor, I feel like I’m upsetting everyone that gets close to me. I just want this to be over already. I want to stop disappointing people. I want to stop feeling like such a burden.

The only barrier between myself and death had always been God, but even He doesn’t have that power anymore. I’ve tried to be a good person, I’ve donated to charity, I’ve helped others, I’ve only ever tried to project positivity into the universe so I’m worthy of good karma. I’m worthy of a life better than this. My therapist once said to me that I deserved to live a happier existence, and I understand this now. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to find normalcy. If ever there was a time to say that I’d hit rock bottom, it would be now. I’m 25 years old and I can’t trust my own mind. When I feel myself really sinking, I have to immediately leave the room and sit with somebody else because I lose all control of my mind and it isn’t safe to be alone. I become a hazard to myself.

Today I just wept until my body had nothing left to give and I’ve realised that when I post something on social media, it’s the utmost cry for help. It’s when I reach the peak of desperation. If you know me in any capacity, you’ll know that I’m a fairly private person. I don’t talk much about my personal life, about my friends, about myself. With that in mind, you’ll be able to recognise just how difficult it is to publicise this. But I have to write here because I need to desperately try and attempt to leave my own head. I must get out of my body. It sounds crazy, I read my words sometimes and it sounds like they’re stemming from the voice of a neurotic stranger. But I don’t recognise my own self. I thought this was some kind of identity crisis, but it’s just a struggle to remain alive. I keep pushing everyone away, because I don’t know how to ask them to stay. I don’t know how to tell people that I need them because I’m so used to doing this alone.

I’m writing this because I just feel an intense kind of sad today and I know that it’s safer to be here writing. I just wanted a normal life. I wanted to do normal adult things. I wasn’t asking for much, I’ve never asked for much. I keep having aggressive debates with God and I don’t even know if He’s listening anymore. I feel trapped in this cycle, and I keep watching everyone else moving around me and I don’t want to be here. I thought I was making progress, I was. I just lost everything. I lost myself and I don’t know how I’m supposed to salvage that. How do you become yourself again? How do you try and get back in touch with the person that you used to be? How do you regain your confidence? How do you become yourself again?

I don’t know what else to say but that I’m sorry that you have to read this, I feel sickened and disgusted at myself for sharing this, for writing that I want to die when so many innocent civilians are being killed all over the world. It makes me hate myself for wanting death, but if I could switch places with them, my god, I would do so in a heart beat. I’m not really here, everything is a distant dream and I just want to move out of this state of purgatory. I just want to move forward, or die. I’ll take either. I just hate being in this space where I don’t know who I am and everything is dark and I can’t see or recognise my own palms.

I won't be editing or proofreading this post so please do forgive me for any typos. Thank you.

Friday, 27 November 2015

1. Joel Kinnaman. He plays Stephen Holder, Sarah Linden’s partner on the American version of The Killing. His turbulent friendship with Linden is entertaining but very real, and in the midst of the crime and trauma, he uses this to humanise the show. Unlike Jan Mayer on the Danish version, Holder has more screen time and a complex back-story, he is a recovering addict, he sometimes fails, and in a strange way this makes him a more credible and believable character. This scene is one of my favourites, and I still haven't been able to stop thinking about the way that they ended the show. It was absolutely perfect, it left me feeling hopeful and satisfied and since then I’ve been re-watching countless interviews in which Joel is being his humorous self. This interview is my favourite, and I now want to watch everything else that he has starred in.

2. Sia.
I’ve always loved her music and everything that she stands for. When she releases a new song, something about it makes me feel nostalgic, it’s almost as if I’ve heard the rhythm before in a distant dream. I feel like there is something very unrefined about her voice, you can hear her pain, the aching of her soul. It adds depth to her music and in the era of autotune, it's extremely refreshing. My current favourite song is Eye of The Needle, which you can listen to here

3. Two Brown Girls. This is a podcast hosted by Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay. They are the voices of our generation and are both incredibly talented writers. They discuss everything from pop culture to current affairs and it’s raw, honest. You can find the podcast here.

4. Tulips by Sylvia Plath. It is no secret that Sylvia Plath is one of my all-time favourite writers. I sometimes open up her poetry and spend hours finding myself amid the lines. A few days ago, I was re-reading ‘Tulips’ and this line just struck me. ‘Stupid pupil, it has to take everything in.’ It made me think about how we can’t help what our eyes perceive, it’s almost as if we have no control over them and instead they are the ones to dictate. You can read the rest of the poem here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Another round of tweets from the past few weeks.

My favourite jumper just shrunk in the wash, and people wonder why I have trust issues.

The guy that plays Mitchum Huntzberger is on the American version of The Killing. It's taken me an entire season to forgive him.

Sorry, I'm sorry. I know I keep taking up your time lines with my half-hearted attempt at sorting through the voices in my head.

I don't know what to do so I'm just sitting here eating bars of chocolate until I figure it out.

Making the conscious decision to choose words to explicate your pain is a form of acknowledgement & acceptance and thus a form of healing.

It's strange what we remember. It's strange how we become nostalgic for the most insignificant moments.

I'm sad that I'll never have an American accent. They always sound so enthusiastic about everything.

Having bright hair means that whenever I look in the mirror, my attention is diverted from my flaws. I focus on this vibrant mane instead.

