This day in February: 1 Year Later

I can’t believe the last time I wrote a public post on this sad thing I call my “blog” was exactly one year ago today. And it was about how I slightly missed being in love. Well, I guess I could say I may, kinda, sorta be on that love train now. But we’ll get to that later.

It’s funny, because I didn’t plan to write a blog post a year later on the same day. If anything, it’s pretty freaking sad that it took me a year to decide to do this. Why am I this way? I don’t know. However, I did write a private entry 3 months ago…. which I’m conflicted whether I should do or not. It’s not like I have plenty of people reading my blog. And if I really don’t want people reading it — well then maybe I shouldn’t have a blog right? Right. Secondly, if I don’t want it shared on my Twitter, it’s pretty freaking easy to change the setting so that it’s not shared to my Twitter page. Do you see where I’m going with this, Nadia? Yeah, you ran out of excuses a year ago, and now you’re just making an embarrassment of yourself. LOL.

The last 4 years of my life have been quite crazy. There’s a lot of shit that’s happened — both good and bad — of course I’ve chosen to focus on the bad about 3 & 1/2 years of it, but nonetheless there has been some, no A LOT, of good. The thing is, whenever some shit happens in your life, that’s when you have the most growth. And that’s generally when things have to change. Without your permission.

I believe that the Universe, God, or whatever you believe in, gives you many subtle chances and opportunities to change. Easy avenues for you to make a difference in your every day routine, your perspective, maybe even your goals and dreams. And plenty of us, don’t take or listen to those subtle signs. We wait it out for as long as we can, because let’s face it — people don’t like change. Sure, there’s some people who will claim that they would much rather live a very exciting crazy life, but there comes a moment when everyone craves stability and security. And if you don’t, well the people around you do, and thus, you’re forced to pick something that makes them feel stable with you. Either way – humans don’t like change.

So, when the Universe nudges you in small ways to change, you continuously ignore it. You’re like, it’s okay I don’t need to do this now. I can do this next week. Or next month. Or next year. Let me continue this routine. Until one day, those subtle nudges turn into storms where the shit hits the fan. And that, my friends, is when you have to change. Whether you like it or not. Without your permission. So, basically, I’ve been forced to change. Because the Universe basically put a gun to my head and was like BETCH YOU NEED TO STOP BEING DUMB AF AND GET IT TOGETHER. But in a much more, well-polished way that made me realize that yes Life, I need to change. And guess what, I have! I’ve tried to become an adult, that’s very self-aware of her flaws, strengths, weaknesses, and have learned how to make good money and take care of it. Don’t know how to cook just yet though.

However, there’s one thing that I have constantly done in these last 4 years that have been fairly bad to my soul: I have stopped writing. It’s probably been a good 2 & 1/2 years since I’ve written a piece about anything. Like nothing. Not even a freaking recipe. I have not published anything in over 2 & 1/2 years and oh my God, has it been painful.

I have been writing e-mails and text messages with such prose and grammar that I sometimes forget that most people don’t even value that kind of shit anymore in their every day e-mail and text messages. There are people that still value letters (like my best friend 4 lyfe Jizzabell) and Thank God for her (and other people on the internet) who will always love the “Humanities.” Because guess what guys!? It’s gonna sound corny but that’s what makes us human. Yes, it’s true—English, History, Philosophy, Languages—is what’s making the world still go round. You can put your Tech and Science to the side. Because it’s the Humanities that have made Tech and Science what it is. We’re the ones that polish it and make it easier for you to comprehend, and we’re the reason why things even get to fruition, because we plant the seed of thought, discovery, and purpose.

