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Making ends meet

We’re six people, and we live in a two apartment bedroom. My dad drives a taxi and he works twelve hours each day to make ends meet. I work part time and I’m looking for a full time job. My older brother temporarily drives an Uber and he’s saving money to pay for a certification he needs. My younger brother and sister are in college and my mom is a house wife, who has diabetes, blood pressure and depression.

But we’re all blessed. We have our moments which end in tears and days of anger and anguish but at the end things turn out fine. We yell our throats out, throw fists, disagree and fight, and hurt each other. But at the end Alhamdulillah- we make it in one piece. Sometimes broken, sometimes tattered, but still we make it. We always do.

Coming to Pakistan we’re no longer the middle class or people trying to make ends meet. We become the elite. The upper class. Mostly because we have American passports which is messed up on it’s own and it’s a another story. But also because here people are deprived of basic human rights. Little children as young as seven are forced to work in people’s houses because they need to survive. It makes me sick and there’s nothing much I can do right now.

But I can narrate stories of women who’ve sat next to my mother and cried tears of blood.

From “my ten-year-old son died because we didn’t have enough money to pay for his medical examinations” to “my seven-year-old daughter works in people’s houses because we don’t have enough money to feed her.”

Stories about diseases that could be prevented with simple medication. Physical and mental abuse and how women have to deal with them with smiles because that’s what they’re taught. It’s okay if your husband hits you. It’s not a big deal. At least he has a roof over your head and he puts food on the table.

I’m not saying Pakistan is all bad. It has its issues like America does. But the people in Pakistan are loving and hospitable. They give when they barely have enough to eat.

One thing I’ve learned is that every person, regardless of nationality, religion and skin color has a story to tell. We’re all closed books with filled chapters reeking of tales aching to be told.

A woman whose husband married his brothers wife and kicked his own wife out with her two children.

A mother whose son left her on the streets.

Two innocent men of the same family being killed because of a political feud.

A woman bought from northern Pakistan to be sold as a bride.

A ten year old boy working as a dishwasher in a resturant.

I know all these people. They walk around me with smiles as bright as the sun trying to hide pain… but it drips from their bodies like sweat.

It’s so easy to judge, to throw hate, pass nasty comments, compare and envy… but its complicated to understand and comprehend.

Not everyone has a perfect life. What may seem like a bed of roses from far could be a mat littered with thorns.

I want to be you…

I want to be you….

I want to have your hair, your body, your job, your lifestyle. I want to be everything you are or everything you’re pretending to be. Can we exchange lives for a day or two or maybe forever? You could try to be me, and I’ll perfectly fit into your shoes like Cinderella.

Maybe then you’ll see how the demons I fight with swords of hope are crashing into my mind causing havoc worse than earthquakes. Maybe then you’ll realize that these fake smiles as wide as the horizon are carved with knives of anger. Maybe just maybe you’ll understand that the way I am is because I’m broken into so many different pieces that I can’t seem to glue them back together. And the worst part is that I don’t know what part of me is the original one.

When you’re bouncing between opinions and advice of other people, who think they know more than you…you become lost in this sea of voices that your own voice becomes so dim that it refuses to speak to you.

I want to be you because I envy that voice speaking to you. I want my voice back, but where do I search for it when it’s lost in between this sea of people. Where do I look for myself when I’ve become blind? How do I open my eyes when they’re sealed shut with glue as thick as metal?

I’m not asking for enchanted castles or showers of gold or status’s as big as the sky. All I’m asking for is self-acceptance and I don’t know where to find that. Does it grow on trees? Can I purchase it from Amazon? Would it miraculously fall from the sky? Maybe I can steal it from someone because I’m that desperate.

But NO.

Self-acceptance is something that I need to yank out of myself. I need to dig in deep. Carve out memories… break taboos… tear my insides and drain out all this negativity. Self-acceptance is understanding that you’re imperfect and that is what makes you perfect. Beauty is when you look into the mirror confidently and say, “I Love you just the way you are and there is nothing in the entire world that will make me want to change that.” It’s when you breathe a sigh of relief because you’re content. It’s when that tiny part of your soul is at ease.

Self-acceptance is when those voices in your head are kinder to you than the people around you. It’s when love reflects from you because you’re filled with it.

Photo by Ismael Sanchez from Pexels

But I am not God!

But I am not God!

I know, but you can be the answer
to someone else’s call
you can be the net
to someone else’s fall.

You can be the shade
to someone else’s rain
and you can be the salve
to someone else’s pain.

You don’t need to be a superhero
to wipe away a tear
you can be the courage
to someone else’s fear.

Look my love
in a world where you can be anything
I ask you to be strong
put down your ego
and for once be the melody
to someone else’s song.

