The reason for my sudden appearance here on this blog after a long and unforgivable hiatus is a shameful one. I have not come to tell anyone anything, nor have I been inspired to write or report about a certain incident or feeling- but I have come merely to seek one; I do not actually have a specific reason. I do not know what I am feeling these days, if I was to be honest. Perhaps I have an inkling of what it is that I’m feeling, but it is not something I feel is worthy of any sort of write-up. I must admit, age, or rather time has been the element that has encouraged much of the watering down of any kind of consideration or fiery thought that I’ve had. I used to be able to bring myself to make lists of anything that was worthy of note. Looking back, there were some unnecessary ones, but among them too were gems, although they were rare.
You, dear reader, may or may not realize this, but I feel as though every time I write a blogpost I am being redundant. I am always in a kind of “self-seeking” process. I also feel like I’ve always addressed that too in many blogposts. Life, my friends, is precisely that. Well, to me at least. But I assure you, every time I find myself in “self-discovery” mode, it is always a metamorphosis. It is a process by which I am transformed at the core, reconstructed from one state to the other.
But somehow, even after countless stages of brutal (,some enlightening) transformation(s), I am still -unexplainably- me. Yes, me, and undeniably so. In the past year, I have re-enrolled into the ranks of society, joined several interactive circles and some close-knit ones and even started a public one myself (with an accidental joint founding, with a couple of girls) that required the setting up of a Facebook page. Check it out here. Those interactions, though some soul-affecting, some superficial, have been quite an experience. But something happened to me that just won’t put me back in properly. I’m not saying that a part of me is broken or is incapable of natural feelings, but something’s definitely changed permanently.
I am not ready to share that piece of information yet explicitly as I have yet to figure it out myself. I know the cause, but I don’t know what exactly has been changed or removed or added to me (/my character/personality/sentiments/presence/psyche/aura/disposition etc), BUT, through my once-a-year posts on this blog (sorry), and if I have the slightest bit of passion left in me, and I suspect ‘passion’ is a wrong choice of word, I might increase my posts on this abandoned place where I used to pour all of my heart out, you might figure it out. For evidence on my older writings, be my guest and take a stroll down memory lane and hit my oldest posts. Most were about loss and death. Two themes which I only knew how to deal with through writing. Grief. That is what I know. Or knew, rather.
It is important that you remember that not everyone is predictable. I liked to think that I am a good predictor of people’s actions until one day someone did something that I had not forseen nor thought it would be part of their nature, until they did it. With that said, it is true, and you might have seen this around, that I have been given several opportunities to recite my poetry at events. In essence I am not a performer. I am not even a writer. I am not trying to be humble, but to be honest, I’ve got absolutely no training whatsoever in either one of the fields. (In fact, I am torn between using ‘either’ and ‘neither’. A case of the fear of using double negatives and also I am not that great in grammar to begin with. But I try. Forgive me if that was an offensive usage.) Having said that, I am aware that a little more than just ‘a few’ people have come to appreciate my writings. I still do not accept them at face value- I scrutinize like a mad pessimist, dissecting their every comment. If I had the means and courage, I would go so far as to ask them to list exactly what they liked about it, so I know that it was not just because it was me (by name) that they appreciated. I’m sure I’m making no sense whatsoever. But if you’ve managed to grab the gist of it thus far, I thank you for your forbearance. I haven’t heard a single grunt! (ha-ha. If Noura could read, she would be the first to say this to my face: “It’s not funny”. Her favourite phrase. And I would reply with my favourite comeback which she knows all too well: “Not even a little bit?”. Hahaha. Sorry got carried away..)
By the way, I am not sure why I keep typing as though I am addressing someone, or an audience. I am almost certain that most will have forgotten about this lazy blogger and even if anyone read this, he/she would not have made it this far into the post. I am not sure how much I have written, but I am sure very few things have piqued your interest. Anyway..
Now, just because I’ve just admitted that I am not a performer nor am I writer (and I only mean by professional practice and credentials), doesn’t mean I am seeking to be judged leniently and lesser in those two areas. I do aspire to be the best that possibly can, and improve with every delivery, of course. And oh God, I have SO MUCH room for improvement. But just to put it out there, that it was never my ambition or lifelong goal to be a spoken word poet. I don’t know how I never saw it coming, when I look back, it is quite hilarious how oblivious I was (still am). I was away from home (you know where) when an organization invited me to do my very first official performance whereby they had to book me on a flight back to KL where the event was taking place, and back to where I was studying. I had done a collaboration performance before, and that was essentially my first one. Yes, a duet for a first time?! Quite a feat. Jokes. But no really, it was. As always I am always extra extra extra EXTRA hard on myself, I actually swore not to do it again after that one despite the many complements we received. I cried for many nights in a row which worsened my anxiety and sent me into deeper realization that I could never undo whatever embarrassment I had committed myself to. Although that happened, time (read: age) healed as always, and when the official first invitation came, my decision to accept it was not once intercepted by thoughts about the first one (which I had done voluntarily). So I may be hardcore on myself, but I am also very forgetful. My mind, I believe, allows me to shed some painful memories to allow me to grow. Many people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder find it hard to heal from such memories without external help. I, however, alhamdulillah, I think this is the blessing of Islam, find that my brain allows me to be impulsive for certain reasons and then let me take the consequences in due time. This might not make sense for many, but it is what it is. Alhamdulillah.
