FOMO

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When it comes to keeping up with the techno-slang, I fall way behind. These days when I log onto social media platforms I have to keep Google open on a separate tab so that I can search the meaning of these words that might as well be a foreign language to me. But ever since I came across the term FOMO and discovered what it actually stands for, it was as if someone had turned on a switch in my mind.

Since this is a term being thrown around so often these days, I gather FOMO is a very real occurrence in today’s society. I have no doubt that it’s a result of our exposure to other people’s lives through social media. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of questioning your life plans when you see someone else doing what you wish you could be doing in that very moment.

But I have realised, that the more I fixate on something that I could be doing, the more I am letting opportunities pass me by to do something in that moment. I am living in my mind instead of living. For example:

Last week I was feeling so blagh, I wanted to get out and do something fun. But I ended up wasting so much time moping that I let an entire day pass me by and I could get nothing done. At about 5:30 that evening the husband took me for a drive up Signal Hill, and even though it was a short outing, it did me the world of good to get out and see the beauty of this city I call home.
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Sometimes we get swept away by the life we are trying to build for ourselves that we forget to live the life we want. I am sick of the FOMO!! I prefer to enjoy the spur of the moment drive up Signal Hill on a misty Sunday evening with my favourite person in the world; instead of dreaming about the end of year holidays. Yes I am excited for the holidays, but I don’t want to wait until then to have some adventure, I don’t want the days in between to go by uneventful. After all, Happiness is a journey not a destination.

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100 Followers!!

Gigabyte Netbook courtesy of The Husband

In celebration of reaching 100 followers on the Little Blog of STUFF (you guys are awesome, thank you!!), I thought it would be fun to list a few things that I love so far in this new world of blogging:

1) I get to express my creativity

This is something that I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. In the field in which I work I don’t get much of an opportunity to be creative. I have always been a creative person, whether it be drawing, painting, writing a poem now and again – I just find it incredibly relaxing to express myself in some way. So since I started this blog, I have had the opportunity to do so. I enjoy taking pictures and editing them the way I like, I enjoy writing and expressing myself through words, I enjoy being in control of my space and how I want it to look. This blog has been an outlet for me and it helps me release what ever I am feeling through the next post I create.

2) Inner Geek, Unleashed

I have always been rather good with computers. I am by no means an expert, but understanding computers comes easy to me. I did a computer applications subject in high school which I really enjoyed, so when I got to university my computer literacy skills was quite good. Blogging is a way for me to better my computer skills and also a way for me to brush up on what I have learnt through the years. I also get to improve my writing skills which I would like to use some day in the future when I find my lifes calling.

3) Being inspired

I have stumbled upon some great blogs in the short amount of time that I’ve been blogging, and with that I have (virtually) met some great people. People who inspires me, who makes me think differently and people who teach me something new everyday. It is a weird and wonderful thing to get to know total strangers through the work they put out there, and it is even more wonderfully weird to find the inspiration you are looking for through this. Sometimes I need a bit of advice or I need to know how people dealt with an issue that I am currently facing; and it comforts me to know that I am not alone in my struggles.

4) Meeting new people

I absolutely love the feeling when I published a post and someone can relate to it. I love it when I receive thoughtful comments from people who just want to let me know that they liked something I wrote. It is a wonderful feeling to know that at least one person has read what I had to say and that it made an impression enough for them to take a minute out of their busy lives to leave a comment.

5) Path of discovery

I don’t have the luxury to pack my things and leave for an unforeseeable amount of time to travel the world in the name of finding myself. So blogging is it for me (for now). I get to explore different paths that I would not otherwise venture off into, and at the same time create a portfolio for myself for the future. I came to the realization recently, that I have not yet found my “passion” and maybe I have a passion for lots of things – this is a space for me to sort out the chaos inside my head in hopes of finding it.

Thank you to every single person who took the time out of their busy lives to like or comment on a post. Thank you to the people who are following this blog, who are in a way sharing my journey as I attempt to find what it is that I want out of life. I appreciate it all and I hope that it continues to be my happy place that I can be proud of for years to come.

– Nihaad

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

IMG_20150905_121537I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I think it all started in high school when we read Anne Frank and I could not fathom that people had those experiences in the same world I live in today. I especially cannot believe that disturbingly similar events are happening in this world today – as I write this!! Historical fiction tells stories that are most of the time based on real life experiences; and that alone has the power to make one see the world from a whole new perspective.

