Saturday, December 24, 2005

Emotional Responsibility; or "I am Not Sweet"

peace, y'all

I've really been putting myself through it this week, and I have no one but myself to blame. I don't want to get into specifics b/c it involves me doing some things I knew I would (mischieviously) enjoy but also knew I shouldn't have done. And through having done so and then sitting back and really looking at the way I feel and the results of my choices, realizing that I can help how I feel.

O sea: My internal emotional reactions are just that: reactions. I can feel them. But as someone who is deliberately (please GOD) advancing in maturity day by day I can also choose not to act on them, and I'm realizing something that I really did not know: I can change how I feel when I want to do so.

This is such a revelation for me.

I grew up with the concept that I could help what I do but not what I feel. Which meant that I gave myself permission to let feelings and not thoughts dictate what I did when I felt very strongly about something.

Problem with that is that ultimately it let me off the hook. I could do something and justify it by my emotions. I'm gradually learning that that excuse is dangerous and not to be used as lightly as I have been.

I'm also figuring out this process of actually changing what I think, my thought patterns and emotion patterns. Not easy, but so rewarding subhan'Allah. First learning not to go up in arms when someone else does something I 1) didn't expect 2) don't like 3)repulsive or emotionally contradictive. I'm dramatic. I like to react. So it was and is haaaaard work LEARNING to NOT react and just sit there for a second with what I feel.

Then feeling what I feel and taking it apart and asking myself, "Why?" So that I can have a reason. I figure if 95% of what people do is emotional, that's cool, but then I need to realize that that is what it is and not come up with a logical reason for it. "I did it cuz I felt like it" has become a completely legitimate response to the question "Why did you do/say/think/feel that?" since it's the TRUTH. When I come up with a 'logical' i.e. unemotionally driven reason for things I do in retrospect, why that's when I start getting into untruth and covering up my feelings. Which leads me to...

Being responsible for me and me only. I'm beginning to realize that a lot of times my reactions, things I say, and the way I keep myself from doing things or push myself to do things are based on predictions of what others will do or say. And that a lot of the time, what I think they'd do or say could be wrong. I'm not Houdini and I can't read minds. So unless I take the time to ask others what they think, I can't base my thinking on another person. On what I've learned of God and faith and education (education being what I've read and learned through life experience as well as schooling within reason), yes, absolutely. But not based on fear of someone's censure or 'adverse' reaction. And not based on my trying to manipulate, however well-intentioned I may be, the reaction of someone else. They gon' do what they gon' do regardless, so I might as well give them truth from jump street. That's what I want when I interact with other people. So I need to quit with the real or pretend falseness and come with it EVERY TiME, not just with certain people or when I feel I won't be judged. My reaction should always be, "Judge This!" And ALlah is the Ultimate Judge. I gots some 'splainin' to do any way I look at it, so at least I can say I have learned this much. And that I truly regret the cost of the learning.

And lastly, admitting that I'm not sweet. No one has used the word sweet to describe me in the last 12 years or so. I'm not sure why gaining that word and image as accolade has meant so much to me recently. Maybe because I identify as a southern belle from my upbringing and reactions, and because a certain side of that image is that of sweetness. Doesn't matter- I'm done. I can be sweet at times but I am not sweet. Not retiring, not deferential. Not blushing and always good and kind and fluffily feminine. I'm just not sweet. I'm bold, I'm assertive, educated, not shy about much and I think that's good. I'm choosing to leave sweet behind in my childhood. I know there are many people out there who are sweet and deserve to be such. And I'm not knocking that. I'm just saying that I know it's not who I am most capable of being right now, and to admit it is like leaving a weight behind on the Path.

For me, the past week (and probably the next portion of my life) is about being much quicker to accept reality and not deception. Masha'Allah I finally got it. Thanks to all those who understood this from git go and have helped me to it. Thanks also to the knocks I had to take to understand it. I'm applying the lessons every single second now.



peace, y'all

I don't know why I was expecting something different. Y'know, sometimes different quizzes give different colors? Well, I am truly a Red Chica.

