Monday, November 14, 2011

The Road to Skinny.

This is my fat post. I don't want your sympathy or approval. You don't need to tell me that I'm beautiful. And before I continue, I'll admit one thing. Writing about weight is not easy. Framing it in a way that doesn't generalize is not easy. This post is about me and my fat.

I can't stand the fat on my body. I can't defend it anymore. It's not about being healthy.

Can you imagine me thin? And when I'm thin can you imagine me fat?

The desire to be thin and thinner. There's not a week that goes by where I don't hear a friend nagging about wanting to lose weight. "Oh, I want to lose 20 pounds." I mean, realistically, it's embarrassing to reply or continue the conversation saying, "Oh, well, I want to lose 100 pounds.(I have close to 100 pounds to lose, maybe I'm exaggerating. Okay, I'm exaggerating.) I usually just stare wondering, with an I-really-really-don't-care smile, "Why does this skinny bitch wanna lose 20?" It really irks me when my skinny friends tell their fat friend, ME, that they want to lose weight. I feel nauseous and embarrassed. For a fatty like me it's a damn struggle to lose a single pound. And what further annoys me is when they tell me about their weight-loss success. Skinny and losing weight??? wtf. So in this weight-loss-conversation-scenario, I respond saying, "Oh yeah, girl! Good luck!" (girl because I've never had an intimate weight conversation with a dude). Regardless of how I judge you when you tell me you want to lose 5, 10, 30 pounds, body-image is a subjective and sensitive issue. When I look at you, I see skinny. But when you look at yourself, you see fat. Or vice versa. It's crazy how body-image works alongside the social construct of which body-type is normal or abnormal in our society. Total mind-fuck.

I'm 5 feet 7 inches tall. 20 years old.


205


186

Now you know how much I weigh. And I already know some people are comparing my number with theirs.

A total loss of 19 pounds in the last 6 months. This is only time I feel good saying, "I'm such a loser!" The numbers don't mean anything except for the fact that 1) my weight is finally out of the 200 range (the number 200 horrifies me) and 2) my weight number is becoming smaller. More importantly though, it's how I look when I'm facing the mirror. I see a change. My jeans are loose...and I've stopped shopping...when I reach my goal though, I'll resume. If my pants drop to the ground when I'm around you, now you know why. Thinner hands and legs. I even see a smaller round-shaped face. The weight loss isn't drastic enough, but 186 is the smallest I've been since my diagnosis (2008) and high school years. It's still difficult to accept my new body because what I see visually is different from what is stored in my mind. I see 2009 (I refrained from taking pictures for a few months because I felt so ugly...and then felt it was necessary to remember what my body suffered and had a photo-shoot. Of course, I would do that.) I am a monster in 2009. I thought I'd always look like 2009. The funny thing is, I was more focused on whether or not I'd ever find true love looking like 2009. Nothing else mattered. And no I haven't found it yet, but I no longer wish to.

2009. Cheesin' it.
I didn't care much about being thin in the past...mostly because I was never attacked about it. Being fat/overweight/obese is more than just being fat/overweight/obese. The reality, in medical and societal terms, is ugly. Uglier than being fat. "You'd look nicer if you lost a few pounds." "You should join a gym." "You're sick because you're overweight." They see fat and they see disease. They see fat and they see ugly. Taunted over and over for being fat. I never understood it...and still don't have an explanation. Why? Why do some people have such an issue with me being overweight? Am I not the same person? I never burst out in anger to explain my fat... because what would be the purpose? Instead, I should've slapped a few bitches.

When I'm fat, I am ugly. No matter what I'm told about the inside mattering more than the outside. We live in a superficial world, and it's going to stay like this. You need to look beautiful. There is nothing positive about being ugly and fat. This makes me sad too.

2009. Wiggin' it.
Where do I go? Do I do something about my fat because of the insults? Or because society is so fixated on thin being beauty? Why lose weight? Of course I want to have good health and live longer, but I really just want to shut everyone up and be thin...for once. All I think about is being thin because it is so much easier. Easier to find clothing that fits. But it's more than just fitting into clothes... it's about fitting in... in every aspect of society and life. The well-being that comes with being thin does not come with being fat.

2010. Eyeglassin' it.
Whether it is for medical, societal, or personal reasons...at the end of the day, losing weight is fabulous when you're me. Better blood circulation, joints are partying, more energy, no diabetes, perfect blood pressure. I still have high cholesterol, but I'm working on that. Healthier and thinner, there's no secret.


1) I don't eat carbs - I pair salad, veggies, fruits, and protein (egg, fish, meat) with just about everything. Rice lovers, you need to stop eating rice. And bread. Pasta. Bury fast-food. I let go during weekends or parties. Everyday is not a party or a weekend. 
2) I drink lime juice twice daily. Lime is an amazing, detoxifying fruit. Almost automatically after drinking, you will find yourself in the loo. No soda, juice. Wine, once in a while, is good. Also alcohol. You can't just deprive yourself!!!
3) Prednisone (killer bastard, worse than most men) dosage has been tapered to 5 mg. Along with healthier eating habits, I am recovering quite well in terms of edema (swelling, water weight from medicine and slow metabolism) and inflammation.
4) Mind control. Get a good grip of yourself and you can accomplish anything and everything.
2011.
The journey isn't over. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm out of the closet.


This is a reflective paper for my Fundamental Concepts in LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) Studies class. The topics in this class are both familiar and unfamiliar and very sensitive to me. How often do you learn about intersex people or vaginoplasty? I blush during each class. But I love every single moment of it. The writing below might or might not make sense to you, but it holds a lot of meaning in my life...of course as a human being but mostly as a woman. 

“Lesbian, lesbian, any woman can be a lesbian,” (Lavendar Jane Loves Women, Alix Dobkin, 1973). Is that so? Any woman? This quote sounds like something’s (or someone’s) for sale. I am not convinced.

In fact, I am confused. Furthermore, the Radicalesbians in The Woman-Identified Woman preach a formal definition of lesbianism that is completely foreign to me, “A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion. She is the woman who acts in accordance with her inner compulsion to be a more complete and freer human being than her society allows her. She has not been able to accept the limitations and oppression laid on her by her society - the female role.” In that case, I guess I am a lesbian and I am about to explode because of this queer awakening. A lesbian by political choice. Ha! I am still not convinced.

During today’s lesson, (10.19.11, a monumental day for me!) I cried. I let myself go. I came out of the damn closet. Nope, not as the obvious closet comer-outer. I’m out as a feminist, a word which still lacks a formal definition, and on this day thanks to the Radicalesbians, while I’m unsettled with a lot of their points, I can’t help but praise their feminist madness on loving oneself and other women. Their passion is admirable and leaves me quite speechless, while at the same time, makes me want to join the fight for womanhood, sisterhood, and lesbianhood as a woman-identified woman.

