Life Is Not A Bed Of Roses

“Today is going to be a great day”.

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When in Lund – Starring Marie

 

This is what I’ve been telling myself lately.. Confidence with regards to the fact that this world is NOT falling apart. I like to think that every question and answer is just a point of view, so although everything may well be falling apart, I try to focus on the fact that I am still standing. Don’t get me wrong, this is not some sort of selfish act, rather a self celebration.

It’s just that I’ve had a lot of projects for myself and I never really take a minute and appreciate how far I’ve come. Take this blog- I’ve been delaying it for years. Even if I have only written four articles and have only been writing for two weeks, it brings me joy and that is all that matters at the end of the day.. right?

However, writing is only one of the flowers in my garden of projects. I try to keep an eye on all my flowers; watering them, feeding them, taking care of them as I admire their natural perfection every day.

The thing is, a seed rarely looks anything like what it will become. You have to make sure you take care of it, work on it, and it will take shape and form in time. You just have to trust the elements and, of course, yourself.

We don’t trust ourselves anymore because we’ve been formatted to do as people say (people who might tell you what to do because apparently they know better..!). We tend to not appreciate anymore how it feels to enjoy the little things. People don’t just bump into a restaurant and try it out this days, we always seem to need validation, so we check the countless reviews beforehand just to make sure it has at least 4 stars (or some kind of deal..!). So now is it ever really our choice? It is truly not the end of the world to find out a restaurant may not be to your taste, at least you tried? Making independent decisions is important.

I’m speaking about restaurants but it could be about anything else that matters. Sometimes following the simplest advice will affect your whole life, such as what to study, where to live.

The problem is that once someone has planted that seed in your garden, you should be very careful not to let it grow into your worst nightmare. For dreams that you haven’t fought for, or that you haven’t wished for become roses of Bengal. From afar, they look look exactly like a regular rose except they do not have any thorns. They are quite easy to reach and won’t hurt you if you try to pick them. Only this- they have no scent.

I heard once that when people are asked what is their favourite tree, they often say palm tree or Christmas tree. It’s quite funny because these trees take years to grow before they reach the size that everybody expects them to be.

You get the picture right? It’s okay if your secret garden does not look like Kensington Gardens. It’s okay if your flowers look more like blossoms. It’s okay to be a work in progress.

You want that garden to be ready when you are ready to stop.

In fairness, there are few who are..

And although sometimes it feels like the grass is greener on the other side, remember we don’t all live on the same soil but we DO live under the same sun.

And while some people get to grow whatever flowers they want because they can afford a gardener, you will have managed to grow the most beautiful flowers, come rain or snow, if you tend to them with your own hands. And that, my friend, is irreplaceable.

 

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Leaving on a High Note

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Up up and away

I am currently in the airport, waiting for my flight, so I thought I would let you know what I am thinking about right now. This is what I do, I speak, I write, I am loud. It seems like I cannot think for myself, I have to let it all out!
I have just spent three amazing days in Amsterdam, more commonly known as the Venice of the north. It is also known for other stuff such as cheese, prostitutes, waffles and weed. Oh and maybe pancakes. The point is, this city has such a wide range of cultural activities that you can’t really go wrong… until you convince yourself that you HAVE TO do them. I have come up with a shortlist of stuff to do and places to go, hoping that I could get the best of my trip. Unfortunately, holiday planning never goes as planned. (I wonder why we call it a planning, we should call it ‘things I will hopefully do’)

Simple example: everybody was advising me to go to the Anne Frank museum. I could have followed this spontaneous suggestion and paid almost 20 euros to go and look at her life achievements and battles. Except, I have not been to the Anne Frank museum because it was 28 degrees outside and I did not feel like doing it. I have not been to Heineken Experience either. Oh, and I have not been to Van Gogh Museum. I can already hear you thinking “what? You’ve been to Amsterdam and you have not even visited a single museum ? “. Well no, and it’s not like I regret it in the end.

Let’s be realistic, I had 72 hours to spend there and if I am really that interested in the city’s history, I might as well buy a book and read about it.

