I hope…

It’s been a while since I’ve been back and I guess a lot has happened and at the same time not much has happened.

To summarise, I went to Greece, Turkey (will post about my adventures soon) and I quit my job. Safe to say things are quite unstable, I have a plan because I can’t live my life willy nilly, however everyday I have a mini panic attack. I don’t know where things are going and hoping for the best is in my DNA even if things seem “all doom and gloom”. I have learnt that things are never as bad as they seem, in hindsight.

The inspiration for this post came from an aspect of my personality – hope (duh!). Not only do I just hope for the best but I think it is important to do everything possible in one’s control to make the hope into a reality. However, this post isn’t just about my ambitions or goals in life but more of a general hope for the world.

Sometimes we get so intertwined with our own problems we forget the bigger picture. This post is my way of taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. There is so much suffering and injustice in the world so I would like to send my positive vibes, for whatever it’s worth in the hope that maybe one day I am able to make some good difference in the world and leave a legacy behind.

So here goes:

I hope that whatever you are going through, know that nothing is forever and this too shall pass. I hope that you are not too hard on yourself, we tend to be our own worst critic. Let’s mix it up and I hope you become your own number one fan, it won’t make you a narcissist. I hope that you find your true calling and I hope that it makes you love your life. I hope that you are loved and that love makes you kinder. I hope your kindness spreads and infects everyone.

I hope you have the courage to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you, the unknown is scary but sometimes it is important to make a bold move and deal with the consequences later. I hope that you have faith that things will all work out for the best. They say to believe it and you’re half way there (words I live by).

I hope world education becomes a reality and that everyone gets educated as easily as they can breathe. The ones that have trouble breathing, I hope that you have access to the right medical treatments so you can enjoy life the way it is meant to be, one breath at a time.

I hope that you find the love that you have been waiting for, someone who is whole and someone who compliments you in every way. The kind of love that makes you want to be a better person. The kind of love that when you are around him/her, you’re home. The kind of love that cherishes your soul the way you deserve to be cherished. The kind of love that supports you and always only lifts you higher. The kind of love that will make you excited to wake up the next morning and find them next to you. The kind of love that you fall in love with everyday. The kind of love you want to have when you’re in heaven after spending a life time together. I hope this for you and more.

Lastly, I hope that you have a wonderful day, leaving the worries of yesteryears behind you. It’s a new day, cherish it, love it and most importantly… live it.

Selectively Curious©

Ramadan Kareem

I was born a Muslim.

I say “was born” rather than “I am muslim” because now I choose to be one, even though my faith has taken it’s fair share of hits, especially with the way the news portrays the religion.  I have lead a pretty sheltered life, up until university, I could say that I was a devout Muslim, not that I have done anything that is against my religion to date, however, my devoutness has gone up and down, much like a roller coaster. When I went to university, I did some exploring, as most people would do. I read up on other religions, not because I didn’t believe what my religion taught but I suppose to better understand my own. I wanted to understand other people’s religion to better understand the way people think and to make sense of it all. It’s a daily mission, I suppose, it’s not easy to just follow a religion, without understanding it 100%. It opened my mind up as I have tried to look at things from various other perspectives. We live in such a diverse world and it really does amaze me. I have been fortunate enough to know and encounter people who are very different than me, in everyway and it’s a privilege to call some of those people my friend.

Having said that, I’d like to emphasize my belief in God has been unaltered. It’s hard to explain it but my faith in Him has never changed. However, it is my belief in some of the stories of the teachings, which I find myself questioning and yet simultaneously, I am in awe of what the Qur’an has said. I won’t get into the details of it as the purpose of this post is to talk about one aspect of my religion, which is Ramadan.

It is the month where most Muslims fast in the name of the religion, to better themselves. It is a test for our patience, endurance and I suppose most of all, how grateful we ought to be that we are fortunate enough to break our fast at the end of the day with wonderful food. It teaches me to be generous and it is truly a month of giving. The reason for it to be a whole month, in my opinion, is because as popular theory also suggests, it takes 21 days to form a habit (though there are other studies that say 66 days). If we practice kind acts, after 21 days, surely kindness becomes a habit? This month we are meant to reflect (as the featured image shows, I suppose that’s what a person who is reflecting on life would look like?) and think about the bigger picture, to practice generosity, kindness, goodness and spread such acts of kindness. If people did follow this wholeheartedly, I do believe we would be living in a better world as I believe that kindness is contagious. Overall, at the end of the month, can’t speak for anyone else,  I feel that my soul is lighter, in terms of spiritually. I let go of petty things and there’s a lot about my faith that is reinforced, which has dimmed throughout the year, as a result of busy schedules.

