hijabi: photo of hinata looking confused and worried. (hinata worried)
apologies for the lack of updates. i've been in a slump lately honestly.

so little has been going on lately, in my personal life, so i've started researching random topics of interest or things i've heard about as i usually do when bored. to be quite honest, i knew corruption was widespread and invasive but had no idea to what almost unavoidable extent. it's made me re-evaluate my entire life, behaviors, and beliefs (about this country and the world at large, not in the spiritual sense).

it's no secret we're being screwed over in every facet of our lives by huge corporations and the US government. it's no secret these huge corporations owned by greedy elites are using their affluence to exercise a terrifying amount of control over the policies and laws that are meant to protect us.

frankly, we're all sick of it. and after a few existential crises and time spent looking inward i've decided i want little to nothing to do with it. i'm not sure when or exactly how but i plan on making some changes to my life so that i'm less dependent on these abuse-prone scammers. the first step is education. it's vital to prevent getting stuck in the rat race and other common pitfalls. i'm so glad i've been blessed with the opportunity and tools to learn, grow, and prosper. rights big business owners seem to believe only belong to them. but anyway.

people make jokes about dystopian societies and thank God they're not living in a hunger games-esque environment. while we may not have the over-the-top symbolism or government endorsed death games of classic and modern novels alike, there are definitely remorseless figures pulling strings to fulfill their own selfish desires via genocide, war, and large scale oppression.

and america is no exception.

i'm not suggesting we revolt or secede or whatever. i'm talking about less extreme measures. i'm concerned about my health, family, future, and future family. i want to live healthier, stronger, smarter. i want to help people. and i certainly don't want to do that while slowly killing and diseasing myself with processed foods, questionable medical "treatment," and other nonsense that's been shoved down our throats that require us to work work work until we die to line the pockets of corporations that don't give two rats toenails.

alright, time for me to do some more studying. i recommend you do your own as well. this entry merely tiptoes around the factors driving this not-so-sudden change.

pray for me. peace.
hijabi: photo of hinata looking out forlornly. (hinata sad)
i think about a lot of things a lot. repetitious and true.

every day i start noticing patterns. themes. common strands of thoughts and experiences. this isn't new, per se, but it's happening more frequently. the more i get in touch with my religion, the more introspective and reflective i become during mundane tasks like eating or watching youtube videos about... idk, how to make laksa noodles.

i've had kind of a rough start to life, you could say. not awful enough to turn into a superhero movie antagonist but certainly not so luxurious that i'd make many people jealous. but the instability and prospects of my future in this life make me worry. every. day.

the world around me is so corrupt. it's also expensive. it's dangerous, too, but at the moment i'm living more or less comfortably. however i have a feeling that in a few months it won't be so comfortable. i'll be stepping into "the real world." (never liked that phrase. the world was always real before. i just never had to deal with quite so much ridiculousness all at once.)

i'm talking money. it's no surprise the world's economy is in the gutter. we've been dealing with it for a while. now i'm gonna deal with it too. more directly than ever.

i don't think people want to be rich. i think they want financial stability. after all, so many people get rich and lose it all. so many people with money spend their time working to death just to accumulate wealth. i doubt money actually makes us happy. yes, it can contribute. but clearly it's not the only factor in bringing satisfaction to your life.

anyway idek what i'm trying to say in this journal. i guess i'm trying to mentally prepare myself for the rest of my life. strangely, at the moment i'm oddly calm.

let's see how this goes.


Jun. 27th, 2016 07:42 am
hijabi: photo of hinata with open mouth and eyes in shock. (hinata shocked)
[photo of savings projections over 10, 20, and 30 years.]

i'm still pretty interested in tiny houses.

before hitting retirement age i could possibly have enough money, in cash, for a totally decked out RV. i'm not fond of interest or monthly payment plans that tack on unnecessary fees. i don't even like monthly subscriptions. mostly because my memory stinks, which also stinks for anyone managing money.

is it sad that i don't see myself owning a house, though? this is merely an ideal. a dream. a fantasy to put it bluntly in today's market. i've only ever lived in apartments. the idea of shackling myself to an impossibly high debt for 30 or so years to pay off a traditional home disgusts me. i can't imagine living in such a big space for the rest of my life. there's so much room, so much to maintain, and it's so... expensive. even when you own the home you've gotta maintain it. that's true for anything. but something that costs several hundreds of thousands of dollars... i can't reasonably justify that.

this is all wishful thinking. retirement scares me. it seems like a mirage. a disappearing sight that may or may not be there when i finish blinking. our government handles finances like a gambler in a casino--throwing hard-earned money into different machines hoping that chance will somehow magically solve all of it's problems. the housing market is a complete wreck and i'm not sure we're even equipped to fix it.

