On Tuesday, I consider giving up writing forever.
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On Tuesday, I consider giving up writing forever.
I guess I’m officially an adult. As a huge Taylor Swift fan, I’ve waited for the year I turn 22 since the year I turned 15, but I didn’t think, “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time,” would resonate as much as it currently does. Up until this moment, I’ve always known where I have to be and what I have to be doing; the next step was always right there. Now, I am responsible for no one but myself, and technically speaking, I can do whatever I want.
I’ve never considered myself much of a chef. Growing up, I only knew how to prepare the basics. From making Bisquick pancakes with my dad on Sunday mornings to rolling Brazilian brigadeiro chocolates with my mom in the middle of the night, I learned to cherish the time I spent cooking with my family, even if we were making the simplest of items.
Since the start of high school, I thought the idea of college was alluring, for more reasons than the picturesque red brick and the independence it promised. I wanted a space to grow intellectually rather than regurgitate facts about U.S. history. I wanted classes where my beliefs would be challenged and where I would learn from peers with backgrounds different from my own. What I sought in college, I have found in one of my classes this semester.
When I was in what my secondary school called the Vth and all of America calls freshman year of high school, I took part in an exchange program with a school in D.C. When our plane landed, we were shuttled to the school in yellow school buses. We passed the Watergate Hotel on the way. My friends bought hoodies and coffee cups with the school’s name on them to take home to London. I saw huge sports fields and people playing American football. It was the first time that I found myself truly immersed in American culture.
Last week I did a couple things I’m proud of. I updated my resume, which I’d been telling myself I would do for months. I also called the Counseling Center for drop-in hours, after finally accepting that I could probably benefit from therapy, which is something I’ve been working toward for years.
I’ve been playing the violin for as long as I can remember. I first picked it up around the time I was 7 years old, when my parents forced me to take lessons. These lessons continued through middle and high school, and daily practice was a mandate.
In my dream, I am standing in a forest.
My March 2020 began at midnight on the steps of a movie theater. My friends and I had just gone to see Parasite. The five of us sat huddled side-by-side with enormous bags of popcorn and candy, enthralled by every twist and turn the movie had to offer. We even chuckled when one of our friends pulled out a disinfectant wipe to clean her theater seat.
For Lent this year, I have chosen to fast from boba. One of the traditions of this religious season is offering up a Lenten sacrifice, a luxury or comfort that one deems difficult to give up. For me, that sacrifice is boba tea.
I am a collector of stories, and Karachi was always the greatest love story of my life. I constructed a narrative in my head, a running script. I was a girl so entangled in the streets of my city that every time I left, it was as if the film reel was paused. It would only play when I came back to my city streets again. For the longest time Karachi felt real; everything else was just an imitation.
Only five weeks ago, I was at a birthday dinner, sitting opposite a gentleman who was berating me endlessly about how useless coding and data science are. “In 10 years, we won’t even need humans because there won’t be computers. The computers will just run themselves,” he proclaimed. If anyone can make any sense of that sentence, do let me know. I’ll buy you a cookie.
In celebration of Lunar New Year, I helped one of my roommates prepare a hotpot dinner. When the pot began to boil, a rich aroma filled every crevice of the apartment. Fish balls and chunks of tofu, glistening with crimson streaks of fat, bobbed up and down in the beef tallow soup base. After allowing the soup to boil for a few minutes, we added beef and pork slices to the broth and waited.
How do I stop present cruelty from marring the untouchable beauty of the past?
I feel like I’m treading water in the middle of the ocean during a storm, and my arms are getting mighty tired. I’m stressed. I’m scared, and I don’t want to graduate. I mean I do, but I don’t. The last four years have been transformative. All during middle school and high school, I told myself that I just needed to get to college and then my life would be exactly what I wanted. I was so wrong. It hasn’t been like the movies; it’s been better.
Was it a bummer having the end of your senior year taken away from you?
Content warning: The following article includes topics some readers may find triggering, including depression and suicide.
The first literary journal I ever submitted to was a student-run magazine called Aerie International, based in a high school in Missoula. Perusing through lists of student writing competitions and publications, I picked out Aerie because they published in print, and I was infatuated with the idea of seeing my work in physical form. I diligently wrote and submitted a short story about a young girl navigating the cultural conflict between her heritage and the world around her. To my shock and elation, the work was accepted for publication.
Last month, on their 27th wedding anniversary, my parents slept in separate beds.
The earliest thing I remember about my parents is that they never missed their Tuesday movie date. No matter what, they always made it to the cinema; my dad would choose the movie and my mom would buy the popcorn and chips. It was their “Tuesdate” tradition, one that my brother and I would only occasionally join if we were free that day.