Phoenix – Guest Post: Sanaa Rizvi

Today we have a beautiful guest post from Poet Sanaa Rizvi aka Sunny.  She’s the writer of the uplifting blog A Dash of Sunny.  I’m sure that you will be running to meet her over there after hearing what she has to say here.  Enjoy:

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By Sanaa Rizvi


In Greek mythology, a phoenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

That is exactly what I am – a phoenix – a person who, through difficult phases in life rises after being knocked down. To regenerate – with a new energy and positive attitude.  To be daring enough to accept what life throws at you is what I wish for all the people in this world. My name is Sanaa Rizvi and this is my story.

I believe that being different; going against the grain of society is the greatest thing in the world. How many times have you wished that people understood you; appreciated your different personality? The problem with most people is that they don’t appreciate individuality as they don’t really understand it. Such was the case with me. Since childhood, no one really understood me. In school while all the other children played sports; I would be found sitting in a corner lost in my thoughts. I was told to have a wild imagination which I would satiate by absorbing myself in the world of books.

Stand Up For Yourself:

As I grew up in my beloved city Karachi, Pakistan, I faced what everyone in this entire world faces in their high school life i.e. peer pressure. Let me tell you something, it wasn’t pretty. In our teenage life we are often confused as to where life is heading. What’s right or wrong is simply mind-boggling. We yearn to be a part of something – to be popular – but at what cost? At the mere age of fourteen my instincts were strong enough to warn me that if I didn’t stand up for myself I would be knocked down by the crowd. We all face bullying in our lives. I was bullied to the extreme by the senior students. The reason? Because I was different and refused to be like others. While all the girls in my class were busy chasing boys; I was busy fighting them off. Courage is not the absence of fear rather it’s the ability to move beyond it.

Love of Literature:

In college fate led me to Literature and all the things associated to it. The love and admiration for a female professor and her contagious enthusiasm; inspired me to study the subject. Which is interesting, as I simply had no base or background of the subject! Nevertheless, I strived towards it and never looked back. I would write short poems and present them to my professor to be published in the annual college magazine. The world of poetry fascinated me with its alluring charms. But to learn to interpret poetry was the main challenge for me as it was a new subject. My favourite poets are the Old Poets. There is something about their writing which speaks to me and connects with my soul.

Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era; for instance I would have been better off in the time of John Keats. Don’t you wish sometimes to be born into an era which seemed more interesting to you than the one you exist in at present? Think about it. I am sure many of you can relate to this feeling. Some of us are born different – the finer things in life appeal to us rather than the ordinary. It is said that a sensitive soul often grows up to become a writer or a poet. Our nature leads us to express things more clearly and write them down with passion and zeal.

Constant Changes:

207616_1878278110413_796705_nAfter completing my studies; I just couldn’t get the job I was looking for in this field. This led me to depression. But as they say, Man proposes but God disposes. Fate then led me towards a brand new field – Aviation. I worked for nearly 2.5 years in an airline. It was a whole new experience – stuff which I had absolutely no idea about- which I struggled to learn, as I wanted to make my family proud of me. I remember going to work feeling completely lost at first as I gradually found my footing. The fiery determination to prove myself worthy of the job helped earn the respect of my colleagues and superiors. It was one of the best phases of my life – the entire experience – the adrenaline rush – radio transmissions to pilots – co-ordination with different departments at the airport and so on.

But life changed its course yet again. Due to inevitable circumstances, I left my job and went to live in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This time period in my life led me to depression. But as I mentioned, a phoenix rises from the ashes and is reborn. Things became better once I found a new job – my current – as an invigilator at British Council. But my soul was not satisfied. It felt like something was missing. A few days later in a state of sheer boredom, as I was thinking of my closest friend; who is my greatest source of inspiration, I penned down a few lines. It took me a few moments to realize that I had just composed a poem. Weeks passed by and I would continue to compose several poems – which would remain hidden in my journal.

Poetry – My Passion:

Terri Guillemots states; “Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.” Fate led me to an opportunity to share my poetry with the world – my sister gave me the idea to start a blog in which I would share my poems along with other things that interested me. According to my mother, poetry ran far and wide in her family bloodline. Her father held a great interest in writing romantic poetry whereas her mother’s paternal uncle (my great grandfather) was a renowned poet whose work is taught in universities even in these times. So it is safe to state that poetry was in my blood. It was then that the journey began. Initially I posted a few of my earliest poems until one day by a stroke of luck; I came upon a community for poets called Poets United. And so, by sharing my poems with them my soul was finally at its zenith point. I had found the peace and happiness that I was longing for. I was living the dream!

