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    Inspiration, Personal

    The Post-Grad Looking Glass

    hijabi, hijab fashion, turban style, hijab blogger, modest fashion, style

    “How do you stay inspired?”

    It’s a question I used to get a lot but never really knew how to answer. It’s probably because I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be uninspired. (You see, I have a habit of getting involved in too many hobbies at once. Keeps the brain busy.)

    That was before I finished school and entered the real world. You know, the one that everyone around used to talk about constantly. As if everything that happens prior to that is just for play, or has-beens for us to reminisce about when the responsibilities of the real world become too much to bear.

    But when your identity is shaped so much by the experiences that you collect pre-real world, it becomes so easy for you to get lost in the routines of working life. Things also get a little more complicated when you work in the creative industry – where do you draw the line that separates your professional space from your personal one? Is there a need for these spaces to be made separate? Can they coexist as one to become an even larger space that benefits both your career and personal development? Is work finally driving you insane?

    Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy what I do for a living. I really do. Crazy hours, crazier co-workers and all. But I am unsettled about how my sense of self got a little lost in the transition from Liyana the fashion lover/sometimes blogger/music person/aspiring creative to Liyana the copywriter and fitness lover. I think this is perfectly natural and not really a quarter-life crisis type of moment. Feeling the need to step back and reevaluate my growth as a person, and taking note if I’m really moving forward as best as I can.

    It took all of two years for me to realise that inspiration needs to be chased. So that’s what I’m doing now. A little self-recovery. Reconnecting with passions that I lost, and yearn to explore again. It’s not going to be easy, but if that’s what it takes to feel the exhilaration in creating once more, then I’m on board.

    Personal

    Let’s start over.

    Hi there. It’s been about a year since I last posted, and if you’re still here reading this, then a big hug to you for staying with me for this long. I’ve thought long and hard about this space, about how far I’ve come and the type of content I’ve been putting up. So much has happened in the past year – graduation, stepping into my first legit job as a graduate, discovering my love for yoga. I’ve grown so much as an individual, and while I still love fashion, style, and beauty, I just can’t seem to bring myself to post about it as I used to anymore.

    This blog has grown so much in the years that I nourished it with love and attention, and I will forever be thankful for that. I’ve made internet friends, worked with brands I admire and reached levels of readership that I never thought I’d be able to achieve. But I guess I got kinda caught up in all that. My goals shifted, and I started prioritising the numbers a bit too much. It became more about “okay I need to post this because people are waiting for the next post” and I just couldn’t commit to that hustle.

    I started Rouge & Ruche when I went overseas for my exchange programme in university, and dedicated it to my thrift finds at that point in time. That gave me meaning, and motivated me to share this part of my life with you. I guess it got lost along the way, and I tried so hard to make up for that, but it never really felt the same. I do enjoy blogging though – it’s incredibly fulfilling to be able to put the mess in my mind into words and share it with the world. That’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t just take Rouge & Ruche off the internet – I like blogging. And I don’t want to stop. I think taking a year off was just what I needed to revive this space. I had to get everything down to (almost) zero and then build it up again, in a way that feels more personal and authentic for me.

    So let’s take it back to the beginning. And let’s take it slow. No ootds. No flatlays. Just me. I’ll start by writing about the things that inspire me – be it fashion, beauty, film, travel, etc. You’re welcome to stay with me for the ride – or not, your choice – and we’ll see where we go from here.

    Since we’re starting over, I believe introductions are in order. Hi, I’m Liyana. I love fashion, beauty, music and cats. I’m a copywriter, and I practise a bit of yoga in my free time.

    How about you?

    Beauty, Personal

    What World Hijab Day Means to Me

    World Hijab Day, World Hijab Day 2016, #WorldHijabDay

    (Image credit: worldhijabday.com)

    Happy #WorldHijabDay, my friends! Today marks the third World Hijab Day, during which we celebrate the beauty of the hijab, as well as the acceptance of this choice Muslim sisters all over the world have made to celebrate their faith not only in their private lives, but in public as well. Wearing the hijab does not come easy for a lot of people, especially so for our sisters who currently reside in societies where they can be persecuted or bullied because of the way they look. I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderfully supportive and accepting community, though over the years I’ve realised that not everybody has it that easy.

    PROGRESS OVER THE YEARS

    I think that it’s amazing how far the hijabi community has come in addressing misconceptions about oppression by the hijab. Social media movements, viral videos, street art… these women are so admirable and they’ve done so much in creating conversation about the hijab in society. World Hijab Day brings this one step ahead by inviting women all over the world to don the hijab for a day to experience how it’s like to wear the headscarf out in public. It brings so much warmth to my heart when I read stories about people who do so, and share positive stories about their experiences.

    In my opinion, education is the key to overcoming hijab stereotypes. Conversation leads to awareness, which eventually leads to change in the form of security and positive attitudes towards hijabis. I was very heartened to experience so much positivity this past week when I shared my hijab story as well as my personal hijabi inspirations. I hope that you have learnt something new from reading the posts in my World Hijab Day blogging collaboration, and continue to pass on the stories to friends who might be curious about the hijab.

    REMINDERS

    As much as advocating for the hijab is important, I believe that it is a choice and nobody should ever be forced to put it on. Sometimes I see very disturbing messages or posts being shared on social media that degrade women who don’t cover up… I find that absolutely disgusting and that it perpetuates harmful behaviours towards women that could have been prevented through exposure to more positive messages about modesty. I think that we should respect women’s decisions and rights to don the hijab, as much as we should respect their decisions not to, and lend them our support when their hearts start to point in that direction.

    LOOKING FORWARD

    It’s only the third World Hijab Day, and look how far we have come! I do believe that this movement will continue to grow through the years, and I hope that it will cultivate a healthy, positive community of Muslim women who engage in meaningful conversation surrounding the hijab not only among ourselves, but with non-Muslims as well. We can make the world a better place, a safer place, together ♥︎

    Have you discovered something new about the hijab this past week? Share it with me in the comments below!

    Celebrate World Hijab Day with other bloggers:

    What World Hijab Day Means to Me by Tiq

    World Hijab Day | What it Means to Me by Sadiya

    What World Hijab Day Means to Me by Kanra

    World Hijab Day by Fads (Updated 2 Feb)

    World Hijab Day & What it Means to Me by Zahra (Updated 2 Feb)

    What World Hijab Day Means to Me by Wallflower Hijabi (Updated 2 Feb)