Things that perhaps I have no right to be annoyed about but I am anyway

1. Hot weatherDear God, if I be super good, can I keep Autumn for longer this year, please?

2. Ridiculously good looking couples – mashallah ya’ll, for real, but get back inside the magazine cover and stop making the rest of man kind feel average.

3. Crowds – Panic attack pending. Yes, I am that wimp with anxiety. I am not sorry.

4. Positive people – it’s blessed ya’ll positive people hate me too #balance_restored

5. People who take the gum out of their mouth and put it on the side of their plate before proceeding to eat – why?

6. When my cat refuses to show me love – you are all I have in the world you little bastard, love me!

7. The sound of the land-line ringing – how do you still exist, my G?

8. The fear of being alone at night intensifying the older I get – I have no right to be annoyed by this because I have repped being alone for 29 years, but now it scares me. Good thing I have no immediate plans of living alone or anything . . .

9. That not enough people have picked up on why it’s called “falling” in love – because it really is like falling and no one likes to fall because it hurts, it’s humiliating and leaves you feeljng paranoid and vulnerable. Mind blown.

10. When people don’t reply to a message you sent, then come back the next day and lead with; hey, what you up to? Thus leaving the last message you sent just hanging in the air like you never typed it – well, ignoramous, nothing is up, other than you being ignorant.

Men and the Hijab

No, I’m not going to talk about men’s hijab and how they should lower their gaze because a) I try not to be captain obvious, men should know this anyway and b) I need to find me a fella, so if all the mandem be’s looking at the floor then… what? I can’t say that? Aight. Moving on.

I struggle, I honestly do, to understand why some men feel like they need to have their say on the hijab. In my humble opinion, unless they are a scholar, or training to become someone who is dedicating their life to studying the deen for the greater good of the ummah, and they are asked for a fatwa regarding hijab… then said men should have several seats and pipe down.

I feel like dads can have a (gentle) say in it up until the girl reaches a certain age. Brothers… I mean, I think they should stay out of it too personally, but some girls have good enough relationships with their brothers not to mind hearing their views. Husbands unfortunately get a say in it, even I have to admit, but other than that, I am not sure why everyone men feel like they have the right to pass opinions on hijabs and the wearers of it at all.

I know Islam encourages naseeha in the name of caring for one another and this is why a lot of bhai log feel they have a leg to stand on when it comes to throwing hijab sermons like confetti. This is a little phenomena I like to call; Islam said therefore I am syndrome by the way. At which point I have to refrain from asking men, “tell me one thing Islam said men should do, anything will do.”

The emphasis on naseeha in Islam bothers me sometimes because generally, I hate advice unless I specifically ask for it. But also, I honestly think if God knew how appalling some people’s approach to naseeha is these days, he would revoke that license real quick.

I wish I could tell every man who would listen that hijab is hard. But unfortunately not all men want to listen. Here I am saying it anyway.

Wearing something that competely alters your appearance is hard. It makes you a target for bigots, you get catcalled anyway, mostly by muslim men for the record. Living in the west and wearing it makes you stick out like a sore thumb. It’s horrible. There, I said it. But we do it willingly anyway. Why? For God. End of.

So then, when some pillock comes along and declares in the comments section of some young hijabi’s instagram (where he should not even be loitering like a creep, by the way) that her hijab is not technically hijab because her neck is exposed, or her fringe is out, or her ankles are showing… I start to lose the will to live.

Fam, it’s not easy for young girls okay? She wants to hang on to her deen AND be young and fashionable. Would you rather she left the deen fully and focused on the fashionable bit alone? You think you, a pathetic keyboard warrior hiding behind his screen with his three-haired beard and five Islamic books on the shelf, will make her see “sense”?

Let me break it to you, it ain’t happening. In fact, she will think what’s the point and take the hijab off altogether. Can you live with knowing you made someone hate the deen because you decided to go holier than thou on them?

