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Posts Tagged ‘Struggle’

Let’s jump right into the tough stuff, shall we? Here is something I wrote at the height of my stress. No judgement please.

I am feeling pressured.

I am feeling pressured to wear hijab. I am feeling pressured to feel like a more legitimate Muslim. I don’t feel legitimate. I drove around crying the other night because I am trying to comprehend the fact that people don’t see me as legitimate. People pat me on the head and say mashallah but then seem to make it a point to mention that hijab is obligatory in front of me. They don’t bother to ask me my reasoning and they don’t bother to understand that even if I did want to wear it, how it is not an option for me because of my situation with my family. I want my family in my life, and that cannot happen if I wear a hijab. Maybe in the future Allahu alim, but it can’t happen now. As much as I love my religion, I hate it. I wonder what have I done to myself. I wonder what I am willing to give up for my religious beliefs constantly. I wonder if I am willing to give up getting married and having children because I know that realistically, it is a very real possibility for me. I wonder why I was not blessed with being born into a Muslim family so I feel I have to prove myself and I don’t even have the right look to start off with. I know people doubt me all the time when they see me hijabless and not from a Muslim culture. They don’t know that I have actually changed a lot of myself for Islam because they can’t see it.
I am feeling pressured to get married. My family is concerned as to why I have not been looking. They don’t know that I don’t know how. They don’t know that I have had options that I have turned away because of my religious beliefs. They don’t know that even though I jokingly tell their concerned faces that I have no time for a boyfriend, it is actually something I constantly worry about. I know that if I hadn’t made this decision, I could have had a beautiful cathedral wedding with a wonderful Catholic man. I feel pressure from other converts to get married who tell me that I really should because they I could start an actual Muslim family. But I don’t want to end up in their broken marriages or desperately searching for a husband, any husband because (maybe falsely) I put more value on myself than that. When I have mentioned my concern to people, I’ve even been told, “don’t worry, a lot of Hispanic Muslim women are allowing their husbands to take second wives because there is a shortage of husbands for Hispanic converts.” Great, I’ll be someone’s pity wife. If they aren’t turned off by the fact that I don’t dress “appropriately,” which they probably will be. Maybe I could marry a person from a Muslim culture….. oh wait, I’m not a white girl, I’m a dark skinned Hispanic girl. Recently, a¬†friend found a picture of a Bengali bride that looks exactly like me and instead of laughing or admiring that fact that she definitely looks like me, my first thought was, “Lucky her, she looks like me and she managed to get married.”
I am feeling pressured to have sex. I’m feeling a lot of pressure from my friends to go to bars to look for relationships. My friends are also very concerned about the lack of a man in my life (or more so that I am 22 and still holding out when it comes to intimacy). And sometimes I wonder if that’s what I’m good for. Why am I holding out for a community that doesn’t even acknowledge me as legitimate? I know it would be very easy in the community I’m in to have a “hit it and quit it” situation. Getting whistled at or getting your behind grabbed when you walk by. And I know this would be easier, but I can’t bring myself it because of my religious beliefs.
I am feeling pressured to give up my religion. All of Ramadan I was cranky and angry. I slept for 6 extra hours. I know my family was concerned about me. I never prayed (actually the first and only time I have prayed in months was Eid prayer). I fasted out of obligation rather than desire. I feel myself getting bitter towards people. I am tired of feeling pressured. I want to be done, I am not done but I want to be done with all that I got myself into sophomore year. But unfortunately I can’t because of what I believe because it is my religion, my deen.”

After I wrote this, I came across the blog written by the contributor who wrote my favorite Love, InshAllah story, “Hybrid Dance.” When I first read her story, I sobbed. All her fears and concerns are the same as mine. Her blog, “Invisible Muslimah” was so comforting and brought a lot of peace to my soul. I think this girl is forreal my soul sister (unbeknownst to her).
So here, on my teeny little blog, I make a pledge. I’m going to strive to be a better Muslim. I have fallen off for a while and I need to get back on the horse. I hope that when people read this, they won’t see simply my faults and weaknesses but they see someone who is having an inner jihad and struggling. And I hope that if anyone out there is also struggling, that they know that it’s okay. Struggles are real.
This is my pledge to commit to a new beginning.
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