I am finally convinced when Woman-Identified Woman concludes, “It [activism] is the primacy of women relating to women, of women creating a new consciousness of and with each other, which is at the heart of women's liberation, and the basis for the cultural revolution.” The ending paragraph seals the deal for me, however, only 75%. I can’t help but ask, why the development of the term “woman-identified woman”? Woman-identified woman was substituted for the term lesbian, which attracted women of all identities – feminists, heterosexuals (single/married), homophobes – everyone was involved in the movement. This discourse allowed for the creation of what I mention above: the political lesbian. As absurd and empowering as it sounds, and, contradicting, this is where my mind actually explodes because thus far, what I’ve learned about lesbianism is thrown out the window! What happened to lesbianism being innate and involuntary? Contradiction after contradiction, and such a clever part on the Radicalesbians to magnetize women!

In my previous entries (readers: I write an entry each week for this class), I've argued against socially constructed definitions…but definition gives us meaning, meaning to hold on to, and meaning that makes us feel safe and protected. Is lesbianism a biological, social, or a political judgment? Can we choose our sexual identity politically without thinking about the sex acts? Yes, according to the Radicalesbians. The political lesbian or woman-identified woman describes an attraction that is not based on the sex or the sexual; rather, it is the attraction to other women through the principles of feminism. Sweet, so does that mean I can fuck a man? Yes. But then again, why think about fucking when we have the strength of feminism? Where do we draw the line on defining lesbianism?

The Radicalesbians suggest that sex acts dont identify sexuality. However, mainstream definitions describe lesbianism as “a [homosexual] woman who is sexually attracted to other women.” Feminist, woman-identified woman, lesbian. Whether it is based on behavior, desire, or identity it doesnt make me or you more or less of a woman.

And yes, I am a proud and loud Womens Studies major.






Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Part Dui. Closer to Death and New Beginnings.

'Dui' means TWO in Bangla.

Bangladesh was just waiting to embrace me. Its people are not selfish. And somewhere along the stay, I realized this wouldn’t be my last time. I would be coming back…coming back for a more permanent accommodation. Bangladesh needs me. Its women need me. But more than it needing me, I need it. And by the way, for all the confused readers… I am back in New York...I don't know what led anyone to think that I was still in Bangladesh. Anyways, now I can continue my rant.

I fell in love some time last year with a man living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. When I fall in love, I fall hard. But I've realized, when I love, I don’t receive as much as I give. Long story short, I left Bangladesh as a single lady. However, this is a happy single. I have nothing bad to say about him. He was confused and while I was irritated, I've let it be. He never revealed his last feelings. He never officially left me. He just stopped…stopped everything.

The Dhaka city memories will remain. We first met (face-to-face that is) on July 2nd in front of Dhaka Imperial College in the midst of all the traffic near New Market. And a few times after that on roadsides, Shanghai Restaurant, Pizza Hut (a fancier eatery than the one we New Yorkers are familiar with), Nandos, Dhanmondi Lake. Rode on rickshaws together. Held hands. Kissed. Coincidentally matched (clothing) each time. It was perfect while it lasted.

I wanted to share more negatives about this relationship. I really did. But my heart isn't allowing me to. Also, his father passed away recently (third week of August) which makes the entire situation (to bash my ex) completely and severely wrong. So, I've forgotten and forgiven.

Death is in rage, especially in the last two months of July and August. Leiby Kletzky. Nazish Noorani. Tareque Masud. Mishuk Munier. Abid Sharia. Nirob's father. The Lovely Bones. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. (Novels I've read recently, and The Secret Life of Bees which I'm currently reading...all coincidentally have death in common). And while the listed deaths were close to me in some way (location, mother-country, gender, love, or just a mere coincidence)...I can't help but ask the question: "Is it just me or are all of these people actually dying?" But I've realized what it is. I'm growing up...as in growing old. And death is playing a huge role in this growth. I've never paid much attention to the deceased...I've never cried or felt that "sad/hurt" feeling...in summary, I am somehow more aware and sad. Maybe at the fact that almost all of the people I've listed above were innocent. I know it's a part of life and so the saying goes...but I don't know why it hurts me so much...now. I cried.

It is now September and I'm back in school after EIGHT months. I can't believe that much time has actually passed so damn quickly...and no, I don't want anymore extended breaks. I am back to school and so, so happy and excited to be back...and I pray that I stay in school for good this time. For newbies on my page: Fall 2010, I had to drop all my classes except for one due to severe bone problems. Spring 2011, I had surgery on my right hip (core decompression with bone graft). I took a leave of absence from Brooklyn College. And my readers, you all need to pitch in with these prayers. Your homegirl wants to stay in school. NO MORE SURGERIES. EVER. And You up there...let's be easy with the pains this semester.

In terms of Lupus, I'm actually doing horrible. My blood results are not up to par. I'm still leaking an abnormal amount of protein during urination. Urination is such a weird word. Urination. HA! However, all due to God's grace, I'm walking about getting things done like a boss, commuting to and from school via public transportation, more energetic, taking less naps...I mean, on the outside, I'm just like you.

September is a crazy month for me because I remember three years ago during this time, everything changed for me. Everything. But at the same time, it's very humbling to have gone through it all and never feeling alone. I am thankful over and over for the support that I have from my friends, family, readers...God. The third week of September 2011 will mark my third year with Lupus. It's a love-hate relationship. But mostly love.

Three years stronger ...and I like to think I've gotten funnier too.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bang me, I'm Bangali. Part I.

Sit back, relax, grab some chai (tea) because this is a long post.

And also, you might not want to read this if you're fasting (because of the dirty images that might come to your mind and destructive language). Just sayin'.

Self-discovery, awareness, peace. Self. This trip is about me. And in this one month I've discovered something I probably would never have discovered while living in New York (maybe because I haven't noticed it as much): to Bangladesh, my boobs make me who I am. In every way, shape and form...I never had to utter a single word to get noticed by the Bangladeshi public. My boobs spoke to them and they were very, very pleased. 

How's that for an opener? Well, there's more to my one-month stay in Bangladesh than boob stories though I know you prefer to read something erotic and hot. Let's see what I can do.

