We are all struck in that moment by just how lonely life can become when you have no-one to share it with. We are all a moment of stillness in this busy coffee shop. We are all a collective moment of realisation and reflection.
By taking on these projects to explore elements of my faith and strengthen my understanding of Islam, I am allowing myself to understand the ways in which my faith has always complemented my life despite my resistance, and the ways in which it can guide me.
It is in the country's untouched beauty and the gentle mannerisms of the people that I could see the essence of my faith being echoed. In the peals of laughter from schoolchildren in the playground, the gentle hum of the prayers being recited at the masjid close by, and the sound of the waves crashing against the sand, I felt my heart swell with joy and contentment at this life that I have been gifted with and this land that I have lived upon.
There's this feeling I can't really describe of being surrounded by people who love you enough to not force you to abandon parts of yourself to love them. They love you despite yourself and if anything, bring you so much closer to who you are by cultivating a space where you can just be. I am so grateful for my aunt and my grandmother who are, slowly but surely, bringing me back to myself.
I want you to know that I have more love than you know for each and every single person who takes out a little time in their day to listen to the absolute waffle that I have to share. You have been integral to my growth as a person, whether I've actively expressed this to you or not, so thank you. I hope the following will find a place in your heart just like you have in mine.
We have loved, we have lost. We have grieved, we have rejoiced. We threw parties, and attended funerals. Somehow, we've managed to fit the entire spectrum of human emotion into one single year, and frankly, I'm impressed.
I learn a lot of lessons through the little things in life, but the most important one that that seems to have become a bit of a recurring theme is that with every hardship really does come ease, but it does not happen without putting in the work.
For years, I have convinced myself that there is still time. There is time to read that book I love. There is time to pray those prayers. There is time to sort that argument. There is time to let go of that grudge. There is time. In my head, there is always time. But the truth is, there isn't.
For a long time, I let myself be closed off to love and people who I felt were my world because the truth is, I didn't feel deserving of a good love. I refused to let myself believe that I was worthy of good and that the people who love me do so regardless of how good or bad I think myself to be. But this, this was probably one of my life's greatest mistakes.
I come from a home of slammed doors, clenched jaws, tight fists, and bated breath. I have spent a near 23 years waiting for the muted rage that runs through all of our veins to settle and yet, here we are, still slamming knuckles against the wall.