Stretch your arms and face the sunshine
Let its warmth fill your cold senses
Soak it in, until it lasts
Live in it, until it lives
I am in the last days of my university life, my Architecture degree, and this life hasn’t been easy. Five years that make up most of my academic life, were supposed to leave beautiful memories and a stronger, more professional version of me. That’s what everyone says, but that is not the case. When I open up my box of memories from the past five years, I come across hardships, struggles, fights, depression and an overall feeling of “not belonging”. I come across face to face with a wrong decision, a wrong choice of professional degree.
The first two years were spent in the feeling that this is all difficult and if I keep trying, I will acquire what it takes to be good in this field. The third year was the year of downfall, realizing the fact that I am in a wrong place. Not just academically but also in terms of people. I thought that being a very shy and introvert person, people didn’t matter but it turned out that people mattered the most. I never found the right people in this place. I can say that me and my fellows, we never found ourselves on the same wavelength. The fourth year passed, accepting the hard reality and coping with depression and health problems due to it. It also included, leaving the people, separating myself from those who were toxic for me. Then the final year, there was only one hope, I hanged on to this whole year that this is going to end. I thought about quitting a lot. I hit rock bottom not just once but several times during the past three years but each time I got up for my parents and my past, the past in which I was good at what I did. I couldn’t just quit, that is not an easy job, also I didn’t want to disappoint my parents, who had invested time, money and love in me. I told myself to just complete this degree, the least I can give them is a degree that says I completed my studies, answer to many questions that would be asked, a safe haven from what would have happened if I quit.
So, finally the end is near, the date of my final jury has been announced. I can say I am able to see the silver lining now. Few days ago, I had to submit my thesis report; final year thesis report. The final years has two semesters, the first semester is research based and the last semester is design based. The same report was submitted in first semester too, but I was so detached to add an “acknowledgements page” in it. In this semester, however, I did add the page. It comprised of only two lines, in which I thanked Allah Almighty and my family; Baba, Amma and my brother. I couldn’t write more because somehow anything that is related to university causes my senses to cease. Everything is more of a labor than a simple task. The mental state is more of a panic and worry than of achievement.
But here I want to acknowledge. I want to thank. Here, this place that has become my refuge.
First I want to thank Allah, for everything that I am doing is because of Him. He has been giving me strength, every time I hit rock bottom, He has been listening to my prayers and the prayers of my loved ones. I have had this “change of heart” which is allowing me to go through these last days. It has allowed me to not quit , to carry on, to finish. This strange strength that He has given me is allowing me to keep on moving. I want to thank Him for the strength and for everything that He has blessed me with.
I want to thank my father; Baba. Baba you have been a great driving force during these years. I want to thank you for this time but more than that I want to thank you for all the other times. Our talks, walks and laughter shared together. For all those lessons, that you give me, hoping that I would absorb at least 50 % of them. I do absorb them Baba, more than 50%. All those lessons about life have become a part of me, some consciously and some unconsciously. I want you to know that I maybe a failure in this part of life but I will not fail you at life and the life here after. I will make you proud by living life how Allah wants us to. I will keep your name alive by living by all the little rules you always thought to be important. I will make sure and do my very best to not fail at life, and most importantly what comes after.
I want to thank my mother; Amma. She is the perfect woman with all her imperfections. Amma you may not be able to understand the technicalities of my degree but you have always wished and prayed for me with pure love. You have a huge heart and so much love inside you and that is reason enough to be thankful for. You pray for me and get me through roughest of days with your unconditional love. Your love has been a great support and no one will ever be able to take your place, neither will your cooking. Thanks for cooking me all my favorite meals whenever I was down and taking me out and for simply being there.
I want to thank my brother, who has always been a great friend and support. I know I can always count on you no matter how much things get difficult. I know you would be there just like you always have been.
My best friend Sadaf.I want to thank you for listening to my whining, handling my mood swings and making me feel better. For saying “you can do this, it’s only 3 years”. “2 years”. “Just one year”. “Hey it’s ending only 6 months”. For counting-it-down with me. Most importantly for providing me with a friend when I literally had no friend in university. For growing up together and becoming bad ass together!
My college group because that is the best group of friends I could ever ask for. You guys are the best support and best way to have fun.
Those are all my thank you-s. I never thought I would do this but I would also like to thank my University life, these past five years. I never thought I would ever be able to see the light. I literally lost belief in silver linings and positive-ness. It all became a cliché for me, just a lame way to get past hard times. But now I see it. I have always been a runner, an avoid-er. But surviving these years has taught me to stand and stay for the important things during difficult times. To fight, to hang on, to appreciate all the “good” amidst all the “bad”. Because there is always “good”. Sometimes it comes naturally. Sometimes you have to fight for it.
Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
A McDonald’s share box. It comes with a family deal. Now it holds my treasuries. Little trophies of memories those are dear to me. Just thinking about the deal takes me back to the day, I had this dinner with my family. Two Big Macs, a MC Crispy and a MC Chicken, I being the Big Mac lover would obviously get it and other members would manage accordingly, Heck! They were having this McDonald’s dinner just because I had to have this new deal. They were doing this for me.
Sitting on one corner of the shelf mounted on my room’s wall , it reminds me of the times, with my best friends,sharing our favorite meals . It reminds me of the all the reasons over which we bonded. A box of memories. It is a home to greeting cards, Letters and Photo Albums.
It contains different things I have received throughout my life. Eid greetings, Congratulatory wishes., Birthday wishes, Friendship promises, Get well soon-s, apologies, letters and some wrappers. Each of them, a representative of some fond memory. Then it contains Albums containing pictures of my childhood, family gatherings, school trips and college hangouts. Stills of some of the beautiful memories of my life, I never want to forget.
Now, when I see the various Eid cards, it takes me back to the childhood when exchanging Eid cards was a big deal. Everyone would give each other cards before the holidays, even the friends who were not very close. I haven’t seen most of those people after leaving school, a few I see after a year or so,and one has become an essential part of my life now. I love giving cards to my friends because it is an easier way of expressing my feelings. Words are friendly to me when writing, while speaking, well, that’s a different story. I have several friendship cards, almost all of them from my best friend, they contain some promises, some apologies and some expressions of pure love. All these cards remind me of all those people with whom I have spent good times.
Then there are letters. I have done correspondence in the form of letters with one friend, my childhood buddy who shifted to another country for four years. They remind me of our childish hand writings, stupid confessions. my life here and her life there and basically growing up together but through letters.
There are also some wrappers in it. Yes, some wrappers which come as a result of a childhood tradition. Its called the “Red Wrappers Day”. Exactly one day before the Valentine’s Day two of my friends at school shared a KitKat and one of them asked to save the wrapper. Out of blur, that moment turned into a promise that we will always wish each other on this day and if possible gift something wrapped in a red wrapper. I don’t know what was it, innocence, stupidity, or the weight of the feeling that school was soon going to end, we all promised and followed the tradition. A friend made sure to send us the gifts wrapped in red wrapping papers, hence the wrappers. After seven years it is now limited to a “Happy Red Wrapper’s Day” text message each year but it is still something to hang on to.
Last thing left are the photographs. They are from different phases of my life, Childhood, school and college until finally it all became digital. Don’t get me wrong I have trillions of photos saved in my computer, some more in my Dad’s old computer, they keep increasing but these albums hold a place just slightly above the digital ones.
The childhood pictures remind me of the innocent, less glamorous times. Some of the people are not in my life anymore like my Grandma. Those pictures also contain my childhood home, the place where I was born and spent the initial eight years. I will always love that house more than any other house. There are pictures of family outings, school trips and college days. Some people are still a part of my life some are just a memory. But I have pictures to relive those times.
These are my treasuries, my prized possessions. Each one of them is a portal to a beautiful memory. I don’t regret any of those memories. They are a reason to smile, a welcomed distraction. They fill my heart with nothing else but warmth.
Final post for Writing101. I enjoyed this thoroughly and I am going to miss it. Thank you all those who read and appreciated. You all are great. Also, yaay for my longest post till now 😀
Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.
How does that make you feel?
I couldn’t think of any one event.There is no special event but a time span of two years spent in my college which holds a very important place in my heart.This one is for my days spent there.
THE KINNAIRD DAYS
All my time, spent in my college, was the best. I cherish every moment of it, even the bad ones. I cannot pinpoint to any one event during the two years of my college life, but everything that happened there including: orientation, ragging, bunking classes, going to restaurants all alone, the welcome party, the bonfire, the cultural days, the bake sales or simply one of those crazy days when we felt too happy and too pretty to act goofy and take thousands of pointless pictures, was great.
I love each and every moment of that time because I have no regret associated with anything I did at that time. Everything was mostly good and the bad stuff didn’t hurt much. The place, the people, the purpose of being at that place was good for me; I can say that I was in a good place.
That time has ended, so, I don’t have to imagine how it would feel if all of that wasn’t there anymore. I have felt it. It is simple, I feel incomplete without the people and the place. I have never really felt anything to the fullest after that. Even now, when I go to that place, I enjoy every nook and corner of that place and relive every memory.
I know that every time comes to an end. It had to end because God had other things planned for me. I am thankful for what happened afterwards, I may not have the same feelings for the “afterwards”, but I am thankful that all my time, spent in college, ended with a “good” image in my mind. I am thankful that I have these memories, kept safely, in some corner of my mind, which I can always go back to. I am thankful that I will never lose the memories and most importantly, I will never lose the friends I got from that time.