Farewells and new beginnings…

I wrote my first poem when I was about 20. It was cheesy and I did not like it. So, I tore the paper and tried to write a better one. Never would I have ever guessed that writing would go on to be a major aspect of my career. Funny how little things can go on to define the larger things in life. It has been quite a journey…

Speaking of journeys, this blog has been one such journey that began in 2018. I started The Zainab Experiment as, of course an experiment. I wanted to document my random thoughts, my take on the world, and all that goes on around me. And it has been a joy to find this safe space with people who have welcome my words with open arms. I thank you all for all the love and support you have showered upon my humble little blog. Love you all!

But, now, it is time for this chapter to conclude. As I embark upon new adventures, I wish you all the very best in life! Thank you all for showering me with some much love and supporting me throughout the years! Thank you!

So until, we meet again, take care everyone! Stay healthy and safe!

Limited additions…

“It is quality rather than quantity that matters.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Wise words that I try to remember every now and then. Especially when it comes to shopping. But GOD! The real challenge is with people.

I like to think I am quite picky with people. I do enjoy talking to people. But I don’t necessarily enjoy people that much. I would say I am patient with people. Cause when you are patient, you can listen. And listening can get you good stories.

Surprisingly, I have friends. My school friends are perhaps the most special ones for me. I grew up with them and we spent years coup up in class together. These are the people that I started my life with. But not everybody from that time is important to me now. And neither am I to them. We branched off in different directions a long time ago. But some goofs, managed to stick around on each other’s call list. And I think that is enough.

So when when the lazy goof asked if I’d like to join the reunion group, I declined. I don’t want to be part of the old herd again. Not everybody needs to be reintroduced. In case I do get curious, I know whom to call.

Now I understand why some people don’t attend reunions. It is not arrogance. It is just them moving on…

(Photo Credits: Edgar Castrejon on Unsplash)

My struggle with anxiety…

Anxiety. When I sit there curled-up in one corner, unable to do anything that I had set out to do when the day began, I know the demon that I will be dealing with. Life was not like this for me before. I was never a ball of nerves back then. Wonder what happened? When it happened? All I know now is that I have to deal with this one way or the other, if I am to ever reclaim myself.

One too many times I have had people tell me that ‘I just need to relax.’ I wish it were that simple. It is frustrating to explain to others the chaos that goes on inside of you, when you yourself have a hard time making sense of it. I have had days when I had so many things to do and places to visit, and people to engage with. But I would somehow end up on my bathroom floor, pouring water over my head, trying and failing to convince myself that I can do it.

Confidence is not exactly an issue for me. There are days when I can ride a horse with a sword in hand, and then one day, suddenly, I will start overthinking and worrying about everything around me. That is the funny thing about growing up. As a kid, we are bold and unabashed about what people may think about us and our views. As adults, we just want to be liked by all. I guess, most of us have unknowingly turned into doormats. We are just so afraid of not being liked that we literally just lie flat for others to walk all over us.

While trying to deal with my anxiety, I had to do a lot of soul searching. I had to re-learn how to listen to myself without letting the noise of the outside world drown out my thoughts.

On weekends when I stayed curled up in my bed, my mind would constantly be buzzing with things to do and plans that were made and how I was not doing enough, not planning enough, or simply not being enough. And at the last thought, I would pause. Since when did I stop being ‘enough’? And with that question, I would start making my way out of the spiral.

What many do not understand is that the struggle is real. ‘Calming down’ is not that easy. It is one day at a time. ‘One wasted weekend to an amazing week ahead’ at a time. We need to start acknowledging the seriousness of the problem and not patronize people by saying ‘it is not a big deal.’ Trust me, this is a giant BIG deal. This is a life’s worth of big deal and it needs to be dealt with accordingly.

(Photo Credits:  Reneé Thompson on Unsplash)

Beginnings…

Scary as they are, ‘Beginnings’ have a life of their own. Sometimes, its hard to know whether what you are about to do is worth the effort that you plan to place into it. That anxiety before taking those first steps can be overwhelming. But then again worrying about things isn’t going help you either. So, might as well take a step forward.

Quite honestly, I still get fussy. But its okay I suppose. It makes me a human just like everyone else. Who cares what anyone else has to say? They won’t be paying any of my bills so why bother thinking about them?

Sometimes, it is better to ditch quoting inspirational stuff every now and then to make yourself feel something. Sometimes, you just have to get started and inspiration will find its way to you.

With that I leave the stress of ‘what ifs’ behind, and carry on with my ‘sometimes eccentric dreams’ and ‘make things happen’.

