Hi, Hello and Assalamualaikum! I’m Aina and welcome to ‘Life Without A Rubric’!
This is my inaugural post for ‘Life Without A Rubric’, a weekly instalment of blog posts under ‘The Torch’. I chose to take a gap year alongside the support of my parents. The title literally depicts as to how I won’t be going to university just yet, hence the lack of a traditional rubric and additionally alluding to the fact that I’ll be living life at my own pace with no expectations, nothing I need to achieve and without any set of criteria that I need to fulfil.
I started this because I constantly have moments where I just write about thoughts that have surfaced or resurfaced in my mind and people who know me will tell you how for even the smallest things, I can write essays for. Honestly, I’ve never found an appropriate medium I’m comfortable with that I can write and also put my writing out into the world with. I don’t really want to direct my writing to any specific audience, as Joe (a friend I will introduce to you later on) would put it, I would like to be writing for my “Audience of None”. I want to write for my past, present and future self and share with whoever else wants to read along with me.
I’ve always liked writing. I find it so much easier to express and reflect on myself in the written form. I discovered that I reveal a lot to myself when I write. It’s been a funny journey getting here. Initially, I made a Wix website with the intention of making it into a blog and even drafted a first post but I soon realised that it wasn’t going to be a sustainable approach for me. Then I had a sort-of life intervention: I participated in the ‘Akimbo: Emerging Leaders Program’, a truly life-changing experience. I met a good 80+ people who have done so many things and are still doing so many things with their time and at such a young age. I learned so many lessons from that program, a few being: “just ship it, imperfection is alright”, “do what you want to do because you can always do it if you put your mind to it” and, my personal favourite, “you choose how you want to show up”. I also realised that I have more support than I think, just from how supportive each person I met on the program was and then remembering that I have friends who would be the same whenever I needed them.
On the second last day of the program, I replied to a message from a Mister Joe Wehbe regarding The Future Shapers youtube channel he had created because he – like many of us – was inspired by our cohort and what we were capable of. Through my conversation with him, I realised that the only thing holding me back was me and I actually had so much more to give to the world than I believed myself in being capable of. He suggested ‘Medium.com’ further along our conversation. I made an account but I never got the courage to press ‘publish’. I was afraid. Why? I never really got round to finding out because I always assumed I would eventually press it. Yet, that never came. Then like some Godly sign, a few of our ELPals (Michael, Mark, Carter and Luisa respectively) were starting a blog / biweekly newsletter by the name of ‘The Torch’. I hopped onto the project without a second thought (and further encouragement from Mister Joe Wehbe). I didn’t have that haunting feeling of being alone in this venture and now I have a reliable medium for me to express myself on and share. It just felt like one of those moments that everything had fallen into place.
Now here I am!
I aim to post weekly. Ideally, every Monday after a week has ended and a new one is starting. That way, I have the weekend to prepare my blog and I have time to reflect on the week I just lived.
There are four components to this lil’ blog: ‘the Stuff’, which you are currently reading; ‘Music Recommendations’ because music is an essential daily aspect of my life + I’ll always include a link to a monthly playlist I create in case I don’t have any particular music recs that week; ‘Currently Reading’ because I aim to always be reading a book; and ‘Life Status’ where I’ll update you on how my life is going summarised into as little words as possible.
I enjoy putting things into metaphors as people who know me would know. Hence, I would like to give this blog one:
We are merely in a car and this blog is the window to periodically glance into my life journey. We may hit a few bumps in the road ahead but regardless, we’ll have a lot of good stories to tell from the trip. Right now, I hope that you’ll follow my journey as I navigate this world during my gap year under odd global circumstances.
So as the band Simple Plan would put it:
‘Welcome to My Life’.
- ‘My Future’ by Billie Eilish, the lyrics of the song truly reflect on how I feel about life right now, there’s so much to be grateful and to be hopeful for.
- ‘You Never Know’ by Blackpink is a song that embodies the metaphor ‘never judge a book by its cover’ in a meaningful yet minimalist composed way.
Currently Reading: The Official Movie Novelisation: Pacific Rim
Life Status: taking it day by day