Exploring the 6

you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone

My life has always been a series of movements from one place to another, and I’ve always hated it. Over the years, I’ve moved homes, made friends, packed and unpacked, forgotten friends and reset multiple times. The worst part is, I don’t pack light. I travel with my clothes, makeup, and skincare (obviously), but I also have a couple hundred books that I’ve bought with the intention of reading, which happen to turn into decoration pieces on my bedside table. But that’s beside the point, the point is, I’ve grown up knowing that I will never subject myself nor my kids to that lifestyle when the time comes, I’m going to pick a city and live in it forever. 

Sounds like a pretty straightforward plan, no? In theory, yes, it sounds good, but in reality, things never go according to plan, and I’ve come to learn that notion the hard way, and surprisingly, I’ve welcomed it, I’ve learned to be adaptable to chaos, and believe it or not, I’ve realized that Canada might only be a chapter, not the end all be all. 

Truthfully, the different countries, cities, and cultures I’ve been a part of have shaped me to the person that I am today, and yet I go out of my way to travel and explore cities, places, and cultures outside of the very one I am a part of. So in the spirit of 2019 and resolutions, I’ve decided to do a monthly intentions list, where I make a list of the things I intend to focus on for the month, after all, it only takes 21 days to break a habit or start a new one.

Here’s a sneak peek of January’s intention list:

  1. Practice more self-care: body + mind + soul
  2. Be more positive
  3. Do my bed every morning (I’ve gotten lazy, don’t judge me)
  4. Invest in experiences, not things
  5. Be present
  6. Be patient 
  7. Explore my own city: Toronto / GTA
  8. Be vulnerable
  9. Read more
  10. Write more

Number 7 is what this post is about; exploring my own city, this is something that I’ve always neglected, or put aside because I always thought at the back of my head, I’m here, the city is not going anywhere so why rush? But like I said, I don’t know if Canada or Toronto is my future, and now there is an urgency in immersing myself in all things Toronto and so that if the time comes and I have to leave, I can leave knowing that I took as much as I can from the city. 

Also, I wanted to start small, baby steps, Toronto is my backyard, and I want to explore it. First Toronto/ the GTA, and then I can venture off into exploring different cities in different provinces, I’m giving myself until the end of August 2019, but until then, no matter how tired I am after work, I’m going to make the trip downtown and explore the 102 places I’ve saved on google, disclaimer alert, I have done a lot of these already but I want to do them again from this new perspective, and here’s a little peek of my list:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.6246864,-79.5690948,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!11m1!2s59uggzp5HPek2y7NAtUWNO5YLaZJ9Q

I have a rough idea of how many people read this blog, and to be honest, there’s not a lot of you, but if you’re reading this, I have a proposition for you, join me join me if you can because why not? Even if we’re strangers (sorry mom), let’s change that and be friends, after all, we are only strangers of circumstance, we might be destined to be friends, you might even think by the end of it, “I wish I were friends with you sooner Mardin”. Just food for thought. 😉

First Stop – Toronto/ The GTA
Next Stop-?

Mardin
7/1/2019

2019

a rebirth

You’ve felt a year’s worth of a cool shrug of a million blurry faces passing by as you lay lying down, standing stagnant. You’ve felt trapped in the eclipse of time between day and night until the midnight sun and the afternoon moon meet to conquer. You’ve been an extra in the movie of your life and someone pressed pause on you and play on everything else. You watched, paralyzed, as the gardenia seed you planted in the spring starts to fight the rubbles of her earth. Slowly, she peaks through the ground as if to glance around to test out the dangers of life, not quite understanding why she’s here and what she’s doing here. She says hello, but is shy and doesn’t completely come out. As the cool air turns into a warm blanket, her stalk starts to blossom, no longer shy, she tries to stand, slowly but surely. During the summer night, a hundred fleeting moments pass you and you watch as her stalk stands straight, unintentionally marking her place, her home, her birth, she starts to grow. You surround yourself in a sea of misery and then ask yourself why you feel diminished, and right then a thought occurs to you as her sepal starts to become more prominent, the sun comes and goes as the clouds hover over her nesting place, a scary thought occurs to you, what if, what if you disappeared right there and then. You’re already stuck, you’ve forgotten to move and as the rain falls down, drip, drip, drip, splash, creating a puddle in the crevice of the earth, you are masquerading your pain in a book of lies, life is happening as her stalk grows tall, gaining confidence, taking on life as her leaves start to erupt like a slow volcano. You hear school bells and children skipping, birds are chirping in the brisk autumn breeze and you see a squirrel digging a hole for his nuts, daylight turns into darkness, it is too good to be true, too good to be true to be under a blanket of stars. The sun comes out to play before you get a chance to make a wish and her petals fight their way into the light, and there she is. An honest beauty, but rays turn into rain, and rain turns into snow, you can’t let yourself be swept away in the beauty of her existence, and her pale yellow petals are now covered in a layer of snow, her stalk withered to nothing but a shell of a corpse. And there you are, as still as you once were, you let yourself be swept away and now you are broken, paralyzed, forever standing still as life happens. You reflect on the life that has passed and yet nothing has changed even though everything has changed. This is where you are, did you want this? Did you ask for this? Do you deserve this? What is left of you loosens, you start to walk towards your fairytale story of castles and prince charming, you take the long cut because you haven’t breathed fresh air in forever, you slowly start to pace yourself and then you run, you run faster than you’ve ever run, you’re running away and running towards something, an object, its vague and yet its clear, nothing but a mirror, nothing but a reflection, nothing but the truth, you are me, and I am you. And as the sun creeps in, I see the green sepal fight the same battle once again, as it rises from its corpse, this is her rebirth, her second chance. It’s our rebirth, my rebirth, my second chance. 