I'm going to weigh myself tomorrow. I've had to give my mind three weeks notice.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Alive Inside: The Story of Music and Memory.

A few days ago, I watched a documentary on Netflix titled ‘Alive Inside: The Story of Music and Memory.’ It was about a social worker that used music to evoke the memories of Alzheimer’s patients. It was one of the most astounding things I’ve ever seen.

These patients were lifeless, unresponsive; they needed help for the most basic human things. They couldn’t remember how to write, they couldn’t remember their children, they couldn’t even recognise photographs of themselves. However upon listening to music from their past, it restored their life. They remembered, they danced, they sang, they were alive. It was magic, it brought them back; the rhythm restored them. They experienced joy, they felt love. They described their childhood, they recalled moments of significance. A woman that had been unable to stand without her walker burst into a dance and moved around without any support. It demonstrated the impact of music and the way it is able to reach and penetrate the deepest part of us. It evokes things beneath the surface and was responsible for helping them fall back in touch with the people that they had once been, if even for a moment.

A doctor explained that he had never witnessed anything like this. Medication had not been able to bring their memories back; it had not allowed them to remember before. He said that they were quick to prescribe medication because it was an easy solution, it was also encouraged because there is money within the pharmaceutical industry. However, medication is used to numb the pain, and although it may act as a temporary fix, the underlying wound is still present. Medication doesn’t fix the problem; it just makes us blind to it. Maybe they are doing it all wrong. Maybe the answer is therapy. Maybe the answer is in music.

The documentary demonstrated the way that a man had managed to keep his wife out of a nursing home by retaining her memory through music. It reiterated the fact that music is purposeful and can be used as a form of therapy and healing. Music was enough to make her remember and it made me realise that our healing is reliant on the facets that make us feel the closest to ourselves.

It also discussed the way that the elderly are perceived in our current society. As children, we are taught by our elders. They gather us and tell us stories of their childhood; they share their wisdom and truths. This means of storytelling goes on to form the foundation of our knowledge. However, with the era of the internet, their knowledge is no longer necessary for survival and thus society does not have a place for the elderly. It’s incredibly sad because they have given their whole lives to the universe, they are a part of our history. They are the reason for our existence and without them, we wouldn't be ourselves. They are the reason for our progression, so do we not owe them our lives?

We're taught that adulthood is the pinnacle of our existence and elder people are just broken down versions of what they used to be.

You can watch the trailer here and the full documentary is available on Netflix. I wholeheartedly recommend watching it.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

5 Ways To Help Someone With Depression.

There are now a multitude of posts about depression circulating the internet; however it is rare to come across posts on how to help sufferers of the illness. Depression is more common than you think, so chances are that at some point in your life, you will encounter a sufferer. It’s important to know how to help them, just like you would with any other illness. I have compiled a list of some things that you can do:

1. Be present.
It’s difficult to help someone that is depressed because the battle that they are fighting is within themselves; however you can try and ease the war by being there whenever they need you. Sometimes it’s comforting to know that other people are around, it reminds them that they are not alone. Don’t leave their side. Be visible. Reiterate that you aren’t going anywhere. Sometimes they will lose faith and meaning and you might be the only purpose for them to exist. You might give them a little bit of hope, and in their world, that is everything.

2. Listen.
Sometimes they won’t talk, sometimes they won’t be coherent, but if they speak, listen. Don’t try to make sense of anything that they are saying, don’t try to understand how they are feeling, just listen. You can’t fix them, you can’t fight their battles. Don’t pressure them or ask too many questions; let them talk whenever they want to talk and remain silent when they do. Let them have their narrative.

3. Reassure them.
This is an important one. Reassure them, but don’t intrude. Make it known that you aren’t going anywhere, but also emphasise the strength that they possess. Be supportive, be encouraging. Reassure them that it’s going to be okay, reassure them again and again. Tell them that they are going to fight this. Tell them that they will get through this. Reiterate. Reiterate.

4. Give them space.
It’s difficult to leave them alone but they need time. It’s exhausting for them to be around people, give them space. Allow them to be by themselves for a while, but don’t leave it too long. Don’t give them enough time to sink.

5. Make sure that they are safe.
If they are feeling suicidal or are talking about harming themselves, take it seriously. Remove any possible temptations. Observe them at all times. Keep them talking, keep them close. Don’t let them drift away; this is important, so important. Keep them in the present moment, keep them here. Keep them alive.

Don't give up on them.


Monday, 16 November 2015

1. The Killing. I finished watching Season 3 of the American version of The Killing and it was honestly impeccable. You can read my blog post about it here.

2. Nothing But Thieves.
I only discovered this band recently but the lead singer has such a captivating voice, it’s the kind of voice that seeps into your skin and takes control of your organs. He reminds me of Adam Levine and I’m currently just enthralled by their music. My current favourite songs are ‘Trip Switch,’ ‘Wake Up Call,’ ‘Graveyard Whistling’ and ‘Last Orders.’ 

3. Focus (cover) by RosendaleSings.
I love the original song by Ariana Grande but this is a more intense and compelling version. I listen to songs on repeat until I am sick of them, and I then search for covers of the song to repeat the cycle with. I love how soothing his voice is, and he just brings a whole new dimension to the song. You can listen to it here.

