30 lessons in 29.5 years

…learnt by yours truly. In no particular order. And 29.5 because who knows if they will be alive at 30. 

1. People will think what they want to think. You can explain your point of view until you are blue in the face and they will even nod and “hmm” and “aah” but if they have already decided what they believe, you have a snowball’s chance in hell of changing that.

2. Chai (preferably made by my Baba- God bless him) can vastly improve even the worst of my moods. Especially when consumed in bed.

3. The opposite sex only holds as much control over you as you allow them to excercise. The guy with the hero complex only thinks he can save you because you sent out damsel in distress signals. It’s not a bad thing. Just know that you are in charge of distributing the bullets responsible for your demise. Hand them out sparingly.

4. Being good is hard but will benefit you when you are 6 feet under. Hang in there.

5. A stranger is sometimes the best person to talk to.

6. Being kind is everything. Being kind will act as a light for you on a day where darkness will engulf your surroundings and it will feel like you are completely blind. 

7. The only person that will love you regardless of what a wasteman you turned out to be is your mother. God bless mine, I am her proudest disappointment.

8. Even if you do what you love, it will still sometimes feel like work because Monday.

9. I finally understand why animals are more loved than humans. Humans were born to betray whereas most animals show you undying loyalty. Except reptiles; they’re evil.

10. Love is nice but without respect and trust it may as well be a collection of overactive and worthless hormones occupying crucial space in your mind.

11. Your health is actually important and is one of those things you should never take for granted.

12. Being lonely is a thing. You are not immune to it because you like being alone. God did not equip us with the skills to survive being completely alone. Let a few people in. It’s okay. I promise.

13. Not everyone you want to be in your life will want to be there. You can chain them to you and entice them to stay for a bit but if they are not meant to be there, no force on this earth will keep them there.

14. Give, give, give. Give your time. Give your money. Give your shoulder. Give your listening ear. And when you need it, don’t begrudge yourself from taking. Just know who to take from.

15. You have to be good with money. Financial stability is not something to be taken lightly. “Money doesn’t buy you happiness,” is fluff.

16. Time doesn’t heal at all. It just teaches you to survive anyway.

17. The Casanova that listened to his mother and left you because you were “ugly” and was with you “despite” the fact that you were too dark and therefore unattractive? You may have lost him but you gained perspective. Also, he’s bald now, whereas your hair game is hella strong mashallah.

18. Life is kinder to attractive people. It won’t be you that changes that ridiculous notion so just bite your tongue and iron your bloody scarf once in a while.

19. Take the photo, Tam. So someone tells you off. Big deal. Your mother always does this and you have vast experience  in dealing with rejection thanks to various members of the opposite sex. Take the bloody photo.

20. If you treat people like celebrities, they will treat you like a fan. Don’t fangirl. No one is that great. No one.

21. Not everyone will like you. Even if you are nice to them. They will find something irritating about you and make it the foundation for eternal hate. Sod it.

22. You have a way with words but all you see is your fear of driving. You take an okay photo but all you focus on is how useless you are in the kitchen, you taught yourself TWO languages with 0 help from anyone but your social anxiety still weighs you down. Why?

23. People that offer to drive are good people, keep those around.

24. Tastes like acid in my mouth to admit this but… marriage isn’t all bad *chokes*

25. He has to speak English. But it helps his case majorly if he speaks another language as well. Like big time. Like help me Lord.

26. You won’t always like the same people. You will like people now that you could not stand last year. And you’ll dislike people now that you were besotted with just a few months ago. Accept it.

27. Decluttering is the one coping mechanism that actually works but no one reps? Get rid of everything. Don’t hoard letters from 1997, be sentimental in your heart.

28. Knowing a list of facts about someone doesn’t mean you know them. It’s the things you figure out about them without being told that counts, for the record.

29. There is such a thing as being too honest.

30. It’s okay that the most peaceful you feel right now is sitting in your car alone (with food, always) listening to soppy songs and staring at the epic view you parked in front of whilst texting someone you shouldn’t even be talking to. For now.

