In my mother’s garden

My mother has built a soothing getaway within the perimeters of our residence: a humbleyet so heavenlygarden. The glass front door of the house always teases us into taking a stroll outside, as dusty palm trees sway to seasonal winds; so we wear our sandals and head out, never tired of that view.

In my mother’s garden, there’s a vast yard covered in patches of evergreen grass. Our stray catsthat we’ve fosteredfind their way to the frostiest spot and nap the day away. They only awake upon the sight of my little brother, who feeds them every evening. (Funny story: when they see him opening the gate door, they run to him knowing he’s paying the delivery guy in exchange for their canned food.)

 

Adorning the walls of my house are assorted plants and trees, planted purposefully to conceal every inch of the yard from its white. The desert rose plant twirls over toward the light purple basil, which has invited everyone to its aromatic presence: the bees, the cats, and the curious humans.

My favorite tree is the Sapota, which has been a beautiful feature of the house for more than 25 years. It stands two stories tall, covering up my bedroom and bathroom windows, and I’m always comforted by its shade. They say the oval, brown fruit it produces every summer, the chikoo, is quite tasteful. I never mustered the courage to try it, though.

 

We have fountains that are so calming to the ear, adding more beauteous elements to the silence. Our recently-acquired gazebo is my favorite place to lounge in; when the days are nippy, I would grab a notepad and write until I heard Maghreb prayer call, which was cue for me to go inside. (I still head out after I pray at times, regardless of the humidity).

If I’m ever caught laughing in the garden, it’s either because a pink paper-like flower falling from the Bougainvillea managed to scare me (it’s happened too often, yet still alarms me), or because the sprinklers were about to go off on me while I was sitting on the grass.

 

Summer peaking in its 40-degree weather never stopped us from enjoying the evenings there; ironically, we even take our sizzling hot tea outside. I love how busy this place has kept me, with the tiny chores my mother would give me of either watering the reedy Poinciana or fixing the placement of the chairs.

She’s given us a park within our convenience, where we get to witness the seasons change, taking point of what bloomed and what has wilted in the heat. She’s given a blissful escapade to walk around in when we need the consoling embrace of trees. She’s given us a hidden garden to bury ourselves in when the days are too treacherous to withstand.

 

In my mother’s garden, I chase the clouds in my heart-patterned pajamas. In my mother’s garden, I question my ability to recreate such a hideaway in my future house. In my mother’s garden, I am at peace.

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Rock bottom

I find it pretty intriguing how I constantly reach the already-learned conclusion of: you’re alone in this world. And I’m left to ponder: that’s what I get for being distant and pushing everyone away?

 

And my concern with being alone is that I do not mind the solitude; I never need people anyway. It just shatters my heart into pieces knowing that I am not worthy of anyone’s care. It’s always just me and God.

 

Not a day passes where I am in a good place in life. If I don’t get a bumpy start to my morning, then it’s definitely awaiting me at night. I keep holding it all in, keeping matters away from even my siblings. I’m constantly keeping a strong front, and absorbing even the snarky comments that’s meant to either hurt me or my family. And I keep them away from my mother because that’s the last thing she wants to hear: people not minding their own business.

 

And I stand there, in my blush dress and kitten heels, with a smile wider than my scope of comfort, and I do not feel a dash of guilt for “faking it.” If they wish to see me down, why give them that pleasure?

 

However, I was hysterically crying last night, and I never hysterically cry unless I’ve reached rock bottom. I was mid-journaling, trying to escape my reality, but the tears flowed regardless. And I gulped because the gush of unstoppable tears reminded me of my teenage days, and God knows I do not want a flashback to those days. I cried so much that my earphones and t-shirt got dampened. My lips started shaking uncontrollably, my nose got severly red, and my eyes puffed.

 

I am there comforting everyone, saying “it’s no big deal,” and “it’s not the end of the world,” and when I head upstairs after faking my strength, I am a wreck.

