I can’t believe that little monster is five month already! Where does the freaking time go? I am trying to take in as much as I can because angel is growing and everyday there is something about her that I discover and watching her personality flourish is truly a blessing. She’s a little pest when it comes to sleep and no she doesn’t sleep through the night! I was in dire search of a magic recipe to make baby go to bed easily and stay asleep for the longest time possible. However, I decided that my baby just has different needs and I need to be more patient and offer her the attention she wants and deserve. Am I over “spoiling” her?? Possibly…but spoiling a baby is not even possible!!! It’s baby’s job to want you and need you and be totally dependent of you. I have plenty of time for that to come along with the no and I dint want to phase. For now, I am sucking it all in and although I get extremely exhausted and frustrated and want to jump out of the window, one of her smiles bring me back life. Is it worth it? Totally! For me anyway…
Last month, the pediatrician had me start her on solids and this is probably the best part of seeing her grow. Watching her discover different foods while expanding her taste buds is so hilarious. Her reaction to certain fruits and vegetables is quite fascinating and I find it so interesting how at such a young age she is able to decide what she likes and what she doesn’t. She is also and very obviously more aware of her surroundings and loves to explore what’s around. She’s inquisitive and wants to touch everything she sees and put it in her mouth; my hair included! She’s starting to teeth and that sucks because she’s a lot more fussier than usual and sometimes is too much to handle and when I get too overwhelmed, I leave the room for a minute to take a breather and come back to handling her with care.
So basically, living with a five month old is insane and I mean it in the best way possible and I will say it repeatedly; it’s a humbling experience! I have been going through a bit of a bumpy road and haven’t had loads of time to spend with her, but at the end of the day, when I come home to seeing her excitement melts my freaking heart away. She gets all flustered with happiness and doesn’t know what to do with it…then she started screaming with joy. It kills me!
Right, January has finally left us! I am not one of those people that complains about time or weather because I feel like as long as you are protected from the elements, then YOLO! However, for some reason, I feel like January and the bloody snow want to stay forever and it’s starting to drag me down. So I use color to lift my mood and spirit and to get on with my days. I have big projects coming up and I am very excited to get February started. Le hubs and I are starting new plans for the future and although budgeting is not my forte, we are making thing work. I am super lucky, in the sense that my husband is not one of those men that forbids me to shop…as long as I shop in moderation, then he’s all for it. Now that January is finally gone and will only come back out to play in 11 months, I am feeling extremely inspired but most importantly thankful for those small things in life. And here I am sharing them with you!
♠ ♠ ♠
1- This is probably one of the things I am most grateful for lately and it’s getting my confidence back. Slowly but surely, I am getting to where I want to be. Having gone through hard time in the past couple of months, I am finally able to push back the bad thoughts and the negativity to welcome inner peace and happiness. Working on myself is a main priority and although I struggle to make time for myself, I still manage to push through. I enjoy being alone and not in a way that is pathetic; it’s therapeutic and enjoyable. Having even 5 small minutes in a day to simply put a mask on or doing my makeup makes me so happy and I cannot wait to give myself more of what I truly deserve.
2-Having my husband by my side again and seeing him work hard for us to be happier is something I will forever be grateful for. I am super lucky and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for us. And although we sometimes struggle to understand each other and argue/fight often, we still manage to clear the slate at the end of the day and start fresh the next. Marriage is work, but it is something I am very dedicate to making it successful.
3-Clothing and more specifically vintage is giving me all kinds of awesome feels. Getting back out there and doing events and pop up shops and sharing my love for all things vintage is absolutely incredible. I am so in love with what I do and I am extremely joyful to be able to share that with many of you out there. And that fact that I am helping the planet a bit more and being eco-friendly in recycling and reusing people’s clothes is humbling. I am learning on a daily basis and I take my stand into being more sustainable and efficient to our planet and that in itself is a step in the right direction. Also, I have been loving experimenting with different colors and patterns and that, currently, is giving me life!
4-These things are in no particular order of importance but the most important of them all is baby Sofia. Her little smiles are everything! She’s my saving angel and although she is becoming more and more demanding, waking up to one of her infectious smiles heals my heart and hugs my soul. She is truly one hell of a gem and she makes me the happiest and richest human on the planet. She is beyond adorable and being able to see her grow and develop her personality on the daily is something I am extremely thankful for and words can never express my gratitude for having her in my life.