Do you know what hospitals remind me of?

The night my grandfather died. It never seems to matter that I have graced hospital corridors with my presence for other, more pleasent reasons, like my little sister being born for instance. Somehow, that’s still all they remind me of; death, loss and being alone.

Of course in the town where I live, there are only two hospitals so the chances of me ending up at the exact one my grandfather passed away in are highly likely and when you see the familiar corridors and the horrible waiting rooms it all hits you like a ton of bricks what happened that night.

I won’t go into that bit in detail. Six years ago a lecturer of mine told me that though my writing was impressive it was far too emotional. Six hours ago someone else told me more or less the exact same thing. Actually this time I was strongly advised against writing emotionally. I’ve taken this on board and can confirm that it’s a work in progress situation. I promise.  

Seeing as writing is therapy for me though and I am in desperate need for something to do to kill the God knows how many hours of insomnia I have ahead of me. Here goes nothing…

A year ago I completed the most naiive story anyone has ever attempted to write. In said story, I included an elderly charachter whose death I based on my grandfather’s so if you had the misfortune of reading the book you’ll know how he died.

The night he died, was the first time I experienced loss of a loved one that I knew really well. I’m not going to sit here and paint it out like we were very emotionally close. Due to his illlness and loss of ability to communicate, this was not the case. But I would say with confidence that out of all his grandkids, he probably interacted with me the most.

So, actually his death was probably the first time I truly felt the very slow transition of emotional pain into phsycial pain. Actually it was the second, the first being the night the prick I was supposed to marry decided he had a change of mind after I basically gave him everything I had to give, from promises to sacrafices. I was too polite at the time to say that he caused me that much pain. I was fucking apologetic and worried that the thought that he caused me pain would reach his radar and hurt him somehow. You know for the record, if you ever find someone that cares about you even in your absence that’s not someone you should push away, let alone screw over.

And when I say pain, it’s not just the kind you see in the movies you know. It hits you square in the chest. This cramp like sensation that paralyses you to the point where you are deprived from taking a deep breath because your chest contracts to a size that will only allow enough air in for survival but no where near enough for relief.

Having left his body in the hospital we went home. And life laughed at us as my grandad’s walking frame was the first sight to greet us as we entered his house painfully reminding us lest we forgot that he was no longer amongst us.

We all went to different rooms in the house to try and sleep though who were we kidding? No one was going to sleep that night. It was November so it was freezing. I don’t know if it was the cold or the shock but I was shaking like mad. I found myself a duvet and looked for someone to sit next to for comfort. Because though I put up this front of being a rock alone… anyway. Everyone was taken. Kind of like in school when everyone has to choose a partner and you are the odd one out. I dragged myself to the living room, laid on the sofa, in the dark with this duvet and honestly just tried to find a comfortable balance between crying and regulating my breathing.

One a.m. became two and that became three then four and five. No sleep. Just extreme fatigue. Eyes so dry it actually stung to blink. Come 8 a.m. it hit me that he had been gone for 12 hours. 

If 12 hours felt like that, how were we ever going to make it to 12 months? Going on without him didn’t seem like an option. The light at the end of the tunnel was gone. For me, I’d never seen my mother look so broken and I honestly worried for how she was going to recover and how it would affect our family.

You ever hear that saying life goes on? I hate that saying. But it’s true. Life did go on. I went from being so depressed I genuinely believed I would never eat chocolate again to very obviously realising I needed to find other ways of showing sadness and respect for Nana’s memory because giving up chocolate was a daft sacrafice to make, frankly.

I spent the next few months apologising to him whenever I went to his grave. I would say things like, “I’m sorry we moved on Nana.” Knowing fully well he could not hear me. And that if he could he would tell me off for being silly and assure me that that’s how it was supposed to happen. Actually the last thing he said to me before losing all conciousness was literally, “don’t cry Tam, I’ve done everything I have come here to do and now I shall depart this world in peace.” 

