I rolled over in bed and quickly realized that was a huge mistake.
The whole side of my body morphed into fine goosebumps and I was awoken to the crisp Chicago night and freshly pressed bed sheets. Streaks of moonlight creeped through my blinds and splashed parts of my bed. It was eerie but serene at the same time. I pulled the covers closer to my body and gazed out the window. The warmth was rushing back towards my body as I bent my legs towards my chest to trap it in. I saw a silhouette of the tree standing in the front yard. During the day it stood in solitude and most of the time barely noticeable but tonight it looked intimidating, fearless and beautiful. The daytime suffocated her true self. She needed to release. The tree was simply stealing the night in order to display her true brilliance.
We all steal in one way or another. I thought to myself.
I took in a deep breath of the chilled night air and reflected on the desires of the human spirit. My chest rose as thoughts stirred in my mind. I needed the tree to share the night with me. So I stole a bit of it for myself.
I did so unapologetically and without shame.
Life feels full, but nonetheless very enjoyable. At 28, I feel like I am reaching a point of self-realization. I am growing into myself and feel more confident with the woman I am becoming. I have had opportunities to be independent, extensively travel and pretty much “do me”. It always amazes me the turns that your life can take. I always tend to think that I control the major and minor occurrences in my life. Now, don’t get a sista wrong… I firmly believe that Allah has ultimate control but I think we play a huge part in how our lives turn out as well. In my early 20’s I would have never thought that I’d be unmarried and globe trotting.
We all walk different paths that may converge with that of our family and friends and sometimes they never converge at all. People get married in clusters then they start getting pregnant in clusters too. Think of it like this, in every group of friends there is that one person who kinda does their own thing. The one who is going against the grain of expectation and normativity.
Society dictates what you’re supposed to have, when you’re supposed to have it and how you’re supposed to get it. Are people just cookie cutters of one another? Should people be labeled or pointed out when they don’t fit into what society expects of them? As women we get stuck with this big time. Once you reach a certain age (normally after 30) certain “things” are expected of you. It’s almost as though many of us have an expiration date that is shadowed in the fear of not fulfilling those societal demands. Once we get into our late 20’s we’re in a rush to get our lives “together”.
Life is not set up like that. There is no “set” age or time to get married, have children or even to be settled in a career. I’m sure those things work as motivators for many people but I refuse to live my life in the cloud of societal demands.
That’s mad stressful!
I think about my life and where I see myself in the future inshAllah. I certainly want to get married and have a family, but quite frankly I am enjoying my life. I’m living in the now and attempt every day to be conscious of the present. The past is long gone and the future awaits me, God willing.
Right now is what counts and it is the only thing I can control at this given point in time.
There is a time for everything in your life. I recognize the chances of me finding someone as mobile as myself is pretty rare. I will have to adapt certain aspects of my life and the older I get I understand that people become less flexible. So don’t misunderstand a sista because I know that time is precious and it must not be wasted.
One must strike a balance of living for oneself as well as understanding the realities of life. This balance can be hard to achieve and it is something I work on quite often.
Right before bed and in the early hours of the morning have always been a time of reflection and thought.
Many researchers have said that trees are some of the few plants that can show physical manifestations to outside stressors. Air quality, soil conditions and limited space can inhibit their growth. Just like the human spirit trees need space to fully flourish and reach their highest potential. If not they remain stagnant and eventually die. One must be rooted in the knowledge of self in order to grow.
Remember, there is no growth without firm and planted roots.
I take my time to grow and breath so that when love comes my way I am ready for it to plant itself deeply within my heart. Until then, I steal pieces of the night and patiently wait for the daylight to bring its lessons on life.
5 thoughts on “Deep Roots”
You are right, knowing yourself is paramount. Enjoying life as it is- priceless. You wrote a beautiful piece.
Thanks for this great entry. I nominated you for a Liebster Award (see here: https://outernotes.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/tunisia-photo-remix-and-the-liebster-award/) and I’m hoping you’ll accept as I’d love to read your answers to the award questions. Thanks again and best of luck to you!
This is awesome!
Sister Ihssan, I discovered your blog through ‘The ideal Muslimah’ on facebook. At first I was a little surprised at how forthright and open you are in your opinions and your descriptions on such a public forum, knowing full well how it could come across to other, perhaps more close-minded, Muslims. But I greatly admire your approach. Islam is a religion of modesty and chastity but never a religion that is constrained and limited and that doesn’t leave doors open for discussion. I wish more people, our fellow sisters especially, would acknowledge that and refuse to put themselves into boxes society builds for them. As a millennial myself, your posts resonate with me completely. This one certainly does. Those of us who are travelers, literally and figuratively, tend to see the world through different lenses. Keep writing. I will definitely keep reading.
Thank you for reading! It’s a place of truth and honesty. I try to write from my heart without hesitation. Thank you for appreciating it.