I hope I did okay at work today because everything seemed like one long, exhausting blur. I went to sleep late last night…again, and so my fatigue from the morning never fully went away; the sleepiness in my eyes simply morphed into bodily exhaustion and one killer of a headache by the end of the day. After coming home from work, I simply sat in bed and watched Dina Tokio videos until iftar. She’s Muslim, so her videos are my exception to the media fast. 😉
Little known fact about me: I really enjoy watching makeup tutorials. I don’t even wear all that much makeup, but I just find the whole process mesmerizing to watch. These women literally create art on their face. It’s amazing. I can’t imagine “putting on a face” like that every day. On one hand, I admire the diligence and patience these ladies have, but I also feel sorry that they force themselves to go through all of that every day. It must be an exhausting habit to maintain.
So now I guess I owe you an explanation of why I skipped a post last night. I was actually up and working from noon to 10pm yesterday. After my regular work, I went straight to the masjid to volunteer for an interfaith community iftar. You’d think I’d be nearly passed out after all of that work, but volunteering gives me this weird adrenaline rush. I may feel like collapsing once everything is finished, but during these events I just keep going. There is always something to set up or people to greet that I have no time to notice my diminishing strength.
And wow, for the first time ever I actually felt embarrassingly old at this event. I’m not that old, and I get so angry when people older than me complain about being “old,” but something came over me last night as I was talking to the other volunteers. I realized that I was older than all of them, by at least three years.
I was talking to these kids who I grew up with, kids who were all literally little kids as I was going through middle school and high school. Now they are all graduating high school and getting jobs and applying to college and I’m sitting here as a post-graduate adult talking to them about what the working world is like. I met a girl who was nineteen and automatically gravitated toward her as someone my age, but then I realized that she was actually closer in age to those I considered “the kids.”
This is weird. Growing up is weird. It’s amazing to see how beautifully my younger peers are growing, but it’s weird. It’s like we’re all kids playing dress up in these adult roles, but this time it’s reality. I remember so vividly what it was like being a teenager and feeling as though adults just couldn’t understand me and I am so afraid of losing that as I get older and turning into one of the adults who misunderstands.
Going along with this idea of growing, the name of Allah I read today was “Al-Mu’izz” meaning “the One Who Honors.” This chapter focused not only on God’s ability to bring someone up, but also the nature of humans to be both humble and arrogant. The author writes, “Knowledge of oneself leads one to one’s Lord. But imagining oneself to be other than one’s real self leads one to the Devil.”
This reminds me of something I was actually talking about just today with my dad: the difference between confidence and arrogance. I have always had both confident and extremely self-conscious sides to my personality, depending on the company I am with. As I have grown, the confidence side of me has become stronger, alhamdulillah, but at the same time my fear of becoming arrogant has also grown. Bringing this quote into the picture, in some ways I recognize the gifts that God has honored me with and felt empowered by them to go out and make a place for myself in the world. However, often times I worry that I may get a big head or trick myself into believe that I am more capable or worthy than I actually am, which would make me arrogant. It is such a fine line, but this name has put some perspective into it. I should acknowledge the qualities God has given me with gratitude, but also understand that I am who I am, which is an imperfect being with limited capabilities, and not try to pretend to be anything more than that. It’s a work in progress, but that’s where I’m at now.