As Michael Jackson said, “If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change”

Ramadan Kareem everyone, may God bestow his blessings and mercy upon us all and may we all be better and try to make this world better, one person at a time. 🙂

Selectively Curious©

Greek is difficult

Today was a relatively free day at work and didn’t have any emails coming in so I decided to start learning Greek, because well, why not?

I love languages and the culture behind each language. I feel the best way to really understand another’s culture is to immerse yourself into their language, their arts, their cuisines and so on. I have a problem with starting too many things and not really finishing anything, I feel sometimes my life is like a taster appetiser, where I try a lot of things but don’t really commit to a main dish. Maybe it’s because my passion tends to fade as quickly as it builds up.

Until today, I didn’t know that Greek was not a latin language, it’s hellenic and Greek is the only language that is hellenic. Their alphabets are quite confusing, I’ve spent a good two hours today trying to read the words, simple words and haven’t gotten around to reading it, yet. I’m ok at languages, I guess it helps that I speak two languages fluently and a few others, though I cannot speak it, my understanding capabilities is pretty ok.

I usually use the app duolingo, I’ve used it for Spanish and French, but I have some background in Spanish (which isn’t a difficult language to learn in my opinion, nor pronounce) and French so maybe that’s why touching up in these two languages isn’t difficult and it’s quite fun. Greek on the other hand, maybe I need more than just a basic app to help me read the language and better understand it. I don’t even understand the audio, when the lady pronounces the word for me to repeat it. It’s quite bizarre.

However, I am determined and within a month, I will speak basic greek. I think I will use the down time I have at work at the moment to my advantage and also touch up on my spanish, french and arabic, because I just want to. Let’s see how I progress. 🙂

Selectively Curious©

Are you too hard on yourself?

Yes! 

I like to please people and I like to be liked and yet I also do what I like. I’m a people pleaser but not a carpet, so to speak. The inspiration for today’s post stems from a few things, such as my job, my friends and the way that I am. 

Today at work I was given a task, which I didn’t do incorrectly but it wasn’t as it was expected to be done and it upset my supervisor. My mistake, in hindsight, is poor time management. I was given another task by a partner which was just as urgent and I should have communicated that with my direct supervisor. The problem is that I really wanted to complete the task myself. I ended up taking too long to turn it around, because of the second task and then the work product I delivered wasn’t great. I feel just awful about it and there isn’t anything I can do fix that. Ugh, tomorrow should be a better day! #needaholiday 

Now the friend issue, it’s most inconvenient. I have learnt to not trust too easily so I chose not to share something with her. I have since shared the information and she got upset about it because I didn’t tell her sooner, she now has her guard up and won’t speak to me as before. I understand her point of view but I’m not sure how to convince her that it isn’t personal and I don’t share everything with everyone, it’s just the way that I am. 

Quite a dilemma, it seems. I’m curious to see how tomorrow will turn out. 

You maybe curious the connection of the featured photo to this post. Well, I like rainbows and in days where I’m disappointed, I love how the simplest things such as a rainbow shining in darkness, makes me feel like everything is going to be ok. 🙂 

Selectively Curious©

Sensitive soul

The most difficult thing I’ve come to realise is trying to still be good to those who only do you wrong. When I was younger it would make me curious how my parents were always good to those, even if they were wronged. I grew up with such morals and have been taught that no matter what happens, always be kind.

How do you maintain a balance? I am a sensitive soul, in hind sight, I always have been. I feel deeply about everything, whether it be happiness, sadness, confusion, anger, and anxiousness (can’t think of any more words to describe emotions).

You may ask, what is a sensitive soul? Well for one, don’t be fooled by such individuals, they may be sensitive but they are far from weak. They have the ability to put aside their own needs and feelings to cater to those that need a boost. Their ability to feel deeply makes them great empaths thus helps them truly understand what the other person is going through. Often times people are unable to express how they feel and the sensitive soul will verbalise those feelings to the point, which shocks some people, sometimes. The emotions they feel are their strength as they allow themselves to feel deeply, thus making them able to handle a situation and controlling their feelings better than those who brush their emotions to the side. They can handle more than most because they’re used to feeling more than most.

Being a sensitive soul also gives you a hightened intuition in someways because they notice everything, even the most minor details such as a change of expression on someone’s face, which may have only lasted for a second. At times when logic makes no sense, their souls are able to come up with answers that does make sense. However there is a flip side, often such people have insecurities that cloud their intuition, as I have experienced many times and I think it’s important to listen to your intuition. Even if your mind tells you otherwise, listen to your inner voice, before the voice disappears forever.

Being around a sensitive soul, you will notice that they give you their undivided attention (to be fair sometimes people drag on a story longer than it should be and I get distracted). They can judge a situation and give you what you need. Even if it is just someone to sit quietly with. There is comfort in silence.