I can only hope that I am this dignified if I have the privilege of actually knowing that my life was coming to an end in a matter of days. And I now know that in the large scheme of things, all the shit I get majorly worried about can cease to mean anything in one moment of devestation that literally slaps a lot sense back into you and makes you see reason. That is all it takes. One moment to change everything you believed to be of meaning. One moment for you to realise that it meant nothing at all.

Khair. 

Ya Allah.

Weird things that bring joy to my heart

1. That smell that AC’s make when they have been on for a while. 

2. Flipping the pillow onto the cold side again and again and again…

3. The smell of stuff burning. This one makes me sound evil. I don’t actively burn stuff to smell I promise.

4. Listening to old songs that my parents used to listen to back in their day. I really think I am an old soul.

5. Words. I’m obsessed with words. How they’re strung together in the most amazing ways to form a quote that can literally transport you to another realm in a matter of seconds. Here’s something I wrote the other day that got me hella gassed; “You collected me like a magnet to adorn the fridge you call a heart.”  Don’t even try telling me that’s not deep. I’m just sorry that the prick who inspired it will never know it was about him.

6. Going abroad and sitting in your hotel room in peace and quiet. I know this defies the objective of going abroad because you’re supposed to be exploring after you paid all that money. But… I can’t help it I feel so happy.

7. Being. Driven. Around. Please. God. Yes. Let’s just say after 10 years of driving everyone (ahem, men, ahem) around I am tired. It’s time to be the passenger. I actually get high with happiness when someone else drives. Which almost never happens.

8. Watching the road and just thinking non-stop on the motorway as a passenger of course.

9. Conversations with a stranger. Preferably online when I can hide behind a security blanket.

10. Breaking in a stubborn pair of shoes until they no longer hurt. Feels like an actual accomplishment.

11. Living imaginary scenarios in my head in such great detail it’s borderline unhealthy.

12. Watching and making videos. I love vlogs. When I was 10, we had this massive video camera that the person filming had to literally carry on their shoulder to record. I used to put it on the table, sit infront of it and talk. This was in like the 90s when vlogging wasn’t a thing. So my YouTube aspirations go way back you know. Vlogs are hella dull to some but an insight into someone else’s life has always fascinated me.

13. Looking at old buildings and trying to imagine what they used to be back in the day. I can get lost in this activity for hours.

14. The taste of water from melted ice cubes and munching on ice cubes themselves.

15. Being (mildly) warm physically in an absolutely freezing cold room. Bliss.

Extracts from shit I wrote ages ago.

Before I turned le blog into a 3rd grade online journal, I used to get hella deep on here. I am very shallow now clearly. Ergo, shit I wrote from 2013 onwards. 

***

My love, Remember how much I used to love quotes? Well, the other day, I came across one that said; ‘my heart has been broken by a guy I never even dated…’ and though the world has an endless supply of deep and meaningful quotes (neither of which that one was) this one resonated with me.

***

Beauty will never be justified by how you look on the outside alone, so if you’re waiting to get validation on how beautiful you are based on height, skin-colour, ethnicity and anything else which you have no control over, you are in danger of denying your soul the nourishment it deserves.


***

However, it is not my place to alleviate your suffering when all you did was elevate mine. That said, let me assure you that I am okay. Do not undermine ‘okay’ for okay is alive, it means that I am still here and having felt what it was like to hit absolute rock bottom, I now treasure okay because it carried the light back into my existence when I needed it the most.


***

…but it also brought an element of change and compramise into my life whereby I see children and smile, but no longer dream of motherhood. I feel the happiness in a wedding and join in the celebrations, but never imagine myself as the bride. I applaud the people all around me hoping for a bright and happy future whereas I seem to have lost the ability to dream.