 

But I got up eventually, dusted myself off and took a deep breath. I did ask God to make me cry anyway because I’d rather cry than feel compressed in the chest.

 

My life is just a series of injustice, unsolved problems, and insults. I am constantly made to feel that I am less than anyone, unworthy, not pretty, distant, unsocial…etc. But those things are matters that never make me cry; I WISH I CRIED FOR SUCH STUPID THINGS.

 

All I’m trying to convey here is that rock bottom is such a messy place to be in, yet I am always here at least once a month.

 

My world collides and I can’t even get a hug or a pat on the shoulder to get me through. It’s just me and those four white walls, but I am somehow comforted by the thought that at least God sees this. You were never there for me since day one, but God was always there.

 

I am at least comforted by the thought that God has ALWAYS gotten me out of the messiest places, so this will end sooner than I think, and it will all be forgotten. To my future self, if you are reading this a few months later, please remember that you’ve made it out of this alive. You’re the strongest woman I know.

Post-midnight blabber

So I opened a brand new word document at 1:38 AM with no topic in mind. It’s become a habit to produce seven blog posts dispersed between two blogs. Should I maybe vent about how unsatisfied I am with my writing lately?

 

Here’s the gist of it: 99% of the time, I just write so quickly because of my month goal. Before the clock hits midnight, I try to whip something up just to get that day’s timestamp under the post before a new day begins.

 

Should I maybe talk about how 2017 tricked me into thinking it would be a good chapter after the messiest year of my life, 2016? Or the fact that I am still running away from people and their interrogations?

 

If I say I am in a messy place in my life right now, I would sound so ungrateful and slightly exaggerating. I mean, compared to others, life would always feel “less” exciting, “less” fun, and “less” eventful…etc. So am I really in a confused phase? I don’t think so.

 

My life unintentionally fuels on uncertainty, and I envy those who know exactly what and where and how they want to do things because to them, people like me are just wasting their time when in reality, we are emotionally, psychologically, mentally, and physically disoriented.

 

In my own bubble, everything is understood and labeled according to my strong belief in fate and my sharp observation. I can feel it in my heart every time something goes wrong or I am averted from a path I urgently wanted to pursue because God is telling me:

No, I have something better in store.

 

And days attest to that theory because I always end up in a much better situation making me learn the ultimate goal of patience and God’s timing and reasoning. He knows; I don’t.

 

But I can’t vocally express that to people without sounding like I am hiding behind an excuse; I genuinely take all the signs even with the smallest things, and I easily drop the matter, no questions asked because I know that it’s not meant for me.

 

So if I were to summarize what I came here for, it’s this:

  1. I am not a fan of my writing style this year
  2. 2017 is playing mind games with my heart
  3. I can say that I am the good type of “confused” the kind that makes me ponder more
  4. I trust God’s plans for me

I don’t want Ramadan to end

Ramadan started this year on a bad note, and being that I judge a month from its first impression, I kind of thought the rough start gauged the tone of the upcoming days. Started bad? It’s going to remain bad. I was wrong, thankfully.

 

I tend to forget how effective those thirty days are on my yearning soul. I had only wished for the days to become placid again. I do not fuel on drama; I burn out and cry behind closed doors.

 

Being in the company of family on a daily basis has kept my heart full, and sometimes yearning for more. We’re only 12 days in the month and I am already acting nostalgic. Trust me, in a blink of an eye, Eid will come and this would all be history.

 

I always forget that holding back from certain practices or holding merely my tongue can bring me such good fortune. I feel blessed every single day in Ramadan; it’s as if God is protecting me from everything caustic. Just writing this I feel crying because I do not deserve this niceness. I am overwhelmed… the good kind of overwhelmed.

 

For thirty days, acidity is crossed out from the schedule. It’s all good habits, good company, long nights, and a liberated heart. I request God to allow me a wish during Fajr; I wake up in the morning with a wish granted. And you ask me why I don’t want this month to end?

