Leading Women of Scotland Award!

Today I was at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, for the EQUATE Scotland 10 year anniversary celebration of “I am a STEMINIST!”.

It’s an honour to have been invited along, and to also be chosen as one of the ‘Leading Women of Scotland in STEM’ by EQUATE. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
I was given a space in their fantastic book of Inspirational women – it’s always weird to see my face on paper!
They do such fantastic work in promoting gender equality in the STEM sector, and have helped many women up and down the country with their STEM careers!
Happy anniversary, EQUATE, and keep up the amazing work!!

naziyah-equate-award

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The Guest

“You’re late.”

“Woke up late, sorry.”

 

I sat down on my seat and looked up to see her leaning back into hers. I could tell from her expression that I was in for a yelling.

 

“Woke up late? You didn’t sleep at all, did you?”

“Sort of…”

“Seriously, I’m so tired of seeing you like this. Every day you grow thinner and thinner, your eyes are so deeply sunken into your head, they’re swollen from crying, red from rubbing… even your hair looks like a birds nest.”

 

There it was. Every time we met I would be bombarded with her negative observations of me. For a moment my mind drifted away…

 

“Are you even listening to me?”

“Oh, yes, I am.”

 

She sighed.

 

“Look, you and I both know that I know you better than anyone else, so I only say this out of concern. You’ve become pathetic.
Life knocked you down again and again and again, but it only happens because you fail to learn. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. You never listen.
You’re constantly left broken hearted because you trust too deeply, and everyone finds a way to walk all over you – how can you not get annoyed at that?”

“I do. I do get annoyed. I’m just too tired now to bother feeling anymore. I’m sick of the pain, so cut me some slack and leave me alone, will you.”

 

Her eyes opened wider for a moment as she noticed my rebellion. I had definitely struck a chord with her. Good.

 

“I don’t even feel sorry for you anymore, you know that? Sometimes I feel like I’m all you’ve got though, that’s why I stick around.”

“I don’t need you to stick around if all you do is hate on me.”

“I’m just trying to get you to see what you’ve become, that’s all. The whole event left you feeling like you’ll never be good enough… for anything!!!”

 

I squirmed in my seat at the mention of ‘the’ event, but tried to keep myself composed.
It had indeed left me broken. Shattered. It wasn’t the first time either. I had become used to the sound of my own soul breaking, so much so that I sometimes prayed to become deaf to it.

 

“What am I going to do with you? No matter what you try to do, how pretty you try to make yourself look, how hard you study, how kind you try to be, how stupidly trusting you are, you’re always going to end up in the same mess. Want to know how I know that? Because I know you better than anyone else.”

 

Here she goes again, with the whole ‘I know you better’ rubbish. No, she doesn’t… does she?

She straightened up, as though trying to calm herself down before addressing the ‘problem’ in front of her. It made me move in my seat to straighten out my spine too. Ok, I was ready for the next bout.

 

“I’m only saying this for your own good, but maybe you should just leave this place. Think about it. Nothing seems to be working out for you. You have no one to really understand you, your career is practically non-existent because of your degrading health, no one realllly cares about you, you’re not getting any younger either, I won’t even mention relationships… why are you still even here?”

 

I had become robotic and numb over the last few years, all thanks to a rollercoaster of events and problems, but those words did cut me deeply. The worst part? I almost agreed with a lot of it too, until, that is, I mentally slapped myself back into reality and glared back at her.

 

“I know I’m not perfect, I know I don’t have much, I know I’m horribly scarred and I know things keep getting worse, but I have no choice but to get on with the show.
I don’t expect to wake up to a vivacious life, but even if I’m numb, I’ll keep going… because I do have some things to live for.”

 

The door creaked open and we both looked over to see Mum poking her head around the door. “Come down and have some lunch, love, it’s getting cold. Also, who were you talking to?” She looked at me with her usual concerned gaze before disappearing once again behind my bedroom door.