4. Goodreads.
If you love reading, this website is excellent. It’s essentially a virtual bookshelf allowing you to keep track of books you have read and books that you want to read. My favourite thing is the recommendations feature. It suggests books based those that you've read, and I've discovered some excellent new titles through it. You can view my profile here.

5. Books.
I think working full time really takes over your life and I was always just too exhausted to read. However I’m getting back into books and have been visiting the library a lot recently. I've also been browsing charity shops on the lookout for new titles. I recently bought a copy of Prozac Nation for 99p!

6. Gilmore Guys. I am an avid Gilmore Girls fan but the idea of listening to a podcast didn’t seem at all appealing. However, after being completely captivated by Serial, I decided to give this one a go. It’s essentially two guys talking through each Gilmore Girls episode and for a hardcore fan such as myself, it almost brings everything back to life again.  

Sunday, 15 November 2015

To God's Illusion.

at the beginning of dawn,
organs vacant with blood congregating inside my head.

Back to sleep in a slumber state of reverie,

Reading words of Arabic to find reason or myself amongst ayahs.

Prayer mat on the ground, whispering recitations under my breath like a hopeless falsetto that only the angels could hear.

Repulsion in memories, scrubbing flesh until all remnants were gone.

Worshipping in secret amid the darkest corner of the library, behind Shakespeare, head against stone,

Everything sheltered but face and palms, a forlorn cry to be released from self.

No sign of the angels or God, only Satan and his spherical conspiracy to perish the lining of our souls. 

Saturday, 14 November 2015

How Much Is My Face Worth?

A few years ago, there was a tag being circulated titled ‘how much is my face worth?’ The idea was to list and then total the cost of each makeup item that one used on a daily basis. The final figure would equate to the worth of one’s face. I spend a lot of money on makeup and I thought it would be interesting to calculate the cost of my own daily face. This tag does not include skincare, makeup brushes or tools.

Mascara: GOSH No Limit Lash Mascara - £8.49
Eyeliner: Sephora Contour Eye Pencil in ’31 Purple Stillettos’ - £6.97

Primer: Smashbox Photofinish Primer - £25.50
Foundation: Bare Minerals Original SPF15 Foundation in ‘Medium Beige’ - £26.00
Face Concealer: Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in ‘SX 8’ - £36.00
Setting Powder: GOSH Prime ‘n’ Set Setting Powder - £9.99

Under-Eye Concealer: INGLOT Cream Concealer in ‘25’ - £12.00 and MAC Studio Finish Concealer in ‘NC35’ - £15.50
Under-Eye Setting Powder: Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder - £12.00

Bronzer: NYX Matte Bronzer in ‘Dark Tan’ - £7.00
Contour: Nyx Wonder Stick in ’01 Light’ - £10.00 and Sleek Face Contour Kit in ‘Medium’ - £6.49
Blush: Milani Baked Blush in ‘Dolce Pink’ - £5.99

Highlighter: The BalmMary Lou-Manizer Highlighter - £17.49
Setting Spray: Urban Decay De-slick Oil Control Make-Up Setting Spray - £21.00

Lipliner: GOSH Velvet Touch Lip Liner ‘Antique Rose’ – £4.99
Lipstick: MAC’s ‘Mehr’ Lipstick - £15.50

Total = £240.91

Friday, 13 November 2015

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Turn Him Like The Devil.

I wanted to share some of my favourite tweets from the past month.

I bought a dress with flared sleeves. I don't even know who I am anymore.

My body is filled to the brim with voices of my ancestors.

Words, just writing words like a redundant exorcism.

I'm just sitting here waiting for the sky to fall into its own darkness.

I feel like there would be a Mindy Kaling kind of vibe to my memoirs.

I'm wearing new socks to try and feel better about life.

My aunt just told me off for eating a pack of biscuits. Guys, I'm 25.

I get piercings to memorialise my distress.

I've started saying 'thank you so much' instead of just 'thank you' and it makes such a difference to people.

My favourite fleece pyjamas shrunk in the wash and now I don't know what to do with myself.

And now I want to exercise until bones transcend flesh.

Ripped out my net curtains and stood in the middle of my room for an hour and I wasn't in my body.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

10 Facts About Me.

1. I eat very slowly. I’m always the last one at the table.

2. I really enjoy vacuuming, it’s very cathartic.

3. I used to collect Pokémon stickers in primary school. I had over 300.

4. Shake That by Eminem and Nate Dogg is one of my favourite songs.

5. My Starbucks name is ‘Shirley.’

6. I used to use Jenga pieces to create roads and I would wheel my toy cars through them as a child.

7. I’m too afraid to go into my own garden because there are always cats hiding amongst the grass.

8. I only sleep with one pillow; I don’t like having anything additional around me.

9. If I’m eating out at a restaurant or café, I never put my bag on the floor. It either goes on the table or in my lap. I’m not entirely sure why.

The only time that I carry cash is when I need to get my eyebrows threaded.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Killing: Season 3.

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you will be aware of how fixated I am with ‘The Killing.’ Last night, I completed season 3 of the American version and I am still reeling from its intensity.

Please note that there will be spoilers below.