Anyways, long story short (789 words later): I’m trying to say that since I stopped writing, my life has had a void that no one and nothing has been able to fill. However, since last year — I’ve come a long way. There’s a lot of blog posts I wrote in my head. It’s been marvelous. But you’re not a writer if you don’t write. So maybe I shouldn’t call myself that anymore when I go on dates. Well, I don’t really call myself that when I go on dates, I mention it briefly, in passing, just like I say that purple is my favorite color, and roses and jasmine are my favorite flowers, and that I would like to spend the rest of my life baking and becoming a florist. But like I said, in passing. I have a 27 things on my to-do list sitting in front of me right now that have ZERO to do with writing and everything to do with things that I sometimes feel I don’t even enjoy doing. But, like I said, I’ve come a long way since February 5, 2018.

Firstly, I’ve learned how to make to-do lists work for me. Of course, today is not a great example. But, I’ve finally given up planners. I discovered the world of Bullet Journal, and although I am not a connoisseur of the practice—it’s amazing and has changed my life. It’s for people who appreciate structured chaos. It’s a way for people like me who have way too many things going on in their head and lives, too many categories of things to do, to put it all down somewhere that has a simple system but no constriction.

Secondly, I’ve calmed the fuck down a little bit. At least outwardly. I no longer go completely psycho when things go wrong in my business. Internally, yes I’m freaking the hell out. But I have learned to control my “energy” around the people I work. I don’t want to choke my dad when I realize he made a pretty bad business decision. Rather I take a step back and think about why he did it the way he did it. Almost all of the time, I see why, and although it sucks at the time, I learn so much from it. This has come after a very, very long time of self-reflection, getting into my head until I can’t think anymore, and actually listening to constructive criticism without having a titty attack. After all, if you can’t take criticism when you’re almost 30 — when will you?

And finally, I’ve finally seen the light. I never lost God, but wow—when I say I found him, well I found Him. Spirituality was always a constant in my life, regardless of my lifestyle, and also the reason why I truly feel I was somehow protected from making worse decisions for myself. There’s a lot of bad things that surround the word “religion.” Rules, regulations, scrutiny, punishment, sin, injustice, Hell. But there’s one word that  doesn’t come up as often as it should and that is — Creator. The one who Created you. You came from somewhere, don’t get it twisted, you did. And there’s nothing wrong with reading, researching, disagreeing, and deciding which scientific theory makes you more comfortable — but at the end of it, you came from somewhere. And you know how I know that? Because we, as human beings, are never going to feel fulfilled. Other people, things, money, careers, status, power — they’re only going to fulfill the people who are hollow. But there will come a point in your life where all these things will get old. They’ll get routine. And you’ll start looking for something else. Until you find a new thing, which too will get old eventually. If you’re someone that reflects — well you will never find what you’re missing or looking for in people, things, and status. The final piece of the puzzle is your relationship with your Creator. That’s the only place you can find that fulfillment, and let me tell you — that journey can take your whole life. Because it’s not the Creator who is complex, it’s that WE are complex.

We fight that journey until we realize we don’t want to fight it anymore. It’s realizing that there is more to life than everything we keep ourselves busy with. It’s realizing that the only way you can get to what more is there to life is by practicing what I like to call, a level of healthy detachment. We’re all attached to things that truthfully, bring us a lot more pain than we realize, and we get trapped into these cycles of more pain. Some of us don’t; maybe some of us have led very easy lives with perfect relationships, but I’m not talking to those people (especially because they don’t exist). But all of us have “Tests.” And those those tests can make you or break you. You can come out of those tests like a phoenix in the ashes, or dig a hole for your grave while you’re still alive, because death would be easier than living the miserable life you’ve created for yourself.

I’m only 28—never been married, have no kids, never had to work too hard for money in my youth—so there’s a lot I probably have to learn. But this makes so much sense to me. There’s plenty of people who have more life experience than me who have found themselves at the same crossroads. What healthy detachment does is it frees you from all the shit that you’ve created in your life and your mind. It frees you from the result, and makes you realize the only one you need to please is your Creator —who only asks that you take care of your soul. However, taking care of your soul is not easy. Especially when everyone around you is conditioned to do it otherwise. What I’ve found in Islam is that it’s kind of like a bootcamp class for your soul. It’s not easy at all, but you get better at it every class, and it’s there so you can finally achieve THAT LEVEL of strength and beauty that you’re striving for.