So, it would be logical that after a few performances, this path would take shape in front of me and be obvious to my eyes, right? But it never was clear to me, and I had NEVER thought it would realize into this.
All praises be to Allah the Most High. I have had 1 to 2 performances every month since April (?), and none of it has been taken on without a lot of consideration and prayers. A lot of turn downs too. Sometimes people ask me to recite a poem on a topic that I am unfamiliar with, and that’s when I test myself what and who I’m doing this for. Because I can tell you that I could have faked it. I could write a poem on the joys of doing an excel spreadsheet and you would have thought I’ve had tons of experience with it, even though in reality I don’t. (Sorry for the lame example, lol!) I know I dont have to justify myself for my every step, but trust me, if I was justifying, I’d be detailing out every criteria on my list that an event has to meet before I come to agree to their invitation, which, I am sure, those who have fully good thoughts of their sister would have known if they had placed just a little more attention and faith.
I have given away quite a lot in this comeback appearance of a post, but nothing has been done without a reason behind it. I wish that people were more open and understanding of the circumstances and role in society of others, so that they don’t have to be so harsh in their judgment. There is another person who identifies with me in that she is in a state of affairs parallel to mine has come to my attention, and although I -for now, do not think that my decisions would be the same as hers, I do not dare even the slightest to punish her with judgment. My own conventional way of thinking about the world and how people work have changed and improved so much especially after having found myself in a situation like this. They say it’s part of growth, and I strongly believe in that. You will not agree with me (and I’m OK with that) until you have gone through a similar situation and circumstance as me. Trust me I was there in your seat before.
Allow me to reiterate (that word always makes me think of debates) that I am still me. I still aspire the same things in life, in the higher regard of things. Spiritually and deen-wise. I respect and admire your ways, but I have been given a wider lens to view events by looking at its details, its circumstances, as well as its parties, so I will utilize that. It is without a single doubt, a blessing. How I came to realize that it was a blessing was in the traditional way of looking at the Seerah. And I meant to touch on this in greater detail in a separate article, but I’ll speak of the idea here for a bit. The way to the top is always by taking things easy and not hard. No person in this brotherhood of the faith has ever achieved high status by being extreme or exerting himself beyond his limits. We all know the story about the 3 young men who told the Prophet that they, respectively, would fast and not break it, pray and not sleep and fill their life up with so much ibadah that they would not marry, and the Prophet told them that he would fast and break it, pray and sleep as well as he would marry women. I am not saying that my way is what I prescribe every one to ascribe to. No, but the exact opposite. This wider lens that I speak of recognizes the role of each person in a certain place and time, and so every person’s path is different from the next person’s. And this isn’t strictly one path, don’t be ridiculous. It is part of a larger path. We are human beings, born in different communities, exposed to many different cultures and influences- all of this are from the bounties of the Creator Himself. If everyone were to do one single thing the same way, and reach His pleasure (ridhaa) the same way, then He would have created a standardized world, wouldn’t that be the case? Because He is fair and just. And I will just leave it as that.
In terms of my life, maybe I have mentioned this, maybe I haven’t, but we are preparing to move yet again, this time to a very exciting place, alhamdulillah, another blessing. I have also been practising the gymnastic aspect of yoga- since I’ve left karate, I needed something that would keep me in shape and bendy. I am not going to be the kind of person who can’t touch their toes. Puh-lease. I have my dorm-to-campus runs and brisk walks to keep me building my stamina. I’ve also been so much into serious skincare lately- I bet you didn’t know the importance of acid peels and chemical exfoliants! It’s taken me a while to realize that everything comes from within, which is funny because I always put so much importance to intention when doing something. I guess I never thought external beauty was the same. And from there I discovered raw and clean eating because expensive skincare alone would not bring real results. I’ve been trying to cut out dairy from my food intake but it seems nearly impossible, so I’ve been reducing it, so it’s been going great, alhamdulillah. That’s about what I’ll share for now. I hope next time I post something it won’t be too far from this one.