WHAT I’M WEARING
JACKET: Vero Moda ◊ SHIRT: Winners ◊ SKIRT: Vintage ◊ SHOES: New Balance ◊ BAG: Zara ◊ SUNNIES: Ray-Ban ◊ BELT: Vintage
5-Reading. I love reading but not having had lots of time to do it lately, I started to lose the habit of picking up a book and indulging in it. Since little monster is growing, she is quite occupied in exploring her surrounding, so I have a little bit more time to myself and reading is something I am getting back into, especially poetry. I love poetry!
♠ ♠ ♠
So here y’all have it! These are currently some of the little things in my life that are making me so happy right now. I’d love to hear if you can relate to feeling this type of gratitude to any number of the small things listed above in the comments below.
I was going through a lot of highs lately and not because my life was perfect, but simply because I have the love of my life by my side and my little monster in between. I felt like I can conquer the world! However, I feel like I have been questioning myself lately if getting married and having a child was all that life had to offer. I mean it isn’t all that bad, but I didn’t want to simply be defined as a mother or as a wife; I want to be so much more than that. I feel like many new moms go through this and I am not alone but there is no doubt that motherhood causes a major shift in identity.
Five months in and it’s starting to hit me now and I thought I would never go through it, but I am and I am trying to deal with it in the best way possible. Before monster arrived, I was quite convinced and certain that I would get back to work as soon as baby is delivered and I would resume being the fashionista that I am. Wrong! There’s so much I would like to do and would love to do but sometimes, I let guilt get in the way and stop me from accomplishing anything else other than mothering. Spending too much time in the shower, or getting ready or taking time to unwind and have a bubble bath…these are luxuries I am not sure I’ll enjoy soon. I miss them, oh yes I do, but I want to spend as much time as possible with monster and I am afraid I will miss the littlest thing. However, I can’t help myself but wonder, am I now destined to forever wear loose-fitting clothes that hide my stubborn post-baby belly? Am I supposed to forever spend my Friday nights in fighting with little one to get to sleep? Or do I now have to spend my Saturdays sleeping at 8:30 because I am dead tired?
So this is what I figured…I will no longer overwhelm myself with trying to “find” the new me all at once. So many areas of my life are affected since baby is in the picture—inner and outer confidence, relationships with my partner, family and friends, career goals and even my personal style. Trying to tackle everything at once is sometimes frustrating and instead, I now choose to focus on one thing at a time. Attack the area that seems to be taking up the most mind space first, and then getting along with the rest of my mental list. Spending time with baby is the time I cherish most but I do get tired and frustrated and wish that little monster gave me a bit of a break…but for now, I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. I will forever put on my big girl pants and face the challenges that come my way, in my most killer outfit, head high!
As I was having a little discussion with my sister over text the other day, I was left a little jolted if I do say so myself. She has pointed out so bluntly (not in a bad way-maybe I needed this) that I changed over the past year and have become even more introverted than I was before. She kept telling how I no longer love to socialize (not that I did too much of that in the beginning anyway) and that it wouldn’t do me good to spend too much time alone (technically now with little bub). She was telling me how I still needed to get out there and meet new people and network, if not for my career then at least for my mental health. Then I sat down and pondered it all and thought meh, I still pretty much prefer solitude over anything else.
I am not going to deny that the year I spent in Jericho changed me, and perhaps not so much in a good way. I have always been an introvert and was quite anxious to be in the public most of the time but I made loads of efforts to tackle my dreams and accomplish a lot more than just your average trip to the grocery. My will was always much stronger than my anxiety and I was able to live (not just exist) and lead (being a leader was my favourite thing to do despite my fears). I was a lot more socially active than I am now. I made time to see my friends, to go to yoga alone and even have lunch by myself in the food court. After Palestine, I feel like a have lost a part of myself, the good part, the part that was carefree and happy and hopeful despite how many problems were there. So, solitude pretty much was my best friend in Palestine. I stopped trying to get out there and be vulnerable to the world; building concrete walls was the only thing I wanted to do. I felt lost and solitude was my only option. No one forced me to lose that art of myself, I guess I was the one that did so. So when does alone time become too much alone time?
I mean, alone time is prefect and comforting and I feel less anxious and less stressed about what I need to say or do but in the long run, how much good does it do? I feel like this is why I turned to writing blogs; I feel like I could still do things that I love but in a much more secure way (although the internet is much more brutal than the real world). When I am alone, I pretty much feel what Henry David Thoreau described so perfectly; I have never found a companion so companionable as solitude. As I am sitting writing this, I feel like maybe my sister was right and although I like spending time alone, it is probably not that good for me. My anxiety is getting worst and my career is kinda dying (no, motherhood has nothing to do with it!) and if I don’t get out of my bubble any time soon, then sayonara store front and hello solitude for the rest of my young adult life.
