Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rest of My Life

As salaam alaikum,

For some reason, it suddenly smells like tangerines in here. Tangerines or peaches, I can't tell.

Today is really the first day of the rest of my life. This was the first day that I didn't think about B every hour or so and end up scowling. I thought about him a couple of times today, sure, but I didn't get angry. I didn't wonder why. I think it was because this morning I came to ultimate peace about the whole thing. No matter if it was because he thought I was fat and was no longer "physically" attracted to me or any other number of dumb the end, it all indicates that he wasn't ready for the type of relationship I wanted.

Poor fool is in for the surprise of his life when he discovers that I was actually one of the best ones out there, and it's going to take him a long time (if not years) to find a deal as good as me. And you know what, she may be even bigger than I am! That he gave me up tells me he really didn't appreciate what he had.

At the same time, this all liberates me, and lets me be free. It teaches me more what I want and allows me to dream big. I'm not sacrificing anything for a man ever again until after we sign the marriage contract. And I'm not talking about just sexual things...I'm talking about spiritual things, excessive time, energy, emotion, all of those things I expended on B's behalf that he apparently didn't appreciate. When we're good with God, we're good to go!

But I'm California-bound for the second time in my life. I'll be praying for it, but I think I want to go to UCSF for my family medicine residency. If I could live in Oakland, that would be awesome, but I think I'll just have to get used to layering all year round, suck it up, and head to SF.

Time for me to make that happen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

[uncensored]: What Makes a Good Man

As salaam alaikum,

I wanted Sunday's entry to be the last one about B, but I have a little bit more to say. I was going to sleep happy after watching several YouTube videos about talking birds (I want one in my life! Maybe after residency...) and I sat up suddenly and thought to email my friend's fiance, who is friends with B. I just suddenly thought about B and my time together, and the way he used to look at me, and touch me, and I realized...this weight claim was not always true. He didn't always care about it. Something happened in February and he became the monster that he is now. And, he's given up on his aspirations to teach and take his work down to underprivileged kids in the US. For his birthday, I bought him 501 Spanish Words because he indicated to me that he was trying to learn Spanish.

And while I don't think he's making up his aversion to me because of my weight that occurred in our last month together, this abrupt change that no one can make sense of is just that, an abrupt change. I think he's having a personal crisis and he found a way to push me, the closest person he's ever been to, completely away. He no longer has feelings for me, and he's become an unfeeling bastard.

It's no longer my place, though. I'm not sticking around to try to save him or waiting up for him. He has issues and God is the only remedy, but with the way he humiliated me, I'm not going to be the one. If he wanted space away from me, this is what he got.

So anyway, I emailed my friend's fiance, who is friends with him, and let him know that I think his situation is dire, and though I don't want to be within a one mile radius of him, I think that he needs a friend. Dude is getting married in the month so probably does not have time to really look out for his friend, but hopefully he reaches out to him.

Depression is a bitch, I know it first hand. But I also know that Major Depression as we know it was invented in 1980 in DSM-III. Depression is an artifact of physical diseases, of life circumstances and spiritual voids most of the time. My mother brings up a good point. She's like, "How did black people survive slavery?"

Think about all of the stressful events people have endured before modern psychopharrmacology. Sure, some people were depressed and had suicidal ideation, but I mean, if you were a slave, don't you think the likelihood that you have suicidal ideation increases? How many suicides are actually prevented by SSRIs and the like?

Anyway, I digress. Depression, suicide and this world are issues for a whole other post.

B tore his ass with me, and I would be a fool to go back to talking to him ever again. Anyone who throws away what we had and disregards the sacrifices I made and spiritual revolution I endured to be with him over something like weight is not my friend.

And of course, the only reason I even still emailed his friend is because yes, though everyone I know would slap me in the face for this (so I'm not telling them), I still care about him. He was a beautiful man, but he has issues like whoa. He needs to check himself before he wrecks himself, essentially.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about today, although it took up so much time.

This whole situation has made me rethink several things. For one, it's made me reanalyze my reasons for wanting to lose weight. I lost 20 pounds last year and wanted to continue to lose weight. I stopped for several, that I hurt my ankle on a date with B once and that threw off my momentum. Also, my public health school schedule inhibited me from doing my morning workouts for a while. And, I thought that B liked the way I looked...

And I realize...while part of my desire to lose weight is my own, a large part of it is irremediably interwoven with my idea of what a man would want in my body. I assume that a man would want what he sees on the television or in the movies. Part of my desire to lose weight was to fit into a body shape that more men would want...increase the pool, so to speak.

But then I look at all of my sisters who call themselves thick who those in the medical profession would call morbidly obese (no joke)...and there are men who like that, too.

So why should I have to change myself for men? Shouldn't there be men out there who like my body just the way it is?

And didn't I say, anyway, that I didn't want a man who was just fixated on my physical appearance?

