Selfish and Non-assertive

She is the selfish and I am the non-assertive.

Lately, this person in my life has been treading on the fine line between taking care of yourself and being outright selfish and it has been hard not to call her out on it.

I am a huge advocate for self-care and I believe wholeheartedly in its importance. But I’ve recently started noticing patterns where the people in my life use self-care as an excuse to be inconsiderate of other people’s feelings and only doing what they want to do.

And I am tired.

Every time she does something which she knows isn’t approved of, she goes against her family’s wishes and does only what she wants. And I don’t think that’s too bad, because sometimes people can be wrong about certain matters and you have to trust your gut. But this is something else entirely. This is knowing that what you plan on doing disturbs the schedules of your entire household yet you still go ahead and do it because ‘it’s what I want.’

I can excuse it sometimes. But it’s been going on for far too long, years in fact, and my patience is running thin. Because every time she does that, I end up having to pick up the pieces and appease all the people she trampled on in her wake.

I see the result of her actions and more often than not, it involves somebody else being affected.

It has come to a point where I need to remove myself from her presence because I fear that I will grow to resent her. I want to disappear, so that maybe she’ll finally appreciate me and the people around her who have more patience than I do.

Maybe I’m just being too sensitive. But I don’t know how long I can tolerate this. She apologizes each time but she goes ahead and does it all over again. My therapist would say this is me not being assertive enough, but I don’t know. I just think she’s very stubborn and incorrigible.

But I’ll try to ‘gently’ knock some sense into her soon.

Fingers crossed!

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Depression, the Secret We Share

I just saw this video which I feel everyone should watch at least once in their life, especially those who have been through or still go through a darkness of sorts and know what depression is like. I think that they could connect with a lot of what is said in this video, which is how I myself felt when I watched it.

Personally, a part of me relates to what is said in the video. It doesn’t happen always, but sometimes I am grateful for the depression, anxiety and the hard times. They have taught me to seek love and happiness in the moments life offers. And they make me feel thankful for the interest I still have in the things I love. Because I remember a time where nothing made me feel content. And I hope I never get back to that time.

In light of mental health awareness week, I would like to share this video. I also hope that I reach a point where talking about my own darkness does not make me feel awkward or uncomfortable anymore.

I hope everyone does.

I hope all of you get through the difficult and unbearable times and emerge victorious, content and free from the shackles of depression and anxiety.

 

To Jake and Amy

A random fact about me is that I am absolutely head-over-heels in love with the show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Yesterday was the day I and thousands of fans of the show were waiting for: Jake and Amy’s wedding, the event of the century. (More or less)

Jake and Amy are two of the main characters in the show and I have never shipped anything as hard in my life as I have their relationship.

Shows often have episodes that have special moments compared to other episodes that seem more ordinary. Another thing I love about Brooklyn Nine-nine is that each and every episode that I’ve watched is special in one wag or another, and they’re all captivating. I can watch them again and again and never get tired for them.

So allow me to fangirl a little and pour my feels out regarding the latest episode that stole my heart and made my soul soar in so many ways.

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I was squealing so much when I saw how well perfect Rosa and Alicia (Gina Rodriguez) are for each other and how much they clicked. A++ FOR THEIR MOMENTS IN THE NEW EPISODE AND I HOPE WE GET TO SEE MORE OF THIS!

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Charles Boyle is the absolute best friend anyone could ask for and he beats all of us when it comes to shipping Peraltiago. He put together this beautiful last minute wedding and saved the day and IT WAS PERFECT!

I would also just love to add that I love Charles Boyle, how he is who he wants to be and does not believe and conform to the stereotypes set up by society especially regarding masculinity and expressing emotions. I love how much he cares and how he has very little regard for what people will think about him and his actions. And I also love how inappropriate he can be.

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Jake and Amy’s wedding vows made me go teary-eyed, I love them so much! Their relationship progressed so gradually and beautifully and this was the moment I didn’t know I needed in my life until I finally watched the episode today. They balance each other out and keep each other from spiraling and I love their relationship. It appeals to my hopeless romantic side and I wish desperately to have magical moments in my life like theirs.

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Jake Peralta makes the most perfect heart eyes, 10/10 would recommend and forever love.

I haven’t been able to fully express my love for this episode even in this post but that’s because I am still very overwhelmed by how very perfect it was.

The writers of this show are absolute geniuses and I don’t know how they come up with every episode and make each of them special and meaningful. It is one of my possibly unrealistic hopes and dreams to meet them someday and maybe even become their writing apprentice and learn from them.

