Thin

Poetry

There is a thin line between success and journey

You see, success

It is too autonomous for me to understand

No real reasons, no fighting, no experience

It just happens or it doesn’t.

But you see, then your journey —

It’s a long journey

It tells you it builds the highs

Scrapes them from the ground into little rounded pebbles ready for the projectile

But it is only shaping you —

You, as you walk, jump and crawl,

You, as you speak, whisper and scream

I decide who I am and how to be I suppose…

Success doesn’t know a thing about that

It maintains nonchalance as it passes by carelessly chosen souls — telling them they’re the lucky ones today

My life could have been this or that, different I suppose

But there remains a thin line between it all…my choices almost not mine

But ever so slightly in chosen repose.

Sure, today I gush open wounds on accident and they drop out of my mouth like waterfalls — I wish they didn’t, I wish I didn’t make choice A or B or any of it at all

I wish I could get out, be alone, not lonely, surrounded, noise-full and left all at once…

I do not know where I lie on the line

Am I in between? In a far end? Losing time or gaining wins?

Will it be worth it as my head lays in the dirt,

Stare at the sky, wish it were closer — but it is already way too close

I’m not sure if any of this makes sense but this perhaps may not be poetic —

I am walking, trembling, continuing on a journey…with a thin line and thin consequences

Too quickly and slowly everything seems to pass

Hold on, wait, I don’t know. Just rest.

This feature photo is my own photography. I found this random bush on a walk the other day and thought it was a very bizarre looking plant. Perhaps just as bizarre as a lot of my thoughts have been lately.

Okay

Journal, Writing

The past few weeks have not been eventful in the sense that physical events took place that shifted a lot of where I am and how I think, but they have been incredibly eventful with regards to more self actualizations — whatever that means. I’m not sure how I can describe those as events, but they are reflections, thoughts, conversations and then conclusions.

It’s scary when you are teaching yourself how to be okay again, because in theory you may forget self development or dismiss rectifying your own mistake at the cost of denigrating your heart into the depths of self doubt and shame and despondency again. It is like a thin rope you hold across your actions and judgments, whereby you wish to be wise but also to not let your body be stepped upon as it used to be. I don’t know what this thin line is to be honest… I am simply struggling with that balance.

My mind, so far, has weaned towards upholding my nascent love of self slithered with some swirls of sugar and pride. Perhaps somewhere, I am also just tired of the expansive self research it takes to fix a thing in the first place. I think I’m doing okay. I don’t know. I cannot be too sure, and it does not feel comfortable to let myself feel secure with the idea that I’ve reached self actualization… conversation is ongoing and I wish to continue to reflect until I am satisfied with my own autonomy.

Ah, yes. I wish I had a lot of that… I reckon I will achieve it quite soon with the mercy and grace of Allah.

Not sure why I used reckon back there… I’m not British, just in case you were wondering.

But mistakes are real anyways, and I suppose me engrossing myself in the understanding that I may continue to dabble in the mud of wrong only to climb out in tears that I wish to repent is a good sign, one that perhaps signifies a heart that wishes to elevate — out of this planet and into the skies that I see waving at me with way too much serenity. I glare at the skies too often these days, most of them wishing I was up with the stars hanging out amongst the clouds, carefree and light. But to all is a wisely decided and undoubtedly written end. Timely and precise. I shall go up when I shall.

For now, I think I’ll be okay.

Tired of Patience

Poetry

I suppose it is not as beautiful anymore

When a worship as noble in stillness as it is in movement extends its wings

She is leaving me, but softly

So gently I might have not noticed she was here in the first place…

Behind her she has left blocks of lead

Heavy, dark, fatigued

There is stillness that remains

But it is a choking kind;

It wraps around the waist and neck weighing them onto the ground

Pebbles, the blocks crumble into

And my heart does not know a patience it thought it had

But they told me it is liberating, enthralling, nascent in a hope once found before

I can’t find it anywhere and my face is wet

Uncertainly of confounded tears and sweat

I am not waiting anymore I do not know how

I am tired

I am so tired

How does she return? How might she find you once more?

To remove the crumbles she left behind and pat me on the shoulder

With a smile,

“Your miracle is on its way,” she would say

“What’s a minute of waiting?”