To think that there was a time when my poems would be kept away in a journal and to wonder in amazement at the present; where my poems are being appreciated by Poets all around the world through this wonderful community. I am forever grateful to them for letting me be a part of it. Here I would like to mention that a fellow poet and friend Leslie Moon is my source of encouragement. Had it not been for her; I would never have learned so much. She inspires me to be the best and explore the different forms of writing poems.

Chasing Dreams:

Before leaving I would like to urge all of you out there to chase your dreams. Forget about what people think; ignore the pessimistic attitude of people; who shun the idea that anything is possible as long as you believe. Explore your talent for God has given us each something special to share. If you believe that you are good at something – anything for that matter – may it be writing or a sport – then please follow your instincts. I hope to instil the faith in you which was instilled in me by the people in my life mentioned in this article. As Miguel de Cervantes so wisely states;

“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from the ashes and rise.”

May our endeavours lead us to happiness and success for which we struggle all our lives.


Sanaa Rizvi Sanaa Rizvi is a 20-something fun soul who loves all things poetry and literature. Having done her graduation in English Literature, she found solace in the world of poetry and quickly realized she has a knack for it herself.

About the author

I am a King without a Kingdom, in a world with many masters, wrapped in the spoils of a jealous heart, and my people’s callous laughter.


  1. Inspiring story. You’ve certainly had a lot of different experiences. But, the poet inside has always been there, a constant throughout.

  2. The same word came to me as it did to the other commenters. Your story is so inspiring. I’m going to send it to friends and my therapy clients immediately.

  3. Sanaa, this is a wonderful story. Poets United changed my life too, when I first found it, so your story resonates with me a great deal. It is interesting that poetry is in your family. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Your life has taken an interesting path, Sanaa. It shows you never know what will be around the next corner! Glad you discovered Poets United (and Poetry Jam) along the way!

  5. Thanks Mary 🙂 Glad you liked it! Hope Poetry Jam continues on for several years to come!
    Its a wonderful site 🙂

  6. Ah to be so young and have so many experiences already! A story to inspire and encourage young and old. I have found “life” in writing after decades of hiding it in journals. Your post has inspired me to write my offering on “fear”; Phoenix is the middle name of my grandson and I see so much of this in him.

  7. Hello Traceofthesoul 🙂

    Thank you for reading my story, I think its a great idea to write your offering on “Fear” 🙂
    Hope your grandson lives up to his middle name.. and achieves his due share of happiness 🙂

  8. Hello Marian,

    Thank you for having this hope and faith in me 🙂
    Its a huge compliment! Highly appreciate it 😀
    Lots of love,

  9. I am learning so much from gifted poets (like Sanaa) whose greatest desire is not to amass fame or notoriety it is day after day to give beauty meaning.
    I am glad that we have the honor to read this phoenix / poet as she soars above the ashes.
    Much love to this Sunshine girl

  10. Really great interview here and this was a good perspective on the life of a passionate writer. There is much to learn from many different people in this world, and it is amazing to meet each and every one of them.

    1. Hello Kenn,

      Thanks for reading 🙂 Glad you liked it!
      Absolutely agreed, there are many amazing Poets in this world.
      A lot to learn and alot to write! 😀

  11. It’s a wonderful story, and the advice that you have presented even more so. I am glad that you were able to find yourself-your true self, through life’s experiences. Wish you all the best for today and always!

  12. Hello Blogoratti,

    Thank you so much 🙂 Glad you read my story and liked it!
    Wishing you loads of health & happiness in the years to come!

  13. Hello Sonya,

    Thanks for reading and giving me such a huge compliment 🙂
    Highly appreciated! Hope you are having a wonderful day!

  14. Wonderful to see you.. and life is so many different stories. The world of poetry is so wide and big, and find it most refreshing when a new face comes across. Your energy and commenting on everything is at least as inspiring as your writing. Keep up the good work.

  15. How wonderful to find you on this blog, Sanaa! I love your writing and determination. I have to say that I am surprised at how young you are. So many experiences, but, much more to come.

  16. Wow, This is so inspiring. Very beautifully written!
    Keep up the good work and wish you more and more success ahead 🙂

  17. Hello Aqsa,

    Thank you so much dear 🙂 Highly appreciate your kind words!
    Thanks for stopping by, enjoy the weekend! Lots of love 🙂

  18. Now being a follower of the person who has lived her life similar to many teenager._ is quite inspiring for me now. It’s #simple#decent#innocent # touching lives… Live it @SANA.. GOD BLESS u

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