The show has such a diverse cast and it explores real and complex issues regarding society and race and sexuality, and all in all, I would sell my soul for this show, it’s cast members and the amazing writers who inspire me and who I look up to.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk, and I hope you have an amazing day!

The Inside My Head Tag

I was recently nominated for the ‘Inside My Head’ tag by the amazing Abbey from an anonymous escape from life, and I am so very happy! Firstly, I am so sorry I’m late with this but please know that I’m so grateful. To anyone who hasn’t already done so, please check out Abbey’s blog. She writes so beautifully and I love her posts, they’re full of depth and are very relatable, and honestly she’s one of my favorite blogs. Thank you so much, Abbey!

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Rules:

  • Thank & tag the person that has tagged you.
  • Attach the tag photo
  • Answer the questions
  • Tag 10-20 friends.

The Questions:

  • How do I feel at the moment?
    Pretty good considering I got done with a lot of chores and activities today and that’s making me feel like a responsible adult who can do anything she sets her mind to.
  • What do I need more in my life?
    More faith in myself and my abilities, probably. Also a little bit more freedom in my family would be kind of nice too.
  • What would make me happy right now?
    A really long peaceful walk where I don’t need to be worried about being kidnapped.
  • What is going right in my life?
    I started taking new classes and they seem to be going a lot better than how I had thought they’d be.
  • What am I most grateful for? List 10 things.
    – My family, and how they don’t pressurize me into choosing the career they want, and how they allow me to make my own decisions, at least when it comes to my education.
    – My friends, they’re the family I choose.
    – The fact that my mental health has gotten so much better compared to how it was several months ago.
    – My good(-ish) health.
    – Education.
    – The Twitter and WordPress community and how they can be a much needed escape sometimes.
    – The nice rainy weather these days.
    – Growing up in KSA.
    – The fact that I have really understanding and supportive siblings, they make me feel less alone sometimes in my family.
    – The Internet and social media.
  • When did I experience joy this week?
    When my new English teacher told me I have a good vocabulary and I felt so validated!
  • List a small victory/success.
    I filled out a college application all by myself in less than 24 hours, only a few hours before the deadline!
  • What is bothering me and why?
    I want to be there for a friend of mine who feels she has no reason to live anymore and I try but I don’t know if it helps in any way. I wish I could do so much more but we only interact through social media and I feel so helpless.
  • What are my priorities at the moment?
    Trying to motivate myself to start working on the short story that’s required for me to be considered for a writers’ program.
  • What do I love about myself?
    I love how empathetic I am, it allows me to help people and connect with them on a really deep and emotional level.
  • Who means the world to me, and why?
    All of my closest friends, they keep me sane and make me extremely happy. I can sit in complete silence with them and still feel completely content.
  • If I could share one message with the world, what would it be?
    Kindness goes a long way. It can make someone’s day and it costs you absolutely nothing. So I dunno, be kind. Always. That’s what I tell myself at least.
  • What advice would I give to my younger self?
    Let people make you happy. But don’t let yourself get addicted to them. Because one day they might leave, either intentionally or unintentionally, and it’s going to hurt tremendously. And remember that it might take time, but you will be okay again.
  • What lesson did I learn this week?
    There’s only so much you can do to help people. All you can do is try your best, and if that doesn’t turn out to be enough, then please remember that it wasn’t your fault. You did all you could.
  • If I had all the time in the world, what would I do first?
    Go for an extremely long walk and find a good place to set up a picnic and have a tea party all by myself.
  •  What’s draining my energy?
    My relatives and responsibilities.
  • What does my ideal morning look like?
    Sleeping in, but still managing to wake up relatively early and going out for a walk or drinking a cup of tea while watching the sun rise.
  • What does my ideal day look like?
    Being able to go through the whole day doing only what I want and not what anyone else wants me to do.
  • What makes me come alive?
    Reading a great book. Or watching my favorite shows.
  • What/who inspire me the most?
    They don’t know it, but my siblings do.
  • Where does my pain originate?
    Trying to please everyone all the time.
  • What are my strengths?
    Writing, maybe. Reading. I love English. And helping others as well. Empathy, basically. Or so I like to believe.
  • What is something I’ve always wanted, but am too scared to get?
    Dresses, really. Some of their types are not culturally appropriate where I live so I’m always reluctant to get those for fear of being reprimanded. Also, I have no figure so I guess I’d be self-conscious.
  • What is something I would love to learn?
    Latin! Something about it just seems so magical to me.
  • Where would I want to live my ideal life?
    Any place with a subway system.
  • Where would I like to travel in the next 5 years?
    Iceland, or Paris.
  • What can I do to take better care of myself?
    Drink more water. And also learn to be more assertive.
  • What hobbies would I like to try?
    Bike riding, on a more frequent basis at least. Also swimming.
  • When have I done something that I thought I couldn’t do?
    Approached my crush despite the raging anxiety that was making me feverish.
  • At the end of my life, what do I want my legacy to be?
    It’d be nice if my tombstone could say, “Here lies Eesha, a kind soul who made a difference in people’s lives.”

