Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why Getting Fired From My Job Was The Best Possible Thing That Could Happen

"It's just not working out."

That was the reason I was given when I walked into the conference room where my Supervisor and the HR Manager sat and had me sign off my termination papers. Nothing else was stated between my boss. She got up and briskly walked out of the room. My reaction?

Well...I didn't exactly say that but that's the vibe I gave. And as cool as a response as that is to getting canned, that wouldn't have been my reaction a year back. A year ago, I would've been floored by getting fired. I could see it now, my heart sinking, my voice cracking as I would pathetically beg them to reconsider. Anxiety would take the wheel and I'd be terrified with the outlook since there was no backup plan or steady income of any kind that I could fall back on. What would I tell my wife? How would I pay the bills and the rent? What are we going to do!?

Nope. None of that happened. I was truly at peace with the decision. And it was the right decision. They were absolutely right in firing me. In fact, I shouldve probably been fired a month into working there, and I had worked there for four years! I brought absolutely no value to the position anymore because I checked out long ago. I was the definition of a slacker. In fact, I was actively using company time coming up with an exit strategy to get the hell out of there.

When I had a talk with my dad later that day informing him of my pink slip, he looked at me and laughed stating, "Usually people are sad and this is bad news. But here you are, you're so happy!" I was, I was effing beaming!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Return of the PhilAsifer

**Door creaks open, all is heard are the faint sounds of footsteps. A light turns on...SURPRISE!**

I'm Baaaack! Did ya miss me?

Hmm...well I anticipated this happening so it's all good. It's been a solid year since I've last updated PhilAsify101. In this fast moving, content-dependent world of YouTubers, vloggers and bloggers if you even get a hint of inconsistency, miss out on a weekly post, and don't give solid regular updates of SOMETHING, ANYTHING--you lose your audience. A whole year passes well, then it's rebuilding time. Surprisingly though it seemed I got a consistent readership of 100 or so views of my old posts, so that's encouraging.

That being said, I have made my return and hopefully by Allah's will, it will be for good. I hope to regularly deliver to you consistent, thought-provoking posts. And just as was the purpose of PhilAsify101 when I first launched it, I write mainly for myself to keep my fingers moving and actually be A WRITER WHO WRITES, whether I have an audience or not.

Where were you at, doe?

Alright, TI, I knew you would ask what everyone else was thinking: where have I been in the past year? Well a lot has happened since then, some ups, A LOT of downs. I was going through a personal crisis and I really just couldn't write anymore. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, pause and look inside myself and see what character flaws are holding me back from my true potential and what things about my mindset and everyday life do I need to change about myself to ensure a better outlook upon life. I also realized that I have a tendency to get easily distracted with things I have no business being distracted by and it effected my daily living and my relationships with loved ones. You really have to pull away and get away from obligations like a blog to make time to fix that kinda crap up.

When it comes to accomplishments, I was in a slump but managed to complete personally writing my first feature-length Hollywood-ready screenplay, which I'm very proud of. I'm hoping to work on a few more projects before really starting to pursue the next step of getting those screenplays looked at by the right people and establishing my dream of becoming a Hollywood screenwriter. That takes discipline and setting aside time to write and I'm hoping to do that.

A big ground breaking change in my life is that I GOT FIRED from my job! So of course being unemployed is going to give me ample time to write. Don't feel sorry for me though, I'm all smiles! I will touch on that more in my next blog post coming soon.

So rest easy everyone--all 12 of you--PhilAsify101 is back to deliver to you more thoughts, opinions, inspirations and reflections from this point forward.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Keepin' the Love Alive: My Tips for Re-igniting Your Marriage

Alhamdulilah I've been married for 6 years to the woman I was crazy about since I was in High School. When I did marry her, I was met with resistance from family and friends saying that I was too young--I hadn't finished college yet, had barely any money, and was still living with my mom and dad--but I wasn't going to budge. I had found the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and didn't want to waste any time making it official.