5 differences between my online self & my real self

1. Online Tam is someone I would genuinely be friends with. She’s funny, she’s entertaining and hella confident. Real Tam, well… none of the above. Okay maybe one of the above.

2. Online Tam will troll you hard if you deserve it. Real Tam is too nice. Borderline push over.

3. Online Tam is pretty shameless. Real tam has a few ounces left I think.

4. Online Tam is hella cynical when it comes to love. Real tam loves hard. Most unfortunately. The dimwit.

5. Online Tam is actually not private at all despite what many of you believe. Real Tam is so secretive she’s practically a spy.

I attempt to guess 8 things that people dislike about me*

Because that’s a healthy activity to do, clearly. Read: it is not, please don’t try this at home. 

1. I am very emotional. This makes people uncomfortable, I think.

2. I am slow af. I do everything at a royal like pace. You know those people that walk slow infront of you at the mall? That’s me. I have little legs, ok?

3. I over share online. I am aware of this in case you were concerned for my well being. I like to think it’s okay because I hide behind this anonymity cloak but even that’s slipping now. Stupid trusting self.

4. I am overly anxious about everything. Driving, socialising, bowling (!!) which makes me an awkward person to be around / include in events. Hence why I seldom impose myself on anyone.

5. I almost never make the 1st move i.e. I hardly message people first. I always wait to be messaged which makes me sound like the biggest prick on the planet. It’s not even cockiness. It’s legit because if I feel like I’ve disturbed anyone it plays on my mind all day. On the flipside though, if anyone messages me, even if I am busy I make time. Which is stupid. Don’t do that guys.

6. I talk too much especially if you and I are tight. Though, in 2008 I had a bout of silence where I basically said very little for months. It was ah-mazing. I try every year to replicate this experiment but I’m just a chatty ba*tard now.

7. I give people nicknames and terms of endearment without their permission. I don’t mind it done to me per se. But I feel this is something that would annoy people?

8. I swear. A lot.
*please feel free NOT to add to these or confirm or deny them. Think of man’s self esteem I beg you 😂

Marriage Good Or Bad; A Debate Between Two Bloggers


 Marriage is good but is it?

Bilal: Are you in?

Tam: Naturally you would go for that title.


Bilal: Today we have the Infamous ‘Tam’ amongst our ranks, some say she is a He and some say she is a she but we can’t really tell.


Tam: Seriously?


Bilal: First and foremost before I go for my introductions we would want our viewers to understand the nature of your existence? Since you have explicitly required us to make your identity as covert as possible.


Tam: I feel like at this stage everyone and their mother knows who I am, so we’re good. I exist and am fairly active on blog. Until I have a tantrum and leave. Only to return shortly after.


Bilal: That is understandable, I don’t need introductions anyway – I’ll just regard myself as a Reasonable Human. So about the topic do you feel nervous even though we know that you have taken on the subject quite many times?


Tam: Hold up. Introductions wise, Bilal is the guy correcting my spellings as we type this. I feel this sums you up rather nicely. As for the topic, it is all I ever talk about, apparently.


Bilal: Very well, yes the upkeep is necessary for everything to look appropriately placed – typos and blank spaces are not okay *sighs*. Yes that is exactly why we chose you for this. To start off I am not married are you?


Tam: Is this a bad time to say I have an announcement to make?


Bilal: Definitely not, however I am the one interviewing so I am kinda the boss here. You can say whatever you like.


Tam: I believe we are posting this on my territory. How does this make you boss? Please proceed.


Bilal: The interviewer is always the boss. As I was saying (politely before) about your Marriage?


Tam: I’m married to my work. Mashallah me.


Bilal: Right Right that’s informative and … (completely absurd to mention) good that you love your work. I believe by saying that, you are trying to say that you are not married to a human like species yet.


Tam: Yes, negative. Not married to human or otherwise.


Bilal: Oh that’s a good start, I am sure we are absolutely the right type of people to conduct this interview (duh). My first question for you would be; where are you situated? (so we can all judge you and your answers.)