But that apparently is an oxymoron. Men are attracted to women physically first, and then they (may) get to know them. Men, men, all men...I've never heard a man deny this being true. So while I was not wrong to bat away the men I did (because I had a feeling that they were just interested in sex, and umm yeah, not happening with this Muslimah)...I can't fault a man for being a man.

Can I?

But before, I couldn't separate any part of my being from wanting to be wanted by a man...from the way that I dress (even in the days of hijab) to the way that I behave around men. To my weight. My weight.

I have to think, if there were no men...I think I'd still want to lose weight. But not for myself. So doctors would get off my damn back about my weight, honestly. I like being a larger woman. It's been a part of me so long, and while I would like to see what I'd look like slimmer, I think I'd always prefer my larger body. I want to lose weight so I no longer have to prove to my doctors that, in spite of my weight, I am still healthy...because I am healthy. I want to lose weight so that when my time comes insha'Allah to bear children, I won't become obese in the process.

And I think that last reason is the main reason that I'm going to go ahead and continue to lose weight. It's going to be for the sake of my future pregnancies. Not for men and not for my doctors, I'm going to do it for me...not even for my future babies. They would be quite comfortable nursing and resting on the fat of Mama's belly. It is for me, what I want in my life, and how I want to be.

I have reached weights that were uncomfortable for me. I basically do not ever want to be bigger than I am right now in my life.

So, forward I go.

But still, I haven't answered my main question...what makes a good man? I really don't know. I think I gave men in the past a lot more credit than they deserved.

Men are attracted to women for physical reasons primarily, who they actually are secondarily. I do not find that admirable, but I guess that's a moot point, because that's how they were made. A good man, then, is not determined by who he finds attractive or what physical traits he "tolerates" in a woman. I guess a good man may legitimately not be attracted to women who are overweight. But a good man is woman who, after that physical attraction aspect, really gets to know the woman for who she is, all who she is, and from there is able to build a foundation of love, commitment, compromise and mutual life.

A good man is one who can hold onto that even as a woman goes through the physical changes of life.

I think about my father. He's been with my mother from the time she was 99 pounds to a time when she was 218. He actually preferred her when she was 150 in her middle age, but that didn't stop him from marrying her at 99, and it didn't get him to leave her when she dropped to 135. He was with her through long, straight hair to short, kinky hair and everything in between. He was with her in her youth and he's with her in older age. He was with her through several stages of her life cycle, through a change in her religious fervor, through changes in her own sexual physiology after her hysterectomy. And my father doesn't say things like I love you but I know he does from the way he talks about my mother, from their little routines...they both take marriage seriously, and they fit together.

I know men who want their women to be a certain weight, to have a certain hair length, to dress a certain way. That's not my father.

So there are good men out there, I guess.

I'm just so disillusioned that most of them are assholes, even more than I thought were before.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

If I let another man into my life...

(As salaam alaikum),'ll be too soon.

I just found out that B broke up with me because he was no longer attracted to me because of my weight. My weight.

I don't trust men. I don't trust anyone whose primary reasons for wanting to be with someone is physical attraction. That my weight (and I'm not even obese...I am overweight, yes, 20 pounds so, but still) is such a turnoff that you don't want to be with, he's said enough.

He was totally unworthy of the time and love I gave him. Totally unworthy. So I told him that. Yep, I feel bad, I've never said such mean things to someone in my life before, but I don't know how he thought that would end but badly. He couldn't have exited gracefully and said that he realized he no longer wanted to be with a Muslim. That would have been so easy! But no, he said it was weight. Just me, being fat to him. And that's worth throwing away what he had, which he apparently felt little for...

No more! Let him stick around for all of the women that are not knocking on his door.

I think I called him a name in the email though. May God forgive me. I will say one last prayer for him, and then I'm outtie!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Mad I Missed This!

As salaam alaikum,

That's right, black Muslims represent!

I'm soooo angry that no one on HLM-list posted about this when it was in Boston in February! I'm going to see if I can find it online, bootleg now...probably not, but anyway.


It gives me courage to revise RMD into something better, to better tell the story I want to tell...

I'm feeling better today than yesterday. I will take care to never live for the whims of a man who is mere creation and at best just a submitter like I am!

I'm metamorphosing. We'll see where I am at the end of it all. Alhamdulillah, I think it's for the best...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Woman in this World

As salaam alaikum,

Is there more trying a role than being a woman in this world? I don't think so.

And I'm not talking about me. No. For all of the pain of heartbreak, disillusion and dysmenorrhea, no, I count myself among the most blessed, like the top 0.1% of the world, if not a percentage less than that. Because not only do I have all of the comforts of the world wherever I go, not only am I pursuing a career that I know will please God, but I believe in God. I'm working on believing Him, but I believe in Him, and He told me that as long as I continue on this path, of believing, of striving, of doing good deeds, that I'll be all right.

And I have a comfortable bed, constant water to drink and in which to bathe, and comfortable and clean sanitary products. I have clothes on my back and food to eat, and no where that I go do I want of these things.

