A New Beginning

Since last December, I’ve been shut off

Granted. I haven’t posted in a while prior to that. November/December of last year messed with me on a level I cant describe. I couldn’t get past it and even now sometimes I struggle.

I sit back and look at the friendships ruined and destroyed by one single act.

I was in a stasis, I didn’t write, I couldn’t connect with people – emotionally and physically. I was going through the motions of life just faking it.

Recently I met someone who changed that. He was the first to read the 7 notes I wrote during the great debacle (nov/dec last year). I opened up again and started writing, living breathing and feeling. I stopped going through the motions of life and started living and maybe even loving again.

Then he shut me out. I admit, I went crazy. It is hard to be given hope and then have it taken away. I wrote him a letter. In my usual weird style.

“Dear [Name]

I liked you, I really really really liked you and no this isn’t some Carly Rae Jepson song, it was a simple fact.

For the first time since those 7 notes, I’ve opened up to someone beyond meaningless and inane chatter. It was an amazing experience being able to engage in conversation and banter with someone again. Especially once you stopped being stuck-up and I stopped being irked with said behaviour. 

The amazing thing was the mutual attraction that sprung up. Here you were – decent with words (you don’t need me to pander to your ego) and there was this spark we both felt. Don’t deny it. I read your messages far too often.

Then it stopped. I became something that I personally hate: Needy, clingy. 

Let me explain, since you should have seen the numerous calls, whats app’s etc.

I am emotionally driven but I also need reason. Lack of reason drives me nuts. The same kinda crazy that happens when you’re female and pms’ing or pregnant and someone calls you crazy. The hormones kick in and quite frankly, if you’re the poor sucker on the receiving end of those hormones, shame son – what would you like inscribed on your tombstone? You gave me no reason. You just shut me out.

It drove me nuts, I had no idea what to make of it. It’s like someone finally opened the door and there was light again and then just as abruptly it was shut. No light, no laughter, just a shell again.

I went through hell and back before for a boy that didn’t deserve it, ironically, he had the same name and surname as you. I wasted 2 years of my life on someone who didn’t deserve it and I can’t do that again. I cried a river back then and with your plans for desalinisation plant in place, I think I’d rather my tears be worthwhile and fuelled by happiness instead of despair.

The last whats app message to you was “Dick-sand. That is what it is”

That was me post “How to be single” movie night realizing that Fat Amy is right. I got so caught up in whatever was happening with you, I lost myself. I put myself in that same mentality that lead to my down fall in 2013/2014…

I found fault with myself instead of just accepting it and moving on – Having read your blog (all 96 posts) I wondered if it were that I was not fair enough, old enough, used too little make-up, was it the fact my eyes are brown or maybe it was the religious thing. Whereby I have none and you are a believer, maybe it was my body? You seemed to like my flat ass enough but who ever actually knows what’s going on inside a guys mind.

And now, while writing you this letter I discovered something that left me broken, but I can’t call you now can I? You won’t answer.

Thank you. For everything I guess.

I’ll pass out your cards if I see an opportunity for you.

Good luck with everything.

Mish”

 

In that moment, I knew he was perhaps just here to help me write again,and I have, but nothing I’d ever share on this blog; it’s a tad NSFW. In terms of the cards thing,he gave me a few of his business cards and if i see an opportunity for him, I’ll hand them out. (I really am way too nice)

I mourn and ache for the loss of the person I once was but I also know I can’t blame myself for the actions and behaviour of other people. It’s not my responsibility. Not anymore.

Maybe in time I’ll share my 7 notes with the blogsphere.

Maybe you’ll feel what I felt and understand.

Maybe you won’t but at the end of the day it’s mine, it’s my battle wound, my scar and I’m proud of it. I’m stronger than I was before but also a lot more fragile.

I guess I’ll just have to wait it out and see.

 

 

 

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Messed Up Standards & Mixed Emotions

I’ve begun to notice a trend among guys although it’s been happening all along, to countless other women. I’ll be having a decent conversation and then it’ll be turned into something more flirtatious. Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind that, but there are boundaries and the minute I start to “back away”, it becomes an issue.

I find I have to remind these boys that they, too, have sisters or female cousins; that they, too, might one day have daughters and I ask, “Is this how you would want a guy to treat your sister, cousin or daughter?”

I got various responses, ranging from how he can’t imagine having a sister – I told the one boy to imagine it – and how he’d never have daughters; to another boy telling me that his cousin wouldn’t be a smart-ass like me. What does that mean? How am I a smart-ass for making a valid point?