Tam: Obviously we are the worst people for the job, neither of us are married and one of us is semi anti-marriage. But I feel this makes this topic all the more relevant (she says) what do you mean situated? Like on the Globe? England inneh.


Bilal: Hmm, Great Britain (feels fresh air).


Tam: Damp air*


Bilal: I will take your suggestion. Do all people in England get married to humans?


Tam: A woman married herself the other day. I am currently looking for a fatwa in favour of this.


Bilal: I see (ewghukjkhkhkh) … hmm that’s very optimistic of you. I think it’s time for the real question everyone has been waiting for (shall we?) Is Marriage good?


Tam: No one has been waiting for anything, everyone thinks we’re mad and wait, can I swear?


Bilal: Children will be reading this Mam, I hope you can cope with that.


Tam: No they won’t. My followers are mostly adults. Minor anyway. Marriage in my humble opinion is a shitty crappy institution that requires a solid foundation to survive in this day and age. (Stop crossing out my cuss words! Where the democracy at, though?!) I’ve always thought though if you are going to get married you might as well embark on this rocky ride with someone you know really well, i.e. not arranged marriage.


Bilal: I have the task assigned to me as a moderator so I have to do the dirty work. Yes, I would agree with it being a solid foundation and an institution. Which means that you are in favour of ‘that’ type of Marriage, understandable. Why not arranged though?


Tam: Casually wondering what you class as “that” type. Haram ting you mean? I mean look. Arranged marriages work for a lot of people. But for me I can’t fathom the thought. If you’re someone who is seen as desirable in societies’ eyes then boom, easy, the stupid Aunties zoom in on you like hawks and find you someone quick. However, if you are some kind of plain Jane minding your own business then you don’t even make the selection process and when you do, you seldom make it to the judge’s houses. A reference wasted on you, Bilal. As you don’t watch  X Factor and what not. Simply put, “that” type of marriage means people know what they are signing up for. If that makes sense. So the marriage is more likely to work in the long run. No surprises.


Bilal: Right, so basically those who don’t cut in the Aunties selection criteria would naturally be inclined towards ‘that’ type. If I am not wrong from what I understand from your side is that ‘that’ type doesn’t necessarily have to include all the ‘wrong’ things rather just someone whom you know rather than someone whom your parents know only (ahem). Do guys think like that too though?


Tam: I can’t answer that. I am not (moderating haha) a guy. Despite the vicious rumours you keep spreading about me.


Bilal: Let me rephrase that question for you, Aunties are on the hunt for females as you said but does it work in the same way for Uncles looking for potential grooms for girls they know?


Tam: Let me tell you something about the Aunties, yeah? They work overtime, they be’s looking for boys AND girls (don’t correct my grammar and let me speak gangster!) Uncles ain’t gotta do a thing. In typical lazy and useless form of the male species.


Bilal: If I am not wrong in my conclusion on this, wouldn’t it be more sensible to look good to these aunties doing overtime hours than to actually work on becoming a potentially good spouse?


Tam: I can’t speak for all females. However, I am not going to spend my time Barbie-dolling myself so some old hag with a telescope can report back to some poor unsuspecting guy and his family on which route I take to work and what colour socks I wear.


Bilal: That is true, but by the looks of it, that does seem like a good way to just crash into marriage while not risking falling into FOMO. Do aunties get paid for this detective work or do they assume this designation in return of a reward in heaven?


Tam: The heaven thing *rolls eyes* We digress though. From a girl’s perspective, to sum up, marriage is shitty but you have to do it. And if you reach a certain age having not done it, then the reasons are probably because you reached a certain age, because people don’t know you exist and because you have full on given up on the institution and instead spend time on something worthwhile. Why don’t guys get married given that the whole ordeal is 10 times easier for them?