I can't say so much for my sisters, though. My sisters in what? Not just my sisters in Islam, but my sisters in this world.

Women. Women in this world.

Since I'm in public health school, I hear more about the horrors that women and girls face in this word than I ever did before, although many of them I knew about. My sisters are in danger from the moment their sex becomes apparent in conception to the time of their deaths. I'm talking female infanticide, genital mutilation, rape, rape in the time of war, rape anywhere, rape just because, physical violence, psychological abuse, sterilization, intimate partner abuse...the list goes on.

And all I have is a little heartbreak. I'm sitting here on my soft bed, looking out of an apartment with a view of the river and I've been crying all day because a man who said with so many words that he loved me suddenly had no more feelings for me, and told me so. I was ready to change my life to fit his in so many ways, and though it was a blessing that things went no farther, it still hurts.

Will I deny my pain because there is obviously greater hurt than this? No, I will not deny my pain. It still hurts.

And even privileged women suffer in this world. In this country, and not just the poorer among us. Like all humankind, we have Satan in front and behind us, to the right and the left of us. We are relegated by our partner gender (and each other) from in front and behind, from the right and to the left. Our mode of dress is the easy example. Are we naked and sexy to show the world our beauty or are we in all black to guard our modesty from those voracious men?

But even in what we expect in the men in our lives...we are relegated. I've lived and sometimes I live both sides, sometimes simultaneously, so I can say it to be so. On the secular side of things, men expect to be able to have sex with me in short time. On the religious side of things, I'm not considered good enough for Muslim after Muslim man. I don't have a Muslim name, I don't wear hijab, I'm black, whatever, I'm not good enough.

I wouldn't care, and people tell me I should just go on with my life and not worry about men, but unfortunately, it's through men that I may be able to achieve what I want most in life, and always have...partnership in Islam and life, family, motherhood, children.

But because I'm relegated, I'm never enough. Never good enough. Not the pious wife one wants. Frigid, a prude, doesn't give it up.

Who lives a life like the women in this world?

God is God, but I can't help feeling in this life that so much is at the mercy and whims of a man, or more than one man. And I don't understand God's will enough to rest assured that I won't hurt again, for the mistakes I made and the trust I put in a man. I don't understand God's will enough to rest assured that I'm going to marry, that I'll be with someone who actually loves me for His sake, who appreciates me, who will be a great husband and father to my children.

So as I spend the day crying, more disillusion than heartbreak this time, I think of my sisters around the world with hurts worse than mine, who called on the name of God and don't understand why they had to suffer as they did. My pains are small in comparison. I am blessed, nor am I using their pain in vain, to whip myself into a frenzy, to try to count my plight with theirs. That is not my aim.

But to be a woman in this world...I don't know.

God knows what I don't.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Word Vomit

As salaam alikum,

Although I avoided making this thing student-y inasmuch as possible, I must say...aaaaahhh! To be done with that literature review is the sweetest feeling I've known in about one month's time. It was 17 pages of gold...well, not really. But it was 17 pages.

In other news, I keep writing zingers to B. Man oh man, if I do say so myself, when I'm going through stuff, I write very well. We gchatted and it was the first time we talked about the break up. He brought it up, saying that now that we're no longer together (whose fault is that, o senhor?) he needs to get out of Boston at least once-monthly. He didn't set up these trips when we were together. I then said aww, and told him I'd had a dream about him, and we were broken up in the dream.

He asked what happened. Why, I don't know, so I told him.

This is a true story.

In the dream, we were sitting together on the ground...either on the floor of my apartment or outside (I can't remember which). I didn't set up this part. Anyway, we were drawing a D on a piece of paper. And he mentioned something he wanted for "our kids." And then I reminded him that they were just his kids, that they weren't our kids anymore. And then he said, "Oh."

His gchat response? "I see."

I mean, dude, you asked! He knows my dreams very well by now. The first one that he was in, we switched genders, and he became the girl and I was the guy. Heh, he hated that dream, but it was because of his lack of taking initiative, something that I guess by being in a relationship with me he realized that he needed to do...

But anyway, I wrote him this awesome email that I would post, but since this thing is searchable I feel like I would increase the chance of him finding this site, if he hasn't already. But I liked it.

And after I wrote it, I just felt...even better than I'd already been feeling upon returning to Boston from my spring break. I felt relieved to talk about some of the things that I did with him, things that I felt like he should know. I illustrated him explicitly the process I'm going through to remove the little reminders of him from me, the way that he'd become enmeshed in my life. If we're going to be "friends," I can't have any secrets eating at me. By openly talking about us no longer being together, it gave me a voice to talk about how hard it was for me and that, even now, as I begin to move from my apartment, if I find small reminders of him here or there, it will give me pause, and I will reflect on it with a little sadness.

But then I said that it's little sadness that makes samba sweet. Then I hit him with the words of a samba that he liked from Djavan, when we went to the Djavan concert in one of our early outtings.

Mas não sei o que fez tudo mudar de vez. Onde foi que eu errei. Eu só sei que amei, que amei, que amei, que amei...