I have come to the conclusion that it is healthy to spend time with yourself but it is important to know when you’re going overboard, because then solitude turns into avoidance and then it turns into some kinda breakdown. My will is still intact but I guess it’s just dormant and being a mum has brought it back slowly because I want to do things and follow my dreams again; not just for me but for my little monster so that she can be inspired and be courageous just as I was before all the chaos that happened inside my head.
I can’t believe how fast time flies and how much bigger my little monster is. Eight weeks! Two months! It’s insane! In a blink of an eye, my baby is getting bigger and bigger and changes and grows and develops and explores the world around her. Things have gotten better, here’s how I will start my thoughts because I don’t want to be sounding negative at all. I want to state that everything has been quite the challenge for me and that motherhood definitely doesn’t come with a manual. Every parent is different and so is every baby. My baby has been accused of being too needy and well I say so what?! My daughter is super aware of her surrounding and whenever I go missing she cries, she’s the type of baby that needs comforting constantly and she needs to feel secure. While I find it very challenging on most days, I offer her the comfort because I want to and not because I have to. I love making her feel better and if that means I need to carry her into my arms all day well then be it. There is no such thing as spoiling a baby!!! It’s a baby!! It’s supposed to cry and whine and want hugs and kisses all the time. I believe that a lot of people need time for themselves and need to teach independence to their children at a very very young age. I was somewhat a little peer pressured to give my daughter that space so that she grows to become independent and although I feel like I sometimes carry her loads, I do not feel like I need to teach her to be independent any time soon. There will be plenty of days where she will learn that by herself with the world we live in now.
So the beauty and the good of living with a two month old is that you get to see them change every day and see them grow and it is truly a remarkable blessing. I was always so hard on myself, saying that I wouldn’t be a good mother….but really, what is the definition of good? We, women, tend to always want to be the best of the best and not make mistakes and I find that I am always questioning myself whether I am doing the right thing for the little one or not. But as time passes, I realized that I need to chill, take a step back, stop overanalyzing shit and just live each day to the fullest and learn to give as much love as possible to my baby.
I say bad, but it isn’t really that bad. Motherhood is a full-time job and you need to be alert and there all the time and although I am lacking sleep and I get frustrated and angry easily I still do enjoy being a mom. Being a mom is nothing like I have done before. I was career focused and needed validation from my superiors to tell me I was doing a good job and that pushed me to go further and be more ambitious. Being a mom, you don’t get that….no one gives you that validation, you have to give it to yourself, even though sometimes it’s hard. I may not be the best mom in the world, but I know that day in day out, I am doing what’s best for me and little Sofia. So although, you don’t get to sleep too too much (my friend was so right when she said sleep as much as you can before baby comes), you still get to bond with the little human that shares your DNA.
That leaves me with the ugly and the only ugly I noticed is that I sometimes forget to take care of myself. The bags under my eyeballs are real! And the smell of milk is undeniable but I know that this is a phase and it will pass, and so, all I can do now is enjoy every little moment because these moments will not come back.
So, all in all, living with a two month old is hard work but work that blooms into something beyond beautiful and I am so glad to be able to experience that. Not saying I want a second baby…all I am saying is, right now, I am loving it; even with its challenges. I am finally getting the hang of things and I can deal with my feelings a lot better. Crying is therapeutic for me these days and so, if I feel somewhat overwhelmed, I push through it and at the end of the day, I let it all out with a great big cry and I instantly feel much better. I feel like crying doesn’t mean I am weak, it just means I am a fighter and that’s what we are, us mothers, we are fighters!
As you can tell by the title of this blog, I decided to give birth to baby Sofia in a birthing house and not a hospital. I was pondering over this for a couple of months and obviously like many other women like me, I didn’t know that a birthing house was even an option because no one ever talks about it (which sucks ass by the way). I, first of all, am a huge “nosocomephobe” and I absolutely dread hospitals…y’all have no idea. So finding out that birthing houses and midwives still do exist got me super excited. There aren’t many here in Quebec and not many people about them…they’re pretty much still considered not fit to do the job but let me tell you that I am a true believer that midwives are angels.
