Books about the contemporary immigrant experience has recently been on the rise. We have seen great books like A Place For Us, and The Girl Who Smiled Beads that narrate the American immigrant experience. Though the central theme maybe be the immigrant experience, every story has it’s own narrative. Some recount the horror of worn torn countries while others about how they struggled with cultural identities once they immigrated.
My most recent read with this theme has been Etaf Rum‘s debut novel, ‘A Woman is No Man’ which portrays the difficult lives of Arab -American women.
She lay there motionless on the cold, bare kitchen floor, staring up at the utensils. The morning light was just starting to make it’s way through the grim covered skylight. She had found this small place for herself and made it her own. But these little quarters that she had considered her sanctuary for so many months, had changed overnight.
The past few weeks have been the longest I have stayed away from the gym. After falling out of my ‘workout routine’ this summer, I struggled to find my way back. Forget motivation, I had absolutely no desire or inclination to go to the gym or workout. Needless to say, this had major repercussions on my health, both physically and mentally. Of course I piled on some pounds, thanks to Netflix, books and my bedside snacks, but also, I just wasn’t in a good place mentally. (My friends can vouch for that!)
I have finally done my first workout today! This felt so monumental, I felt it deserved it’s own blog post! As I was running on the treadmill, I realized how good this felt and the familiar feelings of accomplishment and contentment resurfaced!
Planning out summer vacations can get a bit tricky in our household. We had to juggle work schedules, the kids camp sessions, and back to school dates. But as we did that, one thing became realistically clear. I would have to be spending a good portion of our family vacation by myself! Without the family. A solo vacation. Let that just sink in for just a bit.
If you are an instagrammer, who isn’t well known – for example, someone like myself, you may understand the struggles that we go through periodically! For the most part, Instagram is a tight knit community, but if you haven’t infiltrated the inner circle and are an outsider, it can be quite brutal.
They say the key to Instagram is to create good content, engage with others, post aesthetically pleasing pictures, and voila you gain followers by the day! And yet, here we are, doing everything right but are still struggling. We console ourselves by saying ‘Instagram changed the algorithm on me again’, and that’s why engagement is low. But we still struggle. Everyday! And today I thought I would share some of these struggles with you.
Disclaimer: This post was written in humor. Perhaps with some sad truth to it.The terms ‘popular’ and ‘better known’ are all relative. This post is not directed at anyone in particular.
You tag the morepopular bloggers in your post, in hopes that they will ‘like’ or better yet ‘comment’ on your picture. After you tag them, you sit there waiting. And waiting. Then you hop onto their Instagram page and check the ‘tagged pictures’ and ensure your picture has showed up. Yes, there it is. Yet there is no like or comment!
You purchase a product (or in my case a book) that you had seen on a bloggers feed. You figure this would give you both a common platform and a reason to connect. Then you post it, tag them, and write a convincing caption – ‘look what I just bought! Thanks so much for recommending it. This completes my life!’. They double click and ‘like’ your story mention – privately. All those dreams of collaboration quickly fade away.
You look at your number of followers every morning as you roll out of bed- eyes barely open. Did I get 3 new followers?! This gig is totally worth it! By the afternoon, never mind, I lost 5 followers.
You write a thought provoking caption, utilizing the thesaurus for good measure. Next you take a stunning picture, incorporating a ‘bokeh’ effect, because that is what good photographers do. You post it thinking this is the ‘post’ that will generate engagement! People will be nodding their heads, commenting and least of all, at least liking it. An hour later, there are two comments. Two! Coincidentally, the two comments come from friends you had sent Whatsapp reminders to, saying ‘I just posted something. Make sure you comment!’
You find out via Instagram stories that a PR or Media event took place in your city. You were the only one not invited! Or, PR packages were sent to all the ‘better-known’ Instagrammers, and you didn’t receive one! (Note to self: maybe they are the ‘influencer’, and you are the ‘influencee’)
You say you don’t want to buy followers or use applications, or bots. You are convinced organic growth is the way to go. But honestly, this is taking an eternity! I will die before I reach 10k! #thestruggleisreal
You convince yourself you need a better camera, better captions, better content, perhaps even new stationary (again me). After all those purchases, you are still the ‘lesser-known‘ instagrammer.
There are numerous posts that claim everyone should support each other and it takes a second to click ‘like’. So you go ahead and click ‘like’ on several pictures. Because let’s face it, it has to come back to you. And yet you are there left waiting. What happened to #womensupportingwomen and all those empowering hashtags!
In an effort to to grow your account, you plan to host a ‘Giveaway’. I mean this is bound to work. After this giveaway, “I will gain at least 100 new followers because people will tag others, and frankly this giveaway is downright amazing! So naturally people want to snag this up asap!” You gain 7 new followers and 3 leave after the giveaway ends.
You join Instagram pods, despite the negativity associated with them. This way at least someone will be ‘obligated’ to like and comment. Because at the end of the day, something has to work!
I thought of more struggles, but I wanted to keep it to ‘Top 10’, because SEOoptimization and all that jazz. See, I am trying all the right things!
If any of these resonated with you, and you nodded to yourself, please leave a comment either here or on my Instagram post (or both if you are feeling generous!). If you are a reader, and sympathized with this post, please also leave a comment. Taking all sympathy likes too! Don’t let my struggles go in vain.
Summer break is almost here! A time for fun, relaxation and leisure for kids. But why not take summer as an opportunity to do things that can really benefit your children and avoid the summer slide. Look at these five ways to make summer valuable for them!
By no means have I figured it all out yet. But I’ll share a few things that we do, that I feel helps my children explore, develop interests and be ready for the new school year ! Most summer breaks are 2-3 months long, leaving enough time for travel and much more that can be done along side these enrichment activities.
These five things don’t need to eliminate the fun of summer, in fact they can offer the stimulation and curiosity to keep things interesting for your child!
Most broccoli salads I have tried use a good amount of mayo, making it heavy on the stomach and difficult to take to potlucks or keep out in the summers. This broccoli salad which I came across on Cookie and Kate is light, crunchy and perfect for the summers! This salad is best paired with a tangy honey mustard dressing that doesn’t over power the flavor and crunch of the broccoli.
I am actively on the look out for books that feature women who have made a difference in this world and pack a feminine punch! The last one I read with my daughter was ‘What Would She Do‘, which showcased 25 brilliant women in history who have stood up for what they believed in. Recently I came across ‘Pakistan for Women‘, by Maliha Abidi which was published in March 2019 and eagerly bought two copies! One is saved for a giveaway for my readers on Instagram!
I debated writing a book review for my most recent read because I felt my words would not do justice to the depth and beauty of this story. Also, I was very late to the game. This book came out in 2015 and I just read it this past week! There had been so much hype surrounding this book – I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectation. But in all honestly I shouldn’t have waited this long!!