Tag Archives: coronavirus

[Life Update] Being published, bored, and alive

It is a gloomy day here in my hometown; particularly one that requires a cardigan for any living soul indoors. How do I feel? How do I feel? I haven’t given this writing thing a go for a while. (Oh, I am sure you have noticed). So, I am not going to worry about hooking you, the reader, much today and I’ll just let it flow for the next bit. Ok? Ok.

A few sentences in conversation with my mother at a time that seems long ago now is somewhere easy to reach in my mind.

“I don’t know how you keep writing. I wouldn’t be able to write unless I had feedback, I knew people were reading.”

“Oh, that’s not me. I do it for me. Sort of therapeutic.” (Obviously did NOT spell therapeutic right on the first go. Ha-ha!)

The moral of the story… the moral of this story. Obviously, it seems I have not been the woman of my words, not as strongly as I wished. What have I been doing? I have been writing for people to read, sort-of-awkwardly freelancing, barely making enough money to support a living, and… well… I am published on a nationally recognized paper—certainly not globally and certainly not English. (I’ll probably compile and share them all here at some point but don’t let me get ahead of myself here, please). 

Being a recognized author by close family has been good and my dad is quite proud of me (I don’t get it but it’s cool). The work I do mainly requires me to talk to credible people about current events, ask questions, and transcribe their insights. I was high off it writing the first few articles; then, there came a point in which it wasn’t satisfying anymore. Hence, I came to recognize that any writing, for me, has to have the right dose of me in it.

This does not I am quitting writing altogether. And quite frankly, I do not have many things that fulfill my soul at the moment. I live to create and create to live. In the image of you, God. 

This means amidst increasing covid cases, continuing travel restrictions, and my more and more horrified outlook in life in general, I am trying really hard to act like everything is normal. In reality, things are far from normal, we are all going through it in some way, and, well, it sucks.

My plan? My plan? My plan. (The more you say it the better it sounds like a good idea to invent an agenda-like smartphone app with the same name). Yes, my plan is to… I don’t have a plan. Until January? I am ready for 2020 to be over like the next person. I hope this little text will let you know that I don’t want to be absent on my blog anymore, but I also don’t know how to not be absent. Motivation comes and goes these days. 

Maybe I’ll write a little more today. No promises.

Miss you. You, and the blog that doesn’t have a soul.

Hazal

[Memoir] Being “Me” During Self-Imposed Quarantine: Sanity, Where are you?

In the beginning, I played the guitar; in the end, I watercolored.

I am almost hitting the month two threshold during the piece of the pandemic that is my own. To elaborate, I’d like to think that I am experiencing the pandemic my own way, and you are living through it the way you know best. So, here is what is going down in my world (I sprained my wrist vacuuming so I’d like a set of claps right about here for persevering through it and writing).

A moment for claps.

Let’s try it again. So, here is what is going down in my world: My sleep has been good until right about a few weeks ago; as of now, I genuinely struggle and talk to the little voice in my head and try to think of the reasons why I am a good person, and hence, I should find my way to heaven after a few God-time-measures spent at a blank space (preferably white but I am almost sure it will be black). God forgive my sins for what I have written. Next? I have been fasting for religious purposes (Hey! Here is an article), and mostly feeling guilty for the days I skip a few days for no specific reason except the bloaty feeling I get every evening when we break the fast. I could spend time explaining it to you, but I probably should go off on another tangent before I hit the wall. I clearly have a lot of headaches; I am not sure if it is because of fasting or the bad air inside my house. I swear fresh air feels different. Yes, I open my windows regularly and it is not the same. I recently listened to a quaran-tune (see what I did? Patent that shit) by Justin Bieber, frankly that is not a convincing cause of the condition for my doctor that I cannot visit.  I kind of want to say thank you for listening and leave now because I poured out all the funny in me and I think that was all.

Gee, tough audience.

On a serious note, I wanted to check in with you (Hey! Here is a two-minute survey for students and grads) and see how you are doing in these challenging times. It isn’t always easy to stay still physically, but it is another deal to be still mentally. I am not doing all that great… I am just about surviving. Please reach out if I can help you in any way.

April 2020 Book, TV, and Film Roundup

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Staying home, fasting for Ramadan, and moving very little limited by the square inches of my apartment turned me into a lazy person. As a result, I came to consume media at the fastest rate humanly possible while knitting. The roundup this month is an extensive one, and even with saying that I do not think it reflects the real amount of media I consumed; there is more to it than what is written here! The good news is that I kept the roundup short this time, and this has no direct relation to my newly adopted habit of laziness. Cheers!

Other April 2020 Blog Entries

February – March 2020 Book Roundup: The Self-Isolation Edition

Top 10 Podcasts of 2020: The Next Generation Radio to Fix Your Pandemic Blues

The Shelf

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (2007)

The author Díaz begins by taking a well-known storyline, the fat sci-fi obsessed boy who should not have any hope in life, and he makes this boy a hopeless romantic Dominican. There is an explanation for his uncool, no girlfriend type life—he is a victim of the family fukú (which means a curse). While the first few chapters introduce Oscar, the fat kid, Díaz decides the best way to explain his eternal damnation is through observing the family history as well as the political history of the Dominican Republic (DR) which the reader can follow through the footnotes. In fact, the author could have easily added another 150 pages to the book if he expanded on these notes about the Trujillo ruling. (I share similar feelings because I was born in a developing country; I appreciated his laments that may seem out of nowhere to some readers). Continue reading

Top 10 Podcasts of 2020: The Next Generation Radio to Fix Your Pandemic Blues

In an attempt to fill my excess time between cooking and cleaning in this new quarantine realm, I decided to give podcasts a try (I have always been a late bloomer; in fact, I still haven’t seen Tiger King). After a month of listening to different podcasts, I narrowed down a list for your convenience. Some of the podcasts below have informed me about the COVID-19 crisis without putting me in a depressive state, and some simply helped me put a smile on.  They are ranked and reviewed below.

Gentle Reminder: I am also looking forward to your podcast suggestions in the comments section!

NYT-TheDaily-1024x512 Continue reading

The Ultimate Covid-19 Resource List (Updated Regularly)

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Credits: DanarArt on DevianArt.com

Dear habitants of earth,

Unless you are a space cowboy, you should be aware of the latest pandemic that we are all affected by equally—Well, that is a first. I hope you are all staying safe from the COVID-19 virus by staying in and battling with creeping diabetes at the same time. I know, I am. Kudos to those who work out and avoid baked goods at home; please do share your secret. I was home for a total of 7 days, self-quarantining (and, I mean who is counting?).

Here is how it went:

Day 1 – Workout done, cooking done, cleaning done, reading done

Day 2 – workout nada, cooking nada, cleaning nada, reading yes, watching tv YES, laying down like a sloth YES.

Rest of the week – same as before. I am sure I was more productive during the occasional times that I felt depressed in university.

While I can talk about the hardships that people of the earth suffer daily and I think we never hear enough of that, I will try to lure the left side of your brain today. If you are home today, you are an awesome individual who cares about the people around you; I want to thank you, friend. I also want to help you with unleashing your creative energy during this unusual time (for some of us). I will try my best to write a couple articles for the next while to keep us, the privileged folk sane. Continue reading