Finland Pt. 6 🇫🇮

As mentioned in the previous post, my laptop was stolen, along with some other things. I’m at home in Toronto, showered in a proper shower, slept in my big ass bed and played video games… sort of. I’ve been busy since I came home. Below you’ll find what I had written and saved; you’ll also see the rest of the post. I’d like to wish all the readers and followers a very Merry Christmas, and a joyous holiday season.

QWhile this post is entitled, “Finland Pt. 6” I thought about calling it “Comin’ Home.” Every time I came back home from university, I’d play “Comin’ Home” It’s a song by one of my favourite artist, City and Colour or Dallas Green. I saw him in concert a few summers ago, sang along to every song, and swayed to every slow song. I’ve been a huge fan of his for a long time, and I encourage you to youtube some of his music. In the song ‘Comin Home” he sings about coming home, about being on tour, knowing that it’s a cycle, but he misses home. The song also mentions a girl and the hardship of long-distance dating.  I’d play this song when I came home because it was aptly named and I liked to lean my head against the window and daydream out the window. Now I could relate to the song because long-distance dating is taxing. But now I think I can connect to it even more.

I came to Finland with a plan. Be a better Adel, do well in school, and get the girl. I’ve written about my ex on numerous occasions. A lot of the poetry and early writing is about her. I cannot express it in words but not only did she have a profound effect on me and push me to be better, but I’ve never loved someone more in my life. Even though it’s been a long time since our break up, I think about her, and I still do love and care for her. I needed this adventure more than I let on, not because of my break up, but because I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. I kept looking ahead, I’d propose to my girlfriend most romantically, we’d move in together, I’d get a career job, we’d live in the city blah blah blah kids, taxes and death. There is nothing wrong with trying to map out your life, but when you set it in stone, the chances of you becoming obsessed with it are pretty good. That’s where I was, and it’s why this break up has been hard for me. I’m not saying it was easy for her, breakups suck.

My plan for being out here went out the window because I hated it. Planning has its perks, but going with the flow and following your gut is pretty good too. I knew this experience would change me, not because everyone told me but because the signs are in a different fucking language! Something was going to change, and I was going to pick up words and customs. I like learning about different cultures and people, and I knew I’d try to learn as much as I could about Finns and Finland. I did that because it’s who I am. I’m a nerd, and I had a list of all these things I needed to see. I knocked down most of them, I saw Old Trafford, I visited the Guinness Brewery, I went to the cliffs of Moher and peered over the edge, I went to Rome alone and saw the Colosseum, I went to Paris apart and saw the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, and I went to Madrid and saw the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The last three might sound insignificant, but I did those alone. I do come off as confident, but I struggle with it all the time. But the amount of travelling I did alone just showed me that I need to take those risks. It also helped me reclaim my ability to be independant. It stopped being about someone else and just became about me. I didn’t forget, I could never, it just became more imprtant to look after myself. It’s what I’ve taken back from Finland. Personal growth is always something I can be proud of and nothing about the last 5 months have been easy.

Truth be told I miss Finland, I miss being on my own. It truly was the adventure of a lifetime and one that I’ll never forget. That there is the final photo I took in Helsinki. It is at the Christmas Market and I think its where I left my Christmas spirit.

Goodnight 🌑

Goodnight
Nothing
Heavy eyes, restless thoughts and a broken heart
Only company is a dim computer screen
Eyes closed
Its not a dream, its a memory
“Goodnight honey”
Tears pool in the corners and fall onto the pillow
Theres no more honey
Goodnight
Nothing
Restless thoughts makes for a restless sleep
There aren’t any more dreams
Just
More memories
“Goodnight Baby. Love you”
Suddenly they all come flooding back
Tossing and turing
The tears on the pillow replaced by sweat
Over head the Ceiling fan providing a subtle break in the heat of the summer night
The sheets have been kicked away
Wide awake, laboured breathing
Heavy eyes filled with tears
It was a simple as
“Goodnight”

Sunshine ☀️ 

There are mornings where the sun shines through the curtains Filling the room with the beauty of outside 

Warm and inviting 

A new day

There are mornings where the sun shines through the curtains 

Filling my heart with hope 

Optimism and happiness 

Another chance 

There are mornings where I can’t face the sunlight 

It isn’t warm or inviting 

It’s a haunting reminder of what I lost 

It’s a new day, another chance

For me to look in the mirror and not recognize who’s looking back at me 

Dishevelled, messy, lost

It’s another chance for me to experience heart break 

It breaks every time I see the stranger in the mirror 

The longer I stare the more it breaks

It shatters 

The worst heart break is the heart break of losing yourself 

Looking in the mirror and feeling lost

Not recognizing the reflection in the mirror as the sun shines through the curtains   

Faith 🕌🕍⛪️

Imagine reading a book with a bunch of teachings in it. Imagine thinking that this book was passed down from a higher power. Now imagine living your life observing these teachings. Oh and by the way these teachings are hundreds of years old with a lot of grey areas and contradictions. 

I grew up in a Muslim household with a Muslim family. I went to Arabic school on Sundays and periodically did the whole praying 5 times a day and I even fasted during Ramadan. Now I think as some people get older they somewhat fall out of religion. Like for example, Christians and Catholics who only attend church for Christmas, and Easter. I understand that, religion is kind of a huge commitment. 