Now, I did force myself to try one local activity which resulted in me going in a bad trip for half a day… you might have guessed it, I paid a short visit to a Mary Jane Temple.

I doubt that the people of Amsterdam are really going to these places. I have realised that the one thing that might not actually be a local cultural thing is smoking weed.

First of all every single place looks like a trap for tourists, but mainly because, Amsterdam being one of the only places you can smoke weed in Europe, I have the feeling that this whole weed culture has been invented by the tourists themselves.

Maybe their government have realised that one third of the European population was addicted to weed and figured out they could make money out of it? Possibly, the simple fact that it is legal here makes it an attraction. Yes, let’s call it a local attraction whether than a local culture. It attracts people but doesn’t necessarily make them more cultured.

Except the fact that it resulted into my friend going in a bad trip thinking she was gonna die, I feel like this weekend was exactly what I needed. Something different.

Sometimes, you just have to do whatever works for you. You will save yourself some fails, I promise.

500 words later, I am still here waiting to board on my delayed easyJet flight. I cannot wait to sit on my garden-chair-like seat and feel my neighbours elbows hitting me every time they move to adjust their position.

Now, let’s get high (in the air) !

Pictures of the trip are available on my instagram – @aminasoniah.

 

Whatever the weather!

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Have you ever had one of these mornings where you hit the snooze button a good ten times and still hope that you will leave just enough time to get ready, not look like a zombie and catch your train? Well, today was one of these mornings. And for your information, I failed. I woke up exactly 40mins later than usual. It’s not like my alarm did not ring. It did, about seven times.
I could hear the wind dancing in the rain outside, mocking me and daring me to step on this misery open air dance floor.
Yet, It seemed like I was in the mood to play with fire because I secretly enjoyed delaying that moment.

Once I finally realised it was time to face reality, I jumped out of bed and started to get ready. After taking my shower, I took some extra time to review my whole wardrobe. Bear in mind at this point, I had 12 minutes left. Although I could feel the pressure, I decided to try 4 different outfits to end up wearing the first one I had in mind.

And while I was putting some non-waterproof mascara on my lashes, my train was leaving the platform.

“It’s fine, I will get the next one!”

And I did get the next one. The thing with the 7:42 train is that it is quite difficult to catch my connection. I often miss it, but not today. Today, I felt lucky, I had two minutes to change trains.

As soon as the train stopped at my station, I ran through the doors as if I was racing for my life. The overground was still there, waiting for me, only a couple steps ahead, and, surprisingly, although it was raining, nothing could stop me. I mean, that’s how I felt until my phone decided to slip out of my pocket and attempt suicide. One week old… too young to die… I ran back to pick it up, and as I realised it was broken but alive, I thought I heard his lifeline beeping for a second. Beep beep beep.

Hold on, that’s the train leaving the platform. Without me.

I could have cried at this precise moment. No one would have noticed, it was pouring rain anyway. I started to wonder why I had even bothered wasting my time trying to look nice.

After a long commute, I finally arrived at my destination. It was now past 8:30, I was officially late for work. At least, Poundland was open, so I bought a one-pound-umbrella. Little did I know that this same umbrella would be destroyed in a battle against the triumphant wind a block later.

And this type of mornings, my friends, is why I have come up with such a positive name for my blog.

But failing doesn’t mean you lose, so for the sake of it, I put my headphones on, head up and made my way to the office singing to myself

Dear wind, you wanted me to dance with you? Well, now, sing with me.

Getting to work!

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When someone asks me what I like to do on my free time, I often say I like to workout, cook and other inspirational stuff that people like to hear. I really do all of these things, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I don’t do it in the healthy way that I make it sound like. Gym is like an on and off passionate relationship. Everytime we spend time together, I feel fabulous and beautiful. When it’s gone, I feel miserable and unattractive. Cooking is a daily thing, like a husband waiting for me at home, when I don’t feel like cheating on him while out with my girls in a lovely restaurant or with a cheeky takeaway.