Point

Poetry

And at some point

You do not know what to say…

When the breaks inside scream for a hope

And all you can do is sway

Left and right my head spins

As I think and re-think all over again

Decisions decisions decisions

Perhaps conviction or some sort of consolation

Perhaps a conversation — someone I trust

But they seem to have walked far off,

And I am not certain should they return

My hands in the sky, during a month of handy sky

Come back! I may plead

Then patience is my only reach

Even such a word is a feat

To wait is to not know

Should I move or stop, when can I hasten, when should I take it slow

Will it come like a miracle? Or will my eyes be shutting down?!

Will I be well deserving

Almost as if my head is topped with a crown

I fear those longer stretches; my human tendency is to forget

Yes, with it pain dissipates — but so might the thirst and beauty

Of the onset

You know, the one that had me breathing really hard

Praying for a long life of steadfast

Then as the ticking gets slower…my back breaks

And I wish for the end quite fast

And then at some point

I do not know what to say

When those little bubbles find solace in a moving picture — fiction I try to explain!

Fiction, my love…

But what can they do? They are wounded

And they see love and generosity,

Hope and grandeur — as if it had never existed before

They tell me they know it exists — love — just not for them,

It will not be a part of our story

So at that point

What the hell do you say?

When you are hopeful and hopeless all at once…

I suppose I simply let my head and fingers sway

It’ll be okay, you’ll be okay, I’ll be okay

I think, I know, I don’t, I don’t know

Patient Blessings

Journal, Writing

There isn’t a particular reason I’ve decided to gobble together seemingly varied topics into one post — but I’ve been making a lot of reflections recently. Perhaps, and as a start to the post, I may find it appropriate to mention my possible discombobulation with words. I’m usually more organized than this. Anyways…

 

In the past it’s seemed that sharing a lot of my thoughts was a bad thing — perhaps burdensome or simply uninteresting. I, of course, never believed so, but I usually relegated to sharing my own thoughts with my journal, shutting that page, then maybe revisiting it for more reflections. But let me tell you, there is such a fantastic comfort, validation and empowering form of support that comes from sharing how you feel with those whom you know love you and appreciate you. I recently learned that it was okay to believe there were those out there who truly loved me. Truly cared for me and for my well-being. I also learned it was okay that there also existed those who only pretended to love me, or never knew how to love. It wasn’t as crushing a reality as the fear of it all seemed — that if the closest ones to you were one day the same people who didn’t want you, that I’d be wrecked for a long time. I wasn’t — I’m not. But man, was it a fantastical experience that brought not only elements of retrospect (duh) but also of immense appreciation for any who allowed me a space of trustworthy comfort…

“Hey, you can tell me anything” they said. And they were being honest.

“You can ask me anything” and they would candidly respond.

“You are my family” and we weren’t blood, not even close. Not tied by anything formal or official. Just the love and appreciation of who we were as people — good people, wanting good things, I suppose. Just the respect that you can be titled a pretty damn valuable person, and we — our circle of friends — are here to remind you and each other of that.

It’s a different dynamic, because we are not together twenty-four seven. In some respects, we needn’t know all faults of one another, or ever see them, and I think that’s the point. To love someone doesn’t have to mean to appreciate and adore their entire existence — I don’t think I have the energy to do that with even myself at all times — perhaps it just means that we will remain helping hands to one another, as we continue with our lives, up until we are not here anymore, up until we cease.

As I enter my third trimester of pregnancy, I’m experiencing levels of physical and mental breadths I didn’t prepare my mind for. The days I thought I felt death right above me, and the ones where I swear I could feel His presence embracing me. But as I make decisions to be patient, and as I discuss with my good good community, I am recognizing new appreciations about my mind, my body and my life. As we rest inside a lovely holy month I wish to brood amongst the winds of Allah’s words, detach and come back —

Detach and come back…

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotional regulation that I can quite safely appreciate and enjoy as I remember tiny tiny events. Sometimes bad memories resurface too — memories of when I was with him and how awful he was, but I am gently trying to push them aside; I suppose yanking them would have them bouncing back into my face. Day by day I don’t suppose I’ll remember but the safe and soothed. Day by day, I am assured of Allah’s watching eye — I know I shall be redressed, and all pain will wilt away as the seasons of the year gently brush by the dead winter leaves to make room for the spring roses.

