My Thoughts

How To Get Started As Writer

How To Get Started As Writer 150 150 Akharla Mova

Aspiring writers have been through a certain phase more than we ought to admit. This phase is a phase of frustration and loss of inspiration. You ask yourself “how do I become a writer?” or “what do I write?”.

I believe that inside everybody is a story and everybody has the potential to tell it. In short terms, everybody has the potential to be a writer, you only have to tap it and pursue it with all passion. If you aspire to tell your stories or become a famous book author here are some tips on how to get started as a writer.

  • Be a reader

Before we tackle writing, reading is an important factor you have to consider. Have you read enough? Are you continuously reading as you try to pursue writing? It may not be that significant for others but it is a great tip if you want to be a good writer. Not only does reading widen your world view and let you experience things you otherwise won’t experience in real life. but it also widens your vocabulary and influences the way you tell your stories. Reading and writing are like a knife and a sharpener, one sharpens the other, so they come hand in hand.

  • Write every day or start a blog or a journal

Before you dream of writing big stories and thick books start by writing your everyday life in a journal or through sharing your thoughts online. Writing every day might seem exhaustive of the stories you can tell but it actually makes you better each day. By writing about the usually dull everyday life you are sharpening your imagination and finding your creative niche. It is all about in the details and emphasizing what seems to be insignificant. Write about your nightly dreams or your daily encounters, you will be surprised by what you find interesting each day.

  • Enroll in a writing course or workshop

If you feel like you lack the basics in writing or you just want a refresher it is great to take a few writing courses. It is best to have a physical writing course if possible as physical interaction with your professor and classmates will stimulate a fun learning environment and widen your writing capabilities.

  • Find honest critics

Once you have written something that you are comfortable to share, find honest critics who will truly help you navigate through your flaws and accept and learn from them. Writing classmates are great conversants when it comes to writing ideas and critique.

  • Know why you want to become a writer

It is important never to lose sight of what made you start writing in the first place. Is there a specific story you want to tell? Is it your childhood or a belief that you want to express? Is it a world you have imagined and wanted to share with others? Is it a person you dedicate your writing to or you aspire to become? Regardless of your reason to write, make sure to find it and take hold of it. Keep it close to your heart and always remind yourself of why you started writing.

  • Pro Tip

Always stay true to yourself and your principles. If you’re hired to write for a publishing company, do not miss deadlines and always deliver your writing in time and in good faith. Click here to find out how NOT to be a good writer.

Balancing Act

Balancing Act 150 150 Akharla Mova

When I complained to my mother about fearing like I wanted love too much for it to actually come willingly to me, I invoked the saying, “A watched pot never boils,” to prove my point.

She replied, “I bought a see-through teapot so I can watch it boil every day. Sometimes, it is just about telling the universe that you want tea.”

someone I did not see

AmwritingBeliefBelieveCanadian LiteratureCanadian PoetryCanlitCreative WritingPoemPoetryReligion

I never learned to love

someone I did not see.

I learned to love

the stoop of my grandmother’s back

as she rinsed clean her fingers

of beets as red as blood,

for a table pregnant with love,

for a family troubled as any.

I learned to love

the smell that clung

to my grandfather’s stark fingers and yellowing


and the way those fingers

could provide flats of wood

for my imagination to carve

in an instant. The way he took nothing

to be worthwhile for believing in,

except for effort

and learning.

I learned to love

the voice of a woman

who was born from the womb

of generosity. She hated being photographed

but gave you a spotlight

for every moment

you dared exist

in her orbit. Her gift

is her giving

is her religion.

I may not be religious. May not

speak with Gods or Goddesses at night.

May not eat the dish

of your particular despair or hope.

But I know love. I know it in my tongue:

how utterly luscious it tastes

with all its desperation

and grit.

I never learned to love someone

I did not see. I learned

to love

the grit

of trying to love

the imperfect things;

the real people.

now, no place

Before you,

there existed a place

(inside me)

a room.


Under construction.

Young kids

without fear

would come and

graffiti the ceiling.

I would scrub

and scrub

with a wire brush

until my cuticles bled.

Still, shadows.


to paint over

but I’d know

would still exist.

Now, no place exists

without you.

You are the perfume

in the rooms

of my soul. No

room without your


no wallpaper untouched

by its rosewater,


late afternoon weather.

A memory embedded

in my present sight,

touching everything

with a soft shade


“yearn” and “require”

What graffiti?