anyway. i don't even know if i'll live long enough to own a house (which doesn't make me too sad) but hey, it is one of my goals.

now i could also use a fraction of that money to spend on a small business, which would be great, but at the moment i'm not concerned with business pursuits. i doubt i'd need that much since the funds would go to intangible things. think domain/hosting costs, taxes, and other fees. runing a business with a large volume of physical goods would only stress me out.

well that certainly was a tangent. no one really reads this besides myself but i do like documenting these thoughts so i can laugh at myself later.
hijabi: photo of hinata looking over her shoulder in disgust. (hinata disgusted)
fanfiction. comics. picture books. chapter books. webcomics. short stories.

throughout my life i've always liked reading. like with most kids, the pretty pictures never hurt. i used to swallow books whole. sure, i was easily distracted, but certain reads managed to pull me in for hours without pause. i became obsessed with finding (and occasionally writing) what i considered "good" stories.

over the years i started becoming more aware of my limited time on this planet. i figured if i'm gonna read a book or webcomic it better be good. anything that didn't fit my personal idea of excellence earned the shelf or the drop. after all, i owed it to myself to only find the best, right?

of course in the back of my mind i knew that wasn't totally true. there's as much, if not more to learn from bad literature as there is from the good. note: that just because conventional standards indicate something is well-written, it may not be entertaining or meaningful. the same applies in reverse. think about your favorite kid shows. looking back, you may realize some of them are kinda terrible. but you enjoyed them nonetheless. there's more to writing a gripping story than merely checking a list of agreed upon grocery items.

the majority of work out there probably isn't worth your time if you're looking for a well-written, meaningful read. but that doesn't mean it's not a useful learning tool. humans more easily point out flaws than points of praise. most of us have sat down to check out the latest show or trilogy only to come back disappointed, perhaps even thinking we could write something much less cringe-worthy ourselves.

personal taste and experience will dictate how much you enjoy certain works, but overall the idea of a perfectly written book is the most unrealistic fantasy one can have. we're human. we've made mistakes and will continue to mess up spectacularly for the rest of our time on earth. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

so i kinda wanna make a goal for myself right here and now. read more. read stuff i hate. read stuff i wouldn't usually pick up. read stuff i like. read read read to get a better understanding of what works, what doesn't, and how i can improve myself.

i suffer from perfectionist tendencies that lead to unnecessary procrastination. i forget that the best writing doesn't come out in the first or second or third draft, but after multiple thoughtful revisions. i'm gonna write stuff that sucks and that's alright. what matters is that i keep making content.

that's part of why i like journaling. takes the pressure off creative processes when i can just say whatever i'm thinking. warming up is only half the fun, and creating art is one of the most rewarding and touching things a human being can do to connect with the rest of the world. i pray that i'll be able to craft stories that matter to people for all the right reasons. now i've just gotta start.

oh. about the title. i don't like light novels. at least, not their translations. the style is a bit bland and the writing can sometimes be comparable to stories i wrote for school assignments in middle school, but that's okay because even though i wrote some awful prose i clearly had ideas and drive. the execution may have lacked but looking back i can appreciate the effort i put forth. some pages i wrote back then still impress me! i want to get back that burning fire i used to have, and to do it i think i should readopt the same attitude i had back then.

take a cool idea and do your best to make it come to life. sprinkle in as little or as much wish fulfillment as you'd like--and don't pretend it's not there--but make it interesting. more importantly, have fun. and don't lose sight of what makes your story shine.
hijabi: photo of zuko smiling. (zuko smiling)
they can get expensive, but i believe in the power of games.

i grew up on nintendo so i'm definitely biased but man, imo video games are one of the most versatile and immersive tools out there. why did i refer to them as tools instead of as a medium? well, that's essentially what they are. they're story-telling tools. they're educational tools. they're whatever-you-program-them-to-be tools. heck, PETA's notorious for their violent and derogatory parody games to communicate their message. i think they could go about it with more tact, but that's just my opinion.

i don't have to tell you that video games have a bad rep. so does television. the criticism is nothing new. i understand the complaints. many of them aren't totally unfounded. however, a loooot of those "ban all videogames" or "video games are evil" folks haven't personally experienced enough games to make an informed opinion if you ask me.

sometimes it feels like they just parrot newscasters because they want an excuse to tell their kids instead of admitting they don't want to spend their money on the latest pokemon game. (which is fair enough. it is their money after all.)

you can probably tell which camp i'm in at this point. it's all about how you use video games. knives aren't inherently evil. you can use them to carve meat and prepare a meal. they're also capable of non-intended uses like opening packages. some people take otherwise harmless tools and turn them into murder weapons. the same can be said for pretty much anything else. perhaps you can't take someone out IRL with a game of smash bros... but no action is without consequence.

