Gormanston, County Meath, Ireland

I was going to write about actual, physical journeys. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling in these almost forty-two years of living and I thought that would give me some interesting stories to share.

However, once I sat down to write, I wanted to focus on the much harder, internal journey I’ve been on since my mother died.

Since she died, I’ve come out and started talking about the female genital mutilation that happened to me when I was seven. Since she died, I’ve lost 30 lbs in weight and I’ve finally gone back to work. Since my mother died, I’ve come a long way in figuring out who I am and I’ve stopped trying to live for other people who aren’t ever going to approve of me, no matter what I do.

The journey to the inner sea of me, the journey into my own personality has been a difficult one. I’ve had to ride the rapids of depression and confront the trauma of growing up for the two decades in a land at war with itself.

Journeys are curious things. I didn’t realise I was on a journey until I started nearing the end. At first it was just a matter of putting one foot in front of another and getting through the days. Now I feel like I’m on the last stretch of the journey. I’ve stopped only focusing on avoiding the rubble, the pits and the treacherous, hidden quicksand of sudden grief and unbearable emotional paralysis. Now I’m starting to look up. I’m starting to notice the canopy of possibilities, the stars in the distance that are pointing me towards my current destination.

I think one of the lessons this journey has taught me is to stop trying to plan and think things through. I need to learn to feel, I need to submit to the divine universe and speak my core desires and let go. The universe will provide, all I need to do is to be really clear about the want. It is not for me to reason how and which way, it is for me to trust, to focus on the soul-deep truth and give in.

For a person who thrives on lists, boxes to tick and structure, letting go is hard. I want everything colour-coded, long, short and mid-terms plans and goals outlined, booked and logged in. I want and adore having everything pre-prepared. But my journey is teaching me that while this blanket of knowing is protective, it is also restrictive. I close myself to possibility when I try to pin down everything. So, I am learning to wing it.

I’m the kind of person who packs a month in advance, if I can, when going on a journey. I plan and organise things by activities, schedules, itinerates. The joy of list-making, a notebook filled with numbers in case of emergencies, of hour-by-hour meticulous appointment setting and timetabling, these are the things that spark joy. But I’m learning there’s bliss to be found in surprise, adventure and unplanned and unexpected detours.

And the best thing that I’ve found on this journey is that there is no end. Each journey only leads on to the next, and at the end of it all, to quote Dumbledore and J.K. Rowling, “to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

Accountability: the secret to success!

What do you want in 2019?

The first month of the year is coming to an end. I’m assuming that you, like me, began 2019 with the usual list of New Year’s resolutions. Setting resolutions is sometimes seen as passe, but, I must admit that even as I scoffed at the idea and poo pooed the notion, there was a part of me that thought, hmm…, what do I want in 2019?

Ultimately, I think, we all want to change something, or gain something or let something go. That’s the meaning of growing and maturing, and whether we like to admit or not, the turning of the year brings that to mind.

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Thoughts on writing and discrimination

What being a forty-something, brown, female writer sometimes means.

Dr Tasneem Perry
Photo credit Tony Gribben

Writing is a solitary life choice. Most writers will tell you that they write not because they have to or want to, but because they must.

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I used to write in diaries, on scrapes of paper and day-dream stories as an only child with very little privacy from over-protective, over-intrusive parents, my mother especially. I know it came from attachment and love, but it was exhausting and I often was afraid to write anything down on paper because it would be read when I was out of the house. This meant that I tended to live in my head, write in my head. As you can imagine, I was a strange, solitary child.

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My Write as a Woman

I wrote this post for the Women’s Words Mcr blog that I wrote posts for and managed. Re-reading it today made me realise it was powerful writing that I needed to modify and post here too. You can read the full blog post here.

Dr Tasneem Perry (me)

The Women’s Words project brought out many stories. It illustrated to those of us involved in the creative side of its management how important providing safe spaces for dialogue are for women. As the stories of sexual abuse, injustice and violence against women keep appearing in the media, and more and more people talk about the traumas they have gone through, it seems this project could not have come at a better time. We all have hurts. We all need to share them and expose them to the light so that we can learn from each other and take solace in each other. A hundred years since the granting of suffrage to some women, we have come a long way. But we have much more to achieve in terms of true equality. Here’s to all the women and men working together to build a truly just, equal and fair society.

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10 + days extended fast

I’ve been trying keto and intermittent fasting (IF) to loose weight. But I’ve stalled, and I’m tired of being the same weight since the 30th of June 2018. So my plan is to do a 120 hours or longer extended clean, water, tea and coffee only fast (EF) to break the deadlock and get my body into fat burning mode.

I’ve tried two other fat fasts but they didn’t work. You can read about both here and here.

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Egg keto fast – results after day one

Yesterday when I stood on the scales I was horrified to see I’d gone up in weight to 174 7/8 lbs. So I began the egg keto fast

Well the video opens with, you’re definitely going to loose weight. Ha! I stuck to it as close as possible. I didn’t even eat everything – I couldn’t finish my 4 tbsp of peanut butter with the 2 tbsp of butter I added instead of adding it to my coffee or having 2 tbsp of guacamole.

Weight this morning: 175 1/2 lbs. So I’ve gone up to exactly where I was last Monday when I began the beef and butter fat fast.

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Beef and butter fat fast – day five

I am doing another, final day on the beef and butter fat fast. This will be my fifth day doing this very strict keto eating plan.

Weight this morning: 173 3/4 lbs. It is still moving in the right direction, though it is slowing down. That said, From Monday when I began this plan, I’ve lost about 2 lbs. I’m saying about because it isn’t quite two pounds. I was 175 3/8 lbs when I began. You can read about my starting point here

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