Marriages, I have learned, are not easy. (A collective "duh!" from everyone reading, I know.) A piece of advice I received recently is that marriage is a 24/7 Job. That is not a bad thing at all. It just means that it's something that always requires work and is always a work in progress. There is a deception that when you have finally snagged the person you're in love with, everything will be effortlessly perfect and easy; problems and arguments will be either small or non-existent. Every year things will get even better and perfect and lovey dovey until you leave this earth. There's theories where the only time you have real problems is if you married the "wrong" person.

The fact is even if you're with the love of your life, things won't be all sunshine and rainbows. Just like you need constant maintainence and upkeep and progression as an individual, your relationship with your significant other needs to be worked on and evaluated all the time whether you've been together a couple of years or over a decade.

Complacency is a real issue. I read about relationship complacency in articles and heard about it in movies and such and you would think, "Hey It'd never get like that with us, we're crazy about eachother!" But it can happen to ANYONE. Why? Because of life that's why. External forces can effect your relationship and at worst, can make you lose the spark or fire that you once had. Job problems, bills, having children, money issues, personal issues etc. can become such a distraction that you lose sight of your spouse. You get into a routine and get so used to it that you don't evaluate anymore. It just becomes normal. And if you describe your relationship as "normal", that's not necessarily a good thing even though it isn't bad either.

I look back on the quote/unquote "honeymoon" phase and how in the beginning when I first met my wife I was a hopeless romantic. Cute little gifts and presents and thoughtful things I'd do all the time whether long-distance or up close. For a long while that ended and I made excuses which had to do with money, with my time, with stressing about work, not being in the mood because the bills are due or I have to pay a parking ticket or something or the other. And I have learned that's the worst thing you can do.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

PhilAsify the Love Guru?

What a terrible, terrible movie.
Though I haven't blogged much during my hiatus from PhilAsify 101, I did keep up with the activity the blog had gotten over the 6 months I was inactive.

I was surprised to see that I would have on average 100 page views daily of people clicking on PhilAsify from all over the world. A modest amount sure, but for me it's pretty huge that at least 100 pairs of eyes read my blog or come across it everyday which is humbling to say the least cause I can't even get my close friends to even read a Facebook status I put up much less my blog. For strangers who don't know me to click on an article of mine they found interesting and check it out is really astonishing to me.

Also despite not having new content up during the timespan, I noticed I would get comments for my different blogposts. Most of them would be comments on what I've learned has been my most popular blog post to date: Dating In Islam: Why Muslims shouldn't date and really why you shouldn't either. Which I guess shouldn't be surprising to me because if you go into google or any search enging and type "Dating" and "Islam" together, my article will likely be on the front page of results. I'm sure it's my top viewed article because the muslim youngster go ahead and search the topic using those keywords because they're just curious to have a perspective on the matter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Thoughts on the Chapel Hill Tragedy: Islamophobia Rears Its Ugly Head

The Internet was going nuts today after tragic news broke of three young Muslim students who were gunned down by a older white man over what the news glossed over as a "parking dispute". 

You can read the full story at the link below. LINK:

Police say a dispute over a parking space spurred the murder Tuesday of three North Carolina college students, but the Muslim father of two of the victims insisted Wednesday that his daughters' neighbor and alleged killer had menaced them before and was driven by hate.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder after turning himself in to police in Chapel Hill overnight. Although a Facebook page in Hicks' name that described him as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality” and blasted “radical Christians and radical Muslims" for causing strife in the world prompted rampant suspicion the crime was motivated by hate, police said Wednesday it was about a parking space at the condominium complex where the murders took place.

Those killed were Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Raleigh, N.C. resident Razan Abu-Salha, Chapel Hill Police said in a statement.

“It was execution-style, a bullet in every head,” the women’s father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist, told the Raleigh News-Observer.
“This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.”

Abu-Salha said his daughter, who lived next door to Hicks, wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had “a hateful neighbor.”