The final three episodes were absolutely impeccable. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so immersed in a story, in characters, in wanting justice. I dreamt about Linden running through fields in an attempt to protect Adrian, I could not stop seeing Ray Seward’s face. The echoes of Bullet’s voice filled my mind, the wrath of Skinner’s words made me shiver until he was gone.

The revelation of the killer was terrifying. The sound of the ice cream truck, the sprinklers, the way Linden noticed Kallie’s ring on his daughters finger, it all dawned upon her in that moment; it had been Skinner all along. His character never faltered, I had never suspected or doubted him, which I think is what made the revelation even more significant. It was sad to see this happen to Linden, because of how much she had struggled to open up and accept him into her life. The happiness that she had acquired was never going to be again. I felt cheated; I was rooting for them, for him. How had I not suspected him? How was he able to get away with it for so long? Had it been obvious all along? Were there clues pointing to him beforehand? Did I miss something?

Their relationship depicted her vulnerabilities; it gave us something to connect to. The way Linden moved closer to him to signify the importance of her words, the way that she only smiled when she was with him, the way her voice softened and she became a different person around him. For a character that was as self-destructive as Linden, it seemed like she was finally going to have a happy ending. It all built up to the heartbreaking moment of her ultimately choosing to shoot him. It must have taken everything for her to make the decision to jeapordise her career, but she was entirely in love with a monster and I think that this realisation is what caused her to pull the trigger in the end. The same relationship that had humanised her was now responsible for her destruction.

I also loved the storyline with Seward. His character was intriguing; I was never entirely sure whether or not he was guilty. He was cold and unresponsive but his inner demons slowly began to take precedence, and he ultimately became someone else. The executive producer described it as the manifestation of an interior world. A man on death row, where there is darkness, cold, steel gates, silence and time is running out. Seward was trapped inside himself. I gasped and felt my soul ache when they executed him. On television shows, there is always a resolution and no matter what happens, everything will be resolved, justice will be served; they will catch the bad guy. The poignant scenes with Linden beforehand built up to this astounding climax. When they killed him, I was in disbelief; they had just killed an innocent man. I became Linden in that moment. I felt her pain, I felt her sorrow. I thought of Adrian. I wanted to weep for him. I wanted to find the real killer.

The death of Bullet was also extremely saddening. I think that it ultimately provided the story with more significance because we wanted to know what had happened to this character that we had just fallen in love with. Bullet was humorous, she was true to herself and it was refreshing. Her friendship with Holder was wonderful; it was entertaining and almost subdued the atrocities of what was happening. My favourite scene was when they were in the car with Linden, and there were no boundaries. It almost broke down the barrier between cop and civilian. When Bullet was murdered, Holder was overcome by guilt and it demonstrated the battle that he was fighting within himself, between being a cop and his own personal need for justice.

The three different narratives all inform each other and in the end become one. The catastrophe, the loss, the connection, I think these are what make television shows so consuming. It all becomes a part of us and we think about it for days afterwards because we have not healed from its atrocities. I think this season has been my utmost favourite and I think that the relationship between Linden and Skinner is extremely reminiscent of Lund and Strange in the Danish version. However, although season 2 of Forbrydelsen was my favourite, I always felt that they could have intensified the relationship between Lund and Strange, made them more intimate, just for it to have resulted in a more heartbreaking climax. I feel like The Killing was able to do that very well, they shattered everything, they made us fall for the monster and thus absolutely nailed the ending.

I will hopefully be writing a post titled ‘Sarah Lund vs. Sarah Linden’ very soon. I think that each character is extremely different but formed upon the same foundation; I adore them both and want to share my thoughts on their portrayals. You can read my original post about Forbrydelsen here.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The Beauty of Twitter.

I tweet so much nonsense sometimes, there is no coherence and everything surfaces in a state of anarchy. However, the words can sometimes make me realise things, they can lead to poetry, a piece of prose, a deeper thought, an epiphany. The thoughts arrive in their purest form because I'm not stopping to re-evaluate, thus I am capturing them in their truest sentiment. And I think that is the beauty of Twitter; it is my thoughts, as they come, with their incoherence and bizarreness. Not being able to go back and edit means that they will exist in that form forever. Those thoughts are contained in their fullest capacity. I write and the form becomes infinite. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Battle of Organs.

Write about the things that terrify you.

I have always silenced fear. I believed that through granting fear a voice, it would possess the capacity to grow, to feed itself. However, I now understand that writing gives me the power to become superior by realising the magnitude of my own strength in comparison to the fear. I can write and erase words as I please, I can confront fear and thus demonstrate that it rests within the palm of my hand.

Giving fear a voice does not mean that one is succumbing to its mercy; it presents the wholehearted recognition of the need to emancipate it from the body.

When we face struggles, we discuss them with other people because it makes us feel better. In the same way, sharing the things that make us anxious is a means of purging our bodies to feel whole. It is only through perceiving fear in a tangible form that we can weaken it. When we bury fear, it creates barricades. It roots itself so deeply within our bloodstreams that we cannot separate or distinguish ourselves from it.

Make it tangible. Write the words that make you sick to your stomach. Talk about the things that terrify you. Your tongue is already afraid of your limbs; you are at war with yourself because your organs do not trust each other.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Set Those Ghosts Alight.

I dreamt of being injected with a virus, being denied entrance into a hospital. People lining up, being shot by soldiers that were too afraid to look at their own reflections.