~

As 2018 comes to an end, I reflect on not only the past year, but the past few years of my life that I’ve meshed together and claimed as the worst two years of my life. And although I don’t feel changed in the physical definition of the word, there is a fire rekindled within, and that is a change I can’t describe even if I tried. This is what 2018 taught me, a year in review: 

  1. Fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with anyone else
  2. Mistakes can be a good thing, learn from them and then move on
  3. Everything is a phase, everything will pass, even the hard moments 
  4. Time will heal most wounds, but not all
  5. Things don’t always go according to plan, so learn to be adaptable
  6. Be spontaneous
  7. Family first, always
  8. Sometimes the walls you put up to keep out scary monsters also keep out good people 
  9. Be in tune with your body, your femininity, if you feel there is something wrong, listen to it
  10. A healthy body is a healthy soul, start taking care of yourself now 
  11. Idea’s come at night and in the showers, and execution comes in the morning
  12. Life is better with a playlist playing in the background (invest in AirPods)
  13. Bike more, it makes you happy 
  14. Friends come in all ages, from different backgrounds 
  15. There is so much to learn, but focus on one thing at a time, you can’t do it all, even if you think you can
  16. Not every day is going to be a great day, some days are just average
  17. Social media is not real life
  18. Budgeting is important 
  19. It only takes 21 days to change a habit
  20. Too much time alone can be a dangerous thing 
  21. Smile more, and laughter is the best remedy for anything 
  22. Don’t rush, enjoy the moment 
  23. It’s okay to let go of the people who keep you down
  24. Be yourself, be unapologetically yourself, even if that’s changing every day
  25. Starting something different is scary but worth it
  26. Clutter can be a bad thing, get organized
  27. Don’t give up, even if they laugh at you
  28. Friendships can grow apart, but they can grow back together
  29. Forgive yourself
  30. Be patient with yourself and with others, not everyone moves at the same pace as you do
  31. Follow your dreams, no matter how absurd, but remember that dreams require sacrifice 
  32. Women supporting women can be a wonderful thing
  33. It’s okay to ask for help
  34. It’s okay to put yourself first 
  35. Get out of your comfort zone
  36. Slow down and pay attention to the details, use that to write 
  37. Connect with your emotions 
  38. Don’t wait for an apology to forgive someone 
  39. Procrastination is your enemy
  40. You can create the life you want
  41. Just because you’re a good person, doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen to you 
  42. You are worth it
  43. Working hard doesn’t mean working smart
  44. Disconnect to reconnect, pick up the phone and call people, set up plans
  45. Never walk away from someone angry
  46. Don’t let the little things get to you
  47. Your gut is always right
  48. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
  49. Surround yourself with people who dream big, and work with talented and brilliant people 
  50. Girl talk is important
  51. You’re going to feel lost and that’s okay 
  52. Invest in experiences, not things, so travel more

It’s funny how the first day of the year flirts with us and promises us a better life, a new beginning, “trust me” she says, and we do. We take time out of our day to look for the perfect outfit and then book appointments to style our perfect self so that when we finally meet, we are spontaneously different and forever changed. She flirts with us with her countdowns, and her fireworks and we fall for her every move. And even when we think we’re immune to her coy, we somehow manage to fall into the new year resolutions and new diet fabs while she dates other people in secret and tells them the exact same thing, “I believe in you” she says when we fail, and she gives us the promise of tomorrow, the promise of another day to restart. January 1st, the first day of the year represents different things to different people, but more often than not, it represents forgiveness and a second chance. We really don’t need a set date on the calendar to decide to reset and change something about ourselves, we can break a habit, or go to the gym, or read a book any time of the year. We don’t need a date to make that happen, but somehow we always fall for her charms, the first day of the year, after all, there are fireworks. And its so easy to want so many things for 2019, and I can create a list that will go on for days, but what I really want? What I really want is for me to hone who I really am, I’ve done the searching, I’ve done the experimenting, I know who I am, who I want to be, what I want to achieve, and this year is the year where I go after it, and believe it or not, I’m going to be ruthless. 

Mardin
1/1/2019