Which translates to, "But I don't know what happened for everything to change suddenly. Where did I make the mistake? I only know that I loved, that I loved, that I loved, that I loved..."

And I told him that I was glad that I loved, and the little bit of sadness makes my life more like samba, one of my preferred art forms.

A bit much? That wasn't the only thing that I included in the email, so it was even more.

But yes, this is Wednesday Word vomit...and I feel so relieved to get it all out!

I don't have class tomorrow, so I'll probably go in to my practicum site at 9:30am to meet with my lady at 10am. I'll get some work done for my practicum class as well as I'll work on my project a little bit, and then I plan to head home in the afternoon.

The bottom line of all of this is...there's a lot more work left to do for my practicum and this is only the tip of the iceberg, but at least I have two days of no class to do work, that I would take B back if I were convinced that he had direction in his life and that we could spiritually line up, but I'm unconvinced, so I'm not taking him back...and I'm back on the market!

Hahaha, this is a little tongue in cheek, but do any of you readers know of some brothers that may be interested? Or if you're brothers, are you interested? If so, there's another Muslimah available!

...emotionally, mentally and spiritually available for the first time maybe since I was 19, really.

End vomit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Something Starts with S

As salaam alaikum,

Hehehehe...oh, first episode of Sesame Street...(watch this skit until the end).


That God created in us the ability for humor is amazing. I pray that I'm able to laugh about something a little bit every day, even through the most painful times, as I feel so joyous now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Islam of Worthiness

As salaam alaikum,

Behold, in the heavens as well as on earth there are indeed messages for all who [are willing to] believe. And in your own nature, and in [that of] all the animals which He scatters [over the earth] there are messages for people who are endowed with inner certainty. 45:3-4. (Asad)

I was just reading a piece that someone wrote about saving the spirit of Islam from the individualist, self-promoting society we got going on today. She expressed the importance of our recognizing our insignificance before Allah (swt).

And I was afraid of mentioning for a while because I've heard it from so many people that I just believed it to be part of the theology...but recently, I've begun to question it. I think I know where it's coming from, but I don't find it to be helpful to me, at all.

Before God, we are insignificant. Is that really the spirit of Islam we want to embody? Sure, there are billions of us and countless humans have existed before us. We can't say that we are the best of God's creation as we exist right now nor can we say we are the worst. We should be humble before Allah (swt), yes, who is greater than any great we can imagine...but should we think ourselves insignificant?

Maybe the word insignificant helps other people attain humility before God, and if so, power to you. However, for me insignificant carries the connotation worthless. So, if not completely worthless, we are of little worth to God. Okay, I can see how someone would arrive at that, too. As Muslims, we don't believe that God needs our worship, prayers and devotion. That is for us. God knows what is best for us, and that is why he calls us to pray, and give charity, and all of those things. God doesn't need us.

But that's not the same as being of little worth.

I guess the argument about whether we are worthless or worthy comes from the perspective you place yourself. Worthy of what? I feel like so many of us Muslims do not feel worthy of God even when we are trying our best. Even Muslims that we at least outwardly know for their piety, in days past and present, cite others as those who were precious to Allah (swt) and aspire to be like them. And those of us regular people are left saying, masha'Allah, even with all that he or she is, she still considers herself not of those closest to God.

But this helps me out zippo.

I'm not trying to be flip, I'm being honest. Maybe for others, this gives them impetus to try harder, to try to really approach God, to be true submitters, to be cognizant of one's errors and try to live the straight path...but for me, it's paralyzing. As soon as I start approaching God, I feel like I'll never be good enough, and I give up. And then I have to up and try again.

This is the emotional and mental equivalent of flogging oneself, and it's painful for me, so I'm going to stop doing it.

I also look at it this way. When I look out at a single, female sparrow at the bird feeder outside of my mother's house, I watch as she turns her head from side to side, unable to rotate her eyes, looking for the next seed to peck. She's beautiful...cute, brown and slender. Soon she'll be joined by several other sparrows, male and female, and she'll be indistinguishable from the bunch. But I don't think of her as insignificant.

She's a sparrow. She probably has had a nest of her own last season and had little sparrows who, once again, are indistinguishable from the flock. But I don't see her as insignificant. She's one of God's creation, beautiful and wondrous...wondrous in the fact that I wonder why He created birds like this, that fly high daily from trees to food to mating places those special times of the year. They have few predators, so they're not a major food source. There are so many birds like this one, but if I'm in the city I do stop when I have time and watch their antics on their little stick legs, hopping and flying along the brick path, picking up pieces of potato chip carelessly dropped earlier. These city birds are more round because they've developed the taste of fat that the city fast food garbage allows. But I still consider them precious.

I love birds. My mother used to feed them, so I learned a few of them by name. I struggle to say that the birds are insignificant before Allah (swt) or that they are worthless. Any bird lover would feel the same way. Any lover of animals would probably feel the same way if I said of a cat, for example, that they are insignificant or of little worth to God. I mean, He created them with purpose, yes? And through following their instincts they are obeying Him, submitting to Him as we human beings are supposed to strive to do?

