The purpose of art is to feel, to process emotions, to learn new things about yourself and others, to learn empathy and compassion, and to feel more alive and more deeply. And when a piece of art comes into your life at just the right time it is magic.
Just finished watching season 1 of Zoey's Playlist and I feel cleansed. It's a musical show about a girl whose father is diagnosed with a fatal degenerative health condition so she goes to do a MRI to test herself and ends up with a magical power of hearing people's emotion through songs.
It is such a beautiful and magical show and so uplifting, and yet I cried during every single episode. Sometimes up to two or three times. These were not regular cries, but body shaking, can barely breathe crying. And as I watched the last episode I realised why I connected with this show so much.
I never got the chance to say goodbye to any of my parents. My biological father died when I was four years old. He went overseas to say goodbye after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and got so sick, he died and was buried there. My stepfather committed suicide at the end of 2018. My mother passed away suddenly from hypertension at the end of the last year.
I never got the chance to say a proper goodbye to any of my parents. To prepare, to grieve, to process. They died so suddenly, leaving me with such profound shock and trauma.
After my biological father died my mother said that I became different, I was so angry. After my stepfather died I jumped into caring for my mother, and had no time to pause. And then when my mother passed the weight of all these losses weighed me down.
I feel like I'm only just breaking through and processing. Slightly coming back to myself. But I can see that this will be a long journey.
Anyway, this is a long post but there are three things I want you to know:
1. Art matters. Books, TV shows, music, movies, art, dance and anything I didn't cover-it matters. Support art wherever you can.
2. Hold those you love close. I have learnt deeper empathy and love through my losses. I appreciate the loved ones in my life more.
3. Watch Zoey's Playlist. Your life will be uplifted from the experience. It's on Stan and it's been renewed for a second season.
Writing articles has been my bucket list for so long. In the past six months I have managed to write an article a month. After remote teaching the staffroom was abuzz with conversations about whether we'll be pushed to remote teach more and I kept reflecting on who are the winners and who are the losers in this teaching model. Here is my first byline in The Guardian about my experience. And the rest of my articles in the post below.
I hated remote teaching during the Covid-19 lockdown. It should never replace the classroom, The Guardian, 08.06.20
I'm a Teacher and Remote Teaching Makes Me Feel Like a Failure, SBS Voices, 01.05.20
Starting over-finding the true measure of success to avoid burnout, AEU Magazine, 01.04.20
How my mother's Bi Polar disorder affected me, SBS Voices, 13.03.20
Saying Goodbye to My mother After her unexpected death, SBS Voices, 03.02.20
Searching for a message from my mother after she died. SBS Voices, 12.12.19
My high school counsellor transformed my life forever, SBS, 27.11.19
Growing up Under the Shadow of my mother's bi polar, SBS Voices, 14.06.19
Allies in Creative Writing, Southerly, 24.05.19
The life-changing impact of seeing yourself in fiction: Representation for Muslims, Bronzeville Bee, 23.05.19
Have read 19 out of 40 books so far for my 2020 Reading Challenge. I am two books behind my schedule. I need to stop reading such big books. Just finished Torched by my friend Kimberley Starr and this is a beautifully written novel about a community impacted by fire, and a mother and son bond. #amreading
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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