You are the color red. You are the most
controversial of all the colors. You are often
easily angered, but as easily as you got
excited, you come down. When angered, do you
have the tendency to be malicious? Afterwards,
do you end up begging for forgiveness? Maybe.
But you're incredibly generous, and, odd
enough, needy. You love to hate, and
sometimes, you hate to love. This color
describes you as generally edgy. When in a bad
situation, you're pessimistic, and when you're
in a good situation, you're extremely
optimistic. You're painfully tempermental, and
sometimes it hurts the ones you love. But with
an exciting and stimulating attitude, you enjoy
talking to people and being social. But aside
from your bold and outgoing attitude, you're
attention-needing and attention-getting. This
color is associated with lust and desire--and
you are both lust and desirous. You're a
protective person when it comes to the people
you love. You're incredibly sharp-witted and
powerful (not to mention intelligent!).

What color are you? (Amazingly detailed & accurate--with pics!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajiun

peace, y'all

I just recieved word from Isa and Pepe. Their first son, Diego, was born Wednesday. He died the same day.

My prayers and tears are with you all.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

At least I'm not twennytwo anymore.... even if I am actually Ms. TwennyTwo

You Are 28 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.


Why Kids get farther into the future every day...

peace, y'all

Follow the Black Feminist link, or check out slate here to see why I may just not have kids 'til I'm thirty or so.

I can hear the Groomes family in the background, going: old eggs... ooooollldddd eggggsss.... In my mother's maternal line, and I don't know why, the older the woman is when the child is born the farther the child is from normal on an intelligence spectrum.
The child is either super and I mean way high IQ, great social skills, mega-talented smart, or no-talking, socially inept slow.
I don't know why but I wish someone would find out before, oh, say, 2011.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


This sister has a point.

What do y'all think?

If the so called justice and penal systems are meant to rehabilitate criminals, then why do laws hardly allow for such a redemption?

The laws should be changed. They should either truly allow (as God does, hamdulillah) for change and redemption that do (escasamente) occur, or change to reflect the reality that redemption and rehabilitation are myths propagated to make us feel better about correctly punishing people for crimes.

think about it.

hug someone you love.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mr. Bush, you heard incorrectly...

peace y'all

...what Kanye said was, "George Bush doesn't care about Black people..." not that ' Bush didn't respond because of race_ because he's a racist,'.

And let us talk about the fact that YOU'RE ALMOST FOUR MONTHS BEHIND THE BALL HERE.

Seems like if someone were to call me something as provoking of indignance as a racist, I'd 1) pay attention 2) respond immediately if it were true and I needed to CMA or 3) respond with such timing as to make my critics look foolish.

If you were aiming for number 3 above, you're a bit behind. I personally think you should've done 1 and 2, but hey, I didn't vote for you; I only have your best interests in mind because I'm a citizen and what you do reflects on me, like it or not. Oh, and I teach 4 blocks from your place of official residence. If you push too many people into being slightly irrational I have a high probability of feeling the effects on my own person. Y'know.

And this brings me to another question- why are you pulling out the race card now?

Could it be that Iraq is going badly enough and you think Katrina far enough behind to want to presto-change-o switch everyone's focus away from the *ahem* 'conflict' in Iraq/Afghanistan?

You almost did it. That 52.whatever% who voted for you might actually turn their heads. Oh, wait. You lost almost half of them when Katrina was actually happening. Hmm. Might want to re-think that strategy, sir. Focus on classism instead of racism, cuz you're going to lose that battle. I personally accept that you're not intending to be racist. Are you seeing that many people see unintentional racism AND CLASSISM in the malfunction of a really important governmental agency? Do that, please.

Mr. Bush, your genuine feelings cannot change the facts at this late date. Not all US citizens are unintelligent. And we're watching. And we're listening. And we're thinking- or just feeling- before we speak. Are you?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Consider The Hijab- Read this!

Feministe: 'Consider The Hijab'

Thanks to Leila for alerting me to this. EXCELLENT article. A student-teacher witnesses what hijab really means through a student's reaction to an awesome assignment.



