#AtoZChallenge Day 13: Misidentification

M is for Misidentification

M

I used to work in a nursing home. One of the residents there talked about coping with the death of two of her cousins. They were in Israel, and according to her, they were killed “by some Arabs.”

Then she turned to me and said, “I know you’re Muslim, so I mean no disrespect.”

Um.

 

Okay.

First, “Muslim” does not equal “Arab”.

Second, even if I was Arab, I am still in no way sympathetic toward the people who killed your cousins.

Obviously, that’s not what I said. I didn’t say anything because the incident simply left me speechless.

She is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. She had dementia, and so I could never take personally any of the negatives she had to say because I had to reintroduce who I was to her every single day. On the days that she wasn’t refusing to associate with me because I was Muslim, she would tell me how beautiful she thought my scarf was or what a lovely girl I was for pushing her wheelchair to wherever she needed to go. She would point out to me all of her favorite staff members in the facility and ask each of them how their kids were doing as she did so. She encouraged her fellow residents to stay cheerful and hopeful, even when she had no clue how they got to be her neighbors.

It wasn’t her. It was the idea she had been primed with before her disease took away her ability to remember her context.

I wore a scarf on my head. And so she identified me as a potential sympathizer to the killers of her relatives.

 

Ramadan Log Day 22: Still Here :)

That awkward moment when you’ve been counting the days wrong for the past week.

Yes, my past few posts were actually a day off. This skipping a day thing has really been messing me up on my day count. The beginning of the last ten days totally caught me off guard this past weekend.

Tonight is the night of the 23rd, which means it is an odd night and potential night of Laylatul Qadr. That being said, I’ll keep this post short. I really just wanted to check back in with you all and assure you that I have not abandoned this blog. 🙂

To be honest, I’ve just been having a rough past few days emotionally, which is why I haven’t been blogging. It isn’t anything major. Just a bunch of little things that have been slowly picking away at my optimism, and I don’t want to write a blog post while in an irritated state in case I post something I regret or have not thought out thoroughly enough. While I am trying to show you all as much of my real self as I can, there are some things that are too personal for “the world” to read.

As I said, it is a potential night for Laylatul Qadr, so that’s enough blogging for today. From here on out, I will only be posting on odd-numbered days, so that I can spend the odd nights focusing solely on the connection between myself and Allah. I hope you are all able to do the same.

Blogging from A to Z 2016!

Long time no see, right?

I think I hit an all-time low with this blog. I was looking back and to my shock realized that not only have I not posted anything since last Ramadan, but I didn’t even finish the month out! If I remember correctly, my motivation was out the window that month when it came to blogging, but I do apologize for just ditching everyone like that. I am actually considering whether or not I should continue with the Ramadan Log this year, but that’s a discussion for a later date. For now, on to bigger and better things!

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]It is time to announce one of my favorite times of year: Blogging from A to Z! For those who are new to my side of the blogesphere, last year I took part in what is called the “A to Z Challenge.” It is an open challenge for anyone with a blog. During the month of April, we write a post everyday, the topic of each post centered around a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet. So for the first day of the month, we write about something that starts with “A,” the second day about something that starts with “B” and so on all the way through the entire alphabet. Sundays are the only days where you will not see a post for me, as that is the official “break” day.

I will admit, last year was a struggle for me. Unlike last year, however, I won’t be juggling school at the same time as the blog, so I have high hopes this time around! I am very excited to be starting this. I have a lot planned to share with all of you and I hope you’ll stay for the ride. You usually read my food-deprived, sleep-deprived thoughts in my Ramadan Logs, so this month is my opportunity to show you what I sound like when I have energy 😉

If you’re also doing the A to Z Challenge, leave me a comment and I’ll check out your blog! If you would like to take part, click HERE for the sign-up page. You can also find a list of all of the other bloggers taking part in this challenge.

For those who are interested, I will also be doing daily posts on my other blog, K-pop On My Mind. I have mentioned a few times on here about my love for Korean pop music, and that blog is where I really let it all out. If you want to know a little more about K-pop, or at least see another side of yours truly, check me out over there.

I hope you are all doing well! I look forward to seeing you this Friday inshaAllah with my first post of the month!

Ramadan Log Day 13: How Much Bad Is Actually Good?

I can’t believe we’re already on Day 13. It feels like Ramadan just started. I went back to my posts from previous years and realized that for the past two years, Day 13 has always been a hard day. It’s the middle of the month, where all of the diligence to stick to my goals starts to tire me out, but it’s not quite halfway through so I get overwhelmed thinking about still have the majority of the month left.