The curse of being a writer

The curse of being a writer is that your problems are never left unwritten. You’re an open book by default, and your ups and lows find their way to your personal blog. Is it truly a curse though?

 

The best part of it is learning that your issues are relatable, and that readers were relieved to know that they’ve found someone who is dealing or have dealt with similar dilemmas. And that relief becomes the writer’s sigh of comfort as well, knowing they’re not alone in this world.

 

I’ve written about the fear of marriage at least twice now, and the replies that I have gotten have put me at ease. But why is it that one has to put their issues on blast for others to jump in and say: me too!

 

What I mean is that: I always feel uncomfortable taking the bullet, and saying my problems out loud in forms of tweets or blog posts. Does that make me an open person?

 

The truth is that my heartbeats resonate every time I hit the “publish” button, but I still do it. I am not calling myself a fearless writer; however, I have a pen; I have messages I need to reiterate; I have stories of my lows and poems of my darks.

 

A part of me will always feel exposed every time a reader approaches me in person saying they’ve read one of my posts because they always end up knowing more about me. It always feels like an unbalanced relationship where my conflicts are out in the open, while their complications are hidden.

 

Another part of me feels proud for sharing my stories willingly and courageously. So is it a curse then? You tell me.

Ah, anguish

I had hoped for anguish not to accompany me, swiftly after April’s departure, but I was just longing for the unattainable. I suppose sad days are meant to give us a bitter taste of the dark side; however, at times the bad days fade, but the sour aftertaste remains.

 

And it has always been uncertainty that watered eyes beyond its will. Where is the exit at this point? It is not one issue seeking an urgent solution; it’s an avalanche of obscurities burdening both the heart and mind.

 

And no, talking to humans is of no help at all, especially when all they carry for me is pity at this point. But I know I am strong, and my strength lies in holding back burdens and keeping my worries to bang against the walls of my room only.

 

But I’ll tell you this, self. You’ve overcome quite a lot and kept everything under wraps to not burden anyone, so you will be rewarded for it one day. And one day, this will all make sense.

You were nothing! I made you!

To whom it may concern:

Hello. How have you been? I write to you today with a concern and a plea.

 

I heard you flaunt about how much you’ve put into whatever that was. A person with a type of depression came up to you wishing for nothing but a gentle pat in the back of “I know how that feels.” I know not of the story, but I witnessed the brutality of your words. I was not siding with anyone because this is how I’m used to doing. I am never in a position to pick a side, but from a bystander point of view, I was just appalled.

 

She was a teenager, and you, supposedly in your 20s. Both women. For all I know, women are supposed to help one another not tear each other down. She came asking for help, and you did help; there’s no denying in that. She followed your steps and created a campaign to further spread positivity for those who have suffered similarly. You called her out on it. “I helped you! You’re such a shitty person,” you said.

 

I don’t know how or why but hearing that affected me too, and I have nothing to do with it. To know that there are people who will hold their favors against you one day makes my heart weak. From the beginning of time, every time I lent a piece of me to someone, I would forget those favors and move forward. I had never asked for anything in return nor have I taken a mental note to picker someone about it in the future.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you’re a horrible person for what you’ve said in a moment of anger. You should hear me when I’m mad; I’m completely uncensored. But the world would never flourish if we kept hating on each other, thinking we made them or how they were nothing before your help.

 

We are all passers-by in this life anyway, and I don’t think we should spend the rest of our lives being hateful. I’d understand if life was still a high school classroom filled with snarky mean girls, but it isn’t. We’re women of impeccable caliber ready to kick every obstacle on this earth if we held onto each other.

 

Will this get to you? Probably not. You have blocked me before I even uttered a word. But for the sake of coexisting, I really hope you give others a chance. If it were a true case of imitation, then that should flatter you.

 

You are a promoter of positivity, aren’t you? Radiate that love then.