Thursday, April 19, 2018

P - Personal Diaries Are Not Advisable

Personal diaries ... my relationship with them has been sweet and sour. I have been writing since I have learned how to write. But ... no ... diaries have not been accumulating like the Cullen vampire family's wall of graduation caps. Why? Because I kept realizing that feelings should not be preserved unless they are pleasant. The more you spill out negative feelings, the more are the chances of this happening to your diary ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O - Only God Can Decide The Best Course

It takes a great deal of experience, an unbelievable load of patience, and sincere blind faith to learn this lesson. And once I did, life became a lot more peaceful. I understood that the story of my life (and everyone else's) is being written by the One Who only writes Masterpieces. So, mine is one too! Every route, every direction, every incident is pre-decided and there's a perfect timing for every little bit. 
Earlier, I was a big time ball of fear due to uncertainty. I am still a panic ball --- *HEE HEE*--- but the uncertainty is gone. This doesn't mean I have turned into an ecstatic hippy because that's not what I am implying. I haven't given up the struggle. I am still putting up a fight everyday but I am not that crazy anymore to be losing my hair over it. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

N - Never Bring Your Complain To A Man

Before any of the readers of this post decide to launch an attack on me for being a feminist, please be warned that I am not speaking like a woman who likes to overrule men and question their authority. I am just a fed up one ... who is tired of being overruled all the time.
The gentlemen I have come across in my 31 years of life have; unfortunately, always refused to consider my problem as a problem. I have always gotten a lot of dismissive waves of the hands.
Apparently it has to be Dotty the asteroid speeding towards me to qualify as a real problem. And then ... it would be my fault I didn't move out of the way. ---*FACEPALM*--- So technically, head and tail are both not in my favor when I take a problem to their table. 
For starters, I am taken as a dumb broad who knows nothing about anything. My knowledge, acumen, expertise don't matter. What would I know of the world? I am a lady. Next comes the matter of voicing a complain. A woman has limitations, alright? And we need opinion and assistance of the men around us. 
And they cannot offer that without putting up a pompous display of strength! I get a "Ha! Told you so" when I make a mistake. I try telling them something's wrong, someone's wrong ... and my complain can go take a hike because they don't have ears for it. O, and they always have something superior to tell me. Mostly, it is a solution as difficult as a NASA mission so I know I won't be able to do it! 
This is the reason why I have always been gathering up guts every now and then to try and achieve the most impossible! It is not always achievable but the continuous trying changes you. So before you transform into the above depicted character ... keep your complaining to yourself. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

M - Marriage, Manhunt & Lessons Learned

There is this conspiracy about finding a Mr Abbie - a supposed-to-be life partner for me. The idea is as crazy as the feat of trying to transplant a human head onto a new body. They haven't been able to do that just yet. It will be a legendary day in history; the world shall remember it as 'The Day They Found Mr Abbie', when a male equivalent of me will be discovered! Until then ... the manhunt is on!
In my community (South Asians) a woman of 31 is a bird that's been flying solo for too long. And, every element of the sociosphere becomes 'dishonestly' interested in trying to make it hit an iceberg before the ship has sailed too far! 
The biggest lesson I have learned so far, as the manhunt continues, is to keep standing with courage as insane as Captain Jack Sparrow! There's a precise time when the absolute best of things comes around and this is Mr Abbie we are speaking of. Until then, some wise strategies need to be executed to survive!
I have to dodge the creepy matrimonial aunties that chase me as soon as they smell 'Single'. They carry resumes and profiles of eligible bachelors they think are as good as Johnny Depp! --- I find myself warding off the sadist demon who likes to ask if my mother is unwell because I am 'ageing and still single' (my mother has a herniated disc for God's sake, you imbecile!)! --- There are nut women from sinister sororities who like to cook stories about hopeless singles and their suicidal lives when I am around. Erm, I'm not living for the ring ladies. If it doesn't come around I'll still be living a sassy, exotic life! --- Oooh, and meet the desperate housewife who likes to send me photos with strategic shots of her husband's hairy arms and legs!!! (true story!). The idea behind doing this is to trigger some nerve in me. It only triggers serious concerns for her psychological health. Must I go on to nauseate you?
Besides playing dodge, I have also learned the types of shady characters to avoid --- the 'self-proclaimed eligible' bachelors that is. The majority of buffoons are those hanging by the delicate thread called 'visa' and wish to tie the knot with my US passport instead of my awesome self! Instead of over-focusing time and money on that wall we share with Mexico, Mr. President should hunt out these matrimonial aunties who have organized portfolios of immigrants who have passed their visa tenures, have no legal resident status, or are carrying fake academic degrees to trap vulnerable citizen ladies. There are certain checks and balances that I have figured out to decode the fake. 
Also, from the horror stories I have seen, I have learned that you don't marry JUST the man but you marry the family as well. You get a monster-in-law instead of a mother-in-law you are dead! You land into a greedy family, your happy days are over. You tie the knot with people who are different in culture, values, faith, and tradition - you are in for an existential crisis. So, I have learned not to compromise standards and criteria. 