For the past year or so, I've been trying to convince my parents and doctors to allow me to travel to Bangladesh...my roots, my motherland. My parents relied on my doctors for an answer and my doctors relied on my blood results for an answer. With God's grace...and three vaccinations and a three-month supply of all the drugs you can possibly think of, I flew to Bangladesh on June 27th, 2011. Sazia (my youngest sister) and I embarked on a journey without our parents. And knowing that we wouldn’t be accompanied by parents meant one thing: party all goddamn day and night. Even though only I lived up to this and Sazia stayed in most of the time. Moving along, economy class with bratty children and parents who didn't give a shit about them for an almost 18-hour journey with a 7-hour stopover at Dubai was not an amusing one...but we did enjoy making mean and dirty faces at the crying children (not a single drop of tear/wetness) who would stop and stare at us in uncertainty which then led me to think that they were deliberately trying to annoy us

Upon our arrival to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport…I knew we were in Bangladesh (not because of the obvious) but because of a certain pungent smell and an overcast of dust that populated the airport. A part of my reason for coming to Bangladesh was to experience something out of the ordinary, something fresh and absurd to a New Yorker. And as everyone rushed to immigration and customs, I knew I was getting what I wished for…it felt as if the passengers were in a race to see who can get to their luggage first. Silly. After customs, I tried looking for a phone to call my brother-in-law which was a fail because the Bangladeshi airport didn’t seem to have one. We then proceeded to get our bags which took over an hour to arrive. And this was due to the obvious lack of organization. Two signs indicated luggage belts for first and business class and another for economy. The signs were useless because our bags arrived in the first and business class section while we stood waiting around the economy class carousel. In between the fight for bags, men swarmed the area to “help” passengers with their baggage collection. I fought for my bags alone as I was warned that the “helpers,” while being nice and warm during the helping process, would charge a lot of tip upon completion and if you didn’t pay them well, they would threaten your ass.

27 days.

The first week consisted of “hartal” - in my own words from Banglapedia (this actually exists) - a hartal is a constitutionally recognized political strike or protest called by the opposition party to express a political demand. This doesn't sound too bad in words, but these strikes are violent as hell. And the song that comes to mind is Antoine Dodson’s ‘Bed Intruder’ because during the hartal:

He's [some political activist] climbin’ in your windows
He's snatchin’ your people up
Tryna rape ‘em so y'all need to
Hide your kids, hide your wife
And hide your husband cuz they're rapin’ everybody out here
We're lookin’ for you [some asshole politician]
We gon find you, we gon find you.”

Not only is rape active during these hartals, cars are constantly bombed and people are constantly murdered. It was a whole lot of craziness. So during these hartal days, everyone was advised to stay home. Economically, this meant a lot of suffering for businesses. And personally, this meant rest and staying home all damn day or walking around the neighborhood if you were in a safe location. After surviving these strikes, Dhaka was drenched with a monsoon and if you didn’t have a car, well your ass pretty much had to stay in unless you were willing to swim the streets. The sewage system – yeah, we’re better off not talking about that. 


In a place that lacks structure (societal, governmental), in a place where due dates don’t matter (time and schedule can be adjusted accordingly especially if you have money), for every excuse you can say: “There was traffic…” is where I came to find myself. I needed to get away from New York. I should feel ashamed for wanting this but after settling in Dhaka, something felt right. And just to clarify, this wasn’t a study abroad trip. I needed a break from Lupus and that’s what I got. Though I went with a list of “What not to do/eat,” I took some precaution while breaking all my written rules. I ate everything (while balancing my low to no carb diet). I rode on most of the transportation that put me in risk for a broken bone or death. Namely, the rickshaw, van, and CNG. Pictures below.

A van. Clearly not your ordinary New York van.
Photo not taken by me. Courtesy of Google.
Hanging from the back of a van. Rita Apu (sister/cousin) and I.
The rickshaw.
Inside a CNG. Congestion and crappy hair.
Not to mention sweat and extreme body odor.
After going to a place like Bangladesh (I was in Dhaka - the capital city - for my stay) from a place like New York you realize that you live in some sort of a Paradise. (Even though some of New York is quite rough but nothing compared to Bangladesh) Garbage piles in most street corners. The very rich in their hotshot cars. The very poor laid out in the slums, basically every other street corner. Beggars crowding around you and your family. Don't get me started with the beggars. The two that were prevalent during my stay: 1) The Unified Beggar and 2) The Clever Beggar. Some beggars work together in a union or alliance. If a beggar approaches your car and you happen to give him/her some dough, they tactfully call their brother/sister beggars to one-by-one knock on your windows because they know you have cash/taka. The clever beggars - now, this I found hilarious because these men (I only ran into men) lined themselves up near a speed bump. Obviously, cars have to slow down while crossing the bump and thus have to look over at the beggars in their way and give a little somethin' somethin'. Mostly stares and laughter.


While living in Dhaka, my sister and I were princesses. Servants, chauffeurs, chefs...we had it all. And I'm not bragging or being conceited...anyone who is middle to upper class can afford one or all of the above. And certainly, having all of this the life. The good life. At first I was quite hesitant in asking the servants to do things  for me...but soon enough I was in the diva mode that everyone who knows me is familiar with. However, I wasn't crazy with the "Do this!" demands or "Why are you taking so long?!?" (when only a few seconds had elapsed). I tried to stay polite and make my youngest sister do all the dirty work. JUST KIDDING


Onik and Taslima, two of the servants, were the most entertaining. Onik's job was to take care of my 4-year-old nephew, Tehzeeb. And by the end of each day, Tehzeeb, belonging to a higher social class, would have hopes and dreams of becoming a rickshaw driver or a fuchka (popular street snack in Bangladesh) salesman (jobs suitable for Onik, because it's hard for a lower class person to move up in social status). Tehzeeb, who attends an English-medium school, is taught to speak either English or proper Bangla. However, with Onik as a playmate, he has managed to learn the slum-slangs and dirty curses. No big deal. And the most memorable scene of Tehzeeb is of him trying to take over Darwan Chacha's (Security Guard Uncle - I know it sounds funny translated in English) gate duty. Whenever we arrived with the car, Tehzeeb would run over to pull the enormous gate. 
Onik (taller) and Tehzeeb.
Eating FUCHKA in Niketon. Yummmmy.
Taslima, who is probably in her early teens, was in charge of the kitchen (heating up the food, setting up the table, etc). The laziest person I have met. And I'm not being rude here. She didn't do any work. Any non-Bengalis reading this are probably thinking that I'm horrible for secretly writing shit about her. But let's remember, servants are getting paid - getting paid to WORK. There was this one time during lunch when she gave us at least two types of fish - head and tail pieces - pieces that Sazia and I don't eat - like really though, who eats those pieces?, cold/frozen daal (lentil stew), and salad that came after we left the table in anger. She would do just about anything so we would avoid asking her to do shit for us (this sentence makes no sense so you may need to read it twice). Smart technique though.  


I must also mention Nuru - my favorite of all the housekeepers. He was very respectful and worked so diligently. He was always mindful about providing us with "American" foods so that Sazia and I would feel at home. For an evening snack once, he asked Sazia if she wanted "sausage" which he pronounced as "sauces" - I know my Bengali folks understand why he pronounced it the way he did. Sazia stared at me in confusion because after answering "Yes..." he proceeded to ask her if she wanted chicken or beef (sausage or sauces as he kept saying). She looked over at me saying, "WTF, chicken or beef sauce?" While being entertained by the scene I told Nuru that we'd have chicken sausage. Sazia was dumbfounded...and we couldn't stop laughing. Oh the memories...and at the end of the day, with the servants and all, we were a happy and hilarious poribar (family). 


