Why no form of education is a waste

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss

Ever since I can remember, my parents always drilled it into me that I needed to educate myself. I was brought up to seek answers for all the questions I may have, and because of this I have developed a love for learning and improving my understanding on the world around me. My Mother is a teacher (by nature and profession) who has this hunger to acquire knowledge like no one I have ever known; and it definitely rubbed off onto me.

After I graduated and started working, I became increasingly frustrated because I wanted more. I know I want to further my studies and it is something I would love to pursue for as long as I can – even if it is outside of the field I am currently working in. I realise this may sound ridiculous to some people because in their minds if I study something else then everything I worked for over the past few years would go to waste. This thinking bothers me…

Maybe it was the way I was raised but I believe that any knowledge you gain can never be a waste. We live in a world so vast and extraordinary that our minds cannot begin to comprehend the complexity of it all! And I believe that anything you learn builds a better understanding of the world.

If I ever decide to further my studies in a different field, all the knowledge I have gained up until then would not be in vain. I have improved my perception in a certain part of the world which ultimately means that I have a better view of things than what I had before I studied. Even more so, I have gained skills that would help me in the long run.

In this world we try to put a price on everything. And since we have to pay for furthering our education, we immediately put a price tag on our qualifications. Instead of looking at it as improving ourselves, and answering questions about the world we may have; we think of the experience as a commodity. And if we don’t use our qualifications then it automatically means that we wasted our time and money on something we “wont be using”.

However, I regard by knowledge and education as a key which I use to better myself. It is my tool which I can use to give back to the world in some way or another. And above all else it makes me appreciate the world I live in and the life I am living…

As my late grandfather Sheikh Shakier Gamieldien said:

“Your knowledge should make you humble; because the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.”

– Nihaad

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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.

Wake Me Up When September Ends…

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As you’ve gathered, I am sure, by the title of this post; I am a huge fan of Greenday! Ever since I first heard American Idiot, its been my life long dream to play the drums (or wail an electric guitar) like a punk rock chick! But I digress. This post is not about a really cool band, but rather about the reasons behind why I’ve been so quiet the past few weeks.

I do apologise for being MIA, especially since my last post and how motivated I was to continue working on my blog. But life was so incredibly hectic that I just wanted someone to, well, wake me up when it ends!!

– My husband got called in for an interview halfway through the month and the next day when he left from said interview, he received a call from the company offering him the position. We were ecstatic, because after searching for about 3 months, and him burning to get back into the working world, we felt like it was the opportunity he’s been searching for.

– This however meant that we had to wake up at 5 every morning in order to leave the house by 6am so that he can drop me off at work by 6:30am for him to be at work on time (7:30am). The days were reeeeeally long so by the time 5pm rolled by, all I wanted was to get home and sleep! Yes we were mentally and physically drained by the end of each day, but we were both so grateful for the experience.

– The husband also graduated in the same week that he started working, so we had a wonderful celebration in honour of his achievement – Proud of you babe!!
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– It was also Eid-al-Adha (Belated Eid Mubarak to all Muslim readers) which fell on Heritage Day here in South Africa, and it was amazing to spend the day with the family.
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It was heart-breaking to hear about the tragedies which occurred in Mecca; and I do wish to take this opportunity to send my duaahs (prayers) to all the families and friends that were affected by those horrific events.

– The husband had a rather traumatic experience during his first week on the job. A man had an asthma attack on site, and he was the one to take him to the clinic. After doing everything they could, the man unfortunately passed away; and Taufeeq was there to witness this.

– The next week on his way to mosque, Taufeeq was involved in a car accident. He was hit from behind, and the car was left with a nasty dent and some scratches, but thankfully he came out of it unscathed.

– During the early hours of Monday morning we received a phone call that a really close member of the family had passed. It was so sudden and unexpected; a truly difficult time for the family. It meant a lot though that I could offer my support during such a trying time.

– To end off the month of September, Taufeeq received a call from a company who he had interviewed with about a month ago. After waiting so long we all figured that the application was unsuccessful, which is why he took the first job. But on Tuesday he was contacted and they informed him that his interview was a success! He went in on Wednesday to fill out the paper work, and Alghamdulillah we are so grateful for this break. After reminding him each day to sabr (be patient) and have faith that things will fall into place the way it should, it was exactly what we both needed.

We all experience times when we feel like nothing at all is going right. It is a reminder that as much as we plan and worry about life, we have absolutely no control over what happens. The beauty of it is that after facing the challenges and difficulties thrown in our path, we get to appreciate the good things that comes our way so much more. And now that we are in the month of October, a new month with fresh new possibilities; we learn to accept certain things that we have no power to change and move on. We learn to appreciate the good with the bad, and to make the most out of each day.

