Bro thats “gay”

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“Bro why would you do that, it’s so gay”

Yesterday I decided to do a little experiment with my friends and followers of social media. I have always wanted to get a nose stud/ring but was scared of how people would react. Somehow I gained enough courage to get a nose ring early yesterday morning and then post a selfie on my social media. Within a few minutes the amount of hate and “bro that so gay” texts I got was shocking to me and a little hurtful. How is my sexuality determined by a piece of metal in my nose? How is my fashion statement an open doorway to spit out homophobic remarks? Our society has made it hard for people to express themselves in different ways. To the point where any hint of being original or different will have you shunned.

Most people have art, music or some other hobby to express themselves from everyday life, but for me its clothes and fashion. My style is based off of london and british bloggers who have inspired my sleek dark look. Sadly, for years I had to dress down in order to hang out with my male friends because of the homophobic remarks I would receive. The more they made fun of me the more I wanted to spread my wings and express myself, but I was scared. I didn’t want to lose my friends or be outcasted because I was different. See my entire life I struggled fitting in because my mentality, perspectives and of course sense of style was out of the norm for most people. I couldn’t risk losing a few friends that I did have just because I wanted to be expressive, so for years I just blended in. I didn’t style my hair or beard a certain way because of harsh comments. I didn’t wear certain clothes because i would stick out too much around those friends. Maybe around my last semester of college I decided to be who I am and just wear whatever I please and I did exactly that. Pretty soon I changed my hairstyle, beard and got an ear piercing. I got the “Bro thats gay” comments but I loved how I looked so It didn’t bother me. I guess through all the backlash my life long friends gave me I started developing thicker skin, so stupid comments do not pierce through me. Which is why I ended up getting my nose piercing done. I knew the harsh comments would come my way but I didn’t want to think back at my life and regret the things I didn’t do because I was scared of someone else’s opinions. The fact of the matter is that we get one shot at life but we ruin it because we spend our entire lives fitting into the mold others have put together of us.

Clothes, hair, and jewelry do not determine someone’s sexuality and even if it did, spitting out homophobic slurs is never okay. I used to know this guy back in my university who wore pink cheetah print shirts and bedazzled pants. I wasn’t open to being friends with him but through a group project I realized how nice of a human being he was. A few weeks later I saw him with his girlfriend, walking hand in hand. See the beauty about self expression is that somewhere along the line you will find someone as crazy, wild and absurd as you. Think about it. If that guy never expressed himself, would he have found that girl? Would he be so carefree, happy and enjoying the beauty of love? Maybe he would but it would definitely not be with that girl who saw that part in him.

All these years I was scared to express my own sense of style so I was attracting all the wrong types of friends and girls. So what started off as a sexy new relationship quickly went down in flames because I found them to be bland and boring. That was until I became comfortable in my own skin, hair and clothes, which is why I finally attracted the right girl who saw my exterior and wanted to understand the inside a little more. She encourages me to do all the wild crazy styles I ever wanted to and I promote her doing crazy hair colors and different styles of makeup. I mean who knows maybe I’ll highlight the tips of my hair platinum this summer, and if gay means I have a killer fashion sense and piercings then hey I’ll take it because my girlfriend loves every bit of it.

Concrete Roads

Broken Concrete Wall

“Jab dard mein yaar na ho”

Life has its mysterious ways of showing you the top of the mountain and then suddenly dropping you to the bottom. That drop from the mountain is usually painful, lonely and causes a major shift in your character.

For a few weeks now i’ve been noticing this sudden drop in my emotions. I don’t laugh and I don’t feel pain as much. For me to let any emotions “out” I have to watch something super sad or listen to some sappy Bollywood songs. This feeling within is like a concrete layering over every single emotion in the world. What I do know is that this is not healthy and as much as I want to blame life, some of the blame goes on me.

My biggest flaw is not reacting the right way when I have the time. For example, if a death happens in the family, I probably wouldn’t cry. Instead I would hold it in for 3-4 weeks and then drown in my own emotions. For some odd reason I feel like i have to be strong for everyone, but in the end I am the one suffering without a shoulder to lean on. The best way to explain this emotion of suffering is like putting a 50 pound bag of concrete on your chest. It’s constantly there but I have no where to drop this bag of concrete, so I end up feeling mentally and physically exhausted. I just want to get up and toss this damn bag of concrete somewhere, but the question remains, where? I need a break and just want to go somewhere where It’s quiet around me and in my mind.