Oh Yeah

peace, y'all

It starts with a stuffed nose and ear, then proceeds with fever, chills and a sore body. Oh yeah. Either a real nasty cold or the flu. And, because my body is just like that, I never get anything that stays in my upper respiratory tract. So it has spread to my throat and is trying to do a cough thing. I KNEW I couldn't manage to work a whole semester with kids and not get sick! AUGGGH ! I have one who is ALWAYS sneezing and coughing and then acts hurt when I send him to wash his slimy little hands. I could just cough. I am NOT a good sick person.

Yeah, so I spent the fake real snow day sick in bed.

I've been meaning to post about the book I'm currently reading b/c I like it and would like my friends inside the computer to read it. It's called "The Success Principles" and John Canfield wrote it. He's one of the creators of the chicken soup books, which is why I almost didn't pick it up- they're too sappy for me. But this book is akin to the Seven Habits books, with the (great wonderful) difference that they make the principles actionable and connected to reality a bit better. Still really happy at points, but more optimism and less sap.

The book is part of the reason I've been pushing myself through this illness; that and personal, hard experience. I lost one heck of an opportunity one time when I had bronchitis and stayed in bed instead of doing something potentially huge and then going back to bed. I have learned my lesson. If I do all I can even when I'm sick then there are no excuses. I don't like to have regrets, and taking action is a good way to get rid of those suckers.

Friday, incidentally, was also the day my mother had her operation, and she's doing well, masha'Allah. Thanks to everyone who was praying for her and wishing her well. She's still in the hospital, but up to complaining about the operation:

Mama: Hey, Twenny, you remember when they operated on your eye, right?
Twenny: Yes, Mama.
Mama: I didn't even remember it! The lady said, "Breathe" and then they were telling me it was over!
Twenny: Yes, that's generally the way it happens. After umpteen operations, I should know.
Mama: Well, I wish they had told me! I wasn't ready!

So, yes, masha'Allah, she's feeling much better already and I'm soooo GRATEFUL!

hug somebody you love.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

by definition I am

Faithful but not a blind follower
Degreed but never done learning
Proud but not boastful
Sassy but not sour
Eclectic but not flighty
Defied but never defeated
Feminine but not frivolous
Kind but not weak
Healthy but not skinny
Evolving but not changed
Anticipating but with a plan
Amiable but not easily befriended
Black, Tall, Charismatic, Aware...
(this is an original creation. Toast but not heist.)

I went to sleep thinking that I never thought I'd mss the coqui chirps. I woke up from a dream of a sweet sunrise and I missed la isla... and then I went outside and I missed the sweet warm humid air...I put on my gloves and coat while memory revisited a place where heated nights make one layer too many... and then I pushed through the crowds to the train and remembered gente who always smiled... then I ate some school food and remembered a place where even comedores escolares serve arroz con habichuela y calabaza, bistec encebollado, y ensalada de repollo...I jingled change in my pocket and remembered that I met people who have less and share twice as much....and as I crossed over a muddy river I remembered driving to La Perla at sunset with beautiful blue waters disappearing at my right shoulder. I've left the island but it'll never leave me...


Submitted to the Radical Women of Color Carnival :

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Essentiality of Mirrors

peace, y'all

Well, we're definitely into the time of winter that I did NOT miss when I was in portareeco. Snow is forecasted for tomorrow and I own neither boots nor thick pants. Ay por un dia bajo el sol de la isla otra vez.

Anyway, Umm Zaid made a point earlier that I wanted to touch upon, that of losing voice.

I, for one, could really relate to what she said just because the more I tell people about my blog, or say EXACTLY what I think, the more I self-censor. It's part of what I feel is part of being a female in society, to please others and also to grease the wheels of what I say. It has to stop, of course; otherwise I'm not being true to myself in the purest sense of what that truth is supposed to be. And I am the only one to stop the pandering, the mask wearing. I have to talk as if the only audience is myself.

