Monthly Musings, Entry 04 | July 2017

July’s been a month of interesting surprises for me… can’t divulge all here coz some things needs to remain a mystery heh heh 😀 In terms of ups and downs, it’s all still pretty turbulent: some days for a few hours I felt like myself again, especially when in the presence of friends, but other days not so much. Lack of sleep, lots of coffee and little food has not helped either! But as it’s summer, my diary is very full and I have made the effort to hibernate less and see people. Life is as busy as ever.

This month, I also felt like I am being a better friend to my nearest and dearest, and have felt the same support in return, which I value so much. If you’re my friend then you know how fiercely loyal I am and that I expect the same in return. You guys know who you are and what you mean to me and the pillar of support you provide in my life. Shout out to Nadia and Tom for supporting me a lot this month when I haven’t been feeling my best. Also, I’ve cried waay too much this month – PEOPLE STOP MAKING ME CRY THANKS.

Listening to…

Downloaded Amazon Music Unlimited free trial and now I’m listening to all ze music woop for fweeeeee. Wooop.

Tone Stith – Can We Talk (EP)

Drake shared a post of him on his Instagram account so I went to check it out. I was surprised that I really ended up enjoying it – all the songs on his EP aren’t super great or anything but I enjoyed listening to his voice, which is an eclectic mix of Babyface, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber? I think I’m just enjoying anything that remotely reminds me of old school R&B. Some of his covers on Youtube are also a really easy listen. I would definitely recommend checking him out if this is the type of music you’re into; he seems up and coming.

H.E.R. – Volume 1 and Volume 2

Just came across her stuff on Youtube – you know how when one video ends and another one begins without your permission? That’s how I ended up listening to all her stuff. When her songs would come up automatically in the past, I used to actively switch to something else, but this time I ended up listening to it in the background as I was absorbed in something else that I was doing on my laptop. Turns out I like some of H.E.R. songs – lol. She’s masquerading as a mysterious R&B singer signed to RCA, but recently her identity has been revealed as Gabi Wilson. I don’t like all the songs, just one or two; it’s not normally the stuff I listen to but think I was just feeling like I needed some mellowness at the time so just listened to it in the background. Yes, it’s good background music that’s what it it. I would recommend a listen if you like R&B mellowness, which appears to be my go-to vibe as of late.

Britney Spears – Oops… I Did It Again

Throwbacks going strong this month. I used to listen to this album so much growing up! ‘When your eyes say it’ for whatever reason seems to be the song of choice – amongst ALL my sisters. Driving with this on and singing to it like it’s karaoke has been far too enjoyable. My niece has been down from Newcastle this month too and so there’s been a lot of nostalgia ❤ You can’t beat the 90s!

Jessie Ware – Tough Love

Why have I only managed to get around to listening to this now? SO GOOD. I call it depresso music – and it’s my favourite kind.

Podcast – Modern Love

I’ve really got into listening to podcasts this month, and have finally found something that I actually like. I stumbled onto it accidentally as I was reading an article on psychology, and then ended up listening to the Modern Love episode link (Episode 30 – ‘To Fall in Love, Do This’ – would highly recommend!) in the middle of the night as I was struggling to sleep. So then I went onto iTunes podcasts store thingy and downloaded more episodes. They are real stories of people’s experiences with love, loss and redemption, and the format in which they are presented is fantastic. A professional actor/actress reads the story and then the real person who submitted the story is interviewed at the end. I can’t recommend this series enough! If you follow me on Instagram, it’s all over my insta-stories – which I did a daily log of whilst I was on holiday. In addition to episode 30, I would highly recommend episode 59 and episode 10, although everything I have listened to so far has been very good. Enjoy!