With all the hartal, monsoon, and servants' craziness, I managed to squeeze in some shopping - not at the fancy air-conditioned markets because Rekha Apu, (my cousin), a fashion designer and an expert when it comes to the shopping scene, took me to the large wholesale outlets. Once in a lifetime experience. For anyone visiting Bangladesh, you must go to these markets even if you are not shopping. Or if you want to torture someone, these markets are perfect for humiliation and harassment. Islampur Bazaar and Gausia Market. Touching, squeezing, grabbing...that's all I remember. Oh yeah, and some shopping. Gausia Market is dedicated to everything and anything women. But you'd be shocked to know that among all of the women's fabrics, almost 70% of the crowd is made up of men, mostly young or middle aged - who are not shopping. In fact, all they're doing is pushing and shoving against the women. Keep in mind, this shopping complex has no air-conditioning and is crowded as fuck. For my foreigners (New Yorkers) to get a taste, picture yourself during the morning rush hour while getting to school/work in a train or bus. Ass to ass. It's tough enough just to stand in place while being shoved and groped on...now imagine shopping for fabrics and bargaining prices and being smothered with fingers and hands in places strangers should not be touching. One man just grabbed my left boob and walked right into my body. Due to the crowd and heat, I lost him instantly. Islampur (Manhattan's garment/wholesale district) was a whole other experience because the only way to get to it is by rickshaw. Anyways, once again shopping wasn't the most memorable part. While returning home on a rickshaw, my poor right knee was smothered by the rickshawala's (rickshaw driver) ass. He was "ridin' dirty". It's much harder to write out this experience, if I see you I'll definitely perform the scene. 


This next story cannot go unwritten. While driving to Gausia Market, my cousin (sitting in the passenger seat) saw a 'woman' riding a motorcycle. She looked over at me and said, "Look at that woman riding her bike!" I was really excited upon seeing this (being that I was the feminist-type among the group) and announced, "This is how it should be." I even went on to explain how it's illegal for women to drive cars in Saudi Arabia and that "Here we are in a country like Bangladesh where women are riding freely." And while we all stared at 'her' in excitement, it wasn't until our car passed the bike that we realized the person was not a woman, he was a man! Long hair in a pony tail, gray tunic, slim figure...he fooled us. 
Random couple on a motorcycle - the trendy ride in Bangladesh.
Every night in Dhaka was composed of a lot of drunkenness or passionate rooftop... conversations. You thought I was going to write rooftop sex, didn't you? With all the new drinking and smoking, I've become a more enlightened Shahana. You live life once and what's life without at least one drink accompanied by a cigarette? Useless. And this is exactly what I've learned while staying in Bangladesh. I took the trip on my own risk. Risks, while sometimes endangering your life and well-being, are opportunities to find yourself. And I believe some risks are good risks - chances that test your strengths/abilities to overcome hardships. Whether it was crossing Dhaka city's impossible streets, climbing up seven flights to go to the roof or my cousin's flat, fighting through the muddy roads while wearing slippers, getting wet in our own rain (water hose) and waking up with a fever that lasted for five days and having a taste of Bangladeshi medicine, drunk dancing after one shot of tequila, four glasses of vodka, and six cigarettes till four in the morning and waking up with the worst leg/ankle pain I have ever felt, walking through the slums during the midnight hours and experiencing a revelation about life...that no matter what condition we live in, we need to embrace the goodness and badness while appreciating the one life we have.
On the roof in the rain. Me, Rita Apu, Rekha Apu.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My mother, my absolute everything.

A one line greeting isn't enough for my mother. She's most likely not going to read this post, nonetheless "Mother's Day" gives me an opportunity to appreciate her in every shape and form and to appreciate God for blessing me with a mother who didn't abandon me when I needed her the most. And this doesn't mean I don't appreciate her everyday...but for real though if it wasn't for mothers day how many of your statuses would say "I love you mom" (any other day)? And I specifically refer to Facebook when I say this because my newsfeed is flooded with Mother's Day greetings. I really hope everyone treats their mothers like queens (even though I know I take advantage of mine in so many ways, and I'm pretty sure you do too).
My mother and I.
I was always bald and naked. It's a shame.
My mother, Rehana, was married at age 17, came to America by 18, and had me by 19. She has been a full-time housewife since my birth....and I'm not talking about those "housewives" from the Real Housewives of (insert state) shows because I really don't know what those women are except for the fact that each one of them has gotten so many plastic surgeries...I'm sure even they've lost count. That might befit the "American" housewife, I'm not sure. My mother is a traditional yet modern housewife. She doesn't have any outside jobs. Her only "job" is to cook, clean, buy groceries, and take care and stay in contact with the family (in America and in Bangladesh). I'm rereading this last sentence and trying to grasp her activities. It doesn't sound like much, but it is. Her mornings are not lazy and she never procrastinates. They begin by sweeping the entire house as it is a 'bad omen' to not sweep in the mornings (at least that's what my mother says when I ask her why she sweeps every damn day and sometimes it seems as if all she does is sweep or mop!) Days when the entire family is home, she makes breakfast...but before breakfast she cleans the stove top, dining table, counter tops (again, every damn day). During the afternoon, she cooks lunch/dinner all while talking on the phone...talk about multi-tasking! Seems monotonous so far...at least it seems to me, but all of this is done while laughing or smiling (she doesn't laugh all alone, that would be a bit crazy) and because I am home full-time, she timely checks up on me to see if I need anything. When all the cooking and cleaning is finally done, she either goes out to get groceries or stays in while accompanying my father. And the weird thing is, the cleaning part actually never ends. She takes care of the laundry...simply put, she is the woman of the house. Only on weekends does she get to "live" a little - at family parties. Doesn't sound like she's living it up to me. I remember telling her once that if my life consisted of only cooking and cleaning, I would be very unhappy. She assured me that I would have a housemaid and a home-chef. God, please make that come true.

Beautiful, intelligent, humorous, caring, straight-forward, young and fierce. My mother seems to have it all under control in such a graceful manner. She understands my moods all the time, and my dad's - since we are the biggest bitches in the house. Did I mention how funny she is? I remember while growing up, my mother's main priority was to keep us away from boys or to keep them away from us...and she would say, "Remember one thing always, MAN AND WOMAN equals DISTANCE." Her English vernacular is not yet up to par, but with her few broken words she was semi-able to control our raging hormones. She said at least a million times during the day. Man and woman = distance means to keep a reasonable distance when dealing with men - not to get all cuddly on the couch or bed/not to hug any "guy friends"/and so on. Yes, she said it like is was a formula of some sort by saying equals and yes, this is probably the only "sex lecture" we've gotten without the word sex being in the conversation...
My mother, the beauty queen.
I've mentioned my mother in previous posts but because this post is about her only I want to remember the rough times we spent at the hospital 3 years ago. This is when I understood that without my mother, life would not be the same. It always seems that I bring up the bad after all the goods (in my posts). Remembering the bad times allows me to appreciate life. If there were only good times, life would be pretty meaningless. If it wasn't for my mother, I would have never gone to the emergency room for a check-up when things started to go wrong. And once I was diagnosed with Lupus, my mother was hysterically crying but she had so much faith, so much faith that things would get better. At the time I couldn't grasp how she was able to keep composure just by praying. Of course I was hurting, but I knew she was hurting more. From bathing me to washing my hair, rubbing lotion, and putting a smile on my face each day. She gave me strength, she was my strength. 
My stylish and beautiful mother and cousin, Rifat.
As babies, our parents wash/bathe/feed/clothe/watch us. How many of us at age 20-30 (my age group) remember their goodness? It's hard to remember all the feeding and washing once you're an adult. But after getting sick, I was once again, a baby...helpless. And my mother was there to pick me up. It would be a pretty damn shame if I forgot her generosity. 

