Missing you in Saudi Arabia daddy 

I’m in Medina and all I can think of is this is one of your favorite places daddy. Any chance you got you would be here. Being here I miss you even more. It’s so hard to be in this place without you. Every place I see reminds me of you. Now I’m in Mecca I did my Umrah today and all I thought of was how if you were here I would do it with you. I also thought of little Muhammad and how he would have made his Umrah and after he would have been wide awake and wanted to go shopping. 

Every time I go to the Haram Shareef to make my Namaaz I make an extra 2 rakaats Nafl that you, mummy and Muhammad are resting in Jannat and that Muhammad is a Haafez in Jannat. 

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How to find love in a bookshop. 

This book had me hooked by the title. How I wish I could walk in to a bookshop and find a book I like and see a boy who likes the same book. We would talk about our love for books, about how nothing can come close to our love for books. How we love books more than we love people. The book is about a woman who owns a bookshop called Nightingale Books. The shop is a dream come true for all book lovers. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open. The temptation to sell up is proving enormous – but what about the promise she made to her father? Not to mention the loyalty she owes to her customers. The book is a great read. It’s wonderful to see how someone can use books as an escape from reality. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. 

It’s a book based on a two-part play. It was released on the 31st July and became the eighth story in the Harry Potter set. It’s set 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Harry Potter is the Head of Magical Law Enforcement and is married to Ginny Weasley. They have 3 children together; James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna. Hermione Granger is the Minister of Magic and is married to Ron who manages Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. They have two children together; Rose and Hugo. Being a Harry Potter fan I was looking forward to the book. It turned out to be a huge disappointment.

Heartache 

  • 2015 was the year of heartache. In the beginning of April when I was coming back from Durban a bus knocked us. In the crash I lost three people; my dad, mum and brother. It made me appreciate the importance of family. I went from having everything to nothing. After the crash I was in hospital. People who came to see me said that I kept looking around in anticipation for my parents. Sometimes when I’m alone I keep thinking about my parents. And sometimes I just wish that I could have passed on and one one of them could have survived.I’ll never forget the beautiful souls that have left me. I hope that they are in paradise. There is a quote that time heals wounds but in actual fact I just miss them more.

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Kar. The direct translation of this quote is, “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”, however it is usually translated as,”the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Looking back at the past four years of my life, I can’t help but notice how so much has changed yet nothing has changed at all. When you’re at the brink of adulthood, you watch the people you’ve grown up with, the same people you played hopscotch with or copied math homework from, suddenly evolve into adults who make decisions changing life as we know it. I’m at the age where I’ve watched, slowly, as I’ve lost most of my friends to marriage. It’s not that I’m sad to see my friends get married, on the contrary, I’m ecstatic that they’ve found someone they’re so sure of to commit in that way. It scares me that while they’re making these decisions, I’m still out here grounded by the gravity of my indecision, lost in the small decisions of everyday life. The more I’ve changed in the past four years, the more I’ve remained the same scared girl, unable to make a decision, paralyzed by the fear of messing things up. I can’t even decide whether I like someone enough to have a relationship with them that the idea of marriage sends me running to my bookshelf, to bury myself in my fictional worlds. And all of this makes me wonder, what is wrong with me?!
When it comes to fictional guys with black messy hair and sassy personalities, I have no problem falling head over heels. Or committing to an entire series of books, doing nothing with my free time but engrossing myself in the magic of literature. Most days I just feel like I was sent to Earth as a human by mistake, I obviously belong in some fictional world where it’s completely normal to commit to bookshelves instead of people.
Give me a proper relationship with someone real and completely functional and I let the chaotic grenade of thoughts inside my head allow me to completely and utterly make a mess of it. The thing is, I would rather obsess over the idea of something happening than the actual thing happening. Because once it’s real, there’s always that 99.9% chance that I will, for the lack of a better word, screw it up. So I’ll be that person who is attracted to the unattainable. the utterly impossible, situations so complicated that there’s a better chance that my favorite fictional character would pop to life and we would live happily after, rather than actually give something that could work out a chance.
Perhaps I’m just holding out for the guy with the messy black hair and sassy personality, the guy from a Rainbow Rowell book. Well, I’m not THAT fussy, Harry Potter or Will Herondale would also do.

A walking contradiction, an unfathomable constellation.