Another thing! I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in the magic of Disney fairytales, I live like the madness of Captain Jack Sparrow, I am a Gryffindor at heart, and a Middle-Earthling as well! With this package, I cannot settle for a commercial marriage contract. Mr. Abbie needs to do justice to this package, otherwise --- Keep the ring and let freedom riiiiiiiiinggggggggggggggggg! 

L - Less Is More

... of everything, really. Keeping it simple rounds up to big! That's a mathematical oddity but who cares about math, and its other strings attached? I mean, I knew I wasn't going to care when I scored a 6 on 25 on my first ever Algebra test in 6th grade. Okay, I was worried sick but still...
Less is more is my lesson learned all through last year. I am using a minimalist approach to my artistic expressionism and also my lifestyle! Why? Because I feel my processing capacity is diminishing with time. It is deterring partly because I am always under panic and pressure! 💣 Work's growing, social media are booming like mad, and social complications know no end! I do not think ALL of that is for me to handle. 
Most of art should be kept personal and all meanings should not be given away. Small, meaningful posts with animated gifs and comics and graphics is more appealing than paras upon paras of writing.
Talking less and keeping details to myself is also a very wise thing to do - conveys more! Nobody listens sincerely anyways. 
Keeping a few numbered good friends is better than huge groups and battalions of social butterflies because they simply add to the disturbia! 
And ... I shall leave you here.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

K - Kitchen Hacks That Changed My Life

I was discarding milk dot on the best before date, the cilantro was turning into compost fertilizer (smelly as sewage!) in the produce drawer of my fridge, green onions were dying, and bananas were turning into blackened corpses. I took to the internet to find and test hacks that would rescue all the produce! Here are the tried and tested ones!
The deal is... air dry your cilantro by laying it out on the counter and setting a fan on it. Pat dry with a dish towel, and place it an airtight container NOT a Ziploc bag. Put an egg (NOT BOILED) with the cilantro. Cover with a lid, make it all airtight. Store in a crisp produce drawer. Keep changing the egg with a fresh one every week, and the old egg's completely usable - you will not mutate into a ninja turtle, I promise! Cilantro will stay fresh and unspoiled for weeks. If you see moisture on the leaves, keep pat drying. 
Oranges like farting. Yes, they emit this gas that ripens and rots other fruits and vegetables. Apples and cucumbers all die when oranges break wind. They should be stored in plastic bags and in separate drawers of the fridge.
I have tested and approved this! But don't try getting 2 dozen bananas because this is not mummification. This is temporary extension of shelf life. Break bananas off from the bunch and aluminum foil wrap the stem where it was attached. Then wrap a cling wrap. Do not store with oranges. Use a plastic bag to keep them.
Add a cling wrap to the tops. And change water every couple of days. The green shoots will grow! Keep trimming, keep using! This looks like a terrarium in my fridge! The only green thumb I have ever exhibited after killing my hydrangeas!
Pickle jars, juice bottles, jam bottles, etc. etc. etc.
These hacks changed my life - speaking in a TV ad testimonial tone - Seriously! I intend to do some more tests and trials. Until next year then ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J - Joking About It Saves The Day

