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

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