Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Live a Colourful Life

I’m never going to live a colourful life when I’m in the confines of my comfort zone.

Have you ever noticed that slight glint of rainbow colours inside of a bubble that shimmers against the sunlight as it floats with such grace? I always feel so content in their company that it’s almost as if these bubbles act as my comfort zone, the colours only accumulating inside because inside is where I feel the most definitive and carefree. And as soon as these bubbles pop I become doubtful, because in my eyes the world outside of this bubble is a dangerous territory and I imagine it as a precarious place that I simply can’t trust.

I become hungry to blow more bubbles and use them as a form of concealment, thinking that there is simply no colour on the outside, just frightful chaos and insecurity. Yet the truth is that I’m never going to always stay in my comfort zone. At some point or another I’m going to be challenged and forced to push the boundaries, often having to puncture these bubbles myself.

I reside in them because I don’t feel free to truly be myself anymore, due to various tyrants known as society’s rules, the government’s laws and the media’s expectations. These bubbles have been my safety net for too long now. They’ve created the illusion that anything outside of the bubble has to be questioned which isn’t necessarily the case. And only now, after seventeen years of existing, have I realised that there is colour out there if only I choose to look in the right places and surround myself with the right people.

I wish to breakout and consume all of the compelling shades that are out there because now, I refuse to be confined. So I’m going to risk it, even when the different colours smudge and become an unsettling mess, and all I want to do is to blow more bubbles and hide. I’m going to risk it, in the hopes that it could lead to something even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A Letter to Rejection

To Rejection,

Let me tell you a story. Last month I read about a week-long training programme in London, based at the headquarters of established names like The Times and The Sun, where only fifteen people would be chosen to attend. The winners would be taught the ins and outs of journalism, they would get an honest insight into the tricks of the trade as well as developing interpersonal competence and learning how to effectively overcome challenges.

But how could I possibly stay in London on my own for an entire week? How could I discuss ideas with experienced journalists and not get nervous?

Being the anxious introvert that I am, I went through the multiple stages of doubting my ability, through to the mountainous fear of being too overwhelmed by the immensity of it all, right through to the final stage of anger towards myself for even thinking for a second that I couldn’t do this.

So after going over it a thousand times in my head, I crafted (and took far too long to edit) a 500 word piece on a topic of my choice along with a short paragraph on why I’d like to be a part of the programme. I sent off my application with mixed feelings of excitement, apprehension and a whole load of ambivalence, and patiently waited for a reply.

A few days after the deadline for applications, an email landed in my inbox. I stared at it for a while, emotions whirring and head spinning. I partly knew what was waiting for me inside of the email, but another part of me also thought; what if I actually got accepted? What if things actually worked out in my favour?

‘I’m sorry to inform you that on this occasion your application was not successful.’

One of the reasons that I was so afraid of this happening was because I’m the type of person who overthinks, who would start believing that I’m a terrible writer or that being a journalist maybe isn’t the right career path for me. 

So I pulled out a notebook from my drawer and scribbled down every thought I had, every emotion and every sense of feeling about the situation. And when my fingers started to ache and I’d set free the last thing I had to say, I smiled.

Yes, I’m down about it. But I’m not sad or angry or upset, I’m just down. I’m not afraid of you Rejection, I’m just simply tired of you showing your face far too often than I’d like.

If I’d received this email a couple of years ago, I know exactly what would’ve happened. I would’ve been overthinking for days, I would’ve refused to write a single word and I would’ve disbelieved in my ability completely. But I’m writing this just half an hour after receiving the email with a calm feeling of ‘everything happens for a reason’. And to me, that’s an achievement in itself.

So thank you Rejection, for not only allowing me to see that there is value in your existence, but there’s also value in myself too and that I should never let you or any other setback define my ability. It doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible writer, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean that journalism isn’t the right career path for me; it just means that as of right now, the universe has a better plan.

{Photo source: Nabsticle}

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Anatomy // Poetry

My hair is a disposition of feathers upon a raven soaring high,

Gliding amongst my features with zenith pride,

My nose a cliff overlooking the city skyline

Inhaling the wind’s cathartic sigh,

Sprinkling pretty freckles amongst defining lines,

Progressing to my lips as creases vanish with a smile.

My breasts are two mountains sitting side by side,

Watching over green vines that glorify

My hands that are imperfectly designed,

Dipping like valleys that coincide

With nails immersed in red from berries so divine,

Nails that tear at the body that I'm forced to despise.

My stomach is a hill with curves and bumps that rise

Over thighs that dance alongside,

My feet are clouds drifting through skies

Like artwork resonating with generations through time,

As even my dark patches hitch a ride

With the stars upon my skin that wish to stay alive.