I dreamt of a woman taking my fingerprints on a copy of Great Expectations, asking me to wait in a corner until the results were in.

I dreamt of having to ration my coffee, everything becoming an illusion of itself until I couldn’t reach my own shadow.

I dreamt of being impregnated with embryos that were designed to mass-create a superior human race.

I dreamt of taking refuge inside my own suitcase, until the pandemic was over.

I dreamt of the devil taking my hand and guiding me towards the sunset until the fire burned his palms and he let go.

Monday, 26 October 2015

1. The Killing II by David Hewson. Forbrydelsen (The Killing) is one of my all time favourite TV series and when David Hewson decided to novelise the story, I was absolutely elated. It’s interesting to read something that you’ve already seen manifested on screen, it magnifies the written word and adds a whole new dimension to the series. The original show is in Danish and although there are subtitles, I think having now read the book, each interaction is more purposeful and it has heightened the movements of characters. There are so many layers to this specific season and the revelation at the end is just pure brilliance. You can read my blog post about the series here.

2. Chocolate covered dates. I bought a few packs of these whilst in Dubai and they are genuinely one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Although I’m having to ration them due to not being able to purchase them in the UK, they taste divine and I’m regretting not trying out other flavours. If you’re ever in the Middle East, I definitely recommend trying them.

3. The Blacklist. I’ve been catching up on the new season and it has revived my love for Raymond Reddington. His acting is impeccable and there is so much depth to the relationships between the characters. Everything is complex and I think in a strange way, it reflects the complexities within our own lives, thus making everything appear more real. The show is about a fugitive that has surrendered himself to the FBI, he is smart, resourceful, and there’s always something that he’s not telling you. The writers have done an excellent job, and I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the next episode. You can watch the trailer for the show here.

4. Dulce Candy. Having followed her journey since 2008, from her time in the army to raising a child, Dulce is one of the most authentic people I watch on YouTube. I’ve been rewatching some of her old videos and it has made me feel very nostalgic. She has also recently made a video about how she regrets her decision to have plastic surgery and her honesty was extremely refreshing. It’s interesting to listen to other people talk about their regrets, because for a while it silences your own. You can watch her video here.

5. Mehr lipstick by MAC. If you know me at all, you’ll be aware of my make-up fixation. I own enough products to last me until the end of my existence, yet I always seem to be coveting more. I recently purchased this lipstick and it’s one of those ‘your lips but better’ kind of shades. I’ve been reaching for it over everything else in my collection and for some reason it makes me feel very feminine. It’s also one of those universal shades that suit everyone.

6. Hello by Adele. This is the kind of song that you can feel moving your organs. It’s beautiful and raw and you can feel pain on the brink of her voice. I’m excited to see what else Adele has in store because I’ve adored everything that she’s released in the past. I’ve also been loving ‘Honey Whiskey’ by Nothing But Thieves, which you can listen to here. There’s just something about it.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Grey Place Between Black & White.

Our opinions are not tangible. They change and they grow and their fluidity prevents them from ever existing in the same form. Our perspectives change in accordance to our circumstance; we believe that murder is entirely wrong but look differently at it in a case of self-defense. Our thoughts are erratic, malleable and thus redundant because there is no certainty in who we are.

There is always space for us to surprise ourselves, we will often do things that we cannot justify, because our bodies innately respond to the surrounding sentiment and our survival instincts fight through barriers before the mind can comprehend the movement of our hands.

Our self-awareness is not quick enough to keep up with the fluidity of our being, and thus we are not in a position to rule anything out. We are not one identity; we are not even the same person we were this morning. We are millions of people in one body; photographs inside a skeletal frame pirouetting in the dark.

However, we are under no compulsion to be the same person that we were yesterday, to be anything but who we are in this moment. We are not bound to one entity. We are not bound to exist in one form. We are infinite, ever-flowing, ever-changing; it is only our self-imposed labels that provide limitations and prevent us from living our lives to their fullest capacity.

Be whoever you want to be at any point in your life. If it feels right, do it. You are not a brand living in accordance to a mantra; you are a free spirit that is not bound to one means of existence.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Children of Content Nausea.

In an era of infinite scrolling, click-bait titles and periodic content, there is such a thing as too much consumption. We scan articles, become trapped in the cyclical clicking of recommended videos, look away at pop-ups and animated ads, it has ruined the way that we consume information because we no longer recognise or feel the impact of the words in front of us. We are distracted, impatient. We always have a hundred tabs open.

There is somebody watching the real-time stats each time we click on an article, everything is tailored to increase that click-rate. It is all about digital measurement, analytics, ROIs, nothing is created for the purpose of movement. It’s about conversions, impressions.

Think about all of the articles that you read on a daily basis. How many lists do you scroll through? How many of them are significant? How many posts do you remember a week later? How many of them are repetitive? It's just the response to the response to the response. 

Most people wake up and immediately scroll through their social media feeds. They scroll past images of corpses, political debates, atrocities, and it turns into a subconscious effort to ignore and become detached from our own reality. Having the ability to scroll, to watch everything merge into one, to become impartial, is what extracts meaning from actuality. We are desensitised, nothing surprises us, nothing makes us feel anything anymore. 

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Oblivion, Well It Beckons Us All.