It seems I’ve merged all topics quite fluidly, more fluidly than I had imagined. Yes, that’s a great lesson — :

Things are not always as they seem — and thank goodness for that.

Balcony Morning

Journal, Writing

I woke up at about 4:30am for my morning prayers today. Usually I fall asleep right after, but I couldn’t this morning for some reason. I twisted and turned then decided to release my mind from the shackling presupposition that I needed sleep no matter what my body’s feedback was. My body was awake, and so too would be my mind.

The kitchen was sparkly clean this morning, which is always a lovely and soothing refresher. Subdued sunshine peeked in through the closed curtains which I gently began to move to the side to let in the soft rays of calm. I tried to quietly shuffle through the mugs and kettles in the kitchen so as to not wake anyone up yet — and there was some quiet elation in those small movements. I don’t know what it is exactly about swaying so fluidly in a clean space and creating something beautiful and delicious for myself that pours so much soothed happiness into my soul. I listened to the sound of the frothed milk pour into my mug over my coffee — the crisp sound the lady fingers made as they were placed into my tiny plate and I smiled as I carried my mini breakfast into the now lit balcony. It was cool this morning; the breeze gently greeting my skin as I settled onto the small carpet laid out and crossed my legs.

Ah — warmth embraces my body as it trickles down into my stomach with every gulp. Now, it’s time to think.

The first and most immediate thought was that it was 6am and the rest of the day was at my feet. Subsequently, my stomach shrank into itself a little as I grasped the reality that I didn’t really have anything to do. It was the worst feeling ever. Seriously. I just suddenly felt like I have so much time, and nothing to accomplish.

Now, if you know me on any level, you know I breathe purpose and accomplishments and goal setting. There is always something I’m reviewing, planning on reviewing or embarking upon as a new place of study — I love the feeling of accomplishment, it is my sense of myself at times. And don’t get me wrong, this morning I had a lot of projects in motion and things at hand I could review and probably would have more reading projects to fulfill my ‘I wanna feel intellectual’ needs — but this morning I just didn’t want to. I didn’t want to do anything but I wanted to do something. Does that make sense?

Ah, whatever.

I’m writing about it now as I continue to feel residue of that emptiness, but I am hoping that it is merely a hormonal change, seasonal thing, or just ‘one of those days’ because it really isn’t true enough to hold any merit. I hope I’m not actually losing my purpose…that would suck.

How’ve you been holding up?

Conversations, Growth, Adulthood PT.2

Journal, Writing

Disclaimer: this post contains some profane language.

