A lot has changed since I last wrote about anything. The world is a different place. A lot scarier and much less friendly; People ask me how do you keep ignoring all of it and just keep posting about everyday life like nothing is happening? How do you keep thinking and acting in ways as though what’s happening is not of your concern because you don’t live there anymore? You are still a part of that country. Are you not? Or have you given into what *they* want you to believe? You don’t belong there so you have left? Mind and body?
It’s true I have not commented about any of it on social media in a while. It’s true that I have not written anything about this in a long while. However it’s not that this, what’s happening out there does not consume my every waking hour. It’s not true that I don’t think of myself as part of that country mind, body, and soul. What I’m unsure of right now is my role as an American Muslim sitting in a foreign land who was born in another land. I feel a certain way. I’m seen another way. My voice is limited. My choices and options are even further limited. On top of that my cherry on my delicious cake, I’m a woman. A mother of boys; boys Im supposed to raise who can accomplish anything they want. Yet I am supposed to not lead by example but teach only by my words. “Look at that great big world out there” I am supposed to tell them. “Your mom can’t go out and get everything that’s in it because she has a huge list of do’s and don’ts attached to her but you go out there and do your best. I can drive you around (metaphorically because in this country I cant even do that), make your schedules and lunches and cheer you on and tell you how great you are and then sit on the sidelines and watch as you wonder why I cant do all the same things I tell you that you can go after. Oh also you have to remember kids, you are brown and Muslim. In some places you’ll have to remember to keep your head down and just smile. Just breathe in and breathe out. But I can’t guarantee you that this will protect you because I have tried it and I have not been protected. I have not been saved.”
“So you may not have as many restrictions as your mom because she is not just a woman she’s a Muslim woman who wears a scarf, but you do have some so keep that in mind when you are out there.”
You see there are many hands muffling my voice. There are many arms pulling me back. What do I write about? Where do I start? The every day of dealing with life and deciding what I want myself to be and what I want my children to be takes over and I sit in front of my computer with too many thoughts and too many words and nothing to write.
Yet I understand that it’s not a struggle as hard for those who are suffering in places and being denied a right to live. My life is too comfortable compared to theirs. Sometimes I stay quiet because it’s just not fair. What right do I have to be this comfortable when others wait for years and months for shelter only to be turned away? When they can’t return home to bury their dead.