My Skillshare Class!


Hi Everyone!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been working on my first class for Skillshare and today it’s officially live!

If you’re not familiar, Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes on everything from business to graphic design to fashion – it’s the Netflix of learning. 

My class is on note taking skills you’ll actually use, where you’ll learn tips and tricks about how to take notes effectively from the academic realm to anything else! I’m proud of what I’ve created, and I’d really appreciate if you’d help me out by watching my class

By using this special link

to sign up for a Skillshare Premium Membership, not only will you be able to enroll in my class, but you’ll also gain access to all other classes on Skillshare starting with a two-week free trial.

Not only is this an awesome deal, but your enrollment will help my class trend on Skillshare, which means that more students will be able to discover it. 

If you know of anyone else that’d be interested to learn effective note taking skills, I’d appreciate if you’d share the link with them too.

Thanks so much!


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.

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.

Addiction of the Mind [Repost]


Originally posted this article on my first blog but deleted it. I’m reposting it for its current relevance and significance. Hope you find it helpful.

This is not an easy thing. Addiction is never a topic that’s light on the tongue or smooth in the process, and part of that has to do with just how easily it can happen to all of us.

If you haven’t already watched this video, it does a fantastic job in breaking down all the recent research compiled on addiction as a mental condition rather than a biological dependency. My favorite line is at the end, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.”

The first thing we usually think of when we hear the word addiction is drugs. We think of street drugs as well, like cocaine or heroine. We dismiss its other applications because it would feel very uneasy for us to walk around thinking something in our current lives could be potentially a harmful compulsion. It’s obvious that any amount of cocaine, small or large, is very harmful, so it makes for staying away from it a matter of staying away from scenes with it — but that scene isn’t the span of addictive behaviors. You could get addicted to an unfortunately diverse range of things, from your work to how you dress to your meticulous diet — and what’s painful about all of these scenes is that they are most certainly not far from any of us.

Recent developments in the fields of experimental psychology and neuroscience has indicated that addicted individuals show significant impairment in cognitive function related to self-control and chosen voluntary behavior (Viens 2007). That sounds like it has been every one of us at some point in our lives. But what’s the catch? Are we all addicts?

This is the problem that researchers are facing. Some have adopted the concept of addiction as a moral condition, one that interferes with an individual’s self-perception with things like responsibility and self-efficacy, and others have called it a neuropsychiatric disorder, which takes on the stereotypical definition of addiction that most of us are aware of. What seems to underlie all attempted forms at identifying addiction however (and this isn’t my personal analysis of it) is its subjective reasoning that may change from one person to the other. Viens defines it as “an instrumentalist moral psychology that places undue weight on the normative significance of desires.” I know that sounds like gibberish, but what that all means is addiction basically doesn’t allow you to act in accordance with your culture anymore, especially when you want to act with it. It becomes a heavy block of lead that cripples your desire, determination and mental ability to act against the compulsive behaviors. To the addict, these actions seemed like a good idea at first, but as the door opened up wider and wider, the addiction became the shackle that they were trying to break out of before they started engaging in the behavior. And what remains, after their inability to perform the way they want to, is a very large gap in their moral processing. They desensitize to dogma quicker, they lose social interest and they surround themselves with people of similar behaviors to perpetuate their sequence of them.

I don’t think how people get addicted is nearly as significant as why people get addicted. Obviously an answer to a question like that involves enumerable amounts of perspectives. Not every addict is an addict for the same reason — but there seems to be a thin, common streak across many of the reported cases that really pinches at the core of everyone’s desire, problem if said desire isn’t fulfilled, and then consequential actions when a fate is in effect.

It’s easy — we all want pleasure. The various forms of pleasure aren’t important. It’s that we want it and feel that we need it that matters. Defining addictive behavior with pleasure as a lucid underlying trigger has allowed researchers to adopt definitions of slight variance that still make for addiction as the “instrumentalist moral psychology” that was mentioned earlier. Whether the extent of the compulsions proceed abhorrently with rational thought or whether a subdued moral compass can’t overpower a cessation of harmful behavior is unaffected by the act of gaining the sought after pleasure and satisfaction (Viens 2007). The body may not need whatever the addict is ingesting or engaging in, it might not even want it, but as long as there is an apparent mindful desire to continue a behavior for an ostensible pleasure gain, then the body subjugates itself to the hedonistic mind of no control. Not the other way around. And that’s really the core of this post — because the concept of addiction seems to have always been promulgated as the body’s chemical and biological need for a substance, but that’s not it at all. It’s the body’s obsequiousness to the mind’s intangible desire for some form of pleasure it wasn’t getting previously. Then after a significant amount of time passes by, motivations and reasons for addictive behavior disappears, and what remains is the behavior itself, done without control or cognitive supervision. And the point in all of this is that there is no superego to consult and reason with, because that’s literally the dissipated part of cognition that could have stopped this addiction of the mind.

And if you’re thinking that normative factors could have clearly driven the addict to their state and removing them from wherever they are would demolish these behaviors, there seems to be a misconstrued element in that conclusion. The example in the video of the war soldiers returning home and releasing themselves from their addictive behaviors seems to suggest that environment shapes addiction — but that’s not the full picture. If these soldiers hadn’t desired to return home with their families, a completely different story would be the case. The fact is that the addicts got what they wanted when they flew back home. And these desires could have differed from soldier to soldier, but receiving the pleasure gain cancelled out the desire to perpetuate in harmful behavior, which takes us back to why addicts get addicted in the first place.

Obviously there won’t be a crystal clear answer that could recast all forms of addictions across all addicts, but the point is that sometimes we neglect the notion that we could drive someone into harmful compulsive behavior all because we didn’t feel like paying more attention or because we were too busy with this other thing.