I have burned a LOT of brain fuel on worrying, panicking, hyperventilating, fussing, stressing, and trying to avoid a cardiac arrest because of the things life throws me as soon as I open my eyes! I have found an annoying, insane-looking, and sarcastically evil way of responding to them. 
So, when a tenant calls me to say the roof blew off in the storm last night, I take a deep breath and switch into the Jaffar from Aladdin mode to handle the tragedy of the situation. Obviously the news means I will be calling up and begging the super busy contractors before another rain and possible flooding of the house!

I actually imagine the lightning in the background as well when I laugh at myself. That doesn't solve the problem but gives me the stamina to resolve it with a funny attitude. This non-seriousness is needed to calm my nerves down which actually cause me health issues.
So, to avoid my bowel movements due to stress I sometimes resort to the annoying behavior of laughing out loud about things. It doesn't always work, it is not fool proof, but still...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I - It's In The Little Trinkets

I was inspired by a poem I wrote for the National Poetry Writing Month, for today’s contribution to Lessons Learned At 31.

I was inspired by a poem I wrote for the National Poetry Writing Month, for today’s contribution to Lessons Learned At 31. Tiny little trinkets, material objects; particularly stationary items like pins and magnets etc., are my guilty pleasure. I find great comfort in looking at them at stores like Target, Walmart, AC Moore, Five Below, and Dollar Tree! Sometimes, it is window shopping and otherwise I am actually loading the cart. They’re most non-pricey unless I have to splurge on a TV show or movie merchandize! My trinkets from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are pricey and yet priceless! This is something that’s been true to my nature since childhood. 

At 31 I can confidently say that these precious little things can provide great comfort. I look at them, decorate my surroundings with them, Instagram them, blog about them, and change their displays seasonally. I believe I took to material objects because I found these lifeless; yet full of life, little treasures to be more sincere and more encouraging than human friends and relationships. I mean, my Disney erasers, sharpeners, pencil cases, and stationary items were a treat to just play around with when I had been bullied by a bunch of meanies in elementary school. That's just a starters kind of example.
So, like pets I have had these trinkets to entertain me, to converse with me on creative levels, and to inspire me.  

Monday, April 9, 2018

H - Humor Yourself!

Comedy is very important, I have realized. To be able to laugh is a gift, really. And it’s become very important for me in the past year to watch something hilarious to be able to dilute the poisonous effects of everyday life accumulating and threatening to kill me at the end of the week. 

I have learned about myself that YES I am a dark person. I am a Goth at heart and I take to genres like thriller, horror, sci-fi, action adventure, etc. But I need a good mix of humor with all these to keep thing going for me. 
For instance, I enjoy watching Supernatural and nobody can challenge that the show is not funny. Despite the Leviathans eating corpses and humans, despite the demons with black goo oozing for blood, despite the invisible hellhounds that rip people’s guts out to shreds … I always manage to laugh out loud at Dean Winchester’s incredible, sarcastic sense of humor! 
Gilmore Girls is another binge watch on Netflix that I have found myself getting good doses of comedy from. Loralai is mad hilarious. Again, it is not senseless sitcom comedy. She’s deriving humor - cynical, sarcastic, dark humor - from the problems of her daily life!
Stand up comedies are also my thing because it is the same type of comedy - based on real life situations and being able to laugh about them!
So, please … humor yourself so you can erase the negative effects from your brain and have a clean slate for the next day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

D - Don't Sit At Tables Where Respect Is Not Being Served!