maybe you played the game in front of your five year old sister and now she thinks punching people to death is a form of affection. that's a problem. we gotta be careful how and what we play--sometimes with who. most parents buy kids toys or games without reading reviews or doing a little research. i've seen so many parents blindly buy their children extremely violent games that THEY PAID FOR and then get mad at the kid when they find out how graphic it is later... without remembering that they didn't look at the cover. that they didn't ask about the rating. that they just figured "if it'll make you shut up i'll get it" while buying it without hesitation.

we can't blame just one person or group on the effects certain games and genres have on our psyche. we gotta remind ourselves step back and try to see what we did wrong, what we may have overlooked or ignored. this isn't easy, but if we want better it's gonna take a little self-criticism.

alright, enough of the negatives. let's get positive!

as i said earlier, i love video games. i grew up playing them. i'm getting tired of typing so i'm just gonna bullet point the rest of this lol.
  • games help with hand-eye coordination
  • certain genres promote developing problem-solving and strategy skills
  • plot and characterization can increase empathy, sympathy, and overall emotional intelligence
  • they can improve spatial reasoning capabilities
  • help fine-tune fine motor skills
  • developing games often requires effective leadership/teamwork skills, mathematics, and a decent understanding computer sciences
there's a lot more i could go into but like i said i am tired of typing and i wanna know what's been revealed at E3 rn so far
hijabi: photo of hinata with open mouth and eyes in shock. (hinata shocked)
i always like seeing games in early development stages, whether hailing from big names or indie devs.

E3 is always exciting. game previews excite me even if i don't have the right console. fandom activity trickles into my tumblr dashboard, tickling curiosity. you can feel the energy, warmth, and fun fans exude as they share inside jokes or discover easter eggs. hearts flutter and fanworks pour in.

the latest pokemon installment is no exception.

the E3 gameplay showcased such pretty graphics. the features seem useful and i love what they're currently doing with the UI.

as for aesthetics, i'm SO HAPPY this region is based on an indigenous culture. we get to see new faces and cultures based on real-world peoples. (this can be tricky as you don't wanna overstep boundaries or appropriate/misappropriate living cultures so i hope we get input from hawaii'an natives.) there are so many dark-skinned characters. finally, we get to choose a wider range of skin tones! and the characters in-game aren't all pasty or based on euro-centric values of beauty!

although i think it'd be better if light skinned + dark hair and light skinned + light hair weren't separate options... THANK YOU NINTENDO FOR THE MUCH-NEEDED POSITIVE DARK-SKIN REPRESENTATION. but seriously, you guys couldn't have let us choose hair and skin color separately?

nintendo's a bit slow on applying fan feedback but i'm happy with the new features thus far. have i mentioned i love the art style, and the trainer animations? i do. i certainly do.
hijabi: photo of zuko in a battle stance. (zuko battle ready)
seriously benefitting from this youth halaqa at the masjid. i love the fact that it's nightly. i love being around fellow muslims and being reminded of the beauty of islam.

sigh. learning, reading, and salah seriously lighten the burden upon my soul. arabic is such a rich and nuanced language.

the reason for this journal's title is because--well--it's true. we don't get back time. (sorry sci-fi lovers.) it's scary but also highly motivating. hence the pumped up zuko icon. we spend so little time on this earth. why do i keep letting myself waste it?

"for fun?"

"because i feel like it?"

not a fan of the whole "life is short so do whatever you want, the purpose of life is just to have fun so go wild!!!" i can tell you from firsthand experience: living like that is boring. yeah, you heard me. having fun all the time is boring. we live in a society oversaturated with entertainment, obsessed with acquiring wealth (be that in the form of real estate, electronics, what have you).

getting more stuff makes you feel like you have to have even more. the competition and comparisons start. man, i wish i could afford something so expensive. oh dude he has that already? he must have torrented it, that OS isn't even out yet. maybe i should too.

does that mean we should never ever enjoy life, or play with our kids, or relax? i don't think so. we need to recharge. but our society values such an unhealthy perception of happiness (including the idea that we need to be happy all the time, which is impossible in this life lol) that we expend too much effort in activities that honestly don't matter.

that's part of why i like islam so much. people in our community think worshipping God and striving towards him means we have to be praying or reading qur'an constantly. islam is so easy. if our intentions are in the right place, smiling at people become an act of worship. loving your husband/wife. feeding your kids. thinking about Allah. being kind to strangers. there is so much about islam that our ummah doesn't understand, and sometimes it's our own fault because we don't even care enough to learn about the religion.

there is so much beauty in islam. may Allah allow us to die only as muslims.
hijabi: photo of zuko resting his head on his chin in boredom. (zuko bored)
i've left a lot of people behind.

at some point, all of us will. intentionally. unintentionally. hardly any relationship is constant.

