All questions, articles, features and graphics are from O, The Oprah Magazine September 2015
What would be the title of your life story, and why?... The title of my life story would be "Her Royal Abbie-mess". I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and lady luck in my pocket and it kind of has (always) agitated everybody around me. I did not fit in with people who thought I was more privileged because they had this automatic dislike for my lifestyle of a chauffeur-driven car. And, I did not fit in with the snob crowd that lived on the same status but liked to rub in their chauffeur-driven cars in everybody's faces. So, despite being a humble pea, I have never had real friends on my side. Girlfriends would elbow each other in the guts when I described my summer adventures of watching Cinderella in a Disneyland parade followed by fireworks, watching the corals in a glass-bottomed boat in Mauritius, and experiencing illusionists Harrari and Lance Burton in Kuala Lumpur and Vegas. I realized I was being treated like a bluffing storyteller.
My lady luck has also bothered everybody. Friends started eyeing each other as if I had betrayed them when I made good grades. The next day, they decided to witch lunch tables. The social/professional jealousy landed me in a lot of mess. To fill the void of loyal friendship I succumbed to people whose standards did not match mine. When you compromise your standards in food you end up with food poisoning, and when it is in people - life poisoning. I also ran after a bunch of authority figures who were not fit to serve the positions they served. It was back in the old days, half a decade ago in Karachi city, where I tackled teachers who changed my answers on exams to downright fail me in stuff like basic Marketing, fought with teachers who thought it was okay to mark one of my answers wrong while another person got it right. I was practically a lady warrior in a whole lot of mess! And hence, Her Royal Abbie-mess. I roll solo now, it is much better.
JOKE... ... Something that pops me out of a bad mood swing instantaneously. It should be that miracle mood swing popper. No matter how lame the quality of joke may be.
What's My Story?... The Royal Abbie-mess is my story. It is about a girl born with a gifted life but in a spaghetti mess of drama. She lost herself in the spaghetti mess only to realize that whoever genius said "to be lost is to be found" was 100% not being dramatic. Nothing comes easy, everything is complicated. And as Hannah Marin said in Pretty Little Liars "It's complicated, I'm complicated. No one likes complicated." So, my life's journey and the sole purpose of existence is to show the world that a girl can rock complicated like a rockstar. Oh, and to find a soul mate who knows complicated, loves complicated, and can solve the complicated royal Abbie-mess.
The Soundtrack Of My Story?...Whatever happened to Amelia Earheart?
Who holds the stars up in the sky?
Is true love just once in a lifetime?
Did the captain of the Titanic cry?
Oh, Someday we'll know
If love can move a mountain
Someday we'll know
Why the sky is blue
The Small Stuff... "What we leave behind speaks volumes about who we were." - Amy Maclin, O, The Oprah Magazine. Now I do not entirely know what stuff I left behind, but from whatever feedback came bouncing back to me I know that my efforts at life speak well of me. The impressions I left on my teachers preserve me as the high achiever who skyrocketed to a 4.0 MBA degree in the United States. The poetry I published in kids/young people's magazines tell a tale of principled mind with goals and ambitions. The words I have spoken to people can translate to almost anything and everything.
FALL ACTIVITY... Shopping the Fall decor, clothes, and candy aisles at my favorite stores while sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte or Caramel Brulee, or Gingerbread Latte (Starbucks!)
I always feel transformed when I... return home from a retail therapy trip. They were quite foolish who said money cannot buy happiness, because happy is what I feel when I buy crafts and stationary, clothes and boots, jewelry and cosmetics! I have tried being mute about it because the world easily labels people who speak like me - MATERIALISTIC - but I cannot hide what I feel. After a sour episode like an emotional disappointment, a personal defeat, and even through a deadly mood swing, I feel transformed when I indulge in buying good, productive stuff for myself. I was pretty agitated when I went out and bought burlap and did my bulletin board. The process engaged my dulled senses and I instantly felt a boost of energy from doing something artistically satisfying.
WAY TO TAME NERVES... driving, anywhere. Taking control of the steering wheel just sets something right inside my head. Or blogging, controlling the words, indulging in wordplay. Both are like bull trainers!
When I need a dose of inspiration I... watch Netflix. Period. Inspiration runs out due to lack of social exposure. So when there are no adventures happening, there is always Netflix and the mystery of Alison DeLaurentis, the big demon-slaying mission of the Winchester brothers, Damon Salvatore's brooding gorgeous self, and many more.
I'd love to let go of... excessive worrying for mundane things.
One tiny change I made that had a big impact was... I switched off my sensitive modes and switched on emotional intelligence.
FAMILY TRADITION... Taking a trip to Universal Orlando Resort (Wizarding World Of Harry Potter) every year! We drive there and the road trip, the lunches and dinners, the entire ethos is the best tradition of Fall/Winter season.