I initially wanted to give birth in a pool because I heard that it was less painful and your chances or tearing were minimal and so since I was in Jericho half way through my pregnancy, i sent out my dear sissy on a mission to finding a birthing pool place for me and like the hero she always is, she was able to get me on a waiting list to the Pointe Claire birthing house…and a few weeks later I got the call and I was in! I was so relieved and I couldn’t believe that I was going that route, but in my mind it was still a better option that the hospital. So as soon as I got to Montreal, I went to meet my midwife and my journey started there. She was knowledgeable and very assertive and knew what she was doing and pretty much slapped my fears out of me. She assured me that giving birth naturally is a good way to go and that many women before me have done it and that there is no fear in the process. Theses midwives are trained and have basic (a little more than basic) knowledge of medicine and so if there’s an emergency they can act quickly while waiting on an actual doctor to arrive. Although I went in later during my pregnancy to the birthing house, they made sure to keep me up to date on classes and natal care. They were always available on call for me whenever I had doubts, fears or questions.
I was lucky enough that my whole birth experience took five hours in total but my midwife was with me every minute and gave me strength when I became weak and pushed me to keep going when I almost gave up. Giving birth is not easy by any means and having done it, un-medicated at that, is a huge accomplishment in my books and I feel like from here on out, I am a superhero and nothing can stop me! I am not saying that going to a hospital is bad or giving birth through a c-section is any less heroic, all I am saying is, this experience gave me the strength I needed to say: yes, I can now conquer the world!
Honestly, it may seem so “retarded” to talk about midwives and birthing homes because we have hospitals and all the technology we need, but truly they are game changing in the labour/delivery process and sometimes, less is more. My experience proves that they still have space and room to practice their jobs safely without complications. Every experience and journey is different…but I am confident when I say (if you’re planning to give birth) that having birthing houses as an option in your pregnancy is excellent and you should look into it more.
As I have spent the last few weeks running around like a headless chicken prepping for the arrival of the baby, I forgot to take the time to take care of little old me. I know that I won’t get much time to do so after baby come for a few months until I am all settled. So I figured will take the time now for myself and enjoy it while it lasts. Spending time with my husband (who’s here for baby’s birth) is giving me the nudge to put it all aside and focus on us but mostly me. There is nothing wrong with a little selfish time to take care of your own needs, besides if you’re happy, then everyone else around you will be happy. You will radiate positive energy and that is always inspiring.
Here are my top tips on self-care and how you get to enjoy yourself and be all relaxed.
1) SKIN CARE
That is like my holy grail of self-care. I am not going to lie; I am a huge sucker when it comes to skincare. I like to splurge because I feel like if I am good in my own skin, then I am more confident and I feel like I can conquer the world. Good skin gives me the push to put myself out there. I know I struggled in that department quite a bit when I was younger, but I learned that when working with good products (pricey or not), you will achieve your goal to perfect skin. I am super indulgent when it comes to masks and I like to do it whenever I have time. Back when I was single, it was a daily ritual for me…but since getting married, I have slacked a bit, perhaps because I have less free time on my hands. However, I vowed to get back to it, because it makes me happy! So ladies, mask away! Trust me, you’ll feel better!
This is pretty obvious but I tend to forget to hydrate and it just makes me feel sluggish, lethargic and causes me to have headaches. Well, headaches no more because I am getting back on track. I find it quite hard sometimes to replenish on the H2O but it is the essence of our existence. I sometimes go a full day not even drinking 1 cup of water and I realize it is bad for me…but I just don’t think of it. However, now, I have a refillable water bottle with me and I spend most of my day with it in my hands so that I remember to drink up and stay hydrated. It not only helps me with headache, but it also helps me with my skin. It’s much more hydrated and smooth; I don’t feel like a lizard anymore. Staying hydrated helps your body detox hence giving you more energy to be out and about doing your thing!
I have always been an active girl…since I was little and I am not about to let it go. However, since hitting the third trimester, feeling heavy and tired weren’t helping me in that department. The least I would do these days is take a walk and trying to get to 10 000 steps as a goal. Most day, not gonna lie, I don’t get to my goal, but at least I know I tried. I always loved to exercise as a means to detox my brain from bad thoughts and bad energy—yes it was also for my body, but mostly for my mental health. I was always a pretty angry child and stress was eating me up, so the only way I found to let that all go was through working out. I did everything anyone could possibly do, like zumba, pilates, yoga, dance, you name it!!! As long as I move, I am happy and I cannot wait to get back into working out, because I always feel much healthier and much happier. Work out ladies! Work out for your mental health!!!