I could write about this for another 1000 words, but I’ll stop here. Oh, and I think the Universe is working in my favor a lot when I tell you that a year ago — I was missing being in love. And now, exactly a year later… I may have found my person. Still practicing that healthy detachment but gosh does love make it 1000x harder!

Happy V-Day Betches,

-n

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Top 10 V-Day Playlist: Bob Marley

Whether you’re falling deeper and deeper into love with your honey, in the beginning of a new relationship, getting over one, a happy single, or just a fan of reggae music, I’ve got 10 songs from the great Mr. Marley that will get your lift your mood up, whatever the situation. Life’s too short to be sulking around! Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.

  1. Stir It Up
  2. Is This Love
  3. Satisfy My Soul
  4. Turn Your Lights Down Low
  5. Mellow Mood
  6. Waiting In Vain
  7. There She Goes
  8. Jammin’
  9. Could You Be Loved
  10. One Love

Happy Birthday Bob

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.” 

Reggae king Robert Nesta Marley, better known as Bob Marley, would have been 67 years old on Monday, February 6th. He was the first Jamaican superstar who gave hope to the thousands living in poverty and oppression and preached through his ska, rocksteady and reggae music.

Songs like “One Love,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Exodus,” “Zimbabwe,” and “No More Trouble” allowed not only the people of Africa to move to positive vibrations, but people of all continents.

Born to a white father and a black mother, he criticized the corruption of the masses and urged freedom from mental slavery, while reminding many to live with love and peace. He constantly emphasized the abolishment of racism and hate, stating “Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side.” Marley was a not only a musical voice but also a political voice that criticized social injustices. Because of his involvement in politics, there was an attempted assassin in 1976 before his “Smile Concert” in Kingston, Jamaica.

With the melodies of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, the early Bob Marley & The Wailers set the stage to revolutionize reggae music that seeped everywhere, despite cultural and social boundaries, and hit the right notes on what people of the world were feeling. Marley’s music was something (and is still something) that everyone can listen to.

A common misconception is that reggae music equals marijuana music. Granted, it does have some “mellow” instruments, but nevertheless every facet of Marley’s music has a different tune and beat that works for every feeling. “Get Up, Stand Up” calls for rising to claim your rights, “Is This Love” playfully expresses the blissful feelings of those in love, “Easy Skanking,” and “Punky Reggae Party” let’s you move to the bass in any environment.

While it may be difficult to pick out a favorite, “Redemption Song” is one that is highly cherished by all Marley fans. Marley was a great singer and musician for sure —but he was a greater songwriter. “Redemption Song,” written in 1979 when he was already diagnosed with cancer, is an acoustic that expresses the painful confrontation with morality, reminding one that “nothing can stop a good time,” and immortalizes Marley with Marcus Garvey’s quote, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind.”

Since his passing on May 11th in 1981 at the young age of 36, Marley’s legacy has been cherished throughout the world. His music has influenced many greats after him: UB40, Eric Clapton, U2, and Sublime. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Time Magazine named Exodus Album of the Century in December 1999 and “One Love” was titled Song of the Millennium by BBC. In 2001, he was given The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was the 2,171st star added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bob Marley’s music has lived with us for fifty years now and we know there are many more left. Happy Birthday, Bob.

Marley’s Top 10 for V-Day:
Change up the mood with some of Bob’s best 

  1. Stir It Up
  2. Is This Love
  3. Satisfy My Soul
  4. Turn Your Lights Down Low
  5. Mellow Mood
  6. Waiting In Vain
  7. No Woman, No Cry
  8. Soul Shakedown Party
  9. Could You Be Loved
  10. One Love

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