Have you heard the expression, being uncomfortable in your own skin? That’s me when I’m out here. It might even be an understatement. You see we live in an ever changing world. Yeah, that’s news to you isn’t it. What would you guys do without me! Right?
Seriously though, I am…me, and I have always allowed myself to be at least that much. Nothing more, nothing less. I have had experiences. I’ve been places. I’ve met people. I have seen a lot. When I say a lot, I mean it. I have been around the world, back, and then around again. This is meant to be a metaphor just as much as it is literal. In all this going around, coming, and then going. One thing I have always been sure of, is who I am. Born in one country, raised in another. Then living in a few others does a number on your body and soul. One’s gotta hold on tight. You gotta hold tight to what’s inside because what’s outside has to change with culture, time, people, and even age. Yeah you read correctly. Not a typo. I said age…I’m still admitting NOTHING.
Point is, so much changing, giving into the environment around you takes a huge toll on one. This takes the kind of strength that is hard to explain. You are questioned for simply existing. No one means to do it to hurt or offend. As a result though, you do get hurt and offended. You start to wonder wouldn’t it be easier to become like everyone else, and be invinsible? No one will question you. No one will know that You’re not from here. No one will know that you carry in your soul so many parts from so much of the world. Wouldn’t it be easier to pretend to be something your not just for a little while? That’s how it was for many people around me. They became something they were not. They faked it. I honestly don’t blame them because it seems so much more convenient.
On the other hand after building up from so many parts and pieces I feel I’ve created something rather unique. I can share something original with the world. This new world I’m in, however makes me uncomfortable on a whole new level. This world makes my skin crawl for some reason. Well, I shouldn’t say for “some” reason. I know the reason. I think I now truly know the meaning of the phrase “being uncomfortable in your own skin”. That’s when you don’t know your own identity. That’s when you don’t know your purpose. I’m unique and original but I’m somehow wrong and not worthy. I’m not supposed to BE.
Not. Be. Not. Accepted.
Just recently, at a reastaurant my husband took the kids to the toilet after sinner. I asked the waiter to pack up the left overs, and bring the bill. The leftovers came but the waiters kept hovering around. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Finally, my husband, and the kids came back, the bill arrived as soon he returned. Now I understood. The waiters were hovering, waiting for him to return. How would I, a woman be able to pay? They had to wait for the man to come back to the table. Even though I asked for the bill. This doesn’t happen everywhere. But, it does happen sometimes when I go out with my husband or another male figure. This is the land of the male royalty. All the time. All. The. Damn. Time. We went to a different city.
I tried to find a female spa. Spend about half a day doing that. Most fancy hotel spas were male only, at least in that city. I eventually gave up on the idea because it got too late. Also because I was frustrated.
So my female skin is crawling, and is extremely uncomfortable. Because in most places it’s not acceptable. In most places I have to change and adjust to what everyone else wants me to be. What everyone wants me to be is not entirely me. I have to be slightly subdued. I have to be accepting of the role of men as everything from protecters to owners.
Here, I am not the descendant of the likes of Ayesha the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I’m Just. A. Woman.
They were not anyone’s property. They lived their lives on their own terms. They taught men of high caliber how to be honorable men, and those men felt no shame in being their students. There was honor and status in it.
I don’t use my religion in writings a whole lot because I write about my life and my struggle. I want people to know what happens to a woman, a parent, a person everyday. Sometimes religion fits in. Sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t feel it’s for me to throw it in other people’s face to justify my life.
But Im mentioning it here because every time women are being abused, and every time any woman’s spirit is being crushed it’s being done in the name of my religion. When the truth is utterly different. These women were empowered by this religion. These women were empowered by their husbands, and their fathers who were all Muslim men. These women knew how to stand on their own two feet because they knew their own rights as Muslim women, and they wouldn’t let anyone stop them BECAUSE of this religion. So, here I am permitting my religion to do the same for me today.