I don't think I can ever "repay" all that she has done and continues to do for me and the rest of the family. I was never a difficult child, but I'm the sick one. My middle sister was always the rebel, and she's no longer with us. The third child, I'm not too sure about. Whatever the case may be, I pray that Allah keeps me by her side always. And that He keeps her with me, always. I also pray that I'm a good mother to my future children, once I find a good husband though.

And to all the mothers out there, you are irreplaceable. No one can ever take your place, no one can be you or do what you are capable of doing. And though we take advantage of you, just know that deep inside we do love you. 
Best friends & sisters. No one thinks she's our mother.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thumb War

"We have four fingers and a thumb." Sazia (youngest sister). "OMG! I never knew that. New post inspiration." Me.

Lately, if anyone is asking about me...they're really asking about my thumb. And this thumb, for the past 5 months has kept me unhappy even though I've been enjoying the bliss of walking and healing. 

I grew an enemy. An ugly, painful, and a hard to get rid of...enemy. On my thumb. My first ever...WART.

At first the growth seemed harmless, but it was very much an inconvenience. No one likes going out with a bulge on their thumb...because trust me, people notice the bulge before they notice your face. It is also not fun to walk around with a "permanent dressing" AKA medical tape or band-aid wrapped precisely ruining the thumb's physique. When this wart hit me, I was pretty certain and suspicious that someone had cast some black magic shit on my thumb. I tend to be very superstitious when something crazy and out of the norm takes place...even though warts grow due to a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus. It sounds harmful but they're usually harmless - so my friends and anyone else who I might come into contact with: I'M HARMLESS. DON'T BE SCARED. I mean unless I had genital warts...that would be another story (genital warts are usually harmful). And I don't think I'd make a public announcement. Bottom line: someone's black magic had ruined my thumb.

I visited a dermatologist some time in March (I had surgery in January; bed rest until mid-March, just my luck!) and the doctor froze the wart with Liquid Nitrogen. I knew about liquid nitrogen thanks to Food Network. Top Chef contestant Richard Blais would always use liquid nitrogen to freeze foods at a quicker rate (ice cream). The same product was used on my thumb to freeze the infected tissue. The doctor specifically told me that it would sting, scab and fall right off. It didn't quite scab, but it popped and fell off (somehow). I was very excited, but my excitement didn't last because within two days I noticed a larger growth on my thumb. This time it was painful and hard like a rock. It just looked ugly. I began to self-medicate. 

I initially bought discrete band-aids that had wart medicine in the cushion part. I was overly-excited when buying them because I saw potential...but it was a fail. Don't ever buy medical supply that comes with "ointment" in the band-aid. Anyways, I didn't give up. I then went to the pharmacy and bought myself a freezing kit (liquid nitrogen) - the first treatment I had gotten. I thought, "Maybe I just need to freeze it a couple of times." So I froze the wart with liquid nitrogen...probably the coolest at-home medical experience. After the third attempt, all I noticed was a bigger and stronger wart. I still didn't give up. I looked online for home remedies...two of which I followed. The first one included apple cider vinegar, cotton swab, and medical tape. First of all, the apple cider vinegar I had bought was the first ever apple cider vinegar ever bought in my house. This shit stinks like ass/beer/death/feet. I just can't give a clear-cut description. The smell was horrendous. I tried to be strong and resist the smell, but after the third try I almost died...not literally, but my family was yelling the crap out of me. I couldn't go anywhere with the smell. Unhappy is the right word for how I felt. My last attempt was duct tape. Every night I changed the duct tape and I saw some hope. Skin was peeling off...and this was a good thing. At one point the wart calmed down a bit but before anything drastic happened, I went back to the dermatologist. 

The doctor examined my thumb and I explained the journey (above). She then gave me my options: freezing (again!), burning electrically, or using wart ointment and covering it with duct tape. I decided to burn it. The procedure was painful but you have no idea how joyous it was to see the burning smoke in the air. I didn't smell the burn...I smelled success.

There's a noticeable hole in my thumb and it looks as hideous as the wart, but after the reconstruction process I will have my thumb back!

What I've learned from all of this is that without my thumb...I would be a nobody. When holding a pen, spoon/fork, shampooing, to hold anything: you need your thumb. I may sound like an idiot right now, but this wart has made me realize how much I take my thumb for granted.

I will never take my thumb for granted. I love you thumb.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Notice you. Noticing me.

Before I begin today's post, I'd like to give a shout-out to a  friend. (yes, he's been begging me)! It won't make you famous, I promise...however, our friendship will be much more meaningful if you spread the goodness of this blog and find me readers/followers. 

Charles Anthony Paul. Usually, I don't know what to call him because his name can be anything...Charles or Anthony or Paul or any other variation. A dedicated reader, a true admirer of my Desi swag...you are officially a part of this blog. SHOUT OUT.

I'm going to step away from my comfort zone and write about something I have not yet discussed in any of my posts. I don't know what to call it, but here it goes. I rode the bus today (4/21/11). No, it's not about the bus ride or riding on the bus. While walking to the bus-stop there were multiple stares and hollers from random street men, which all women go through. And these men are usually not prince-charming or any ideal man for a relationship or a cup of coffee, unless you want to put yourself in danger. This is the truth of the matter, so no one come to me and try to discuss why and why not. Anyways, I got off on Nostrand and Church (primarily a black neighborhood) where I waited for my friends to arrive. While waiting, I was definitely a HIT amongst the black men. I stood there and heard 'Oh you look good.' 'Wow.' 'How are you today?' Aside from boosting my self-esteem, I realized the craziest thing: black men dig me. I've observed this many times before and have finally reached a pleasant conclusion. I seem to be eye-candy for black men. I asked Ruqayyah, who seems to be an expert, as to why black men find me attractive. She answered "You know why right? It's because of your big eyes, voluptuous body. And you look mad exotic Shahana. Like a mix between Spanish and Indian! Black guys go crazy for that ish." I don't know how much of this is true, but regardless, it definitely made me laugh. And I'm reading this paragraph over while editing, and her response is still making me laugh. And you're probably laughing too right now. I like the attention. All girls do. I believe that every men has a certain race/physical attributes they like more or look for when it comes to women. And I guess the same goes for women. However, I don't think I've seen women hit on men on the streets. Have you? Sometimes it's necessary to discuss experiences that  make us seem conceited or self-absorbed. And don't lie girls, you know you like it when a guy hits on you and you're dying to tell someone. I've shared my experience, so now I'd like to hear yours. Men included.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Prayer, peace, possibilities

I was so close to publishing my long-awaited post yesterday afternoon, however, the entire shit got deleted without any of my consent. Clearly, I don't matter to this blog. Anyways, here I am once again recalling every piece of bullshit I intend to enlighten everyone with.