I know you don’t have powers
but you must save yourself too
because only then will you help
someone else get through
you don’t need to be powerful
to help another soul
but if you can
then I ask you to be someone else’s cure.

Be kind, my love

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Will it actually be okay?

“It’s okay.”
“It’ll be alright.”

Your lips are moving but your words aren’t reaching me. I’m trying so hard to grasp onto the letters spewing out of your mouth, but they slip from between my ears like sand does in a closed palm. I can’t comprehend what you’re saying. Don’t raise your voice, it’ll only make me deaf.

The words your chanting have stopped making sense to me and the demons rioting in my mind are taking control. They’re harsh words make more sense, then your sugar-coated lies. Those demons are so loud that I can hear them scream like they’re standing next to me.

“Nothing will ever be okay”
“Look at yourself. You’re all sorts of fucked-up…”

Yes!
I find myself agreeing and repeating those same words to myself, saying them over and over again in my mind. The vapor of hope, I was holding close to my chest, vanishes and I find myself being molested by despair. I cry and scream but no one seems to hear. And it feels as if everything coming out of my mouth is a sin. Maybe I deserve all this. Maybe I should be punished. I’m already ruined, I’ll ruin everyone else around me too. I feel like a weed growing among roses, which needs to be pulled out or it’ll ruin the beauty of everything else.

I’ve come to the point where I’ve stopped yelling at those voices in my head. I’ve stopped fighting them because, in the end, I’m the one who gets stabbed. I curl into a ball and pull the covers over myself in an attempt to hide, but I can’t seem to do that. The more I try to conceal myself the more visible I become.

No matter where I go, I can’t hide myself from me. I can’t run away from what I am. From what I don’t want to be. This self-inflicted war makes my chest tight and it aches so bad that even inhaling hurts. How can I fight the world, when the war I’m fighting is taking place in my head? How can I win, when the person I’m fighting is me?

It’s hard to see the good in things when you’re blinded by grief. It’s hard to be positive when you’ve grown up in negativity. But I guess that’s what life is. It’s a war and you’re a soldier. It’s a dictator and you’re a rebel and rebels don’t give up. Rebels never give up. You’re brave, not because you’ve always won but because you’ve chosen to rise after every fall. Warriors don’t give up. No matter how brutal the voices become, no matter how bloody the battlefield gets. You’re strong because you’re here, torn, messed up, broken. But you’re here and that’s all that matters.

Anger

Anger.

It’s when your blood boils in your veins and you can feel it slither through your body like lava. Your brain is heated and all you see is red blinking in front of your eyes like bolts of lightning. Your skin becomes so heated that you can feel the rage slip down your flesh like drops of sweat.

Anger.

It’s when you clench your jaw as tightly as you can that you hear that click. Your words that were once as sweet as sugar become as harsh as spikes. Your tongue becomes another knife and the sentences dripping from your mouth hold so much bitterness that a cactus would blush.

Anger.

A way to kill people without physically touching them. A passage to a road that leads to nowhere but hell. A fire that destroys, not the body, but the soul residing within. A demon that feeds on hostility, anguish, and pain.

Anger.

The bubbles building inside slowly pile up and then explode like a volcano. You’re drenched in a feeling that overpowers you to the point where you become so powerless that you start breaking yourself and everyone around you.

Anger.

When you want to burn down the world and everything in it. A feeling that tears your core and shakes you like an earthquake. You tremble and fall, but in that process, you take everything and everyone down with you.

Anger is bitter.
It’s like biting into a cactus for water, or it’s like burning down a forest with your bare hands and then complaining there’s no food. I’m not saying that you should keep your anger inside, that’s just as bad as letting it lose.

Learn how to control it. How to manipulate it. How to express it in a way that would cause the least amount of damage. Sometimes, we lose communication and comprehension with ourselves and that is the worst thing anyone can do to themselves.

You’re damaging your body, your soul and your mind piece by piece. It may not seem bad, but it’s harmful in the long run. Understand what your body and soul want and learn to feed it. Learn to express anger not suppress it. There are so many things you can do:

  • Play a sport to cool yourself down.
  • Bake and focus on the precision of the ingredients.
  • Write and pour out your soul.
  • Speak to someone.
  • Record yourself and hear the voice of your heart.
  • Listen to music.
  • Take a nap.

And when your anger is in control, and you know you won’t explode… face your problem. Tackle the issue from the root, so it won’t bother you again. Pull it from the stem so you could grow something beautiful in its place. It won’t be easy, but then again it takes time for things to fall into place. Remember that a diamond is formed only when coal is pressurized. Inner beauty takes time and all that is required is effort and a dab of patience, sprinkled with optimism.

Photo by Elti Meshau from Pexels