I walked out into the harsh winds, ignoring the incessant biting of the cold winter into my frail bones. I walked down the marble steps, my worn out soul trembling, my faith shaken, my energy withering but my body resilient to any discomfort. I walked straight onto the rough granite pavement embedded with the footprints of distressed civilians, inconsiderate of whether or not I was crossing a pedestrian’s designated path. I walked down the street, dressed in an abaya which served as a constant reminder of the tyranny I was coerced to live in harmony with under false pretenses of the religion I devotedly believed in, avoiding to look into anyone’s angry eyes in fear of the accusing glares deeming me a harlot in spite of my consented full coverage. I walked past the first man, lowering my gaze as I was expected to and felt, I felt his searing gaze scanning my body half-longingly half-distastefully, wrongfully judging the oppressed woman, the silenced voice underneath the humble black garment. I walked towards my destination; bearing the word “underdog” in my mind but having the taboo of a word “woman” emblazoned on my chest and carved into my features, ensuring the indifference my expression conveyed. I walked past the string of grimy stores, ignoring the monotonous words of the citizens while having my mental voice engulfing my thoughts with its anger and struggle to attain my lost rights. I walked on as the thunder rumbled wildly and the sky began to water the earth, inhaling the sweet scent of tobacco mixed molasses which reminded me of the fact men chose to harm their health while women couldn’t due to the social unacceptability of females smoking. I walked, embracing the soon to be transient nature of my suppression, promising myself it wouldn’t be long before I could behave the way I wanted to. I walked, swearing to Allah that they will rue the day they chose to regard women as the weaker sex. I walked and walked, hoping my legs wouldn’t give out and my mind would finally be quiet for once.
For a long time now, I’ve been apologizing for things I cannot control. I’ve been apologizing for my appearance, for not fitting into everyone’s standards. I’ve been apologizing for my attitude, for being unacceptable and unbecoming of a lady in the making. I’ve been apologizing for my ethnicity, for being unworthy of your respect. I’ve been apologizing for my beliefs, for oftentimes contradicting yours. I’ve been apologising for my capabilities, for not being a supreme fusion of all existing aspects of knowledge and talent. For a long time now, I’ve been apologizing for being myself.
The rest is under construction.
Clutching the edges of the icy marble sink, I exhaled heavily. Ochre fingers gone pale and mauve lids snapped shut; I gnashed my upper incisors into my bottom lip, which acted as a barrier between the two rows of calcium-strengthened teeth in my mouth. I could not feel anything, the pain was nothing, it meant nothing. Reluctantly, I opened my cocoa eyes and, with a wince, stared straight into the mirror ahead. I slowly traced my swollen face, momentarily lost in thought. My eyes were brilliantly bloodshot, my dark complexion had gone ashen, my nose was abnormally red and my chapped burgundy lips were conveniently bleeding. I watched myself die a little every passing day and remained neutral. I was a falsely accused psychopath barely struggling in my straitjacket, a vicious and vivacious lioness declawed, a faltering show of fireworks in the morning of the first of January. A choked sob struggled up my trachea, painfully suspended in my voice box. My eyes welled up with salty water, threatening to gush forth as I feebly attempted to hold the tears back. Ultimately, streams of saline water escaped my eyes as I gasped for air, an appropriate embodiment to the train of negative thoughts forming deep in my head.
A bristly gust of wind entered through the chestnut-paned window, reminding me of the unforgiving winter nights. Inhaling sharply, I dragged myself to the opening in the room, followed by the ominous sound of my battered boots against the rigid wooden floor. I poked my disheveled head out into the frigid December air and closed by lavender lids, savoring the frosty weather, fully aware of my subjection to hypothermia. This scene could have easily induced a panic attack in a cheimophobe like my Australia-residing sister but honestly, who cares? Fluttering my lids open, I gazed into the light morning sky, faintly glittering with distant stars, and think of how long winter nights and loneliness are a package deal, a deal no one in their right mind would agree to.
