i look back craning my neck 90 degree angle, perfect, at the scene of you hunched over the computer screen pixelated 420p, take a smoke break. single black tolkien hairy hobbit toes stroking different cats for different folks. you’re a forlorn folktale, toes up and down the calico’s spine mouse click clack, back cracks as you look back craning your neck 90 degrees single dotted line black eyes piercing mine, perfect
I push you closer, hoping you would go away.
Leave me be as i wrap my arms around your waist like an unwanted Christmas present from my grandma once removed twice removed third times the charm.
I remove myself from the heated argument. I just want to clear my head. I wear your sweater and I like how you smell, unfamiliar familiarity, the warmth coats my worn shoulders you press up against. It’s like i don’t know who you are anymore.
Hands rough. I want you closer, so i push you away.
closer to me.
Sometimes I feel like a hamster on a wheel.
Conniving, engineering an elaborate plan, dreaming, creating to do lists, scheming, strategizing on how to get off this wheel when all I have to do is
I read Linchpin by Seth Godin.
I also read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
How do I change the world? In order to change the world, I must first change myself. I can do this through action. Through routine, I obtain freedom. I will change my world. I network, read, create and share my art.
My art, my work, is a gift. I will give this gift freely, easily. My word, my vision, my empathy, my ideas, my soul.
Through routine, by nourishing my body, my mind and my spirit, I will slowly but surely obtain what I desire.
In order to create an impact with my art, I have to exercise extreme ownership in my craft, in my life, because by owning up, I exercise control over my own world. I am in control of my actions, I own my emotions and my feelings, I control me. It’s easy to blame others, it’s not easy taking blame. Nothing world while comes easy.
Welcome, to my front porch.
I sweep it, consistently. Every day my porch is cleaned, freed of dust through my controlled movements. I hold the broom and I create. My art develops as it’s shared, from my heart to yours
This week, I practiced forgiveness.
Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly allowed me to reflect on my culture, and on my relationship between my Hoyo and me. Hoyo is the Somali word for mom.
My parents grew up in an entirely different culture so they developed mindset that helped them survive in that environment. These last couple of days, I analyzed my relationship with my mom; I spotlighted our relationship specifically because I’m a mother myself, and as different as we are, I embody her; I often catch myself using my Hoyo’s mannerisms.
I stay up with my daughter when she’s sick; I cradle her in my lap, sitting on the uncomfortable toilet cover for hours so the steam from the hot shower relieves the pressure in her sinuses. Even long after she falls asleep. I learned that love from my mom.
My Hoyo tells us she sacrificed her life for us kids. She never finished her E.S.L classes or pursued a job or developed deep connections with other people because she was too busy caring for us. She never ate before we did, never slept longer than we did, and never bought nice things for herself. She engrained in us that she sacrificed her life, her soul, every fiber of her being for us.
My love for my daughter is fierce, and beautiful, because I learned how to love from my parents, specifically, my mom. I found myself working to the bone to provide what I thought was the best for my family. I believed, fervently, that scrubbing the tile in the bathroom on my hands and knees was an expression of love, the ultimate sacrifice.
Why then, did I feel so unbelievably empty, and alone?
The mindset of tremendous, soul-crushing sacrifice played a critical role in my depression. I used it as the only tool in my toolbox to quantify my love to those closest to me; it was the only tool I kept sharpened and oiled, not knowing there were other ways to practice love.
I went through the majority of my life feeling contempt towards my parents.
Today, I release that resentment because resentment hinders growth.
I forgive my parents, especially my mom. I will forever be grateful for my parents. They did the best they could with what they have. They loved us the only way they knew how.
Sacrifice is important, but it isn’t the only tool at my disposal. I can simultaneously want the best for my daughter, my husband, and my family, while also wanting the best for myself.
I will pursue my dreams and take time for myself. I will read books and seek experiences that will help me grow. I will go to the gym and eat healthy. I’ll cultivate meaningful relationships. I will be happy. I will exemplify grit, confidence, strength, independence, humility, and passion. If I don’t exemplify these qualities and pursue a life that I want, how can I expect my daughter to?
Thanks for reading.
I read these books since I posted last:
- Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (reread)
- Choose Yourself by Dave Atulcher
- Pet Sematary by Stephen King
- Relentless By Tim Grover
And I’m halfway through The Personal MBA.
How do I do this?
I made these 3 small changes in my life.
- Read more, watch less
I didn’t cancel my Netflix subscription and I’ll jump on Instagram/Facebook once in a while. These days though, I don’t have much time to dedicate to social media or binge watching the latest show on Netflix. Instead of cutting things out, which is negative reinforcement, I simply increased my reading time. I’ve cultivated my love and need for reading this way. I thrive on learning new things, exposing myself to new ideas, and being able to get through books so quickly. The more I read, the less time I have for other stuff.
- Make it simple, make it special.
I make it easy to read. I listen to audiobooks when I’m doing chores, when I’m on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes before I lift, at the grocery store when the lines are long. I listen to audiobooks when I ride my bike. I carry my kindle or a book with my when I’m going somewhere. I get a minimum of 2 hours of reading on my workdays because my commute is so long.
I make reading special. I read with my kid. The time I read to her helps me bond with her. She’s awesome. We make jokes, do silly voices for characters, read books with pictures, books without pictures, classic books, audiobooks. It’s fun. Don’t have a kid? Read to your grandma, or fish.
I share what I learn from reading with my family and others. I highlight and write down quotes in my journal. I read reviews about books and try to understand what other people learned from that book and compare and contrast. I look up words I don’t know the meaning of. I read books from different genres and age groups. I read poetry and essays. I don’t let myself get bored with reading.
- Listen fast, read fast
Listen to audiobooks at 1.5 speed and above. Start with 1.25, then up the speed when you get used to it.
Lastly, I invested in a program that helped me read faster. Athletes pay coaches insane amounts of money to become elite. Businesses pay consultants like, hella money yo to increase their profits and efficiency. I take reading seriously; if you do too, throw some money down on a legit company to help you read faster. If you don’t have money, look for free resources on Google or Youtube.
That’s it. Promise. It sounds easy because it really is.
I’m Ayan. I started this blog because I don’t know what I’m doing. Though, I have some idea of where I want to be. I think if I post consistently about steps that I’m taking every week to get closer to where I want to be, I’ll get closer to my goals.
What are my goals exactly?
I want to read 52 books this year.
I want to develop a powerful mindset. I want to cultivate relationships. I want to find my true calling. I want to have financial freedom. I want to a be better speaker. I want to make an impact.
I can reach those goals if I read books, and create.
Please, join me.