I don't think I’ll ever be ‘body confident’ as such, but I know that if I try hard enough I can transform my perspective into a more healthy and positive one. I strongly believe in the importance to take what we think are the flaws of our anatomy and to rebuild them into something that we're proud of. And even if it is just a fantasy inside of our heads, it can still have a huge impact on how we view and treat ourselves.

So with this poem I really wanted to take the things that we often don't like about our appearance and analogise those features with natural imagery and senses. I've been reading into the concept of surrealism a lot lately and wanted to incorporate elements of that into my writing. It’s honestly been such an interesting way to explore my mind further and to discover the infinite possibilities of my imagination; I definitely want to try and experiment with the idea of surrealism a lot more in the future.

What things do you do in order to have a more positive perception of yourself?

Would you like to see more poetry on Nabsticle?

{Photo source via Pinterest}

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Daisy Chains

The sky looked tranquil, wondrous yet intimidating like the adventures that were to await the young girl that sat amongst the floating rose petals and weeping willows in the garden of childhood innocence. Her small feet ran as green grass tangled between her toes, wearing an unharmed smile too pure for the world.

Sweet giggles echoed as she felt blades of grass tickle her bare legs as she created delicate holes and began to carefully thread each stem, tied together with tight knots. A pile of elegant white and spots of happy yellow sat beside her as she formed a string of happiness.

Source: Nabsticle

Her surroundings were her cocoon that protected her from the dangers that inevitably waited outside. But as the years passed by the cocoon became smaller, cracks started to form and her utopian kingdom became cramped and suffocating. Reality began puncturing holes and deflating all hope. I would do anything to go back to being that young girl, the one still safely wrapped in her cocoon.  

That young girl with glinting fire in her eyes is now seventeen, sitting in the garden of teenage angst surrounded by dying nature. Yet each daisy that connects with another represents a happy moment in her life along with her greatest achievements and memories.

And now, that same girl wears the daisy chain like a crown, as if she feels proud of the life that she's achieved. And despite her now broken smile, once she has placed the crown upon her head, her smile beams brighter than ever before and she once again is too pure for the world to ever take it away from her again.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Reality Vs Curiosity

Does your head ever start spinning when you gaze up at the sky, like you’re in a drunken haze of complex thoughts as you drown in a whirlpool of unanswerable questions? Your mind starts to wander like the oddly shaped clouds above, unintentionally drifting into various dimensions that momentarily transitions your reality into curiosity. What really is out there? Will we ever know? You start building an image of the world you think we live in, the world you want to live in.

It’s a big place, so big that it becomes frustrating when we realise that we’re never going to know all of the answers to our eternal list of questions. We’re never going to be able to truly know each person whose path we cross or fully immerse ourselves into other cities and cultures. And it’s daunting because it consumes us to the point where we start raising existential questions about who we are and our purpose in this life.

Source: via Instagram

Whoever said that ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you’ was lying, because it’s the unknown that scares us, especially since we love to always be in control. But does that make the world any less beautiful? Instead of knowing the answers, maybe we should try harder to understand the questions and what they really mean to us personally?

There are two types of people in this world; the scientists who believe in logic and facts and the creatives who believe in curiosity and imagination. It really is a blessing if you have the ability to believe and understand both. To be curious enough to question facts but intelligent enough to know your limits and the harsh reality that surrounds us.

It’s important for our minds to wander and to remember that the world really is a beautiful miracle. But it’s just as pivotal to stay grounded and logical, for assurance as well as our own sanity. And even though the reality is that we’ll never have all of the answers, our minds can fill in the gaps for us, and that’s good enough for me.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that there should be an equal balance between reality and curiosity?

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

I Am My Own Sanctuary

Source: Nabsticle

The single flame from my candle dances, thunder and lightning as my backdrop, as I sit in silence in the one place that makes me feel most secure, that makes me feel most alive. I gently inhale and exhale, smiling as the rain cascades across my window. My room has always been my sanctuary, my place to cry, to sing, to dance and to dream. I’ve always thought that there can never be anywhere else that can compare.

My books sit on my shelf above my computer and my clothes that I refuse to throw out due to homely scents hang in my wardrobe. Photographs that fill my room bring sweet nostalgia as I’m reminded that at one point, that was my life. Torn gig tickets carefully tucked away amongst my high school timetable and old Science textbooks that I no longer need. Every part of me is here, both past and present.

Problem is, I don’t want my room to be my sanctuary. Instead, I want the protection and peace that I feel when I enter my room to come from inside of me, to be with me all of the time. Why should I put my trust in materialistic items when I can put that faith in myself instead? This warm feeling of safety has to ingrain itself into my bones and weave itself into my anatomy.

I have this burning desire to make that transition, physical place to mental soul. I know that I can’t keep depending on other people or things to feel safe within myself. My room has been a safety net my entire life, hidden from the dangers of the world and a place to regain my energy. My room, my family, my town; they’ve always been my haven because I didn’t know any better.

