The Preface

The start of a book. The most important thing and yet that which we forget about as soon as the chapter begins. I’ve always thought that life had a preface. And now I’m not too sure. I closed a book with the end of my university life a few months ago. I didn’t feel it ending though. Throughout the whole of summer I still was Ra’ifah Rafiq, third year english student at Queen Mary. When I returned from Zanzibar I still was ‘third year english student at Queen Mary.’ It wasn’t until I started at my new place that I began to feel the end. The finality of my university life. The movement to another. I was terrified. My first day, I called a dear friend very worried and anxious that I hadn’t made enough friends. I looked at snapchat at those still in my old institution and longed for the familiar walls of the mile end library. I felt very sorry for myself. I missed people. A few. But I still missed them. I missed not being new. I missed familiarity.

But, I’m pushing myself to do what I’ve always done. Adapt. Naturally, being the social bunny that I am, I decided to set up a whatsapp group for the 15 people in my tutorial class. This meant, approaching everyone in my class and getting their number on my phone (what a beg….and yet…how very Ra’ifah of Ra’ifah – If you know me you’ll know that this behaviour is not out of the ordinary). My take charge attitude is partly due to 1) getting to know new people even though I’ve been recently made a sceptic on friendships/overall ideas of whether we can actually know someone and their capabilities. 2) I’m homesick. homesick on passed familiar contexts. I’m not that big a fan of change. I like to stick with what works unless anything better is either more efficient and therefore, more profitable.

Nonetheless, I feel this change is good for me. Everything seems quite slow right now and I hate taking my time with anything. I want to get to know things. I want to know the truth of people. This is where another one of my worries manifests itself. I meet people and I’m second guessing their sincerity, their actions and words. (Refer back to my scepticism). Whilst my newfound pessimism has reduced the chaos in my life. It is an awful lonely way of living, mentally that is. I went from ‘trust everyone until they give you a reason not to’ to ‘everyone will fuck you over. It’s only a matter of time. So don’t invest unless you have to.’ Therefore, you can imagine why I’m finding it really hard to integrate. Enough of the dark stuff. Lets talk about the Law. It reminds me of science. I went into my first tutorial today having not done the reading because my social calendar did not allow for it, I felt so stupid. (Not stupid because I am intellectually inferior more because I hadn’t done my reading). Naturally, I also found myself sat next to a ‘Shirley Voong’. (Shirley Voong was a girl in my secondary school who was so smart and so organised and I loved her and envied her at the same. If you’re reading this Shirley, thanks for the competition). He knew everything. As a result, I rushed to the library to do my reading for the coming week and, cue procrastination, I am now in the library telling you about my new, very slow, very unfamiliar adventure.

I’ve always found that the people who I reach out to during these periods of change are the ones who ultimately become very close to me. And I thank them for it. It’s very weird because, I have had to recently rearrange my priorities in terms of really having a look at my friendships and sieving through the real ones from the ‘let-me-leech-on-your-insecurities-whilst-I-build-a-bank-of-them-then-emotionally-blackmail-and-tell-others-that-you-are-a-lot-of-work’, Which, as you can imagine was a rather sad task. My foundation is currently free from such pests. But, everything in life is a lesson. And events of recent months have taught me to trust my intuition (shout out to Anne) and to trust in my own strength. I momentarily lost sight of my strength. I forgot that everything I have hitherto achieved in my life, whilst others played their role, was of my own merit and my own intelligence. I am and will continue to recognise in the strength of my character and abilities. One of my worse fears has always been dependency and I have mainly focused on the financial aspect of it. But here I am, witnessing the beauty of being emotionally independent. I’ve been able to understand that everything in life is cyclic. People, will come and go and that is okay. Everybody comes into your life not as a mistake but as a teacher. You learn things about others, about yourself, you are introduced to new hobbies and interests, things you never would have imagined you’d be interested in. Your mind is further stretched and for that I thank everyone that has been a part of my life. If you are still here, horray, if not, be happy in the fact that you all have taught me so much.
I’m ending this preface by telling you that there will be no ending. My chapters will go on. They will be rewritten, reread, translated and immortalised. Because I will never end. This is the beginning of many great, very warm, very challenging, very rewarding beginnings. I will ace law school because I am Ra’ifah Rafiq and I do nothing by halves. I will succeed because anything else is not acceptable. Yes. I will face hurdles and fail and be down every once in a while but nothing will ever make me comfortable in mediocrity and failure. I am never a victim.

Yours

Ra’ifah

P.s – Now I have to go back to my reading…Also, I want to start a lifestyle blog and have been researching and trying to find a niche to cover that is me and not done by every other lifestyle blogger out there. I still hope to write poetry (which is what I’ve always had this blog for), but now, I want to vent, I want to teach, I want to inspire and trigger some sort of action – be it mental or physical – and I wish to find the confidence to do so very soon.

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