Bilal: There are reasons I am sure, some which I am aware of include Financial Instability – ‘That’ is Trash and Girls need ‘yeah that’. Its one of the foremost reasons guys do not go for it because they have to take responsibility of a female’s entirety for the rest of their lives. They have to work in order to make sure that a female who has always dreamt of living a life of princess (thanks to disney movies) is going to finally think that her dreams will be fulfilled. Every newly married guy tries to deliver his wife that but realises soon enough that it is just not humanly possible for him and that’s when marriage is just a job *drops mic*.


Tam: *picks up mic, yells at him to come back* No girl wants to live like a princess Bilal, this isn’t the 90s bruh. Get with the times. But yeah the whole materialistic thing I get. Sometime’s it’s not girls it’s families mainly wanting this and that for whatever reason. Still, it’s crucial for guys to get married more than girls. And when their time comes, finances aside, it’s still easier.


Bilal: Finances are the most difficult part I think so yes it can’t be put aside at all, NOT AT ALL (not yelling just emphasising).


Tam: Duly noted. Are finances the reason guys your age hold back from marriage thus far?


Bilal: Yes mostly, there’s so much stress on guys my age in my community because they have to work so much in order to fulfill the requirements of the Girl’s family and also the insane amount they need to have to pull the wedding with all its absurd amount of useless stuff.


Tam: Does it feel nice though to know that when you are done saving up and getting over the fact that you have to give more than a Kit Kat and 3 dates for Mahr *rolls eyes* society will still let you marry their daughters regardless of how ancient you have become?


Bilal: Society does accept guys over the age of 30 even for their daughters graduating at like 22 so yes they accept it, if they didn’t then it would be stupid because saving up takes up time naturally.


Tam: As a guy, what do you think of age discrimination in the Asian culture when it comes to marriage specifically aimed at females?


Bilal: I am not in favour of it to be honest. Age is just a number, I wholly believe.


Tam: And that is just a phrase people say for decoration nowadays.


Bilal: At least I know about the things I say so yes. Do you think all of these requirements become irrelevant in ‘that’ type of marriage?


Tam: (By “that” he means love marriages btw) Absolutely. I feel like when people meet each other at uni / work etc. they have a chance to get to know each other quite well. Like the real version not the front you put up indirectly in an arranged marriage situation. If you’ve always wanted to marry someone say, under 25, and you meet someone who is 30 but they tick every other box you would be willing to let that go because you have gotten to know them. Whereas in an arranged marriage you would see 30 and think well why not look else where, without realising that you and that person have a lot of potential to make a marriage work.


Bilal: Hmm, yeah that makes good sense, however don’t you think even in those settings Parents, aunties and what not will still be part of the decision making, and can potentially force stop any such marriage – wouldn’t that break up part be really painful to bear?


Tam: I mean yes, the more emotionally attached you get to a person the harder it is to let them go which is why I guess the Deen and culture advocates arranged marriages as emotions are not at risk. If young people meet and like each other and decide to get married and have the decency to involve parents though, then parents should also have the decency to play along. For the record this is all my personal opinion not backed up but any fatwa. I’m not saying anyone should do this or follow my suggestions.


Bilal: Yes that is understandable. If I have to conclude, I would say that Marriage is a necessity for the population of the world to keep growing and the circle of life to keep running but we should go for arranged marriages no matter how absurd it might sound sometimes but at the same time if there is someone who we don’t like but our parents do then it is our right to say no. Forced marriages are absolutely wrong and haram. Anyway Thank you for your time Miss T Z. I hope we get another chance to discuss something as important as this topic.


Tam: I just hope we don’t get hate mail from everyone for dabbling in a topic that doesn’t directly involve us. Happy to have thee on my end of blogsphere. You practically live in the comments section I should charge you rent.


Bilal: *ignores rent part* I hope the readers would understand our intentions in a positive manner while discussing the issues.

Stay blessed.


Tam: He is so ambitious using “readers” (plural) but it’s good to be hopeful. Also, haram Police if you are lurking, kindly go away. God bless.