I am not saying what’s right or wrong here, I am no sheikh and I am not in the business of giving out fatwas, that’s your job. I am probably the worst observer of hijab there ever was by own admission. What I am saying is; everyone is trying their best. Everyone is finding their own path with the help of God and we will all reach a point inshallah where we observe it properly in a manner that pleases God. Not you. No one needs your words of wisdom. If my Lord forgives my mistakes then who the hell are you to tell me x, y and z?

To sum up, Akhi, hijab is not unlike labour pain. And we all know the rule with that one.

No uterus? No opinion.

Brown Girl Struggles

-Getting busted with Tariq at the bus stop by some cowbag Khala. Her giving you deluded “I see you” smiles. Whilst Tariq mentally rues the day he offered to walk your Asian ass to the bus stop.

-Making up an excuse for whenever there is a work outing to the pub; “we have guests coming over/ we’re going to London that day.” Read: My Ma will murder me for stepping into the pub Khudda ke liye stop inviting me you politically correct assholes.

-Your dad sitting you down to question you on why you haven’t been praying the last few days and how we shouldn’t stop praying even if we get depressed and life gets hard. Like fam, did they teach biology at your school because this convo’s about to get bloody awkward. Mind the pun.

-Coming to the sad realisation that if he doesn’t respond to, “haal kaisa hai janaab ka?” with, “kiya khayaal hai aapka?” he is too young for your spinster ass.

-When you decide to challenge Shoaib to a healthy debate by asking him, “how would you feel if someone spoke to your sister the way you speak to me?” But it backfires on your holy ass and he stops flirting with you.

-When you clock Mustafa with his latest conquest and her hair game is hella weak compared to yours but thanks to the hijab he will never know.

-When he’s disappointed that you can’t cook given that you’re Asian. Aye, DJ Imran, I was disappointed you ain’t a heart surgeon, but what you gonna do? Life eh?

-Being forbidden to talk to boys ALL your life. Then getting berated for not maintaining Waseem’s interest when he came to propose to your socially akward ass.

-When your curfew game hella weak compared to your brother’s. Fatima, your brother is home and you are not. What will the neighbours say? Get home now!

-When your hijab rises slightly and Arshad’s pervy eyes clock your hairy back of the neck situation and raises his concerns. I mean… it keeps me warm in winter. What’s your beardless face saying when it’s cold though? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Keep walking Arshad.

-When you lack of skill in cooking, dancing, make up, fashion, tolerating spicy food are all met with; “wait, aren’t you Asian though?”

5 quotes that people dig but I don’t

It’s very grumpy of me I suppose and if you are an overly positive human you will hate this post so I suggest that you don’t read it…take it with a pinch of salt if you do.

1. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened” – If you say this to people, don’t. It’s patronising as hell. Of course I will cry because it’s over. I probably invested time in whatever it was and it was all for NOTHING. How can that thought possibly make me smile?

2. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” – Yeah, no, when life gives you lemons, throw them at people because that’s more productive and possibly even more theraputic.

3. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain” – What a load of tosh. If we’re being honest, the first thing anyone ever does when it rains is hide. Unless you’re British, you complain then hide. Also, waiting for the storm to pass teaches you patience during harsdship, surely a better lesson than getting soaked and sick?

4. “Shoot for the moon because even when you miss you will land among the stars” – I mean this is basically like me saying cross the road in heavy traffic because even if you get hit by a car, you will get time off work.

5. “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life” – You kindda will because Monday.

What quotes do your nut in people of the internet? Do tell.

Therapy time guys

I’m having the worst time abroad right now because some of the locals are being real horrid humans and I find myself in desperate need of some therapy so here goes nothing;

1. What are your thoughts on abortion? I don’t agree with it overall.

2. Do you follow politics? If not, why? Hate politics. Because negative, annoying and too complex for my simple brain.

3. How old were you when you really realized what “life isn’t fair” meant? 13.

4. Why did you do the things you regret the most? Because they made me happy at the time.

5. That one person that hurt you the most, what would you say to them if you could? How’s life?

6. When you imagine your life 10 years from now what do you see? Hopefully a happy and content me.

7. What’s your favorite color and why? Purple. It’s a pretty colour.

8. What would make school ideal for you? Not having to go.

9. What makes your favorite band your favorite band? When I liked the backstreet boys it was because of Nick Carter’s hair.

