As salaam alaikum,
I woke up from a series of weird dreams with a vision in my head. As I've gone throughout the day, that vision has grown in my mind and it's almost exploding in my chest right now! I had to write it down, but I end up gchatting with a friend about residency and the infamous (at least to us) rank list, and I didn't get to spend as much time with Martin Lings' Muhammad as I wanted to (and as I've wanted to for years, but always forget to pick a copy up when I have free time to read). Instead, I ended up doing a lot of facebook posting about the anthology, looking up details about the residency programs, and also looking up random things, like family medicine in Brazil and information on adopting children in Nigeria...
But my vision for my life from this moment onward is now in place!
I mean, huge disclaimer...I realize that the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a gley. I realize this. Yet, I'm the same 19-year-old girl who mapped out her entire four years at Michigan with about three different combinations of double majors and minors before deciding on my double major, and then stuck pretty closely to the schedule of courses I thought. I am not comfortable unless I plan out my life for a good chunk of time in the future, even knowing that plans are subject to change.
That's why the whole being single thing is so distressing to me. I'm like, what, I can't actually control that? I mean, of course I know I can't...but that really puts a monkey wrench in my emotional time and energy. It always comes when you least expect it, everyone says...thus throwing a monkey wrench into your other plans, too. But when you are looking to a relationship for half of your religion, let alone emotional fulfillment, companionship, partnership in life...and yet you have to keep on living with that being a grand question mark over your head, what do you do? You have to put the emotional energy you would normally put into stressing about that into something else!
Thus, my vision! Or visions, as they may be...
My career is going to be full, insha'Allah. I hope to become a family physician who has a maternal-child health practice and also participates in community health projects in my community, while having my foot occasionally abroad, later hoping to do some more work at the state or national level in terms of public health...but that later part is too far into the future. Like my said, if it were just for my career, my hands will be full, but my career is not enough to "belly-full" me, as my father would say...
I mean, alhamdulillah, it's quite a blessing to go into a career that I love so much and that I can use to serve others and will be part of my worship in the end, but I am more than medicine and public health.
I'm also writing, fiction and non-ficiton, evidenced by the fact that this exists! Alhamdulillah, the anthology is arrasando so far, even before it's available for purchase, but I also do eventually want to publish A Rose Much Desired as well as I want to work on a screenplay or two, one of course being "The Misadventures of Nisa," for which I'm writing music! I know residency will be busy, especially if I try to have community projects (required or not) alongside my work, but I want to keep writing part of my life and I always want to have at least one writing project going at any given time. Insha'Allah, I hope the anthology is just the first of more publications to come!
And of course, I wanted it all! My career, my greatest hobby (not to mention my other hobbies of singing Brazilian music, samba dancing and keeping in shape otherwise...), and a family! And yet, as I said before, while all things are blessings from Allah (swt), this is the thing that I can control the least. So I can't worry about that. So instead, if I feel like I have space still that I would prefer to fill with family life, I will fill with other things.
First of all, I do plan to eventually have a family, insha'Allah. If I am still single in six years (that's three years, insha'Allah, after I'm a practicing physician after residency), I do plan on becoming an adoptive mother. I've started looking up adoption options right now, because I understand it can take some time, just to know a little bit of background and what my future self will be getting into. I might adopt from the US as well as I may consider adopting from abroad. I'm also encouraged by seeing more writing by Muslims about adoption in Islam. God in the Qur'an mentions so often about caring for orphans...so insha'Allah, if I can't have children of my own, this is what I will do. This is my plan, and I pray that it will sustain me in the moments that I despair about being single!
But the main thing that I realized that I could do, through writing, through blogging, whatever, that I can help out other burgeoning Muslims or Muslims on the fringes. I realize that in MSAs, in a lot of the popular blogs that we read and other places, the Muslims we see are Super Muslims. At least that was my perception of it. At my MSA, the leaders were mainly people who were majoring in AAPTIS (Arabic, Armenian, Persian, Turkish and Islamic Studies) and were all planning to become scholars in their own right. Even if they weren't on the Islamic scholarship road, they were people who were well-read in scholarship and were taking advanced courses in Arabic, all things that I was miles away from doing as a Spanish and Cellular and Molecular Biology major. I didn't even have space in my schedule for introductory Arabic courses, something that I lamented.
But now, I'm finally okay with that.
I was surrounded by future Islamic scholars in college, yes, and people who were on their game in terms of their deen, but that didn't mean I had to be there, or that's what (or all) that I should aspire to.
No. I was an aspiring physician, and insha'Allah I'll be graduating from medical school this May. There are other worthy ways I can strive as a Muslim in this world without acquiring fluency in Arabic, without being able to read large sections of the Qur'an in Arabic, without becoming a scholar. And then some, but I don't think many of us who are striving in the beginning or reverting early on know that it's okay to strive for "less."
The fact is, we need people to be physicians, dentists, and lawyers...businesspeople, nurses, authors and actors...many other occupations that will not allow us to be mini-scholars and many worthy occupations that will require a lot of our time and energy during training. And these are worthy forms of worship as well. Yes, worship...ones career can be made an act of worship just like having sex with one's spouse can be an act of worship. Yes, sex. We pronounce bismillah before salat and bismillah before so much else in life, and especially if we have service careers and especially if we work in our career for the good of not only our ummah, but humankind in general...this is worship. This is greatness.
So, I'm going to continue to do what I'm doing now. I am going to blog. I am no scholar nor will I ever be, insha'Allah, but I am a regular, everyday Muslim who is striving in my own way, taking my own steps, realizing my own dreams, hopefully in accordance with what God wants from me. I believe I am realizing just one way to be Muslim that we have been blessed with the freedom (by God) to realize, and I want to be there with others who are along a similar path as me...I want to learn with others who are on a path similar as me.
For now, I'll do this through blogging. Insha'Allah, I could expand this...who knows better than God?
So, these are just some of my visions...things to keep myself busy in ways that I alhamdulillah have more in my control and insha'Allah will have more in my control for time to come. If I do end up marrying, then alhamdulillah, but I can't count on that or hope for that anymore without despairing too much for it to be helpful. It's time for me to move on...
New Center of Awesomeness continues!