How I overcome imposter syndrome

I often doubt myself.

Imposter syndrome stays in the back of mine, and every time it slips to the forefront of my consciousness, here’s the photos I use to remind myself of who I am:

The Time I was Published in Entrepreneur

The Children’s Book I Wrote

The Personal Brand I Built around honest & authentic storytelling

& The Education I received that NO ONE can Take From Me

I am far from where I want to be both personally and professionally.

I have a long way to go still, and imposter syndrome tries to infiltrate my mind—

But I’m proud of what I have accomplished before 30. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of what I’ve done.

And sometimes I need to remind myself that this is only the beginning

What is the One Photo of my Husband that I Always Carry?

Countless years of having a crush on him—but being too shy to say anything.

6 months of dating.

1.5 years of being engaged.

5 years of marriage.

In this time, there are countless photos I keep in my phone of my husband, but here is the one I love the most.

Every time I see this photo, I fall in love all over again.

What photo of your s/o is your favorite?

Recipe for Chickpea & Rice Bowl

So many of you asked for this recipe. Here it is:

Make some rice mixed with turmeric, onions, garlic & pistachios.

Then, bake the chickpeas & tomatoes for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the chickpeas and tomatoes into the rice & garnish with cilantro, yogurt, hot sauce, feta cheese and/or any topping of your choice.

It’s really that simple—and extremely satisfying.

Saying goodbye to Esperanza

This year has been full of loss—but this one I wasn’t anticipating.

Esperanza, my family’s housekeeper for the last 20 years, has decided to retire and move back to Mexico.

She is not only a housekeeper, though.

She is family.

We came across her when my mom had 3 young children and needed help. An agency helped connect Esperanza to us, and she’s been with us since.

We have been through everything together—Taha’s birth, our school years, graduations, engagements, weddings, Lily’s birth and more.

She also converted to Islam while living with us.

She is a big piece of our heart, but she needs to go home to spend time with her mother.

Of course, we will talk through video calls and visit her, but it’ll never be quite the same as seeing her everyday—or tasting her delicious cooking daily.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish her infinite happiness.

Health Update…

It’s been a strange month—to put it lightly.

I’ve been struggling with insomnia since taking Zoloft, an antidepressant used to help treat my anxiety, panic attacks and borderline personality disorder.

I became so tired of not being able to sleep that I asked my doctor about alternate medications.

We decided on a plan to wean off the Zoloft and switch onto another medication that would help both my moods as well as help me rest—but it was a disaster.

I became a nightmare to live with.

I was so angry for no reason, and my husband had to deal with it predominantly.

Furthermore, I gained about ten pounds in the matter of weeks, so I called my doc and let him know the meds switch was a nightmare…

So I’m back on Zoloft for the time being.

While all of this was going on, I ruptured a cyst in the middle of my daughters party.

We had about 20 guests over for a backyard unicorn party (see last post), and I doubled over in pain about 3-4 times.

I kept trying to ignore it, but eventually we cut the party short.

We drove to the urgent care where the doc told me he suspected a ruptured cyst.

He gave me pain meds so I could make it until Monday, when I could see my OBGYN.

She confirmed the cyst rupture and said my body would clear it on its own.

In the meantime, I’m going to look into the right combination of antidepressants and birth control with high hopes that they won’t impact my moods or weight 😅

Happy Days Challenge

Last year was extremely difficult for me.

I was at an all-time low when I realized there was 100 days left in 2019—meaning I had exactly 100 days left in the decade.

I decided to make a deal with myself.

For 100 days, I would post one thing a day that made me happy.

When I started doing this, I realized there already existed a challenge online called #100HappyDays

So everyday, I posted.

Some days, I knew exactly what made me smile.

Other days were more difficult.

Some days, the only “good thing” about the day was that I survived…

But I continued through it.

Slowly but surely, a change began to take place in my brain.

I re-wired my mind to look for the good in everyday—and more than just look for it—I learned to create it.

I made “happiness” a daily goal. I actively worked toward it versus expecting it to show up at my doorstep one day.

And since then, I’ve continued to post one thing that makes me happy every single day.

I urge you to try it.

Falling for Dallas

It’s no secret that Houston & Dallas have a history of sibling rivalry, but I really began to fall in love with the city when I visited this weekend.

There was an actual Autumn in Dallas—with vibrantly-colored leaves—from reds to yellows to greens.

We were in town to celebrate my nephews birthday. He lived with me for a couple months of his life, so I was really excited to celebrate him turning one.

We ended the trip with a visit to Lake Louisville—and also ice cream at Braums.

And luckily, it won’t be long until our next visit. I’m coming for a couples getaway on Thanksgiving, where we have a feast, hiking trip, and Holidays at the Arboretum planned.

Photo Timeline of Me & Naush’s Relationship

Because I’m a Pakistani-Muslim American girl, dating before marriage—and PDA—are taboo. I wasn’t willing to risk the wrath of society, so my husband & I more or less kept our relationship low-key in the beginning. We have very few pictures together pre-engagement.

Once we got engaged, however, we got the photo shoot of our dreams:

The Engagement Day

Engagement Photo Shoot Day. It was at a vintage, jet-setter themed photo shoot with airplanes and cars at a historic airport terminal.

We also go this photo a few days before our wedding:

Here are our photos of the wedding itself:

The Mendhi Day

The Shaadi/Wedding Day

The Honeymoon at Grand Cayman Islands—swimming with stingrays

At this point, we didn’t care how much PDA we showed. We were married!

And since then…

My Sister’s Wedding Day

Our Pregnancy Photo Shoot

And finally, a little family photo shoot with our baby girl…

And yes, we packed it with PDA

(Sorry, Aunties)