What echo?

What hurt?

You are the room.

There is no

living in this house

without you.

Loss of a Dream (Ode to Adrienne Rich’s Splittings) TEDx Markham Public Library

Loss of a Dream (Ode to Adrienne Rich’s Splittings) TEDx Markham Public Library 150 150 Akharla Mova

Hi all.

Long time, no rumble. Life has been hectic and all-encompassing. I’m okay not writing sometimes because I’m too busy living. But let’s be real. At the end of the day, nothing makes sense if I can’t write.

In 2015 I made it a goal to focus on performance. To improve as a performer, or at least to practice being one. By no means was I a good performer in 2014. I didn’t become a great performer in 2015, either, but I definitely got closer.  I discovered yoga and controlled breathing, learning the moves from here:, and although I still feel like throwing up when I go on stage, it has actually helped somewhat.

I still get sweats. I still forget my words. My hands shake. I’m the perfect example of why public speaking is the world’s biggest fear. But.

I’m not scared of fear.

I refuse to let it consume me or concern me or stop me from doing things I feel strongly about. Performing, reading, being on stage, speaking the things I have written and finally connecting to people with those ideas… I am relentless about this. I have tasted it and it is everything that I’ve been looking for. I am okay being vulnerable on stage. As long as you’re being vulnerable with me.

Because of that, this year (even in the past few months) I’ve performed more than at any other point in my life. Because of that, I was afforded opportunities I couldn’t possibly have dreamed of when I was say, 21, and trying to put my life together.

I’m 25. I can. And I will. And if I fuck up, I’ll try again until I get it right.

So, I applied to TEDx. Not for a presentation, but for a performance. A performance that was always closely linked with my Russian roots, with storytelling, with my love of music and inability to sing. When I was accepted, I started pulling together my thoughts.

These are my thoughts, with the support of Peter Ellman’s beautiful musical theory playing me in and out.


too warm to be cold, too wet to be sober

AmwritingPoemPoetryRandom Rambling

You are a city

in January,


with a wet bus rolling through it

and its lights

cut through the air

like warm knives.


Sparse crowds

step in slush piles

of dirty snow

to get to the sidewalk.


You are a foreign city

in the midst

of winter

and I cannot keep my

feet warm in you.

It Is A Weeping, And A Moaning, And A Gnashing Of Teeth

It Is A Weeping, And A Moaning, And A Gnashing Of Teeth 150 150 Akharla Mova

You know how I get through heartbreak?

Easier each time and each time more brutal.

Because after every heartbreak I end up investing in myself with a healthy dose of forced optimism. But not only myself, also in my closest, and most valuable relationships.

After I broke up with my first real long-term boyfriend (we were together for 6 years, from when I was 17 to 23) I had no idea who I was without him at my side. I was totally lost, but not angry. I was just curious and a little empty. Now that I think of it, the whole situation reminds me of the first season of Master of None, when Aziz Ansari’s character Dev breaks up with Rachel. Things were just gradually getting more and more nasty and all I could do is just try to find myself.

So, because I no longer had to pay rent and my parents took pity on me, I saved a ton’o’cash and took off to travel around Europe for 3 months. I made a shit ton of mistakes at the very get-go and spent the rest of the trip trying to pick myself back up, swaying between going home early or pushing through till my actual booked return trip.

And you know what? Parts of it sucked. I wasn’t used to taking care of myself. That’s the shit truth of it.

I had relied on my ex to pick me up when I was drunk or sad or lonely and had no idea how to get through those feels on my own, and to do it then without my family or friends? UGH. Brutal. Nights and mornings crying in a hostel bed quietly so that no other strangers would hear you, sneaking away to shower so nobody could see your puffy eyes (not that they would care)… I was that person for like, a good week. And then some. BUT I still went out. I forced myself to go because I knew that real life would hit me sooner rather than later and I was privileged enough to be in goddamn EUROPE. I WAS HERE. I had fucked up a little and made life a little more unsure for myself, but I was here and I was going to goddamn take things in, if only so that I could write about/enjoy them later, in hindsight. (I did. I paraglided in the fucking French Alps, hey.)

Also, I was there to try to figure out if I could… be away. I had been pussy-footing around the idea of moving out and away from my family since the end of high school when I had promised everyone to go SO far away for uni. Surprise, surprise, I ended up going about 30km away, and then switching universities after my first year (variety of reasons, both academic and personal) and moving back home for the rest of my undergrad.

