It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
For those of you who are new, and for those of you who forgot you were following this blog, let me explain. I started this blog…about six years ago I think… to log my experience of fasting during Ramadan. It then became something more than that – a place for me to just write about my thoughts on life. It’s a way for others, specifically those who are not Muslim, to see an example of what it is like for a Muslim American to go through life and wrestle with the questions and insights that come up with this intersectional identity.
Then last year happened. I just…stopped. Well, okay my life didn’t stop; just my blogging. My life actually started speeding up. I finished grad school (yay!), I got engaged (yay!), I got married (yay!), I moved away (not yay but kind of, because I miss my family but I also love living in my own place), and I started working at my first full time job (yay but also don’t talk to me I’m too busy to celebrate).
And now Ramadan is almost upon us and I’m kind of freaking out. There will be a lot of firsts here. It will be my first Ramadan not living with my family. My first Ramadan living with my husband. My first time fasting while working a 40 hour work week. My first time experiencing this month away from the Muslim community I grew up with and with the new community I have moved into.
I’m scared, to be quite honest. Last Ramadan feels more like three years ago than just one.
I will be waking myself up for suhoor and having just my husband to keep me company. This is the only part I actually feel okay about. My dad has woken me up for suhoor my whole life, but in the past few years I actually would automatically wake up on my own before he even came to my room because my body got used to the routine. I don’t think this will be a problem. And I’ve been making suhoor for myself for years.
It’s iftar that I’m worried about. Cooking for myself since moving away from my parents is something I am still getting used to (and I moved almost a year ago). I enjoy cooking, but cooking after a full day of working when all I want to do is go back to bed has been such a struggle. I can’t imagine what that will be like without food or water throughout the day.
I also think my homesickness is going to take a hit. I’ve been generally okay with the move (much to my surprise); I’ve had maybe three occasions over the past year where I just feel sad all week, but I think Ramadan is going to tip that scale. One of my favorite parts of Ramadan is the community aspect, and while I am blessed to live near a welcoming and close-knit Muslim community here, it’s not going to be the same as my community at home. I won’t know all of the lectures and halaqas and iftars to go to. I won’t be able to attend any of the family dinners or reunions with old friends. All of the teachers I look forward to hearing will have to be seen behind a computer screen instead of in person.
The family iftars…… that’s going to be a big one…
Now, there are some things to look forward to. It will be my first time doing Ramadan with my husband. The other day we were talking about the different traditions each of our families did during Ramadan growing up and I think it will be fun for us to share some of those things with each other. I also have yet to experience iftar with my in-laws, and alhamdulillah we do live near them and will probably spend some weekends with them. Everyone at our new masjid is also so sweet and welcoming, and I know that it will be a happy place to be during this month, even if it’s not the familiar place to be. I also have new co-workers now, new people who can ask me questions and with whom I can share some of my life.
I am also excited to take this opportunity to start blogging again. Last year when I didn’t blog, I did actually have a couple of people approach me during the month asking where my posts were. It sounds silly, but just knowing that there was even one person missing my posts made me really want to start again. This will also be a way for my family to get a glimpse of what I’ve been up to since I’m sure they too will be feeling my absence next month.
So here we are, just short of one month until the fasting begins! There are a few things I haven’t yet figured out, like if I will be posting every day or every other day, what my goals will even be for this year, and what the heck I will be eating for suhoor. I’ve been fasting during Ramadan for 17 years and every single year I question everything I know about what works for me as my morning meal. Hopefully I’ll have something figured out by the next post.
So if you’re new, welcome! Come along with me on this journey as I go one month without food or drink while the sun is out while simultaneously learning how to adult. If you’ve been with me before, seriously it means so much for you to be back and still interested in what I have to say. I’ve really, really enjoyed the little community I had here reading, liking, and contributing to the discussion. Believe me when I say that I never stopped thinking about this blog since I stopped posting two years ago.