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.
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.
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.
During my senior year at University my creative thesis was a new series of children’s books. I have since tossed those books to the side. I have always been passionate about the concept and ideas behind my books but until tonight I have done nothing about it. Tonight I took the initiative to publicly publish and make available my very first try at creating books.
Considering my college student budget and lack of extreme time I will say that these books could not have been more perfect. I did not use a professional illustrator and didn’t feel the need to. I didn’t go back into my originals of the book and make any changes because I’ve decided that I will add to the series. These first set of amateur books that will be available are a way for me to mark and track my progress as a writer, author, and creator.
Any support with my endeavors will be greatly appreciated! You can purchase the book from my writer page:
In August I got a job that required me to almost always work 7 days a week for 8-12 hours a day. I was exhausted everyday but I had never seen my bank account look so good. I was making and saving so much money that I no longer had to do the shameful login to my mobile banking app on Monday morning after a weekend of spending. The fact that I was able to save hundreds of dollars each time I got paid kept me from continuously complaining about how sleepy and over worked I was.
About two and a half months in the contract for my position was negotiated and we were awarded a raise. However, the supervisors began to treat the staff like slaves. And looking back I’m sure they had always treated us that way but money had kept me blinded. I didn’t want to complain but going into the third month I started to feel like I was selling my soul. I talked to my coworkers in my office and other offices and they too shared my feelings. I felt like less of a human and I felt under appreciated for all of the work I had been contributing.
I found another job and put in my two weeks. Although the money was good I had a goal to become a teacher. I had to make a decision on whether I wanted to follow my passion and take a major pay cut or continue being over worked and well paid. I choose to continue my path to become a teacher.
Every week that I get my paycheck I’m extremely dissatisfied. I’m not saving as much nor making as much as I did a few months ago. This situation I’m sure happens to so many people. Where we come to a point that we have to choose whether to be successful in terms of making a ton of money or being successful in a way that means something to us. I chose the latter. As crazy as it sounds being successful for me isn’t a union job with great negotiations of pay and benefits. My definition of success looks like reaching the goals that I set and feeling well worth the work that I do. On my road to becoming a teacher I already feel that this sacrifice of money has been worth it. I have a classroom of young boys who I absolutely adore and who I feel benefit more from my presence than I could have ever imagined. My road to teaching is far from over but I’m glad that I chose my version of success for right now.
Why is it that so many people are forced to chose between doing something they love and doing something that pays well? I miss the money but I damn sure don’t miss the abuse.
It’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything on this blog. There’s been family issues, car issues, work issues, money issues, school issues etc. However, when life gets thick for me I always refer back to my writing. A time where I actually had time and things ran smoothly for me. Here I am hoping that the time for smooth sailing has come once again.
Since June of 2015 I’ve had over 5 different jobs in a number of fields and there’s no telling how many interviews I’ve been on. Since that time I have also acquired an Associate’s and a Bachelor’s degree in a field that I thought would carry me into the career of my dreams. WRONG. Life threw a curveball and at one of these jobs I found my calling, Teaching. So, since this realization I’ve been taking the necessary steps to rebuild my game plan but also land me into the career field where I want to be.
Often times I found myself looking at my peers and seeing how some of their lives seemed to be “on track” and running “right.” WRONG. The best advice that I could give to myself looking back is to “never judge your progress based on someone else’s timeline.”
The best thing for me and any person to do is to focus on yourself and your strengths and reaching your goals. At the end of it all everything leads back to YOU. I’ll admit that I became worried when I graduated twice and didn’t immediately have a job lined up and didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. But that was ok. What works for someone else didn’t work for me. Only I can pick and choose the perfect path to guide me to my goals.
Right now I have an outline of a plan (nothing is ever perfect) and I’m executing that plan one step at a time. I’m starting yet another job but this time I feel passionate about the field, the people and the work. That’s something that I’ve never experienced before. I’m excited for new peaks, highs, lows, goals, and success. I’m going up. I just have to trust myself.