Recently I had a conversation with a very dear friend in which I told her that I believed in god. Her response was silence because she thought I was an atheist. I do believe in god, but I don’t believe in organized religion. What I’m about to say isn’t some sort of defining moment. Religion has killed more people than it’s saved. Christians and Muslims waged war on one another for centuries! The Spanish killed and ensalved millions of Native Americans in the name of the church. Muslims flew planes into buildings killing thousands. A group of Hindus blew up a mosque in India.  All in the name of god. All because these people have a twisted grasp of religion. 

I had the great fortune of studying religion at McMaster. One of the best schools for religion. I remember taking an Islam 101 class and walking out after hearing some of the hateful things said about the LGBTQ community. I ended up dropping that class, the people in it were definitely the worst kinds of people. I say that because many of them would share the library with me, I saw the way they behaved. The way they conducted themselves. I didn’t agree with it. I remember being at an open mic night and a very cute couple got engaged. People walked out because the two lovely gentlemen kissed on stage. I worked at a bar for a year. One of the best things is you get a lot of swag and I’d wear it, much to the shargrin of some of my Muslim friends. It might seem like I’m picking on Islam her but I’m not. It’s just what’s most relevant in my life. 

I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read most of the Quran, I’ve read the Torah, the Vedas and a whole bunch of other things. I’m no expert and yes some of the things I read are kinda scary, and I don’t agree with all of it. Again what I’m going to say is no secret, religion is full of contradictory statements. It relies so much on our interpretation. I’ve grown very weary of how people hate religion. It’s easy to hate something if you don’t understand it. Religion is meant to bring people together, foster love, and give people something to strive for. 

Killing in the name of god is ridiculous. Hating because god “hates” a group of people is asinine. So why did I bother to write on this subject? Religion is something that will never go away but it’s about time that people see that it’s taken way to many lives. It’s time for people to educate themselves and see how the people doing the killing are yes a part of that religion but they’re misguided, misinformed and plain and simple just fucking crazy. 

Pride 🏳️‍🌈

Pride. Living in Toronto is an absolute pleasure, especially when theres an annual event like Pride. If you don’t know what it is, its a celebration of the LGBTQ community. Its a whole month devoted to celebrating and having PRIDE in who you are. Its culminated by the annual parade. Which is basically a massive party in the street, with dancing, laughing, singing, floats, and most importantly love. Seeing the people downtown, seeing the smiles and happiness is something to relish in.

 

I grew up in a conservative town where it wasn’t uncommon to hear people use the word “faggot” or say “thats so gay.” I’m guilty for at one time being a product of my environment. I remember watching the news and hearing that the gay marriage was legalized in Canada. I remember hearing the protests, watching people scream and say its unnatural. Now in 2005 I was 13, so I don’t think I had a good grasp on what marriage, love or what “gay” or “same sex marriage” was. But I didn’t understand why these people were so mad. Prior to this I’d only seen hysteria like this on 9/11 and when the war broke out. I remember they spoke to us about it in school, and naturally when they did we laughed because well we were 13.

Heres what I did know. I knew that marriage involved love, and that if you loved someone it was unbreakable… Cut me some slack I was 13. Actually I still believe that. That if you love someone its going to be forever. Love can’t turn into hate. So did these people on the news hate… Love? Sure seems so.

It also dawned on me that, “Who the fuck are you to tell person A and person B that they can’t love one another?” If these two people want to get married it means they love each other, it means they found each other, that one of them had the courage to ask the other out, buy a few dinners, be in a relationship and buy a ring and propose. At the time when it was announced that gay marriage was legalized there was enough hate in the world.

Now these are views I’ve carried with me since then, but like most 13 year olds I was afraid to be in the out crowd. I didn’t join in the hate parade… actually I used the word “gay” negatively and used the word “faggot” too, so maybe I was part of that hate parade. Actually yeah I was. Well I’d like to publicly apologize for that. Something changed though as I got older. I went to a pretty conservative high school, a catholic school. One of my favourite teachers was gay. An art teacher, with an impeccable fashion sense and flare for passion. We all knew he was gay, no one really said anything about it. There was the odd snicker about it but thats high school.

I was sitting in the chaplains office, we had a great relationship. We’d talk about life, love, religion… I think its because of her I studied that in school. Well we sat there talking and she mentioned that some of the other teachers were a little upset that she congratulated the art teacher on his marriage, or engagement, I can’t remember. But what I do remember, that was the moment I knew that I’d never use the word “faggot”, or gay as a negative, again… and I’d be vocal about it. Let me drop some knowledge, if you’re an asshole it has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. I was surprised at how petty some of these teachers were when it came to their colleague.

So whats the point of this post? I think the world has enough hate in it. I saw some pretty hurtful comments on social media about Pride. My question is this, what does it say about you if you’re against love? The LGBTQ community are doctors, first responders, athletes, pilots, baristas, PR people, musicians, actors, they’re people like me and you and its a shame that they’ve lived in fear. Its a shame that they’ve been afraid to be who they are. Its a shame that they’ve had to keep their love a secret. Love is the strongest force in the universe. Its what makes everyone say that their moms home cooking is the best. Its what gave me hope when I felt like I was on the edge. Its the greatest feeling on the planet. Love is love and it really does know no bounds.