When I completed Between Shades of Gray I was speechless. Even more so after reading the author’s note and learning about Stalin and the horrendous crimes that were committed under his dictatorship. For a while I was concerned about my memory because I could not remember ever being taught about this in school. I vividly recall the lessons about Hitler’s Holocaust; but I don’t remember ever learning about the deportation of citizens from Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia during World War II. I only took history up until grade 9 but still, it seems like a significant part of world events that has been over looked. Then I saw that so many others are wondering the same thing – why was this traumatic, vitally important part of history being left out of the school syllabus? Especially considering that it is so closely linked to Nazi Germany.

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Between Shades of Gray was an extremely compelling read – one that I will be reading for years to come. The way Ruta Sepetys captures the unimaginable circumstances these people were forced to endure, chilled me to the bone. Yet, this story was so heart warming because you read about people who had this hope and faith in the world despite the life they were trying surviving. Throughout the book there was this contrast of good, and pure evil that made me so angry. I was angry about the cruelty of the world, I was angry that one person’s life meant so little to another and I was angered by the audacity of some to even think that they were better than someone else – let alone treat another human life as if it meant nothing. I think most of all, I was gutted when I realised that so many more of these stories would never be told because the world do not even know that they exist in the first place.

But, Ruta Sepetys told this story in such a way that you are left feeling at peace. You are left feeling determined and strong to dare hope that better days will greet you in the end. Through all the terror and heartache, you cannot help but have hope in humanity. And this is why I was left utterly speechless – I find it so hard to explain. And I do not think I should, because every person needs to pick up this book and read it. Read it for all those people who were taken from this world without a chance to tell their story.

– Nihaad

Have you learned about these historical events during school? What other historical fiction books would you recommend I read? Please leave a comment, I am really eager to know!

50 things that makes me happy

Yesterday I got tagged by the lovely Karen from Confetti and Curves in a fun little challenge to list 50 Things That Makes Me Happy. This is the first time I was nominated to complete a blog challenge so I was super excited to accept the invitation – I really enjoyed making this list and I hope you enjoy reading.

Now, it goes without saying that what makes me most happy is my marriage, my family and friends, and all that I’ve achieved up until this point in my life. So I will be listing some of the random things that makes me smile, and some of the little things in life that I may tend to over look. These are the 50 Things That Makes Me Happy:

1. Making my husband laugh – his laugh is infectious!
2. My Mum’s food and advice she gives when ever I need it
3. Long conversations about life with my Dad – and his hugs of course
4. Evening family time with my in-laws
5. Reading a good book that you cannot wait to share with another person
6. Winter – and all that comes with it
7. Ginger sweets – it makes me feel so warm
8. When the house is clean
9. A strong cup of tea with just the right amount of sugar
10. Sleep!! I love my sleep
11. Watching reruns of my favourite series
12. Walking on the beach breathing in the fresh ocean air
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13. Doing something adventurous
14. Blogging!!
15. Jumping into my onesie pyjamas
16. The smell of petrol or permanent markers
17. That earthy smell after a rainstorm
18. When my favourite song plays on the radio
19. Good Sci-Fi movies – i.e. Anything by Marvel
20. When India wins a cricket match
21. The feeling when I put my glasses back on after I’ve cleaned them – I can see clearly now…
22. When a baby smiles at me!!
23. Pay day!! Haha
24. Staying at home all day being lazy with the husband
25. After the initial feeling of guilt for over indulging – buying books!
26. Ice-cream – it just makes everything better
27. When I buy a sale item and get to the till, only to have them say its been marked down even further! – SCORE!!
28. Laughing so much that my stomach hurts – I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy this
29. Sitting in front of a fire
30. Exploring new places
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31. When you’re driving and the road makes an unexpected dip and your stomach does that tumbling thing
32. Meeting new people from all over the world through blogging
33. Going home after a long day at work
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37. When my tablet is fully charged
38. A long, hot shower
39. Gift shopping for someone else
40. Making a difference in someone’s life no matter how small
41. Inside jokes with the hubby
42. Fluffy socks
43. The smell of books
44. Eid morning (and lunch)
45. Getting a gift for no reason
46. Looking through old photo albums and reminiscing about life that used to be
47. The crisp of clean sheets
48. Taking photos – I find I really enjoy photography
49. When I’ve been struggling with a problem for days on end and then I finally get the correct answer!
50. And just for extra emphasis – MY FAMILY!!

That’s all folks – My 50 Things That Makes Me Happy . Thanks again to Karen – the sweetheart behind Confetti and Curves – for nominating me to take part in the challenge; I had so much fun writing this!! Visit her beautiful blog where she talks about all things glitzy and glamorous; from beauty to fashion and some helpful tips to plan your dream wedding.