Truth backhanded me like a MOTHER when I went to travel for 3 months. I didn’t like being away. I LOVED travelling. Still do and go every chance I get. But it was exhausting being away for so long by yourself and having no one person to share it with. I made so many friends while I was there and met up with them intermittently throughout the rest of the trip, but it wasn’t family. It wasn’t my best friends that I had known since grade 6, listening to me cry over Skype. It wasn’t these new drunken compatriots who were counting down my return date. It wasn’t them that wrote me emails (who writes emails anymore) about how it’s okay to make mistakes and how they miss bitching to me about life and choices and love.

It was my people. My friends were my fucking people. I had somehow managed to find these beautiful, fiery, curious, hungry souls and cull them into a circle of folks that are like the most fabulous army of support I’ve ever seen or heard about (ain’t nobody messin’ with my clique, etc). When I’m with them, any combination or number or just one of em? God, it’s like my nerve endings are just bathed in positive karmic vitamins, even if my stomach is being bathed in Korean bbq way past dinnertime or my ears are being assaulted by a Beyoncé dance party or someone’s actually just yelling at me for being a diva (all things these fools do with me/to me). #yoga #karma #essence #millennial

And god knows, I love my travel buds. I have met up with more than a couple in the years since, bless. But it was by being away that I found the true treasure that had been waiting at home for me. I thought I couldn’t possibly agree with my family. I thought this life, here, Toronto, couldn’t satisfy me. I was bored, and yes, kind of angry at that point, and lost.

You know what I learned? I was being superficial. I was being greedy and unrealistic and dismissive of the blessings that were already provided for me – not to the extent that many people are, but I was nevertheless. I don’t get off the hook that easy, and I thought that this sort of realization was so cliché that it had to, at least, be hard-earned.

I wasn’t appreciating the friends that told me when I was being a shitty human being and making the same stupid mistakes, and letting me cry on their shoulders after I had bad dates, and going with me to art shows and coming to my poetry readings and baking me cookies and cakes when I was sick. I wasn’t appreciating my family – my weirdly non-traditional, open-minded, liberal (in their considerable conservativeness), supportive, hopeful, space-giving, food-making, straight-talking family.

The family that will accept those whom I claim to love without a second thought, simply because I love them. The family that will invite anyone, from any culture or opinion or religion, to our Easters and Christmases and Thanksgivings and birthdays. The family that will pick me up and up and up over again without complaint. The family that will tear open their own beliefs to welcome yours in. The family that will sit with me in the front hall and break down my love. The family that will sit on my bed and break down to me. The family where vulnerability is and forever will be strength and openness is a virtue. Where trust and honesty and being a good person trumps any paper or cross or book you can hand over about who you claim to be. The family where you can be flawed and fucked up and that just makes you more beautiful and more bearable and more ours. 

So maybe I’m still being entitled.

Yes, love. Love, I want you. But I already have you, too.

So this? This heartbreak isn’t so bad. It’s only a bit. It’s only a slice. It only took a little. I have the rest.

And he has so much less.

Calming Cues

Calming Cues 150 150 Akharla Mova

I’ve finally figured out what will help me slow down a smidgen with everything: work, ambition, volunteering, skill-building, catching-up with friends (an endless task, not to sound like a douche monkey).

I’m getting a puppy. The puppy that I so secretly added into one of my older posts but never correctly identified as MINE AND COMING HOME IN 2 WEEKS.

But she is, and she is!

My e-friends, this is:


Yes, she is named after this Sufi/Persian poet. Yes, his poetry is mind-blowing. Yes, I am using a “boy’s name” for a girl pup. And yes, she will be my little muse. /end of insightful but cheesy explanations/

She is a cockapoo (or, in angry dog forums, a cocker spaniel/poodle mix) who I’m getting from a shelter in Canada. She is the most adorable thing on this earth and I might shank you if you suggest otherwise. I am very much into animal rights activism and support all the lovely people who promote a sustainable, healthy, vegan lifestyle. In fact, the idea to get a dog like Rumi from a shelter came from the one and only Bessy Gatto – her elderly shelter pooch looks a lot like mine, although she may grow out of it. I’m very proud to adopt a dog from a shelter and strongly advise to all of you – adopt, don’t shop!