Why are the standards so skewed that if we dress or act a certain way, it automatically gives boys “rights” over how they can or cannot talk with us? Do we not deserve even a moderate amount of respect? Do some boys think that we have no dignity? They definitely try to make us feel that way, as though we are nothing… especially if we’re not putting out.

Even with the act of sex itself, it’s very hush-hush and taboo to speak about it, but it’s everywhere. My parents never gave me the birds and the bees talk; I learnt about it in school, I heard about it from friends, I saw it alluded to all over my TV or in films and books but none of those things really teach you how messed up the standards are. You’re abnormal if you don’t like it and easy if you talk about how much you like it so it’s taboo to talk about it, but you should do it with at least one person or else you’re a prude.

If you’re a guy you can talk about it and get hi-fives and congratulatory pats on the back but if you’re a girl you can’t be casual about it, you can’t actively enjoy it or even embrace your sexuality with anything over the level of enthusiasm deemed “appropriate” by the unwritten rules of society without being labelled as easy.

I found myself struggling to come to terms with my own sensuality. In a battle of needs and desire vs. respectability and responsibility, I found myself torn between two halves of my own being, saint and sinner, and it’s something we all have, to varying degrees within ourselves.

We should realize that no one else matters but ourselves, so letting someone else’s opinion demean or demoralize you is a waste of your emotions and time. There’s nothing more important, than being proud of who YOU are. If you like it, do it. If you don’t, then don’t. Don’t let yourself be pressured into something just because you’re trying to fit in, rather stand out and be proud of that than be ashamed of something you can’t undo.

Enough

Sometimes I feel like everyone, male or female goes through these stages in life where they feel like they aren’t enough. Heck, I’m there right now. The media at large doesn’t exactly help, especially when it comes to self image.

We see all these picture perfect women; absolutely gorgeous, “flawless” skin, the “right” size, the “right” look and in the meantime.. The majority of that image is photo-shopped to look perfect.

We see all these drop dead gorgeous men, built like Adonis; that supposedly are every girls dream man and to an extent it’s true.
We get force fed a public image that we then want; just so that once we get it, we can project it to the world. Like a “HEY LOOK AT ME, I MADE IT” kind of thing

I can’t date/befriend him because he’s not built enough, he’s not tall enough, he’s not smart enough, he’s not rich enough…
I can’t date/befriend her because she’s not thin enough, she’s not pretty enough, she’s not smart enough , she’s not rich enough…

Your friends and family will sometimes judge your choices like it’s going to be the death of you and yet they have no right to judge.*
Personally? I often feel like I’m not pretty enough, like I’m not smart enough, like I’m not skinny or athletic or whatever enough. I feel like less of a woman. Less of a person because of it, and I know I’m not the only one who feels like this.
Rationally I know, rationally we all know, that we are enough, we’re smart enough, witty, talented, pretty and whatever else enough.

However, these feelings of inadequacy that you deal with on a daily bases, they tend to tear you apart inside; making you doubt yourself and sometimes you literally just need to, as harsh as it may sound, step away from the self pity. You need to realize that to someone out there, you are enough. Heck you’re more than enough, you’re absolutely perfect.

The majority of the world will always find imperfections within others and acknowledge only what is wrong with you but the minority in your world will see those imperfections as part of you and focus instead on the perfection that is you, even though you are flawed.

I believe that the most beautiful things in this world, are all slightly flawed in some way or another, and that makes them absolutely perfect.

* I’m not condoning substance abuse of any sort – this strictly refers to dating or being friends with someone considered “not enough”

Lost

Thunderous echos within
Fading; A staccato rhythm to it’s beat.

A little girl; lost within the ashen chambers,
of a palace once rose red and filled with hope.

Lost

Forgiven but never forgotten,
her past transgressions torment her

Lost within the woman she is yet to become,
she curls up in a corner;
clutching a ratty blanket of memories to her form.

A mediocre form of protection.

Anything to keep warm,
Anything to keep safe,
from the bitter coldness that now torments her every waking moment,
from the demons that now plague her soul.

The bitter coldness, that causes the adolescent that she is still is;
to teeter..
on the edge of madness,
to spread her arms open in jubilation..
to welcome the darkness within

So cold.
So very cold.

Lost within the child she has now become,
the woman clings to her sanity
and her childlike innocence..

Her belief in the promise of tomorrow;
A beacon that lights her way, pulling her away from the edge.