The little brown sparrow is creation, is of the excellent creation of God, and like the little brown sparrow, so am I.

Admittedly, yes, human beings are different. Unlike other animals, in order to submit to God we have to go against some of our natures and instincts. We are held to a higher standard. We can't go all animal kingdom in this piece. While there are such terrible stories, our men cannot kill of the offspring of a female to be able to copulate with her anew. As females, we do not just wait with our legs agape when ovulation time comes to be fertilized. We are humans created by God with languages, cultures, societies, and through His revelations He helps us form us into more sound societies...

But that doesn't convince me I am insignificant or of less worth than the little brown sparrow I spy beyond the window in my mother's house. That doesn't convince me that I'm less significant than the blades of grass that crunch under my feet in the warmth of early summer, or less significant than the mosquito I smash between my fingers, my own blood fresh in its body. Like all of those things, I am creation, I am excellent creation, and I serve a purpose that none of us can understand, though I have more capacity than those other things to come closer to understanding it.

As a Muslim, I definitely believe in humility before God, yes. To compare myself to God's greatness seems a futile exercise. That's like comparing a quanta to the entire universe. But God does not consider us insignificant...which is the amazing thing, even as tiny as we are.

And no matter how you slice it, when someone says, "Before God, we are insignificant," it sounds like you're saying that God finds us insignificant. I guess that's not what people mean...but as a young Muslimah, I took it that way, and that didn't help me move forward in Islam, at all.

I'm not like the sparrow. I don't submit to God in everything I do as I should as someone who is Muslim. I make mistakes, I stray from the path, I doubt, I flounder sometimes. I'm not like the sparrow in that I can think and I have free will. I can make decisions that can either fortify or destroy my spirit, this spirit that God breathed into us, the spirit which bore witness to God before we were born, the spirit that will return to God in spirit form from this physical state either strong and ready for what God has in store for us or broken and unready. Heaven or Hell as I understand it.

I've read a lot of Muslim texts that says the purpose of life is to serve God. Yes, I mean, I guess. I mean, that's the purpose of everything's life, from the sparrow to the blade of grass tot he mosquito to all of us, I suppose, but why then is the sparrow the sparrow and we are humans? That's the overarching theme, but what does God want from us? That's what I define as the purpose of life.

And that purpose for me while I am on this earth is that we help each other through this life. I've heard other people say that the purpose of life is love and I feel like that's just part of it, because you can love someone and not do crap diddly for them other than loving them from a distance. God put us here together to help each other out, to help build ourselves up, to strengthen our spirits to return to Him. To help out each other when we are in need, to help promote the health of each other, to help each other through tough social situations...that I chose a service career was no accident. We are on this earth to become greater than our nature dictates by being more charitable than we would be at baseline, more cognizant of the Creator than we would be at baseline...

If we were insignificant to God, we wouldn't exist. To say that we are insignificant just feels like he doesn't particularly care for His own creation. But the fact that we are His excellent creation as I cited in the last entry...means that we are significant. We are worthy. I can feel the same self-love, then, as the love I feel for the little brown sparrow that has since flown away, for the grace which will one day soon be green again, for yes, even the mosquito that I despise as it buzzes in my ear and leaves a welt on my forearm but that I marvel at, still, in its power to propagate deadly disease.

I find the sparrow precious creation, and so do I see myself as precious. And anyone who does not appreciate the other living and non-living on this earth, big and small...maybe that's how they can see themselves as insignificant. But if I'm insignificant, what of the entire earth.

I don't find it insignificant. Even though I know that God says that he could wipe this entire existence clean and replace it if He so desired...I guess that's not my definition of significance. I don't see myself as special, or having the overarching right to life over anyone else...but I see myself as blessed that can remember God and realize His will. One so blessed is not insignificant.

Have we forgotten how we were created?

And lo! Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: "Behold, I am about to establish upon earth one who shall inherit it." They said: "Wilt Thou place on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blood - whereas it is we who extol thy limitless glory, and praise Thee, and hallow Thy name?" [God] answered: "Verily, I know that which  you do not know." (2:30)

And these angels, who truly praise God, which we here on earth do a poor job of, were made to bow to us. Iblis didn't, and in his arrogance aims to set us, God's creation, astray. We continually stumble out of a state of grace because of Satan but:

"[For although] We did say, "Down with you all from this [state]," there shall, none the less, most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve." (2:38)

We are born into a state of grace and by our nature, we stumble, falling into the arrogance that is Satan. We should remain conscious of God and maintain humility, but we must also recognize that we are special in that we were given reason, we were given voice to speak languages to communicate with each other, helping each other find God. We have no space to be arrogant, but being humble does not mean we have to consider ourselves insignificant.

It made me depressed and it made me feel more like a pawn than excellent creation.