“Like maybe you think I’m a little crazy but I only let people see the tip of my crazy iceberg. Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept, I’m a complete disaster.” – Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell.
Give me a library of books and I will devour them effortlessly, spending copious amounts of time getting to know each fictional character I find myself attached to, falling in love with a long list of fictional soul mates. Give me a real life situation with real feelings and actual people and I am rendered a complete mess. I am absolutely, inevitably and ardently clueless.
I either have absolutely no interest in someone or am completely and utterly infatuated with them. There is no on between. I find myself not attracted to the physical components of a person but by their quirky characteristics, the little things. Like their ability to respond with a witty, sarcastic remark or their impressive Harry Potter knowledge. But even when completely smitten, I find myself wanting to completely shut off, to just spend days without any communication lost in my own thoughts or in my safe haven of fictional worlds. There are days when I will want to completely bare my soul and there are days when I will have absolutely nothing to share. Days when I will be completely content sitting in silence, lost in my own chaotic mess of thoughts. Days when I want nothing but to talk about everything and nothing at all, conversations that last all day leading into the early parts of the next morning. There are days when I will want to express exactly how I feel, leaving no feelings spared, and then there are days when I have no words to express what I’m feeling. Days when I’m so caught up in my grenade of thoughts and feelings that I simply have no words.
Perhaps I have an internal glitch that prevents me from having normal, functional relationships or from being an actual normal, functioning person. But I have never had the luxury of a dull ache; I’ve always been cursed with feeling too much or nothing at all. There are days when I feel absolutely nothing and there are days when I’m so overcome with emotion that I just want to sit in silence in the dark, lost in the abyss of it all. Then there’s the curse of being rendered incapable of expressing any feelings. I would choose to forgo a possibility of a relationship than have to express my feelings to another human being. The possibility of rejection is too much a fear for me to take a risk in expressing how I feel. More than the possibility of rejection is the actual expected certainty of rejection. This is possibly why I will always remain a grenade of bottled up feelings. Also, possibly why I will never have the luxury of a functional relationship, I’m far too much of an unstable atom to have anyone really accept all that I am. I’m not a calm Sunday afternoon, I’m a thunderstorm on a Wednesday night. And let’s face it, most people would choose a calm Sunday afternoon. And although I’ve accepted that I’m a walking contradiction, a complete paradox, the romantic in me is secretly holding out for someone that would choose the thunderstorm. Someone who will understand that loving me will be anything but easy but who will want to try anyway. Perhaps I’m hoping for my Levi, who saw all Cath’s crazy and rooted for her anyway.
“You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.” – Warsan Shire

Writing myself out of the labyrinth

“It’s not life or death, the labyrinth. Suffering. Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That’s the problem. Bolivar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

Working in an oncology center, I face death and dying a number of times. Not to say that I’m unaffected by it, but the knowledge that someone has a terminal illness is some sort of preparation for death. Four years in this type of setting was not enough preparation for what I was about to face. In retrospect, a lifetime in this setting is not enough preparation.

A week ago, I lost my aunt. A sudden death that had my entire family reeling in shock. That had me spiraling into the labyrinth of suffering. You wake up one morning and suddenly you faced with the realization that she’s not there anymore, that you can’t just pick up a phone and hear her voice, you’ll no longer walk into her house and see her smiling face.

Everyone says that time heals. Yet this past week has taught me the opposite. Each day is worse than the previous one, every waking moment is another realization that you have lost someone. Loss is the kind of suffering that logic has no explanation for, sudden loss even worse. You watch real life pass you by, people moving on and yet you feel stuck, suffocated by the labyrinth.

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
― Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Gaza – A humanitarian crisis.