 

I looked back into the mirror and to the uninvited guest who never seemed to have anything better to do than to remind me of my ever growing flaws.

 

“I guess we’ll have to pick this up later as usual then! Don’t forget, I know you better than anyone else!”

 

“Shut up.”

 

With that, I slammed my hand against the cold reflective surface of my dressing table mirror, and then lifted a lipstick to draw a smiling face upon my reflection.

 

Uninvited guests are always the worst kind, no?

 

smile-on-grey

When the World Falls to Silence

Alone

When all the clouds have dissipated,
and the rivers have dried;
When all the mountains have crumbled,
and all the tears have been cried;
When the thunder has quietened,
and all the storms have been raged;
When all the animals are gone,
and the wars have been waged;
When all the flowers have wilted,
and the hearts have turned hard;
When all the trees have been cut,
and the Earth is left scarred;
When all kin become enemies,
and all friendships are torn;
When all the nations have fallen,
and there’s none left to mourn.
When the skies become darkened,
and the Sun fails to light;
When the lands become barren,
and there’s no life in sight;
When the last child has smiled,
and there’s no one left free;
When the World falls to silence,
Only then we will see;

That this culture of hate,
from the moment of birth;
It’s the deadliest of plagues,
to this gift you call Earth.

In this moment of reflection,
and this silent reverie;
I ask that you listen;
O’ Child, listen to me.

I am your mother, your father,
your being;
I am the template of life
you’ve been seeing.

I am the land that has
kept you sustained;
In your existence
I am deeply ingrained.

I am the breath,
that has lifted your lungs;
I am the song,
that nature has sung.

I am the sands
of your hourglass of fate;
So listen to me, now,
before it’s too late.

I am the soul of the Earth
that you know;
I am left wounded,
from the hate that you show.

There is still time,
to turns things around;
If you wish to survive,
on this one united ground.

Hasten, O’ Children,
with love, peace – just try;
We don’t have much time,
please don’t let me die.

I am the World…

Poem ©Naziyah Mahmood, 2016.
(Image source unknown)

Two Year WP Anniversary!!

Today marks two years since I first started this blog – Wow… As cliché as it sounds, time really does fly!

May 2014 was my introduction to blogging, something which certain life events inspired me to do. To have one place where I could collate my thoughts, my poetry, my stories and use as a base for expressive outlet just seemed like the correct way to go when life was being stretched in numerous directions.

My posts were initially longer, deeper and more frequent, but as life took over once again I found less time to share that penny-worth thought! Yet, still being able to write from time to time managed to feed that craving just enough to quench my writer’s ‘fix’!

I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this journey, whether it was for a moment or for a leap, for accompanying me on this quest for growth and progression.

I hope to be blogging more often than I have, though realistically speaking I guess my true hope is that whenever I may get a chance to post, that it be a post of quality, depth and resonance.

Here’s to many more years!!

The Search for Beauty – Contemplation of a Child

Child – What is beauty?
Me – Beauty is, in essence, a reflection of the radiation of the light of your soul. It is the strength to conjure within ourselves the courage to stand by what is just and true, including our true selves.
It is a reflection of you.

Child – Hmm… what does it look like?
Me – It looks like shooting stars! They may leave momentary ‘scars’ across the blanket of the sky, but they shine so brightly that it leaves you speechless! It’s that twinkle you get in your eye when you find your heart feeling exhilarated – and that twinkle is also a reflection of you!

Child – Where can I find it?
Me – Anywhere that we look hard enough. It’s like going on a treasure hunt! When you set off in search of good things, they tend to find you instead! Just look hard enough!

Child – How do you ‘know’ that something is truly beautiful though?
Me – You don’t! You just feel it! Even if others may not see it as beautiful, as long as you do, that’s all that matters.

Child – Ukhti (‘sister’ in Arabic)? … How can I become beautiful?
Me – My love, you already are!

 

Looking for beauty

© Naziyah Mahmood, 2016.