As per the rules that dictate my neurotic personality state, I’ve been going into puppy-research-overdrive. So far, the only thing I’ve managed to spend money on is a few toys, whereas everything else is yet unpurchased.

I’ve been doing extensive research on everything from insurance (PetPlan, COME TO CANADA SOONER), to crates, to crate-training, to nutrition and grooming products. I want the best, but I am a facking student, so I’m making concessions and asking for discounts when I can. Next on my list is a pet cam – so I can watch her longingly while feeling eternal guilt that I’m out. Visit and you can experience the guilt with your pooch too – why should I suffer alone?

However, all of this is mainly useless to you, dear readers. What will become paramount is that I will be very busy with the new babe and don’t know how often I’ll be able to update. But I will work pictures in often, I assume, just based on the fact of how much I think about this dog after having met her twice. If I reacted this way with a potential boy who I would like to possibly date long term, he would run screaming the other way and leave shards of broken glass in his wake.

But dogs love that sorta shit.

So here’s hoping I’ll be a good pet mama (I will, but ermahgerd is it nerve-wracking), and will eventually quit stressing over my resume in lieu of pee and poo everywhere and anywhere in my bedroom under my expecting morning feet.

Ah, the choices we make.


everyone wants to be

the exception, but

nobody wants to be

made an example of.

you want to be the survival


you don’t want to be

the story mothers

talk about with

gulps seeded in their bellies,

with tears pooling in their mouths,

briney and wet.

everyone’s love

should last like love locks,

like reckless abandon

and a 5 dollar mechanism

that makes your ethereal


but even love locks

get land locked,

become weighted by

the unbearable lightness

of burden,

and the keys,

the keys swim

because your eternity

still needs a chance.

Why August Is Where It’s At

Why August Is Where It’s At 150 150 Akharla Mova

I had planned on blogging all through my European adventure before I left. I wanted to regale you with the trip too-many-times-taken by eager and lost 20-somethings and put a fresh, Arinaish spin on it.

Lesson # 427: I want lots of things that probably, in the grand scheme of everything that I want to do, aren’t good for me.

(Also on this list? Nachos. Beer. Dancing all night. Sleeping for longer than I will ever have to work.)

Why did this slip as a priority while I was traveling? Simply said, I’m not a travel blogger. In fact, I have no idea how they do it so seamlessly, (especially my fave, Candice Does the World.) It’s like birds flying, mosquitoes getting stuck in your tent, and ice melting; they just do. But not only was this not meant to be a travel blogging experience, but I realized quite early on that I didn’t want to turn it into one.

I feel that one of my weaknesses as a writer is my secrecy and inability to share my most meaningful writing with the world in meaningful ways. But I wanted to really dig into my thoughts, my feelings, and my preconceptions about the world on this trip, and even though I only had a half-baked point-and-shoot with me, I want to share all sorts of beauty with you that isn’t just blurry shots from my phone camera.

Time to form my impressions and better photo quality is why my posts stalled only a few weeks into my trip. What I’m hoping to provide from now on is some kick ass posts about Europe, waxing poetic and prosaic once I’ve had some time to mull.

Since returning, I still haven’t spent one consecutive week at home – which, at this point, is a couch in a tiny box-like-room in my parents house that my cat arbitrarily uses as his litter box. It’s excellent. I’ve made more headway into Ontario’s cottage country this August than I have in my entire life, however, and I’ve been trying to appreciate and live in the moment.  This has made it difficult to find a moment, though now I should be more focused. I’ve been getting a lot of clean air in my lungs, first at a cottage with my entire family for a week, and then camping with friends.

My parents burst out laughing (and wouldn’t stop, frustratingly) when I told them I was going camping for the first time, probably because they know how much of a princess I can be about certain things. Well bully for them, because I enjoyed my time camping without any reservations – I even think I’d like to do it again some day. A day far in the future, but a day nonetheless. I think it’s probably my European trip that made me less sensitive to certain comforts that I would gladly indulge in, had I the money to do so. I’ve found that I can live on meagre means and be plenty happy, as long as  am fed and in good company.

That being said, my trip to Europe probably changed my life. How has yet to be seen and dissected by myself, but I know it has. Also, when I was in the UK, I think I ran into Peter McMahon twice – although I’m not sure. Life-changing experience? Not quite, but it was an unusual coincidence that made me think about my life because he’s one of my dad’s most inspiring role models. Could it have been a sign? In any case, it was inspiring to see the man that grew into a multimillionaire from the biggest UK food retail chains like Tesco and Sainsburys. I hope one day to as successful and stable in work and private life as he appears to be. But for now, back to my life.