It is high time I started living by this principle, no? It is BEST not to show face where dimwits choose to be disrespectful. And, my word should be taken when I say life throws the most absurd of situations and circumstances at me. I mean, I have been forced to make an appearance because of social obligations. My FOOT with a number 11 shoe! Orthotic included! I have sat through sessions where I became open topic of debate and discussions. Like I said … dimwits. I fail to understand why am I a hot topic. *WINKS* - I sinisterly like it sometimes because well … you’re putting me in the spotlight because you have an insatiable itch because of my existence! MUAHAHAHAHA! My trouble is that my tongue is tied due to being respectful. Why? O, because my parents taught me better.

I have confronted many open table discussions about how my Masters degree has made me overqualified and too hot to handle in the eligible bachelorette markets because mother in laws and husbands like control over less educated wives. Did I comment on your private BA degree from Karachi that is not even education in the US? There have been debates about how my profession as a landlady has set me up way too high on the scale of what a woman can and cannot achieve. Did I question your lame, used clothing boutique that nobody buys from? And there are recommendations about how I should and should not run things in my life. Did I question the way you run yours when you squished a bug on your dinner table between conversation and said you cleaned a month ago? 

There are all categories of people who resort to disrespectful arguments. There are the overachievers who disregard my scale of achievements and always have a higher reference for me when I am trying to convey something good about myself. There are the “parents of children” who like to pull Parenting 101 on me simply because I am not a parent. There are racists and bigots of course, that is the specialty of the human race. 
NOTE: Majority of the people I deal with know good etiquette, but there are these cacti (plural for cactus, in case you are one of the dimwits whose table I have sat on!) of the social jungle that stand up like prickly pears! 
My brain begins to heat up - since I am not hardwired for jackass! - when the ladies begin discussing the “ticking of the biological clock” and the “ending of fertility period” in relation to me being single at 31. Facepalm! Please keep your noses out of my “components”. Another starts counting the number of marriages she’s been attending in friends and family, and the ages of the guys and girls, and then begins telling telltale stories about “these girls who are ‘baychari’ (helpless!) still single”. DUDE! Me being single is not a defect, not a defeat, no a measure of my success in both worlds, an certainly none of your beeswax!
So, I am going all deaf, dumb, and mute to such public appearances and obligation or not The Abbie will not be sitting at such tables where respect is not being served!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Poetry Blossoms

A post shared by The Abbie (@abbiesadventures) on

C - Close Doors That Lead To Nowhere

Some chapters must be closed forever, some topics should be buried for good! I am infamous for having the attention span of a squirrel when it comes to a topic that keeps rubbing itself forever and ever. 
There are things that don't fit the unique puzzle of my life. Some topics and goals are simply additional clutter and occupy brain space. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Letters and Pieces 2018

At last! It is Spring again! Was I waiting? I cannot believe my own words. But yes, I have been waiting. My love affair with Spring began last year only. It was a mix of everything that triggered it - my friendship with the outdoors, the mixing of the last of the Winter chill with the tiny little Spring warmth and blue skies sneaking in, the Cherry Blossoms of Washington DC, and the artistic projects I indulged in. National Poetry Writing Month - NaPoWriMo is definitely one of the main contributors to the romance. And then, it was Spring last; nevertheless, when I feel I actually made a bold footprint in certain unexplored areas of my life. This year, I am continuing the romance with Letters and Pieces - my last year's NaPoWriMo theme. Letters and Pieces is my unique method of combining poetry with visual art that is photography. I compose little handwritten snippets and photograph them. I managed to find unique settings for each snippet. 
Undoubtedly, if we believe in the power of our art, the world is our canvas. 
The Index below will populate daily as NaPoWriMo 2018 progresses. 
1. Doors With No Keys
2. An Ode To The Trinkets
3. Poetry Blossoms

An Ode To The Trinkets

This piece is part of National Poetry Writing Month 2018.