They have compassion on a deeper level and have the ability to move the world. Their kindness shines through their face and you can feel the genuine love they have to offer. They have so much to give and the ability to give wholeheartedly without being worn down. If anything the giving fuels them, especially when they see the joy on people’s faces. That is priceless.

Selectively Curious©

Have you ever?

Have you ever looked at a full grown person and wondered what they looked like when they were babies?

It used to be my favourite thing to do when I didn’t have my ipod or a book to read on the tube (aka the underground train in London). Of course I would look away before any eye contact was made, didn’t want to be break the unwritten rule of “no eye contact”. I love how my imagination takes me to unknown territory. It’s not easy of course to picture a man with a full grown beard as a baby, or an older person who looks so tired and sick of life and it shows on the face.

Have you ever cut your hair? I don’t mean just snippets, trimmed but actually completely chop off your long hair into really short, ear length hair?

It’s absolutely the most liberating activity I have taken a part in and I’ve done it a few times. Usually when I feel that I’m losing control of certain aspects of my life and the frustration gets to me,  I pick up a pair or scissors and just cut it all off. I love it and it’s actually quite addictive. I probably would never shave it all off completely but who knows what the future holds.

Have you ever seen something and not believe your own eyes, something that may be paranormal?

When I was younger, I used to play the piano. I wasn’t very good but I would play random things, reminds me I should probably take it up again. Anyway, on one of those days, I was sitting by the window about to play and I see black smoke come out of a building opposite mine. One of the apartments was on fire and I could see the flames burning and in that moment I see a figure step out on to the balcony of his/her apartment and just lean on the ledge. I stopped and looked a little closer and I saw that the man’s (or well at least it looked like a man) arm was on fire and he was just standing there. I ran to go call my brothers to see what was happening but by the time we came back to the window, the man had gone. I still can’t believe what I saw. He was just standing there as his arm burnt.

Have you ever been electrocuted?

Just once and it felt really weird. My mom asked me to change a light bulb in the living room. I took the new bulb and walked over to the lamp that needed the change, barefoot. As I put my hand on the old bulb, to twist it out, I felt a shock go through my whole arm and my hand got stuck to the bulb. First impulse of any person, is to get away from the hurt, in any way. Since my hand was stuck to the bulb I moved away (all whilst screaming and shaking). It all happened so fast and the next thing I knew, the porcelain lamp had fallen and shattered on the ground. I broke free from the electrocution. Honestly, I didn’t even realise I was screaming until my brother came out and asked me why I was screaming.

Have you ever been determined and stuck by it?

Story of my life, which sometimes tickles me.

Selectively Curious©

Cliche

What a lovely sight it is. The sun peaking, barely visible through the building it appears to be rising behind from.

This photo was taken about 2.5 years ago, it was a photo walk I participated in and it started at 5am, just before sunrise. I went with two other people, who back then were barely aquaintances, one of whom now I consider to be one of my dearest friends.

Anyway now that you know the story behind the photo I would like to discuss a few things. To start, apologies for not having posted for the past two days, my days haven’t been the most inspirational and work has been busy.

Moving on, have I mentioned how much I love the sunrise? I feel it is the most beautiful time of the day and the best part is that most people are asleep and it feels like you’re part of an exclusive club. Kind of like you have the privilege to see this spectacular show (aka the sun rising) only because you woke up early. What a delightful treat.

Thinking of sunrise makes me think about a new day and the endless amount of opportunities a day has to offer. Everyday is a new beginning, as cliche as it sounds, filled with adventures and excitement. Speaking of cliche, Catherine Opie once said “the biggest cliche’s of photography is sunrise and sunset.” That’s quite curious, only because, truly I’ve never thought of it like that. It’s very accurate, sunsets and sunrises are photographed so very often, it is a cliche and yet the beauty of it justifies the cliche somehow. 

My all time favourite cliche is “you cant please everyone” I call it my favourite because, I take it as a personal challenge and try to prove the statement wrong. I like to please and my friends always say that even if I have successfully pleased those around me, I am not pleasing myself, thus proving the cliche right. Little do my friends know, that nothing pleases me more than to know that I was responsible for adding a tiny bit of joy into someone’s life. Call me selfish, but I do get a rush out of it.

Also, since with every sunrise comes a new day, it’s time for me to sleep so I can catch the sunrise. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Good night, beautiful people.

Selectively Curious©

 

Berlin, I love you

I would like to share my Berlin trip.

It started with me landing:

Immigration was super fast, just as I expected and I stepped out with my luggage. As I walked out, a man in a taxi yells at me “Taxi?” Without thinking about it for a moment, bearing in mind it was my first time in Berlin and the first time I was completely on my own in a new place, I said yes. He helped me with my suitcase, and off we went. I told him where I was staying:

IMG_1172.jpg

The cab journey was quite enjoyable, on the way to the hotel, he told me about all the places I must see during my stay. His name was Thomas and he was the most friendly cab driver I ever met, we spoke throughout the car ride and he wished me a pleasant stay.