“The other day, something happened. My brother was calling someone who was talking about me, and that person said some things that weren’t true. Usually the way I would cope with hearing things that weren’t true about me is just cry and want to explain it to somebody almost as if I was defending myself and then having someone else validating that and then feeling better about it. And it’s fucking exhausting to do that, by the way. Just this need to feel validated constantly by someone else. Needing to hear from someone I trust ‘hey, you’re not wrong, everything’s going to be okay’. So that moment happened that other day and I was just like I can’t sit and explain to my brother and just defend myself in the way that I usually do. That’s not going to do anything anymore, there’s always going to be a certain concept about me that’s going to be engraved in people. They’re always going to believe something about who I am. It sucks but me needing to be validated by other people was just starting to make me sick like me needing to hear certain words about myself just so I could stop crying was starting to get way too exhausting. It makes me start to doubt my trust in the people that are just giving me what I want to hear and I don’t like that feeling. I don’t like feeling like I can’t trust anyone or I can’t rely on anyone, because that doesn’t really leave me another option. So you know what I did? My brother asked if I wanted to talk about it and I said, no. WOW I had never done that! I’ve always want to talk about my problems. And thats how I would get it off my chest to allegedly relieve myself. And usually that’s what would happen, I would let off the thing that’s bothering me and I move on with my life. But in that moment I realized something, that there was an engraved concept of who I was to whoever was saying those things about me. And I wanted to stop feeling like I needed to explain myself. I went to the balcony and I sat in the darkness and quite solitude of the night and spoke to myself; Fatimah you know what you’re always going to seem like you’re a useless piece of shit to person A or B. You can keep explaining yourself but if they don’t want to see how useful you are they wont. And you know what? You are useful, and it’s true remember this time and this time? And I recounted real events where I felt incredibly the opposite of whatever adjectives that were hurting me. You are valuable and you have so much worth. And I was trying to be conscious of not bringing back all good actions to just the goodness of me because that felt arrogant, stupid and pretty naive. I remember just talking to Allah, that He helped me reach these certain things that I wouldn’t have reached without Him. And that really just elevated from the shitty feeling of being called useless or worthless. And you know no one has to call you worthless for you to feel worthless, they just have to treat you that way. But what I was telling myself was so much deeper than just giving myself a pep talk. It was a ‘how can I make myself feel better?’ How can I empower myself again, without needing to explain myself to someone and have them tell me I’m good. My validation should also be valid. Over the years, my need for validation seemed to just kind of cancel out the worth of my own opinion. Sure, I’m young but I do have perspective, I have experienced shit and that shit has given me perspective and my perspective is allowed to be valuable or worth taking in. So that was really dangerous when I realized I actually haven’t allowed myself to have opinions about way too many things. And it didn’t really directly affect my everyday life, it didn’t seem dangerous that I didn’t care what color that pillow was or whatever, but it just didn’t feel correct anymore. I really needed to recognize that I had the ability to give myself my own advice because if I had a friend who was going through any of this I really think I’d be good at helping them, so why couldn’t I pull myself out of this? Someone said something bad about me and I KNOW it’s not true. I mean, I KNOW it. Why shouldn’t my opinion about that feel enough to me? It should! Yes, you are actually fine. You are valuable, you are capable of understanding these concepts, you did behave correctly here and here. And let’s say one day my opinion on the way I behaved here was wrong, well, then that’s the perfect time to ask for perspective. And I’m not saying alright let’s destroy our lives then ask for perspective, but I mean — asking for perspective, I learned, is really different from asking for validation. I think the way I would put my conscious to sleep with needing validation is I would call it me needing perspective because I’m young and I wanna make sure I’m behaving correctly but at the end of the day, it was at such a big of a cost that I was selling everything else about my own worth and value. And if I do screw up it’s not the end of the world! I think I’ll surprise myself at how much I won’t screw up. I think I’ll ask for guidance from Allah and He will help me do the right thing. And that really helped me hone in that concept a little more. Along with the idea that all that doesn’t neglect the value of people’s advice, it just means their advice finally becomes ADVICE. I can take it or leave it and I think that’s really part of me transitioning into being an adult. I think it’s a pretty thin line between just being a cocky idiot and having this ignorance or inferiority complex that, oh, she was prevented from making any choices as a kid so now she’s gone wild AND between actual wisdom, and independence. Independence that recognizes it can still struggle and that it will always need perspective and advice will be valuable to it, but it’s an independence that also understands that it’s capable of doing things by itself! It doesn’t always have to be wrong! It’s valuable and its autonomy is real. These ideas really helped me.

A really unique example of that as I started applying some of these concepts is when I started buying some stuff the other day. I’m seeing all these prices and all these designs and I felt flustered I don’t know what to get and blah blah. I remember phoning a friend and asking her hey what do you think of this certain product and she just asked me if I liked it. I told her I didn’t feel comfortable with the material. And I was just about to explain myself and say why I don’t like it or whatever and she was just like you know what, don’t buy anything you don’t want to. If it’s not comfortable for you don’t get it. And I don’t know, that was so enlightening to me. That I was allowed to feel like this wasn’t right for me. Even if the material was fine, but it was just like, I’m allowed to not feel comfortable in something and that doesn’t have to feel wrong! It sounds so stupid! But I never absorbed that concept before that the only way I was going to stop feeling guilt every time I bought something was when I bought things I wanted to get! Like I would always feel like the price was too this, or the value or quality or wear wasn’t worth the price, or whatever. So I just stopped buying stuff. And I didn’t feel like I missed out on shopping because I never cared about shopping anyways, but what was missing was TRUSTING myself. That hey, I can make a good purchase for myself. And that’s what I really needed. That idea that I don’t need to have lived for fifty eight years to know the crooks and ups and downs of economical whatever and how to save all the money and whatever. Like life is so much easier! And if I ever do make a poor choice, well that’s when I’ll learn! And I think in my head I’m just scared that I won’t learn, that I’ll be a squanderer, which can happen if one’s left to their own devises so to speak, right! But I didn’t take into perspective my actual personality that doesn’t already feel okay with squandering or hoarding. I already understand when I don’t need something, and when I want something of certain value. But my personality just needed to feel comfortable.

