When people first see me, they usually can’t make out where I’m from. I’ve had an incredible number of guesses about my nationality – from Indian to Bahraini to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Mongolian to Brazilian to Bolivian … … … hardly any people have been able to guess my actual nationality. Add to that my ‘American’ accent (though I think of it more as a neutral accent) and it starts to get even more confusing.
The answer to the simple question – Where are you from? – is not easy for me to answer.
The idea of identity, a topic that is central to my PhD research and thesis, is not simple. It’s not something that can be understood by looking at a tick in a box. Although this website is not specifically about the concept of identity, the theme is relevant as this site catalogues my exploration into discovering who I am.
When I first started blogging back in 2007, I really had no idea who I was. I wasn’t sure where my life was heading. I did’t know what avenues I wanted to go down. Everything felt complicated. I felt like I needed to have all the answers locked down, but life is not that simple. However, I felt like keeping it simple was what I needed to do. I came up with the name Plum Petals in order to capture that mission towards simplicity. The name is based on two simple things – my favorite color (purple) and my love for flowers. By isolating two things in my life, the name Plum Petals was born. All these years later and it has become part of my identity as well.
So, who am I?
I am from Bangladesh.
I was born and raised in Kuwait.
I studied in an American School in Kuwait and went to university in up state New York where I lived for six years. After that I lived and worked in central New York until I returned to Kuwait to be with my family and work at Kuwait University where I taught English for 14 years. I currently reside in the greater London region.
I used to be full of anxiety and worry. I used to be afraid of everything. I used to be very overweight. Then one day, I decided to make a change. I started lifting weights. I started to watch what I ate. I did the Whole Life Challenge (which was life changing).
I used to have several blogs – one about my academic writing, one about my general life musings, one about my fitness adventures, one about doing Jiu-Jitsu … you get the picture.
I kept separate blogs because I felt like each one of those aspects was a defined segment of my life. Not only did I not think that my readers were interested in reading about the various topics, but I also did not see them as blending together. They were distinct themes that played distinct roles in my life.
Although it was a lot of working maintaining so many different blog sites, I really was convinced that the categories should be kept separate. However, as I continued to evolve and I realized that as different as each aspect was, they were all linked somehow. I found that the perseverance and dedication I showed informed my attitude in the gym. The strength I developed in the gym had an impact on my confidence in my workplace. The confidence I felt showed in my Jiu-Jitsu practice and teaching. I saw that my different paths of interested had finally merged into one — they were no longer separate components of my life, but in fact, they were all part of me. These components are who I am. They play into one another and they have all led me to where i stand today.
As a result, I have decided to do away with all the separate blogs and merge them into one. Although the different categories may not be of interest to every reader, they can pick and choose what they think is worth reading.
For me, what this merge symbolizes is me finally feeling grounded in who I am. This is me. These are my adventures.