My Nominees:


Congratulations to all the nominees! And please, do not feel compelled to answer all the questions but if you do decide to, be sure to tag me ’cause I’d love to read your answers. Thank you so much again Abbey!

And with that, I vanished.

~Eesha ❤

For You, Mama

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 
― Washington Irving

In light of it being Mother’s Day, this is for you, Mama:

“Words seem too insufficient to explain all that I want to say to you.

You don’t know that this blog exists. I never told you. We’ve had a complicated relationship these past few years and trust between us has been feeble at times. And there’s still a lot we need to work through. I may not have been the easiest of children to love but I hope you know that despite everything, I care for you so very much.

Everything you do, everything you’ve ever done really, has been for us. I don’t doubt that. I may not have agreed with your methods on some occasions but I know that even then, you were trying to do what you thought was best for me. You always do.

There have been times where I was resentful of you and your actions. A part of me still is, unintentionally so. But as I sit here writing this with love pouring out of my fingertips, I feel ready to let that resentment go. And I know that we can work through that and maybe even trust again. I am willing to put in the effort. Because you are so very worth it.

You have shown strength and tenacity on every occasion and you’re really someone I look up to. You have such a big heart and you’ve taught me so much: to give, to love, to share, to be selfless, and so much more. You’ve played a huge role in making me the person I am today, and I quite like the way I turned out. I owe it to you.

I know that I’ve not always made it known just how much I appreciate you. And that’s on me, I’m trying to change that now. Because you deserve to know just how amazing and loved you really are. It can never compare to the love you’ve poured into every action of yours for every single day of my life, but I will try my hardest nonetheless to show you just how thankful I am. It’s the least I could do.

I love you so very much. Even when we don’t see eye-to-eye. Even when I think some of your ideals are too backwards, or when you think mine are foolhardy and irrational. Even when you snap at me or I snap at you. Even when you unintentionally hurt me and I do the same to you. I hope you know that even when I’m angry and hurt, I still love you. It’s the kind of love you always feel lingering, and it is constantly oozing from my core.

We can be so different sometimes, but in a weird way, I think we help balance each other out. You teach me the strength in being firm while I teach you the strength in being sensitive. It’s something we’re still learning to work with but I’m happy with how things have been going so far.

I don’t know if I’ll ever show you this. But I do promise I’ll make more of an effort to show you that I truly do care for you, and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without your guidance and support.

I wish you so much happiness on this day and every single day.

Thank you for everything. That statement seems so simple and inadequate, but it holds much love and gratitude in it. I hope it reaches you somehow.”

~~~

Artwork by Katie m. Berggren

Waves of Positivity

For many nights, I evaded the mysterious, creepy guy in my dreams. He always managed to show up and somehow affixed himself into my friend circle. No one believed me when I said that there was something off with him. They all brushed away my concerns. Last night though, he finally caught me and I don’t remember being so terrified in my dreams in weeks.

He kidnapped me and explained in detail what exactly he was going to do to me. It was very graphic and makes me nauseous just trying to remember it. Thankfully, before he could actually do any of that, I was either saved or I woke up. Either way, I don’t remember any details after that. But the negative feelings after I woke up stayed with me throughout the day.

And what’s ironic is that the very same night when I was about to fall asleep, I vowed to myself to write something positive and motivational for a change. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t feeling very upbeat and chipper when I woke up.

But surprisingly for some reason, I was very determined to find something positive to write, or at least think about.

The first wave of positivity washed over me when I checked the Artidote’s story on its Snapchat channel. There, a girl had shared her story, about how she was Hindu and the guy she loved was Muslim, and how their families were against the relationship and they faced so many trials but despite everything, they were still together and very much in love. It made me feel so happy and hopeful. It was like a soothing whisper to my hopelessly romantic side, assuring me that miracles can happen and my turn too will come someday.

The second wave came as a surprise. At my neighbor’s house, there was to be an hour long lecture on religion and my aunt insisted I go with her. I’m not very religious and I really didn’t want to go, but in the end I gave in mostly just to appease her. I have no words for what I felt after that lecture. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t sad either. I seemed to suddenly be aware of my existence and the world around me. I thought about how small and fleeting life is, and I really felt determined to do some good while I was still alive and breathing. The lecture didn’t uplift my spirits, rather it gave me some clarity, and was a reminder to sort out my priorities.

Because really, we’re all going to die. When you really think about it, it reminds you that every moment is so very precious. And it reminded me that I want to do good in the few moments I have left, and to live fully and without fear. Well I’m still working on the ‘without fear’ part because I’m a very timid soul to be honest, but hey the first step is always realizing that you’re in need of work and improvement, and I’m perfectly aware of that.

All in all, it was a pretty interesting day, to say the least.

Here’s to us human beings, and may we make the most of the time we’ve been given.

