If it’s validation you seek…

Have you ever stopped and wondered if you’re doing the right thing?

You know. A lot of people have doubts whether what they’re doing is right, whether other people will like or approve of their potential.. Of their work.. Of their skills or qualities. It’s not that they’re seeking for advice, but they’re looking for validation.. They’re looking for comfort so they can carry on. “You’re doing the right thing.” – first of all if you’re passionate about something and if you believe in your potential and are confident about it, trust me YOU will sell it! You don’t need anybody to discourage you..or to make you feel it’s not good enough.. Have a positive mind and go with the flow.. Notice that when you’re doing it for yourself only, you’ll be a lot happier. You will worry less. You won’t care because you’re doing you, because you’re doing something that you enjoy.

Don’t do it for them. Do it for YOURSELF!!

I hope they like it.
I hope it’s good enough.

NO!!! DON’T let those nasty little phrases get to your head! Honestly.. That is no way of living!! You’re not anyone’s slave to validate their opinion, but not yours!! You’re YOU! BElIVE in yourself, that your opinion is good enough and that alone is enough motivation to ride you to success!!

I’m not saying to not take in consideration other people’s opinions. Do it, if they’re constructive advice and you think you can use that to improvise your work or even better yourself for example, then yes ponder on the advise and reflect how you can apply that to your life. But never let opinions of other people define you, you don’t need it because you’re more than good enough! Now don’t be cocky on the confidence. A line must be drawn between the two!

This is a big reminder for myself. Growing up I used to think I wasn’t good enough, I needed people to tell me it’s good, it’s right. I needed them to direct me rather than me directing my own self! It’s like they were pushing me, instead of me pushing myself and it’s something I deeply regret. But why did that happen??! Because first of all I had a very low self esteem, I used to lack confidence,, why?? Because I didn’t believe that I was capable, I didn’t listen to my gut, instead I listened more to what other people told me and that’s why half the time I was down! It’s like you’re trying to please everyone, but yourself! You’re making everybody happy, but in the meantime you’re sucking all the happiness out of yourself by doing that. That’s because of doubts, lack of confidence and belief! And a positive mindset too!!!

When you allow people to validate you to the point you do what they want rather than what you want, people can surprisingly take advantage of that ‘vulnerability’ and use it against you without you realising. It often happens in real life.. Honestly.. For example if it’s to do with work,, they might downgrade your work saying maybe you should do this and that, or that it’s not good enough or up to their level.. It’s probably because your work intimidates them and they’re trying to find a clever way of making their work stand out – because you need this ‘approval’ from them you’ll carry on working until they’re pleased with what they see (junk,, sorry for the harshness) and you’re no way near happy with the outcome…

Just think about that for a second and try applying it to whatever situation you’re in.. If you are..

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If you don’t believe in your project…

Ever feel so excited about a new project.. A new start.. And then it goes down hill and you’re lost?? Well you’re not the only one. Believe me! I think almost everyone’s been in that situation at some point!!

If you know what you’re working on is what you want, it’s not going to come easy and like everything in life, there will be moments throughout the project where you’ll feel out of place or off your comfort zone. You have to realise it’s all down to your mind.. Having a positive attitude and a willingness to make it work will get you far in life!!! If you don’t believe in your capabilities, then who will?? Who’s going to believe in you? Or your work?  Show confidence in what you do.. Show your effort and determination.. Be persistent. Results won’t come easy!  Hell no! Unless you’re Kim Kardashian’s look alike…or Justin Bieber.. Nahh totally kidding! They too worked their way up even though it might not look like they did! We don’t know what they went through to be judging. Everyone goes through different battles in life.. Different rides!

I’m going a bit off topic here. Apologies, but back to my main point! If you’re doing a project that you’re not comfortable about.. Then if you can, try to find other alternatives.. What can you do instead? You know.. Can you simplify it? Or tweak in certain areas to make it more interesting? Or perhaps just change your strategies.. Something as simple as that can make an enormous difference.. Try different things. Explore other ideas and see what works best for you.. What is it that suits you and that you’re comfortable with?? But hey!! I didn’t say don’t take risks.. Make sure you do, however, only when you’re ready.. Don’t do it blindly without knowing what you’re doing and then end up in a mess. Be clever and strategic!!

Here’s an example – I’m currently working on a new project at university and the task is to design a summer pavilion. I came up with an idea that I was keen about and when I presented to my tutor he said “You’re trying to take on too much…”, he said the idea was good, but aesthetically speaking the design wasn’t the most interesting building. I was so bummed because I was quite confident about my design, but I knew where he was coming from.. I was trying to do too much without even knowing where to begin from..

As a result, I decided to start from scratch. Looking at other artworks to inspire me.. Taking that into consideration and studying their styles to apply to my concepts. That alone has brought me quite far already, considering I spoke to my tutor not long ago! I’ve come up with intriguing concepts.. Theyre beautiful, but incredibly challenging!! However, I’m willing to take the risk to make it work because I visually see my pavilion designs as actual sculptures that have a good potential to bring people together, (that is the aim)!

