Professionally, I am an educator and a mental health counsellor. At heart, I am an explorer. The universe is rife with opportunities, and I must discover and embrace new challenges with an open heart. On this journey of exploration, I learned that I deeply enjoy teaching because it offers a profession out of studying ideas I would talk about for free anyway.
I am fascinated by art and currently teach art history at a university in Karachi. It is a great privilege to discover how my students construct meaning in their lives through art. In an art museum, my excitement mirrors that of a kid in a candy shop. It’s fascinating to learn what an artwork reveals about someone from a different time in history. I am partial to modernism. Monet continues to be one of my favourite artists of all time.
My journey in mental health started in my late twenties because of a long spell of insomnia, rumination, and anxiety. Initially, I resisted help because I believed asking for help was a sign of weakness. Fortunately, my fiance was a therapist, and she encouraged me to take the plunge to seek professional help. I learned that therapy was a universe of its own. I discovered it was possible to move past my childhood trauma.
As a nerd at heart, I thrived in finding new ways of seeing the world with my therapist. Soon enough, living a mentally healthy life became an obsession of mine. I stumbled upon mindfulness and self-compassion and discovered new ways of speaking to myself with kindness. What a radical discovery! Of all the gifts of training as a mental health counsellor, the best was learning that listening intently to others pulls me out of my mind chatter.
Professional work aside, my passion is to explore and experience new cultures. I was born in the United States and spent my early childhood in Canada before moving to Karachi, Pakistan. I also have my cardiologist father to thank for my love for travel; dad brought me to cardiology conferences in East Asia, The Middle East, and Europe. As a child, I found it fascinating to hear new languages, try different cuisines and discover new ways to approach life. In other countries, there was newness and excitement that I simply could not find at home. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to do this when I studied in the US for my college and master’s degree.
On a day-to-day basis, I believe in living a simple life. I love to drink great coffee, watch thriller tv shows and analyze cricket matches to learn more about the sport. My favourite season is Karachi winter or London summer. I am convinced that heaven is London in June.
I also love food and spend more hours than I would like to admit scrolling through youtube cooking channels. I am still learning how to make the perfect pizza. I suspect I will continue to do so for the rest of my life.