How has the past few weeks been treating you?

– Nihaad

5 things I’ve learned studying engineering

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I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it, but I studied Civil Engineering. My husband will be graduating this week (also in Civil Engineering) and I am so incredibly proud of his achievement because I know just how hard he worked to get to this point. So in honour of his achievement, these are 5 things I/ we have learnt from studying Engineering:

1) How to keep cool under pressure

During first year I felt as if I was drowning in the work load that hit me from every direction and it was a challenge to adjust to university fresh out of high school. I thought if I got through first year then the rest would be much simpler. Boy, was I wrong! As the years rolled by it became increasingly harder, and looking back now it all seems like a blur. Studying engineering taught me how to keep calm under pressure. Sitting through the exam with your brain almost fried because you are struggling to find a way to balance your equation, blatantly aware of the seconds ticking away, you learn to keep calm. You realise very quickly that if you freak out and start panicking, you will mess everything up.

2) The purpose of mathematics

You know in school, when you are sitting in a math class and you ask the teacher, “Where are we EVER going to use this??”. I found my answer studying Engineering. Mathematics is a language used to understand the science that explains the world around us. It gave me an understanding of how elements of the Earth react in a certain way and how it can be used to our advantage, or how it needs to be changed in order to improve the specific design. I also developed an appreciation for a calculator! When I learned the function to solve integrals and matrices, I was so happy and excited; you would have thought someone invented time travel! (Yes, I’m a nerd; and I’m proud of it!)

3) ask questions

Engineering is a field that requires one to solve problems, scientifically. But in order for you to answer any question, you need to have an idea of what the question actually is. I learnt the importance of asking questions (perhaps unnervingly so) if something does not make sense. I learnt not to accept things at face value, but to keep searching for facts that can put things into perspective for me.

4) Time management

During preparation for exams it wasn’t only about knowing and understanding the work, it was also about working efficiently with the time given to complete the test. You see, it didn’t really matter how much you knew if you couldn’t apply that knowledge in the set time. I learnt how to work smart so that I could produce my best work and meet the deadline. And now, in the professional world, I am able to manage my time effectively and get the work done that I have set for myself to complete by the end of the day.

5) Don’t give up

It is ok to fail and it is ok to make mistakes. It’s not the end of the world if this happens. During my studies I met people from all walks of life. These people persevered and pushed through no matter what, because they simply wanted to qualify themselves and better their lives. I learnt the importance of working smart, being dedicated and to never give up on the goals you have set for yourself. I learnt that sometimes getting a second chance at something is better for you because you are able to correct your mistakes and see things more clearly.

What have you learned during your studies that helps you today?

– Nihaad

Why you should not care what people think

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Something that I am becoming increasingly aware of, is that most of us tend to care far too much about what other people think of us. It can be a good thing if it allows you to perform to the best of your abilities, but in most cases it has far more negative effects. This is my little list of why you should stop caring what other people think:

1) It will make you happy
As long as you worry about the opinions of others’, it will control the way you live your life. You will be miserable. You will constantly try to please everyone around you which is impossible to do! Focus on what you want, and what brings you joy – this way you know for sure that at least one person (and the most important person, in this case) is happy.

2) You will be less stressed
If you try to please everyone around you because you’re so concerned that they might think badly of you, it will stress you out to no end. The faster you learn to not let it get to you, the faster you will get rid of the unnecessary stress it causes. There is so much more you can gain from a single day if you cut out the negativity that comes with worrying about another person’s opinion. At the end of the day, if your choice makes you sleep better at night and puts an extra bit of bounce in your step, then that is all that matters really.

3) You will not resent others’
If you are not following a path that YOU have chosen for yourself, you will become resentful. This could make you really bitter because you will not be able to be happy for the next person who does their own thing as it reminds you of the possibilities you might have missed. And so the vicious cycle continues its rapid spin; creating another unhappy, cynical person in this world, who places the exact kind of stress on another person – the same kind of stress, mind you, that you were trying to avoid for yourself to start with.

4) You cannot make everyone happy
And quite frankly, you shouldn’t try! Those who matter will support you and encourage you to do what you want to do, simply because they want to see you happy. Anyone who has something negative to say based on choices you make (that you feel are the right ones for you) are people who are not brave enough to take the necessary steps required to change their own lives for the better.