~~~

Artwork by kanekiru

 

Unleash the Rants

I’ve been working on my mental health for so many months now and it all seems to be changing rapidly since a few days ago. Maybe I just haven’t come across the right obstacles to challenge myself until now.

I am angry. I am sad. I am hurt. I am confused. I am tired. I am scared.
There are things I’ve wanted to say to certain people but I didn’t want to be harsh or create any more problems. But the need to vent has grown immense now and I cannot help myself from at least sharing them here.

To her:

“Stop commenting on my body. Stop telling me I’m too skinny and that I’m basically just a skeleton and have no figure whatsoever. Stop telling me what I should wear and what I shouldn’t. Stop looking for shortcomings in me, because no one knows them better than I do and I really don’t need to be reminded of them right now. Stop thinking you’re entitled to parade into my life and change things just because you’re related to me. We may be family by blood but that’s where the line is drawn. We have such a very short time in this life and I don’t want to have to spend mine always looking over my shoulder and making sure I’m being appropriate according to what your definition of appropriate is and not mine.”

To them:

“I love you guys but sometimes I feel the need to go as far away from you as I can. I now see why my brother felt the need to get away from here and still does. I don’t know if I can spend my life here if I have to follow the rules you’ve set down. Because those rules don’t make sense to me. They’re what our religion says but maybe that’s not a valid argument for me anymore. I need us to find common ground and form our own rules and regulations. And I hope you can respect my wish to be more independent, and please know that it has nothing to do with you as individuals and has everything to do with finding my own way and searching for something. I hope you can accept that I’m not like you, that I’m not like the rest of our relatives either. I’m sorry I’ve made life difficult for you, and I’m especially sorry if you’ve ever had to wish for a different, more obedient child. I’ve tried to be that way for as long as I can remember but I don’t think I can continue doing that any longer, not if I want to improve my mental health. I’m really sorry.”

To him:

“I don’t know what more I could have done. It just kills me that I wasn’t able to do what I spent so longer trying to do: to not be afraid of you anymore. Because the thought of you still makes me feel uneasy and incomplete, and I don’t know how to change that. I just hope that whenever our paths do cross next, I’ll be able to be myself around you. And maybe we could start anew. Or maybe not. Something about you shakes me to the core and I don’t know what to do with this feeling. I just don’t want to be afraid anymore.”

To me:

“I’m proud of you.”

~~~

Artwork by Secr3tDesign

Home

I watched the new Once Upon a Time episode today and it was centered around home; how it is more a feeling that you get from being around certain people and not necessarily just a place.

““Home isn’t a place. It’s the people in it and they will always be with you.”

Considering I love everything magical, this show is a bubble of happiness in my life and I’m sad it’s going to be ending soon.

So in honor of this episode that evoked very strong emotions in me after a really long time, I’d like to share with the world a song that I love.

‘Home’ by Gabrielle Aplin.

May it evoke feelings in you as well.

The Unlikely Heroine

There once was a girl full of life and wonder, who had the wildest of imaginations and grew up to have many adventures. She took risks and was quite daring. She ended up having an ordinary yet wonderful childhood.

The first wave of change hit her when she was 12 and she got her period for the very first time. By then she knew what exactly it was, and what bodily changes were about to follow in the coming years.

She ended up waiting for a very long time. In fact, she still is.

For as she grew older, she noticed the girls around her gaining curves and developing breasts, yet there she was stick-thin and flat-chested. It didn’t bother her much. ‘My time will come’, she would think to herself. And she was in no big hurry to grow up.

She ignored the nagging doubts in her head for a long time, until one day at age 14, her sister callously said, “You don’t have to cover up, it’s not like you have anything to hide.”

The girl knew her sister didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.

Fast forward to when she turned 16. It was the winter holidays and she went to visit her childhood friends in another country. She was very excited, for she had missed them so very much. The day was going great; lots of old memories reminisced, many new stories shared, until one of her her friends said “Did you even go through puberty?” And she was so startled that the only response she could come up with was an awkward laugh.

The girl knew her friend didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.

Then came a day when she was 18 and was sorting out laundry with her aunt. Everything seemed to be going uneventfully, until her aunt pointed at a bra and said “That’s your sister’s, right? You don’t wear bras do you? It doesn’t look like you need them.” To which she only awkwardly replied with “No I don’t.”

The girl knew her aunt didn’t mean to say it in a hurtful way, but the comment scathed her nonetheless.

There once was a girl with a sensitive heart, who felt very insecure about her body. She hid her anxieties behind her constant smiles and laughter. And she was very careful with her words. Because she knew how powerful words could be, and how much they could hurt you.

There once was a girl who seemed ordinary, yet she had something secretive about her. She had learned to observe those around her and could detect even a hint of unease. She would notice every uncertain flicker of the eyes, every carefully concealed frown, every poorly hidden quiver in the voice. She would take note of everything and store the information in a corner of her mind, not because she wanted to hurt anyone, but because she just wanted to help.

There once was a girl who began to hate her body, and didn’t know why she was not like everyone else. Her body made her feel less feminine and she was always afraid of the comments she would hear. She was afraid to call herself a woman, for fear of someone once again mentioning her flat chest and making fun of her. Every time someone even glanced at her, she would get paranoid and think they were judging her and her body.

There once was a girl who thought, “Enough is enough” and picked herself up from the floor. She promised herself she would hide no longer, and with that, set out through the door.

She always felt helpless when it came to herself, so she vowed to try her hardest to help others, at the very least. She sought out all kinds of people, some of them being people who felt unsure of themselves, who were trying so hard to fit in and who were always afraid of the world.

She vowed to make sure they had someone who cared, who could see them for who they were and loved every bit of them.

She promised herself that she would always listen first and speak second, for she felt it was important that people knew that they were heard and acknowledged. She took all the shortcomings she found in people throughout her life and tried to learn from them and use them to make herself a better person.

There once was a girl who had big dreams to save the world and be a hero. She decided to wear her insecurities like an armor so that they could no longer hurt her. That doesn’t mean she was indestructible, not at all. Sometimes people would manage to cut through the armor and hurt her, and she would stumble and fall. But she would always get back up again, if not for herself, then for all the people who were counting on her.

She finally found a purpose in her life. And it made her feel worth something.

~~~

Artwork by agnes-cecile

Melancholic Days

“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes. – Hugh Prather”

Change is inevitable. Some changes seem better than others. But today, change just makes me feel melancholic and nostalgic.

When I went to the US last year to attend my brother’s college graduation, I saw him conversing with all these people who he’d been friends with for the past 4 years and it only then occurred to me that I have missed a huge chunk of his life. He may have kept in contact with me but there are so many things he didn’t learn about me in those 4 years, and vice versa.

I saw him so happy around these people who were complete strangers to me, and that was so weird and foreign to look at. He always used to come visit us in the summer and I’d be with him every day of his vacations. But it hadn’t occurred to me until then that there are things I don’t know about him, and maybe never will. And that made me feel sad. And I guess that is kind of selfish.

I mean, I’m very happy that he found people he could connect with and who got him through those years. But I also wish I was one of them.

Today, I felt something similar to what I felt back then. I went to pick my sister up at the cinema where she went to watch a movie with her friend. I watched them from afar and they both seemed so comfortable and happy around each other. He seemed to really care for my sister. And that made me so happy. But also sad.

Because I realized that she has other people now, and doesn’t spend every moment of her day with me like she once used to. And yes, she isn’t even obligated to. But it’s sad to see that she doesn’t need me like she once did.

I guess I got so used to taking care of everyone that I don’t know what to do now that I’m alone. Here I am, still not in uni and feeling quite pathetic and predictable.
I guess this is how parents must feel when their kids go off to college and it seems like they’re not needed anymore. And that makes me feel sad for my parents as well, for the time when I leave as well and they have no one to keep them company.

If I’d say any of this to my mother, she’d just make a sad face and say, “This is life.” And that’s a sad statement too. It’s true, but that doesn’t make any of this easier.

I don’t know, maybe today is just one of those blue days where I dwell on the sad and the not-so-good stuff. And for now, I just want to bask in this sadness and feel every bit of it instead of trying to distract myself from it or suppress it.

I hope that’s okay.

~~~

Photo by Toshio Kishiyama