Salam everyone –
PHEW, glad that’s over.
I can say 2018 was a good blur. I started my third year of teaching- one of which they say if you can survive- you’re good. Then I was told it’s actually after year 5.
A couple of challenges hit me really hard this year. Some of which I was dealing with for a long time, and others just pushing buttons.
I guess I’ll say it really boils down to a few things:
1) self- care, all ways.
2) fate vs plans
3) losing yourself
Self care in all ways
The first is something that I’ve really dived into. I found the exact things that make me look my best, sure, but more importantly FEEL my best. I took my personal fitness to another level, one that I’ll admit was driven by stress, anger, and helplessness. I didn’t know where to run to- excuse the pun. Running makes me feel invincible. Like no one could catch me and tell me to stop or hold me down. It’s also a great way of releasing stress and forgetting about your worries. I’d push myself to be outside more too, and that has made a huge difference. I went to the doctor just for a check up and got my blood work done (I am THE biggest pain intolerant person you’ll ever meet) Alhamdulilah everything was okay except for a couple things. Alhamdulilah I knew the sources of my deficiencies and I’m working on taking care of them. Oh and terra-cotta make up looks amazing on me. Just saying.
In terms of my inner self- It’s been hard. I’ve never felt this amount of anxiety and pervasive sadness. It’s definitely related to my health, which Alhamdulilah I can fix now. I found myself praying robotically, not really concentrated like I used to. I felt ashamed. I still feel that way. I read the Quran often, and when I did I hated myself for crying. I just knew that if I opened it I would break down. Unfortunately this lead me to not even opening it for a long time. I felt reluctant and ashamed to be in front of Allah (swt). This mentality is proven faulty. You should NEVER get away from Allah (swt) out of shame or shyness. I learned that I just had to try and approach through my prayers and endless Duaa. Sometimes it just takes knowing Allah (swt) is with you while you sleep and wakes you up the next day. You have no choice but to move on. He gave me a chance and I have to take it but living- not surviving, living.
I learned about triggers. Who knew going to a place where bad things happened to you would make you feel like you’re suffocating? Who knew seeing old gifts and wearing specific clothes would cause you to remember all that was said and done? I now know what brings me pain and I’ve gotten rid of all of it. It took me forever but I did. No use holding on to things that won’t come back or matter. Only Allah knows how much you meant the love you had and the memories will always be in your consciousness. To me, that’s enough. It feels good to just clean out your room and bring in the new. Cleaning your heart, too. Allah is the One that should be taking up the space. Period.
Fate vs plans
I told y’all this before. I am NOT a planner. I have my goals yes but I don’t sit and plan my life. I’m lucky to have had multiple experiences that show me planning ain’t ish. I’ve met people that have such high and exact expectations for how they wanted to live this life- and none of their dreams panned out. I realized that if I just do my part and be flexible and easy going- I would build my sense of Tawakul (reliance) on Allah (swt). And I did. This was my biggest struggle a few years ago. Now I give up. Allah (swt) is gonna do what He wants and what will take care of me best. I’m done trying to resist and not submit myself to the inevitable. It sucks. It’s not easy. But it sure hurts a lot less when this dunya lets you down. I recall my Teyta (Allah have mercy on her) told my father that you should never be impressed with anyone or anything in this world. My Teyta taught my baba the Islamic concept of Zuhd or asceticism. I want to be this way. I want to always remember this dunya is dunya for a reason. The lowest the low. Not worth competing or getting jealous or not being grateful for what you have. Everyone has their own struggles. I’m too busy worrying about my own sins than to care for someone else’s business.
When you lose someone, that person takes parts of you with them. You don’t realize how much, often times the memories are countless. I lost someone and without them I realized how much space in my heart and mind they took. I felt immovable. Did they really take up this much of my time? Where is my independent thought? What else did I need to put my heart in but didn’t?
I was stuck with a deep void that I didn’t know how to fill. In the process, I was jaded, distracted, and in a trance. A bad dream where I wanted it to end but knew the cost. It’s no one’s fault. Maybe it’s fault by design. But I’m thankful that I’ve found myself again. Not fully, but she’s growing and she’s getting stronger every day.
I realized that it’s okay to be tough. It’s okay to sore in tears at the same time. Allah needs to be the only thing in our hearts and minds that takes space. Only then will every empty void in our lives will be filled- better yet not have any voids at all.
I pray your 2019 is blessed and full of self love and reflection.