3 May 2017

(balance)



Balance and I have never been on good terms. The more I chase it, the more it seems to run away from me. And me, I didn't like it at the start. I still remember when we read a chapter about balanced diets in our 4th grade's science class. It made balance sound boring, like a plate full of rice with vegetables I didn't like. It was my first scientific introduction to balance and I rejected it. I didn't want to eat a balanced diet. But boy I didn't know what balance was going to mean to me.

Balance was everywhere around me. I could see it in the morning and night and how they balanced their existence on the same sky. It was in my religion, in other people's mood, in my mother's voice. It was everywhere but in me. I was falling.

 It was such a small moment when I was on my skateboard and my uncle passed by, saying, "You need to learn balance." He, of course, meant balance in skateboarding but it felt like a sign (I embrace all odd signs).  It felt like I was back in grade 4 all over again and this time I didn't reject balance. It was the word I was looking for in the middle of the chaos of my life. I found the word but I didn't have the meaning.

Months ago, me and my twin sister were watching a tv show (teen wolf) and there was an emotional scene going on between a son and his father (Stiles & Sherrif) The father said something about balancing things in life, it was probably about doing something right if you did something wrong, simplest way to create the balance in life, fixing what shouldn't have been done in the first place. I was so glad to hear that, I later turned it into me personal balance theory. I found it a relief that there's a potential in me to create balance. 

I'm still falling from my skateboard and balance still doesn't want anything to do with me (because of my 4th grade rejection?!?!?) I'm trying to find it within me, in my religion, in other things or I'll try another balance theory and create small fragments of it. My religion teaches balance in life & the time before death, spending money & sharing it, time, praying & working. Balance is in my history. I crave it. 

I've been trying to find a balance between my religion and this world lately, and I have realized it doesn't come peacefully or easily. It tears my mind apart. It's important and it's powerful and it takes all of my strength away. But I'm trying and I will not let go until it comes to me, to stay forever.


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22 April 2017

she's doing it for the internet

I had always wondered how it felt like to write an apology on your blog for not being able to post because you had other things going on or you weren't just feeling (this sentence feels offensive to me) or you probably didn't care anymore (even more offensive). I think writing an apology for that feels awfully sad, but I'm here to do that before I start writing the actual post. I'm sorry to everyone who's been a reader. It's a sad sad sad thing that I took a long break that wasn't planned. I'm back, I'm sorry and I'm full of words. This blog is alive.

My life, since the past year, has been turned upside down because of many reasons. Many of them were cool, some of them weren't exactly cool and a few of them were heartbreakingly sad. Internet is one of the coolest reason. I've been freelancing, making art, working for a magazine (ROOEKIEEE!!!) and enjoying a bit of online fame sometimes. Internet world is a part of my life now. Or my life sometimes.

It was probably my mother or a woman from the family who said she's doing it for the internet for the first time when I was taking my outfit's pictures and someone asked why I was doing it. I heard her words but I had absolutely no idea that those words were going to be the headline of my life. 

I like to say that I have an internet based life and I'm loud about it in public. It is kind of like building your home in one corner of the web world and I'm proud of it. It's something I created for me and I'm comfortable there. What I didn't know that people had the potential to be offended by it. And the phrase she's doing it for the internet would turn into something bitter.

I have done stuff just for the internet. Like drinking coffee one morning with highlighter all over my life and sitting on the grass in my backyard and the sun shining on my face, because it was world coffee day & because I was going to do a sponsored post for coffee. I bought a pair of shoes for pictures. I love them and wearing them feels like I can conquer the world but the thing is I bought them for my instagram. I made a cake on Zayn Malik's birthday that had his picture on it and it looked so bloody instagramable. IT WAS FOR THE INTERNET. I wished he could see it.  

 To me, it's not pretentious anymore. Sometimes, the line between my internet life and my ~real life~ ~offline life~ blurs and it's too bloody normal. It's 2017, I have an online job and I like to spend at least 3 hours scrolling through twitter & tumblr & pinterest. Like a very normal human being of our time. 

So when someone tells me "social media isn't real", it sounds funny. Everyone knows it is not. But here's a respectable fact that some people decided to create a world of their own in this big scary world of internet. I do things for internet. To post on my instagram, to write about it on my blog, to film it for my youtube. It's kind of a lifestyle to me, to people like me. 

Tip: Don't compare your own life to somebody's instagram feed. We're working too hard to make it aesthetically pleasing. Real life isn't about aesthetics and number of likes. It's about surviving and moving forward. Practice that.

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13 February 2017

until you come back home

Home is probably my most used word. Partly because it leaves an unbelievably sweet taste in my mouth & mainly because I don't have a more warm and happy word in my vocabulary yet. There's something so comforting about saying it out loud, lovely but not romantic, soothing, occasionally giving me goosebumps and making me wonder is there's another word that makes me feel safe than this. How can someone say it out loud and feel nothing? Because I'm emotionally attached to it, probably clutching it too hard between my hands and my chest, never letting go of it.

Zayn and Taylor's new song, I Don't Wanna Live Forever, came out a little while ago and even though I had promised myself to stay away from ANYTHING 50SHADESOFGODDAMNGREY (sinister!!! we made a rule to never talk about it, maintaining a little grace) But there's also a rule of never missing anything Zayn does. I played the promos of the song with teary eyes, with the full volume. When the song first came out, fully for public, it was my birthday again. Let me explain, it's just about one lyric & one Zayn.

"UNTIL YOU COME BACK HOME"

I've developed a deep emotional attachment with the idea of going back home and this lyric, this very lyric brings back everything I've ever felt about home. 
Bonus: Areeba's favorite singer sings about her favorite word, making it the best song ever (PUN INTENDED) the kind of song she can spend her last teenage year with, making her the 19 years old happy Areeba.

I'm deeply sorry to say it out loud but this isn't actually the best song ever, no puns intended, even though I love it so much that I've played it for hundred of times, this still isn't the best song ever, for me. I've stopped fangirling over Taylor LONG AGO and some other lyrics are too damn weak (I gave you something, but you gave me nothing - YOU KNOW GUYS, YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER THAN THIS) Maybe it's because I'm used to The 1975 + Lorde + Halsey's lyrics that are too bloody meaningful.

But I'm truly glad this song exists.

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24 January 2017

Muslim Artist

2016 was the year I realized I can be a better Muslim if I try harder. It was the same year I realized I can be an artist as well, the real one. And these two clash horribly together in real life sometimes, they could have torn me into pieces if I hadn't pretended to be balanced. 

Muslims and Islam prefer words for their art. I'm poetic sometimes but it's not my best quality when it comes to art. I like to draw. Faces aren't allowed in Muslim art and it can possibly lead to an eternal hell I'm truly afraid of. So it feels awfully weird when I'm being called a Muslim Artist for my illustrations because it's more of an oxymoron. These two words Muslim & Artist don't fit together if I don't behave. And let me tell you how I do it.

I'm a young person stuck between religion & the world. Islam is the religion and art is the world. The characters in my illustrations (the heart shaped sunglasses girl) never have eyes, I either cover them with glasses or draw her with her eyes closed. It probably doesn't make a difference but I'm one step closer to a calmed conscience and a lil balanced life. It helps me be okay with my art. I'm trying my best to create a balance that probably doesn't even exist.

2017 is the year for my art. It started with my art being published in a magazine (The issue came out on 1st January so it's literally the year of my art) 
And recently, I've started to mix religion & culture within my illustrations & journals. It's partly because they're closer to me than anything and mainly because I'm guilty. I'm just Areeba, born a female Muslim and wrapped in culture before anything else. Even the artist in me comes next.

So when people ask me why I blend religion & culture in my illustrations, I tell them that these two are the BIGGEST PART of my existence. I fail to tell them that I'm scared I might be over-stepping my boundaries and wrapping them in culture or religion is of a lot of help sometimes. 

I just hope you and I find the balance we're looking for.

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