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Updates

Hi dear dear friends from around the world, how are you all doing? I’m sorry I am no longer religiously blogging… Do you miss me? (hehe). I miss you, that’s for sure! Things have changed in my world. In short, I am now working as a full-time preschool teacher, soon to be starting my postgraduate diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. This means, I am busy busy (like the rest of you) working, and soon also studying (eek!). It is literally mind-blowing to look back and see how God has confirmed me in every step of my life leading to this very opportunity. I am so lucky. There is a Sufi poem which goes: ““God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now,” -this could not be more true for me (or you, for that matter). I have always adored spending time with young children, and if I may say so, I think they also like being around me. Sometimes I feel sad thinking that by going down this path I will be giving up on my writing but then I remind myself that everything in our universe is interconnected and that this too shall lead onto something. All in all, I am incredibly thankful. Of course, nervous – the job is definitely not easy, but grateful for the opportunity to grow both in my career and as a person. As for my love life (wink wink) things are going smoothly. You know, S is another reason why I’m not regularly blogging. I used to be this maniac (sometime I still am) who wanted to do absolutely everything and I had to keep reminding myself: Anisa, you can do anything but you can’t do everything! Being around S is changing me. He is an incredibly relaxed being.  I’m not going to lie, at first this drove me a little crazy – I needed him/us/me to always be doing something! Overtime though, I have come to appreciate his way of doing things. Like my brother-in-law once said, true, life is short but life can be very long also. In other words, it’s okay to unwind once (or twice) awhile (yes, this means you too!) xx
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This is funny. So, I always prefer homemade muesli (for every meal if I could actually). But here is S forcing some of his famous scrambled eggs on me. The picture above is last week and the picture below, from my time in Nashville 6 months ago. image-3-png-10
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Major touristing at Christchurch Museum.
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After a warm coffee at Sign of The Kiwi Cafe, we are not cold, we swear!
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Waiting for the food…
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My number one supporters in every single decision I have ever made. You know what I think is good parenting? Trusting. Mum and dad, I love you both with my entire being. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
An Indian friend of ours once said Corianders is the best Indian restaurant in Christchurch, and we agree!Processed with VSCO with c2 presetBetter than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
~Japanese Proverb (Sunrise at work)

We Will Love

How is it July already?!
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The best way to spend a Saturday morning in Christchurch? Utopia Ice with your lover.
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Followed by a romantic stroll through Mona Vale , of course. Processed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset
Is it just me or is this the weirdest thing ever? A duck in a tree?! Now you don’t see that everyday (or do you?)
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His and hers, Nandos.
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Soroosh’s super cool photography.
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My favourite dinner is breakfast. And my favourite person doesn’t mind (yay).
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Packed his bento like a good Japanese wifey <3

I Am Growing Flowers…

in the darkest parts of my heart, for if light ever enters, it would know where to start. ~Noor Unnahar
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On Sunday evening, S and I went to The Tannery to watch one my favourite musicians, whom I first stumbled upon busking in Queenstown some 5 years ago (he busking not me) at live music venue, Blue Smoke. Of course, Graeme James was absolutely phenomenal – people like him make me wish I was at least slightly musical. On the contrary, S and I were not in top form.

You see, since his arrival, things have been pretty difficult. Getting used to one another’s presence after six months of separation takes work. Funnily enough, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this, Lifa (my Israeli brother with the beautiful Japanese wife) contacted me with a very resonating message a couple days ago:  “Are you guys still madly in love?” he asked, followed by: “When Aki came to meet me in Israel she suddenly wasn’t sure anymore…I would blame it on me coming late to pick her up from the airport but you know…doubts started and all. Eventually we passed that but what I’m saying is that surprises can happen.”

In my case, there have been no doubts, none whatsoever at all. Just disappointments. Allow me to explain: for 6 entire months I had looked forward to his arrival. So much so, that I had booked and cancelled 3 different cafe’s for our first place to go to after the airport (I couldn’t decide which would impress him the most). Next, I’d planned our weekends, and week nights, and basically, every minute of which I was not at work. We’d missed out on so much, now that he was finally here, I wanted us to do it all! But as the old yiddish proverb goes: “man plans and god laughs.” At first S was extremely jet-lagged, then poor guy fell sick due to climate change, then I became sick (both physically and emotionally) due to overly attached girlfriend shenanigans (haha). And, it’s also winter, which means everything is just that much harder to begin with. So, with my grand schemes down the drain, and my expectations unmet, I found myself rather disappointed.

