Tuesday, 27 March 2018

feeling stuck

Truly, I feel stuck.

I don't feel like anything is going anywhere and my whole life is just stagnated right now and my future seems really uncertain at this point which is the most worrisome state to be in. I've received offers from brilliant universities across the UK but I don't want to go to any of them. My blog stats have been increasing but I don't think it's enough. I have a vision in my mind that is yet to be achieved.

Truthfully, I'd like to blame to this all on the weather and my environment. As paradoxical as it may sound, London is doing very little for me. The so-called diverse hub of creativity and inspiration is doing everything but sparking those two ever so crucial things within me. It is draining me of everything. And whilst days are getting longer and brighter, my ability to keep myself up and productive throughout those long hours is becoming sparser and increasingly dimmed.

They say everything is cured by salt water: sweat, tears and the sea. But I am unable to obtain any of them. I'm too tired to work out. All cried out to shed even more tears. And the British sea is appallingly bleak. I understand that I seem unbelievably superficial right now, if I really wanted to, I could just force myself to do physical activity or think of other ways.

I want a drastic change. I like change. I don't think I could stay in one place for the rest of my life, I am constantly evolving and shedding old qualities as I grow. Only with each shedding, my geographical location has remained the same. Still the same room I wake up in, the same clothes I scour through, the same bus I hurriedly get on, the same school I tap into grudgingly.

I often find myself scouring the ryanair website for flights. I also end up daydreaming about the day I pack my bags and move to somewhere else. Tabs upon tabs upon tabs with the hectic mix of "rent prices in Barcelona", "obtaining a Spanish NIE" and google map searches for the Spanish embassy in London are strewn across my Safari window. I'm pretty sure I ended up dreaming about how I would write a post on here finally revealing my big decision to move. When you want something so badly, the tense excitement and anxiety is channeled into something a little gentler in a way to neutralise this heavy desire. Our psyche takes it upon itself to portray it through dreams. And that is exactly what is happening to me.

But with dreams, as they say, they are meant to be chased. So whilst my life is essentially fixed as my exams approach, the moment a form of malleable life finally arrives, I will be making the most of it and breaking out of the rigid constrictions.

I tried fooling telling myself that my year abroad in my degree will fill this gap.

Now I don't even know which university I want to go to.

Or even if a mere year could satisfy this gaping gulf of 17 years worth of pent up banalities.

Whilst I have mulled over the idea of a gap year, usually fuelled by emotional shortcomings whether that be a bad test grade and the subsequent crisis or the rejection from a university I had my heart set on, the prospects of it seem increasingly attractive. I vividly remember writing in my rejection post that depending on the situation of my UCAS track, I would take a gap year. And whilst it didn't turn out half as bad as I expected, I don't think any of my choices are for me. Perhaps that will serve as optimum time to work, earn some money, embark on a programme that my school could potentially fund if successful and then spend a few months living and working in Spain.

But for now, as I am sat here whilst time quickly slips away and we edge towards the end of March, signalling yet another month closer till June, I am essentially fixed to my current situation. Sure I could quite simply pack my bags and leave but in the grand scheme of things, my hands are tied. A push pin, pinning me here with big, bad governors and admissions officers playing with my future from the tips of their fingers. Powerful and, clearly deficient, in empathetic skills.


Tuesday, 20 March 2018

the end of an era

Photo of Vienna
heroes always get remembered but you know legends never die.

yes, I did just start a post quoting P!ATD. Year 8 Dalal is quaking.

If you haven't noticed, I changed my blog name. And bought my own domain. And I changed my instagram account name as well as went through and archived a few posts (and realised that my fashion peak was definitely in 2016). So, welcome to dalaltahira.com! I created this blog under the name 'Monochrome Daisies' in around 2013. 5 years and a lot more growth later, I figured it was finally the time to part with the safety of the name that I'd harboured for half a decade and slip away from the blogspot.co.uk.

It feels weirdly liberating to actually own this blog now. It is no longer owned by Blogger. It is mine, nestled within a .com with the safety blanket of my name. My blog is something that represents me, it's where I put my favourite things, my emotions, my general happenings in life so being able to formally own this place and have named after me feels somewhat monumental.

I chose to go with my name. As catchy as Monochrome Daisies sounded, I'm pretty sure my name is one that isn't very hard to forget either. This is coming from someone who has a mini panic when sales assistants ask for her name for electronic receipts and then has to spend 5 agonising minutes spelling it out letter by letter. I guess that's the one good thing about having a weird name (or names in my case) it just sticks. It's also something that I won't look back on in a year or even a decade and think "oh god what was I thinking" which admittedly was what I felt about Monochrome Daisies.