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Reading…

All sorts… I’ve been jumping from book to book this month – attention span so shit lately. But I’ve been reading both fiction and non-fiction, not that I’ve managed to finish anything- Anna Karenina, The Gut Revolution, A Little History of Philosophy, Adventures in Human Being… still addicted to buying more books than I can read… : /

 

Watching…

Game of Thrones

Loving watching the latest series and discussing it every Monday with others who watch it too. The first two episodes were a bit slow in terms of action – it felt like they were laying the ground work for action. Was glad to see things taking off in episode 3 – every scene was like BOOOOOM. Things finally getting saucy. Still think Little Finger is sexy af and untrustworthy af. Jon Snow finally manning up. Dany coming into her own. Stark family being reunited ❤ Woop looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series unfolds. Are you watching it? What are your thoughts so far? Who do you think will end up on the throne, or who do you want to end up on the throne? Let me know in the comments section below. Personally I think it will be someone really unexpected, like Tyrion or Theon LOL :mrgreen:

Eating…

More like DRINKING WAAY TOO MUCH COFFEE THIS MONTH. LEGIT EVERYDAY. Shop bought £2+ coffee everyday! :CRYING EMOJIII:. This is why I am afraid to look at my bank statements. :MORE CRYING EMOJIIIIESS: :DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET EMOJIS ON WORDPRESS SO JUST IMAGINE IT:

I’ve had pretty much 0 appetite for a while now so getting food down me hasn’t been the easiest of tasks and feeling perpetually sick. So hopefully feel better in August and Fatwana returns in moderate form. Literally lost 5 pounds in 5 days while I was sick earlier this week. However I have been eating out quite a bit this month as I am attempting to be less anti-social. Dietlife is suffering though wah.

  • Went to a few new places – Tossed in London, when I visited for the day and saw an old university friend.
  • The usual Handmade Burger & Co. in Southampton, although they didn’t have halal chicken available when I was there – was super annoyed – so went veggie.
  • Went to the amazing Lakaz Maman, the Mauritian street food kitchen – literally everything on the menu is sooooo good and it’s halal too! It’s one of my favourite places and never fails to impress me. I’m slowly working through every dish on the menu!
  • Made a visit to Diego’s with Tom. I hadn’t been in ages and it’s good for peri-peri style chicken since the several Nando’s in Southampton are not halal. We had a whole chicken platter and large side salad to share and the most hilarious conversation. More on the ‘3 C’s’ that I came up with below – it’s a MUST READ.
  • Went to Greg’s Bistro too – this is a lovely little place opposite Mayflower Theatre, and serves the most delicious food – fresh fish on the daily. Had a really lovely afternoon there with the rain pouring down outside – would highly recommend. Great date spot and staff are super friendly. Forget to take photo of food coz didn’t wanna look weird in front of the person I was with lool. Would highly recommend and want to go again at some point.
  • Also had more afternoon tea, although hardly touched any of it as my appetite was really poor that day. It was to celebrate two of my friends moving onto their next rotation – yes they’re medics.
  • Top right pic is a magic super healthy veggie bowl that my lovely niece made for me. She was down for a week and bit to visit us from Newcastle and that girl can do food goooood! Put all her aunties to shame!

This month has been quite the #foodie month…

Visiting…

Bicester Village

Have wanted to go for agesss. My lovely sister Jamila drove there for the day and I was finally able to get the yummy Mulberry bag and number ‘3’ charm for my Pandora bracelet that I’ve wanted for ages! The ‘3’ is for the 3 stone I lost last year 🙂

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Writing…

Honestly. Zilch.

But managed this in 5 mins the other night as I was like GOTTA WRITE SOMETHING THIS MONTH OTHER THAN THIS MONTHLY UPDATE THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS.

Drawing…

My feelings.

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“I don’t know what I…”

Trying…

Well… just trying I guess…

As you may know, or not know, I started ‘dating’ again at the start of this year, after taking out last year – 2016 – to focus purely on myself. I have been blessed in most areas of my life – but when it comes to, ahem, my love life – not so much. I sort of gave up in March and started making plans for future spinsterdom quite happily.

