30 lessons I learned from my teens!

Friends, I am done my teens!
I am no longer a “teenager”.
I don’t know how I feel about this, because as I step into my 20s, I am still not in University but that’s okay. I am not the most academic person to begin with, things will fall into place eventually. I am just waiting for the “right moment”.
I wish there was a thing as “college anxiety”, because that’s exactly what I am having.
But, regardless of the status of my academic life I am still “DONE’ my teens. I am happy because my teenage years weren’t exactly positively memorable but a lot of negativity surrounded my life. Since last year, it’s been better though but I also feel I have learned everything I had to.

So here are 30 lessons I learned from my teens :
1. No matter what, your parents love you unconditionally
2. Your parents are not perfect, they make mistakes. Forgive them.
3. Everyone around you won’t treat you the way you’d like to be treated but that’s okay.
4. Too much skin show isn’t appreciated anywhere.
5. You are loved by many, despite your many flaws.
6. You are your biggest project, improve everyday.
7. Revenge is never the best option.
8. Customer service is the most important thing in your business. Treat your clients well.
9. You can definitely change the world. One step at a time!
10. You make many friends along the way, chances are they will be there till the end. School friends are always special!
11. Learn to not regret the past, at that moment it was all you wanted.
12. Your pets love you unconditionally.
13. Sleep.
14. When life gets hard , things change, true love remains the same (friends&family)
15. High school is the most drama you will ever experience, make the best out of it!
16. Take risks
17. Aim to be healthy, not skinny
18. Develop good habits ; drink green tea, go for a walk. The habits you develop now will follow you for the rest of your life.
19. Bullies are not cool.
20. Respect everyone regardless of their profession.
21. Men like the heroes of Nicholas Sparks novels do exist but you won’t meet them until you’re 25, so relax.
22. Your Ipod is your best friend.
23. Desserts are worth every penny.
24. Try not to waste your gym membership and ACTUALLY GO to the gym.
25. Looking younger than you are is not always a disadvantage.
26. Know yourself
27. Your interests will change, it’s all a part of growing up
28. Money matters but it isn’t everything.
29. If people can’t handle you at your worst, they don’t deserve you.
30. Don’t expect, ever.

 

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Checklist- 1st birthday parties

So , I was going through all the photos I have taken over the last year and this year , thought of coming up with a checklist. This will be a good practice if you’re doing first birthday photographs for your friend’s child or just some cousin. Everyone from beginners to absolutely professionals can use this! 

Birthday Boy/ Girl alone by themselves. – THIS IS MAJOR. Most of the times, the kids are really grumpy , so if you catch them smiling lean in and focus , I promise you it will be a great shot. Keep clicking. Try gathering balloons or anything else that might hold the kid’s interest for a while and force him/ her to look at the camera! 

Birthday Girl/ Boy with Dad ( Candids) – Dads are usually the ones who are running around with the kid so in a great moment do a few candids. Try catching smiles and wave the baby’s toys if necessary so he/she smiles. 

Birthday Girl/ boy with Mom ( Candids) – Whether the kid is tugging at the mum’s sleeve or just hugging her , they usually call for great moments. Capture it. Always look out for mom ! 

Birthday Girl/ boy with Grandparents – this is the cutest, always! try a few posed shots as well as candids.

Birthday Girl/ boy’s reaction to the entertainment (magicians , clowns) – Always record their faces and make sure they go stand by the clown / magician ! 

Birthday Girl/ boy’s Crawling or Walking – I have covered 2-3 birthdays where the 1 year olds can walk but if they don’t , always document them crawling! That calls for the cutest photos. 

Birthday Girl/ Boy with other kids – These are probably the cutest photos of all. Try to have few posed shots and more natural shots. 
I always try to make sure, years later the photos reflect the baby’s personality !

Birthday Girl/ Boy blowing the candle , cutting the cake, and looking at the cake : Again, these are shots you shouldn’t miss. 

Try getting shots of Birthday boy/ girl with almost every guest. 
Insist on getting shots of the guests who are attending because first birthday is special , very special. 