It can be extremely difficult to ignore what people think. Sometimes we do it without meaning to and it causes more harm than good most of the time. But in order to find peace and happiness, in order to be satisfied with the choices you have made for yourself, you need to figure out how to stop caring too much about what others’ have to say. Live your life for yourself – you will thank yourself one day!

– Nihaad

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
35. Macaroons – yummy!!
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

Not things…

We all have turning points in our lives. Moments that define either where we are headed, or that completely change the direction in which we choose to move forward. I’m sure if you’re reading this, at least one event in your life briefly flashed in front of your eyes. I have so many defining moments that I can think of, none of which I am going to mention because I’m not here to air my dirty laundry. But I do however, want to share a conscious decision I made a long time ago based on one of these kinds of moments, which is: to not let anything material define me.

I’m somewhat of a “Plain Jane” – I see beauty in simplicity. And while I don’t find any fault with those who enjoy living lavishly; it’s just not something I aspire to. Not because I don’t like nice things; of course I do. I just look at people around me to know that I don’t want to cling to worldly possessions as if these objects can provide me with some sort of substance to my existence. I don’t want to measure my happiness and success by the material wealth I’ve accumulated. I don’t want to be fooled into thinking I have to have certain things to live up to the standards I’ve set for myself. I made a decision to not be materialistic; or for the very least, not to let it change me for the worse. I don’t want to be measured by the clothes I wear, the car I drive or the cell phone I have.

I want to collect knowledge and wisdom, experiences and character, happiness and excitement.

I want to collect memories, NOT things.

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– 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

JUNE – a half year reflection

So far 2015 has been a really action packed year for me. I have learnt to take risks, to be brave and to take chances. Seeing as it is half way through the year I thought it would be fitting to reflect on some of the events that stood out for me.

I went camping – twice!!

I am a bit embarrassed to admit that before this year I have never been camping. The idea of sharing a bathroom with complete strangers and sleeping in a flimsy tent outside never quite appealed to me. But then my in-laws had their annual camping holiday planned for January which my husband looked forward to all year; and being someone who likes to try new things, I was excited to go despite my reservations . Being outdoors, waking up with the rising sun and breathing in the fresh ocean air were some of the beautiful life offerings that I took for granted before.

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Camping in Langebaan

The husband and I went camping again in April for an anniversary get away which was completely different to the experience I had when we went at the beginning of the year. The campsite had no electricity so at night it was so dark that I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. But we got to work as a team that weekend which brought us even closer together as a young married couple.

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Camping in Ceres

Kayaking

I’m not sure how old I was when I first saw Titanic but I do know that ever since then I have had a very real fear of drowning. I never strayed too far into open water and I don’t particularly want to be trapped in a floating vessel half way across the sea. But this year I managed to conquer that fear. My husband loves fishing, and somewhere along the line he wanted to build a kayak so that he could take it out onto the water and fish to his hearts’ content. He never did build that kayak, but his father eventually bought one so that he could get the sudden need out of his system. When the time came to take the kayak out I jumped aboard, which was very daring of me since neither of us had any experience in kayaking (besides practising in the pool). By taking that chance I got to face my fear of drowning, and I also discovered a different kind of love and appreciation for the sea.

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Kayaking at Langebaan Lagoon and Gordan’s Bay

Ziplining

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Zip Lining in Ceres

April marked our first anniversary as a married couple, and we wanted to mark the special time with something memorable and adventurous. We ended up going for a zip line tour which was one of my most exhilarating experiences. Next on the list for us is bungee jumping!! 

A hike up the mountain

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Hiking in Ceres

Now we’ve been hiking before, but nowhere as hectic as this one. While on our anniversary getaway we were told about a hiking trail that ended by a beautiful waterfall. I have to say that about halfway up the mountain I was just about ready to throw in the towel and head back to flat land. But I pushed through because it was another experience Taufeeq and I got to share. We walked for what felt like forever, and eventually heard the majestic sound of flowing water – We’ve reached our destination!! The husband wanted to go further to see the waterfall that we’ve heard so much about, and we both felt that since we got that far it would be silly to turn back. So he wondered around while I sat at the water’s edge, keeping a look out for any hungry wild animals roaming around. He returned minutes later with a smile on his face and his hand held out to show me his precious discovery. It was perfect and beautiful and so well worth the trek. Looking back, we took a big risk hiking up that mountain alone in an unknown place with no one being sure of our whereabouts, but it was an adventure that we will always remember and a big risk we will never forget.

I hope your year so far has been one for the books as well… And if not there’s still half way to go – make it count!

– 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