Wearing My Heart on My Tongue

You probably know the quote “I wear my heart on my sleeve”, but I prefer to think of it as I wear my heart on my tongue. Baffled as you may be by that, let me explain. As hard as it is to say it, it is even harder to admit to it. It’s always been the proverbial elephant in the room; presently there but not publicly acknowledged. I know you still must be trying to put the pieces together and make sense of what I am trying to explain, I think it’s best to finally rip the cliché bandage off and to put it simply, I stutter. Probably not the big climax most were expecting but that’s my elephant.

Stuttering is having blocks or repetition while speaking. It affects one percent of the population and four times as many males as females stutter. The cause is unknown but believed to have some correlation with genetics, neurological development and environmental impacts. There is no cure for stuttering but rather a variety of therapy options that can lead to fluent speech. Many stutterers find support groups helpful in their journey and in the UAE there is “Stutter With A Smile” which is a newly created group that focuses on raising awareness and providing support to fellow stutterers.

Stuttering may not sound so grim and it shouldn’t be, but for those who do stutter it comes with a life long psychological impact. Imagine not being able to fluently say what you want to at any given time. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Stuttering for me as a child gave me a green light, the ultimate excuse to have almost anything go in my favor. Just mentioning my stuttering and I avoided every single presentation and being asked to answer questions. Looking back I regret not having the opportunity to practice public speaking though the irony of it all is if I were placed back in that situation again I would hands down choose avoidance over publicly speaking.

I’m in my mid 20s now and currently evaluating my stuttering. I’m truly flabbergasted at what I am finding out about myself. A therapist told me to tell people that I stutter and in my head I was in such denial that I thought the idea was ludicrous. Somehow for the past two decades I had concocted up this theory of why own up to something that some people may or may not notice, that it was better to leave them guessing in their heads about what was wrong with me. I can’t begin to fathom what they were thinking nor would I want to.

So my first step, similar to overcoming any problem is admitting to it. Therefore, I will write it again…I stutter.

I am at a stage in my life where I’m searching for a job. My worst fear as a stutterer is interviews. An interview to me is the three headed monster antagonist in every children’s book, almost impossible to defeat but with courage and brevity it is somehow overcome. My only problem is maintaining courage to translate into fluent speech.

Life comes with challenges and this is mine. Everyday life presents itself with its variations of speaking hurdles and my emotions play a great role in how fluent I am able to speak hence having my heart on my tongue.

If I had a dollar for every time I have gotten a weird face as I was trying to speak, or had my sentenced completed for me or just wished I could find a magical blanket to disappear into because I couldn’t get a word out, I’d probably be sitting on my own sandy beach rather than stressing over what syllables make me stutter. Though life is what it is and the hurdles make you who you are.

You’re Okay

Some things hurt even though they shouldn’t

They just sting

While you sit there quietly

Taking it all in

Letting the pain seep into your bones

All the while wondering why

Why would it hurt

You know your place

And yet

It does

It stings

It pangs

All the while you’re quietly sitting

Letting it take a ride in your veins

Riding the currents of your pumping blood

From your heart

And back to it

All the while getting deeper

Thumping all around

Till it slowly

Thump thump thumps away

And you’re left with a numbness

And a slight feeling

Of being okay

Tips to Keep Your Child Safe While Gaming Online

Picture provided by the author, founder of www.wisenetizen.com

Picture provided by the author, founder of www.wisenetizen.com

As technology is advancing, our kids are getting more and more addicted to online games. Online gaming can be a fun way for kids to connect with others, but it’s important for parents to keep few points in mind to make sure that their child stays safe while playing online and video games:

  • Here are the practical steps which parents should remember:
  • Know about the game your child wants to buy or play. Check out game review sites.
  • Be sure your child has strong passwords for his gaming accounts.
  • Discuss with your child about risks involved while playing online games. Tell him about online bullying, frauds.
  • Instruct your child to report any bad behavior or bullying when he plays online and come for help to you.
  • Make sure that your child does not reveal his personal details like real name, location, gender and age. He should also use an avatar, not his photo while playing games.
  • Don’t let your child download any content like cheat file without your permission, they might contain virus.
  • Use parental controls which are available for all currently sold game consoles to manage online gameplay.
  • Keep the computer in a public area of your home, such as the living room, so that you can check on what your child is doing online and how much time he is spending there
  • Instruct your child to take your permission before making any in-game purchase that involves cash, and not points.
  • Monitor your child’s activity while he is online.
  • Keep your computer secured. Make sure that your computer is regularly updated. (Update firewall, anti-spyware software, and anti-virus software).
  • Check game’s ESRB rating.

What is ESRB Rating?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices about the ones they deem suitable for their family.

ESRB ratings have three parts:

  • Rating Categories suggest age appropriateness.
  • Content Descriptors indicate content that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.
  • Interactive Elements inform about interactive aspects of a product, including users’ ability to interact, the sharing of users’ location with other users, or the fact that personal information may be shared with third parties.

By following these simple tips, parents can keep their child safe while playing games online. Happy Playing!

Liquid

You were like water

I tried to hold onto you

You can’t hold onto water

Not without a container

And I was not someone to contain you

So I let you go

Hoping you would come back

But like water

It always comes back

But not the same

It’s different

It is not the same

And it does not stay

Finding My Flow

The word “flow” has a lot of meanings; it may refer to going along with something, moving steadily or even the pressure of a flowing liquid. However, the flow that I am referring to is another type of flow. It is the one that I feel the happiest in, it is my desire in life and it is the thing that I am constantly searching for.

Have you ever been in a crowd full of movement and noise, full of energy and life? But you were disconnected from your surrounding. It is not because you were not Interested or social. It is because you were so immersed in the thing that you were doing, to the point where you felt that all of your attention, concentration, mind, feelings and spirit are strongly fixed on that thing. Yes, that feeling, that moment is what you call “Finding My Flow”.

When I find my flow, to me it is as if I have found myself, my long lost self, which I have been searching for constantly. Myself that was so busy with life and its demands. Myself that gives up things for others and forgets about its own needs and wants. Myself that cannot breathe and take a break.

When that moment of reconnection with myself, me & I happens, just then I understand the true meaning of peacefulness, security, pleasure & simplicity. It is the time when my mind, soul & body finally reconnect and meet at the same place, at the same time and at the same moment. Synchronized just like a melody or a rhythm, just like when an orchestra plays. At that moment, my heart flutter and knows that I am in my natural habitat; the place which I belong to, doing the thing that I was made for or to be more specific, doing the thing that was made for me.

Just like now, I am in my flow writing this piece with joy and amusement. How about you? When and where do you find your flow?

Play It Right

Think of life like a video game. You keep going and it gets harder and harder but you learn more and more how to play the game as time goes on. You learn some tricks and cheats. So then when, and you know this is always gonna happen, you lose and it’s “game over” you know the technique you have to use; be it a whole new one to the one you just used or a tweaked of the one you just used.

But either way, at the end of the day, you’ve gotten a bit better at the game, even if your score hasn’t changed. You go to bed with the satisfaction that you’ve learnt something and you can’t wait to put it into practice the next day so you can get even farther. So think of life as a video game and don’t take “game over” to heart. Take it as a challenge.

Awkward

It’s just..

Awkward.

I don’t know how to explain it..

That word explains it all

Awkward…

Sitting here..

Feeling so outta place..

I don’t belong here.

I don’t belong here and I didn’t belong there..

I feel outta place everywhere..

I just don’t belong..

Why is it so awkward?

Why is it so weird..

I just gotta find a place..

Where I can just be myself..

Be myself and not be judged for it..

Where it’s not awkward..

Where awkward doesn’t exist..

Where I just…

Fit.