When I was little, I remember eating up books for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved loved loved reading! It was our things as a family when we were little…going to the library every weekend was a ritual and we all loved it so much. As the years went by, I slowly started losing that habit and it makes me quite sad that I let it go. Reading feeds your soul! It transports you to worlds undiscovered and it helps your imagination flow and your brain to be in working gear rather than being lazy. Taking the time to read before bed helps you relax and forget about the burdens you may carry. Taking the time to read a book daily is a challenge but a good one because you know you’re doing yourself some good. I am slowly getting back into it and I am enjoying it so far.
5) DO WHAT YOU LOVE
I have always been an advocate about pushing people into doing what they love because I know what it feels like. That pure beautiful raw rush that you get when you do something you love is irreplaceable. We live only once and taking the time to do something you love, whatever it may be is fulfilling and satisfying. Living your dreams is not impossible, we just need to let go of our fears and our limitations. Impossible is nothing! I try as much as possible to have a little list of things I wish to do and cross it off slowly and man is it amazing to know that you can! Even if it seems silly to others, do it anyway. Like blogging, or vlogging or riding a bike even, whatever it may be, do it for you and only you and never listen to what others have to say. It is easy for others to judge you…or humans judging each other in general, but fuck it and live the moment and live your dreams because you never know when your time will come. Even though I am going to be a mom very soon, I will still have that list close to my heart and accomplish whatever I can because I know that the happier I am, the happier my little family will be.
Very much like exercising for many, meditating is food for your soul. For me, it is what gives me the power and the energy to keep the show going. Taking 30 minutes daily for yourself to pray, meditate or simply reflect on your life and your purpose should be enough to keep you happy. For me it’s praying and I find that when I take the time to pray, I feel less anxious, less stressed and less disoriented. I, like many other women around the world, tend to be very hard on myself and demand a lot more of myself than I can give and that is a sucky attitude to have. We women feel like we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and we want to take care of it all and if we don’t, well we feel like failures. But let me tell you ladies, we do a lot more than men do (not being sexist—its’ just fact), but we still cannot accept it and still want to do more. This is why mediation is important because you take the time to reflect on your life and take the time to love yourself more, appreciate yourself more and respect yourself more.
7) EAT HEALTHY
Not saying we can’t indulge and eat that greasy burger or eat those crispy fries, I am saying be balanced. Life is not about forbidding yourself from enjoying the bounties given to you; it’s about knowing when to indulge and when to restrain yourself. However, eating healthy keeps your body in check and keeps you active and happy. Eating healthy keeps you from feeling sluggish and tired and that should be your number one priority. Your body is your temple and taking care of it will keep you positive. Besides, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, it can be creative and exciting; you just have to learn a few tricks.
Last but not least, sleep! Sleep people!!!! That is probably one thing I am struggling with lately and will struggle with for a little while longer. The less sleep I get, the more tired I feel, the grumpier I feel, and the less motivated I feel. Despite having less sleep, I still try to stay active…but some days I just want to be a couch potato. I suffered from insomnia for the longest time and was able to run on little to no sleep sometimes but lately I have been wanting to cocoon and sleeeepp. But man, I can’t help but feel guilty whenever I feel the need to nap because I feel like I could be more productive to the universe. However, it is good to sleep and when you feel like taking little naps, do so, because when you are rested, your body and mind are stronger and you have the power to do anything you want to do.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, treat yourselves with love and dignity and don’t be afraid to tell yourselves that you’re doing great; it doesn’t mean you’re a show-off or a self-centred asshole, it just means you acknowledge that you are human and that you need a break. There is no harm in taking the time for yourselves and try to live without judgement and negativity. There’s only one life and you deserve to be happy, everyone deserves that!
I have come to realize that we humans are a bunch of consumers and it is our duty to change the course of this obsession to help the planet survive longer. I have watched many documentaries lately that show just how far we go to have everything, even though we don’t necessarily need them. Living in Palestine has taught me that filling up my house with unnecessary furniture wasn’t a must and it was a decision I chose to make. Although we had the basics, I still sometimes felt like it was overwhelming when it came to cleaning. I didn’t have 3 sets of dishes or 3 sets of cutlery, only one was enough for my husband and I. It was really nice to know that I wasn’t a hoarder and that my addiction to shopping subsided, I felt like I had more time for what really mattered, which was spending time with my favourite person in the world and making memories.
In today’s post I am sharing my experience when it comes to minimalism and why I think it is better not only for us as humans but also for planet earth.
This is pretty obvious and everyone should be mindful of this whenever they go shopping. I am not saying do not go shopping ever again, I am just saying to buy only what you need. When you buy less, you consume less, therefore you create less waste and you help create less damage to our planet. It is important to know that lots of our waste is dangerous to the planet’s health. All the clothes we buy and end up not wearing and throwing out, all the furniture we throw because we’re too lazy to up-cycle and all the plastic and non-biodegradable waste that end up polluting our soil and our waters…that all affect our future generations, therefore we need to be more aware of what we consume so that we improve our quality of life.
What I mean by freedom here is that you will just be defined as you and that you are not bound by things around you; that freedom to just live your life liberally and not be a follower or be a massive consumer. You get free time to enjoy life as you want to without burden; you break free from consumerism. We are a generation that prides itself in accumulating possessions and it feels quite disheartening sometimes. I was an impulsive buyer when I was younger and sometimes, after going on a big shopping spree, I would get home and feel sick to my stomach knowing that I willingly spend a huge amount of money on things I didn’t need. As I got older, I quickly realized that materials, although they bring us temporary happiness, only add weight to our lives. You will not be defined by the things you own!
3) Time for what really matters
This is perhaps the biggest point where I felt like minimalism changed my life because I didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning because I didn’t have much anyway. I think as long as you have the basics, you’re okay, you’re not going to die if you don’t have the new gadget or the new appliance or the new piece of technology. As long as you have the time to spend with the people that you love, nothing else should matter because life is too short for you to waste it on unnecessary possessions. There is nothing better than purging because accumulating is a heavy load to carry. Seriously! I do hold on to things that are meaningful to me, but less so that before, because I focus on making the memories in other ways. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your money and enjoying the things you buy, it is only important to know that you do not need materials to make you happy. What’s funny is that most of us on this planet, we loathe what we do and yet we still work hard to be able to afford all those unnecessary things, therefore, we spend our lives unhappy and ungrateful and a lot of us die that way. Only 5% of us 7.5 billion get to live our dreams, which is quite sad come to think of it.
4) Saves money
Spending less money is an obvious reason as to why minimalism is beneficial. You don’t end up in debt and I feel like this is our biggest problem. Most of us buy our things with our credit cards and we then never have enough money to pay that up and we end up drowning in endless debts and we spend all our lives working just to be able to pay those basics we buy (not necessary things we need). Instead, focus on spending your money on experiences, travels and adventures; that’s how you really get to enjoy your money and fruits of your labour. This minimalistic lifestyle might not be for everyone because we sadly associate success to owning materials rather than little accomplishments; having the big house with the picket fence, the perfect car and expensive furniture and latest trends….all those things ultimately won’t bring you happiness—the bigger the better I guess.
Less is more!!! That’s the motto we should all live by! There’s more to life than shopping and owning it all.
Are you not hot with this they say…Are you not dying with this they say…Are you trying to threaten us with this they say…Are you trying to take over our world they say…well no peeps! I promise! This thing I have on my head is called a headscarf, a hijab, a veil, not a towel, not a rug and certainly not a THIS! I am usually very very tolerant when it comes to ignorant comments coming my way about being a visible minority and about being a Muslim girl. I am okay with it, it used to bother me when I was younger but since I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything, I don’t feel bad anymore…because I too am a Canadian and I too work hard and pay my taxes. I am as vital of a citizen as everyone else. Anyway, I now take it light-heartedly because we are not all at the same level of education when it comes to cultures and diversity. There are misconceptions about the West in the Occident as much as the West has about the Occident, it really is a matter of self-education and awareness and about the time you decide to take to learn about other cultures and religions. And please bear in mind that there is a huge difference between religion and culture. It shouldn’t be an obligation but rather an inquisitive quest. Perhaps because I am bi-cultural, but I have always had the munchies to learn about other people…it’s just in me and I can’t help it. In today’s post, I wanted to share some of the weirdest questions I have been asked lately about my veil and please take it with a grain of salt because I do and I find it so funny sometimes what people have to say about this whole subject.
1) Do you have hair?!