That's painful, though, and one reason I have self-censored or just not said anything about what's on my mind. It's a reason I haven't blogged nearly as much in the past month as I had in the previous months. It's because I know I'm a decent writer; and when I look at myself while I'm writing, and talk out the wrongs and the few rights, it hurts, yo. I'm acting as a mirror but one that magnifies things that I normally shy away from seeing.

Incidentally, I don't look in real mirrors all that much. That started when I was a teenager. And there are very few pictures of myself that I really enjoy seeing. Read into that what you will- I know for a fact that some of my friends think that that dislike of pictures and mirrors is a lack of self-esteem.
Please. It's not that, but a sort of distancing and enhancing of reality. I don't like most pictures of myself because they don't fit the way I see myself. It's startling to see a quick, non-careful snapshot of myself (in Any mood). It literally takes me a second to figure out who the heck that person is. That's supposed to be ME? But I don't feel like the way that chick looks...

And yet, though it is painful mirrors- real reflections, not distorted or amplified but just there- are very necessary to improvement. A glance leading to a real long view in a floor-to-ceiling mirror convinced me to get on the road to physical fitness and (heck, I'm honest here) easier fashion. My friends have acted the same way. I'll never forget the one who said, "Man, for a Southern belle, you sure don't say 'please' very much." Which was a shock to me but true in that I didn't say please to that person hardly at all, even though I say it to just about everyone else. It helped me see what I was doing in real time and then decide to fix it.

Mirrors- clear sight- some kind of way to see reality without too much distortion, are real and needed in order to see what's there, appreciate the good, and find out that I need to work with the bad. In a way, this blog has been the only journal I've had since I filled my last written one in early 2004. And I've slowly let it slip into mist and fog. But a clear mirror is essential, no matter what someone else may think of me when they see it. It is what it is.

So. I'm taking some time to clean the smog off, and then I'll be back to reflecting what's real.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm here, I'm here

peace, y'all

I'm still here, I'm still kicking. Alhamdul Illah.

I'm just one busy somebody.

I've started with the job search again, since it looks like EN is cutting my hours for December. Flip that. I need to have a full time position again. We shall see.

Also, I've started in with my planner again. Been a year since I had one. I started thinking about it... and yes, the last time I felt well and truly productive was back a year ago, when I was whippin out grad-school applications and such. And back then, I had my planner together. Since I never did find the Franclin (misspelled on purple, thanks) Covy store in PR altho I assume it's there, I went for almost one whole entire year without one. That stuff is crucial. I'm already feeling more balanced and in control.

Yes, I know tis all an illusion but this particular illusion is helpful, so I'm keepin it.

I hope everyone had a wonderfulishious Turkey Day. Mine was peaceful and blah. I felt slightly uncomfy, due to things I shall discuss later, but it was about what I'd hoped for. BACK TO THE DIET! Tell me why I made two sweet potato pies and why they were SLAMMIN? Tell me why I almost ate one whole one myself? Ohhhh the joy and the misery.

Plans for the End Of December (I'm still coming up with something I can call that, so right now EOD suffices) are still in the air.
Nishat is graduating, insha'Allah, on Dec. 26th. I'd like to be there, but that would involve some actual communication between the two of us so that I can make necessary arrangements. Money gets funny really quick when you're trying to arrange ANY transportation to or through the Big Apple during the EOD. Meanwhile the poor guy is just working to get OUT of school. We shall see.

My mother is having that surgery that had to be postponed earlier in the next couple of weeks, so pray, please pray. I realize that I'm at the age where people start to lose their parents; two of my girlfriends' parents- one's mother, another's father- died within days of each other at the end of October, though I didn't realize it at the time. Scary stuff. So I'm praying accordingly (Mama's phrase).

I keep saying this, because every little connection counts: if you hear of an administrative or Bilingual (spanish-english) or International Whatever position coming open for the new year, PLEASE let me know. Insha'Allah my full time position is coming soon, because the whole 3 jobs scenario ain't kickin' it. I'm mad tired and have little time for things like writing on my blog, etc.