Still,
She stumbles and falls; succumbing to the little broken girl inside of her.
Tears falling; bright red against the stark whiteness of her surroundings.

A rose red; the same colour that her now ashen palace of dreams, once was.

Islam Awareness Week 2013

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Last week week, the 30th September – 4th October, was Islam awareness week on campus whereby students not of the Islamic faith could learn more about the Islamic faith from Muslim students on campus and various speakers throughout the week. Allowing students to experience various facets of the islamic faith including listening to passages of the Qur’an (The holy book), letting students write on a board their perceptions of Islam, answering other students questions with regards to faith , experiencing islamic art and cultural aspects such as a mass prayer which was open to anyone and using mehndi (henna) as a artistic reference to the artistic side of the religion.

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It was a wonderful idea by the MSA (Muslim students association) of UCT and being a little more than conflicted I wasn’t particularly certain of my own feelings towards the event.

I admit, i was highly skeptical and somewhat wary of the entire event at first. Similar to the reaction of a wild animal experiencing kindness for the first time. I didn’t trust it, I didn’t want to learn more but i found myself drawn to a topic which seemed strange and somewhat elusive to me. It fascinated me, this topic which was integral to my fathers life, taboo to my mothers and mocked and defamed by many media outlets because of preconceived ideals and common misconceptions fed to the masses by media and reporters who spend their lives rushing to meet deadlines with what is often considered to be sensationalistic hard hitting news. So instead of taking the time to do a little proper research and present the public with facts. The public is fed bite sized portions of propaganda which makes that pill much easier to swallow and believe.

I decided to take a step back from my preconceived ideals with regards to the religion to try and understand it from the viewpoint of a non-believer attempting to understand it ; without letting any of my own history and current interaction taint my perception.

Certain aspects of this awareness week I liked:
– The clothing collection for the underprivileged.
– The talks by various outsiders on the five pillars of Islam, the role of women in islam and the misconceptions of islam.
– The tours of the prayer room and the Jumu’ah prayer which was open to everyone.

Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the talk on the misconceptions of Islam and the Jumu’ah prayer but I believe that it was set out wonderfully allowing people of other customs and religions to experience facets of Islam in ways that show what the religion is truly about. I recall the man who had given us the talk with regards to the misconceptions of Islam telling us that the Arabic root of the word Islam is derived from “slm” which encompasses not only humility and unity but peace as well. Others may not agree with me but I find that, that is my interpretation and I find that it does indeed seem that way. The speaker also mentioned the difference between religious and cultural beliefs, regardless of what people believe the two are not always interlinked therefore the cultural customs practiced in Saudi are not practiced in Somalia for example, even though people of both countries practice the Islamic faith. The cultural belief is different. The Jumu’ah prayer was enlightening as well, speaking about the duties of the child to his or her parents.

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The main aspect I disliked about the event are the signs that some of the Muslim students held signs saying “Meet a Muslim” Or “meet another muslim” To me it seemed offensive and belittling to the believers, as if they were a strange anomaly with whom the rest of society is finally coming into contact with.

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The other was somewhat funnier .. But only somewhat

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However I believe that overall Islamic awareness week has actually created an awareness not only about the religion and the various misconceptions which surround it but about the people who practice it and the manner in which they came together to make this event a success. There were no pushy “you must convert” types it was just a beautiful experience.I found myself blessed with a desire to learn more, not because i am meant to (due to my fathers religious beliefs ) but because *I* wanted to. It had nothing to do with either of my parents but rather about what I wanted to learn.

One person remarked that my soul is searching for something more; an inner calm and peace which it has not yet found and I replied that I agreed but my soul strives to learn and I see nothing wrong with learning until I settle and discover what I truly want from life.

Ignorance is bliss is how the saying goes but I believe that to go through life ignorant, is similar to going through life blind and unprepared for the many facets of life that fate may toss my way. Doing that is a sure way to live my life unfulfilled.

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My life, my religious choices.

For some reason people place so much faith in their .. well respective faiths.
I don’t have an issue with this, I think it’s perfectly acceptable. I find it to be a “cool bro, you do you” kind of thing yet the only thing that seriously gets to me is during religious occasions (Christmas) or customs that are observed (Ramadan) and it seems like people suddenly find religion all of a sudden and that gives them the right to preach about your supposed misdeeds regardless of the fact just last month that specific judging asshole was drinking himself into oblivion.

Hypocritical much?

I’ve mentioned it before and it seems like I’ll need to mention it again..

