I actually cannot believe it has been 5 months since the last blog post… I also remember having such noble intentions for gonzobae, like writing about pregnancy and the recovery bits but now that that is pretty much done and dusted with, I figured I will just write about whatever I want (and hopefully some of you would still like to read my ramblings).
I can think of one seemingly drastic change I made, which is to don the hijab.
(Me with my sweetheart who is now 8 months old. She is a big inspiration to me despite her being so tiny, especially when I am lazy…)
Many have asked why or what has led me to the path and I suppose it was a number of different factors. What matters most is that each of us have our own journeys in life and it is not anyone’s job to force someone to do what they would not like to do.
It started off with as a curiosity in the sense that you may start to wonder how it may really be like for a hijabster. “Is it really that different and would I really be missing out on some things in life? Would people view me differently and would I eventually become an overzealous bigot, trying to influence everyone to join me on the same path?” I had so many questions and one of the biggest things that got me thinking about it was AK’s birth.
There’s this quote that said ““Airports see more sincere kisses than wedding halls. The walls of hospitals have heard more prayers than the walls of churches.” and boy, did that ring true when I was lying down on that operation table. I remember praying and crying due to sheer fear and hoping for the best with such intensity. All for her to be alright. Maybe that was also what triggered the “wake up” call, when you hope so badly for something not within your control and when it is not for yourself. I felt and believed more in the existence of a higher power than I ever did before. Some people may say that the concept of God exists because we want to secretly believe in it and make ourselves feel better but I am for the view that after you go through a life changing experience, God exists everywhere you look. In the sun, the blue skies, what you see in others, all of the good and the bad and I am sincerely grateful for everything He has given me.
I realized that through many important parts of life, God never gave me more than what I could shoulder and there were always the right “helpers”, namely the family, the friends, the random strangers who just so happened to be there to help you through and were genuine in wanting the best for you. It would be quite a task to attribute it all to coincidence, there was more of a giant blueprint, a plan underneath the layers of it all. Some really good friends of mine gave me the Islamic perspectives when I was ready and when I was not and ultimately, I think it is not only what the “smart/knowledgeable” ones trumpet about that will convince you, but more of the examples led by those close to you that will change you. I admire these girls because their faith is not blind, they are not self-righteous and there was also that authentic care and gentleness they would show yet they had strong personalities, strong ambitions. I will always be grateful, Thee and Alia 🙂
With that, I read a bit more and made the decision for myself to take this path and with it, there was the initial journey of self-consciousness “OMG did my pin fall off? Is the back of my head showing?”, the discomfort of being out of your comfort zone “Maybe it would be hot to wear this the whole day in the office?” but as time passes and that initial white noise faded away, I have to say I have not felt more comfortable or at ease with myself. It is not so much about not having to care about how you look (because you still should to a healthy degree!You should respect others and not think it justifies having body odor or something =.=” ) but it is different to not be in the spotlight and not have your looks needing so much importance. Also, it is comforting to know the perverts have no right to look at you a certain way when you are all covered (watch yourself, perverts!!) but I digress.
Again, whatever you choose to do or say lies within your hands and those hands should not be forced. While you work through struggles, you also have to take care of your soul and be persistent because the start of something new is never going to be easy. There were times when I felt tempted to not wear the hijab for long periods of time, but Alhamdulillah something would happen or be said (my husband would remind me of my intentions too) and things would revert back to the path. Mr Grumpy has also been super supportive of my decisions after letting me know his honest thoughts and I am grateful for that especially when the concept of hijab is not JUST about your wearing a head scarf but also about modesty and other good values being applied to every aspect of your life. We are not meant to succeed or fail all the time, but the struggle is real and we have to keep trying everyday.
So, really, it is a journey and it does not mean you are perfect or confirmed to be going to heaven just because you wear a headscarf. It is not where you are automatically better than some others and if your ego flies high because of such an idea, I would be careful because God will decide as He wants, will and when to bring you to your knees. We need to really be present in our lives, in our endeavor to be better people, to do good and be good and make positive changes in society.