Monday, 3 September 2012

Where have you been?

I've been feeling kinda weird lately. Don't know if it's got anything to do with the Full "Blue Moon" this past Friday night, or the fact that Spring has certainly Sprung in Johannesburg over the last week. While nothing drastic has occurred, there definitely seems to be a shift of energy ... I can't exactly put my finger on it, let alone explain it.

All I do know is that I've been practically living at work. It hasn't been that bad. And I've become quite chatty over the past few weeks too. My usual brazen opening line: psssst, what's your name, what's your story? has garnered quite a few friends, associates and acquaintances. And as I attempt to keep myself busy by poking my nose in other people's business, my own life plods along, dragging me unwittingly with it.

I can't lie though, most days I have fun. But there's this distant nagging feeling like it's all pointless y'know. Life. It's pointless. We live, we die. We have fun, we're miserable some of the time. We love people we can't have, and hate those that are around all the time. We spend money we don't have, and eat far too much. We wish we could sleep in every morning, yet wake up anyway to do it all - over and over again. It's not only pointless, it can become quite meaningless too.

At work, I have this incessant need to connect to everyone on some level. It's not entirely possible, but it's not impossible either. It's like I need to know that other people are living too, so that I don't get sucked into the vacuum of my own existence.

We should be living in the moment, but there's no instrument to measure how that's done. How do you know whether or not you're living in the moment? Is that not determined by perception? Or subject to opinion?

Here's how I see it: the fact that you're here, reading this, is a clear indicator that you're very much alive. And who's to say that that's not living in the moment?

Thing is, we'd all love to feel like we're LIVING the crap out of life. No one wants to just exist. We want to feel and believe that there is some point to things... a bigger picture... some grand culmination of events.

But alas, dear reader, I have come to see that there will be episodes in your life, when you will just exist. Yes, it will be mundane... sedentary maybe... even boring. But there's nothing wrong with that. It's life. We have our ups and downs. Good times and bad. Not every moment can be a roller coaster ride, no matter how many digital post-it inspirational quotes make you want to believe otherwise. There's nothing wrong with that. And there's nothing wrong with those digital motivational posters either. That's life.


  1. Noice! I likes it :) Good to hear someone thinking my own thoughts.

  2. Couldn't agree more! Seriously. :)

  3. It's great that you feel the impulse to connect with the people around you (as long as they're good people). I think cultivating our interpersonal relationships helps keep us more on the side of living rather than existing.

  4. i agree with the Rotorter. makes a difference between living and existing.
    i know someone who recently got into numerology and astrology and now her life is taken over by these books which tell you what colours to wear and what numbers are lucky, and she even checks if she has a correct name to go by! geesus. not only that, she is judging people by their numbers and what the book says about them. it is annoying the hell out of me, Azra.

  5. The only purpose of life is to get from birth to death enjoying yourself as much as you can and doing as much as you can for your loved ones along the way. Since this principal is the bedrock of Spanish society, that's why I live here.

  6. What I mean is that it's not pointless to have fun. That's what it's all about. Work is just a way to finance this.

  7. I know exactly what you mean. I get the constantly striving for greatness, but when we do, we forget about the now. And at least for the next year, I plan on staying in the now.

  8. I feel like an illegally parked car in the cul-de-sac of life this week...

  9. I was totally like you at work too - I wanted to know all the nuances of everyone's life, partially to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything. Turns out though, I was only connected to a certain type of person, which I only realized once I left. How narrow my field of vision was! You have to make an effort to expand it and that takes time and work!

  10. Oh Azra, the times I feel like this! I often wonder what the point is: where am I supposed to be going; why haven't I achieved anything brilliant; why aren't I just SUPER talented at one thing. I often try and live life like it's the last day and all that but then get exhausted or have a severe bout of procrastination. And like you, I want to know all about people...their very souls! God, I sound like the Devil. Anyway, I guess like you said, it is what it is.

  11. I understand all this stuff, been going through these type of reflections the last few months. Its all got to do with a state of ghaflah and how to overcome it. Very similar to the Zaahir that coelho speaks about- that he says is an acceptable thing but I completely disagree. There's a lot to say on this topic but the conclusion is so simple and easy- but its late and I have to sleep so I'll come back on in a day or two and try to share my thoughts.

    Simply put it though, the solution to actually living is to just REALISE Surah Asr in everyday life. People are at a loss unless.....(go do some research because my translation is not worthy).

    Go to and get Nouman Ali Khans tafseer on Surah Asr- brillaintly put. I kind of understand the hadith that the difference between those who are in thikr(rememberance-spelling I know) and those who are not is like the difference between the living and the dead....

    What if we are all dead ???? well mentally atleast

  12. WHAT? 'But there's this distant nagging feeling like it's all pointless y'know. Life. It's pointless. We live, we die.' Now just wait a minute, Az. You're supposed to cheer me up. You're suposed to tell me life is beautiful and heaven will be the mother of all parties!

    Enjoy spring! It's almost autumn in my neck of the woods. I really need to get myself a relocation package.

  13. Its a good day when you stop and think about where you're at and are okay with it.

    Content is the word I'm looking for. That's a nice feeling.

