I want to be a writer. I want to be a dangerous writer. I want to be a writer who goes against everything that you believe in. I want to write something that they keep behind the desk at the library because its content is too explicit, too honest and too real. I want to write something that’s so bad it’s good. I want to write about whores and transexuals and drug addicts and homeless people. I want to write about losers and long shots and underdogs. I want to write about the people you try to ignore because they live a version of life that you don’t like to think about. I want my writing to feel like a pie in the face to those who perpetuate intolerance. I want to give you characters you can root for because you see yourself in them. I want my writing to make you cry. I want my writing to make you want crawl across the bar and swing your hair when they play heavy metal. I want you to read my writing when you’re traveling across the country on a train because you’re young and you’re bored and you’re searching for freedom while nursing a broken heart. I want you to worry about me when you read my writing. I want my writing to be flawed and unorganized and difficult to follow. I want my writing to be rude. I want to be a writer who tells his editor to f*** off and then publish it on my own.I want my writing to be trashy and I want you to feel guilty for enjoying it. I want to write something that breaks too many rules and never wins any awards. I want to write something that makes you want to delete your Facebook and go play outside. I want to write something that makes you to question your sexuality. I want to write something that makes the popular kids from high school feel stupid and unwelcome when they read it. I want to write something for the people whose coin landed heads down instead of heads up. I want my writing to make you want to keep going. I want my writing to make you feel like you are not alone.
In the beginning, you used to whisper, “it will get better” until I’d fall asleep with the phone burning into my ear. But now, I’m not sure I want it to get better. I don’t want missing you to get easier. I want you here with me, without “goodbye” looming over us. I want to wake up to you, not a dial tone. Our calls always end with “I love you”, but once we hang up, I create my own swear words to hurl at the ocean separating us because I cannot replace your touch with the sound of your voice. In my dreams, I’m packing my suitcase and running to you. Come visit soon. This bed doesn’t feel like home without you to share it.
Don’t even think about it, Mom.
Love does not only take one form for everyone. It shifts a lot, it differs, it signifies, and when love finds its proper place in you, then it would be the most beautiful kind of love.
Love is not always about holding hands, and being romantically sweet. It does not require kisses nor cuddles and so on. Love can differ. It can be that long talk with an old friend who knows you. It can be the warm shrug that tells you to never give up. It can be that sweet gift from someone. It can be acceptance and forgiveness. It can be being there no matter what. It can be the moments under the same set of stars. It can be the long night walks, or the laughter over sadness. Love is an emotion but its manifestations differ, and it depends on what you need, on where you are happy, on what complements you.
Love never completes. It complements. And that is the most beautiful kind of love
I failed every math class I ever took at least once
Mrs. Alexander scoffed
She wrote me off
As one of those hoodrat kids
Who only liked making trouble
Whose mother was an alcoholic
Whose father had too much on his plate
Whose sister was captain of the cheer squad
Whose brother got expelled for fighting
She just never knew
The reason I don’t care what the value of x is
I have tasted the value of despair
Drank the value of sorrow
Kissed the value of wonder
Fought the value of misery
Tell me one thing the square root of sixty-four ever did for me
That the square root of love couldn’t do a thousand times more
Mrs. Alexander, how many times 12 goes into 144 is not a division problem
The woman who raised me
Lying in a pool of her own blood
Beaten senseless by a man she loved
While my sister locks herself in a room crying
And my brother and I stay up all night checking mum’s pulse
And I have to go to school the next day and answer your questions
While my heart aches
And my family is being torn apart
And my mother is killing herself
That’s a division problem.
And 56-18 is not subtraction.
The day I had to leave my home
For the rustling in my bones proved too much
To hold my body in one place
And I lost my sanity
Traveling alone down the west coast
Living without a home
or any of my old friends
All on my own
Mrs. Alexander, that is subtraction.
And God forbid I neglect your precious statistics
For the greatest risk I ever took was falling in love
Lord knows how that turned out
The first time I closed my eyes and threw the dice
You want to talk about balance of probability?
Imagine, your fifth hour troublemaker
With the fighter for a brother
The princess for a sister
And the shadow of a mother
Taking a chance on love
After having his heart crushed two times two times
Who goes back for number five?
It’s not a math class that defines our lives.
It’s the way we look at the numbers and against all odds, say, “I am more than the sum of my parts.”
"Math Problems" by Devon Halvorson (via devonhalvorson)
Reading this made my day. Thanks.