I haven't written in a little over 4 weeks. Those who have been reading my blog since its advent should already be aware of how much of a number and countdown fetish I have. Numbers are a way of life. And in terms of organizing and recollecting memories, numbers allow me to reflect on time and summarize experiences. Don't worry though, I won't go on a number rant here.

I'm off the crutches and regaining some of my mobility. This is good news. But there's bad news. The new hip is already giving me problems. I immediately went to my doctor to make sure everything was okay and in terms of x-rays, the hip looks how it should look - nothing to be intensely stressed about. He mentioned my pain could be due to muscle weakness or cramps or it may just be my damn MIND. Sinha advised me to moderate my activity level (what activity level?!?), take hot water baths and lose weight (um, how exactly without activity?!?). I can reach overall wellness only through experimentation and that's what makes this journey very difficult. I've been reading up on arthritis and anti-inflammatory prevention and cure but at the end of the day, Lupus is an individual development and pain relief varies from person-to-person. However, I've got my friends Bengay and various pain reducers (Oxycodone (Percocet), Hydrocodone (Vicodin)) to help me get through some of the tougher times. I mention these two medications specifically because you've probably heard about them - they've probably destroyed more lives than curing. Oh yes, and I have my other friends.

Activity Level Moderation: The doctors talk to me as if I'm running marathons. Walking one, maximum two blocks is probably the most active thing I do. This much activity feels like a marathon. I stop mid-way to catch my breath and I look at the finish line which seems impossible to reach. Good poetic twist there. It always hurts to think about how disabled I actually am. And this is why I don't think about  disability anymore. I don't think of myself as a disabled person. Reaching this level of thought took a lot of woman-power and endurance. I may be physically unable to walk more than two blocks but it doesn't frustrate me anymore. There's no rush where I am. And time is under my control. Of course when Dr. Sinha advised me to control my level of activity he meant to avoid engaging in multiple plans all at once (multitasking and going crazy running errands around the world all within a day), to go easy with college classes (this is still a very conflicting/debatable issue as he wants me to pursue an online degree rather than being in a physical campus), and to control my stress-level (this is considered a form of activity). It's difficult to follow his recommendations because it makes me a whole new person. However, I want to live to enjoy as much as I can and if that means I have to understand my "new" limitations, I'm ready for that shit.  

Hot Water Baths: This will probably sound absurd to many, but I haven't sat in my bathtub since 2008. I haven't sat on a solid ground surface in almost 2 years. And I remember the last time I sat on the ground so vividly: I was having lunch with a friend on "The Quad" (Brooklyn College's grassy terrain). Even then I need help to get back up. I truly miss sitting down on the grass. I miss being so carefree about sitting without seeking help to get back up, standing without losing balance, walking without feeling I'm about to collapse, and going up the stairs with both legs in equal coordination. I miss those days. My weak bones/arthritis/multiple surgeries have left my body and mind to be afraid. I've conquered every possible bad thing that could happen to anyone and yet I'm scared to sit on my tub for a peaceful bath. Basically, a hot water "bath" is not happening anytime soon. However, I've sat with a bath chair and showered myself with hot water. I don't know if that has helped me at all, but who seems to be helping me these days is my massage therapist. One hour of Swedish massage. Must I say more? Pure ecstasy. I'm in heaven. After my initial massage on March 26th, I felt a sudden burst of energy in my body and my mind felt revitalized. My spirits were uplifted. Damn that shit is amazing. And I'm walking a bit better.


Losing Weight: I'm always tortured about this. Due to my limited mobility, it's hard for me to lose the weight. I eat accordingly to lose body fat, however because of my intense medication regimen and slowed metabolism due to most of the medicines and unlucky inheritance of the fat genes, it's twice as hard to lose the weight. The doctors fail to realize how much my body has suffered in the past 3 years. I feel sad for my body. I lose sight of the reality sometimes and fantasize about becoming thin - and I'm not gonna lie, I look pretty damn good thin. However, right now is not the time to fantasize about being thin. I'm on a healthier rode and  really, I've become very health conscious not just to lose weight but to strengthen my baby: my body. I'm thankful every morning when I get out of bed and especially when I take that first step. Second and third steps...the sweet reassurance of being able to walk. 

So what exactly have I been doing to keep my self sane and mentally stable? The answer is nothing out of the ordinary. I've surrounded myself with friends (even though everyone is busy with college and I've lost contact with many. By "friends" I mean Ruqayyah Batts because this girl, midterm or not, even in her most busiest weeks, will call to see how I'm doing. And I find that pretty amazing.), family (even though they're really awkward to be around, I cannot imagine myself without the presence of my mother, father, youngest sibling Sazia, cousin Rifat, and niece Suhana), Brooklyn College (I am not a student this semester, however I've been  involved with many club events - I sang the Honduran National Anthem at the Medical Brigades Honduran Banquet on March 31st. In SPANISH. Very spontaneous, I know, however, you know I'm all about spontaneity), writing (clearly, I have not been writing as much as I should. There's nothing to write about and I'm most certainly not the type to write about "how I'm feeling"  or some "interesting" new shit that came out on a daily basis), and lastly, prayer. Oh and I love sorting the household mail. We have a single mailbox and I like to get all fancy while sorting for the tenants.

Prayer is an interesting occurrence because I am the least faithful person you'll ever meet. I don't believe that prayer is the cure to anything. However, prayer is not about this. We always seem question or look for answers when something goes wrong. But what about the times when things go right? Along with my best friend and sister Ruqayyah, we've both been able to rediscover our faith through prayer and praise. Prayer allows me to find internal and external peace. And when your body and mind is in a peaceful state, yeah, it's a damn good feeling. The good high that doesn't cost a penny. I'm also thankful to a very special well-wisher of mine, Miriam Bhutta, who inspires and motivates me in our every conversation to pray, believe, and be hopeful.

Peaceful harmony leads the path to a happier state of being. And I've been happier these days.

Give peace a chance.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Countdown with Shahana Hanif

Life has all of a sudden become a countdown. I'm just wondering, has it always been like this? Have I always been counting...for better days? For that one occasion? For forgiveness? Excitement? Special someone? Life is just a sequence of countdowns. This might be one of the most significant realizations of my being.