As I was settling into my hotel, I remembered that a friend of mine, I went to university with, whom I haven’t spoken to in some time lived in Berlin. I got in touch with him and we had dinner together every day. It was nice to have someone to eat with. We even went to the Blue Man Group show, which was, well weird so say the least. It was an experience though but I didn’t enjoy it as I thought I would. At the end of the show, one of the members of the Blue Man Group, took a selfie from my phone:

IMG_1188.jpg

I was only there for almost two days and managed to see quite a few places, before I took the train to Hamburg, where I attended a work event. Berlin also made me realise how small the world is and I loved it. I bumped into an old classmate of mine, we were in law school together and it was almost surreal catching up with him on a random street in Berlin.

During the day, when I was by myself, I saw a few touristy places such as Victory Column:

Before I got to the column, I had to go through an underground pass and I was slightly obsessed with:

 


Here’s a full photo of the column:

I also went here, which was more of a stop over. I wasn’t entirely sure what it was, at first I thought it was graves as the cab driver pointed it out. I then read all the information about it and it turned out to be a memorial for all the lives lost as a result of the holocaust. Human beings always shock me.

 


I then walked to Brandenburger Tor:


Let’s not forget about the remnants of the Berlin wall:

And last but most certainly not the least:

I have a lot more photos, but that’s basically the highlights of my trip. I would most certainly go back to Berlin as I was mostly on west Berlin, during my stay and have missed out entirely on East Berlin.

It was one of my favourite trips, mostly because I was never brave enough to go to a place entirely on my own and when I went I wasn’t even the least bit anxious. I had a great time, even when I didn’t bump into random people I knew.

Until, next time Berlin, I will see you soon:

 


Selectively Curious©

 

 

Interesting fact

As I was looking for inspiration for today’s post, I came across a fact, which made me smile:

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2012 was the 1994 Honda Accord.

We had that car for years, ours was gold (featured image is found in google, as we no longer have this car) and I still remember the new car smell it had when we bought it. My brothers and I had countless road trips in that car. When we were young we went to Saudi Arabia from the UAE in that car. As far as I remember, I was 6 and my brothers were 8 and 4. It was a 16 hour car journey and we put cartons of water bottles where our feet would be. So it became like a bed, more or less.

Whenever we went on a road trip, I would curl up on my side and sleep. Of course if you ask my brothers, they will say I took all the place, which I possibly did, I was sleeping so I’m not sure how accurate they were in their accusations. I’ve always been skinny and they would always tease me for taking so much space for a someone as skinny as me.

Amazing how quickly time flies, I feel like the three of us practically grew up in that car. We’d play the oddest games. Have you ever heard of dead leg or dead arm? Well, it’s a game where one person hits the other so hard that your arm or leg goes numb. It’s only fun in hindsight, I assure you. I am actually laughing at the memory of it.

In some ways, I’m not surprised that the 1994 Honda Accord model is the most stolen, maybe the thieves had equally good memories? Maybe we can give them that benefit of the doubt. As for me, I’m glad in my own selfish way that so many of those cars were stolen. I can honestly say that I probably wouldn’t have thought of that car today had I not seen this fact. It was a wonderful trip down memory lane. As I live, the more curious I get about the mysterious ways of God and how random connections come your way. Remember, everything is connected or maybe it isn’t, who knows?

Selectively Curious©

Interesting thought 

I saw the featured image and thought “woah I can relate”.

Lately I’ve had a bit of a scattered mind, I think too much and too deeply about way to many things as one thought leads to the next and it’s a never ending chain.

This image put somethings into perspective. It’s best to finish a task/thought before moving on to the next, otherwise one might simply just get slightly burnt out.

This is something I was curious about sometime ago and coincidentally before I googled it, I saw a really interesting article about multitasking about two years ago, sadly I don’t have the link to it but I remember it saying that multitasking with devices is bad for your brain*. Scientists believe that such behaviour trains the brain to be disorganised, makes it difficult for the brain to remember/recall things as it rewires it in a non efficient way and interestingly it also releases dopamine which is the chemical in the brain associated with drug abusers.

In a lot of cases such an activity will be responsible for lowering a persons IQ. Also if you are in the habit of doing this, have you noticed that when you are watching tv and your phone isn’t around you, it makes you restless? That’s the dopamine kick you’re craving.

It’s always better to focus on one thing at a time, it’s also how law of attraction can work in your favour. Scientifically speaking, when you focus on one thing at a time, your brain is able to process and store the information better (by storing it in the hippocampus, the “library of your mind”).

Try focusing on one thing at a time, I know I will and let’s see how things change.

*this is the Link

Selectively Curious©