Always ask the parents who the key members are and make sure the baby has individual photos with all of them!  (No matter how cranky he/she is ) 

I want my blog to

I want my blog to be my representation, but unfortunately this blog is many things I am not.
I am not always trying to change the world, not always reading books but yes to be honest I am jobless meaning I am not attending any school / college right now (it’s my fourth semester off after high school) 
I am almost 20 and technically I should be in University, getting my bachelor’s but I am not . 
I am still sitting here, writing blog posts (not too often), being vegan, playing with my cat, doing photography once in a while and doing everything many people would categorize as “useless”. 
I could have used this time off well ; travel the world, write a book or even work on a documentary but I didn’t. I chose to watch One Tree Hill, eat too much junk and be isolated.
I don’t regret it though. Although I know I should have done a few things but this time off is good in a way because people need to handle themselves before they can handle bigger responsibilities. 
If I were to join school then, I would flunk and drop out which would not be any good.
Today, although with the help of psychiatrists, anti depressants and too many failures I can stand back up and not care. 
I don’t want to tell my kids or grandkids I was a failure I want to tell them I was able to pull myself together even if it was a bit late and headed for my goal. 

20 things to do before 20

Okay, so I sat down with myself the other day and made a list , and decided I have two months left of being a teenager !
I will be 20 !!
Now for the past three years, I was in a  bad place for personal reasons, my readers know why though 🙂

So I came up with 20 things I would like to do before 20 (note somethings are not easy, but you can always modify them)

Get a credit card : If you’re as irresponsible as me, you probably have one and spent all the credit but if you’re responsible you do know that you need a credit score (a good one) and for that you need to be good with  credit cards . I am going to be 20, but my credits are in bad shape I came up with a payment plan now so let’s see if I can slowly pay it off. My goal is to be debt free this year.

Get a job/ start a small business  : I started a small business which gives me decent enough income, I don’t have any car payments or major payments so my expenditure isn’t much. I am no longer a shopaholic , live with my family so for me it’s extra pocket money. I considered getting a job but my resume isn’t impressive enough and I haven’t really been persistent either.

Try a sport : I am not athletic so I haven’t tried a sport yet but I am probably going to take up squash (if that counts as a sport)

Learn a new language : I know many people have a second language , but I am trying to learn Japanese ! So you should too.

Save : I am trying to save $1000, but you should always save according to your limits. For me, as I said I have no major payments to worry about so saving it is easy. For instance, today my Ipad charger broke but I won’t replace it until I have enough money and I could do without my Ipad for a few days anyway.

Run a mile everyday for 1 month : THIS is very important , you can train yourself to run a mile or if you’re fit you should try running on the treadmill for everyday. Eventually, you will be in a habit.

Take up Yoga/ Zumba : I took up Zumba , and I do yoga at home but doing Zumba in a group setting is a lot of fun , do try it if you have’t already.

Don’t eat carbs/ sugar for a month : By carbs I mean bad carbs , and bad sugar! Try boycotting it for 1 month and you will be good to go.

Don’t watch TV for a month : I tried but failed . I watch a lot of soaps , so I can’t seem to give it up. But I will start from March (fingers crossed)

Give up an obsession/ addiction : I am addicted to checking my mail and my ipad, I am trying to limit my use.

Go on a reading spree : My bucket list has read all Nicholas Sparks books , and all Pretty little liars books so I am trying to finish reading those.

Give someone a makeover : I really want to do this, but I can’t find anyone who would be interested in it. All my friends are pretty made over lol. But if you know someone, you should try it!

Go an entire day without technology : this means no phone, tv, or even oven! I couldn’t do it since the first thing I reach for when I wake up is my phone and that pretty much does it for you . But I will try it soon.

Raise money for a charity : I think everyone should try it! If you haven’t done it , do it already. I do charity very often but I haven’t raised money for a long time.

Read the Bible/ The Quran / a religious scripture : I am reading the Bible and the Quran. I hope to have it finished before my birthday!