I henceforth begin this, my foray into an Islam of worthiness.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Affectionately My Ex / Worthiness

As salaam alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, I'm over the post-breakup funk. From here and into the future, B is affectionately my ex. I realized this in between standardized patients during CS today (alhamdulillah, that's, to pass, insha'Allah...). I was in the bathroom, gazing at myself, from my hair, to the way my eyes look in my thick-framed glasses, to my smile, to my body, a little bit voluptuous today because of hormonal bloating (estrogen and progestin FTW), and I was just like...masha'Allah, look at this beautiful creation...about myself!

B really had issues to turn me down, issues which, compiled with everything else between us that we had to work on (the biggest being me being more spiritually evolved than he was, even if we both believed in One God), was just not going to work out for us. His concept of relationships and marriage was really immature, which led him to make the pronouncements about marriage as early as he did. I'm not dumb, so I expected as much and always took what he said with a grain of salt. This is why I'm dancing with myself in a hotel room in Chicago on a king size bed right now not lamenting the absence of a future husband.

Insha'Allah, it will happen soon. I know, because I've prayed for it always and I'll continue to pray for patience and a greater sense of self-worth until it happens. I have never felt more comfortable in my skin as I feel today. Remember MTQ? Yeah, it took me years to get over him, and I wasn't even in a relationship with him. B? Weeks.

What an interesting start to my 26th year. I've had to grow so much so fast in the last couple of months. Mainly, I feel sorry for B...he has no idea what he just passed up, but I'll still pray for him the best. The next woman will likely have less patience with him and be less accommodating...not necessarily, but likely.

But the paradigm shift continues. Though I certainly shifted paradigms to not feel like the worst Muslimah ever for being in a relationship with a non-Muslim (the jury's still out on that one, but God is Judge), I'm not running back to Muslim men, either. Insha'Allah, who is meant for me will come along and it will work. This may not be a man who calls himself Muslim now, and he may never call himself Muslim. I believe this with all of my heart and I know that it is not just those who call themselves Muslims that are believers, as certain as there are those who call themselves Muslims who are not believers.

There are those who do not call themselves Muslims who do good deeds, and there are those who call themselves Muslims whose bad deeds outweigh the good.

There are those who do not call themselves Muslims who could read the Qur'an and as the Qur'an itself says of those who follow other faiths, the book will bring tears to their eyes because they recognize the truth in it.

There are some who call themselves Muslims who are hypocrites.

I pray to Allah (swt) that I am not among the latter. Some may have the opinion that I am. That is fine. This is America and you are free to your opinions, but is that a good deed, oh fellow Muslim, to pass such a judgment when God is Judge?

I'm not saying I'm going to say no to a good Muslim man who desires me for marriage. Hah, he'll be crazy to want to, but okay, we'll go forward and see how things work out if I feel like it's feasible. But I'm also not going to hold my breath for one...

...nor am I really holding my breath for any God-fearing man to come into my life. I'm not holding my breath because I know that insha'Allah, it'll happen soon, and also...

It's just so exhilarating to find myself in a place where I'm not paralyzed by the fear of unworthiness before Allah (swt). That He created me makes me worthy enough, beautiful enough, excellent enough as is all of his creation. And that I believe in Him and turn to Him for guidance in every part of my life...which is what He wants us to can I not be worthy?

Is the sun that rises in the east and sets in the west unworthy because it is a created thing and imperfect as it submits to the will of the Creator? Are the sparrows who wake, chirping in the morning, flying to food by day unworthy as they submit to the will of the Creator? Is the mosquito, that spreads disease that causes great injury, illness and death in several populations around the world unworthy as it submits to the will of the Creator?

So why should I be unworthy as a human being who was made human by my Creator who makes human mistakes as I submit to His will, realizing my nature and keeping it in check in favor of the straight way that He outlined for us?

I am God's precious creation, and like a precious daughter, I need to start treating myself with the love deserving of one who was made with the breath of the Creator.

I was practicing an Islam of Unworthiness. I henceforth practice an Islam of Worthiness., I'm tired from that test! Time to order some room service!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers for Japan

As salaam alaikum,

I will take a moment to pray for Japan and all of those who lost their lives. And continue to pray.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just Crazy

As salaam alaikum,

This has been the song of the day. It pretty much explains my reflection right now. Simple. Succinct. Not overly emotional, just sentimental enough. Repetitive like the thoughts are, captures the quiet astonishment. Dori Caymmi, "Só Louco."

Just crazy
He loved like I loved
Just crazy
He wanted the good that I wanted

Ah, foolish heart!
Why did you make me suffer?
Because to understand love
It's necessary to love?

Just crazy...

Amei! Hahaha, literally!

In other news, I sent B a final email, and I vowed not to contact him for a while, because I don't think it's actually helping me as I thought it would. However, I said everything I wanted to say, and I think that's sufficient for now. He's read it, no doubt, but he's not going to respond. I think weeks without seeing each other will be a good thing, not only so he understands what it's like to not have me in his life anymore but for me to be able to get back to a good baseline completely without too many residual feelings.