So basically, I’m working on making myself feel a little more comfortable.”

 

Friend: I think it’s incredible how you’re learning how to trust yourself now more than ever, especially during a time when you’re fighting for your independence.

Conversations, Growth, Adulthood

Journal, Writing

disclaimer: this post contains some profane language.

Every now and then I’m lucky enough to find a safe space to express, reflect and just spout out way too many opinions. I always feel incredibly free then, and I think that’s when truly the most interesting of reflections spill out of me. I’ve recorded some of these cool conversations on here, mostly because I wish to come back to them and perhaps smile at the growth I’ve experienced.

Man, I love retrospect.

 

Me: Thanks for appreciating so many things about me. I was just reflecting actually about how I value feeling appreciated more than anything else literally like more than any material or words or act. Like if the feeling that something little or big from me is appreciated and I honestly feel it wow it’s such a good feeling. How many times did I just say feeling?

Friend: What is life without appreciation seriously! It would be so bleak and depressing and machine like.

Me: Yeah it’s tough to try and find another source for it or like something to cancel out that need when you don’t have it. But you know what? Recently I’ve been reflecting that with all that I’ve been experiencing I’m realizing a lot of any struggle or trouble has been a result of no appreciation and that I don’t want to have this self sufficiency just to cancel out this need I have but because I want to be my own source of serenity you know?
I don’t want someone else to make me feel good. I wanna feel good about who I am and I wanna love myself and believe I’m good enough even if literally no one around me can see that. Wow, saying something like this a few months ago would have been impossible for me for real. But I’m genuinely saying that. I want to not need anyone in the physical or emotional sense without being too extreme in the sense that like I push people away or I don’t appreciate when good people actually do exist But it’s just like a, I am happy because I am Fatimah living for Allah in the way that makes me happy with Him for Him. Also the idea that my life isn’t a pattern like that I’m gonna live my entire life not being appreciated by people that are close. Like NO Allah is so incredibly merciful and way greater than these fears of mine like man I just sometimes sit by myself and feel like goodness exists but it’s not for ME. Or that good relationships that aren’t toxic exist but not for me. Like shit I just keep thinking I’ve always been in stupid relationships where I sell myself stupidly and I date them back to shit with XXX do you remember how I would belittle myself or like sell myself cheap? Feeling that my relationships carry a pattern forever is a scary thought and I’m trying as hard as I can to believe it doesn’t have to be true and that I can actually have a safe place someday. Ugh I sound like a pity party I’m not tryna be I swear. And the thought of a hereafter really helps me kind of embrace that certainty that if I don’t necessarily see that change or break the toxic patterns now then I’ll have it all in heaven and that feels happy to me and safe. And then I think of how Allah has the power and mercy to give that to me here and in the hereafter. That He’s so much greater than to not help make me happier you know??? Ugh it’s like this whole process.

Friend: See I love this but I wonder if its a realistic goal. We’re ultimately one tiny thing in a web of social interactions. And we were teenagers then! I wonder if you have ever felt like the men youve dated or chosen as partners were a means to an end

Me: I think maybe yeah, and that I couldn’t see beyond it or see the relationship as just another part of who I’m gonna keep being rather than just a goal I reached

Friend: Like you wanted to get married, and you saw your ex husband as a means to the type of marriage you wanted. Your safe place should be you!