I used to believe that pain was not tangible but I think it is and I think it stores itself inside our bodies and feeds itself over time. And maybe it's the reason for why certain pain never goes away, because it always exists inside of us. Maybe our bodies are too filled with trauma and it hurts when we touch. Maybe we just carve ourselves into memory and the trauma takes precedence. Maybe the pain is stored inside a limb, eventually growing strong enough to become physical. Maybe that is what causes us to break bones. Maybe trauma is blood, pumping itself into oblivion. Maybe our bodies are just corpses being filled with possessions that tell us stories. Maybe our footprints are not really our own and belong to the ancestors that lived through the trauma. Maybe we are just made up of their pain. Maybe we are the trauma.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Between Patriarchy & Silent Shrouds.

If you know me in any capacity whether this is through social media or in real life, you will know that I feel very alienated from my Pakistani roots. I have written a whole blog post about not calling myself ‘Pakistani’ which you can read here. However, today I wanted to discuss my main issue with the culture.

You need to learn to cook.’
So you can cook for your husband.

This conversation summates everything. The Pakistani culture declares that women exist for the purpose of men; to take care of them, to please them, to be their slaves. Women are perceived as the weaker sex and thus less desirable. A prime example of this is when a woman gives birth. People are overjoyed if she has a son but a daughter is a consolation prize. Things such as ‘it’s such a shame that she only has daughters’ are reiterated as if females are a burden and a son is their saviour. This is also rooted so deeply within the Pakistani culture that women are happy to accept their positions as a housewife and are ready to berate anyone that hinders this norm.

We must remain at home until we are married, and then again, when the man goes out to work. Our lives become marriage CVs and everything that we do works towards our levels of marriageability. If a woman remains unmarried by the age of 28, she is considered to be ‘past her sell-by date’ and is believed to have something wrong with her. Maybe she cannot have children, or is depressed, or too educated, or not pretty enough? We may as well be made to stand in front of a police line-up wall and be pointed at from behind the glass. We are sold, bartered for. We are not entitled to live our lives to their fullest capacity because we are reined by the hands of men.

I cannot go travelling alone or move out before marriage because ‘what will people think?’ However it is perfectly acceptable for a man to do these things without raising questions. We repress everything whilst men are able to live openly, honestly, abundantly. We must hide a huge fragment of ourselves and thus split our own souls into pieces. Our existence is nothing but the ode of men. I did not endure countless years of education for men to put words into my mouth, to be ‘chosen’ by a man and scrutinised by his mother, to waste away my potential from behind the stove. We are not taught about self-development, growth, healing. We are taught to iron, to cook, to do whatever will please our husbands because we do not exist for ourselves. Our lives do not count unless there is a man beside us, to give us meaning, to be our voice. These things are indoctrinated within men, and thus they treat us as being inferior to them. Abused, manipulated, broken, hurt, we become their property because we are taught to be nothing else.

I am not compatible with the culture that I was raised in. I do not agree with patriarchy and I do not intend on being a part of this system. Whilst I recognise that this is something that is also present in many other cultures, I feel that it is highly accentuated within Pakistani/Indian cultures. My mother was born and raised in Pakistan and thus carries and conveys a predominant amount of the customs which I am forced to live my life by. I do not agree with them and do not ever intend to enforce this on my own children.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

If You're Having A Dark Day...

When you’re standing in darkness, it feels like everything is still. It feels like nothing is changing because everything is motionless, but somewhere in the world it is a different time of day. People are going about their lives, waving goodbye to their children, watching them disappear behind the school gates. Someone is peering at a patient fastened to machines through a glass door. Somebody else is pouring ingredients into a bowl, entranced by an image of a transcendent banana loaf, or standing on a railway track awaiting their own demise. Someone is in a jovial embrace at the airport with an old friend believed to be lost. The earth is orbiting; the birds are flying. This moment is not where you will be stuck forever because we can transcend time. Your life is moving forward. Look at a clock, the seconds are passing. Things will change, because they are changing even when we believe that they are still. That object on your desk doesn’t look like it is moving, but the seconds are bringing it into the future, and thus it is transcending time just as you are.

Move your arms. See, you can do it. You are in control of your body, no matter how foreign it may seem. It can hear the command of your brain because you are inside your limbs. You are in control. You are the inhabitant of your own body. You are here, now, in this moment, inside your veins, behind that flesh. Move your arms, do it, see you can hear yourself. You are alive beneath that skeleton.

Listen to the sound of your breath and recognise that you are existing. This now, this is survival. Now fight for it, fight because you can still feel the electricity in your veins, because you can feel that you have something left to give. You’re not ready to go yet, there is still a fire burning beneath your flesh. You have the capacity to fuel it, to do everything that you want to be remembered for. Stop listening to your mind; command it because you will not be your own victim. Use that fire and be fierce.

Refute. Battle. Empower yourself even when it means fighting an internal war, because one day when you’re at the height of your triumph, you will look back at the scars and recognise this moment as your greatest success. And if you can fight this right now, if you can fight yourself, then you are invincible and you will slay. Don’t give your mind a voice, be the voice.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The World's A Funeral; A Room Of Ghosts.

I remember reciting ‘la ilah ha illallah’ with my eyes closed praying we’d make it. The fog was so thick that the driver couldn’t see his own shadow in the dark. Horns, cars; I could feel their closeness against the vibration of my fingertips.