And this is where we chose love. Realising that if we wanted to be more than picture-perfect happy, we needed to put in the effort. So, as kindly as we could, we communicated our feelings, and as selflessly as we could, we acknowledged one another’s. It was an arduous process. It is an arduous process. I can’t say I’ll ever master it. But what I can say is that it was the rain (and shine) which made our relationship blossom. For the sincere way S offered me solace, made me fall in love with his beautiful soul all over again. In the words of Abdu’l-Bahá: “where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time.”
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What Do You Treasure?

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I was SO nervous!
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Finally in Christchurch *love heart eyes*
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First stop, Black & White Coffee Cartel where a little printed sign advised us there’d be no avocado (two words which should never be together) this season. Alas, our bagels were delicious and S particularly liked the NZ bacon nomnom.
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Next, one for the bucket-list. Though rather simple, I had always dreamt of visiting the Riccarton Farmers’ Market with bae. It is truly one of my most favourite places in Christchurch.
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If tea is a hug in a cup, porridge is a cuddle in a bowl, I say. Alll better. Full tummies and grateful hearts. I got the rsf, V, and df option and S ordered the spiced apple, toffee sauce, and walnut crumble porridge.
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When S sent the above photo to his family group chat, his brother asked if that was an egg atop my porridge…Hehe nope! Just honey and yoghurt.
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Things have been pretty surreal, neither of us can actually believe S is finally here. Last night we dined at Tutto Bene. The food was good and the company even greater. We had a lovely French waitress and S mentioned the wonderful paradox of having a French waitress, working at an Italian restaurant in New Zealand serving a table of Persian, Kiwi, and American diners. How beautiful is that? Unity in diversity.
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Let Us Have Love And More Love

Soroosh and I had the mutual idea of having a long-distance date this Valentine’s Day. Two average internet connections and two takeaway salmon and avocado (poor guy doesn’t even like either) sushi boxes later, we managed to pull it off on my lunch break (his dinner). And it was so lovely and he looked so handsome and I will always remember it. But you must know (and I want to vent about it) that our long-distance relationship isn’t always idyllic. Like, I really dislike only getting to hear of the parts of his life he deems significant enough to tap out over Messenger. I want to know ALL of the details and especially the so-called insignificants…
Though I must say, it is rather romantic knowing someone on the other side of the world is picturing your face every night before falling asleep in bed. image-png-30image-1-png-4image-png-29image-png-32image-png-34image-png-31image-png-33
Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition, a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers, a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance, forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles. ~Abdu’l-Bahá

Be Patient Towards All That Is Unsolved In Your Heart. Learn To Love the Questions Themselves.

I’ve had some pretty memorable Valentine’s Days. For my very first V day, I received a giant Winnie The Pooh from my very first boyfriend. I was 12. When we broke up, three months into the relationship (lol), I gifted Winnie to my best-friend’s sister. Almost a year later, when I felt my teenage heart had finally recovered, I desperately wanted the giant Pooh back. He was so big, so expensive but I didn’t have the nerve to ask my best-friend nor her sister.

For the next 5 Valentine’s Days, I received a single red rose from a “secret” admirer. On the 5th year, I caught my dad placing a red rose on our front door step. What a dude! I was both angry and appreciative.

Then there were the two Valentine’s Day’s with my ex – I guess he was my first “real” boyfriend because I actually loved him. Both years I posted pictures of his flowers and his red velvet boxed chocolates on my social media pages. I was so in love! I was the luckiest girl eva! That is until I wasn’t. The next couple V day’s I struggled seeing my friends’ flowers, chocolates, bracelets and other puke-inducing surprises. Bunch of F’in bullshit, I said. So I wrote a blogpost about it. I talked about the destructive affects of our Facebook and Instagram pages and how we all know that our friends only post their happy creme de la creme moments – we know this because we do the exact same – but even with this knowledge, we can’t help but to compare our lives to theirs. I questioned why we as a society feel the urge to publicise our significant others’ romantic gesture.  As if these precious occasions, these special moments would lose their significance if they are not “shared”. I ended my rant with the realisation that it should really be the opposite. That our rarest, most unique and intimate moments should be unpublished. Solely reserved to be shared (as in real life shared not FB shared) and treasured between us and our significant other.

