Relationships

It’s my Mum’s birthday today. We don’t make a big deal about b’days in our home. At least, not any more.

The last time I remember having a celebration was when I was seven and it was as if we made up for the birthday-partyless years to come. We had like 100 guests, three-quarters of whom I didn’t know. Hand-made party caps for everyone. Books and party-favours (and in those days, those were the exception, not the norm), two cakes and a video. It was all very ‘in’ for that period of time 😛

But b’days are not the point of this entry and neither is fashion. I guess this will always be difficult for me – talking about my relationship with my family. I seem to have an innate discomfort when it comes to exposing my emotions to the world. It probably comes from a fear of being vulnerable. Even as I write this, I can do so only because I know I’m not facing you and chances are I never will.

So, my family. We’re not the perfect, storybook lot. Which family is, you’re asking? Don’t have an answer for that one, except that I have seen people who talk about each other, look at each other and relate to each other in a way that makes you think they have it all down to a pat.

For us, it’s like we have a split-level family. Siblings on one row and parents on the other. And I think that’s pretty cool, because it allows us to preserve the Islamic hierarchy of authority, which is lacking in so many families today. I think I’m pretty lucky that I have that.

I wish I could relate to my parents better though. In so many ways, it’s entirely my own fault. I distanced myself so much from them when I was going through my ‘rebellious teen’ phase that I failed to nurture the bonds that were there. Now, it’s more difficult to find the threads I had let go off and try to tie everything together.

There are days when I can capture Kodak-moments, thinking ‘this is the way life is supposed to be’ and I wonder how I can trap that sense of understanding, agreement and camaraderie in a never-ending eternity.

And there are others when I feel trapped in a framework from which I want out. I think part of my fear of marriage comes from that. The thought that in marrying, I might end up trading one confusion for another. It’s a horrendously scary prospect.

People tend to make a big deal out of their own problems, magnifying everything because they can feel their own issues more passionately than that of others. Writers tend to make bigger deals because they have a tendency to dramatize life in order to get inspiration for their writing.

Maybe I’m making a big deal about this too. I don’t know and I doubt I ever will. All I do know is that Allah (SWT) is aware of where I am and what I feel. He’s guiding my life and He only wishes what is best for me. So everything around me is geared towards making me a better person and polishing my rough edges for Heaven.

I just have to trust Him. And that’s my greatest problem – learning how to trust. It’s an issue I’m beginning to think is The Major Obstacle of my existence. And without it, there is nothing left in my Islam.

S’laams
Bint Ali

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