27. It’s like a fresh, religious, prospective of a, normally, secular topic.
I’m in the dark typing away on my blog in my sister’s, MFA, apartment with my other sister, SA, drowsy yet excited about my night here and very dependent upon my typing skills to get me through the blog in the dark. As I sit and listen to the sirens and the random man and/or woman yell or bark commands at someone else, I sip my tea and am thankful for the warmth around me, my full stomach and my warm bed awaiting my arrival. I’ve read some blogs where the resilience of some have really astonished me and made me feel incredibly thankful of my situation.
I attended a talk at my university a couple of months back by Khalid Latif, the NYU’s chaplain. I received so much from that speech that I am still comprehending his words today. I want to email him, but I feel like all I would ask for is another speech on another aspect of my life I need sorted out through the eyes of someone else. (It’s like a fresh, religious, prospective of a, normally, secular topic). I remember that he told us to write down 3 things per day that we are thankful for. Not just, “I’m thankful for the food I ate for lunch”, or “I’m thankful for my mom”. Both legitimate responses to the prompt, but what he asked us to do was really sit and think about what exactly it was about such events that we are happy and thankful for them. I tried it once and I couldn’t get two things. I was shocked to say the least, I almost cried. How come I couldn’t find merely three things to be really, consciously thankful for?! Am I really this ungrateful?! Am I really this unhappy or, worse, unresponsive to my surrounding? Have I been numb to the life around me that I can’t simply pick three out and write at least 200 words about it and why?!
I sat stunned at myself for a moment. I looked around me as if someone would pop out and tell me what I should look for or how I should start brainstorming. Sadly, I felt that I am seriously disgusting if I can’t sincerely write this. I gave up. I feel ashamed of admitting it, but I’ve come to a conclusion that denial is not the solution-it never is. So I backed off the prompt for a while and I think tonight, though not sure why tonight of all nights I could have chosen to do this, but here it goes.
My first thing I am most grateful, eternally indebted to by God is, as cliche as this may be, family. My sister’s came for a semi-planned and unplanned visit. I was stubborn, irradic, impatient and a big, fat loser the first few days because I was jealous they were doing “fun” stuff without me while I had to study the first few days because I still have classes and a midterm to study for. Wow. How pathetic, right? Wait. There’s more. I wasn’t thankful for them driving eight hours, buying me toiletries or delivering halal meat from my parents. I felt, it right of them to do so since they had never visited. I felt they owed me in some horrible way. I am so disgusted.
Last Tuesday I have one of the worst fights with my eldest sister; it was the kind where you, had you left it alone, you could have gone ten years without talking to one another. I felt so scared, but I was still in my impatient mood because, stupidly, I still wanted to “win”. We brought up things from months and years before, things we thought we resolved, but sadly we still bring them up to cut and hurt each other with. Lest, what can you do if the one you love is there telling you how horrible you are?
We yelled our voices hoarse and my head began to pound, I’m sure she felt worse, I cut her deep and I cut her many times. I am a truly horrific person for such deeds. I deserve so much worse than the blessings I have been given. I have to wait to cry for forgiveness from God because I can’t do it in front of my sister-she’d be too kind and tell me everything is alright and that she forgives me. I am incredibly stupid and I hate myself for it. I have to figure out to make this all up for her. One day, inshallah, I will-until then I hope I carry this shame for remembrance that in the end, she still forgave me and loves me. Wow, right?! She’s amazing. I called up my other sister and she instantly forgave me, too. They understand me better than I thought. I am thankful for family for understanding me better, for paying me so much grace and patience because if it was me, I know I would not be so merciful. I learned that in life, my family is and has always been the key to my healthy progression. I have been so long without them in my immediate life that I have very much forgotten or have become numb to how special they are. I am thankful I have figured it out. I am thankful I have time to make up for my actions.
My second most thankful aspect of today’s realizations is I’m truly thankful for knowledge and a human’s ability to reason. Without these two factors, what is separating us from other animals that rely wholly on their primitive and instinctual urges to go through life? I can grow and be responsible for what I am and who I am. I can go through my life knowing all my problems are my own and all my triumphs. I can say the strength is from a power beyond me, yet my mistakes of turning down a bad road is my own obvious inability to think or my own inability to become subject to primal urges-something that we fight everyday to thwart for higher plance of being that goes beyond sex, food and shelter. We have all those things, but what most people can’t reach is a place of higher thought and sense of being that can only be found in the human mind. I am thankful for my ability to reasona nd make a decision of on my own accord and not be subject to emotional and physiological urges so blatant in animals (not that animals are bad, but simply different from us).
Lastly, people like Khalid Latif, a simple unmarried man, may bring fresh thought and new ideas to those you thought so stable and never changing. A fresh prospective is always absolutely necessary to get motivated, to change and to accomplish your “distant” goals. I admire him-for lack of a better description, he has opened my eyes to really watch and see myself and my surroundings. I have to try to practices vigilance towards a sensitivity of other people’s emotions, cares, fears, goals, triumphs and failures. We recognize that which we are similar in and that which we strive to accomplish ourselves thus increasing the connection and absolute integrated of each and every person we meet and say hello to.
I’m scared to say the least for my future behavior, I hope I do not repeat myself, I hope I do not revert to an old way of being. I want to change, now I just have to apply myself.
Life can be so tough going through multiple hoops of fire that you light for yourself, but to know God has your hands pulling you through can make anyone feel instantly better. We all can go through a lot because of ourselves, it’s important to have people, anyone to talk to.
No matter how hard you or someone else can make it for you, Life is always worth living; and that’s a fact!
After such a purge, the least I feel I can do is brush my teeth and sleep. It’s 1:19 in the morning. It’s Friday…Happy Friday.
Goodnight. I leave you with a still from one of my favorite movies, The Science of Sleep.