Four months later, I was introduced to the love of my life on the internet. We were/still are messaging every day (but I’ve finally met him, he’s not an imaginary friend!). Soroosh had become a fan of my blog and a frequent commenter. One day he asked me if I’ve ever experienced a unique moment that I haven’t documented? One that I’ve kept sacred just for my self. It got me thinking. It reminded me of that post I wrote on V day. Who was this guy with the profound questions? So I set out on a mission, I went for a walk without my camera and then I wrote THIS. Seven months later, he continues to inspire my day to day. So, before I get too soppy and start contradicting myself, I just want to say that love and happiness or whatever it is your heart desires, is out there. We just gotta be a little more patient. We ought to learn to love the questions themselves. It’ll happen.
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Speaking of lurve, it was my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary the other day. Speaking of anniversary’s, on Sunday I sold ice-cream to a lady on her 50th wedding anniversary day. She said she and her husband married at 17. “What’s your secret?” I asked. She said, deep breaths!
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This gorgeous butterfly is my Valentine’s Day present for this year. I’m not bragging about it because I don’t even have it yet. Soroosh is going to safely transport it with him when he moves to NZ. It is a dried Peruvian butterfly in a simple frame. I think the wings look like different galaxies in space.
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Another note on singledom, I remember complaining to my sister, pre-Soroosh stage when she said, you shouldn’t reserve your love for one person. Why don’t you show all this love you talk about to your family and friends instead? So I had a lovely picnic with my mother yesterday. We drank coffee, we read and we ate cake. All in our tiny backyard, too. The chocolate and raspberry mousse cake is from Le Panier.
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“I am all the time thinking about poetry and fiction and you.” (Virginia Woolf) Yes, you!

The Sun Came Out

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This is why autumn is my favorite season. image-1-png-20
Just casually driving past FIVE helicopters HASHTAGMERICA. image-2-png-18image-3-png-17image-4-png-12
This is Yellow Springs, charmful small-town USA.
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“And one day the sun will come out and you might not even notice straight away it’ll be that faint and then you’ll catch yourself thinking about something or someone who has no connection with the past. Someone who is only yours and you’ll realise that this is where your life is.” (Brooklyn Movie)image-png-29image-png-30
I freakin’ LOVE this candy! One for me, one for Lavanya!

There Is Mushroom In My Heart For You

Getting mushy. Why not.
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Distance is annihilated and prevents not the close and intimate association of two souls that are closely attached in heart even though they may be in two different countries.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá)image-1-png-11
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Guess who made what? ;)
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And last but not least, the single worst picture you will ever see. Are you ready?
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Stay Close To Anything That Makes You Glad You’re Alive

He makes me so happy. I don’t want to leave.
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This is Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Centre. It’s a multimillion dollar establishment in the form of a giant glasshouse featuring canalboats, waterfalls and other extravagant things. It is also very easy to get lost in. So romantic, I actually cried here. Really. But for other non-romantic, overemotional reasons. image-png-5
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See! It’s a canalboat!
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Soooo romantic.
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Guys, this is what compromise looks like. Haha I’m joking. This is what inequality looks like :P He wanted to cook me eggs, I did not want to eat eggs, (I wanted muesli). Come on, he should know that! I love muesli! image-1-png-4
Probably the best avo toast of my life! From Proper Bagel. Also got a chance to meet Chris, a friend I met on Instagram who has also done JET (we found each other through jetprogram hashtags). image-png-6
His chicken waldorf salad bagel. Looks good right!
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I have a thing or two to learn from him. THIS is what compromise might look like. He craved ice-cream, I didn’t want to get fat(ter) so we agreed on this instead. Acai bowl from Franklin Juice Company.
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Doing all the American things, I went to a hockey game. It was cold and it was awesome! I loved it so much. I loved it because I was entertained the whole night. Every few minutes there was a song, or a movie-clip or a random sound affect played. Sooo cool! I haven’t ever experienced sport like this.
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Last but not least, as my dear follower’s recommendation, the Batman building in downtown Nashville!

“Where There Is Love Nothing Is Too Much Trouble And There Is Always Time.” ~Abdu’l-Bahá

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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist