Tag Archives: life

Shaming

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~Updated~

First, my father hits me up. I haven’t talked to him in at least six years. Out of the blue, he messages me on Facebook. How is that possible? I blocked him on there. And last I talked to him, his message to me was the same:

“I never imagined that your intelligence would lead you to abandon your veil and modesty and to follow satan. Life is short and what’s in store in the afterlife is much better and everlasting. Who is that in your photo? Is he your husband and is he a muslim? I pray for your repentance.”

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No, “Hi there my daughter! I haven’t talked to you in years. How are you? I miss you. What are you doing with your life? How is your career going?” None of that. Because he doesn’t care about his daughter, he only cares about how she will tarnish his already tarnished image.

Then an uncle I haven’t seen or talked to in over eight years, and have never had a relationship with, hits me up on Facebook. (What is up with these relatives and Facebook?)

His message is the same, and much more hurtful: “A black slave is even too much for you (because you deserve nothing), change your name because hell needs more of your kind and his kind for preferring him over your own dad!”

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No, “Hey it’s your uncle in Jordan! How are you? It’s been so long! My kids are in college now! What are you doing with your life? Catch me up on everything you’ve been up to! Who is this handsome man in your pictures? I hope you’re happy together!” Nope, none of that.

My sister recently posted a selfie on Facebook- just a regular one shoulders up with beautiful smile. The same uncle sent her this: “I’m not honored to know someone who mistreats their parents, and those who mistreat their own, will not be of any good to others. You bit the hand that fed you (aka father).” (We’ve both blocked this uncle since these attacks.)

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It just boggles my mind that people who have nothing to do with me or my sister think they have every right to shame us. They were never there for us, so they do not deserve the right to even offer advice. The only thing I can do now is try to live my life and ignore the haters. Even if they are my own flesh and blood. There is no reasoning with them. They’ve never changed and never will.

Promise to myself: I will not be shamed, anymore than I already have, into doing things because “they” tell me. I will not be controlled by misogynistic, racist and sexist men any longer who twist their faith to suit them (I know my religion does not condone any of this behavior). I will continue to be empowered through my faith and lead my life as holistically and lovingly as possible.

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Tedium My Enemy

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Tedium My Enemy

It scares me when things get like this. When my day becomes my everyday. I wake up, get ready, go to work, clock in, teach, spend my lunch break with depressed and unhappy coworkers, teach some more, go on after school duty, clock out, face traffic, go to the gym, go home, eat, watch an episode of something while I prepare for the next day’s lessons, then finally go to bed. The next morning it’s as if I just hit the reset button.

It feels like a never ending rat race to no where. The sun rises everyday whether or not it shines on us and sets every evening to render us in the darkness only to rise again. We rise everyday whether or not we are in the best of spirits and return to our homes even when the day’s work is yet to be completed. Only to awaken the next day and continue. Is this what life boils down to? Work to pay the bills, work to survive?

In an odd way, there is a sense of beauty to this cycle. A terrifying beauty.

But not beautiful enough to make me feel content. This stagnancy does not sit well with me. It makes me twitchy. It makes me antsy. It makes me want to look for more. To explore more. To discover more.

On days like this, I am not satisfied with my life. I must continue my journey forever striving for more. For better. For change.

A Letter To My Mom & I Hope She Doesn’t Read It.

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A Letter To My Mom & I Hope She Doesn’t Read It.

My mother asked me a question recently that I conveniently ignored. However, it’s been weighing on my mind for quite some days now.

She asked me why my sisters are straying from our beliefs and faith so much. She asked it as if she had no idea where she went wrong. In my mind, I wanted to shake her and my father as well. Yet, I had no idea how to answer her.

The conservative in me still cringes when I see my sisters’ Instagram posts. Pictures of them in various states of undress- yet no more undressed than your average American. Just in a state that my religion (or those who follow it) would balk at and have a hissy fit. But I couldn’t blame them. They were free to finally make up their mind. To do things their own way. To follow what they chose. Yet, a part of me still cringed at the images and I didn’t know why. I wasn’t any better than them. I wasn’t more religious or conservative.

Then it came to me. In my mind I whispered to her, Do you not see? You and father crushed us. You oppressed us. You took away our sense of individuality. You made us feel shabby and ugly. You made us wish we were like “normal” American families because they had simple freedoms- like the right to formulate their own opinions, like the permission to wear makeup. Don’t you see? You pulled the rubber band so far back that the only path it had was to the ultimate extreme opposite of what you were trying to teach us.

