We did it.
I did it.
We did it.
The weight of the sigh I let out today when I realized that we’re done was…heavy. This Ramadan was difficult. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. It was my first time fasting while working a full time job. First time going through this special month while living away from my family and community. Not the first time but one of the few times where I struggled to really feel connected to the blessings and spirituality of the month. And I think it was really the combination of those first two changes that led to the third. Spending so much of my day isolated in an demanding environment with no other Muslims took a lot of the excitement and passion out of me.
With that being said, I realize how unbelievably grateful I am to have grown up in such a spiritually enriching environment. I grew up in such a vibrant community with plenty of Muslim role models and friends who shared in all of the experiences with me. I grew up in a time and place where I was able to love Ramadan and feel changed and empowered each year. Ramadan has always been a spiritual refresher, and I am so grateful to have had the experiences in my childhood to make Ramadan that impactful for me. This year in this new place with only one other support figure (who’s GREAT by the way, don’t get me wrong) really challenged me to find all of that excitement and motivation solely within our little apartment. I can’t imagine how different my life would have been if I didn’t have that solid foundation to allow to me to get what I did out of this month.
Speaking of that one other support figure, we did it! We made it through our first Ramadan together! InshaAllah this is only the first of a lifetime to build traditions around this month, and I am really happy with what we were able to create this year. We started watching the Omar series, which reinvigorated both of our interest in Islamic history. My husband and I actually spent multiple car rides discussing Islamic history like we would discuss the plot of any other TV show, which is amazing considering I have never been a lover or even friendly acquaintance of history.
We also started a tradition that has been invaluable for me this month: going to Taraweeh. This should be no surprise to you all considering how much I’ve talked about it this month. Last night as the imam closed out Surat An-Naas, I was brought close to tears. Over these past 29 days, I listened to almost the entire Qur’an while standing in prayer alongside my brothers and sisters. During the dua following, I felt that familiar feeling of my heart being in prayer – for the first time this month. I am so grateful to have been able to leave Ramadan with that experience.
Ramadan aside, I also made it through the month of May. The month in which we had a huge project due at work unexpectedly dropped on us at the beginning of the month. And the month standing in between me and my fun-filled summer. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be visiting home for the first time in 6 months, engaging in a youth program I’ve been working on all year, watching one of my best friends get married, and celebrating all of the transitions happening in my family as we kids turn into little adults.
So that’s it. And I mean it, that’s it for Ramadan blogging for me for now. I’m getting to that point in my life where blogging is actually taking away from spending time living my life. There were times this month where I sat to write a post when I really should have been sleeping, praying, or reading Qur’an. And now my life is no longer just my own. I share it with another person. I’m not sitting in my room alone reflecting on every minute of my day anymore. I have someone living that life with me and reflecting with me. So I just don’t have the time or necessity to blog about that anymore.
This blog isn’t by any means done for good. Just the daily posts. 🙂 I’ll still have the occasional reflections and thoughts of being an “American Muslim” that are bound to come out of me.
Eid Mubarak everyone. We made it. Alhamdulillah.