  14. Sham
    That's the art of just being :)

    Glad it resonates :)

    Roving Retorter
    I agree with you 100% - even though I know it, I haven't thought of it that way before. It's cultivating and nurturing these relationships that make me feel alive! :D

    The problem with people like your friend is that they don't end up living in reality - or their version of reality becomes so obscure that they end up living a lie. Some people forget that we live on earth - and not in the clouds :)

    I suppose. But sometimes I think people are too obsessed with the notion of (instant) gratification. We never used to be that way. Now, everyone's only in it for the good times - once people hit that rough patch in life (as they inevitably do), they want to bail out of their own lives and responsibilities :P

    Yes, the "now" is all that matters. Another flaw of progressive humankind is that we are all victims to living way ahead of time (there's that problem of Instant Gratification again). And all that inevitably happens is that we live in dreams and end up wasting our realities. Success is in "here and now" :)

    We all have those weeks. Hang in there and hope it turns around soon :)

    I guess the secret is to be open to all kinds of people and experiences. I believe that we can still accept people for who they are without necessarily ascribing to their beliefs. I try to let people be who they are and respect them anyway - whether I agree with them or not :)

    It is exhausting isn't it? Maybe living each day like it's our last doesn't necessarily mean jumping out of an airplane with a parachute - and instead means that we should just enjoy every moment, no matter what we're doing (even if it's just sitting in the sun), and being grateful and content with doing that ;)

    I understand what you're saying - and it's true. But a part of our worship as Muslims include interacting with society and people - bringing light to the community and helping others. That is why in Islam, no man is an Island. We cannot and should not live in isolation, divorced from human interaction. It's these interactions that make us who we are - teaches us things about life and ourselves - and teaches others about life and themselves too. I know all that... it's just going through the everyday motions, the drudgery of life, that makes me question the point of everything. It doesn't last long though, because I then remember that this is not a competition and that I have many reasons to be grateful and carry on :)

    Life is beautiful Randy. Only sometimes it's difficult to see that beauty when we're clouded with expectations from others, society as well as our own expectations. And then we learn to shrug it off and move on ;)

    Contentment! The essence of gratitude! I think in this contemporary world, people don't view contentment as a goal and end in itself. The tragedy in that is that many people won't realise that that is all they need to be "happy"... and so they'll go through their whole lives overcompensating in every sector in order to fill those voids :P

  15. I live my life very much the same way. I can't help but to feel as if something is missing, so I fill it with what I hope is a meaningful connection of some sort. Maybe it's a way of figuring out how others are feeling fulfilled?

  16. I used to be one of those annoyingly optimistic people that never saw the glass half empty...
    Until one day something amazing happened and it made me realize how blessed I am to be surrounded by the coolest people imaginable.
    Wait... I had a point here dammit!

  17. The whole "life is pointless" thing tends to drive people to religion. So. Be careful of that.

    ...and long hours at work can be rough. Sometimes you need to just exist so you can get to the times where you're "living."

  18. Angie
    I'm guessing most people feel this way. And some are just very good at hiding it! :)

    I'm naturally optimistic too - but that doesn't stop me from feeling the emptiness every now and then. :)

    I wouldn't mind being driven to religion - although I WOULD mind any kind of extremism. I'm against being fanatic about anything. Totally get you on sometimes "existing" so that you can "live" :)

  19. @Angie & Az - Something's missing in my life, too, and it isn't money. I know Az is raising her eyebrows right now but, no, it isn't money. I don't know what it is. Could it be that maybe we're just a bit demanding? Could it be that maybe it's just never good enough?

  20. RCB
    Sometimes I think it will never be enough - that we were never meant to be "happy" Randy. How many "happy" people do you know? It's all sunshine and roses on the outside, but what lurks beneath tells another story.

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  22. You're right.. People are actors. I'm not happy. Well, there you have it.

  23. You're right.. People are actors. I'm not happy. Well, there you have it.

  24. You're right.. People are actors. I'm not happy. Well, there you have it.

  25. RCB
    Well, if it's any consolation, I don't think most people are :P

  26. Oh Azra- yes. I agree with wanting to connect with people on some level, any level and I imagine since you're working way more than maybe you'd like to be it's nice to have some type of connection with those around you.

    LIving in the moment isn't always easy, especially for people like me who are always in their head. Damn it. Where's the off switch?

    Hope while you're just going through the motions of life, you can save up some money and have a little getaway- wherever or whatever that may be.

    And despite having not moved to Spain just yet, There will be a place for you- just tell me when and I'll look forward to your visit. I sense we'd have a great time!

  27. Testify!


    But seriously, I agree wholeheartedly with all of this. Brilliantly put.

  28. "I can't lie though, most days I have fun. But there's this distant nagging feeling like it's all pointless y'know. Life. It's pointless. We live, we die. We have fun, we're miserable some of the time. We love people we can't have, and hate those that are around all the time. We spend money we don't have, and eat far too much. We wish we could sleep in every morning, yet wake up anyway to do it all - over and over again. It's not only pointless, it can become quite meaningless too. "

    WOW that paragraph resonates with me, sorry for the late comment, catching up with reading blogs...geez girl you always right such good stuff. This is how I feel too, everything in life is actually trivial because we all die and it means nothing, so what if you got 3 degrees, your life ends and it means nothing, and our lives are sooooo short. Unfortunately it makes me so non-ambitious thinking this way but it's true. And yet a heartbreak still hurts so much even though you know it doesn't really matter and that someone else eventually does come along, wish I could get over things much quicker knowing all this about life heh. If only we could know all the answers, especially the meaning of life....I am starting to meditate more and am working towards being awakened (it's hard)...who knows but it feels like the right thing to do.

  29. roamingtheworld
    Oh yes, I would LOVE to visit Spain (and you) (and Michi) at some point in the near future. Connecting with people is the only thing that makes me feel truly alive :)

    Pretzel Thief
    Glad you agree ;)

    I think there are more people that feel like this than we imagine :) I think the real challenge or test is to life your life regardless of the outcome - like studying for three degrees even though you know you're going to die eventually and that it doesn't really mean anything... letting yourself fall inlove even though you know it may not last. These acts take some real courage - something that requires a fearlessness and a trust that many of us don't have. I guess really, in that way, living fearlessly is the closest thing to really living... if you know what I mean...