My hands are really dry. I need lotion.

In other, other news...Rep. Peter King? I haven't had energy to follow that fiasco. Achoo! I'm allergic to posturing. I will inform myself by catching up with the Daily Show and Colbert tomorrow, after I finish my last exam of the quarter. Two and a half months and I'm back to medical school...

And the struggle continues.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011



...or maybe I need a pinch of anger. I think that's the only way I'll get over him. I need to think, well, obviously he messed over me. If he knew what a good thing he had, he would have never given me up...

I pray that my rightful husband comes along so I don't fall into being with him or anyone as unready as he was.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Empty Space

As salaam alaikum,

Alas, as I knew someday it would, loneliness has re-set in. Sigh. Oh well. Must keep on Curtis Mayfield told me, we're a winner.

I guess I've allowed myself to get lonely now because, long story short, our mutual friends (who happened to be engaged to each other) held what I called a closure ceremony for us. We got to clarify the reasons for our breakup and things like that. So we did, and he clarified why he felt it so necessary to break up...he doesn't know what he wants in his career or in his life, and he didn't want to slow me down, since I'm going towards a career and know what I want to do with my life...

I had made a space for him in my life, in my way of being, a space that for a week I filled with anger and bitterness because I thought he broke up with me just because he spontaneously didn't have feelings for me anymore. Now that the anger and bitterness is gone because everything is clarified...I have an empty space that I'm trying to refill with the things of my life, and as I hurtle forward in this new, healthier baseline, I find myself reluctant to completely fill that space...

That was the space where hope and despair from being single used to be. The despair is gone, and the hope is confused. Part of the hope wants him back in my life someday, another part wants the perhaps someone aspect that didn't exist when I was angry at him.

But it's better not to be angry. I'd rather take the time to un-confuse my hope and let it beam and grow, and fill that empty space with hope for something better. I'll feel that space with hope and love.

I pray that he finds his way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Baaaaaccccckkkkkk

As salaam alaikum,

So, for anyone who was uncomfortable/disapproved of my recent relationship...situation...I am so back from the dark side!

After a long conversation with my mother and realizations about what Allah (swt) really intends for me...not to mention those out there who are and were praying for me...I'm so over feeling slapped in the face, angry, depressed, sad, confused, helpless, hopeless, all of those things.

I tell you...never in my life have I been more cognizant of the presence and impact of Satan. I kept feeling uplifted today, I kept feeling like things were actually going to be more okay, that only good things are ahead now, and then there was this constant, nagging, nay-saying voice telling me that this wasn't the will of God. So finally I sought refuge with God from Satan and I felt better...once I realized what was up.

So yes, I'm back, new, improved, better than ever, experience under my belt, more reason to be thankful and more cognizant of my constant need to be repentant. I'm back, 26 and more starry-eyed than ever. I'm back, and I'm ready to realize the real love of my life. I'm back, and I am so so ready to take on the world!

I am truly blessed, Allah (swt) is truly Merciful, and I am truly on the way to my life being more awesome than I can imagine. I know it, I speak it here, witness it! Alhamdulillah!

It's not going to be the same as before. The cynicism is gone. I thought I didn't know how I want to be but I know now how I want to be.

...and I also have a lot of my free time back. What am I going to do with my free time? Pray more. Watch novelas. Write a story!

About what just happened? No. I need to give it some time. It'll make a great story though...I can see it now...

I'm thinking of writing something fun this time. My story idea, "The Misadventures of Nisa," for example. I'm almost done writing the song for that! Yes, there is a song with's called "Anisa Taylor." It's a fun song to write...I haven't written songs since I was a kid!

The problem is, it takes place in the 80s...I wish there were a website that characterized the way people talked in certain time periods. Why must I write it in the 80s? Because I love the 80s!

Anyway, I'm back, feeling big and beautiful. Look for me, I'll probably be back to clogging up the blogosphere with my nonsense!

Love y'all! <3

Jazakallah khair for the prayers! Keep 'em coming! Let me know, I can do the same for you, babes!

At a Loss

As salaam alaikum,

Everyone who reads this...pray for me. I am at a loss of what to do with my spiritual life these days.

An unfortunate analogy. I feel like a gormet dish that was carefully prepared, all organic, drizzled with the best seasonings and sprinkled with garnishes, just to be nibbled at around the sides before being pushed away, just to be returned to the waiter. I was exactly what he wanted but he lost his appetite, so he returned his order. I was messed over and tossed out.

What happened? Hehe. After months, he told me that over the past two weeks he no longer had feelings for me. So yes, after January was excellent for us and we started making future plans, marriage was just too much for him, and he dumped me.

For the time I knew him, he was gentle and understanding. He respected my being Muslim, that I pray, that I have my limits in what I deem acceptable for the relation of a man and a woman but at the same time I have my own unique rhythm to doing things. He was satisfied with what we had, let's say. At the same time, I found myself desiring to meet him halfway, doing more than perhaps I would have done, but I just figured it was part of compromise, heh, in a relationship.