What now? I’m not sure. 11 weeks travelling has kind of wiped out my energy but provided me with an intense network of new friends spread all over the world. I’ve added more places to my “to visit” list in the past couple of months than I have in my entire life – I think it’s fair to say I’m officially a lifelong traveller, but I’m tired of planes, trains, and automobiles *for now*.

I need to regroup, refocus, and earn some more moola so I can make my way into the wilds of my friends couches. I’m looking forward to exploring Canada and the States more in the next few years, and definitely making a foray to China/Japan. Travel becomes much more focused once you’ve cut “a place to sleep” out of your expenses. I say focused because usually my thought process goes “I WANT TO GO EVERYWHERE”. If you have a couch somewhere specific? Yeah, let’s go there for now.

I think what I’m trying to get across is a few things. I’m focusing on writing. I’m focusing on my health. I’m focusing on my family. And I’m focusing on becoming more financially independent. WOO CRAZY LIFE GOALS THAT LITERALLY EVERYONE IN THE WORLD HAS.

But they’re goals. They’re good ones. And they’re mad achievable. So let’s get cracking, shall we?


when i call myself a fighter,

i whisper.

(do not announce

your strengths in front of your enemy,

sip your wine slowly)

when i call myself a woman,

i make sure to show my degree,

stuff sass around my credentials,

build my credit with my Russian literacy

because ‘woman’

is a weak introduction

to my entity

when i call myself your love,

i make sure to prove

that i loved myself first 

– and i do this aggressively,

with bubble baths and punching things

and make sure my friends hug me

for 3 times longer than they are comfortable doing –

because to love

with abandon is the


nobody knows how to show


it is not poetic

when love is

depending on yourself first

always. i am not dependable

but i act like it

because i need to prove it.

i need to say it

out loud.

i need to look at my

celery coloured eyes

and dependency coloured hair

and buy my own bullshit, turn myself on,

become a family of one.

when i call myself a poet

i tilt my head

to appear humble



of my talent

of my hunger for language

of the only ways my heart has healed

over and over again.

when i call myself a dancer

i wing my arms out

to make you laugh,

instead of allowing your sight

to crawl up my hips when they

thrust as insistent as drumbeats,

when my arms

curl like sea currents,

when you can see how guttural

movement can be

from the bend

in my neck.

when i call myself a fighter,

i whisper.

little sister,

i still see you

in that dandelion yellow sundress with the

white polka-dots,

standing as tall as my knees,

vanilla ice cream smeared




your beautiful little face.

how even then,

i wished for none of my struggles to touch you.

i do not wish that now.

i wish

for you to hear

that being an artist

is the least and most restrictive living.

you exist artistically. so be. bear the weight of this

life. your genius. it is heavy, but inescapable.

splash your pain onto canvas,

block mountains from blue;

string together portraits with pointillism;

or find the outlines of your fear

in charcoal. smudge them.

let your strokes drip down

into mistakes. you are allowed this.

you are allowed

to wade out farther than you were told

and not succeed

at keeping your head above water.

i will be there,

ready to pull you onto a canvas

and show you

the masterpiece of your being.

because you are more than

toenails painted pink, more than

the friends you kept or threw away, more than

how you wield anger like a warrior, more than

your fear. you are a beating heart.

you are a question. so be a question.

be a beating heart.

we will take you like this,

and hang you up in galleries.

you are worth this.

you do not need to change.



Only now

do I understand

“difficult but necessary.”

During childhood, I thought

nature was the natural guide.

Things grow, or die. There is no

tempered middle. There is no


There is no

decision. Nature just does.

But I did not. The answers

did not bloom for me.

I thought perhaps,

it was a lack of effort – ah,

the immigrant mentality – ah,

the woman fool, taught

that compromise can keep

your life an unrocked boat, an even sea.

Nobody tells you

that for compromise to break even,

you cannot give too much away.

You cannot become shell,

and welcome him in.

You will fill,

but not with yourself,

not with joy,

not with the thrill

of seeing his shirts hang gently on the hangers

beside yours. Instead, you’ll fill

with thoughts of laundry.

A tree will stop growing

if the soil is better for the other,

surrounding trees.

It cannot choose to water itself.

I can.

I should.

I must.