A close relative of mine has recently entered treatment for addiction and it was crazy for me to think that my family and I could have played an inexplicably salient role in preventing it. Her desired pleasure was love and care — she didn’t receive it and it hurt her, but that one pill made her forget about that pain so she took more and more and more. She wouldn’t speak of it, or show symptoms of it, and for ten years she carried herself with one hand full of pills and another emptied of love.

What an easy thing we could have prevented with an, “I love you” every night. What an effortless thing we could have avoided with a more attentive ear and a smile every now and then. We take people for granted. We forget about people’s roles in our lives. And we stereotype and judge those who aren’t like us. We call them weaker or more corrupt or unlucky. But I don’t blame the addict. They only wanted what we all wanted, and they got it from another door when we could have provided it without a single glimpse of an eye. I blame us, and I blame our fake smiles and words of affirmation.

The opposite of addiction really isn’t sobriety. It really has little to do with our cells that move us. The opposite of addiction is connection, isn’t it? And it’s connection that we stupidly forget to engage in, so we allow for other forms of engagement.

Please, after you finish reading this, don’t forget to tell your mom you love her, and to tell your dad that he’s your hero, and to tell your sister that she’s the strongest woman you’ll ever know. Please pick up your cellphone and call someone you care about and remind them that you’re there for them.

It sounds far fetched, but you really don’t know how close a syringe of heroine is and how easily you can push it away with a “Hey, how are you today?”



If you’re still interested about this topic I highly recommend this article. I have cited a lot of it in this post:

Viens, A. M. (2007). Addiction, responsibility and moral psychology. The American Journal of Bioethics, 7(1), 17-19. doi:10.1080/15265160601064033

endnote: this feature photo is my own photography

Growth and its Beauty

Journal, Writing

It was a beautiful scene watching the soccer coach personally take my brother to the side and teach him how to kick.

I remembered my swimming coaches teaching me how to paddle and kick and breath. I remembered the baby steps to successful sport.

To empowerment.

To believing that I can one day.

My brother, I thought, wasn’t much but I wasn’t much either I guess.

It was beautiful watching that pat on the back from his coach like this potential he sees that I can’t yet.

Growth is gorgeous. It’s the process that’s so so pretty.

It was beautiful seeing Ismail making friends and socializing. He’s growing.

It was beautiful seeing them all holding hands like a team with that inexplicable spirit,

I remember it I used to feel it too

That electricity that only a team player feels and understands — a growing team is beautiful.

My growing brother is beautiful

Mini-Garden Thoughts


It is part of my reflections that, we, as humans part of this society, only rarely ever feel autonomous.

Without needing to immerse into subjects too political, it has become apparent to me how little of my life I have chosen for myself. When I enter grocery shops or apothecaries or even boutiques, I am but obliged to ‘enjoy’ something displayed. Everyone buys here, why shouldn’t I?

It is no secret, the contrived needs of our environments, but what does spark question marks, leaves me flabbergasted, and oddly at awe, is our nonchalance about dealing with these desires made for us. What is defined today might not be true tomorrow, but for the time being we should take truth to today until tomorrow comes. Flowing with the go. Going with the flow. I feel like I’m throwing phrases out to start a band.

From what I have seemed to experience, I see this dichotomy of parties — they’re either all in or all out. You’re either flowing with your people or you’re driving away. I can’t seem to put my finger on a “correct” way of life here, but living a way that makes me happy sounds like a good start.

I teach at a private school, where most families have enough money to travel out of the country two three times a year. These kids have been exposed to diversities and identities. The world is their oyster, as they say! But it boggles me, how identity-less they all seem to be.

At the beginning of the year we were breaking ice with some of our students, asking them if they had a pet or cared for a plant — no one had a thing. And if they owned a dog, it was the housekeeper who took the animal out for walks and jogs. They were completely disconnected from personal identification and instead submerged into the waters of pop culture. Who’s got the latest ear pods? Did you see those amazing shoes? What’s going on with that last episode on Netflix?!

All the same conversations and all the same stores and all the same holiday destinations. Everyone’s at the beach for summer, winter, spring and fall. Everyone’s on instagram, everyone’s sharing everything on Facebook.

It’s a disaster. Not because they are engaged in these activities, but because it seems they cannot see any other ones. It is almost as though no other option exists except for doing these things.

If anyone finds out I don’t really connect on social media they make an alien out of me. They cannot believe my “defiance” to the virtual nature.

Now, I feel that from what I’ve expressed, that I am that defier from current reality — I’m really not. But I am baffled at how much and how often these matters flow unheeded.

Anyways, I do not write just to emit negativity — I am finding graded improvements that have slowly helped me autonomize on my own life goals and desires. That I live a life I choose at the same pace my environment is moving is more significant to me than completely abandoning all I know for grains of sand I cannot survive in.

Pop culture isn’t bad to me, it is just too impactful on my identity that I would like to create myself. And so my family and I began our own mini-garden in our balcony. We brew our herbs, use them on savory dishes, sometimes use them medicinally, and self-suffice that luxury in our lives from a few plants instead of from a store. It’s little, but it’s beautiful. It really is.

Now I know, they’re just a few green things sitting in pots in a balcony, but deep down, they are seeds to an identity shaping itself to adaptation and self satisfaction, so that it does everything everyone else does, just a little less.

Here’s a few glances at what we’ve been able to get so far. So therapeutic. So beautiful.

I Teach At a School, I Learned:

Journal, Writing

Revelation of teaching and تربية:

that those who are younger even if they are in bigger bodies are still immature little kids.

They’re just kids.

They say hurtful things they can’t understand the consequences of their actions

They don’t understand except what they want.

They must learn with الرفق واللين whilst still be disciplined and shown the consequences to their behaviors.

It is not an easy job,

not even close.

Featured photo is my own photography