Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Archive for January, 2014

Overcoming the darkness: Mentoring

circle of hands

The past couple of weeks I’ve been bored of everything in my life, all the things that would make me happy don’t. Good friends have been kind in taking me out, one of my closest friends picked me up and took me to Lahore Kebab (recommended), followed by tea in Primrose Hill, and then we spent time with their family in the pub. That was incredibly thoughtful. However, the rest of the time my mind is blank, I seem to be missing something.

So, the way I looked at it was that I had two options: give up on life and say goodbye to the world, or make sure that whatever time I have left to do something worthwhile. One thing that makes me happy is charity work, I guess it makes me appreciate how fortunate one is compared to others. With that in mind, I applied to be a mentor for young children between the ages of 5 and 16. There are no formal qualifications necessary, but I do receive training, I then will be placed with a child who’s experienced hardship in their life. I will have to commit to that child for a couple of hours each weekend for two years.

Qualities needed are patience, tolerance and a good sense of humour – I have that in abundance. I’m also loyal, trustworthy, reliable and used to managing an office full of boys, so I can handle anything! Not sure what to expect, but as with anything I do, I will try my best. If it’s a teenager, with my help, they’ll definitely be on their way to achieving top marks at school 🙂

I’ve always wanted children to be a part of my life, whether my own or not, it will be an interesting opportunity to see the world through their eyes, and who knows maybe they’ll help make me see that there is good in the world again…


My last letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

I hope you like the beautiful flowers that we had made for you, we lit the candle in your memory to start off the New Year.

You will be happy to know that I’ve made a few resolutions for the forthcoming year. I understand that you wanted more for me, I will try my best to ensure that I live up to your expectations, with a change in path well overdue. The last thoughts you had were about me, and about wanting to see me have a family, no pressure then 🙂 I thought it rather morbid at first when mum bought a plot near to your grave. In fact a few family friends have admitted to having already bought theirs as a couple. To love someone that much you’d want to be with them even when you’re dead, that’s true love, I hope one day to be lucky enough to experience that.

Obviously, my priority is looking after mum. Rest assured, she will be. We made the best of our first Christmas without you, a few arguments, but somehow managed to make up. I will be travelling back soon, I saw a tear in mums eye giving me a pep talk on my last night.

I know she misses you very much, we all do. I wish you were here guiding me now, am a little lost without you. You were the one good thing in my life, I wish I could join you, but I need to be strong and unselfish for the family. I’m hoping that writing this letter helps me cope with the grief, as I’ve never really been good at being open verbally.

I love you wherever you are.

Abida xxx

P.S. You’ll be happy to note that I’ve actually started to pronounce my name correctly as Abda (silent ‘i’). Otherwise no one will ever say it right now that you’re gone.

More Memories

Abida Newspaper

Abida Newspaper

Tidying up the study, I was surprised to come across an old newspaper article that my dad kept. It’s funny, I didn’t even know I was in the paper, a kind family friend saw it and gave it to my parents. I remember I was the last one to collect my results, I knew I’d smashed my exams, so just rocked up late as I hate fuss, and my headmistress at the time, was like Abi everyone was waiting for you to take your picture. Whilst everyone was partying, I went home, called my dad as he was working abroad at the time, he wasn’t surprised at the news, but he did keep the paper nevertheless 🙂

There’s one picture of me, he bought me a special dress to see Santa, I knew he was the care-taker and later pulled his beard 🙂

Me with Santa

Me with Santa

The rest are photos of mum, their wedding and him as a young adult. Really strange seeing your parents when they were young, one day I’ll be old and hopefully with any luck (fingers crossed) my kids will be saying the same thing 🙂





Dad: such a geek, just like me :)

Dad: such a geek, just like me 🙂

Dad Graduation

Dad Graduation