I cycled through emotions...the first day after, I was very sad, the second day after, I was angry, to the point that I felt like punching out a window...but I didn't. Today and into yesterday...nothing, really. My emotions are neutral as I face the reality that I am back to being a single Muslimah, but now I have "was in a relationship with a non-Muslim" on my record.

So where do I propose to go from here? Nothing's exactly the same, really.

He knows so much about me because I talked so much about myself and my family in our time together. I gave him RMD to read. Surprisingly, it seems like I would have regretted our closeness, but I don't.

I don't know how to be. Part of me wants to go back to my more conservative days in retaliation. Like, this is a sign from Allah (swt) that this way of life was not the way to go. The man who seemed near perfect to everyone including me turned out to be worst than any man, with feelings that faded so quickly and an inflexibility to stick it out. A bad sign for the future. Imagine if marriage had happened, imaging if a family was involved? I would be destroyed.

Not irreparably, but whereas at least my faith is intact now, it wouldn't be then, because I've always prayed for a good marriage, one in which I'd never divorce and never need to. One like my parents' marriage...

But this has told me that perhaps I shouldn't have given up so soon on ending up with someone with similar values as mine. And I'm not just talking about with someone else who is Muslim, although that is preferred. Even if I was with someone who else who believed in God but had no religious title, I'd need to be with someone who believed in marriage for the sake of God, who placed divine importance on the choosing of a spouse, for whom the process isn't just a light process of finding someone who you are attracted to or in love with, but imagining someone who would be good for the journey through life.

In the end, it's probably not even his fault. I thought about it as my mother told the story about how, in the past, she prayed for people not to bother her in a day. There are people who would torment my mother at work, pick fights with her, and otherwise be inspired to evil. She would pray for them to leave her alone, and she says she can't otherwise account for it, but those people would suddenly leave their positions, leave the building, other things. She laughed and recounted a time when the person would look at her and look perplexed as if they could not mess with her that day.

I believe that.

So I'm trying to see how to go forward with this. I was beginning to have my doubts about him being able to be what I wanted in a husband, as we talked about marriage and future, because I was so much more spiritually mature than he was. I think God was rescuing me. Maybe like the people looked at my mother and could not bother her, B looked at me and felt that He could no longer be with me. I was developing bad habits and losing myself a little bit, but I figured it would remedy once the two of us worked things out. But now he's gone, and now it's just me.

I feel like the times when I was out in places I didn't need to be, and I felt like that bubble was around me, and no one could touch me...

I just pray that Allah (swt) has my rightful intended somewhere out there, in the wings. In the meantime, like I said, once Aunt Flo decides to leave, I'm on that fasting and praying bit... I need direction that only He can provide.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nem me deixava morar no seu azul

(You never let me live in your blue)

As salaam alaikum,

So yes, no lies. I'm no longer with B.

On Saturday, I was numb. On Sunday, I cried. On Monday, I talked and typed and talked with people through it. By the nightfall, I was angry.

And I still am angry. I'm mostly angry at him.

But it's going to be a while before I caio na conversa of another man. To change my ways for a man. To start forming my life and adapting my beliefs to fit in a world with another man.

But there's one thing I'm not angry about. I made sure not to lose myself or lose my Islam. I made exceptions to former ways that I wanted to be, yes, primarily just with the fact of being in a relationship with someone who believed in God but was not Muslim. But I never said, therefore, I am no longer Muslim.

Islam is something that is mine, and for the time, it wasn't shared between us, but I figured that a key step we'd have to go down was letting him know what spirituality was for my life, how he fit into my life with that, the way that I planned to live, etc.

But hah, we didn't have to go through that before I was dumped. On my rump. Bump bump bump.

I've wrote volumes about the breakup elsewhere. I don't feel like doing it now, just to acknowledge that it existed. I still don't regret that it all happened. It was a transition phase for me, it taught me things, and I enjoyed having that companionship for the while I did. Back to being a Single Muslimah down for the cause, full throttle! I'm ready, baby!

But one thing I must admit that saved me through this whole process...well, several things did. But one thing at the base was...I loved him but I never let myself go too far. He wasn't giving me at a point anything to make my feelings for him go farther. For me, we were still just in the beginning stages. We still needed to get to know each other.

I never felt like that Elis Regina song, "Só Tinha de Ser Com Você." It only had to be with you. Because I was realizing as he was realizing...he wasn't the one, and I wasn't it, respectively.

Especially that part, "Você que é feito de azul, me deixa morar nesse azul. Me deixa encontrar minha paz..." You who are made of blue, you let me live in this blue. You let me find my peace.

I was never fully at peace. He never let me live in his world. Nem me deixava morar no seu azul. You never let me live in your blue.

He doesn't let people into his life easily. That's fine. That's whatever.

In the meantime, I need to clarify my spiritual direction in life. It's time for me to fast and pray...