I've had 8 weeks to myself. Two damn months. But now only one week remains. Each week gave birth. And the same way deceased. Always looking forward to Friday. Fridays make me happy. Like I live a normal life as most of everyone looks forward to Fridays. Friends accompany me. Family visits. The rush slows down. But before you know it, another countdown begins. 

There are small countdowns. And big ones. Eight more days with crutches. Four months till I leave to meet my other half. 

I haven't written in a while. I don't know if I'm happy. I don't know if I'm sad. But I need to reflect. Reflecting what has passed, what is happening, and what will take place. Sometimes though, I feel like screaming. Really, really loud. However, I'm shy. Shy of my own skin. It's hard to let go. But I love it when I admit these truths. Truths I keep masked. I'm 20 years old and I'm so fucking confused, I feel like slapping a bitch. I don't seem to know any slappable bitches, and that really sucks. While on one hand, life is a countdown full of known events, on the other hand lies the surprises of a future I am clueless about. What am I going to study now that I've wasted a fucking year and a half taking useless sciences classes thinking I'd become a damn doctor? Will I ever be cured of this disease that has taken over my body; marks everywhere leaving me so, so weak in front of people...scared of their judgment? Am I going to get married; is there anyone so honest who will accept me entirely? Children...even though I am so drugged out; is there a chance  for a healthy baby? Will I ever meet my escaped sister and once again have dinner together as a family? Life's a fucking delusional phenomenon. That's what it is. Some days I laugh so hard, and other days I cry like the baby who's not satisfied with milk, toys or her mother.

The thing about countdowns that really gets me is the fact that I'm so hopeful. I become so negative sometimes about living and wish deathful thoughts. Yet, when looking forward to something...I'm actually believing that I will wake up every morning until the awaited day. Hope is sneaky.

Now that I've freaked you all out, I feel better. And that's another crazy thing: venting. Better than any damn drug.

Monday, February 7, 2011

#I'm20yearsoldNOW!

February 5th is now behind us all. The day I was born. Born almost 10 pounds (fat-ass since birth) in weight. Weighed down on my father's arms. Arms that held me high and saw majesty. Majesty means Shahana or in today's terminology: Ms. Divaaa. Diva is now 20. Oh ma fuckin' Gawwwd.

I didn't think I'd be celebrating with crutches. But that's nothing. I actually didn't think I would make it to age 20. Negative, but in all positivity I'm alive bitchesss. I wake up every morning and no matter how cranky I am, no matter how much pain I feel... well, there are some days I'm in a good mood... my insides smile because I'm happy to be alive and living. My mother always tells me to thank Allah for each "blessed" day. And though I nudge her away, I secretly do thank him for life but also for my wonderful mother. Father. My two siblings. And my friends. Each and every single one of them.

Crutches or no crutches, celebration was on my mind. I partied with all my closest friends and family. Location: my house. Dress Code: black and white; except me, I wore blue and green. DJ: Hell yeaaaaaah. Photographer: Oh helllll yes. So in all, the party was pretty kickass. Mind you, I did not dance while standing. I sat the entire time and danced while sitting. Sounds pretty damn awkward, but I think it was a really good workout. My friends danced while circling around me doing some tribal shit. But it was all good. During the in-betweens of the party, we had small conversations and many of us learned new things: HASHTAGGING. This shit is annoying and I don't wanna get into further details about it. #Foreverwack. But if you don't know what it is, google it or ask Ruqayyah Batts (expert hashtagger). We further discussed Snookie's intelligence and the fact that the ocean is salty due to whale sperm, and if you don't believe it, "Google it!" and  no don't ask Ruqayyah Batts because she is not a sperm expert. And lastly, I brought up the Chinese KFC commercial in which an Obama look-alike addresses to the people: "Change, not only for your mom, but for you, your stomach, for a better taste!" This is a fish sandwich we're talking about. And at the end he's crushed by the fish sandwich. Some laughs but also some defensive comebacks from the Obama lovers. This is what adults talk about.

I had the tastiest cake: my favorite: strawberry cheesecake. Even though those bitches spelled my last name wrong, the cake was so delicious...it was a bit messy and everyone was trying to feed me big spoonfuls of cheescake while the song "Say Aah" by Trey Songz was playing. And let me tell you something. It isn't fun eating big mounds of cheesecake while listening to someone sing "Open wide, I know you're thirsty. Say aah!"

In any case, I had the best time of my life. Being a crippled for the past 2 and some years has been amazing. I complain at times, but I have everything. More than everything. My friends, some say they're lucky I'm in their life. But the truth of the matter is, I'm lucky to have the friends I have. I'm lucky. Thank you all for supporting and celebrating with me. I fuckin' love you people.

So now that I'm done discussing the whole birthday shebang, a little more than 3 weeks have gone by since my surgery. About 5 more weeks of crutches. That will bring me to a total of 8 weeks, if you do the math right. For those who are probably thinking, "Damn, she is so lucky. She gets to stay home all day and in bed. I wish I was her." Avoid it. Don't ever wish such a wish. The days are passing by and I don't even know how they're passing. I've been watching some pretty shitty movies. Some were okay. The Descent 1, The Descent 2, For Colored Girls, Fame, Leap Year, Killers, Up, Despicable Me, The Kite Runner. This is quite an achievement because everyone thinks I stick to Bollywood. I've branched out a little even though I didn't miss any of the Indian award shows. Man, I love those! I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner; currently enjoying How Does it Feel to be a Problem? I'm really digging Muslim authors right now and especially their stories. I'm taking movie and book recommendations! Please feel free to share.

Everyone has been coming to see me, but I've only visited one person: Dr. Sinha. He is my main man. X-Rays look good. My hip is healing and in 5 weeks, I'll be able to walk normal. Normal makes me feel so good. Maybe it's the word that I'm so dearly attached to, but I seriously don't remember the last time I walked up a staircase using both legs simultaneously. I've developed my own patterns of walking and going up the stairs. I just want to go up those damn stairs without being stared at. I hate it when people say, "Oh you wanna be normal. Well, we're all abnormal in this world." I don't know where you got that quote, but if you're walking and your limbs are there for you, holding you up, you are normal. Anyways, sorry for breaking it to you like that.

I feel good this about this year. I just turned 20. Two new hips. I'm gonna get shit done. And to all my friends reading, hit me up once in a while. And if you're going through issues and have no one to talk to, I will listen to or read what you have to say. I am willing to help a sista or a brotha out.

In that note, I will take my leave. Thanks for keepin' it real. I'm 20 bitchessssssssssssss.

Juicy like...
Tomer Madar originals.



Monday, January 17, 2011

Release.

