Every now and then, I am struck with an epiphany of how I came to be me. It’s not an amazingly fascinating story but definitely one I like to revisit because it makes me appreciate where I am now. Everyone has their ups and downs and its what shapes you into what you are today.
Facebook, ever so kindly, displayed an image of a twenty one year old me, from nine years ago. Not only was this face not familiar, but I remember the moment this picture was taken, all the naive and immature antics that went on behind the camera. I don’t remember that girl. My mind choses to erase the memory of that person. I’m not particularly proud of anything in those few years of my life. I accomplished nothing even though to the world, I was studying, making friends, trying to earn other peoples trust and respect when I had none for myself. It makes me sad to think I didn’t occupy my time with something more meaningful. At present, there are a million things I would have told the ‘past me’ to do!
My childhood was wonderful and steady. We had more then a lot of people. We traveled, we dined, we had friends in high up places. Libya holds all those memories for me. Moving when I was at a very vulnerable stage of my life shook me. Being an introvert meant I completely hid in my shell. It was an unfamiliar culture, unfamiliar people and it terrified me. I found comfort in being where no one knew me. Not my family, not my school mates. I’d escape whenever I saw an opportunity. Little did I realise I was going down a very slippery slope. I started getting proposals for marriage and I hit a rocky patch with my parents. The attention was nice enough but that’s all. How could I commit to something so permanent? Turns out the stability and big responsibility of marriage is just what I needed. I had time to rediscover myself and change what I didn’t want to be anymore. I spent a year focusing on my mental and physical health. I’m not in that state of mind anymore but I remember it so clearly; how I felt when my body was able to do more then the younger version of myself. How I felt when my I was bowed down in prostration to my Lord, how all my worries and fears were alleviated the moment I said His name. It was bliss.
Then I was blessed once more with the news of a child and I was ecstatic. After the birth of my child was the time I once again stopped putting myself first and took a back seat to my life. I chose to do this. I now realise I could do both. Take care of me and baby. There were a lot of milestones in my life but nothing seem to fill the void that my first child finally did. My marriage was the first step in getting to where I wanted to be and I never knew it! The one thing that terrified me was what lead me to better myself. My children make me want to be the perfect role model for them. They make me emotional, moody, frustrated but most of all content with what I have been blessed with. My girls are my guiding light. In them I remember and thank Allah for what He’s given me.
One of Allah’s names is al-Wahhab, which means the Bestower of Gifts. He gives gifts for different reasons. He may do it solely out of His love for His slave. He may see that His slave is distant and so gives her a beautiful gift to bring her back to thanking Him.
My gifts are my family. I thank Him everyday when I look at my small family.
I value and appreciate all that my parents have had to do for me when raising me along with my two other siblings. We were a handful to say the least! All only a year or two apart from each other.
These realisations help me understand I’ve come a long way and I can give myself some credit for working to get here. Those days I’m not so harsh on myself. Those days, I just watch my kids and my heart is full.
The journey to being me is an interesting one. One that would end if I wasn’t constantly changing and bettering myself.