you know what's funny? sometimes i miss the people i left on purpose. i shouldn't, though. they treated me like trash. they used me. they stepped all over me and made fun of my religion and laughed in my face when i was distressed. they made me uncomfortable. they said and did things behind my back that i honestly still have a hard time believing.

foolishly, i excused their behavior because friends are supposed to be there for each other no matter what. right? even when they do horrible things?

no. i don't believe that. i never did. so why did i let all those nasty behaviors go?

sometimes in our desperation to be loved and accepted we override common sense. many times i thought my friends were the only people that care. but those people didn't really care about me. not really. and it's sad because some of them i knew for years... some mere months. after a while i realized that i didn't really know them. not that they changed--we tend to stay more or less the same--but my perception of them did.

i regret some of the friendships i got into, but being with them all taught me things. taught me what would happen if i didn't stick up for myself. taught me how it felt to be discouraged by the ones you love. taught me how it felt to be isolated among people. taught me that i could be a real idiot and do the meanest, vilest of things.

in the end, i'm glad for the good and the bad. i wan to do better, i want to be better than who i used to be and who i used to hang out with.

part of why i made this dw is to chronicle myself so i can look back and reflect. laugh, cringe, and maybe even cry to see how far i've gone on the path to change.

i pray to God that i don't end up going back to my old habits because i really don't like the person i was.

do i feel lonely right now? a little. but that's because at the moment i don't have friends. i just moved. my surroundings are unfamiliar and i have no idea if the nearby masjids are good or not. but i'm not letting that worry me just yet. Allah is near, and he answers the call of the one who calls on him. i just have to be patient and seek the best path i can take.

so it's about that time again. another transition period, hand on a suitcase and bus pass in the other. once i get off the bus i'll find hop onto a train, and that train will lead somewhere i'll face new challenges and joys.

it's time to really make my soul shine.
hijabi: photo of zuko scratching his head. (zuko scratching head)
before i begin this is all coming from from someone who used to be obsessed with harry potter, greek mythology, naruto (ninja magic rofl), and all kinds of dumb fairy tales.

confession: i just don't care about it as much anymore.

it feels so strange to say. those things were my special interests for a loooong time. in some cases they were nearly life-long occupations, siphoning off time i could be spending on more useful pursuits. the truth is that i don't care much for these types of media anymore, although i do miss how it used to make me feel.

however, i'm finding something much more concrete and fulfilling than the fantasy and scifi i used to love: slice of life.

seriously. the older i get the more life smacks me in the face with reminders that nothing is permanent. why waste hours poring over fanwikis to learn about the barely relevant sirius black's ancestry? why obsess over these details that don't matter? why get into fandoms and shows completely devoid of the things i truly care about like flying robots and space princesses? why emotionally invest myself in something so far out of the realm of possibility that it actually hurts me?

the answer pierced me like a bullet. actually, the lack of a good answer pierced me like a bullet.

i don't have time to do things "just for fun." i want to be engaged. i want to come away from something with--with something that actually matters. i want to see humans interact. i want to see relationships (non-romantic ones) form. i want to see how people deal with grief, trauma, pain, joy. i want to see things that matter to me, that'll affect me in everyday life and the life to come.

i want something more.

i've realized that that something more isn't something i'm gonna find in a story about made-up races and imaginary planets or aliens or time travel. these things occupy our minds and we stop even caring about real-life issues. don't try to convince me it doesn't happen--i've seen it enough firsthand. (the search for aliens sometimes makes me laugh. people can't even interact with people from our own species without messing up.)

i'm tired of people ignoring racism and islamophobia and ableism in fantastical media because people just don't (or refuse to) see the parallels the creators were implying. i'm tired of the tip-toe acts people are using in fantasy to say "racism is bad, yeah!" without actually addressing real-life issues. i'm tired of (usually white) fans denying any connection to current problems because "it's just a story" or "it's all made up." i'm tired of the white creatures being pure and good while the dark/darker/black ones are always dirty, evil, and/or uncivilized. i'm tired of these half-hearted attempts at tackling discrimination head-on that completely miss the point. i'm also tired of minorities being represented as monsters or animals or some weird hybrid species. it's like people can't feel anything for fellow human beings unless we look like puppies. i've seen people literally show more sympathy for animals than victims of police brutality. we've had enough being represented as subhuman. hollywood and publishing companies consistently choose profit and "entertainment" over the value of actual human lives.

so often media (whether news channel, print, or online articles) is the vehicle used to push political agendas, stereotypes, greed, narrow-mindedness, corruption, and any gross human rights violations you can imagine forward.

do i think fiction's totally useless? no. the oppostie, actually. but if we're spending more of our time on made-up monsters instead of the ones plaguing our society and our very selves, then how are we ever gonna do something about them?


hijabi: photo of zuko looking away, clearly tired and uncomfortable. (Default)
hijabi / hinata

September 2016

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