This one is probably the funniest….is when they ask if I have hair, can’t help but laugh. Like yes, I have hair. If you educated yourself a little, you would know that the reason why I wear the hijab in the first place is to cover my hair. I won’t blame the ignorance as much in this particular matter because I can understand how it may be confusing to some when they see the different ways different Muslim women choose to wear their headscarf. Some wear a hat, some wear a turban and some decided to full on burqa. I think it is important to understand the meaning of the word hijab; basically in Arabic, it means “barrier” and its purpose is to basically help women cover up and be modest around men they can potentially marry. It is to put the emphasis on the brain of the woman rather than her body. And yes, there is modesty for Muslim men too; they too have to follow some rules…it’s not just the woman, trust me, we’re not oppressed, on the contrary, we’re glorified in Islam. It’s just unfortunately some idiots mix up culture and religion together and then extremism is born. So, yes, I do have hair, I promise I am not bald!
2) Did your parents force you?!
No…they didn’t. I just woke up one day, went to school and wore it. I knew that eventually I would end up wearing it…so I figured; high school is the perfect time to stir some shit up and start gossip. It was actually quite fun at first, I was called a princess by many of my teachers because of the way I started to wear the veil. I remember having a small little lace piece peeking through under the hijab and it looked like I was a Victorian princess and it pissed a lot of kids off…I was bullied because I was the “teachers’ pet” (not something I wanted in the first place). So, just to clarify, perhaps some parents do force their kids out of fear of losing them completely to the way of the devil but my parents didn’t. If you do follow Islam in its true pure form, you would know that it does not oblige anything onto anyone, because Islam is about peace and tolerance and you should be convinced on your own when following a certain rule. Islam is not a difficult religion and there is no compulsion, meaning, “Do not force anyone to become Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam. Rather, whoever God directs to Islam, opens his heart for it and enlightens his mind, will embrace Islam with certainty”.
3) Are you oppressed?
Like why is it that because I am wearing a headscarf, I am automatically put into this category. No, like have you seen me?! I mean woman can be oppressed in any religion, any culture, any country, and any race in the whole wide world. I am free to work and live and laugh and dance (not in public…for modesty reasons) and just be who I want to be as long as I respect myself, my family and most importantly my faith and religion. I was not forced into marriage either, trust me, my parents struggled with me so much until I found le husband. I wanted to build my empire before I settled because that’s what made me truly happy. Again there’s a thin line between religion and culture and many Middle Eastern men suffer in that department and perhaps this is where extremism is born…but there’s that in every corner of the world….it’s not an Arab thing! Besides, in any aspect of life (not only religion), when there is balance, there is healthy peace and that goes into everything.
4) Do you take a shower?
Um, like no! I don’t take a shower because then I’ll go to hell (sarcasm highlighted massively here). Of course I can!! What in the hell? Again, this goes back to the first question, we don’t wear it 24/7. We only wear the hijab in the presence of men that could potentially wed us…meaning your father, uncle, brother are not included in the list. So, the minute you get home, you are in fact free to take it off and yes that means you’re allowed to shower and do other human activities such as yoga, dance, trampoline and even bungee jumping. The hijab doesn’t make us any different than any other woman on the planet, we just have it on for extra modesty reasons and we only wear it if we’re convinced to do so!
5) Can you wear a wig?
No, then what’s the point of wearing the hijab in the first place if you’re going to top it off with a wig? Then just don’t wear it at all. You don’t wear it to please others but rather for yourself and religion is about your relationship with God, it has nothing to do with anything else. You have to maintain modesty when you’re 100% convinced about it or else it doesn’t count. I have seen many girls do it to get their parents of their backs and that sucks because that isn’t how it should be. I remember when I decided to wear it, I struggled a little bit to explain why I chose to wear it because I was still new and perhaps I didn’t feel secure or settled into my own skin yet, but as I grew older, I couldn’t imagine myself without it. My hijab gave me more strength and more confidence in myself to purse my dreams and to carve a path for myself in a society where it wasn’t fully understood. I wouldn’t change my experience for anything! I honestly don’t feel like I am impaired or pulled back in any way, because so far, my list of accomplished is pretty awesome.
There are many more silly questions that come to mind but it would take me an eternity to go through them all…it’s so funny! Like I said, I take it super lightly now, because it doesn’t bother nor offend me anymore. Life is way too short for me to keep thinking about what others think of me or the likes of me. Having to always be defensive is super exhausting but if someone comes up to me wanting to sincerely know about my religion or culture or habits, I am more than happy to share info. I too sometimes can have those silly questions towards other communities, it’s the way we ask those questions that differentiate a racist from a genuinely interested person. Most of us humans have the ability to read and educate ourselves about others and other cultures of world, so it is either you take the time to do so politely or just keep the discriminatory derogations to yourself so that we can all co-exist in peace and harmony.