I hereby tag the following fellow bloggers to complete this challenge:

Candice – Beauty Candy Loves

Poppie Tee – Poppie Tee

Nadia – My Hartjie

Razaan – My Passion for my Little Minions

Tasneem – City Girl Vibe

(And anyone else who would like to complete this challenge, please feel free!!)

I really hope you girls accept the challenge – I would love to read all about the 50 things that makes you happy!

– Nihaad

Beating the Block – For Bloggers

I am still a newbie when it comes to the whole blogging world. But as soon as I started I felt this enormous pressure because of what I saw on other blogs – constantly questioning if I will ever be good enough to make any kind of impression. This, in-turn, caused me to have blogger’s block! It’s horrible, especially if you’re like me who have a million and one things swirling in your brain, craving for an outlet. This is how I have been beating the block and how you can too:

#1 Be your own inspiration

If you’ve read my very first post, you would see that right from the start of this blogging journey, I suffered writer’s block. I could not for the life of me write anything that I deemed worthy of being placed onto the internet. I felt overwhelmed because there was so much I wanted to say, but still I couldn’t write anything. I looked through pictures I’ve taken and listened to some music that I adore. I started creating my own inspiration, and my muse was, well, me! Don’t feel pressured by what’s happening on the outside. Just be yourself – tell your story or create a new one.

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Be your own inspiration.

#2 Just Write

I find that whenever I sit down with the intention to write a post I just can’t seem to come up with anything! So what I do now is, I pull up a blank document on Word and I just write. About anything and everything. I write about things that are important as well as insignificant ramblings that pops in my head. Don’t worry about spelling errors and structure; just let your thoughts flow onto the blank canvas before you. Soon enough you will find the hidden gem that needs a little bit of polishing, just waiting to be your crowned jewel.

#3 Ignore Social Media

There are times when I feel I really need some motivation. I check out whats happening on Pinterest or I read some new posts on Bloglovin. I end up spending my whole day on these platforms, with nothing to show for it. When I feel I really want to write something and I’ve completed step 1 and 2, I ignore any form of social media, because it ends up distracting me from my goal – to write!!

#4 Write from the heart

If you’ve read this post then you would know that I have been going through some stuff lately which has lead to me feeling really down and uninspired. I wrote that post to just get all those thoughts out of my mind, and put it out there so that it can be something REAL that I can keep coming back to. Sometimes you just have to clear your mind. Write from the heart. I think it helps a lot to unwind; it frees your thoughts so that you can move forward. Writing that post made me feel so much better – lighter. I feel more relaxed to write. I feel motivated to do everything I kept putting off before.

#5 take it easy, take it easy

Sometimes we put way too much pressure on ourselves and we end up feeling overwhelmed because we feel the need to produce. These days when I sense that feeling coming on, I step back and take it easy. I remind myself its not the end of the world. By taking that pressure and stress away you will feel more at ease with yourself. You will create a frame of mind for yourself to just enjoy what comes.

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“Take it easy, take it easy. Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.” – Jackson Browne

These are just a few tips that has really helped me lately. What helps you beat writer’s block? I’d love to know.

– Nihaad

How I am (attempting to) handle this whole adult thing

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Since I started working I’ve been having these different questions about life, and what I want out of it. I have this yearning for more. Over the past few weeks it’s been getting worse, where I am constantly trying to find answers and solutions to this growing list of questions that I have about my new role as a working woman. It reached a point where I felt like I couldn’t breathe through the anxiety brought on by this horrible feeling of confusion and frustration. I have always had a plan for my life which I’ve been following for so long, and now that I am where I wanted to be it just doesn’t seem to fulfil me the way I expected it would. I reached out to my husband, my mother and I have been reading blog posts by people all over the world who feels the exact way I do right now. It should comfort me, knowing that I am not alone. But I have reached an understanding – I must work this out for myself…

Now I am taking the much needed steps to find exactly what it is that has me feeling this way and try to change it a little bit every day. I thought I’d share some points that I am going to focus on for now, and as the list grows, I will keep sharing. Hopefully just writing this blog post will be the first step, and I am also hoping that I will be able to continue to draw inspiration and encouragement when I reflect on this in the future.