I’m on a road that is making me go in circles through very noisy and cluttered places. Sadly, I have to travel on this road alone because nobody else will take out the time to understand my journey or ask me how I am doing. The reality is jab dard mein yaar na ho then why would anyone else help? Its my pain and whether I have to cry it out or laugh it out, I will. Being a man has nothing to do with how much you cry but rather understanding your own emotions. It’s about climbing back up to that mountain that you fell from, but this time around you will have a few battle scars that made you stronger in the process.

 

Burn Your Ships

burnships.jpg“The same love you give to people is not the same love you get back”

An old friend of mine once told me that life is like a boomerang; what you throw at it, is what you get back. I agreed with her at the time because it made complete sense to me, but now after my personal life experiences, not so much.

So I ask you, have you ever had unconditional love for someone? When all you wanted was the best for them and for them to be happy, no matter what they did? Their happiness meant so much that if they needed you, you would drop the world for them? If you said yes to the questions above you will understand what I’m about to talk about.

No matter how busy I was, I always made time for every single friend I had in my life. I truly loved all of my friends and wanted to be around for them just in case one of them needed me. Whether it was a break up, family issues, or something as simple as spilling coffee all over their favorite shirt. I always tried to help my close friends in any way, shape, or form because I knew when the time came they would do the same for me. Or so I hoped.

As I said earlier, what you throw at life is what life throws back at you. The boomerang I threw at my friends was love, understanding, compassion and unconditional support. The boomerang I got back, however, was the complete opposite from what I expected. Of course I spilled coffee on myself, I walked into a pole and even fell in public all of which my friends were always there for; until my life took a twist of fate. Suddenly I looked around and never felt more alone in my life. The same people I called my brothers, the same people I would drop the world for, were now suddenly unwilling to drop a party for me, or just text me and see if I’m okay.

With all I was going through, I figured eventually that boomerang would come back with my friends, because this time I needed them. This time I needed a friend, i really did need to go out; but this time, the people I needed no longer needed me. That was a tough pill to swallow but I had to accept the truth. My hard times and downfall were my own problems and nobody else could help me, besides me.

Since a lot of what I went through was alone I often found myself feeling scared and on a hill that had no end. On such days I’d sit on the floor with my back against my bed and would look up at my office chair. I always had a flashback to my father sitting on that very chair, while I sat on the ground as he told me a story. One specific story I remembered a few days ago was about a king who was unable to capture an area of land. The only thing that held the king back from capturing the land, was his own fear and hesitations. He figured that all of his old ways didn’t work so he had to change up his game plan. This time around, he got on his ship with the rest of his soldiers and told them to burn the ships once they got to the island. The soldiers looked at the king with confusion because obviously they needed those ships to get back if the opposing army was stronger. The king then told them, “If we don’t burn our ships, we will run back just like we did last time”. He explained to them, “We can’t have a safety net this time, our only way out is to keep marching forward”. After days of battle, the king and his army were tired, in pain, and aching but they did what they set out to do; they conquered the land that they wanted.

While sitting on my room’s floor I remembered what my father told me and I felt like he was really on that chair, just like he used to whenever he wanted to give me a quick life lesson. As a kid, I thought it was a cool story but now I understood what my father was trying to explain to me. I have to burn my ships and keep marching forward, no matter what people or life throw my way.

Be careful of where and to whom you throw your boomerang. You may not always like the boomerang you get back.

The Blossom Effect

 

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“I blossomed before you and you stopped growing as a whole”

Mistakes of all forms happen and heartaches happen at different magnitudes, but Imagine hearing that from the person you were supposed to marry. I always remember telling her she is my sidekick, my day 1 and wife. We weren’t married and just had the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, but I wanted to do everything with her. Not that I was unable to do it alone, but simply because her being with me, made everything better. There was not a snapchat she didn’t send my way that I didn’t take a screenshot of. There was not a dinner where I didn’t sneak a picture of her. There wasn’t much I didn’t take a picture of because I wanted to hold those memories. Unfortunately, through the process I lost touch with me and my world became her happiness. So naturally, I stopped growing from the inside out. Yes, I figured out my style of clothing and starting smiling more, but that was really about it. Whereas now when I look back at the pictures I can tell the exact moment in time where she lost touch with me. I can tell the exact moment in time where she blossomed and I was the same guy she met. Maybe it’s good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing, i have no idea how to feel about it. I have just come to accept the fact that she blossomed before me.

