Guess Who’s Back? I dunno. I was listening to Eminem yesterday (while working out, don’t judge!) and it seemed fitting.

So, since I can’t go back to sleep after fajr (early morning prayer) and it’s technically not a work day (though I did work yesterday, on a Saturday, yes!), I figured it’s high time to actually blog. I could continue to re-post content, but I met a nice young lady the other day at a party who asked about my writing and I thought: “Oh yeah, I write, don’t I?”

So, here I am… writing… something.

I have written since my last post. And no, I’m not talking about writing emails. I’ve actually written a paper and a book review, and even a blog post. But they’re not exactly for a general audience, so I’ve been reluctant to share it freely with others. Also, the latter two are drafts waiting for review.

That reminds me. Another reason why I’ve not blogged here in a while is because I got a(nother) job. I haven’t even Netflix-ed in what seems like weeks, because I literally feel like I’ve been working all day! I’ve pretty much work been working through breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, the working through dinner thing will end soon. And then, maybe, I’ll blog more frequently.

But who knows.

My end of the blogosphere has seemed to die… or taken a nap (I really gotta stop with the histrionics. I’ll never be a Broadway actress. Rafia, give it up). I bet all my blogger friends also have a life and stuff. But like, when all your emails are newsletters you signed up for and random solicitations, your zest for blogging just dissipates. Not getting an email notification for the blogs I follow makes me forget that I too used to blog at one point.

Another reason – and this is not at all a valid one –  one of my many quirks is that whenever I go on a hiatus (whether intended or not), when I do eventually come back, I feel this compulsive need to hit restart. If I’m feeling particularly drastic, that means a new blog with a new title. If I’m lazy and cautious, a new layout. I’ve been feeling frustrated with these free WordPress themes for a while now. I don’t think it’s smart at this point (or ever!) to switch to a paid platform (I’m sorry, but 115 followers on FB does not merit becoming a full-time blogger. And also, I will die (sorry!) quit blogging before I willingly puts ads on my site). I thought I’d get some web developer to design a custom theme for me. He quoted me at over 600 bucks. That is when I politely said “Quda Hafiz.”

So, I was back to square one, but with an even more persistent desire for change. After playing with a few themes (again), I decided to change the font on this one this morning… and saw that it could work. I am neither as talented nor creative as my sister. So, I quickly made this header and decided, “let’s just do it.” A lack of sleep and the need to extricate oneself of a compulsion can do this to a person. I know everyone loved the previous layout because of that beautiful header. If I could somehow keep the header and change the theme, I would. BUT WORDPRESS, OKAY?????

As I said, this is one of my (many) inexplicable quirks. And if you’re reading my words, you have to accept whatever oddities come with.

So, I guess I’m back.

What’s in a name? I don’t know, Shakespeare, you tell me!

 

cattle_beef_cow_bovine_golden_hour-1409393.jpg!d
An early morning contemplative cow

Sometimes I wonder whether Cake & Cows is too limiting of a blog name for me and my writing.

I’ve created – albeit a very minuscule one – a brand for my online “presence.” Most days, I like it. I am just as crazy and whimsical as the name would suggest. That dressing up as a cow two weeks ago was not merely for the hits (if I really cared about that, why would I dress up as a cow?). But I won’t lie and write that it wasn’t the PERFECT fodder for this blog, either :)

I have come across blogs that are super serious and deeply personal and I applaud these writers for their bravery. Perhaps I’m just too wary of being that open with potentially the rest of the world. It’s not a bad thing to be cautious, it’s actually very wise at times, but I wonder if my Desiness has anything to do with it ;) Log Kya Kahenge?

But sometimes, I do wish that I could write as openly as these writers. There’s just something about publishing (whether through a third-party or self-publishing) that makes one’s thoughts and struggles seem more valid. I am not saying they are – we all got our struggles and if you are not aware of this, then your humanity is severely deficient. It’s just that human beings want to be acknowledged. Finding a community outside of one’s physical one, which is not always so accepting, is one of the great joys of living in the digital age.

I am blessed to have people in my life that I can speak to about these personal matters, but I do not feel “complete” unless I have written. I don’t mean complete as in “whole,” more like “done,” if that makes sense. Is this the performer in me seeking self-aggrandizement? Does this idea resonate with anyone? Perhaps other writers?

I don’t know.

I guess, cows don’t always have to be silly. You know, cows are actually really intelligent, contemplative animals. Have you ever been to a dairy farm? A very deep experience!

LOL at myself.

I am not changing the name of this blog, alright? I like the alliterative feel of it way too much. Also, my love for cows has just skyrocketed in the past year or so, I don’t think I could find a replacement.

Still, sometimes Rafia is not just a silly little cow. Sometimes, she is a very deep and serious cow. That is all I wanted to say. And it only took me 400 words to say it! :)

Call it a poem, call it a lazy attempt at a blog post, call it what you will.

Where does this desire – nay, compulsion – for constant renewal come from?

Why do I have all this energy to start projects, but then lose interest after a few months or even days?