Reach out and hug someone you love.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Modern Muslim Man

Check it out on HU Islam

Oohhhh yes. The question of a good man has been on my mind more than once this year. Go check it out on the site. Excellent, excellent. Ya'll better get it!


Qur'anic way of life

peace, ya'll
Normally I don't post stuff like this. I got it from the LADO email. Thanks to the sister who posted it. Gave me much to think about, although I generally don't do formulaic faith.


Quranic Way of Life

Some of the lessons learnt from Quran that apply to our general living!

1. Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion,
colour, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job
and so on [17/70]

2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception

3. Choose best words to speak and say them in the best possible way
[17/53, 2/83]

4. Do not shout. Speak politely keeping your voice low. [31/19]

5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and
ostentatious [22/30]

6. Do not confound truth with falsehood [2/42]

7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart [3/167]

8. Speak in a civilised manner in a language that is recognised by the
society and is commonly used [4/5]

9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a
relative [6/152]

10. Do not be a bragging boaster [31/18]

11. Do not talk, listen or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]

12. Do not participate in any paltry. If you pass near a futile play,
then pass by with dignity [25/72]

13. Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious
or overt [6/151].

14. If, unintentionally, any misconduct occurs by you, then correct
yourself expeditiously [3/134].

15. Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people [31/18]

16. Do not walk haughtily or with conceit [17/37, 31/18]

17. Be moderate in thy pace [31/19]

18. Walk with humility and sedateness [25/63]

19. Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and
salacious stares [24/30-31, 40/19].

20. If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep
your mouth shut. You might think that speaking about something without
full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave
consequences [24/15-16]

21. When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favourable
view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter.
Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and
truthful evidence [24/12-13]

22. Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you smite someone in
ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did [49/6]

23. Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct
knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and conception) you
must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be
held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning

24. Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and
nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with
knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the
Prophet [p.b.u.h]
was asked to keep praying, "O My sustainer! Advance
me in knowledge." [20:114]

25. The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of
one family, brothers and sisters unto one another [49/10].

26. Do not make mockery of others or ridicule others [49/11]

27. Do not defame others [49/11]

28. Do not insult others by nicknames [49/11]

29. Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might
deplete your communal energy [49/12]

30. Spy not upon one another [49/12]

31. Do not backbite one another [49/12]

32. When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for
safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security and
also when a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a
greeting still more courteous or (at least) of equal courtesy [4/86]

33. When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else,
compliment the inmates [24/61]

34. Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought
permission; and then greet the inmates and wish them a life of
blessing, purity and pleasure [24/27]

35. Treat kindly Your parents, Relatives, The orphans
" And those who have been left alone in the society [4/36]

36. Take care of the needy, the disabled, those whose hard earned
income is
insufficient to meet their needs, And those whose businesses have
stalled, And
those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]

37. Treat kindly Your related neighbours, and unrelated neighbours,
Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation.

38. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street,
and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition [4/36]

39. Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]

40. Do not follow up what you have given to others to afflict them
with reminders of your generosity [2/262].

41. Do not expect a return for your good behaviour, not even thanks

42. Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with
others in evil and bad matters [5/2]

43. Do no try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues

44. You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways
first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good
deeds yourself, then preach [2/44]

45. Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct
others] [66/6]

46. Pardon gracefully if anyone among you who commits a bad deed out
of ignorance, and then repents and amends [6/54, 3/134]

47. Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions
to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to
people [3/134]

48. Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful
exhortation. Reason with them most decently [16/125]

49. Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the
Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and
amusement [6/70]

50. Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless
they engage in some other conversation [4/140]

51. Do not be jealous of those who are blessed [4/54]

52. In your collective life, make room for others [58/11]

53. When invited to dine, Go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too
early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating to
engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the
host [33/53]

54. Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation [7/31].

55. Do not squander your wealth senselessly [17/26]

56. Fulfil your promises and commitments [17/34]

57. Keep yourself clean, pure [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].

58. Dress-up in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite
character from inside out [7/26]

59. Seek your provision only by fair endeavour [29/17, 2/188]

60. Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor
bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their
possessions [2/188]

Monday, November 14, 2005

Stuck in my head

peace, y'all

Ignore this, I just had to put it out there...

know what keeps going through my head?