But as time has progressed I feel a shift has taken place. I now find that I want to take that leap and explore new places, I want to cross paths with new people who will change my life, I want to learn and grow in a way that I didn’t think was possible before. I’m finally realising that I am the one in control, that I am my own sanctuary and that I don’t need anything or anyone else to feel empowering freedom and security within myself.  

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Simple Pleasures

You have to be the kind of person who can make the best out of a Tuesday. You know those people who live for the weekends? Theyre wishing their life away. You have to find something worth living for or else youll look back and realise youve wasted your life away.

Source: Nabsticle

Today is Friday 3rd July 2015.

Today I made myself some breakfast for the first time in ages, after finally gaining back my appetite and having the energy to make something. And though I did slightly burn my fruit loaf… I devoured every bite.

Today, after many months of collecting dust on my shelf, I finally finished reading Wonder by R.J. Palacio. It made me feel unbelievably warm inside and assured me that there is still hope for a world where kindness will rule and miracles still exist, even if their exterior says otherwise.

Today I plucked up the courage and wrote the first draft of my 500 word piece for the application of a summer school that I want to go to. And though the word limit drove me insane and reminded me of long sleepless nights doing coursework, I really like how it turned out.

Today I listened to The Honorary Title and smiled with a twinkle in my eyes as it reminded me of One Tree Hill, a TV show that I’ll always hold dear to my heart. It took me back in time to previous summers, the all-nighters I pulled as I wept over the lives of fictional characters. I’ll never forget it.

Today I left a comment on every single blog post that I read and it felt so good to share my thoughts. Offering kind words, praising hard work and connecting with people is worth every second of my time.

Today I read the first chapter of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and marvelled at how much language has evolved over the years, simultaneously laughing at how atrociously I was pronouncing half of the words. The realisation that I’ll never know every single word in the English language hit me hard, as well as the panic over the fact that I’ll have to study this book in great detail for A2 next year. Seriously, help?!

Today I watched the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars and though I jumped out of my skin and the first scene scarred me for life, I loved every second of it. And even though the characters are perpetually tortured and tormented, it felt good to get immersed into a dangerous and oddly thrilling world for a while.

Today I watched as the sun gradually fell asleep and the stars came alive. I watched as the pastel blue sky faded into a deeper and more magical shade. The beauty of the world ran wild through my veins once again, after being absent for so long.

Today was a wonderful day, made up of simple pleasures that made me feel comforted and free. I thank it, and I really hope that soon enough I’ll get to experience it all over again.


I wrote this a couple of days ago and I thought I’d share it. I felt like it needed to be documented for the days when these small moments are the opposite and I need reminding that these kind of days really do exist.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happiness is a Mood, Not a Destination

Source: Nabsticle

Hi, my name’s Nabeela, I'm seventeen years old and I'm currently living in a terrifying, and quite frankly exhausting, limbo. I'm stuck between desperately wanting to go out, to feel the sun rays dance across my skin and to have the summer of my dreams before everything changes. But instead, I'm unable to sleep soundly, I'm struggling to carry out the simplest of tasks, I'm perpetually drowsy and I'm painfully miserable because of it.

Three weeks ago I had an operation on my left foot. Now I'm generally a strong person when it comes to these things. Being under general anaesthetic for over two hours doesn’t particularly faze me and I’m usually able to handle the unbearable pain. Believe me when I say that I understand the concept of no pain equals no gain.

Yet the past few weeks have been the toughest that I've had to face in 2015 so far. I even miraculously got through the unexpected side effects of taking extremely strong painkillers, after having to endure more agony than I could have ever imagined. Never did I envisage feeling completely helpless and surrendering to my body’s needs.

I hate having to tell my college that I can't carry out my new role of student ambassador over the summer. I hate how I can't pray alongside my family in Ramadan and I hate how I have to think twice before making plans in case I'll have to cancel them because I'm physically unable.

But I also didn't anticipate the flip side of the situation. How grateful I would feel for my family’s patience as they run around and get me everything I need. For being understanding when I got angry and frustrated at myself in my weak moments. For learning that I'm much stronger than I ever thought I could be and that this hurdle is far from permanent.

Happiness is a mood, not a destination. Right now I would be lying to you if I said that I was happy. Instead I have moments where I'm happy, to the point that I've forgotten my situation completely. And the sad truth is, that's also temporary.

We should never have this dream of happiness, as if it is this heavenly destination that we have to reach in order to finally be okay within ourselves. Instead we should cherish these moments and learn from them, otherwise we'll always remain in this dark and unhealthy limbo with no exit sign in sight.

Realising that sadness is temporary gives us hope, and knowing that happiness is not a destination gives us freedom.

So hi, my name’s Nabeela, I'm seventeen years old and I'm currently living in a terrifying, and quite frankly exhausting, limbo. And yes, I'm painfully miserable because of it, but I'm okay with that.