Is this my fate, is it in my disposition to start this, start that, take on this, take on that – but then feel so inundated by everything that the only solution is to retreat from it all?

I used to think I was afraid of commitment.

I’ve changed my mind about so many things.

What career I wanted.

The type of man I wanted to marry.

The kind of woman I want to be.

As to the first, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do – but then again, I thought the same all those other times, as well.

As to the second, I got what I wanted for the most part (yay), but also got what I needed (which is not always fun, let me tell ya).

As to the third, it’s constantly in flux.

Right now, the kind of woman I’d like to be is the kind of woman who NEVER has headaches.

***

Perhaps the source of this deluge is not all those things, but me.

Is anybody still reading?

I’m well aware it’s been over two weeks since I’ve last blogged. I won’t blame the usual “writer’s block,” because I haven’t been blocked per se. I actually had two drafts written, but couldn’t manage to edit either of the posts in the time I had.

I realized something about myself recently. If I don’t complete a non-school or federally-mandated task or assignment right away, I lose all momentum and energy to complete it after. What does that say about me? Hmmm. I shall be pondering this for the rest of the day.

The truth of the matter is: these past two weeks have been ROUGH.

I was ill for a good chunk of this time and desperately needed some mental time to recuperate. I’m still recuperating, actually. Although I think the mental recuperation might be a life-long thing ;)

But being the perfectionist OCPD person I am, I couldn’t just let this blog go and die a slow death. I’ve put too much time and money into this thing! I must admit: I was having doubts as to whether Cake & Cows was a name I even wanted anymore – I haven’t been having a Cake & Cows-like past few weeks (although I did go to the dairy farm again last week to help lift my spirits – it helped).

I realize now it’s okay to have days where you’re just not feeling it. I’m not someone who likes to put on a face. I’m not going to pretend everything is all cool and dandy when it’s not.

Today however I am feeling much better (and writing this blog entry has a lot to do with it). I think I got about 9 hours of sleep last night, which is unusual for me. It still probably is not enough to make up for the sleep debt I’ve incurred this past week (I don’t like the term “sleep debt;” but Mr. Rafia used it earlier and until I can come up with a better phrase, I’ll use it for the time being).

I’m feeling more Cake & Cows-y this morning… afternoon. And I just wanted to say I am alive and hope to blog more regularly again. Yay!

P.S. I reverted back to my old layout because the CSS was just killing me. I hate that I can’t edit the code of the free WordPress themes – and unfortunately, I have to purchase a theme first before I can see if I can edit it to my liking. I hope you can understand my conundrum. I am not a cheap person, but I also don’t like wasting money, especially if it’s for myself. Until I can figure out a way to incorporate the beautiful image my sister drew into a layout I am satisfied with, you will have to make do with Petunia, the Purple-Polka Dotted Cow. My drawing skills are clearly lacking in comparison, but she’s got a cute name, eh? I’ve always been proud of my nomenclature skills :)

P.P.S. Happy Easter! Yo, Mr. Rafia, while you’re out, get me a chocolate bunny, okay?

Visiting the Past/Waiting on the Edge

Four and a half months to the day. Almost exactly.

I had assumed it was going to be a one-time thing.

Once is more than plenty; but to have this happen twice in my life?

I don’t believe in coincidences. But I do believe we get the messages we need in forms that are best suited to our nature.

Do you ever wonder, when you have sudden jolts in your own life, that it is God desperately trying to tell you something? God does not have to be desperate. But we human beings can be so blind.

I, for one, am not very good at picking up on subtle hints.

I know God was trying to tell me something the first time.

I needed that first time. That first time saved my life. It was what allowed me to finally leave a job that had messed with my head and sense of well-being. It was what gave me the gall to finally apply to my dream school for graduate studies, thus ushering the phase of my life that I now am most fond and proud of.

Many factors went into making June 13, 2015, Commencement Day, a reality – most obviously, the financial and physical support from my immediate family.

But I know what set it all in motion was that jolt from God (and of course, God’s consistent and constant reinforcement – but that’s not what this post is about)

This week I believe I received my second jolt.

But what is God telling me this time?

Is it really just “don’t stress” like my family has been telling me my entire life? Really? It’s gotta be something more than that!

I know I can’t force a meaning out of this (or anything for that matter). I will only find meaning in whatever happens in retrospect, like with all things in life. But I definitely do want to be more intentional about the things I do and am responsible for. Am I unknowingly drinking haterade? Do I really need to suffix that compliment with a “but”? Is refusing to acknowledge a Facebook friend’s birthday because she didn’t acknowledge mine really a beef worth having? I’m obviously having a lot of fun with this list.

What are you going to do differently now?

It’s a question Mr. Rafia posed to me a few days ago; and it’s worth repeating. As much as I hate to admit, that boy sure has a way of bringing me down to earth, reminding me that there always is a spiritual provenance.

There surely was the first time.

I might not get all the answers this time when I want them. Or even if I do, I might not like what I hear. But I have a feeling that I will be getting something.

I just have to be willing to listen.