10. Could a self-less deed ever be truly self-less if you’re happy about it? All selfless deeds are essentially selfish.

11. Why did you begin dating your last ex? My last ex was a fictional character. I dated him coz he was buff.

12. What makes relationships hard for you? Keeping up.

13. What makes relationships easy for you?  Conversation & kindness.

14. Describe your perception of “love?” Being comfortable in someone’s presence I guess.

15. Which one of your senses could you not live without? Why is this question everywhere? 

16. Would you give up your other senses to keep this one? Never.

17. One of your superficial obsessions? Youtube?

18. What’s the thing you spend most your time looking at in the mirror? My blemishes?

19. Do you have a morning routine? What is it? Make it through the morning without biting someone’s head off.

20. Tell me a secret only using the first letters of each word: s p p m o b t.

21.  What are the last things you would do if you only had 24 hours alive? Visit everyone I love and pray.

22.  You’re on a desert island what are the three things you must have and one person you wouldn’t mind being there? Water, food and a camera to document it all and make some money off the footage. I’d like anyone funny with me.

23. What is your life motto and what inspired it? Live and let live. Interfering people have inspired it.

24. What is a band or artist you loved when you were little and would still listen to their music secretly today? Spice Girls?

25. What are the two things that your parents have always pushed more than anything else? Education and for us siblings to get along.

26. What are your thoughts on marriage? It’s real hard work.

27. Have you ever read a book that changed your life? If so what about it struck you so much? Don’t be Sad. Just made me realise that it could always be worse.

28. What was the most life altering dream you’ve ever had? I don’t remember my dreams long enough for them to make an impact.

29. What is one of the best ways to wake up? Naturally without an alarm or having to go to work.

30. Describe the best bed you’ve ever laid on: it was like a cloud engulfing you in a warm hug.

31. Think of five things that you look for in a significant other and rate them with percentages on how important each one is to equal 100%: 40% kindness 20% humour 10% conversation  10% understanding 10% wealth 10% general knowledge 😂

32. What makes you jealous the most? Successful people… it’s not very graceful of me.

33. Last song you heard, what was your favorite line of it? I don’t wanna live forever – “until you come back home…”

34. Think of the person you find most interesting, what would you ask them if you had the balls to? Are you happy now?

35. What about life scares you the most? How fragile it is.

36. What about a guy makes him handsome? Confidence and humour

37. What about a girl makes her beautiful? Kindness.

38. What is the most intelligent thing you’ve ever heard? If you want to know what you’re meant to do in life, keep an eye on the things you distract yourself with when you are supposed to be working.That’s what you’re meant to do.

39. What is the most intelligent thing you’ve ever said?  Whatever it was it probably wasn’t original. I probably stole it from some show.

40. Describe the last cute person you saw? A waiter who was too shy to wait on my table because of the language barrier so he brought a waiter friend along who teased him about it until he blushed.

41. Who is someone (That you’re not related to) that you’ll always love no matter what? My first real friend.

42. Describe the boy/girl you wish you could look like: Um, no one. I like looking like me for the most part. Taller and thinner would be great but…

43. Do you remember your first day of Kindergarten? If so, what was it like? There was lots of tears.

44. What is something you did that was really strange when you were little? I cried on every first day of school for 5 years.

45. What do you think people remember you by? My comedy.

46. What is a question you wish someone would ask you? Is there another level to you beyond the moody exterior?

47. What would you say to that question^^? You have no idea.

48. What would you tell someone who has practiced self mutilation? I’m sorry you are hurting…

49. When was the last time you were flirted with and what did they do? A while.

50. What kind of cancer scares you most? All of it.

51. What happens after you die? Your sould finds peace I hope.

52. What was your hardest decision in life and how was your life affected by it? Quitting university. I survived.

53. Who writes the best love songs? Who would you take to one of their concerts? Ed Sheeran. My sister.

54. Can atheists sin? Yes?

55. What makes people cheat? Emptiness.

56. Is anyone in your life truly trustworthy? No one anywhere is fully trust worthy.

57. What is a song that makes you cry and what line hits you the hardest and why? “She’s 29 and carrying the world on her shoulders.”

