Help Get me to grad school. I am working on finalizing my admission into grad school for human services. Help me help people. It’s that simple. Click the link and please donate. Peace.
4/6/17 As we sang happy birthday to our baby girl who was turning 4 and recorded the memory on my iPhone 6plus, I couldn’t help but think about how hard and sad and hurtful it would be to look back on this very moment in a few years when she’s gone. Only a week before had we lost our beloved 14 year old dog Snow so forgive me for my pessimistic mindset. She was a fluffy white Bichon whose spirit animal could have easily been a bear. I had only known snow for five years. My partner and her mother already had a dog when I moved in. Snow was courageous and protective and so loving. If you asked her to dance she would get up on her hind legs… for the right treat of course. And, if you asked for a hug she would tilt her head to the side and lay it across your chest. Snow was amazing. My partner has taken the loss hard. When snow fell ill it took all of us by surprise. We’re dealing. She will truly be missed. We now have one dog. She’s a 4 year old Akita mix. As we celebrate her birthday we also celebrate the life of her playmate, our friend, and companion. I wallow in thoughts of loss and for that reason we celebrate life.
My hope for his survival hid behind my knowing of his death like a knight shielded behind a Great Wall. Clutching his truth like the shiny sword that he carried for the battle. Gripped tightly like the cold steel doorknob on his hospital door. The stench of death on the battlefield. And the war almost over. He lay there defeated. And I stand over him. All hope lost for my soon to be fallen comrad. My dad. My pop. Later he would be no longer be and I, the would be knight would quiver behind the Great Wall. Protected only by the thought that the war has finished. And the suffering be over. For him.
Everyone has heard of a mid life crisis but not many people know about or believe in quarter life crisis. One so “legitimately” defined in Webster’s dictionary while the other definition can only be found in places like Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary.
A mid life crisis is described as a questioning of one’s self and choices as a whole and typically occurs during the 40s or 50s. And a quarter life crisis smacks you in the head around your 20s and 30s. It is defined as a questioning of self brought on by the stress of adulthood. Of course as a 20 something year old millennial I find myself leaning toward the belief that such an event is real. And with societal pressures coming at you from all directions telling you where you should be in life and how to get there, how can your brain not overload with subconscious and conscious thoughts of failure and what ifs?
In life we all experience crisis big and small but the quarter and mid life crisis hint at a sort of reluctance of self assurance. A questioning of personality, career, choice of vehicle and friends. These moments are filled with emotions and sometimes our family, friends, and associates do not understand and tell us that we are overreacting.
Maybe the key to holding off on these crisis is not to examine those around you but to focus on examining self. Live by your own measures and standards. Just because a friend close to you in age has had more success in a particular part of life does not mean that you too must do the same.
Work with what you have. Be who you are and work at your own pace. Expect that every decision that you have made was the right decision in that moment and if the outcome says otherwise, accept it. Life is about change. It’s about twists and turns. But it should not be about going in a direction set by someone who isn’t you. Remember that once adulthood arrives it cannot be reversed. The only option is to deal.
If you just so happen to find yourself wrapped up in any type of crisis at all use your brain and better judgement. Talk yourself through it. You’ll make it out.
As a person of Muslim faith there are plenty of holidays that I don’t receive gifts or don’t celebrate. So as an adult I have come to appreciate the symbolism behind the gathering of family for good conversation and good food, not as a celebration but as appreciation for one another and our lives. I’ve come to accept that we as human beings need these times and holidays as reminders. We use them as reminders of love and thankfulness, and strength. I see them as somewhat of a re-boost to continue on with jobs, work, school and families that have been weighing on us.
For many of us the hardest part about the holiday season is opening gifts and smiling without one or maybe more than one person whom you’ve lost. Not always does is have to be a person because as many of us know pets are family too. But sometimes these joyous occasions of cheer and happiness become nothing more than a constant painful reminder that someone you love and miss is no longer present to share these moments. Sometimes we find ourselves in a bubble of reminiscent solitude while we play back memories of our loved ones. We harbor anger at their lack of presence. We dread the holidays.
My dislike for the holiday season is for that reason alone. For starters, he (my father) was diagnosed a year ago during thanksgiving break and his passing occurred on a Sunday almost exactly one year later during thanksgiving break. So, not only do I dislike the thought of gathering for these holidays but I dislike the pain and discomfort I feel. A discomfort knowing that I should be happy and jolly and enjoy the company of those whom are still here but I can’t. I am burdened with thoughts and reminders of sickness, illness, chemo, radiation, surgery, and now death.
