30 July 2016

the middle product

I've been MIA. I haven't been the best version of myself lately because so much happened so suddenly I didn't get to sit down and think WAIT WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

I was a soldier in January, an optimist in February, a tired young person in March, a fool in April, a rebel in May, a creative force in June and surprisingly the most troubled person on earth in July. 

I have been developing theories about my existence these days. It feels like I get into my mind, picking up the memories and stories from the library of my mind and try to measure who was I in the past and how many things I can turn into in future. I had been afraid in the past, I had been a rebel, a daughter from hell, a patriot, but I lacked one thing: being enough.

I have been a middle product of everything I ever turned into, most likely being stuck between a yes or a no. If I was a word, it would be maybe. When I was mad, I wasn't mad enough. I wasn't afraid enough or even brave enough, I had always been in the middle of it somewhere. Not reaching the enough point. 

When you feel like you're never anything "enough", it's like being in the middle of the road on a moonlit night. You don't move away, you just C.A.N.T but you don't want to stay either. It's confusing and doesn't let you be in peace. It's a restless phase and it doesn't go away, easily.
And GODDAMN IT, I don't want to be anything anymore.

The restlessness, you see, is the most uncomfortable feeling when it comes to self discovery. I've been desperate to finally BE something, a better version of myself, the enough version of "me" etc but I don't want it anymore. The restlessness I have resented has always been the secret guide to me. I don't want to be content with what I have created so far and all the things I have turned into, I want to keep going and if I stay, even for a while, I am afraid I would stop. Being content with myself is what I crave the most but it'll destroy me. And this is my biggest fear now.

And staying the calm, peaceful Areeba scares the shit out of me. 

Maybe it's not enough madness, but it keeps the fire ignited in me. 


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15 July 2016

I was water

I went to Kenjhar lake with my family yesterday. And water waves drive me crazy.

A few years ago, an astrologer asked me what my birth date was, who named me, what my mother's name was. And I told him because I was fascinated by all the things he knew about everyone. In return, he told me that I was water by nature. Easily flowed, always taking shapes that make no sense. And in the end, he categorized me as "emotional". And it made me so furious. HOW DARE HE TAGS ME AS AN EMOTIONAL YOUNG GIRL WHAT'S WRONG WITH MEN OF THIS COUNTRY? You see.

I tried not to be emotional. I tried not be water. But what's wrong with being the overly emotional one, the one always flowing with the sentiments and unable to hide what's going on inside. I have always romanticized the hearts of steel but it was hard for me to accept a heart I owned and which was made up of waves and the sea.

We, Water people, grow up fearing that if we're soft enough, people will shape us as THEY like and we'll lose the originality we were born with. It's hard to accept that we're water and we don't have a permanent shape. We flow fast, lose our current position even faster, we don't stay, even in the places we like. We have to flow away. 

But water doesn't mean weak. Turn ice when you need to, cold enough to be strong. But be water again, soft enough to flow in the places you're supposed to go, be someone you're supposed to be. Be water.

I took my art journal with me because I knew I'd feel things and water waves would make me wanna do something creative. I wrote a poem there. I don't want to be afraid of being water. 

 I also took a book with me, THIS HAS THE PRETTIEST COVER. Yellow makes me so happy. It's a story about twins so I had to get it. I have a twin and I'd totally write a book about twins if I ever got a chance.


 Are you water? Or fire? Or earth? Or air?

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11 July 2016

bright thing

I bought my first ever make up highlighter a few days ago. My obsession with all things shiny is still strong. I've always loved the idea of being a bright bright bright thing, visible, relieved that I can prove I exist. 

I was reading a book, thx to Katie, and it tore me apart and also helped me in stitching my open skin back, named The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. My favorite part that summed up my whole existence:

"And there I was, thirty-two years old, at a yoga retreat, desperately trying to find myself, and realizing that everything I'd been doing in my life, artistically, could be summed up like this: 


And I sat there and laughed and laughed. 
And cried. And laughed At myself. 
It was so embarrassing."

Thanks Amanda, YOU QUEEN!
 But really, it's hard to prove that you EXIST. Even to yourself. You see, it takes efforts to be more than alive, to exist, to be enough, to be a shiny thing. My biggest fear was that one day I'm going to take someone from shoulders and shake that person and shout LOOK AT ME I'M HERE. And being afraid that the wouldn't even look me in the eyes and approve my existence. It's the scariest thing, you know, to know that you're nowhere but you are.

But being someone who makes art reduces the fear of not being visible and alive. I know if I'm not there, something that I created years ago will be. If people can't see me, they definitely can look at the art I created. I'm more visible with things that I've created and words that I've written. I know that I'll be there even when I'm not.

My art will always be my BELIEVE ME I'M REAL cry. It's me, it has always been me, trying to be a shiny thing I've always wanted to be, a star, even a broken ones would work. But I want to be here because I know that I AM.

I want to "BE" and stay here and keep doing something I've always loved while having an existence no one can deny. Not even the voice in my head which is mean at times, even to me. 

I'm here and I'm staying.

Is there any book that turned you upside down?


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3 July 2016

#OhJournalEtc - July

How crazy is that it's almost July and I'll be 19 this August and I survived college and Ramadan is ending in 2 days and I'm fully prepared for eid on time for the first time ever. 

June went almost smoothly, almost smoothly because I had to go through the worst work anxiety and I thought I'd lose my mind but gladly I didn't. Quite an accomplishment. And June was also perfect for my art. Some important things happened: I BOUGHT A NEW + PROPER ART JOURNAL (thx ebay baby) & I'm working on more illustrations and commissioned work so the dream of being young struggling artist is finally a reality. Thanks, internet.

#OhJournalEtc reached 300+ posts on instagram (yAY) & here are the prompts for July:

Week 1: Celebration 

Draw an event, your eid experience, a birthday you can't forget etc, the worst wedding event you've been to etc etc.

Week 2: Dreams

LET US SEE WHAT WENT INSIDE YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU WERE SLEEPING. I think this one is the most interesting one so far. Let's get dreamy and shit.

Week 3: Red 

"You were red, you liked me because I was blue"

"Loving him was red"

Okay fine, add whatever you want with this colored theme I was just leaving my favorite lyrics and hints. Add red paint strokes or roses or lipsticks.

Week 4: Florals

It's mainly to celebrate a spring I've never experienced. Not to complain but I've never seen ~real spring~ in Sindh so I would just add flowers in my art journal. Let's celebrate nature and flowers. 

And here's a throwback to June's #ohjournaletc!


A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on

A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on

A photo posted by Areeba Siddique (@ohareeba) on
Do you keep an art journal?

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