Seems like yesterday that the month of July just began and I remember crying helplessly to the hubs that time doesn’t pass as fast as I want it to…but being so busy with life and preparing for the arrival of our little monster, I haven’t noticed how time ran so quickly. We humans always seem to countdown for something and we never actually take the time to enjoy the little treasured moments of today. We always seem to think of the future and it is a mistake I always seem to make. I try now, as much as possible, to not always plan ahead, because then you end up getting punched in the face by reality. I figured, from now on, I will live life spontaneously and enjoy today for today and leave the rest to fix itself into the right place. As I sit down and reflect about these past few weeks I end up smiling to myself as to where I am compared to a year ago and I can’t help but grin like an idiot and be thankful for every little moment. Although it has been a little hard being away from my best friend and my husband, I still am thankful for the rest of the goodness I have had lately. So here are some of the things that kept me content this month….
1) Going eight month into my pregnancy
As much as I am nervous, I am excited to meet our monster. I am terrified to be honest and perhaps I will share my thoughts on that in another post. I decided to go with a birthing house and attempt giving birth un-medicated and see the possible limits of my body. I know millions and millions of women have survived un-medicated birth…but seems almost impossible to me when I think of it. But I guess you never know how strong you are until it’s your only option. Ok, back to the main point, I am finally 34 weeks and there’s not much left till we have a new member added to our little family. As the times passed, as the baby grows and as the kicks become harder, I can’t help but smile to myself. I am super stoked to see what our little baby will look like and what she’ll be like. Being a mother will definitely be a challenge and I can’t imagine I will do an amazing job, but I am up for the challenge. I mean, I am still a child myself, so perhaps this will be more like a friendship rather than motherhood. Who know?!
Watching this Netflix series is giving me all kinds of feels. It’s empowering to see what women are capable of and it gives me an extra push to keep going forward in my own life. I know it’s TV and all, but still I find it super inspiring. I have a huge crush on Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin…I mean all the cast is so badass, but these two have me hooked! It’s well balanced, it’s charismatic and it gives you all the girl power you need. I love how, despite the drama, the women in the show stand and support each other; they build each other up rather than breaking each other and this is why it has to be one of my favourite shows I have watched in a while. Fierce, ferocious women, what more can you ask for?! It’s all the boost you need! Plus…the series is set in the 80s…so the terrible fashion and the workout tights and gear is all there, a touch of vintage is always a plus for me!
Since I have landed, it has been a constant high of good weather and sunshine…there were a few days where it rained, but it was mostly sun. I don’t mind the rain, in fact I am a pluviophile, but the sun has given me extra love and extra energy even though there were days where I felt pretty shitty. I try to walk around on a daily basis for at least an hour and honestly, not to sound too cheesy, but nature is healing me slowly back to where I want to be. My soul has been feeding off the sound of the birds and the green of the trees and today, I can say that I am feeling much better than I used to a few weeks ago. If you let nature guide you, you will eventually be comfortable and be happy again. We have a little path going through a small preserved forest in the back of our place and I try to walk there as much as possible or spend time in forests as much as possible. Some days, I feel like I just want to lie on the grass like a little star fish on the sand and just stay there for hours without being disturbed (it’s a little too sunny unfortunately). Spending time outdoors has lifted most of the stress I have been feeling lately and it has taught me to take each day as it comes and keep my faith in God strong; what it meant for you will eventually come to you. Besides, being physically active and out there in the world helps you to mentally stay alert and happy…more oxygen in the brain!
This probably one of the biggest thing that has pushed me back to being happier. I spent most of my time last year being alone and probably disconnected for the world outside of my own home…and no one is to blame but me I guess. However, being back here between my family, it has almost brought me back to life. My family is super tightknit and so we only have each other and despite our little anger fits, we try to stick with each other as much as possible and lift each other up. As every dysfunctional family out there (we all are in our own way!), we push each other to be out there and dream but we still stay grounded. I have to stay that my sisters are definitely one of the reasons why I am grounded despite being a big dreamer…they have smacked (figuratively speaking) me time and time again back to reality and for that I am eternally grateful. Spending a lot of time with them lately, I am much more comfortable and happier, they help me set up for the baby and make me feel at ease with the whole process and they never sugar-coat anything, which is exactly what I need.