I am .. To put it mildly

Religiously screwed.

I have an overprotective muslim indian father who only wants me to date a muslim/indian boy and a coloured mother ( German /Filipino mix) who prefers white/christian males.

And honestly? I think I’m okay with being “religiously screwed” for now. I’m learning more about myself in the process and the respective religions.

However I loathe that when it comes to religious occasions (Christmas) or customs that are meant to be observed (Ramadan) the biggest sinners become the ones who decide you MUST follow tradition.

I mean I go to church sometimes and it isn’t always full … Until Christmas Day when people decide they need to get their “blessings” and decide to turn it into a fashion show in the process.

Uhm.. No the good Lord does not care that you’re wearing the the latest fashion, cover your ass up you’re in church. Also? Do you REALLY believe despite all your previous transgressions that Jesus wants you to like and share a status/photo about him … Or “you will go to hell”.

And then I saw, what could only be described as the epitome of human stupidity (with reference to religious context).
Regardless of the religious clashes between the two groups ( and let’s be honest, there are plenty of clashes between Christians and Muslims) .. There was a Facebook photo up with the caption “Like if you believe in Jesus or Comment if you believe in Islam” .. And no my dears, that’s not the worst.. The rest of the caption went as follows “Let’s see who gets the most likes/comments”

How stupid can you be to decide to which one is better based on comments or likes, and people had actually liked an commented, when chances are you barely know anything but the basics of the opposite religion. I mean people dedicate their ENTIRE LIVES to researching their own religion how do you suppose you of all your what? 21 years? Know enough about BOTH religions to adequately judge or make commentary.

So to end that social media tangent I felt the need to vent…
Keep your religion away from social media. No one but you cares or join a like minded group but don’t tell others they will go to hell for not believing, don’t say one religion is better than the other when you barely understand your own religion well enough.

Back to the hypocrites ..

Currently it is the month of Ramadan and since my name is Arabic sounding enough and I apparently look the part, I’m often asked if I fast.
Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Granted I’ve made more effort this year than in any other (but that’s for altruistic reasons if I must be honest – I’ve decided that since my father makes an effort with regards to my mothers religions beliefs/celebrations, I should make more effort for his)

What gets to me is the judgement I see in some people’s eyes if I or others don’t fast yet these same people (who are judging myself and others) are usually to be found drinking in town or Claremont on Thursday nights etc.

Personally, if I’m NOT going to be remotely religious EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. Why on earth should I do it for just one month , just to make myself feel better for MY transgressions (of my own making) so I may place myself on my pretty little religiously moral pedestal and judge those who do not conform or observe the religious customs during this holy month.

My understanding of the Islamic culture is limited, and I won’t deny it, but surely I’m not incorrect to say that technically Muslims are not allowed to consume alcohol?
So I don’t see why someone who usually consumes vast amounts of alcohol deems fit to call me out on whether or not I fast and if not, when will I begin to do so.

Point In case:

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Whether I fast or not, it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone but me and well in this case, Allah. When I die none of you will be up there with me. I will probably die alone and I’ll meet my maker (whomever he/she may be) ALONE. The fact that you seem to have this misguided subconscious belief that when you kick the bucket you’ll at least be able to say “Well .. I told Mish she must fast and so-and-so that his behaviour is wrong etc”. It honestly wont stop your god from judging YOU. Since your god is the only one who should be passing judgement**. Mankind has somehow given themselves a god complex, and in doing so man believes that he/she has the right to judge others regardless of his/her own less than exemplar behaviour.

I’m happy that you have a religion and you’re welcome to share it with me as I’m not opposed to leaning more, but don’t try and judge me because I don’t comply with your standards because chances are mine are still much higher.

To each his own and the like but when you meet your maker, Kudos to you for the GOOD DEEDS you have done for others NOT the judgements you have passed on others.

Live and let live should be a simple concept but most don’t understand it, I try and avoid religious debates/conversations/arguments etc because I’m living with a duality that isn’t the easiest thing to manage based on the preconceived notions others have of me that is solely due to my appearance and how I dress.

I AM ME AND YOU ARE YOU and I’m happy for both of us.
You’re not an indecent person and neither am I but if I decide to observe religious occasions or customs it is a personal thing between me and my god and should have nothing to do with anybody else. To reiterate that point ME AND MY GOD; not you,me and god. It’s a one on one thing between the two of us; not you me, him and the rest of the world. The fact that I’ve tried or am trying should be enough to appease and satisfy him, It has no impact on your life, so try and keep it that way.

