We are so busy in fulfilling other’s needs and desires that sometimes we forget our own needs, sometimes for weeks and sometimes for years.
The things we used to do for ourselves, that made us happy, brought peace to our minds and serenity to our restless souls. In this thing called living life up to the mark of no disappointment, we forget about what makes us want to live this life in the first place. We forget about the happy place. We lose sight of our happy place.
Like many of us, I did this same mistake of disconnecting myself from my happy place and not realizing its side effects on me. When I lived with my parents I had this strong urge of living alone or abroad or to go somewhere for some days at least to gather my thoughts and recollect myself as if I left it somewhere. At that time I didn’t understand why I always felt that way. As time passed that urge disappeared as I couldn’t go anywhere on my own. When I moved to Pakistan for my higher education I stayed there for four years, during that time, I kept coming back to Saudia for visa re-newel and then would go back to Pakistan. In those months sometimes my mother would stay back a little longer and I would have some time in Pakistan at my home to myself as my brother isn’t very interfering but they were just a few weeks or so and in those days I would do whatever I wanted to do without any routine or obligation to satisfy or meet someone’s needs and that exhilarated and liberated me.
But then the same routine would come up and I’ll get wrapped in it without even thinking what I needed as at that time it didn’t occur to me what was I missing.
After my graduation, I enrolled for my MS Degree, but at that time my mom had to go back to Saudia as my father wasn’t well and my brother moved to another country so despite having relatives I was living on my own in Pakistan at my place. Yes, it may sound a bit weird a young girl living alone in a country like Pakistan but I had faith in Allah that he’ll protect me from any danger and also I knew how to live and maintain a low-key profile and not attract unnecessary attention. In the beginning, my Khala (aunt) and cousin stayed with me and then later on a friend of mine shifted to my place and I had a paying guest so we were good to go.
I lived in Pakistan for two years and on my own visiting Saudia every year as well. But the time that I spent in Pakistan nurtured and nourished me. It made me strong and independent, it gave me lifelong friends apart from my school friends, it gave me confidence and a sense of security that I can survive on my own and don’t need anybody to save me. I was single and happy. Whenever I recall that time, that’s the happiest I have ever been. Not to say people who are in relationships don’t have it good but I had it great. I did whatever I wanted to do, where ever I went both my parents and brother knew. I never had to lie to them because I had gained that trust. Living on my own made me confident about my thoughts and my decisions whether right or wrong, they made me learn and they gave me space to think and then think endlessly for days or for weeks. I felt as if I was alive again. I had to time to myself to read books, to cook or not to cook, to eat junk food, to eat out, to go on long drives and crazy adventures and trust me I wasn’t doing anything that I would regret now or anytime in my life later. I lived my life with carefree spirit but never crossing my limits to have a guilty consciousness. So as refreshed I was living freely that boosted up my energy levels and I did everything with a passion never feeling like I had to force myself into things but the inspiration and happiness came as if they were my second nature. I completed my degree and worked in a production house as well both of them helped in giving me healthy exposure.
Now when I have been living in Saudia for the past one and a half year, I was living the same routine life and it never occurred to me what was I suppressing again? Routine life bores me and energizes me as well but that happens in different phases and time, as I was living with a routine I needed a break but didn’t know how? I needed my time to think through things, again recollect my thoughts, asks some serious questions about my life and answer some reasonable or rather direct answers about what I wanted, why I wanted it, what I lack and what my purpose is? All of these answers needed to come from within deep down under the soil where I had again buried my life’s essence and desires, where I had buried my soul.
But again I couldn’t go anywhere, but that desire to get a free space was so needed as if my body and soul were crying for it. But to my surprise, Allah created that space without me having to go anywhere but rather taking people out of the picture. My mother and brother had to go to Pakistan to resolves some issues there on an urgent basis. I have been living here; I wanted to go to but couldn’t leave my father as someone has to stay with him and also my newly kept pet. My beloved cat. So I ignored the desire to go to Pakistan and accepted what was coming my way and it was my freedom for a month or so. At first, I was a bit scared as I am not a pro chef and cooking isn’t my forte or interest. So the thoughts of what to cook every day and making menu kind of scared me, but as I dived into it. The thing I hated the most in the beginning starting taking the place where I could release all my negative energies and having a therapy session without paying for it. I would see what I wanted to make that day or to prepare for the next day. Then in the evening, I would prepare all the ingredients needed all set to go and around evening after Maghrib I would go into the kitchen to prepare the dish. That one and a half hour in which I was preparing the dinner for my father and myself I felt relief and free of every negative thought and only positive energy surrounding me. I felt in control of what I was doing, making mistakes and learning and doing that empowered me. I would use that time to think and ponder wash the dishes and do other stuff while staying in the kitchen. I was able to produce good and tasty eatable food for us which I never thought I was able to do because I never liked cooking and never believed I would end up doing it but I prayed for it and asked Allah to somehow teach me cooking and make me enjoy it without me hating every minute of it. And for me, that’s a miracle in of itself. You don’t always have to have big unimaginable miracles to prove you something or make your life exciting, sometimes all you need is to have the things you need to do but hate doing them turn into things you love and you look forward to doing them.
For me, this break was much needed to lead me into the answering of my own prayer but in a totally different way than I had expected it. And this break and space was not only needed for me to learn cooking but to also explore what I like to cook, how I like to cook, because I am very impatient so quick, easy but delicious recipes are the one I always go for, that doesn’t mean I am not into desi cooking. I am about to dive into Aloo Baingan (eggplant and potato curry ) with boiled rice and Raita which I made yesterday after completing this post.
Letting the things take their natural course and despite being scared of them just let them come allows you to appreciate what they bring along without any expectation attached and when expectations are not raised you have no idea what you can get out of the thing you disregarded the most.
So one week in on this my space, my time journey and I am loving the things I am doing because it gave me head space to look for my happiness and to create it from the things that scare me the most. So this week as cooking has added up I am now addressing some other deep down buried aspirations and desires which I have ignored in the past couple of years. The desire that lead me to my purpose, the inspirations that take me to my passion so they help me to take the decision I have been long avoiding to stand up for myself and my life and again live it to the fullest as I always did.
So for all of these things sometimes you have to break the routine and let your mind wander across your soul and across the globe. That doesn’t mean you have to go somewhere to explore but rather you are at the exact same place but not entirely there. So let your brain wander, think and contemplate so it can guide you to what you are and what you need and extract answers from within which you have been hiding for so long. Answer them whether be it true or false, whether be it right or wrong, but just answer them and listen to what your heart speaks to you. Give yourself time and detach yourself from people so your heart gets the chance to speak uninfluenced by other people’s opinion. Let it tell you what you need to know about yourself, let it touch the painful spots, which causes discomfort, let them heal. Talk to your fears and insecurities, ask them why do they exist, what they are afraid of? what harm will it cause going against the flow? what are you preventing me from by making me scared? what is on the other side of fear waiting for me? talk and ask questions and then be ready with a keen ear to listen carefully to the whispers and orders. Don’t rush and don’t panic it’s just you telling your own self that you need to hear me so don’t freak out when it tells you the truth.
When you have gained the knowledge of what you needed to know and accepted what needed to be accepted and let go of what needed to go, then come back home and embrace your life with an open heart and see the breakthrough of your life coming through.