58. What is the hardest part of yourself to show someone else? My insecurities.

59. Did you ever tell someone everything? Do you still? If not, why? Because they showed me people are not to be trusted blindly.

60. When you’re at your craziest how do you act? Crazy…

Interview with self| Episode 102, this one’s deep ya’ll

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called? Tam…

2. What books on your shelf are begging to be read? The Good Immigrant.

3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? Anytime I am in a meeting. They’re… doodly.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Evidently I interview myself and then post it on here!

5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it? See this is interesting. Because though I don’t think I’d last long. I’d last longer than most people I know. Maybe 3-5 days? I’d just pray myself into sanity.

6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? I did actually until recently where I disposed of some I’d had since 1997. Hoarder… sentimental; you decide.

7. Who is the biggest pack rat you know? *Googles meaning of pack rat* omg lol! Me clearly. See cards since 1997 comment above.

8. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost? I like to blend into the background and be unnoticed. Mainly because I hate being in party clothes. I’m never comfortable at parties full stop.

9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be? I value all my senses. I seldom answer this question and it is on every single tag; why?!

10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror? 0.5 – once, I’m serious.

11. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child? That I was adopted.

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? Reading / watching crappy rom coms and probably being a YouTube addict.

13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know? Me. Is that bad to say? That said, my parents are very kind. Bless them.

14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections? Seldom… I like the idea of reading a physical paper but my hands are small and they are awkward to hold. 

15. Which animals scare you most? Why? All of them. I come from a culture that is not overly exposed to animals. People had budgies when I was growing up but that’s about it. Animals are unpredictable. They move too fast and have sharp teeth. You never know when they want to eat you. I can’t deal with them honestly. I’d never hurt them obviously.

16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? A.V.O.I.D. at all costs. I am the biggest wuss / lover of a peaceful mind.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured? Erm, “you’re so funny, how are you still single?”

18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? My fear of driving in unfamiliar places and around roundabouts.

19. Are you a creature of habit? Explain. Yeah I think so. I have slept with a fan on all my life basically regardless of weather. I always eat my fries before my burger. I dislike change. It freaks me out. And yes I know change is important. Everyone and their mother keeps telling me.

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain. Nope. I am actually very low maintenance indeed. I am not the expensive dinner type but more street chai from a chai stand (germs be damned) type if that makes sense. Emotionally I am high maintenance. I will probably bleed you dry (I am otherwise quite lovely!)

21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? Umrah maybe a few years ago. There is a LOT of walking.

22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? Few friends. Because, and I have only come to this realisation recently. I don’t actually know how to maintain more than one relationship at one time. I’m very one-to-one and could never understand how other people have more than one or two friends. I am trying to change this because it’s not healthy to be so… limited.

23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? Probably the latter. I am better at bigging up others, sadly.

24. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? I recall this incident of me standing on a balcony with my uncle and noticing two strange figures (in masks or something) riding their bikes and waving at us. Until this day I don’t know if it was a dream or real and Uncle does not remember.

25. What do you think about more than anything else? How little I am accomplishing in life. I worry about my little sister’s future.

26. What’s something that amazes you? Lots of things. The moon. Different cities and cultures. How small ideas like HONY blow up and change the world. How people are still intolerant to anything that is slightly different to them.

27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why? Actually I am one of these people that likes you to tell me what I want to hear sometimes. I think we have too many people wanting to tell you the right thing and not enough humouring you for the sake of your mental well-being.

28. Where’s your favourite place to take an out-of-town guest? Rustic, vintagey cafès that I stumble across and this hilltop with a modest but breathtaking view.

29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why? Driving, paperwork, filling forms, talking to customer service people on the phone. What do you mean why? Coz all those things suck. They actually give me anxiety.

30. Do you have a catchphrase? “Do you know what I mean?” I say it once every 2.5 seconds. It drives me crazy but I can’t stop. And no one ever knows what I mean.

