I made a goal to write here every week this year, and I’m well aware that I haven’t written in a couple of months. But a lot of things happened in my family and I didn’t want to write, I felt like I couldn’t. But I guess a combination of a three-day weekend and having my only English lesson of the day get canceled due to a student no show has left me awake very early and feeling a need to write. 

My cousin passed away and we were all shocked and saddened by the news, it was deeply felt. As I get older I want to see more of my family, which surprises me at times but I love all my family no matter how much I see them. The last time I saw him was at a wedding and I had gone on my own. My mum was sick, my dad was in Pakistan and my brothers were both busy that day so it was just me hanging out with my dad’s side of the family and having a lovely time. I left wondering why we didn’t see each other more. I regret not knowing him more. As a writer and an artist, you always want to connect with people who share that creativity. My dad shared some of my cousin’s poetry with me, it was beautiful. I’m not putting this into words very well, there’s a deep ache of sadness there for my uncle, aunt, and cousins who lost their son and brother and for my cousin who was taken from us at too young an age. It’s made my parents talk more about my brother Siraj, who passed away when he was 4. I still don’t know a lot about him, and I miss him too even though I never knew him. Family is a strange but wonderful thing. 

I’m thinking a lot about next year, whilst trying to deal with this year as it comes. I want to move country again and am watching the COVID situation carefully to see when I can. I’m waiting for my vaccination because I need to go back to the US to sort out my stuff and see my friends and family and then to Toronto because I’ve not been in over 10 years and a visit is long overdue. I’m not sure if I should feel bad for thinking about travel but some of this needs to be done before I can move anywhere else. I still want to go to Pakistan with my dad, I feel like opportunities to do so will lessen as the years go on and I need to do that now while the chance is there. There is a lot to do in a world that feels more and more unstable as the days go by. Perhaps that’s also why I’ve found it hard to write. 

Anyway, I have a studio now! In the attic in our house. I was painting in my bedroom before and my room is long and narrow and not made for doing arts and crafts at all. I had a tiny space to work in and was always cramped. Now I have this airy, large, bright space at the top of the house which is all set up and today was the first day where I’ve just been able to spend nearly all day upstairs making stuff. Today it was more making Eid presents but I’ve got paintings to finish too. I am counting down the days till half term where I have a week off from all my jobs so I can just make and create for a whole week with no one to bother me. I’m currently working seven days a week, which my cousin is calling my montage mode. Getting through the current to a goal in the future like in a film. So I work in a Montessori school five days a week part-time, nanny three afternoons a week, and teach English online at the weekends. The end goal is to have the savings to move again with ease and then the added bonus of lots of teaching experience. By the time I start applying for jobs in the summer, I’ll have almost 6 years of teaching experience combined with all my post-Grad Montessori stuff and my TEFL diploma and extra English teaching experience. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever felt confidently qualified for the jobs I’m applying for. 

I cut my hair. There’s a new Necry Talkie album out soon and I am stoked for it and BTS has a new song out as well which I am too excited for. My art was featured on Channel 4 which was super cool. I’m going to start writing again. Let’s see how the summer goes.