It’s good to go out of your comfort zone every once in a while.. It awakens you.. And gives you an insight of things in different perspectives! Try it! Don’t be afraid 🙂

I hope this helps you if you’re stuck with your work.

What is your purpose?

What a great question!!

A wise ‘instagramer’ once told me “when you know what your objective or purpose is, then everything else falls in place”.

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I’m actually struggling to answer that question myself!! Having a purpose in life, isn’t something you come up within a day.. It takes time for you to figure out and find out what exactly you’re trying to do and achieve. Life is a journey and I remind myself.. THERE’S NO RUSH!!!

It begins with your passion. What is your passion? What is it that you’re so keen about and you can’t wait to start? What is it that brings you joy and that you never get fed up of? Honestly.. Think about it realistically and answer what you truly enjoy doing, maybe your head yells at you something which you want to do or become, but your heart tells you you belong somewhere else because that isn’t where you truly shine your talent.. Sometimes it’s all about exploring and seeing where you actually belong.. You never know until you try and trust me, you’ll be surprised to find out!!

I was so afraid of going out on my own and exploring places on my own because I was too concerned about getting lost rather than enjoying the experience and the mystery of trying to find something by myself. With no one’s help! Just me only!

When I went shopping for the first time by myself.. It may sound silly because it’s a small deal.. But it was a huge deal for me!! That’s because I always went with friends or family.. But when I went by myself… I gotta tell you.. The feeling was great! There was no one to follow, or to look after or to wait for… I took my time and went where I wanted.. I felt the freedom and it felt great!! And my purpose there was merely to get out of my comfort zone, to see for myself what I’ve been missing out, to see if I prefer doing my shopping on my own or with company.. I was exploring myself.. Getting to know what I like and don’t. It’s like self therapy to be honest!

In life, I know what I’m passionate about and that’s art! I love sketching and designing! However, I also enjoy expressing myself through writing. But what I don’t know is where my course will lead me to.. What business will I open or how. What if I end up studying something different later on? Oh and by the way, I’m currently studying Interior Design/ Architecture at university. So I’m still pondering about what to open up.. Im still exploring and researching and keeping an eye out. You never know what’s out there and you never know where you might just end up!!

What strange Muslim women do when they walk pass me…

I can’t begin to explain the joy that wearing a hijab brings me.

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Wearing a hijab is a constant reminder that I am a Muslim and as a Muslim I have an image to keep and I believe a message to send across to my sisters around the world. Hijab helps me stay focused towards my religion and not only am I doing this for Allah (SWT), but also to encourage other Muslim girls to wear hijab and to bring the Muslim community together; however, none Muslim women also have the right to try on a hijab and feel what an amazing experience it is, who knows the changes it may bring to them?! Like they say ‘you never know, until you try’ – it’s true!!

We need to stay United and support one another, rather than argue or hate. ALLAH forgives those whom also forgive, if He can do it, who are we that we can’t?!

Ever since I started wearing hijab, many things have changed. I’ll start by saying what I’ve stated earlier.. I became more attached to my religion and also a lot more modest (still working on it).

Because of my modesty, that including wearing hijab, it has driven away the attention from men that I used to get Alhamdulillah. If I do get random messages, it often starts with ‘Salam’, I find this so beautiful and respectful because they see me as someone that takes her religion serious and they want to approach as kind and respectful and I honestly appreciate that. This comes from both women and men. If they are inappropriate comments or messages I either kindly respond back saying how it’s not nice or block straight away if it starts dragging on and becomes unnecessary to get into an argument.

But the main thing that I’m amazed by that’s happened since I’ve started wearing hijab… Is that when I walk pass many Muslim women they smile at me, not one of those quick smiles, they last!! It’s one of those smiles that it makes you feel like you’ve known them forever, like you’re connected and sometimes some of these women even do Salam and WOW!! There’s just no words for that feeling.. Put it this way it’s just like when you have the kind intention to give a poor man/woman/child some food or money or anything you think will make them happy! It literally is something that brings you joy, inspires you and motivates you to keep doing what you’re doing.

Honestly, what can I say more than to state this is a true blessing! Sometimes all we have to do is open our eyes carefully and look around us, see what’s there.. Pay attention to the little details that go by in a flash. Those moments we hardly take notice of, those are the things that deep down matter.

Alhamdulillah for everything 🙂

My obsession with writing!

Ever since my school days I remember in all my subjects how much I used to write.. When all they wanted was just a couple of sentences!!

Once my English teacher asked us to write a short essay.. And me being me, I wrote a humongous novel and I loved it so much, but she didn’t even read it all and I was gutted!!!

Nonetheless, back in college I did art subjects and as per usual for every piece of experiment you do, you have to annotate about it. But me being me.. I wanted my samples and experiments to be thoroughly analysed in detail and also described in an organised way with ‘posh’ words. Yes I wrote paragraphs, not bullet points, paragraphs!! But I’m proud because I was confident about the things I wrote and my work was one of the top ones in the class and my teachers kept using it as an example to the rest of the class!  Quite the privilege 🙂

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Just like I think sketching is therapeutic to me, writing is also therapeutic. Why?? Because it helps me clear my mind, all my thoughts are put down on paper. Well I currently have a diary and that is where I open up.