**Yes the irony of this post and that statement does not escape my notice but the truth must out and I must vent before I end up strangling someone

Afrikaans is nie dood nie ( Afrikaans isn’t dead)

I don’t know why but I rage when people make fun of Afrikaans as a language.
Some of you act like total tools when people can’t speak or write in English “correctly” but you think I’m overreacting when you GOOGLE TRANSLATE Afrikaans? Making a mockery of a language or a group of people who speak that specific language is a form of discrimination ( because no, google translate is not an accurate way to translate languages indigenous to one country). I’d love to see you speak afrikaans.

Afrikaans is a truly proudly South African language.
I’m PROUD of the fact that I can understand it, write it and can even speak it.
(Granted,I don’t speak it often because I struggle to pronounce some words but that’s because of a speech impediment ).I then meet people who go on about Xhosa and other African languages that are indigenous to South Africa, berating people who don’t speak their “mother tongue”. Guess what? Afrikaans IS indigenous to South Africa.

Yes, it’s based on Dutch but does not that mean its exactly the same.It just means that there are similarities.It’s completely different, ever looked at American spelling of words vs the British version of the same word?
Our African languages are dying and that includes afrikaans. Unfortunately many associate Afrikaans with the language of the oppressors but guess what? Many of the northern African countries were also oppressed, and they can speak Portuguese, French , Italian etc AS WELL as their native language. Why can’t we do the same?

I’d love to relearn Xhosa even, simply because at my primary school we were afforded the opportunity to learn it. That’s 8 years (including Pre-primary) I spent learning Xhosa AND Afrikaans simultaneously. High school afforded me the opportunity to only learn 1, Afrikaans ( as anyone who had taken Xhosa as a subject instead was expected to speak it fluently by then – the class catered for the Xhosa home language speakers only ).

I love afrikaans. I grew up in South Africa, I underwent 12 years (14 if you include 2 years in pre-primary) of compulsory schooling learning the language. Much in the same manner many others have, but unlike most of them. I don’t detest the language. I embrace it.

I love it.
I find saying certain things means so much more, Afrikaans is so much more expressive, be it in terms of endearments or even cuss words

Ek is lief vir jou – I love you
(If I ever had to say those words and truly mean them, I’d say it in Afrikaans)

Natgenaaidetepeltief – Basically calling someone a slut
(There isn’t a translation for this but it is an emphatic cuss word,that is much more expressive than its English “counterpart”)

So no. I don’t believe I’m overreacting (“as usual”) because I feel like you have insulted some part of my heritage. I do not mock the languages you speak, and Hindi/Urdu etc is not easy.

I’m a BA Language student at the University of Cape Town and I’ve learnt to respect these languages. Granted I might not have done well this semester but it doesn’t mean I can’t try again next semester or even next year.

Language is a gift. It’s a means to communicate with a wider world and you blatantly disrespected that by google translating the text instead of asking someone who can speak it. Like I said before, since when has google become an expert on a language indigenous to South Africa (and wherever else SOUTH AFRICANS have immigrated)

Is that what we’ve come to? Are we so reliant on technology that WE as the next generation will allow a language and culture to die out because we don’t feel comfortable with it? And yes, Afrikaans is a CULTURE as well.

Ever been to a “sokkie” (It’s an Afrikaans social gathering with music , food, conversation and dance- to give a brief explanation )?
Ever had a braai? (A Barbecue is not the same, and never will be)
Ever had biltong? ( Jerky is not the same)

It’s all part of the traditions and culture of a SOUTH AFRICAN language.
Go have a braai in Aussie mate,
Go find something similar to the vibe at Mzoli’s in any other country,
I can guarantee you one thing .. It will NEVER be the same.

You want to live and study here? No problem but this is my home, and Afrikaans happens to be my “French ” or my “Hindi ” or whatever other language you speak in your country, besides English.

The same applies for native Xhosa speakers, or native speakers of any language other than English. How dare you mock them for their “bad” English when chances are, they probably speak English better than you could ever speak their language.

So here is my kudos to you ..

Kudos to those who get mocked for speaking/writing English incorrectly when it’s not even their first language, hell it may not even be their 2nd or 3rd or even 4th.
Kudos to those of you for trying, you’ve done a lot more than many home language English speakers have, I don’t see you breaking them down when they can’t speak your language properly.
Kudos for never giving up, don’t feel any embarrassment based on anything anyone else may say. You’re already doing better than they ever could.