The most satisfying thing about this name change and general rebranding is the fact that all my social media accounts match. My twitter was under my name and I couldn't change it to Monochrome Daisies unless I created a new account which was not the most practical. My instagram account had to be @_monochromedaisies because someone had already taken the name without the underscore. And my email address is also my name so it all just seemed really disjointed and very unnerving to have different names across different platforms but this is finally solved.

I think I'll leave this post here before I end up writing a 2,000 word post about the symbolism behind the name change and all the new found, added practicalities (I can have an accurate DA reading now!) Maybe on my blog birthday, which I have completely forgotten so I'll have to estimate, I'll do a whole throwback post with snippets of my first ever blog posts and also some of the photos I took back then.

I love embarrassing myself ;)

Thank you for reading and sticking around regardless of cringy names and questionable blog niches! I hope you feel like you, as a reader, have also evolved and grown with my blog.


Thursday, 15 March 2018

books: call me by your name

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Okay so I’m going to start by saying this. If you’ve recently experienced heart-break, do not read this. I haven’t been heart broken and this book left me demolished. It will leave you grieving over the heart break you never had. Literally broken. This book is a fucking axe to the heart which instead of hacking away at your pain will leave you to bleed out slowly. It will grip and suck you into the world of Elio and Oliver, in a quaint Italian town surrounded by fragrant peach trees, hot sun and glistening cobblestones, leaving you disorientated as soon as you stop reading and return to the 'real world'. 

It’s completely consuming and you will often have to put the book down because it’s so uncomfortable how you’re reading Elio’s rawest, inner thoughts and believe that if you read a sentence more you yourself will be crawling into his actual skin. But that’s the beauty of it, this book is a romance, all on love but it skips the cliches. I am aware that anything that is supposedly un-cliched is, in fact, a massive cliche. Aciman explores the real feelings for love, if not obsession for another person. The desire to be with them every moment of the day and if you could, in their mind. It’s somewhat scary to read, if Elio doesn’t speak to Oliver at least once then it’s a concern. He has to continually think about what he’s going to say to him, his speech is curated to the finest degree.

I loved this book. The writing especially. I loved it because it was a book about love that didn't feel like it was a book about love. It skipped the wishy washy plot of two, usually heterosexual people, meeting and going on generic dates and subsequently falling in love. The artistic and literary references really did a) make me feel completely uncultured and stupid but more importantly, b) set the context of the book and the love flourishing between two in the home of intellectuals.

It made me long for summer, more than I ever have done before. Perhaps it's the subconscious thought that I have so many exams to get through or may actually be the writing itself. The descriptions of the lazy mornings by the pool, the billowy shirts and the beads of sweat rolling down your neck before dropping off at the hollow between your shoulder blades. I wanted it all. I became so invested in this book that upon reading the final part, I would literally feel bouts of pain because I knew it was ending soon and the emotions that were running through the text was so high. You're so submerged into the lives of these characters that seeing them split up and move on feels as if it has happened to you directly. The last part of the final page is a real killer, essentially pouring a shit ton of salt on the wounds of the lost love that you thought you'd come to accept. I'll insert it below along with a few other favourite quotes.

“I'm like you,' he said. 'I remember everything.'
I stopped for a second. If you remember everything, I wanted to say, and if you are really like me, then before you leave tomorrow, or when you’re just ready to shut the door of the taxi and have already said goodbye to everyone else and there’s not a thing left to say in this life, then, just this once, turn to me, even in jest, or as an afterthought, which would have meant everything to me when we were together, and, as you did back then, look me in the face, hold my gaze, and call me by your name

“If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I'd stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.” 

"We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!” 

'You are the only person I'd like to say goodbye to when I die, because only then will this thing I call my life make any sense. And if I should hear that you died, my life as I know it, the me who is speaking with you now, will cease to exist.” 

“Time makes us sentimental. Perhaps, in the end, it is because of time that we suffer.” 

"I began, reluctantly, to steal from the present to pay off debts I knew I'd incur in the future."


I don't know if I liked the book so much because it had such a high reputation already, was a breath of fresh air after months of reading books on Elizabeth I or was just genuinely an amazing piece of literature. I think it's the latter.

I'm going to watch the film tomorrow in order to fill the void left by the novel and because I want to see how the words transfer onto the screen. I've already watched most interviews with the cast members and the director so now I guess it's finally time to just watch it. I shall keep you updated, I know that I'll be a mess by the end of it- that's a given.