There’s just something about writing that’s liberating, you’re free to write whatever you want and however you please.. It’s an open road to display your text in however style you want.. Whether it’s creative or formal, it’s down to you!!

The image above is a slide for my first presentation at university and I was told that is a lot of writing.. Now hold up!! Is it?? We were being marked on the amount of context we put in and that writing was for them to mark. I wasn’t going to read it out!! It was there as a guide to help me explain my points to my audience!! However, I had to change and then I was told how I didn’t have enough slides.. But hey I managed to get a pretty high grade! Not so bad after all!!

Quite often I’m told I’m crazy for writing a lot when it’s not necessary.. Or they ask me ‘hey Zinat do you wanna write it for me?’. I don’t write to please other people, I do it because I genuinely enjoy the process of writing and thinking and carefully choosing the right words to create a beautiful sentence.

However, yes I know my creative course requires me to communicate mainly through sketching (rather imagery)  because the course is more visual, there is annotation included, but nothing that needs to be extra detailed like my style. So in that sense, I am still trying to adapt at keeping my text short and focusing on communicating through visual context. It’s not been easy, but I’m slowly getting there. Although, this is me writing a lot!!! Haha

Sisters, if you’re going to wear a headscarf, wear it appropriately please!!

“The sun doesn’t lose its beauty when covered by the clouds. The same way your beauty doesn’t fade when being covered by Hijab.”

I don’t even know where to begin from!! Wearing scarf is an obligation in Islam, but most people like to think it’s a choice.. Islamically showing one strand of hair is like walking around naked. You know why?? Because you’re exposing yourself to the world, you’re showing yourself, your beauty rather than preserving! You make yourself look attractive and therefore you draw attention to the public, all of a sudden their eyes are on you and that isn’t the purpose of scarf. Wearing scarf is to claim respect, to avoid rude comments from men or even women.. To avoid drawing attention which will only put you in awkward situations!!

Wearing scarf changes you as a person, not only do you start to see the world in a different view but it spiritually changes you for the better. But what upsets me is that… Some girls chose to wear it for some time and then the next month or week they take it off and start showing their skin.. Tell me.. What exactly was the point of wearing the scarf in the first place? Did you achieve something other than going back to square one and exposing yourself to the public?

I mean I get it that you want to start slowly.. But I dont understand how you’re trying by removing it? The way I view it, is that you should wear it and ask Allah (SWT) for help and guidance to make sure you maintain the headscarf on you permanently.

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I remember when I started wearing scarf I wore it once and it didn’t look nice on me, I didn’t like the way it made me look. Later on I noticed it was the material of the scarf that didn’t suit my face shape and therefore I didn’t look nice. So I purchased a different scarf material and also in different colours and I always looked for scarf tutorials on YouTube and that’s when I found so many Muslim YouTubers doing tutorials and they really inspired me. Listening to their views and opinions on how they see the world and treat the world has also had an impact on wanting to wear scarf.

I also had so much support from my Muslim best friends whom also wear scarfs and they inspired me and guided me and until today I’m so glad because I do feel I’m on the right path! Alhamdulillah.

Yes we all have those days where we feel the need to remove and let out hair loose like the rest of the girls.. Do our hair beautifully and feel ‘sexy’.. I’m not gonna lie, I have felt that and it’s not a good feeling.. But I reminded myself that I’m better than these girls.. Im choosing to maintain myself preserved, I’m saving it all for my future husband, I’m doing this for my religion and to please Allah (SWT).

Although, when I decided to wear scarf I wanted to start the right way.. And that is to completely cover myself. Otherwise what is the point? Therefore, I slowly started wearing loose and long clothes that aren’t so revealing.. I hardly show skin. Now, of course no one is perfect, but I’m working my way up to be a better person, a better Muslim sister and I know I will achieve it because I do work for it!

Here’s a picture of myself.

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2:45am deep thoughts?

Life is funny… It works in its own schedule… Things happen when they’re supposed to.. At the right time.. When ‘it’ happened.. It was either a blessing or a lesson.. What have you learnt from it? Life will always throw at you experiences.. Bad or good ones.. They make you, YOU! Here’s a funny example…

When I was younger.. Around 13/14 one of my cousins told me to stay away from his life, to not interfere with his life.. All because I spoke to one of his close friends. He claimed I was being flirty towards his friend (not true!), he got angry for no particular reason.. But he decided to block me off on all social media networks (until today) .. And I was okay with that.. Not at first because I asked what had I done wrong? It took me a while.. But we didn’t speak for years.. AND a lot of shit happened.. But by backing of and staying of the grid.. Must have shown and proved that I’m more than what they had expected of me and today him and his family ask me how I’m doing and this cousin comes to me to start a conversation..
How weird is that?

Time works in wonderful ways.. It heals.. It makes you grow up and see things from different angles and perspectives..

Let this image below speak for itself!

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