I know

what it is to walk away

from a love that is not serving you —

that is not growing you,

despite you wanting it to grow —

and live.

And blossom.

And survive.

It is an aching living,

to be sure,

to choose yourself.

To choose yourself, over love

at any cost,

you are choosing a

woman’s greatest sin.

It will not be delicious

until after the ache,

and even then…

But, soon, someday,

you will gorge on your freedom

like your eyes feasting

on the open immensity, opportunity of

the Canadian shield,

the rolling hills, the rust belt,

the rich, mineral air. You will

breathe deeply,

serve yourself selfishly, and

allow yourself a shred of humanity.

Be aching,

and true,

and alive.

What I Miss Most About Europe

What I Miss Most About Europe 150 150 Akharla Mova

Ever since I’ve come back from Europe, I constantly get questions about Europe. I expected this, but it’s still challenging to keep both myself and my friends amused, especially because my most important stories are.. well.. the same every time I tell them. I get bored telling the same thing over and over again, even though my memory keeps me on my toes by leaving some things out every time.

Here’s the SparkNotes version:

I did hang-gliding. I surfed. I stayed out all night and found bars with new friends where we met even newer friends. I danced the night away in Sevilla (and Lisbon… Lagos, Chamonix, Naples, and Florence). I galloped across the sun-soaked hills of Emilia-Romagna on a little horse that I thought I almost killed. I ate real mozzarella di bufala (food memories are plenty). I learned a little bit of Italian, forgot a little bit of Spanish, and basked in the glory of German polyglots. I was terrified of Naples, and then I was in love with Naples. I never really liked Valencia, except for the agua de valencia, which is a certifiably quick way to get drunky-pants in the morning.

But when people ask me, “isn’t it a bummer to be back?” I have to say no. It’s fantastic to be back. I missed my family, my friends, yadda yadda yadda. I missed them with my whole everything when I was away, and I learned to treasure their company while away. And yet of course I miss Europe now that I’m back. This is what is problematic about traveling;

you want to be everywhere, and when you’re everywhere you want to be home.

I soaked in as much as I could in Europe, and frankly, I was impressed. Sure they have a ton of unemployment and their toilets could use some work, but people there seem much more composed. Maybe this is coming from a 1 1/2 generation immigrant kid with resurgent anxiety issues, but even the young Europeans seem to be okay with not having shit figured out. Maybe it’s because they can’t thanks to the economy (ie. good luck getting a job in any field, nevermind in the one you studied for), but they aren’t overextending themselves. They work a lot. Everyone works a lot. And it’s been said a million times that Europeans “work to live, not live to work”, as opposed to North Americans, but there is something to be said about shooting a few ducks down instead of wasting all your bullets.

I can’t even begin to explain to you why that was the metaphor I went with, but it’s true. Being jobless this past month and a half at home, recuperating from the constant travel, dealing with my new bum knee, reconnecting with people, I realized that I totally changed my perspective on work while in Europe. When I was in university, come every September, I would pile on a job, a writing gig, a full course load and some internship on my plate. I was so eager. I still am eager. It’s the same problem I felt when I had to pick a university program – Why can’t I just take a little from each? I want to take some of everything. I want to try everything and do everything and my mind races about all the things I can’t possibly do in 5 lifetimes. I’ve already packed in a boatload, and still, I see people around me doing more more more more more!

But when I look back on all that time I spent cramming things into half-hour time slots, I don’t recall enjoying a whole lot of it. I remember reminding myself constantly that “this is all for the future, this is all for future success”, and it very well could be (I like to remind myself that 24 is not yet exactly THE FUTURE). But. It could all be for naught. My biggest regret (despite the very liberal notion of not believing in regrets) about university is not interacting more meaningfully with my campus and with my friends. I focused so much on school and on future worklife success that I missed what could have been happening. I tried to do too many things, and yes, my life is still great and I don’t regret working hard.

I believe it is humbleness when you expect to work for your greatness. I am smart, and committed, and talented, but I am not perfect. I want teachers, mentors, and supportive friends, and most importantly, I want to give them my love and my attention. I want theirs, of course, but I want meaningful engagement with my small society. I also want to be good. Really good, but at a few things, not all of them. Even now, hanging out, playing Sims 4 and exploring the magic of Spotify at home while my family rushes off to jobs, to school, to the multitude of after-school lessons that my sister attends, I feel like I’m trying to do too much.

