Summertime. A fun time. A great time. A time that somehow continues to slip by.
I am currently sitting outside of the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas (my favorite study spot). A year ago, you could find me sitting on my couch in the DFW area. Oh, how things have changed. This summer is incredibly different than all the other summers I have ever experienced. Instead of dawdling through my house, I wake up bright and early every morning (hello, 6 AM-ish), I wear business casual more often than I wear jeans, and I walk more than you can imagine. One year has really changed the whole landscape of my life, and I am still in shock. Change is good, but change is hard.
I often think about my past summers and complain to myself that I am not having as much fun as the past. This summer is filled with internship days, Spanish studying, and calculus conundrums. I always remind myself not to complain because I am incredibly fortunate for the experiences in my life, but as I take a break from this Spanish lesson, I’m sad. Not crying sad, but sad that time keeps moving so fast.
When I was a little girl, the only thing I ever wanted was to grow up, graduate, get a job — that is when I thought my life was truly going to begin. I need to learn to live in the moment.
The month of Ramadan just ended and to say I’m sad is an understatement. This year was my first Ramadan away from my family, which was weird and exciting in many ways. I had the opportunity to break my fast with people other than my little brother and my parents, but the feeling of independence was thrilling. I also had a more structured routine than past Ramadan experiences. I had to be at work at a certain time, I had to get my work done, and then I had to come home. I love schedules, routines, and structure, which made this Ramadan one of the most peaceful and eye-opening ones for me. I made goals, I tried to achieve them, and I plan on continuing to keep the practices I have gained from this blessed month for the rest of my life, insha’Allah (god willing).
I also have learned how to make a mean salad. I know that sounds so weird, but I absolutely love salads. Honestly, they may be my favorite food (after warm brownie sundaes and donuts). I love green romaine lettuce, robust tomatoes, crispy carrots, crunchy cucumbers, creamy cheese, etc. This month, I have made the most salads I have ever eaten and let’s just say I may be addicted.
My internship has also opened my eyes to THE career I want. I have been all over the place when I think of my future career, but I have this vision/outline/idea, which makes this planner obsessed human at peace.
I also celebrated Eid with my family! Eid prayer is my absolute favorite events of the year. Getting dressed up, going to the mosque, praying with the community, hugging old and new friends, and the overall happiness in the air makes me so happy. Some of my most indelible memories come from going to Eid prayer with my family — and then celebrating with incredible friends the whole day. I love the sense of togetherness this holiday has always provided for me, and I feel so thankful that I have such a great community to celebrate it with.
Here are some pictures from the day:
I also wanted to take a moment to word-vomit about the order of the world. I sometimes feel like I am waking up in a movie or some twisted book, but then I look at my watch, get ready, and realize that — wait, this is the real the world. Real human beings are experiencing such adversity in almost every avenue of their lives. Real breathing human children are being separated from their families, they are being emotionally, mentally, and physically abused. I am heartbroken. I am confused. I am lost. I really cannot believe this is the America I live in. The only two solutions that I believe can potentially reduce these problems are: 1) Money: If you cannot physically help with the problems, then donate money — it can do more than you imagine and 2) VOTE: Call your representatives, vote for people you believe in, be aware! I pray that adversities, like this, diminish — and ultimately cease to exist. In almost every era of US history, however, a community has been treated unfairly (Native Americans, those of African origin, Japanese individuals, etc.); this is stitched into the fabric of the United States, yet we fail to acknowledge it.