Here is the list of things I will attempt to remind myself every time I am feeling anxious or frustrated and when I need a little bit of encouragement to go on:

#1 YOU ARE HUMAN

It might sound silly to have to remind myself of this very obvious point, but it’s something I have to do. There are days when I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect and when things don’t work out the way I planned, I lose my sense of direction. I question everything about myself and I end up feeling despondent towards my work. Humans are imperfect. We make mistakes, we change our minds; we learn, we grow, we want more and we will always be searching for something else as our circumstances change. Embrace it instead of trying to fight against it. Don’t apologise if you are just having a bad day – it happens to the best of us – but remember that you can do better if you are willing to get up and push through.

#2 YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON

Don’t let other people’s ideas and life choices bounce off onto you. Your life is your own; you don’t owe any part of yourself to anyone that you don’t want to share. Don’t let other’s regrets and personal battles affect you, and don’t be weighed down by their expectations. If something is not what you want, then attempt to make the necessary changes to find what you’re looking for. We’re all trying to find ourselves, we are all on the journey, and we are each responsible for our own lives.

#3 BLOCK OUT NEGATIVITY

Negativity is such an awful thing. It drags you down without you even realizing it. And before you know it, you’re at the bottom of the ocean with the waves crashing over you and the surface seems just so damn far away. The point is that you can SWIM. If you are suffocating, do everything you can to reach for air. Take a huge breath and fill yourself with clean, fresh possibilities. But you can only achieve this by letting all the bad stuff go. After all, a drop of toxin spoils the whole water can (Haha I was trying to stick to the theme of the analogy).
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#4 YOU’RE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND

I have always had a certain plan for my life. To me it was set-in-stone. But now as I start realizing there’s so much more I want to learn, do and explore, I am changing my mind about certain things that has always been sure to me. And I think that’s ok. It means I am growing, that I am not on the right path at the moment but I can still get there. The beauty of life is that there is always hope.

#5 YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR

I know this. I thank my creator everyday for all that I am so fortunate to have. I have my faith and health; I have a loving husband for whom I’d move Heaven and Earth for. I have a fiercely supportive family of strong individuals who inspires me every day. The list can go on and on. But when we are in a slump and we go for days just feeling bleak about something in our lives, we tend to focus only on the things that are going wrong – instead of being grateful for all that’s going right. For me, when I am sitting at work thinking of all that which I’d rather be doing, I see my husband’s smiling face and just feel excited knowing I get to go home to him.

#6 ENJOY THE ROLLER COASTER

I don’t know why it is that on my bucket list of things to do, I want to go on the highest, longest, fastest roller coaster on the planet, but when it comes to the metaphorical roller coaster that is life, I feel nauseous. I am starting to realize that I am not a carefree soul. I can’t just throw caution to the wind and not care about people who are depending on me. But I want to be. I don’t want to have to worry about so many things. I want to be able to make a mistake, say “oops my bad” and move on without looking back. I want to throw my hands in the air, let out a scream and just enjoy life for what it is.

I’m sure there are so many more people who feel the way I do. Some are more open about it than others. But if you’re like me, who quietly wallows and think if you keep it in it will just disappear then stop right now. You owe yourself better than that! My sharing of this post is an attempt to make the little changes so that I can see a different outcome towards my goal of living a more satisfied life. What changes are you going to make? I can tell you now; the first step is the scariest. But you are human – which means at one point in your life you were a little lump who depended on someone for everything. And then you started to crawl, and then you took your first step, it became easier! You’ve done it before, what’s stopping you from doing it again?
After all, we’re on a path of self discovery, and this is but a journey!

– Nihaad

Finding inspiration

It’s been about a week since I finally took the plunge and set up my about page. But after that, for some reason, I could not write my first official post; which was frustrating since the reason for me starting a blog was that I had so much I wanted to say. I spent so much time reading other blogs, scrolling through pictures and quotes in the hopes of finding something to ignite my imagination. Still I came up blank.

And then something wonderful happened.

I turned to myself, looking at my strengths, experiences and all that I hold dear to my heart. I sifted through old pictures I have taken and saw it in a new light. I indulged in the memories that shape who I am today and I kept reminding myself that I am unique. Nobody has ever read the same story I have read, and no one has ever lived the same life I have lived. THIS became my inspiration…

These days we all want to express our individuality, we want to be different from the next person we see. Yet when we seek inspiration, or try to do something out of our comfort zone we turn to others. This is exactly what I did. And while normally these methods work for me because of course people inspire me in different ways; it just wasn’t enough to bring me back from the slump I was in.

Because despite the way we see others, despite how we look up to people around us; we alone have the power to truly bring out our best selves.

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– Nihaad