But... before we get into it, here's a word from our sponsors.
On the real, before we get into how the actual day went I want to say that I was incredibly stressed before hand and I didn't deal well with it. Ask any family member. So although I am incredibly honoured to have had this opportunity, I am not a beaming example of how you should deal with stress.
After the panic attack/hallucination/freak out I book into see my GP. I'm scared it's something to do with the viral infection I had a few months ago. The GP is shadier than a Pakistani mum. After pouring my heart out about the panic attack/hallucination/freak out Dr [redacated] looks unimpressed:
I'll book you in for a blood test but I need you to know I think you're paranoid and have got yourself in this state
Dr Mean Doctor then ushers me out of his office door.
I return home, wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
After a relaxing face mask and 2L of water I feel unstoppable! Nope. In reality: I feel pretty shit and pretty anxious for the next few days.
DAY 1 and Day 2: Condensed
My wonderful brother, his equally wonderful girlfriend and my lil niece are the hype crew of my dreams. We listen to Drake on the way to the Barbican. For a minute, I forget it all.
The rest is truly a blur. I wasn't exaggerating. Perhaps in the audio version of the reflection (I'm milking this exhibition ting init) I will go into more detail. All I know is I am surrounded by love throughout.
When no one turns up for hours, my brothers are there to comfort me. When I feel alone, the group is there. On the second day, my two sisters are there throughout.
Hind and San, I love you more than I can put into words!!! Jeremiah and Kantuta, my favourite people thank you for coming and supporting the ting. Flowa boy, thank u for taking the time to pop by when you didn't have to. Omar, Zain and Shan, thank you for speaking to me in my irritable mood and helping from start to finish. Tara Khala and Sophia, for your endless love and the fabric you gifted me. It just wouldn't be possible without your generous efforts. Dad, thank you for helping me brainstorm and calm down. Ma, for the interest you take even though you don't get this crazy thing I'm doing with my life. Thank you for trusting me.
And to Joe. Thank you for allowing Dear Anna to be part of Rawalpindi Nights. And to Joe's family and friends, thank you for the warmth. I feel honoured to have shared the weekend within your presence. I will never forget your kindness.
Even if it takes me a life time, I will find a way to give back all the love and support I felt that weekend. I love you all.
The sun goes down. Corona in one hand, my hand made cushions in another, we walk to the car. I take a few pictures on my disposable. Photos that will lack the tears that have accompanied the process, though will always serve as a reminder of what we are capable of as a community. When we extend our hand, raise each other up and radiate love.