You can buy a copy here (I obviously 10/10 recommend)

Have you read this book? Or have you watched the film?
- Dalal

Monday, 5 March 2018

what I've been... #5

It's now March, which I am struggling to wrap my head around, so I guess that calls for another update post which although at the time of writing feel like they're too personal and won't get any engagement, actually seem to be my most popular posts on here. and breathe. That was a long sentence. 

what i've been doing-
I don't want to bore you about my history coursework but that is literally all that has been on my mind for the past month, it's due this Friday which is daunting but also fills me with immense joy because I'll finally have it done forever. There's only so much reading on the puritan threat to the Elizabethan church of England one can take, trust me. I had my Spanish speaking mock on Thursday which although I was anxious beyond means before it, I enjoyed it so much. My topic card was on immigration and then my presentation was about the Muslim rule of Spain and the Spanish Inquisition which are definitely my favourite bits of history. It really did make me realise just how much I love the subject and language and I cannot wait to be able to speak and continue learning it for the rest of my life. I got my grade back today as I edit this post before publishing- we got almost full marks lads!!! Moving on, I spent a few days in Lille over the February half term visiting my aunt and have also taken a social media use reduction if that made sense. I don't have any social media apps on my phone but I do allow myself an hour to go on instagram. I deactivated my twitter account because I felt like it was too much for me but I've now realised that if I want this post to have views that aren't me or my mum, I'm going to have to reactivate and promote this post through there lol.  I've gotten two new pairs of glasses (I collected them today) and I'm in love with both frames. Also had my contact lenses fitting session today which was...eventful and traumatising. It snowed for quite a few days here in London and it was surprisingly really heavy and actually settled so I spent everyday after school out in the snow with my sister, feeling like a child again. It was really fun and I'm so sad to see the snow melt away but equally as happy because we have blue skies and actual sunshine. May also be buying my own domain this week and upgrading from Monochrome Daisies to Dalal Tahira because growth!

what i've been reading/watching-
I finished reading The Power. I'm currently reading 'Where Angels Fear to Tread' by my favourite novelist, 
E.M. Forster, I loved A Room with a View. I've also logged onto my local library's online catalogue and reserved a few books that I'll be picking up throughout the week including Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine, Fahrenheit 451, the great Gatsby and Call Me by Your Name. I don't know if I want to read Lullaby because it seems completely unsettling but we'll see. In terms of TV shows, I don't really have anything! I do want to watch Tiempos de Guerra which is about Spanish nurses sent to Melilla to care for the soldiers fighting in the Rif war and find love and drama on the way but I really don't have time to be sucked into a TV show again. I'm still waiting on season 3 Las Chicas del Cable release date to be given because I'll have to strategically plan how I'll watch it (I'll probably binge it tbh) 

what i've been listening to-
The Neighbourhood have been releasing a few EPs over the months and are releasing their full album on the 9th so I've been listening and waiting for that. My early teenage years are characterised by the band with me discovering Sweater Weather back in the day. One of my biggest regrets is not going to their concert in in 2016 because they seem to not have any concert planned yet (but fingers crossed that'll change with their new album!) I've also been listening to Young and Beautiful by Lana del Rey- my favourite song! 

what i want-

I want to watch Call Me by Your Name (but only until I read the book) and Ladybird! Maybe they can be a post-coursework treat. I also might be getting a kitten (!!!!!!!!) after months if not years of begging so I'm now spending my time looking at cat toys and bulk buying cat food instead of my history coursework. do you know what, TAKE A SHOT EVERY TIME I MENTION MY HISTORY COURSEWORK*

what i've been anticipating-

Starting from Monday, I will be able to come into school at 9:30am instead of 8:45am (only Mondays but it's better than nothing) The responsible young adult in me is shrieking at me, telling me that I should still go in at the normal time to get some coursework done. But then actual me is like "SLEEP!!!!!" so there's my internal conflict for you. I'm visiting Exeter on the 14th, I have an offer holder day there and I can't wait to spend hours wondering around the city that I could potentially call home in the future. Also the 5 hour journey there and back is weirdly exciting me, I love long coach journeys. Providing Durham give me an offer, I'll also be visiting there soon. Continuing with British cities, I'll be in Brighton for a day on the 1st of April and may be going up to Newcastle in the summer! I can't wait to visit Madrid at the end of June and possibly Barcelona for my birthday in mid-August. It is quite strange how I've never visited the main touristic Spanish cities before yet have such a huge affinity for Spanish culture, I do love the south but I'm v excited to explore the metropolitan cities. Whilst in Madrid, a day trip to either Toledo or Cuenca are on the cards and for Barcelona where I'll potentially be staying for much longer, Tarragona and Girona will also be possible trips. I'm going to Morocco for a month and will spend just under a week in Marrakech with Katie before coming back in time for results day *shudders* Now that I've typed it all out, it seems like I'm going to be jet setting for the next few months. On the Friday I send off my coursework, I'm going to the sky garden as a 'well done'. The majority of my already 18 year old history class is going out clubbing. Can you see the disparity?

I think that is all I have to update you on. I'll undoubtedly be returning back to this post and adding on anything I think of or remember later on.

How's everything going for you all? Are you excited about anything? What are you reading/watching/listening to?

Blog posts from this month!
Travel diary: Granada 
Floral power suit
Let's take self-care seriously 

*drink responsibly, lol.