The truth is that the activity I do on a daily basis, which I often forget to account in my agenda, is commuting. Now, Commuting is a whole other type of guy, it’s that stalker that follows you all the time and that you wish would just find another person to haunt. It’s always there, in the background of your rainy morning or your sunny evening. Whatever the weather, it’s right here: sucking the life out of you.

My total commuting time in a day is two hours and thirty minutes. If I am lucky, I will read the free morning papers you can get on the tube. I say if I am lucky because I always forget to pick it up so, most of the times, I pray very hard for someone to leave theirs behind.
If I am not lucky (meaning, if people show a bit of civility and actually throw their paper), I will spend the whole journey daydreaming, listening to Romeo Santos, and contemplating being on a beach on the eastern side of Dominican Republic sipping on a pina colada.

I could also spend that time imagining what I would have become if I stayed with my high school boyfriend, my first love: Writing.

Writing. Don’t know what happenned to that guy… He used to always be on my mind. Constantly. This morning, I took out my phone and decided to reach out to him. As I unlocked my screen, my fingers slowly found their way to the notes app and these words came out.

The words you are currently reading.

Today is a Monday and any resolution should start on a Monday. The only exception is New Years resolutions. Actually, let’s call it a new week resolution. From today, I will use that time to express myself. No excuses, new week, new me.

I know it is not perfect, but I am happy with writing. We are taking a fresh start, and Mr Commuting can watch me, he’ll find me busy with “Mr. Write“.

Now, let’s get to work, shall we?

Merry Monday and happy new week everyone.

Waking up in London

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Tower Bridge seen from London Bridge.

Today, I woke up in London, just like approximately the past thousand days of my life. It was a sunny day but it felt like one of these cloudy days. I was drawn in my own thoughts, dark thoughts, hopeful thoughts, all kind of thoughts.

Questions hammering my heart and soul resulting in me crying before I had even come out of bed.

Yesterday, I had no plans to go out so I had just met friends at our local pub before heading home at about 11pm. In the meantime, London and its Londoners were hit by another wave of undeserved hate on innocent people. Last night, as I fell asleep for a couple of hours, a part of London fell asleep forever.

The first question I’ve asked myself was “Why?”.

There is no reason to behave so cowardly and hurt all of the innocents on the scene and all of the Londoners in their homes. Yes, Londoners in their homes got hurt too. Some might think: “oh but at least they were safe”. I agree, they haven’t been hurt physically but surely the impact of such events goes further than the actual scene. You get that feeling that you are not safe anymore and, although you were lucky enough to have decided to have a night in because you were lazy or you were probably a couple of blocks away, it might happen again and maybe, this time, you will be there. Really, it is a question of timing.

If you welcome these thoughts in your mind, you might even end up paranoid. I have already caught myself thinking “why is this bag here” when the owner was actually just steps away  looking at the tube map on the underground. I have caught myself contemplating on when it would happen to me, how my family would be informed and other stressful scenarios.

So, I try to stay safe.

But what does staying safe mean? The victims of yesterday’s attack did not have an unsafe behaviour, did they? I mean, going out to enjoy a meal at the Borough Market with your friends before heading to London Bridge station to catch your 23:39 train because you are being sensible isn’t unsafe, is it? The teenagers who bought their tickets to go and see Ariana Grande were not being unsafe either. The innocent people being bombed in the Middle East countries were in the safest place possible: their home.

And that brings me to this frightening question: Are we even safe anywhere?

I don’t think anywhere is safe at the moment, at least when you live in a city. I can barely even imagine how it feels to live in a country where absolutely nowhere is safe, where even a ten-thousand-inhabitant-village can be a target.

I have always tried to focus on the positive side of everything. It’s harder today.

I have realised that if I have so many thoughts to give away to this endless torture that is the question “Why”, I might as well save them and send them to all of the people affected by this escalating hate in the world.

Today, I woke up in London, just like approximately the past thousand days of my life. It was a sunny day and I have decided to let it be.

All my love, light and hope.