I was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, the 12th of January. Surgery was a success. Now I just have to wait...I don't know if that's 6 weeks or 8 or 12 (of not being able to bear weight on my right leg and the time it will take for the bone graft to completely heal). Some days I prefer crutches, other days the walker, and once in a while I like to be driven everywhere with the wheelchair. And for those of us who have made fun of people using any of these equipments, you better be sorry now. The freedom to walk without being dependent on something is such a great feeling, a privilege. Maybe you've never thought about it, but you should. And be thankful.

I've been waking up cranky and not in the mood. Life seems miserable. Life seems so obscure. Why? I don't know. I'm going through a crazy emotional turmoil. And this is something I can't explain or talk-out with someone. Some of my friends are aware that I feel like shit every minute of the day and while they give me hope that things will get better or I'll have a quick recovery, that's some real bullshit right there. You're not in my place. And I wish you are never in my place.

If there was a quick way to die, I would choose that road. There's no fun in living like a dead person, being a hero or inspiration for what? Whoever made me is really pathetic. Not my parents, they're great. I can manage to live like this for my parents. Helping me at every step of the crutch. Food, shower, making me laugh, everything. It makes me realize that even though I have so many friends, at the end of the day it's my parents who are with at all times. I don't know what will happen when they're not here. My future really scares me.

I chose to write today because I feel like shit. I'm in bed, the dining room or living room...with nothing to do. I'm not in the mood to read. A friend suggested that I learn a new hobby (guitar, knitting). I might take on knitting. If anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to write to me. And if you just feel like writing to me, that would be great too.

I feel a little better now. This was a good release.
Red velvet cake looks real good.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Where's my Grade Professor?

School's out. And the only thing I want is my grade. One class, one grade.

Don't worry this post isn't about class or grades. I just needed a title and something to rant about. And I started writing this post a week ago, so I'm happy to say: I got ma grade bitchesssss! Anyways, let's get serious now.

For me college ended on December 15th. It's January 10th of a new year...and so far, break has been more than crazy good. I've been doing nothing but the usual: fucking around (by this I mean not doing anything on time, waking up around 2-3pm), going places, meeting awkward people, and saying a whole lot of shit. And I swear life is good. However, it is necessary to recollect on some of the more memorable moments because on January 11th I'm undergoing my second major surgery: a core decompression of the right hip. For newcomers and all-time readers, let me remind you what I have aside from Lupus. And if you don't know that I have Lupus...Due to Avascular Necrosis (bone death, poor cirulation of blood to specific bones) and to prevent a complete bone replacement, I will be getting a core decompression of the hip. What this gibberish means is that the bad bone will be drilled out in order to restore blood circulation, relieve pain, and also allow the growth for new bone tissue. How exciting! Recovery is 6-8 weeks and I am forbidden to put pressure on my right leg/hip. I'll be on crutches. I'm also taking the next semester off. And as I'm writing all this, I have a lot of strength. Just a few weeks ago the thought of taking off from school made me cry a whole lot of rivers in Dr. Schwebel's office (director of honors academy, my favorite woman in Brooklyn College).

I'm going to throw out a whole lot of names in the next few paragraphs. Just play along, it ain't like you have to know who each individual is.

Snowstorm of 2010. 12/26/10. I DON'T THINK I'LL EVER FORGET THIS BLIZZARD. Ehan's first birthday was on the 25th (My friend Airen's nephew).
Ehan's First Birthday with my favorite girls.
And after some hardcore partying, Muntaha and I decided to stay over at Juhi's house. If I knew I'd be trapped for the next 3 days, I would've stayed home. The intended first night was great. We pranked people at 4am and acted stupid. And if any of the victims are reading this, we are not sorry for waking you up. We continuously got rejected or nexted on Chatroulette.  It's hard to be Brown and be accepted by all the White people on that site. For those who don't know Chatroulette.com, visit that shit right now! And of course we ate, nonstop. It started snowing on the 26th but we paid very little attention. We even made plans to go watch a movie at the Pavillion. By the evening time, when things got real rough outside I was convinced there would be no way out for me. I stayed another night and we continued our shenanigans. Luckily, I was staying with two girls I like. The 27th was when I tried to be courageous. And that was a fail. Hills, mountains, all white cascaded throughout the neighborhood. I've never seen this much snow in Brooklyn. It was impossible to shovel out the car. I decided to walk home. Complete unprepared: I had no socks, scarf, gloves, no warm clothes, boots/sneakers. You wouldn't either if you were out partying two nights before. So, I wore Juhi's mom's gloves. Her dad's Nike sneakers. Borrowed her grandmother's cane. Wore my night robe inside my jacket. Story of my life. In attempting to walk, Juhi was behind me and Muntaha in front of me for emergency purposes. We made it only 1.5 blocks to Muntaha's house and that's where we relocated the sleepover. The day after, my mother came and rescued me. Though I sound ungrateful and insincere, I am truly thankful to Juhi, Muntaha, and their parents for keeping me in their house and feeding me (not literally, of course). But now I know I would never live with them. I joke!

I had a small get together for New Year's Eve and while it's unnecessary to mention it here, it's very necessary. Family. Friends. Just the good old who didn't risk to go watch the ball drop. Everyone brought their own dish or store-bought product. We danced like crazy bitches. We played charades like dumbasses. And we ate like a bunch of fatasses. My dad also turned 53 on the 1st, so I had his favorite: cheesecake. All my friends sang the "Happy Birthday" song and this man was just all giggly like he was turning 5. It was a good night.
Photo Credit: Fahad Malik. Not everyone is in the picture.
The best man I've ever met. There isn't another man like him. My father.
With the new year comes resolutions...I usually never make any because that shit never, ever works out. Which person who hoped to lose 100 pounds in the new year actually accomplished that? Which person who promised to become a better person actually became a better person? Exactly. But that hasn't stopped any of us to secretly concoct a list. I'm going to get real honest here, right about now. I have a few goals I'd like to reach and this doesn't mean I want to reach them by 2012.

1. Lose weight. This is something I've been struggling with for more than I'd like to. I never talk about it, except with my endocrinologist. It's one of those topics I avoid talking about. This is all I'll say.
2. Soften up my temper. I have a quick temper and I'm stubborn as hell. I call myself a bitch because I know how crazy I get sometimes. And if anyone has suggestions as to how I can control my anger, please write to me.
3. Get off my ass, sometimes. And get serious about writing. I won't lie, I've gotten very lazy every getting sick. There's a lot I can't do, this is true. But sometimes, when I feel I can do something, I just lay around in bed and call my younger sister or mother. This is bad. And this laziness has kept me away from writing new posts for this blog. Also bad.

These are the three major things. No need for details. But now I know that it's written in stone and people are going to read about it...thus, I'm not alone trying to reach these commitments. I have a huge ego, and while I never accept help, (oh that's another one!), I guess I can be humble to accept some help here and there.

Surgery is tomorrow and I'm ready. My mother always tells me there's nothing greater than prayer. Your prayer helps my limbs. Let's rock this!
Photo Credit: Naz Hossain.