I felt the crash, screaming, being pulled out of the van by my mothers hand. Standing on the side of the road, with a line of disconsolate vehicles in front of fog that masked traffic and the drivers own breath. We waited. Waited. Waited.

More people joined us, eyes in the sky. I struggled to breathe, kept reciting ‘there is no god but Allah,’ waiting for Him or the angels to come.

1. Dubai. I'm currently in the midst of planning my trip. The sole reason that I agreed to go was because I will finally have the opportunity to visit Sephora and if you know me in any capacity, you will understand how much of a triumph this is. If you have recommendations on places to visit, please do let me know!

2. Yankee candles. There’s something very cathartic about lighting candles and I generally always have one burning in my bedroom. My father loves candles more than anything, so there is an infinite supply of them in every corner of our home. My current favourite is the ‘Raspberry Sundae’ Yankee candle which smells like heaven.

3. Stepanka. I randomly came across her videos on YouTube and was captivated by her experiences. Her stories are compelling and there is something very humourous about the way that she tells them. My favourite is when she discusses the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend. You can watch part 1, part 2 and part 3 here.

4. Made in Chelsea. When I mention this as being one of my favourite shows, it generally results in a frown or some form of judgement. It is essentially the British version of ‘The Hills,’ and for some reason, I just cannot seem to stop watching. The show is also shot so beautifully, making London look idyllic.

5. Lean On cover. My taste in music varies in accordance to my mood. I don’t have a certain ‘type’ that I listen to and therefore I don’t rule anything out. Having loved the original, I came across this cover of ‘Lean On’ and thought that it deserved a listen. There is something uplifting about this version and I have had it on repeat for weeks. You can listen to it here.

6. Nail varnish. I always have my nails painted in an attempt to prevent myself from picking at my skin. I’ve recently dabbled into the world of glitter nail varnish and have been enjoying experimenting with different colour combinations. One day I hope to venture into the world of nail art, but for now my confetti nail varnish is satisfying my creative urges.

I’m really enjoying doing these posts; it’s a good way of capturing my current fixations. Let me know what you love right now!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Becoming A Sense8.

My notion is that there are five kinds of truths: the truth you tell to casual strangers and people you meet, the truth you tell to your friends and your family, the truth you tell to only a few people in your entire life, the one you tell yourself, and the truth you won’t even admit to yourself. And that’s the one that tends to decline us,” Straczynski said. “And we thought, if we take these characters who suddenly have access to each other’s thoughts, histories, their secrets, their personalities, it lets us take the global aspect of the show and bring it down to a very human level. You may not understand what it is to live in India or live in Iceland or live in Berlin, but we can identify with an abusive father, or a person who is hiding a part of their personality because they’re afraid they’ll never be accepted. I found the smaller you go with your truth, the more universal and global the story is. And so we wanted to sort of hinge off of that into making a larger statement.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was watching the television show Sense8. I’ve never felt so connected, so captivated, so engrossed in a show like this before. It completely blew my mind.

Sense8 is shot so beautifully with landscapes that heighten the magnificence and authenticity of each story. There are eight characters from all over the globe, from India to Iceland. The show depicts the life and customs of each place, with real-life locals enriching scenes to create a sense of reality. Everything feels sincere, everything is heartfelt. It is raw. Sense8 shows life in other countries, but also demonstrates that although our lives may be separated by the places in which we live, we really are no different from one another. The story is not just about a group of eight strangers and the way that their lives intersect, it is about mankind, human connection, unity itself.

The audience becomes the character, and through this the show creates the capacity for one to feel the depth of exactly what is happening. You feel what the characters feel, which adds a whole new dimension to the premise that the show is built on. You become a Sensate because you feel what they are feeling. You are present with them in that moment. You are learning truths, just as they learn. You are a Sensate.

The stories feel real, the characters are alive. Each person has a captivating back story and the acting and storytelling are impeccable. I felt each scene almost as if I was a part of it. I smiled, I laughed, I was horrified, saddened. Everything is carefully crafted, but bold, daring. Nothing is out of the question and it forces one to accept the things that they perceive as a part of their everyday reality. This is the step that the world needs to take, acknowledging everything that is outside the norm. Sense8 is not just a show; it is a way of life. It teaches tolerance, acceptance. This show could do some great things for the world.

I would wholeheartedly recommend watching it. I will even go as far as saying that it is the best show that I’ve ever seen, purely because of its intensity. Although it falls under the science fiction genre, the show doesn’t use special effects or anything more groundbreaking than clever editing, and yet the story is so magnificently narrated that you can’t help but feel in awe of its brilliance. It demonstrates that the true ingredient of a successful series is simply a good premise.

There are 12 episodes, and a 25 minute documentary which goes behind the scenes and demonstrates just how much work has gone in to shooting a show of its magnitude. It is global, it is universal. This show is groundbreaking.

You can watch the trailer here, and I've included some extracts about the show below.

‘On some level, the sensates’ telepathic empathy is a metaphor for the Internet, which seems, in some ways, to be making us more open to others’ experiences (especially queer experiences). The show also evokes the joys of creative collaboration: people who watch the Wakowskis work together often say that they have “two bodies, one brain.” Really, though, the point of “Sense8” is to revel in the broadening of empathy — to fantasize about how in-tune with each other we could be. In its own, low-key way, therefore, “Sense8” is a critique of sci-fi. It asks whether, in tying our dreams about human transformation to fantasies of technological development, we might be making an error. The show suggests another path to transcendence: each other.’