Alhamdulillah, today was a good Day 13. 🙂

I still feel weird about my “Bad Mood” post yesterday. Usually by the time I have my iftar and sit to write, all of the issues of the day are long forgotten or resolved. However, as I was writing my post yesterday, I was still in a bad mood. I didn’t like that I was being so negative. I feel like in what I choose to share with the world, all of the issues should be resolved and I have to have some kind of profound lesson to share with you all that I learned from the experience. I am so used to trying to be so positive online that it was actually really hard for me to express my negative feelings yesterday and just let it stay negative. Even hours after posting it I felt like I disappointed everyone by not being my normal positive self.

But then today one of my aunts said that she liked the post. She was amused that even I got mad sometimes. I guess in person too, most of the people I know, except the family members living in my own house, don’t really see the angry, sad, depressed, or unmotivated side of me. In most cases, I just don’t feel comfortable talking about issues I’m having that aren’t already resolved, so they never see it.

Why am I even sharing this tidbit of information, you may ask? Because with all of my Ramadan posts, I try to be as honest and upfront about everything as possible with you all. My tagline on this blog is “The inner thoughts of an American Muslim.” I’m here to give you the real deal; Not only the best parts about my life as an American Muslim, but also the moments when I need to rant.

But as I am learning, maybe it’s just my personalty to stay away from ranting. I’ve had enough online-safety talks to know that putting your raw rants online for anyone in the world to see more often than not leads to consequences.

I still don’t really know what to think of all of this. On the one hand, the good in sharing negative feelings is to show exactly what my aunt said: even I get upset. But then on the other hand, the part that made me so uneasy about sharing that is the question of what people got from my post. Was I helping anyone by admitting that I was in a bad mood? Did it inspire anyone? Or did it just add to the negativity of the internet?

Maybe I’m just overthinking it. I finally had my Starbucks tonight, so I am both in a good mood and on a caffeine high. 🙂 I am very curious though about what you readers think about all of this.

*Quote of the Day*

Today was Week 2 of the Tuesday Iftar Series. Instead of a quote from my book, I want to share something that I heard at tonight’s lecture. It is actually something that last week’s speaker addressed as well. Both weeks, the speakers talked about fasting, and why this deed in particular is so important in the eyes of God. Fasting is the one pillar of Islam that is solely between the believer and God. On the outside, no one can actually tell that you’re fasting. You can go behind closed doors, eat a couple of cookies, and go back out without anyone knowing anything.

The point that both speakers made about one of the purposes, or outcomes, of fasting is that the act of abstaining from food, drink, and intercourse during daylight hours reinforces the concept of obedience to God. It isn’t that any of those things are haraam or bad for us as is. The point is that we are submitting to God’s order of when we can have those things. Eating is a perfectly fine thing to do, but because God says that during these particular days we can only eat during these particular hours, we only eat during those particular hours. Yes, it’s about self-discipline, but at the same time, fasting is about acknowledging that our entire lives are about submitting to God.

So it’s not one quote, but it’s an idea I have been hearing multiple times this month that I really like.

Blogging from A to Z Day 16: It’s PERSONAL

P is for Personal

P

…As in, some things are personal. I try to be as truthful as possible about who I am online (and really in every situation), but there is a limit to what I can share. The purpose of this blog is to share with you all what I, an American-born Muslim, go through in my daily life, but at the same time I don’t want to reveal too much. Internet safety, right?

So, in trying to show everyone who I really am while still trying to keep my boundaries, how much should I really share? There are a lot of things I really want to express, but I’m afraid of sharing things that are too personal. How much is informative, and how much is too much that starts to stray into immodesty? Quoting my mom: The bigger the audience, the more careful you need to be. And the internet is as big as it gets.

For example, the perfect topic for “M” would have been marriage. That is something on the mind of virtually every Muslim girl my age, and it is something that would be pretty telling of where my mind is at right now. It is something that I, and so many girls my age, think about. All the time.

But that’s too personal for me to share to anonymous users of the internet.

My blogger friends, do any of you experience this? Moments where it may be really useful to share something about yourself on your blog, but then there is that voice at the back of your head that tells you that maybe this is something you should keep to yourself? How do you find a good balance?

Blogging from A to Z

I have some very exciting news to share! Starting tomorrow, I will be taking part in the Blogging from A to Z challenge. What is Blogging from A to Z you ask?

Can you post every day except Sundays during this month?  And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?

Most of the time if you subtract Sundays from April, you then have 26 days–one day for each letter of the alphabet.

Using this premise, you would start beginning April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

I did this last year with my K-pop blog, and I decided to try doing it with this blog this year! I have decided to use this as an opportunity to challenge myself (as I will be participating with both of my blogs this year) as well as force myself to post more on this blog. I always think of different things I want to talk about on here, but just never get around to posting anything outside of Ramadan. So prepare yourselves for your daily dose of minnimonmon rambles for the next four weeks. InshaAllah I’ll see you all tomorrow with my post for A!

If any of you are participating, let me know in a comment! I’d love to read your blog this month! If you would like to sign up, there are still two days to do so! To sign up, click here and for more information about Blogging from A to Z, click here.