As I spoke, I became more confident in what I was saying, as if the lightbulb of my brain went Aha! I continued with a steadier, stronger voice, We weren’t being taught humility as you thought- we were being taught conformity. We weren’t being taught pride in our faith, we were being taught contempt of others. We weren’t being taught love, we were being taught fear. How else do you expect us to respond when your punishment for not memorizing a passage from the holy book was to threaten taking away our education and marrying us off young (and though you’d never have done that we still believed it)? Isn’t our religion one that preaches balance and peace? Why did we turn our noses up at people who were “less religious” than us, then? Why did we not have balance in our views and our lives? Everything was haram, or forbidden. Everything fun and happy. Even when it really wasn’t. We still turned our noses up and condemned those acts as “weak”. Secretly, I envied them; I wished I could go to the movies with my friends and wear a little bit of makeup and trim back my eyebrows. Yes, these may seem petty and insignificant, but when you live everyday in fear that your mother will tell your father and then you’d get beat, it means a lot. These are just some of the reasons why we have turned out the way we have. It’s time to just accept it and keep us in your prayers.

Though I do not have the heart to tell her this face to face, I know she’ll read it here even though I wish she wouldn’t. I know it wasn’t all on her. She tried. She thought she was doing right. But she still bears part of the responsibility in how we turned out. Yes, my father prophecied, almost every day, that we will become infidels and follow satan. And to a child, hearing that daily, well obviously will negatively affect a child’s psyche. No one ever reassured us and said, “You are wonderful, God would be so proud of you.” The damage is done.

Fin.

Artist or Career?

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Artist or Career?

So my childhood dream is to become a famous writer. My current dream is to be a know writer. At least known among a niche. And to teach writing as a professor.

I’ve done my part. Graduated with a 3.69 from the University Of Michigan with a degree in English and a teaching certificate. I’ve just applied to graduate schools’ creative writing programs and taken the GRE. I’ve also taken and passed the Texas teacher’s certification test.

The plan was, if I got into college, I’d drop everything and live the college life. Focusing on my art as a writer and living on ramen noodles and cereal without milk.

If I didn’t get into college, I’d teach another year and spend it focusing on my writing and applying to grad schools again. Living a much more comfortable lifestyle since my paycheck would be salaried (and not bad at all- teachers make a pretty decent income here- at least for a couple with no kids or pets).

A wrench was thrown into my plans yesterday. I was asked by a teaching coach (every school has one in the district) if I was interested in becoming a teaching coach myself. She said there was a position open and after observing my classes she feels I’d be a great fit.

When I originally gave up my dream of writing, I turned to Plan B- becoming a high school teacher. I thought it would be a most rewarding career where I’d be surrounded by teachers,administrators and students who loved and revered knowledge.

But after three years I’m left burnt out, overwhelmed and feeling like I’m the only one in the whole school who loves the idea of being a teacher. The practical and tedious process of being a teacher is only a small percent actual teaching, but a much larger percent being a mediator, sitting in meetings and trainings, teaching to a test, testing, being a counselor, being a caretaker, being a comforter, and slaving over tons of data that does nothing to help my students actually succeed.

Being a coach sounds like a great change of pace. One that not only allows me to help teachers and stay in the education world, but one where I won’t feels so helpless and exhausted.

What about my refueled dream of getting a masters degree in writing? The idea of living the broke college life again is so scary I just want to hide under my covers. I don’t like ramen noodles and I don’t even remember the last time I ate cereal. But I want to write so bad and I want to eventually get my PhD.

So many options and so many paths. I don’t know what to do. For now I’ll just try to get as many fingers into as many pies as possible and see which one pans out.

(Photo credit to Steve Rossman- steverossman.com)

Always A Balancing Act

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Always A Balancing Act

I know it looks like what it looks like. That I’m all motivated to go workout because it’s the new year and I have resolutions to uphold God dammit! But really, it’s more than that.

2015 is the year. The year I find balance between my work life, my personal life and my fitness life. I’ve always been able to balance two of the three out. Usually it was work and personal or work and fitness. But never the three together.

So far it’s been working. But now my blog is taking a back burner. Can I blog, work, workout & still have a little social life added into the mix? I sure think so! At least I’ll try my hardest.

First though, I need to finish That 70’s Show. It’s gone & taken over my life.