“'Honest to God, he hates us for what we are and how we look,’” the distraught father quoted his daughter as saying.
My Thoughts:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

I'm Baaaack...

Back from an extended sabaatical once again is your favorite PhilAsifer. It's been six months since I've posted new content on PhilAsify and I can explain, if you'd just let me!

My time away from writing was a mixture of several factors:

1) My job. I've been working longer hours lately to pay the bills and it's been eating away at my free time.

2) Fatherhood. Being a dad is great and all but it's tough when you're a writer because you need peace and quiet and a block of time to get cookin' and that usually isn't going down when there is a toddler amongst needing to be entertained and put to bed.

3) I've just been in a general slump that I had to work on. I wasn't feeling productive. I wasn't managing my time. I felt I was stuck in this hamster wheel and getting nowhere. SO I needed to re-evaluate myself and my goals and start taking steps to get out of that debilliating rut I was in.

I didn't want to come back to churning out new blog posts until my mind was right. The whole point of PhilAsify 101 was to be an outlet for me to express myself creatively through my passion of writing and telling stories and sharing my observations and commentary on today. To take on such a task you have to be in the right frame of mind to do so. I wasn't, so I didn't write.

Also while I was away, I was hard at work on a screenplay. Those who know me well, know it's my dream to write for Hollywood. But that's all it was. Just a dream. Dreams just stay in a persons head and don't translate to real life until you put in work. So that's what I did. 

I buckled down and started to take the necessary steps to make this dream a reality and long story short: I've completed the first draft of my first feature film. It still needs a lot of work but I can at least revel in that accomplishment because it's a big milestone for me.

I actually told myself that I wouldnt return to blogging until I finished the first draft. Now that I have knocked it out, here I am. I'm actually kicking myself because a lot has happened in the world while I was away that I could've given my two cents on. But let's not dwell on that.

I'm back to give you your regular dose of PhilAsify. So stay tuned people because like Marshawn Lynch I'm coming at ya, and coming at ya hard (only to not be given the ball when I need it most to win the big one).

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ceasefire - A Poem

Note: I actually wrote this poem about 5 years ago in my college poetry class. With all the continuing bloodshed and relentless violence and the fact that a ceasefire in Gaza only lasted 90 minutes, it's every bit as relevant now as it was then. #freepalestine

by Asif Balouch

Across my TV screen
the evening news invites me
to a world where smiles do not exist.
Where all that lies is images of horror,
devastation that knows no bounds.
where blood flows more than water.
Sad story follows tragedy repeatedly
in a torturous cycle.
I’ve seen enough
and am not the only one
that cries out for those liable
to bring forth a ceasefire.

To city halls we go and march,
embassies and consulates.
The demand of a resolution we sought
an end to the conflict.
Cardboard signs with words big and
bold spell out our disapproval.
A clear message to those in power:
"How much more lives must be lost
before you’ve had your fill?"
That would get you out of your passive state into actual activity?
Save some lives and save your souls,
bring forth this ceasefire!

It seemed the demands had been met,
the ceasefire had finally come.
Talks of peace now possible, rather
than a pipedream.
Short-lived, however,
is what peace came to be
as violence and bloodshed
reappeared uninvited.
Guns rattled,
bombs blasted,
bodies dropped,
and families returned to being
depleted of its members.
Children now orphans and only Childs,
while parents childless.
All due to the triggers of transgressors,
violators of the ceasefire.

A dispute over real estate becomes
a clash over faith and tradition.
Those that follow their holy books,
claim justification of their actions.
Yet they overl

ook the most important verses of their scriptures,
a blind eye to God’s commandments,
a deaf ear to the consequences.
Religion is not even required as a guide,
use your common sense!
At a young age we learn to share,
to bond,
to coexist,
compromise and work out differences.
Skills that are supposed to be instilled,
in the framework of human hearts and minds,
now another casualty of this war.
A call for resurrection,
for those fallen tools of world peace.
For if they were to return,
would there be a need to order a ceasefire?