If you know me then you know that I’m a tough nut to crack. It’s not because I enjoy being difficult (well, sometimes I do heh heh), it’s just due to previous experiences, and as a girl, it’s natural to be more protective of my feelings. However, I have decided to give meeting people another go because I’m 26 and apparently still young. Also because I can no longer take the despairing looks Mother Quadir keeps throwing at me regarding my bleak, manless and childless future – what can I say, ASIAN MUMS INNIT.

Well, it’s all a new experience for me, because for the first time, in like in ages, I am actually enjoying being wooed – hear hear! The thing that I have realised recently is that, growing up, and being constantly bombarded with commercial, Bollywood (lol) and Hollywood ideals of love, romance and expectations, can be awfully damaging to the psyche and the expectations one develops when it comes to forming real relationships, just like the impact of watching porn can have on people’s sex lives and ideas around intimacy (there are loads of studies on this btw if you wanted to check it out – fascinating stuff). So yeah, growing up, you develop all these out of touch frameworks of what relationships should be like, and what you want in a person, and you end up creating this mental checklist and then keep wondering why everyone you meet keeps falling short of them. I’ll tell you why – it’s because it’s ALL PURE FICTION. It’s fantasy – that’s what the movies, the TV shows, the books we read – that’s what they all are – they are made up and it’s so easy to get caught up in them and the ideas they perpetuate. Yes, sometimes they can be grounded in some truth, but they do not provide the full picture or encompass the complexities of the real-world in all it’s grittiness, monotony and fluctuations. They are there to remove you from the real world and provide escapism.

Someone once told me, you don’t really know what you want in a person until you meet them. Now being the more mature, although somewhat jaded, me, I could not agree with this more. The things that I thought were appealing in a person back in my younger days, has shifted quite a bit in recent times. I have discovered now that the qualities that draw me to a man, such as them giving me their undivided attention, taking a personal interest in things that I am interested in, kindness, considerateness, patience, persistence… strong morals and principles. I watched this fantastic TED Talk, on what makes people connect, and the commentator said that it was based on being open and vulnerable with someone else, that helps to form those deeper, long-lasting connections with people. And I couldn’t agree more; honesty and openness in communication is so critical, and I am finally allowing myself to apply these ‘skills’ (I suppose?), in forming new relationships with people. Honestly, people can’t read each other’s mind. I mean some people are more emotionally intelligent than others, yes, but in general people are not really that intuitive to know exactly what’s going on or what someone else is going through; and relationships are rife with miscommunication, misunderstandings and unsaid feeling. So yes, just be open, and from my experience, you will receive openness in return.

With guys and relationships blah blah blaah, I do have certain standards and things that I adhere to (always have standards ppl and don’t let them be slippin’!), because I am a woman, and yes, I like to be pursued, mentally challenged and treated with respect. It’s fun. Honestly, I want to be courted like a Victorian woman/gal (genuinely believe I was born in the wrong era). I discussed this topic with my close friend Tom over dinner recently, saying that romance in it’s sort of archaic form or the way it’s described in books/the olden days is near dead. Somehow amidst that conversation I came up with the what I call the ‘3 C’s’ – the things that win me over, and believe will win most women over.*