Me: Man that’s really hard for me because it’s never been something I was used to you know? Like I was literally raised with the concept that my safety was in my environment and not from me So there’s like this incessant need inside of me to want to create that place again to feel better. And it’s not like a I push people away or don’t appreciate when good people exist, it’s more of like a I don’t wanna wait for that to be the thing that makes me feel good because I can’t depend on it or control it. But at the same time it’s like I WANT that goodness and love and appreciation from a place but I’m starting to appreciate or realize the idea that having that safety or good feels coming from me can hold a place with me too. Like I can start working on that self compassion to help me feel like I can be okay just without chasing something I can’t control that much. I don’t think that mindset is gonna make me quit wanting relationships but some days I do get this feeling that I don’t want anyone or that I just wanna be alone. Never used to get those feelings with that passion before. Or at least not of lately did I have a feeling like that.

Friend: Yea totally. Conditioning is so hard to undo. What do you think are the steps for you to work on that self compassion

Me: Well honestly without breaking it down too much, I just needed to recognize that self compassion has the ability to suffice legit. Like sure I could understand it exists and I don’t think I’ve ever “hated” myself at all at any point but I never like absorbed the concept of being fulfilled by loving myself

Friend: I get it now. I think I never thought about how expansive of a task that is. Theres so much other work and growth you have to do on the way to that goal.

Me: Well I don’t wanna think of it as a goal really. Just a journey I’m on where I’m slowly trying to shift concepts as I go on with the rest of my life you know? It doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly complex it just needs to be recognized within me as something I need to practice more of. That Fatimah you can be ok with just Fatimah. Like just knowing that that can be true is huge for me ! Just realizing that it’s possible. So when I’m bombarded with another moment that hits me and says Fatimah this space doesn’t love you I can look within myself and think ok how can Fatimah help Fatimah right now. Don’t run don’t chase just how can Fatimah be okay right now? She’s brave, loyal, intelligent … I’ve started kind of doing that just straight up talking to myself during a situation and I can’t explain how much better I feel after it. Just to tell myself that I can possess the qualities I’m looking for and that it’s real I’m not making it up like YES I’m legit loyal and legit legit I’m patient and I think of times when I’m patient and tolerant and I’m legit kind. And I calm down. I think eventually I won’t have to like sit by myself for half an hour and talk to myself, I think eventually it’ll be a part of me to have confidence that I’ll be okay. So maybe I won’t have to be so fucking affected by everyone else’s opinions or actions towards me for once.

Reflections with Pain — Time

Journal, Personal

A few months ago, I wrote about time healing all wounds. I kind of regurgitated the concept without considerably breaking it down as one does — or as I do.

I thought about what it was about time for me, that “healed” because I couldn’t bear the thought of just waiting out the metaphorical blood of agonizing flashbacks and little promises. Then a few weeks passed and details of my pain started to fade a little — I slept a little better, and began to dismiss some of those markers or triggers that would all of a sudden have me in tears as if I was back there again, experiencing it all over again.

After a few more nights, the intense emotions attached to the memories also began to fade and it hit me — time didn’t heal anything, I was just starting to forget how painful everything was. And as the details faded out of my memories, my body and conscious were finally finding ease. I was “healing” — but I was just actually forgetting.

You know, I don’t recall ever learning about the concept of forgetfulness with any positive connotation, but after that little reflection I must say — to forget is to be happy, or happier I think. Because you enter this “new day new life” phenomenon and start to feel like the sun’s going to shine tomorrow and all of those witty lyrics of encouragement. They’re only real because the pain dissipates in intensity from our memories, not because pain ever goes away.

I don’t know, maybe a few months down the line I won’t have this opinion about time and healing. Maybe there is something about experiencing hardship that rips up the tissue of life stability only to rebuild them into stronger and more guided muscles.

Anyways…

How have you been with pain these days?

Self-Pity and Healing

Personal

It isn’t a secret that time heals our emotional wounds. It isn’t a discovery or jaw opening concept at all. But as you are experiencing the pain, very fleeting knowledge of that concept ever surpasses my consciousness. It’s like I can’t or won’t believe anything for the time being, until I’ve used up all the self-pity I can get for myself.

Why must I think of all the hurt again? Replay it as if I am living in it again. And whilst in it, I did not think or behave or even feel that much pain — it is only after safety that my mind swirls back to depths I don’t want to remember. I’m okay now, shouldn’t that be enough?

Is self pity a part of healing? Or does it elongate the process?