‘The Wachowskis employ the very fabric of the film medium to remove the distances separating their sensates, using sneaky editing strategies to create the illusion that characters on opposite ends of the globe are conducting a conversation in the same room. The underlying brilliance of this trick elevates the film form to the saving grace of those stricken by desperation. Editing, in the simplest terms, bridges gaps in time and space. Sense8 aims to bring the people who need one another into contact so that they may provide each other with the support that they need.’

Friday, 4 September 2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

I was sorting through my laptop files and came across a compilation of thoughts. Maybe one day I will give them an individual voice, but for now I want to share them in the form that they first arrived.

Sometimes all our soul needs is a reminder of who we used to be. Something that shows us how much we have grown, something that communicates the promises we made, something that echoes the voices of our spirit, something that revokes the depths of our dreams. It is only then that we can measure progress of the miles travelled and realign ourselves onto the journey.

I took a deep breath and tried to really hear the sounds in the air. There were stories around me, preserved with ink on the pages, embedded within the people that walked. I heard glimpses of people’s lives and their predicaments. There was a universal battle of yearning.

I seem to feel inspired when it rains. It’s something about the overwhelming sentiment that falls with it, the shadows, the obscurity.

Today is one of those days where I want nothing more than to escape the boundaries of this place, to run as far as I can and forget who I am.

Write me words of deference, adoration between the lines.

The sun and my good mood coincide like two lost lovers that have found each other once again.

With the sole capacity to comprehend the depth of your thoughts, it is only you that can recognise how injurious those thoughts can be.

My path is paved with each word, tracing the core of my existence within the rhythm.

The reflection of the sun illuminating only half of her face, the other side left to delve in the shadows.

Hands tied by ropes of paranoia, a heart resting in the delicacies of veneration.

Monday, 31 August 2015

The Birds, They Sang.

Stepping out into the snowstorm, 
icicles stroking sin,
this is just the beginning.

Blueprints created with blood spatter,
bullets ricochet like a raucous puppy in a new home.

Cold solidifying organs through desiccated veins,
body recycles petrified air.


'The angels, they're gone now.'

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Waiting Outside Heaven.

I remember playing with pebbles beside a Scottish lake, a body being exhumed a week later.

I remember watching men carry the carcass of a cow from a truck filled with its departed friends. I wondered about the families they left behind, their children, their dreams.

I remember faking a headache to avoid having to wear a dress in a play about Picasso. Wake up it’s a beautiful morning.

I remember pulling out weeds from in between the slabs, hands aching until the ground had nothing left to give. Returning the spade to the back room of the shed, Dracula’s bedroom and a serial killers haven.

I remember stroking a blind dog until the cats learned to keep a distance. My cousin feeding bananas to a giraffe with a tongue the size of my torso.

I remember searching for shortcuts in between gardens, exploring alleyways with belongings and stories laden at their wake.

I remember dressing up as one of Fagin’s boys, singing a solo, befriending Bill Sykes in the playground.

I remember devoting myself to Eastenders like a new religion, ‘Free Matthew Rose’ on the back of a van until Steve Owen went up in flames.

I remember practicing dances to the Spice Girls on elevated slabs in the back garden, memorising song lyrics from magazines until sundown. Stop right now, thank you very much.

I remember buying penny sweets at the corner shop, filling up paper bags with cherries and flying saucers while the shop keeper stared at his friend disdain in the distance. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

1. Sense8
. Think about the sense of nostalgia that you experience upon seeing a stranger you’ve met in a distant dream. This feeling is the essence of the entire TV show; it is on the same spectrum as Heroes and Lost. It is about diversity, strangers from all over the world connecting. The show explores everything that mainstream television avoids, such as identity and religion. It is unlike anything I’ve ever watched before. You can watch the trailer here

2. Colouring books. I’m not entirely sure why, but everyone has suddenly become fixated with adult colouring books. Colouring has always been a form of therapy, but adult colouring books are made up of intricate patterns that force your mind to concentrate on each detail, which as a result, diverts your attention and makes you forget your surroundings. The Millie Marotta ones are my current favourites. 

3. Lily Melrose (LLYMLRS). I’ve been following Lily’s blog since university and I feel like she is one of the few YouTubers that didn’t ‘sell-out.’ I love her authenticity and have really been enjoying her moving vlogs. You can check out her channel here

4. Neon yellow ZARA bag. This bag has been in my wardrobe for years, but for some reason or another, I have never made use of it. When having a clearout a few weeks ago, I thought that it would be a good way to add some life to my otherwise very monochromatic wardrobe. It is tiny, but forces me to minimise the amount of things that I carry.

5. The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz. The book is made up of short stories/essays by a psychoanalyst who describes his interactions with patients. He explores why people behave in the way that they do and provides insight into how we become who we are. I do wish that it was more detailed, but I’ve enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

6. Snapchat. I love watching and gaining a peak into other people’s lives. I’ve also enjoyed watching the featured stories from around the world and it has magnified my desire to go travelling.

What do you love this month? 
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