The stars’ withering luminance reminded me of my own, which only seemed to falter each passing day. I had repulsively been wallowing in self-pity and despair throughout the past month, blaming the world for my own mindless mistakes. Fuelled by revulsion, I heaved my exhausted body off the windowsill and grabbed the burgundy coat swinging lifelessly on coat rack. As I slipped my numb sienna arms into its velvet armholes, I marched towards the door leading to the street. On my way out, I clutched the lonely umbrella leaning against the slate wall and snapped it open. Holding it above my head, I exited into the vapid December air.
There was nothing particularly distinctive about this day: it was typically bleak, disheartening and carried a sentimental kind of aura. The cadet sky had begun shedding its precious tears, which only meant one thing: impatient and dispirited civilians. Walking aimlessly amongst despondent pedestrians, I bumped into a tall male in a fine coat, a shade of maroon similar to mine. Unjustifiably unable to apologize, I stared into his prominent eyes, my insipid chocolate boring into his vibrant cerulean. Flashbacks of my childhood passed fleeting through my tired brain; my stunning mother running after me around the backyard, my handsome father playing soccer with me in the front lawn, my caring older siblings hissing warnings at me whenever I dared to defy my parents, my schoolmates singing me a happy birthday when I turned eight. Gazing into his dark eyes, I could not help but feel pure joy. His mere presence seemed to induce happy recollections in my worn-out mind. He halted wordlessly and lifted the right side of his cerise lips into a slight, ironic smile. Yearning an unexplained non-existent past including him, a wave of nostalgia washed over me. Who was he? He blinked his lashes once and muttered a quick apology, his deep, familiar voice reverberating through my icy bones. I nodded my freezing head once and continued down the granite pavement. I sped down the sidewalk, blissfully reminiscing while slowly slipping into an inevitable trance. As my consciousness faded, I felt my heart pound with adrenalin, hoping for another accidental encounter with this intriguing stranger. In spite of my heart’s pathetic desires, my dazed brain was fully aware of how far-fetched that was. It didn’t matter if those thirty seconds happened to change my mood to the complete opposite, I knew that it was one-time thing, a reminder that I am more than my fleeting emotions. And I was right.
As I adjusted my font to 10-point Helvetica, I contemplated how I had been battling myself endlessly on whether I should write about this or not, thinking it is far too ridiculous and insignificant but also believing it is necessary as I need to get this off my chest. I have never been much of a person who had it easy, talking about their feelings and clearing their head, since my annoying habit of overthinking usually behaves as an obstacle. Along with my writing/speaking complexities, this obstacle morphs into a brick wall, which further prevents me from growing as a person, something I find rather aggravating. Having grown sick of being stuck in cul-de-sac, I decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and start doing things which little ol’ me would not usually do. Seeing as “talking” is an issue in this area, this is me getting over it. Proud of me or what?
I suppose this blog is supposed to help me expand my horizons and explore my writing capabilities so I hope for everyone’s sake that I don’t sound as atrocious in reality as I do in my head, because believe me, sometimes my personal analysis of my thoughts and writing style perplexes me, and mostly not in a good way. I think the main issue here goes back and forth between courage and self-esteem issues. There is no wizard here to give me heart nor is this a situation where my “hidden talent” gets “discovered”; this is real life and I’m going to take it one step at time.
My writing issue isn’t the sole purpose of this post. As I mentioned previously, I honestly hope that through blogging I’ll be able to go through each individual thought I’m currently too preoccupied with. This isn’t going to be the only tactic I’m using to approach this issue, I sure hope I don’t become that spineless blogger who hides behind the screen all day long but this is one method I’m hoping to be effective.
Anyway, thank you for reading this and until next time!
I’ve just created this blog, hoping it will assist me in demolishing the barrier that prevents my writing from progressing and developing and so I will use this blog as a means of becoming more comfortable with sharing my work and finally having some self-confidence, something I’m (partially) lacking. Let’s just hope this pans out!