The unfortunate thing about toxic relationships is it leaves its scars on you permanently. You can move on, you can grow and be different but something about that toxicity, stays with you. The easy way is to blame her, but as a man I have to admit both of us together just didn’t work. I had to swallow my pride and accept the fact that I didn’t do enough to keep her around. I simply became boring and stagnant.

The first year was difficult in all forms because I had to adjust myself to doing things alone. I had to be okay with her doing her own thing or with friends, instead of me. I had to face the truth of me being the same guy as the first day she met. I had not grown in any way, so I really had two options? one , I could drown in my own pain and sorrow(which I was already doing). Two, I could start a new chapter in my life and never hear this ever again.

It’s been two-three years now and those words ring in my ear whenever I relax. Those words help wake me up at 5 am to start the day with pedal to the metal. I have taken out the word tired from my dictionary. I have stopped with relying on others to join me on adventures, if anything I love my alone time. I probably have grown the most this year than ever before because 90% of things I have done all alone.

I was sitting with my father one day and he told me a story about an eagle that wouldn’t fly. The eagle would just sit on a tree branch all day even though it had the ability to fly. The owner then decided to cut off the entire branch and the eagle immediately started to fly. Just as this eagle I was meant to soar but she was my branch and my comfort zone. I held on to her for dear life  because I was too scared to fly and now that I am soaring, I only want to go higher. I only want to try new things and be the best version of myself. If you are in this predicament, i’m telling you, cut off that branch. You can love someone without limits but the day you become stagnant and stay in your comfort zone is the day you will hear what I did. I promise you. The day you start doing things alone, is the day new doors will open for you.

Thank You Guys!

 

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This post is for all of my day one followers, readers and daily visitors on my first blog. I hated you guys when I started because I would receive such harsh words. I hated you guys because I would get 1 view a week, if that. At that moment I figured I have no future so I decided to quit and walk away, which I did. Then 6 months later I realized I’m not a good writer, so I had two options. One, quit and never look back at this idea of blogging or keep practicing until I become better than ever before. So for 6 months I went on hundreds and hundreds of blogs to see what they have. All I did was study my competition and practiced different types of writing. After that 6 month period I made a brand new blog called www.kirfanlive.com under wordpress. This website is my baby, my first love and as we say in urdu my jaan(life). I found my voice here and slowly I figured out my topic of interest in writing. I remember being scared to share my blog or tell my friends because that fear of rejection was still within me. That fear of failure smacking me in the face made me shy and my writing weak. Eventually other bloggers reached out to me and told me they loved my first story about a girl named “Anjali”. That was the push I needed and I started mass sharing my blog. I started waking up to texts of how good my writing is and how much they love this new piece.

April 12th, 2015 I got a notification from wordpress that I got 55 views, I was ecstatic! It was the highest amount of traffic I ever got onto my blog. I felt on top of the world and I was telling everyone how many views I got! I wanted to become even bigger and better  so I decided to make a new website, which would be a platform for artists of all forms to display their work under my label. With no other choice I had to change my first blogs name to www.kirfanspeaks.com and the websites name to www.kirfanlive.com . I eventually signed a writer, poet and two photographers to my brand name, who do not only put out amazing pieces but also promote my writing.

October 23rd, 2016 I got another notification from wordpress, stating that I am averaging 41 views an hour! A few days later I found out that my website is pulling in 600 views on a monthly basis which is split between my personal blog, guest blogs, and men’s fashion!

I am nowhere near the top and I have a long road ahead of me. Regardless, I love all of my kirfanlive followers. You guys have been nothing less than amazing! Seriously, I want to thank everyone on twitter who tweet out my links and keep supporting my journey! Some of you guys made my logos, spread the word and continuously motivated me. Others have messaged me to let me know something I said has helped them in some way. I promise I read all of the emails, texts and messages but sometimes I am unable to reply to everyone. I promise I read everything and everything you guys send my way holds a very special place in my heart and keeps me motivated! Today we are over 500 strong and I promise our family will only get bigger and better! On that note,my dream is becoming a reality because of all of you and I am working hard to bring you guys original content. What started out as writing transformed into a place where you can find art, photography and men’s fashion. Not to forget Kirfanlive poetry and Kirfanlive womens fashion are also dropping soon! Thank you for the love and support! If you havent already please visit www.kirfanlive.com then go to www.kirfanspeaks.com and click follow!