Another favourite amongst Pakistani Expat Influencers, we have Shehzeen Rehman.
Shehzeen is a lifestyle blogger, currently based out of Australia. She was born and raised in Lahore, moved for a while to Karachi, then Dubai and now here in Sydney, where she lives with her husband of 9 years. Shehzeen loves homecooked meals, loves keeping and taking care of her plants and really enjoy the basic, everyday things in life like doing the groceries, going for a walk. And we quote “I value certain rituals very much, like waking up early, watering the plants, daily prayers, stuff like that. And I deeply trust in the fact, that there are not many things a good cup of chai can’t fix :)”
SS: What is your blog about? And what made you decide that this is what you wanted to do?
SR: My blog is mainly about lifestyle, more specifically my lifestyle 🙂 I write about things that have helped me in having a more mindful, kind and grounded approach to life. And as I write about such stuff, I hope to find people who resonate with the same 🙂 I didn’t really design it to be this way, it just organically developed into what it is. I think I’ve always led my content with my heart, and while I do make a living out of my blog so this is my ‘workplace’ so to say, I still keep it very personal and close to me. I never decided that this is what I want to do, and I’m not sure if I’ll keep doing it forever – what I do know is that I want to live a life of purpose, and so whatever helps me do that 🙂 Right now, it’s my blog.
SS: How did you decide to blog about (your niche) or shift towards it?
SR: I’ll be honest, I didn’t start posting to change anyone’s life or to inspire anyone to be a certain way. It was never my aspiration. I chose to post about simpler things that made my life better because I truly enjoy safe, respectful conversations. I like sharing my own opinions, I deeply appreciate listening to other people. And so my content has mainly been about putting a thought out there in the world. I don’t want to let people think that *I* can inspire anyone to be a certain way. Whoever we are and what our greatest potential is, it all rests within us. I truly believe that. Other people – like a blogger, or a friend, stranger, anyone – can help be a medium in getting us to find our real self or worth, but what we do with that is all in us. I always wanted healthy discussions, compassionate behavior, appreciation of simple life things, to be a product of my blog and that’s about it.
SS: How do hate comments affect you?
SR: Pretty much the same way as a comment that is all love 🙂 They don’t ‘affect’ me because I have worked hard (in life, not just Instagram) to dissociate myself from the validation of anyone else. What someone else thinks of me – whether that’s very highly or very poorly – has no bearing on how I feel about ‘me’. I don’t let my head get too big when someone compliments me, and I don’t question my worth if someone does otherwise. Of course, I feel a lot, a LOT of respect and gratitude when someone says something great about me (and my following is INCREDIBLE, I cannot even explain what I get on a daily basis), it’s a truly a gift of God, but that respect and gratitude is what comes out of me. What goes in me, it’s neither praise or hate – I don’t let excessive praise enhance my sense of self or have it reduced because of someone’s dislike. I’m quite lucky though that I barely ever get any rude comments directly (I’m sure they exist in private conversations) but whatever may come, it’s not coming from me – I only concern myself with what I’m putting out into the world and that’s it 🙂
SS: Share one favorite post of yours that actually helped make a positive difference amongst your followers?
SR: Is it funny that I don’t really know the answer to that? 🙂 I’m not sure, I just enjoy the love on every post so much, I guess I don’t have the right answer for it? I’ll share a few that I did more recently, which I think people loved. The one I did about a simple Eid we had at home, one that my husband did about being a good partner to me, and a video that I did in Pakistan Sign Language (to create awareness about the Deaf community) that no one had done before (I’m very proud of that whole video because the entire concept, writeup, everything, was mine :)).
Eid at home: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBS06ODgY0j/
Guest Post by Nabeel: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5KYz-nHmEj/
Sign Language: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5KYz-nHmEj/
SS: What is the worst and best comment you’ve ever gotten about your work?
SR: I know this may sound like I’m being pretentious, but anytime I hear anything good about me, my first reaction is to think how generous this person has to be to take the time, and find the space in their heart, to tell me something good about me. I know the world feels so difficult at times but there are these repeated reminders everyday that generosity, goodness exists in common people everywhere. It’s so inspirational to hear or watch someone being good to someone else (in this case, to me). That’s all I honestly remember from my ‘best comments’. Sorry, don’t mean to sound too artificial, but genuinely this is how I feel 🙂
And as for the worst comment….bhula diya 🙂
SS: Who are your 5 favourite bloggers/influencers in Pakistan
SR: I guess those with larger followings most people know. So I want to mention some with relatively smaller followings, who are excellent with their content and are my absolute favorites.
- Marya from @no.fomo – Independent girl, filmmaker, such a raw writer. Has beautiful style to go with it.
- Beena from @pursuitofishq – Amazing writing and such profound thoughts. Also, has such good style.
- Marrium from @usernameconfidential_ – Genuine, strong, independent. Love her vibe.
- Fizza from @thementalfootprint – Simple, everyday things with very intelligent and thoughtful posts.
- Sidra from @therajalife – My best friend and favorite human, who is also an artist, such a strong woman, level-headed, excellent listener, REAL, and someone whose entire wardrobe I want to steal.
SS: What do you think is the difference between a blogger and an influencer?
SR: I guess I always say this 🙂 A blogger is someone who creates content online. An influencer is someone who has the potential to create a difference in thought or expand it – which can be anyone in the online or offline space. You, me, anyone. In our conversations with friends, in discussions with our colleagues, in things we share on Whatsapp – being an influencer can be exercised by anyone and everyone, it’s not limited to any platform.
SS: What are the challenges you face as an expat influencer catering to the Pakistani influencers VS Pakistani Influencers in Pakistan?
SR: Nothing really, I guess. I’m creating what I enjoy or what I feel strongly about, and I am grateful for my job ♥
SS: What are your views on the “blogger culture” and one advice you’d like to give to all the new bloggers?
I think it’s great that in a country with forever limited opportunities for women, so many have found a platform and community to develop a source of income for themselves or a voice for their opinions. Also, it’s been a big breakthrough in terms of giving legitimacy to so many creative jobs, especially in our South Asian culture, where only certain jobs have traditionally been termed aspirational. Now we see people living full lives through such sources of self-employment, it allows people to express themselves or even have space to do things part-time that they couldn’t do typically. There are good things and bad things about everything and I guess it depends on what you’re looking for 🙂
For new bloggers, just figure out why you want to be in the online space and what is unique about you. You might want to reapply someone else’s formula but the beauty of old and new in any space, is that you can learn both ways. Find your uniqueness, respect those who have come before you, stay honest, stay true to yourself. You don’t have to be friends with everyone to make it, trust your work.
Thank you so much for having me Siddy Says! You are one of the pioneers of the blogging space, and have evolved and lasted through all these years. Kudos to your whole team, and to many more years of co-existing on this space with you 🙂
Did you go through our chat with Mahvish Ahmed?