What Does Nonconsent Really Mean

Friday, October 7, 2022


Sometimes I get the feeling that even with a lot of discussion on non-consent appearing in the media and social media, there are those who do not truly understand the concept in its entirety. Some questions that arise from this usually concern when "no" can actually mean "yes." This may sound absurd but a lot of people, regardless of gender, break the rule in many ways that can accumulate over time without realizing what they are doing is wrong. 

    The concept of how we understand and approach the word "no" begins from childhood. As a child or even as a parent, you may realize that the word "no" is thrown around several times a day. There is nothing wrong in this but there may be some habits in the parents that obscure the true meaning and purpose of this word. 

Undivided Attention

Sunday, January 30, 2022

 When I am engrossed in something particular, my eyes widen and everything around me temporarily fades out of existence. My peripheral visual field shrinks and the volume of life dial down to zero. My mind decides to spend the majority of its faculties taking in the information that has caught its attention. My attention is entirely undivided. The difficulty arises in getting my mind to focus on the “right” things. When topics interest me or I am working on a task, that is all I can do at the moment. I am not the best multitasker for this reason. Surrounding noises and distractions do not bother me when I reach this stage because I drown out life around me. It is an interesting phenomenon because when I return from whatever had taken an intense grasp, I suddenly become acutely aware of what’s happening beside me.

This talent enabled me to study anywhere if the situation was right. I actually enjoyed the hit of reality when my brain tried of focus so I would pick bustling areas as my study and learning spots. This probably arose from my conditioning of accepting the noise of a large and loud family. There was never quiet in my home and during public school days, I was not allowed to study anywhere other than home. Actually, most of the time, I would try to complete as much of my homework during my classes so that I would have little as possible to bring back home.

Although this sounds like an ideal situation, at times I had to plead with my brain to focus on the task on hand. I usually didn’t win this battle. During class, I sometimes drowned out the teachers and lessons being taught instead of listening and learning. I was a daydreamer after all and my mind conjured up fascinating scenarios instead and time would fly. Before I knew it, the class would be over and I missed everything! This loss of power of my will to pay attention lessened the older I grew and as life present more attractions and distractions.


Saturday, November 27, 2021

I thought that losing a lover would be a painful experience that would take me days or weeks to get over. But what I found is that when friends part ways, that is an entirely different and uncomfortable situation from hell. As I heard my friend say the words that would alter our relationship forever, all our past memories raced through me equating the speed of my racing heart as I tried desperately grasping the fraying edges and defending myself to make it work. But the attempt wasn't enough to save the burning bridge. Fifteen years wasn't enough to absolve me of my current mistake. 

I hurt her. No excuses on my part diminish the pain she felt. I understand that very well.  But I hoped we could work it through and come to a resolution so that we would grow old together and be the two crazy ladies in the same nursing home terrorizing everyone with our canes. But I can only apologize so much to coax her to come back to me. 

The Unchanging Past

Friday, October 29, 2021


Today as I was browsing through the endless array of TikTok videos in an attempt to wash away the hectic workday, I stumbled on a video in which a girl asks "if you could relive one day in your life, exactly as it was, what day would that be." The idea was so beautiful and yet challenging at the same time. Was there a day in my life, that I would relive exactly as it was without changing a single second? At first, I panicked because I could not recall a single memory that I would want to relive, but after some calm speculation, dozens of memories floated through my mind.

I became lost in a sea of warm memories as the camcorder in my mind began playing various days. I would swing back and forth among these beautiful memories, each competing for a space in my mind at exactly the same time. My heart would race and relax with each new visual as it flooded my chest with soothing happiness over the heartfelt moments and aching sadness at the reminder of the moment having since passed.