I left my bag in our office as I went to go pray. Came back in and saw something in my bag’s back pocket that wasn’t there before.
It was a sealed envelope that said “For (my name).” In it was a folded parchment with my initials written on the outside and this message above.
Anonymous acts of kindness. Getting by these past few days has been pretty tough, I’ve kind of been too shy to ask people for anything. Only close friends if they could cover a small meal at most. May Allah reward this amazing person with Jannat al firdaus. The sense of community and love you feel in this MSA is unparalleled, Alhamdulilah.
This is Islam. These are the college days I’ll recollect, reminisce, and yearn for a few years from now in the future. Its the 30 person mafia games with brothers in a living room to cups of chai and 3 hour discussions about aspirations, ideas, fears, and role models. Its the late night excursions to dining halls for food. Its the walks back through frat row on a Thursday night with your brothers where you thank your Rab for your deen, and being a collected individual in a sea of drunk students. Its teasing white girls taking pictures in “black people” poses by shortly posing like white girls right in front of them for embarrassing pictures. Its people you’ve only known for a few months telling you they feel hella close to you, and that theyre opening up.
Chances are I’m not going to remember every minute detail from my readings and courses. I will remember this stuff, however. This is what will stick with you.
You can love people who don’t know how to be loved,
but you can’t teach them how. Leading by example
only works if their eyes aren’t closed, and too many people
see relationships like careers, we think more in terms
of job security than we ever do in actual feelings,
but why do you think we all walk around so empty?
I have secrets that I don’t care if you keep, I am
writing them down to try to help you out, and
one is that the things that matter in love aren’t
how much money your boyfriend makes or
how many men your girlfriend has slept with.
It doesn’t matter if they live next door or
if the time difference is so fucked up that
they should be asleep whenever you’re awake.
No, those won’t give you anything other
than temporary pieces of artificial happiness,
because you can buy nice shit and life
is finally convenient, but true love isn’t ever convenient,
it was never meant to be easy or else everyone would have it.
No, that kind of love is something we were meant to work for,
and no lifetime of lying to yourself is ever going to
heal that gaping wound in your chest, no amount
of sticking your feelings into ice water will numb
your soul from them forever, you cannot
restart life like a video game, and her skin
or his lips are going to taste like sucralose
after awhile. Still, we keep telling ourselves so many excuses
for why we should stay, we say things to ourselves, like,
“This is just what happens in relationships; the passion
fades, you get bored, you become accustomed to each other.”
or, “This is just how they are, and it is good enough. It’s what
I have and they say you should always love the one you’re with.”
But if the one you’re with doesn’t send rocket ships up your spine
with a touch, doesn’t blind you with their eyes, doesn’t make you
shake from the fear of helplessness as your heart lay
splayed like a starfish of truth in the palm of their hand,
then here is the ugliest secret of all; you aren’t really in love.
And I think there’s a point where we stop coming up
with excuses to stay where it feels easy or we wilt away,
because growth will only come when you let someone in enough
to pour their love like rain water down your crystal vase throat,
and you might think that you could choke on something
so big, but trust me when I tell you that
you were perfectly tailored to fit this and going thirsty
is just a painful and foolish way to kill yourself.
Life was simple when “friends” were something you decided to become,
and I could make one in under ten minutes.
When I didn’t care.
When I loved myself as much as I love the world.
When I could see the world with wide open eyes,
and not get stung by the cynicism that infiltrates the air.
When punishment was going to my room,
and sadness was solved by tears.
When field trips were more frequent then projects, and homework was coloring.
When my social interactions, consisted of play dates,
and the only thing I drank was juice.
When I could fit under the bottom shelf in the closet,
and build blanket forts.
When I followed trustingly all those who were taller than I;
When height meant age and knowledge and trust.
When I could curl all my worries into a blanket, and mother’s arms were my shield.
When every injury could be cured with Band-Aids and hug by mum.
and anger was expressed with a stomped foot not fists.
When arguments were solved with small brawls, but no blood was ever drawn.
When I explored the world through the open pages of a book.
When the universe was as big as my backyard,
and I knew it like the back of my hand.
When there was no such thing as broken hearts, or suicide
and I didn’t have to pick up the pieces of my friends scattered across the floor.
When we talked about love, like it was something rational;
with all the confidence of eight-year-old philosophers,
we thought we had the world figured out.
When you showed love by writing my name on your arm,
and the ink didn’t come with any strings.
Life was simpler back when I lived the stories my parents now tell.