I have spent much of the last month scouring social media sites for updates on the situation in Gaza. The images, news reports and tweets from those seeing the destruction first hand have, for the lack of a better word, horrified me.
Being 21 and a South African citizen, I am proudly part of the ‘born free’ generation. The generation that was born post-apartheid, benefiting from the sacrifices and struggles of those that fought against the Apartheid regime. I have never witnessed such an insult to the ‘democratic’ world we all claim to live in.
As a human, I am distraught to know that I live in a world where a country can mercilessly massacre young, innocent children in the name of self-defense and get away with it as the world watches. I am disgusted by world leaders who use Nelson Mandela quotes in their speeches yet aid and abet the war crimes being carried out by Israel. It was Nelson Mandela who said, ‘We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.’
I can only imagine the psychological impact on children having had to endure the pain and suffering of wondering whether or not they will be alive in the next hour. Children who have seen loss and despair like no other. Whilst we put our kids to sleep at night with lullaby’s and bedtime stories, the children of Palestine go to sleep to the sound of bombs and screams and wake up to death and destruction, if they wake at all.
How can we as human beings allow this to happen?!
This is no longer a political or religious issue, it is an issue of humanity. Our silence is an injustice to the innocent children of Palestine. Our ‘world leaders’ are committing a crime against the youth of Gaza by refusing to speak out. It is no longer a war, it is a genocide against the Palestinian people who have spent years suffering Israel’s cruelty.
My heart bleeds for Palestine and it’s people.
For those innocent children who have had their futures ripped away from them, to have had to watch their parents die in front of them, to wake up to the death of their siblings and friends, to go to sleep at night not knowing what fate lies ahead of them.
For those parents who have had to watch their children die in front of them, who have sent their kids to play soccer only to return a casualty of Israel’s ‘self-defense’, who do not sleep at night for they fear for the lives of their children.
This is life in Palestine and it is not the life that any human being should endure. It is not the world which leaders like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin King Luther, Jr. fought so hard and fervently for. We cannot call ourselves a democratic world whilst we let the Palestinian people continue to endure such pain and suffering. The situation in Gaza is no different from the destruction and pain that Hitler caused, how can we look back at that with disgust and still allow Israel to get away with their genocide of the Palestinians?!
I’m appealing to the world, regardless of your political views, religious affiliations, nationality and race, let us all come together as human beings and stop this atrocity against the Palestinian people.

Pause.

The irony of life is that change is the only constant.

If I look back at my four years post high school, it almost seems as if I’m watching a movie flash before me, no year has been the same but each year has brought about a change, both welcome and unwelcome. With every year that passes our situation changes, our perspective changes and sometimes even the people we choose to care about changes.

We gain friends and lose some, fall in and out of love, ride the roller coaster of highs and lows and each of these experiences molds us into, perhaps, the person we were always meant to be. But don’t you ever, even just for a second, wish that time could just stop? That we could just press pause and hold on to what we have at that particular moment before life as we know it changes forever?

Recently, I have been hoping for this moment of pause, to just hold on to everything I once had before I decide to move forward and let go of everything. Just a single moment to appreciate what once was before life happens and it all irrecoverably changes. A moment to enjoy being 21 without the doubts and decisions that thoughts of the future hold. Ah, to be 16 and carefree again, to make decisions without having to worry about the endless strings of consequences they will result in.

People say that your university years are the best years of your life, I beg to differ. If anything these four years have taught me that life can you everything you’ve dreamed of only to take it away in a second, that you’ll drift apart from people you thought will always be a part of you for no real reason other than the change that occurs between high school and becoming somewhat of an adult (if you can call it that).

And that is why I hope with a treacherous hope that I can have a moment (or two), to go back to the moment before everything changed and just press pause. To hold onto, even for just a moment, the friendships that were, the feelings that were and the person that I once was.

But as John Green so perfectly (as always) puts it, “The world is not a wish granting factory.”

“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.”
― J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

Too much or nothing at all.

When it comes to feelings, there has always been no place for mediocrity in my life. I either feel too much or nothing at all, I’m either all in or blatantly disinterested. Perhaps this is my greatest downfall, I envy people who are able to tread the line between the two, giving but withholding enough to remain whole when it all comes crashing down.

Perhaps the greatest downfall of feeling too much is the inability to express the magnitude of these emotions. Why is it that we are able to feel so much yet we are unable to fathom these feelings into expression?

They say that the best of people are those that are able to give themselves wholeheartedly, yet they don’t tell you how these people are the ones that risk their entire soul being shattered when everything falls apart. I envy the kind of people that can walk away from something they so dearly wanted with their entire being intact, without their worlds coming crashing down.

I have had to, unfortunately, come to terms with the fact that I am one of the messy people. The entirely and deeply emotional being, who feels every emotion at the strongest magnitude, the kind that will fall apart when people walk away and needs months if not years to recover from the blow. I am, without a doubt, a grenade of emotions waiting to explode into a dysfunctional wreck at the slightest push.

It’s one of the greatest curses, to feel so deeply without having the ability to express yourself adequately. The build-up of internalizing every emotion leaves you a highly unstable being and perhaps this is why you’ll always be the type of person that will scare someone away when they catch a glimpse of the magnitude of emotions you feel.

So when you ask which will I choose between too much and nothing at all, I will no doubt choose nothing at all. There’s no risk of showing the complete and utter disaster of a person you are, no risk of having someone walk away leaving you feeling like the very essence of your being is shattered with no hope of reconciliation.