A Series of Unfortunate Relationships: The College One Part 1

Friday, March 12, 2021


After the fiasco of my last relationship, I did not want to fall in love again because I was terrified of the consequences of that attraction. It did not serve me well on either front as it angered my parents and even I was not happy being entrapped again. I decided I would focus on myself and see where life whisked me away. There were so many things I wanted to accomplish anyway, and I had made a mess of things where my education was concerned. My grades had fallen drastically and I had not told anyone about that, least of all my parents. They would reprimand me and lament about wasted money and time and that I deserved the punishments I had received so far. My situation would probably worsen anyway because there would be no solutions provided just glares and reminders of the mistakes that led me to my current state. All I could do was figure it out on my own and talk it out with my close friends. 

    My friends could only help me so much as they were figuring out their own lives and trying to pry themselves out of their own cages. My two closest friends at the time were also Pakistani so we were all in the process of escaping the unrealistic ideals we were chained to. The strange thing about my parents was that they would not call and hound me while I was out unlike my friend's parents who would check up on them at least once per hour if not more and none of us were given a proper curfew. Our curfew was that we needed to be home once our college classes ended unless there was something important going on. So naturally, we resorted to skipping classes in order to have some free time to explore and enjoy ourselves which led to not focusing and doing well in our studies. We would use the time to escape from our confused lives and find some semblance of normalcy. Those became some of my fondest memories, the ones where we would skip class and go for long drives in any random direction. I memorized the road maps of my region just by getting lost in them and heading to different areas where we would stop and have dinner before heading home. This was stressful in its own way because my friends would be receiving constant calls from their parents who would ask them where they were and I knew my own parents would be suspicious as well and interrogate me once I arrived. I am sure they knew what we were doing and tried to scare us out of phase but it didn't really help their cause. If anything, we all rebelled more because we desperately wanted to be treated like adults and allowed to just simply live. We weren't out there committing crimes against humanity we just wanted to enjoy company with our friends. 

The Yin and Yang of Laziness and Productivity

Monday, March 1, 2021


I always wonder when this feeling of inferiority will drift away from my thoughts. Will there ever come a time when I think that I did great with what I had, and accomplished much even though the path was often shaky? I feel as if I am stuck in a limbo from which I can neither pull forward nor slip back and change my course. Dark thoughts swirl through my mind echoing my failure back at me so that I cannot end my day without reliving all the past experiences that have led me wrong. Funny though, because overall I am perfectly content. It makes me wonder if I am perceiving things as they are not and have decided to live in an ignorant state of mind until my head hits the pillow at night. Just as darkness consumes my surroundings, the ringing in my ears grows louder, persistent, and then the images begin to stir thoughts dragging me into an anxiety-induced haze. It always feels as if I am waiting an eternity for decisions to be made about an aspect of my life and currently it is no different. I have begun to abhor the application processes of these large institutions that require waiting endlessly on bated breath. 

    This carousel of uninhibited thoughts serves no purpose in my life because my hands are tied at the moment. I try to search for different avenues and revise my eternal list of plan B's which will take me into depths of mediocrity that I cannot sustain in the long term but nevertheless, I am forced to consider in case my future does not pan out as I hoped. The gray tones of the world overwhelm me as I beg to see in black and white. The duality of decisions would let me know when to give up hope so that I can stop dreaming instead of being lured into a confusion of gray, a realm in which maybe's and what if's flourished like a bee colony surrounded by wildflowers. The people around me observe the results of my futile attempts and choose to weigh my worth by quantities that can be measured in some numerical form and agonize over the dwindling numbers that statistically and alarmingly reduce in value as the years change. Apparently, age can only be valued and respected if there is some mark left on earth to show for it or shiny baubles kept stored away that can be accounted for and represent the riches acquired through sweat and hard work. Another value of mine lies within the passage of my genes to further the generations of my lineage and increase the population on this planet because what is the point of being a woman otherwise if not to undergo and live through the agony of pushing out children that I must raise into humans. Not that I know how many are actually enough because if I have too little or too many then that is also my own fault because I did not think my life through. I will forget who said what because eventually I will be fooled into believing those are my own thoughts seeping through the confusion.

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