Let me explain. Before I moved out of my house (I am now back), I didn’t do a whole lot to help out around the house. I was a lazy asshole, basically. Now, I’m doing the dishes, I’m cooking, I’m cleaning – all without anybody nagging me around the clock. I’m doing it because it’s now important to me to add value/ take away strain from the household. Along with that, I’m writing, I’ve agreed to help out the social media for a fantastic artistic event in Markham, researching a business venture, getting heavily into healthier eating & yoga, seeing friends, and applying for jobs. Oh, and it’s September, so I’m going to be starting knitting soon.

It feels like too much. Social media. Writing. Digital marketing. Health. Food. Yoga. Rumi. Jobs. Volunteering. Communications. Knitting. I know these are all different realms of my life, but I wish I could just focus on like, JOB, HOBBY, HEALTH. And yet I’d probably be bored, especially because this crazy clusterf*** is how I grew up and grew into greatness.

So what I miss about Europe is having my little tablet with me, with a ton of unread books (they’re still unread because now I’ve also borrowed books from the library… sigh), and a journal and hours upon hours of free time. To wander. To write. To read. To watch life happen. Simple, simple, simple.

Maybe life is supposed to be this complicated so that it feels full. Maybe I’m just having a hard time readjusting. But maybe I need to trim some of these fledgling branches. I won’t have time for everything, and doing everything (see: writing) half-assed is not something I want to keep doing forever. I’ve got to invest – diversify, yes, but invest.


APRIL 29: AN ACT OF BRAVERY 150 150 Akharla Mova

Following your heart

is a brave act

that shouldn’t be brave. Should be as simple as

swallowing the tight knot of

fear in your throat

and cleansing your palate

of nerves. We shouldn’t have buds

in our tongues. It’d be easier

to not taste the bile

of expected regret

rising up your neck, scaling

its way to your sinuses,

filling your mind

with the smell

of what you’ve been



APRIL 30: TOPOGRAPHY 150 150 Akharla Mova

Your hand traverses from the curve of my waist to my hips, like a performance car hugging a mountain trail, ends up at the peak, stills. I am turned away. My eyes are closed. I can feel you listening to my breath as the air conditioner hums in the other room. I am asleep and alive. I am awake and waiting. Your fingers travel across continents, dragging alongside my side, waking hair and leaving goosebumps in their wake. Waking. This is how you choose to wake me, spoiled rotten by your touch but greedy still, so I stay still with expectation, hold my breath and let it out in dreams, wait for your next departure, ride along your next route, through crests and falls and an insistent exploration of the topography of my sighs.


LISBOA, PORTUGUAL 150 150 Akharla Mova

Lisbon has taken a while to get to. It took a flight delay, a technical failure, and 2 subways to get here. It also took a lot of my nerves with it, considering that what the hell am I doing? The world has serial killers in it! AND PEOPLE.

This is what Lisbon looks like at Baixa-Chiado station, walking out. So, basically, magic. Pure, unrefined, historical magic. Also, fear. It took me a good 45 minutes to walk to where I needed to find my hostel – something that, theoretically, should have taken 10 minutes. But hey, Europe’s not down with that perpendicular street placement shit. Was a great walk though – I indulged in quite a bit of sightseeing photography on the lovely streets of Lisbon. Needless to say I used my new iPhone X safely snuggled up in a brand new pink rubberized phone case for taking those photos. Wonder how long I’m going to treat my iPhone like it’s a baby and how long it will take before I start throwing it on the bed. Never takes too long.

Anyway, arriving to my hostel. Time to grab my mountain bike and enjoy the scenery of Lisbon cycling across the Sintra Mountains. There’s nothing quite like breathing in a city, its vibes and its history through its raw nature with a beautiful panoramic view at sunset. It sounds physically strenuous, but it’s the only place I can be alone and at peace with my thoughts, riding my trusty mountain bike in the sunshine.

This is what it looks like when I look out of the room of my hostel. Also, what my dreams look like. Lisbon, nobody expected ye to be so goddamn fine! Also, nobody expected you to be so minimally conservative with ad placements on your subways, wheeeeeee! Can’t wait to slip on my casual summer dress and blend in seamlessly at the bars and restaurants tonight. There is something about Lisbon and wanting to be free-spirited – all the women here seem to be so free and naturally beautiful in their gorgeous Boho dresses.

P.S. seafood and olives and wine.