Go bungee jumping or skydiving : I really want to do this before my birthday or on my birthday. I am hoping to do bungee jumping though , too scared for skydiving!

Make a gratitude list and read it on your 20th birthday : I won’t be celebrating my birthday but I will probably make a gratitude list for my readers or my family/ friends so they can read it .

Get a pet : Many of us grow up with pets but some don’t know the experience of having a pet and caring for it. My life has been so much better since I got my cat, and I have become a better person (I hope so) .

Study a topic you would like to know more about : I am studying about animal cruelty, and also about adoption. If you want to know more on any topic consider reading up on it on the internet/ library.

Learn to be happy alone : During our teenage years, we become so attached to our boyfriends/ girlfriends that we forget we are an individual. Dependance is not a good thing and you should do things for yourself and by yourself.

25 reasons to go vegan

1. For the animals 
2. For better health 
3. To be disease free (swine flu free) 
4. To expand your horizons ( know more fruits and vegetables) 
5. To try new ways of cooking and baking
6. To stop contributing to the cruelty towards animals by dairy/ fashion / meat / egg industries
7. For better skin
8. To practice self control
9. To learn more about different cultures who practice vegan lifestyle
10. To go more DIY
11. To control your processed food intake
12. To eliminate stereotypes about veganism
13. To expand creativity 
14. You will learn to be obsessed with reading ingredients on the back of anything packaged 
15. To annoy servers at restaurants by asking them if anything contains egg or dairy 
16. To stand out
17. To challenge yourself
18 . To embrace a new lifestyle
19 . To expand knowledge on animal cruelty 
20. To know more about vegan diets and foods eg. beans, lentils, nuts
21. For self satisfaction
22. To explore new vegeterian / vegan restaurants 
23. To be bombarded by “protein intake” questions by friends and family
24. To save approximately 100 animals per year by not eating them
25. To be happier, healthier, more confident 

Why being a Muslim vegan is difficult

As my name already suggests, I am a Muslim (or my family is) . I am having issues with faith right now, but my name automatically makes me Muslim , on top of that I am brown and have an accent. Needless to say, whenever I am somewhere ordering food, people ask me why I don’t take dairy/ meat I reply saying because I am vegan. Then I hear why I should eat meat and that meat (as long as it’s HALAL) is permissible in Islam. I know better than to argue so I move on saying I love my cat and I couldn’t imagine someone killing her and eating her meat (in some cultures they do eat cats) so I gave up on meat and dairy altogether. I hear praises but I do hear lectures, not that I mind because everyone in my family are meat lovers I am the black sheep of the family who protests against meat or dairy! 
I think Islam teaches us to be compassionate , and to love the planet and every kind of living thing there is. I sin a lot , but I think Allah will be happy . 

Imperfection 1 – my academic status

I am a year out of high school, and I can very proudly say I have still not decided where I want to head further. I like photography but I don’t see myself being a full time photographer in the future. I like makeup , fashion but I don’t see a career in any of them. I also like reading/ writing but I cannot imagine myself being a primary school teacher or even a freelance writer. So what do I do? Go to University, get a degree and get a job. Well, that’s ideal, considering my mom would give up anything to send me to any post secondary institution.
Despite my mom’s assumption that my academic status of not going anywhere is pulling me back from my social and regular life, I can PROUDLY say I have never been so  proud of myself as I am today. I do not regret not going to a regular post secondary institution right now. I have read too many books, talked to too many people and really came out of the “time is slipping away” mentality my mom goes on and on about.
I do consider it an imperfection because I still don’t know what I want to do. I find it completely useless to pursue a degree in something that I might not like or even worse get enrolled, lose interest and fail courses ..eventually drop out!
” Always do what you want to do”
” live for YOURSELF”
” live for people in need”
” do something for the WORLD”

Do I think education and a degree is useless? OF COURSE NOT. I still intend to go back to school but I don’t know if it is in January 2014 or September 2014. As long as I do something meanwhile, I am good and happy.