(Proto Credits: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

Crumbles…

Been a while since I last wrote,

Something I thought I forgot.

Engrossed in grief were those days,

When I watched a happy home waste away.

They weren’t just walls, that wasn’t just glass;

They built a home with a piece of their heart.

Amidst a crowd, now they stand;

Watching the pillars turn to sand.

They knew that the end was bound to come,

Just like the birds, they had sensed the storm.

But till then it was too late;

The ship had sunk mid-way.

I sat there on my window looking outside,

Crying over a roof that wasn’t mine.

(Photo Credits:  Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash)

Be there…

In the night when it is cold,

I want to be the hand you hold.

When the light feels too low,

I will burn flames for you to know.

In the hours that feel like days,

I will keep you close in my embrace.

When words feel heavy for you to bear,

I will be there in silence with you and stare.

There is a friend in me you know,

There is a love that ties our soul.

Life can be tough some days than most,

But remember we are braver than our sorrows.

(Photo Credits: Allison Wopata)

Words and pictures…

I miss the days when the only big word I could spell correctly was comprehension. Our English exam paper always ended with this final section: Write a 350-500 words comprehension on blah-blah. I miss third grade sometimes.

As my height grew, so did my corner bookshelf; each new year we added a new shelf. Then one day, we had to leave. And book shelf held no books anymore.

Among the many things from my childhood, I miss the class trips to the several art exhibitions around town. As a kid, it was amazing to be selected for these trips. We would skip school and our arts professor would take us to Nehru Planetarium. Every time there would be some new art installation set and paintings and what not. Those are some of my most cherished memories.

I came to understand one interesting thing back then. Art is in everything.

With words, some can convey nothing but noise. And most is missed while reading between the lines. And that is how the best stories are told. A balance of noise and subtle messages.

With pictures, it is more about the perception than the image itself. Some manage to show us what we want to look at. While others make you stand at eye-level with the subject and have you stare at their soul.

That is the gift of art. You can never quite tell what you will get. But that is the best part about it.

(Photo Credits: True Agency)

Trying not to runaway…

Life can be overwhelming. Especially with anxiety. It is so easy to hit 0 to 50 in a second. So easy that you forget that it isn’t even required. But what’s the use, you are already miles away from where you had started.

I have been racing with my thoughts lately. Nothing useful comes out it. Just mental fatigue. So I am trying to hold on to my pillow and breathe. Sometimes it helps. Heading out feels better. Talking to people who understand, feels the best.

It is not as easy for them either. Nobody signed up for this. But they take it one day at a time, and help me do that too. It is nice to be reassured once in a while, anxiety or no anxiety.

There are times when I just wanna run. Like just pack up and run. And then what? I don’t know. When I say this out loud, I am heard. Surprisingly, even understood. Cause we are all on this roller-coaster. Some are just better at hiding their fears. And so, when I hear, ‘Hey, can I run away too?’ I say, ‘Why not!’

Friends. Yup. The best thing that came with the ride. And I think, I better hold on them for as long as I can.

(Photo Credits: Karl JK Hedin)

I am a crispy potato…

My favorite part of the morning is probably hitting snooze. I would keep the alarm for 7:00 am and would only get out of bed by 7:20 am. Cause in those twenty minutes, I managed to get the best sleep in the entire day!

But I guess getting older means that those precious twenty minutes in bed turn into a ‘wake-up and try to feel your body crackle sessions’. Now, I wake up at 8:00 am, cause the enthusiasm of my youth is on a sabbatical. Then for the next twenty minutes all I do is stretch. And I have heard cracklings noises from places where I never thought chackling noises were possible. Oh the joys of aging.

This small morning routine has actually been quite helpful. Who knew that we would one day turn so crispy!

(Photo Credits: Gaelle Marcel)

August aims…

Lately, I have been struggling. It would be a lie to say that the past few months have been tough. Truth is that this has been going on for much longer. There have been moments of joy, spread across, like tiny air bubbles over boiling sugar.

I am not as fit as I was before. I don’t even remember how long ago this before was. I miss the days when I would wake up without different parts of me hurting at the same time.

My mind is going through it own struggle. My attempts at positivity have fooled everyone, but the ones who know me well. Having people who patiently listen to you and make efforts to help you is a rare blessing. Thank GOD.

I am making or at least trying to make efforts. I am also trying to take things easy. Let’s see how it goes…

Wish me luck!

(Photo Credits: Gatis Murnieks)