31. What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? I wish I was as confident as you.

32. How and where do you prefer to study? On my bed. I’ve owned like 3 to 4 desks in my lifetime and I never made any use out of them. All my essays were written sitting up in bed.

33. What position do you sleep in? On my front.

34. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why? Istanbul at the moment. I have no idea. It started with me watching Turkish soap operas. Picking up the lingo. Visiting the country. Twice.

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new? Kindness, conversation & a sense of humour.

36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you? Being eldest has meant that I am apparently always “setting a bad example.” The ratio of more responsibility to less credit is an issue. My brother’s blasé attitude to life has made me subconciously (try to) be more responsible. My sister’s Autism has made me realise that the future cannot always be secured. Especially when you have no frame of reference to work with. 

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? Anxiety and this crippling lack of confidence.

38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? Oh wow. On the one hand so many. On the other hand none because they all chose to walk out. 

39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? Leah even though I’m really not a Leah.

40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? Yeah sometimes. Because knowing hurts. That said, ignorance is what makes bigots walk around with a chip on their shoulder.

41. What do you consider unforgivable? Betrayal. Doing shit behind my back.

42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not? Yeah, because I realised no one else was going to be kind to me if I couldn’t be kind to myself.

43. How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize? It’s frustrating. But being the bigger person is always best.

44.Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? Not sure.

45. To what extent do you trust people? Explain. I am like 70% less trusting than what I used to be. I’m extreme. I either trust you fully or distrust you fully.

46. In what area of your life are you immature? Oh God. So many. Probably the being a grown up and adulting area.

47. What was the best news you ever received? Recently? So little. Maybe when I passed my degree.

48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular? Very. I prefer to suffer in silnce rather than offend someone. Which is clearly a wasted gesture as it is never reciprocated.

49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first? A long time ago now. We don’t talk anymore- no, not the song. Interestingly I dislike a lot of people now that I liked.to begin with!

50. When do you find yourself singing? In my car, alone.

It’s 1:07am

…on a school night i.e. a work night and I am wide awake, despite waking up early this morning for work and coming back home exhausted.

Why am I awake at daft o’clock? Frustration. With my self, with my life, with pretty much everything. I am so done with my work life. I have lost the love for it last year (way beyond that if we’re being completely honest) and had a long battle of whether to leave the job or not.

In the end, I decided to fight for a better position to get more money which in the end wasn’t even that much but either way I don’t feel as fulfilled as I thought I would be for resolving the finance side of things. I appreciate the extra money and I would not pick the alternative but…

I get so pissed at myself sometimes. I turn to myself in my head and say; what the hell do you want from me? I did everything. I do everything I know how to do (that simultaneously does not throw my anxiety of unfamiliar things into a tornado) in order to get out of this rut and yet here I am.

I work, I self published a book for crying out loud (it’s not doing so great btw). I wrote twentyseven chapters of a story that I thought off myself. I take photos more than ever and post them practically everywhere. 

But nothing happens nothing becomes of any of that. Don’t tell me these things take time because I have been at it for time and I am almost 30. In my culture that’s grandmaesque.

What am I going to do with my life? When is it going to be something more than this? When something changes is the monotonous answer a therapist would give me. Because that is their go to response for everything. But if you read above, you will see evidence that I have been implementing a lot of change into my life.

I know I am blessed of course I do. I probably have 90% of what 90% of the world doesn’t have -which makes me plenty privileged- and I feel guilty and conflicted for feeling all of the above. Part of me thinks just shush and get on with it. The other part of course says no; I can’t die after doing only this. I cannot be remembered as the girl who woke up went to work, was barely memorable and died.

 I don’t know why I am writing this. It is not an audition to win your emotion, presuming you read this far, for best sob story. But I am potentially facing the worst day tomorrow judging by the timetable of things I gotta do that I got emailed a few hours ago. I don’t like having work shoved onto me by people who are masters of delegation, people that bleed you dry and still deem your efforts unworthy. And I…

I’m that coldplay song right now; spider web and I’m caught in the middle.