Yesterday has been one month since his passing and I would like to share with everyone and anyone that holidays, traditions, and special occasions are hard when someone you’re missing is missing. Be kind and understanding to those of us who find comfort in lonely corners. Be patient with those of us who seem to not want to participate but instead stay home. Refrain from anger when phone conversations have become shorter and shorter. But more importantly be conscious of us. Be mindful that we do not face our struggles alone. Offer comfort and a listening ear when the time is right. We are learning how to be and how to function without this person and that takes time. Some longer and more painful than others, but painful nonetheless. Help us to help ourselves.
To those of you who are like me and may be suffering through the holidays and new year while missing a special someone, be strong. Be faithful. January 2nd is coming and the holidays will take a short hiatus so that we may breathe just a little bit more.
I had a conversation with my partner about the recent turn of events with your local “hipster” trends. The new trend is wanting what someone else has. Want what someone else has instead of truly enjoying what’s for you.
Relationship goals, best friend goals, closet goals, even life goals have become the newest phrase to slide off the tongues of people who find the lives, possessions and relationships of others more appealing than their own.
Now, my partner quickly refuted my claims and assured me that people don’t think as deeply into the phrase as I do. A lot of times they want what appears on the surface. She stated that she interpreted it as more like a phrase of admiration. After careful consideration I see how one could hold such an opinion and I don’t dispute it as a possibility either.
However, I see it to be a rather ungrateful phrase. A phrase of envy and ignorance. Ignorance in the sense that we know not the struggle of the next man or woman even if pictures tell us a happy story.
One man or woman’s struggle often comes at a costly price. Through adversity comes reward. But again, some people may not be thinking about what’s behind those Facebook and Instagram pictures of happiness.
To those people I say admire what is yours. Appreciate what is yours. And if and when you see something worth admiration, strive for it with the intent to perfect it for you, yourself and your situation. The best life is the one you are living. Sometimes what we want doesn’t want us or isn’t for us. Sometimes us wanting it doesn’t mean we should have it.
“No such thing as a life that’s better than yours.” -J. Cole
My Papa went to heaven a week ago today. Before anyone chooses to question whether I truly believe that, the answer is yes! I am and always will be a daddy’s girl. My fondest memories are walking across parking lots holding his hand at the ages of 5 or 6 or long talks about life for hours on the phone at age 25 or 26.
My father had a series of illness and disease in his life but the latest being cancer. He lived about exactly one year past his diagnosis of stage 4. But I’m not here to talk about that. I would much rather run off a list of things I have to reconsider in my life now that he is gone. I accept his death and I accept the grief that is to come with it. What I am having trouble coming to terms with are the simple things.
I often told myself that when I brought my first house it had to have private parking or an immense amount of parking on the block. I knew how protective my father was of his car and if he couldn’t see if from the door or top floor window he may not have come visit me often. Now, he’s gone and I have no idea what I’ll look for in a house.
I used to fantasize about having children and smiling at the fact that he would of course, as the head of our family recite the ATHAN in the ears of my children after birth. Now, I can hardly picture myself having children.
Some of the simple things I think about now that he’s gone become even more far fetched. I hated the strong aroma of the massive amount of Muslim oils that he would splash across his beard, face, and neck. Now, I want to visit my mother’s house and take them all with me. I want to smell him each day I wake and sleep.
I know that all of these things are a part of my grieving process but I find them somewhat humorous. Not realizing at the time when these thoughts were created just how crazy I was and am about him. I think about the accomplishments that I will have and the ones that I won’t. And my brain becomes tangled and puzzled. I have grown accustomed to having two people celebrate for me or two people tell me that a better try is yet to come. Those two people being my mother and father. Now, I question whether or not I will truly learn to celebrate without him.
I had a dream about him last night. I knew that it was him even though his figure was dark and shadowy. He was there and it was clear to me.
At this point I am a wandering child looking for my father’s image in every waking moment, every phrase, every tv show and all things in my daily life. I do miss my Papa dearly. But, I am proud of the man he was. I am proud of the person he helped me become.
To Papa Haqq himself: I know you see me. I know you will read this. You were always the first to read my post and tell me how good my writing is. People are surprised at how quickly I went back to work. Or how much I’m not crying. That’s because I’m too busy smiling at the great memories you’ve given me. I love you.