  • Confidence – don’t verge on arrogance because this can intimidate and be off putting. Don’t over flippin’ compensate either for other insecurities by being or trying to act over-confident. Real confidence shines through when you have it. When you are sure of your identity- who you are, what you stand for and what you want. It’s possibly the most attractive quality in anyone. When a person doesn’t have it, I find it’s the first thing I notice.
  • Challenge – I’m a thinker so I love a mental challenge. Verbal sparring is my natural state. This is why it’s so easy to get into a war of words with me very quickly and sometimes I do just play devil’s advocate for the sake of it. I love exploring different ideas and perspectives. I am super-open as a person, so it takes a lot to offend me. But if you can keep up with my mind and provide some sort of challenge, that can be really attractive. Especially if that results in being open to new ideas and reflection. No one wants to be around someone who is like a brick wall- people like people who are like sponges – adaptable, understanding, perceptive and willing to see things through a different lens. Well I certainly do at least. This to me demonstrates a willing and open mind; a keen interest to understand people and the world better. Someone who has an open mind and is challenging at the same time is a really attractive quality to me because my background isn’t run of the mill ordinary – so if you’re going out with me, I will come at you with lots of random stuff to see what you can handle. Also, I’m obsessed with psychology.
  • Chivalry – this is one of the things that I feel like is slightly dying out, but is really important to me. It can be difficult to figure out in the modern world, due to the shifting nature of gender roles at home and in the work place, and the expectations of men and woman now that we live in a more ‘equal’ world. But honestly, as a guy, you CANNOT GO WRONG, by being chivalrous. Unless you’re dating a lemon who can’t deal with the door being opened for her or something – she’s just got like other issues going on so IGNORE HER. But yeh, chivalry, how to explain this. Hmm. Basically, the dictionary defines it as honourable, polite and kind behaviour of a man towards a woman, but I think in the context of dating for me it’s sort of demonstrating your affection for someone in a courteous and determined or resolute manner. I just find the whole idea sooo cute and wonderful ❤ Just because sometimes I find guys make such little effort to win over a girl. Just take the lead, buy the goddamn single rose or bouquet, go at the girl’s pace, do little things to show them that you’re thinking about them – whether that’s a text first thing in the morning or last thing at night. People love being loved. Or being shown affection in some sort of sentimental way. So don’t hold back. These things make people feel good and foster closeness.

I’m Asian, so I come from a sort of gift-giving, communitarian culture, where women are sort of expected to behave in a shy/graceful manner in front of men, so I guess chivalry is a sticking point for me because it demonstrates someone making extra effort with me to get my attention. I’m not expecting a knight on a shining armour riding a unicorn or something, but I’m expecting effort and a demonstration of some willingness to be a part of my life.

Chivalry also stands out to me because I’m really sentimental (as most girls are) – so I love it when people show they’ve made effort with me, or considered me in some way. For instance, I’ve kept hold of things from eons ago, including my art from school days and diaries/journals – momentos since I was about 10 years old – or perhaps even younger – in a trunk under my bed (most things are under my bed lol). On my Pandora bracelet, I only have charms that are of significance to me (book charm, sea shell charm, graduation hat charm) as opposed to just there for looking nice or whatever. Doing sentimental things for me means more to me than anything money can buy (but also don’t forget money can buy sentimental things hahahaha). Everyone likes thoughtful gifts or gestures; it shows you’ve really made the effort to think deeply about someone, and that is sexy af. So yeh, if you’re trying to woo someone, BE SENTIMENTAL, it will work wonders for ya.

First dates

Tried this recently – doing an activity when meeting someone new is a great way to ease the pressure off, especially on a first date! It’s both fun and intense, but SO GOOD. Got the idea because I read a lot of psychology stuff and listen to podcasts in my spare time. Its a famous psychology study conducted by Arthur Aron about fostering interpersonal closeness in a lab setting through two strangers taking it in turns to ask each other 36 questions, which get increasingly more personal. The media blew it up a bit and was like “do this to fall in love” (ref: Modern Love podcast, Episode 30), but it is honestly a great first date activity, as it works best with two strangers meeting. It really helps to ease the pressure off and move away from talking about facts to talking about things around values and personal stories. So check out the links!

Social media life

Instagram stories.. I thought I should better demonstrate my digital marketing skills (anyone want to hire me freelance – feel free to contact moiii). So I’ve been giving these a go lately as I don’t have any space on my work phone for Snapchat life atm. If you’re new to it – here’s le tip: its called INSTAGRAM STORIES… IT’S MEANT TO TELL A STORY. Not be random snaps of rubbish or promotions. Make it interesting ppl please, let your personality shine throughh. Follow me bitches.

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on this post, or anything else you think you would like to see me write about?

*to avoid confusion around the issue of generalisation, I would like to state that all views and posts on my blog are based on my own personal experiences and my place in the world, the people I interact with, and how I see it through my multi-faceted identity. Thanks.

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