Assorted thoughts over winter break

There’s been so much happening that it’s easier to make a big post filled with a lot of little things than one large disjointed post. I’ve been in Dubai for the past couple weeks and am slated to be back in Boston around 2:30pm EST on the 2nd of January. I legitimately cannot believe it’s almost 2014, but I say that every year. Anyway.

i. I feel a little guilty for being so excited to go back to Boston, for referring to it as “home” after three and a half months of being there; but my heart is an easy thing to capture, and I leave bits and pieces of it wherever I go, a trail of breadcrumbs to follow back if I am ever lost. Certainly, the trail back to Boston is littered with the lion’s share of breadcrumbs – in fact, it is beginning to rival Lahore for hosting the largest piece of my heart. It’s easy for me to make homes wherever I go. The geography matters some, sure (Boston has college, Lahore has roots, Dubai has family, all have friends) but what home is, is familiarity. Dubai, while I know the formal details of the city, never felt familiar. I was here for a while, and I othered it (certainly, I did not allow myself to feel at home here, and that is my fault) and othered myself within it. Boston, however, I let seep into my being like a lover and even if I didn’t know how to formally navigate it, it was steeped in a nostalgia that I still do not entirely understand. Sure, Dubai has my family, and I love my family deeply…but I have always been independent, fiercely independent, and I have been just the slightest bit restless ever since I realized how the world holds all those years ago. Boston puts that restlessness at ease. I am independent, but still comfortable. Boston took my heart, sort of like a down-payment for my future there. And while the niggling sensation of guilt holds true, it’s my home now.

ii. Resolution is a Bad Word. There’s far too much baggage that comes with That Particular Word, one that evokes memories of forgotten promises and failed goals. You make resolutions with the expectation that all you’ve resolved is going to go to shit by February. So I’ve decided to eschew the word – I will, instead, use a much kinder, softer word, an easy word, a word like “goals.” Resolutions is hard, like a drill sergeant screaming “MAGGOT” at you all the time, watching you with beady eyes that expect you to fail. I’m not about that life. Any goals I set for myself are going to be called just that: goals. Less commitment, more breathing room, and less of a feeling of impending failure. (That being said, I refuse to bore people with my goals for 2014. You’re welcome to comment with your goals for the new year, however! I’d love to hear them!)

iii. Empty notebooks are a testament to my tumultuous identity as a writer. I have bought countless notebooks in the hopes that I will fill them up with writing – poetry, prose, essays, grocery lists, plot ideas, character sketches, etc. And yet, eventually, they are forgotten, abandoned at some corner of my desk, in a closet, the drawer where Things Go To Die. Still, notebooks have a magnetic appeal for me. Leatherbound, recycled paper, maps and cartographic wonders, adorned in creamy lace, hand-embroidered, they beckon my aesthetic and writerly sensibilities alike thither. I cannot seem to stop letting notebooks down, though, and even though I have been carrying around my most recent notebook (black, hard cover, spiral bound; simple, compact, doomed) wherever I go, I’m afraid it will share the same fate as my previous ventures into organizing my thoughts. I’m envious of people who have actually been able to retain years and years of writing in complete journals – and if you’re one of those people, really, be proud of yourself. I wish I had your patience and dedication, but I am as flaky as my commitment to writing is (and also needlessly hard on myself) so allow me, stranger, to live vicariously through you.

iv. This blog has received a considerable influx of followers and I can’t help but feel a kind of performance anxiety every time I write a post; I feel like nothing can live up to the post that brought everyone here in the first place, but at the same time, I don’t want to sacrifice frequency. It’s a weird area to navigate, and I’m still trying to figure it out. More to the point, I’m a little scared this blog is becoming too introspection-heavy with not enough societal/political stuff. I’ll figure that out.

v. Sometimes I miss fashion and fashion illustration so much that it hurts, and I’m filled with this deep longing for brassy, sultry music, cold nights, fairy lights, red lipstick and long walks.

vi. I wish I could play an instrument.

vii. There is so much pain and hurt in the world. Bad news comes in threes. I wish I could kiss away the horror – instead, I want to make my existence one that honors those in constant hurt. As silly as it sounds, I want my existence to be as reassuring as a mother’s kiss, my words a poetry, a salve for broken hands. It may be an audacious ambition, but what do we have if not audacity and hope?

viii. I have learnt to not count down to dates, and live in the present instead. It is the greatest gift I could have given myself.

ix. Time to get used to writing 2014, I guess.

2 thoughts on “Assorted thoughts over winter break

  1. Hey there Neiha, not sure if you’ll see this but I really enjoy reading your blog. Wondering if you could give some advise about getting into college..that sorta stuff? Thanks!

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for enjoying it – that’s all I want to hear 🙂 And oh absolutely! I love helping people out. Even if it’s something like reading essays, I’m so down for that. My email is – email me with absolutely whatever concerns you have.

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