Hearing the guys the other night go "UpSIIIII" "IIIII-Lon!"

which is the call for LUL and something I've grown fond of hearing and then hearing at the end....

"Do it!" in this pipsqueak voice...

I guess you had to be there.

Also is it me or do the calls for SLU and LPC sound mad similar?

*Smirk* after all this commentary I guess i'm deciding not to try for greek status anymore. Probably. I think. I think that's what this post is about. Hmm. Yeah.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Cartoon Oh No They Didn't...

I'm blogging this b/c the tv right next to me happened to be on Fox while I was reading... so this cartoon show, I think it's family guy, is airing an obnoxious, ridiculous song against Saudi Arabia. The (blond) woman starts out in pink hijab and ends up dancing through the streets, stripping to black lingerie. On the way she flips up her skirt, and the cartoon shows men standing on top of three muhejebahs.

Oh No They Didn't.

I'm not saying I agree with some of the official policies toward women in Saudi, cuz I definitely don't. But cartoons like that only perpetuate harmful and wrong images of Arabia and Muslims. Get some flippin taste, people.

I'm okay.

peace, y'all

One of the things I'm working within myself is maturity; emotional and social. My body may be mature but all of my recent dealings with my family and social situations are letting me know that I have some work to do. Last night I was in serious danger of acting stupid and young, and I didn't, so I'm proud of myself. There was a point where I thought of a lot of stuff that is now in the past and was feeling the pain.

I'm okay, though.

Yesterday evening I went to a party at my alma mater. The plan (which has worked so far) was to go to the party, and then stay in the city since my aunt's house in suburbialand is too far and too expensive to reach after the party ended. So I crashed at Emmy's place.

Those of you who are regular readers/ know me/ care to read through the archives to find out will know that I have a certain... high regard for a given sorority. That sorority and another I happen to have loathed at one point in my life, and two other fraternities, were throwing the party last night. That's how I found out about it; one of the guys (a freshman when I left college, wow) is now a senior and invited me. Those are the circles I moved in when I was younger and in college. I'm actually close with a lot of guys in one of the fraternities which is how both of the above named sororities came to my attention. This is all the background. Anyway.

Emmy was actually apprehensive about going b/c she has also had drama in the past with people who are going to be there. And she, unlike me, operates in a drama-free zone, so going with her was actually iffy. I'm glad she ended up going b/c she saw what went down and she helped me talk my reactions out later. Otherwise I would've had a cigarette last night. Yup. That's how stressed I got. And I wasn't anticipating that...*deep breath*

Eddie was there. It's hard for me to admit that I've never before or since made a fool of myself over any man the way I did over Eddie. I can chalk it up to youth... and that's what I want to do... but anyway. Eddie was a mover and shaker on campus when I arrived; part of my regular crew when I got there. He's four years older than I am, so it was a good friend/role model/confidant thing. He graduated after my freshman year but then completed his master's degree at the school in a year.

Yeah, y'all can guess what happened. I crushed hard. Eddie saw that and proceeded to back away. I think I needed to hear him say that he wasn't interested, and he never did, but anyway, mad drama ensued since we're part of the same crew... Lots of hurt feelings and 'run tell dat' goin' on. Ech. I look now and I can see the nafs nafs nafs running through the whole episode. But then all I knew was that I was being hurt twice; once by his rejection and twice by his withdrawal from me as a friend. It was hard to take and I acted really immature; I'm not proud of it. Anyway.

Last time I saw Eddie at "Noche", an event toward the end of my senior year, we left things pretty badly. I say we b/c there was active action on his part; he was in town for almost a week and I saw him several times and we managed to say three words to each other. I think he thought I hated him or would hate him if he said what was on his mind. Me? I'm sure he thought that way because I was hurt. This is someone who is my best friend yet can't manage now to speak to me. He was there with his girl and I found that out through someone else. Hard to be happy for your friend when you see that he's deliberately keeping things from you. Even if you do know that his intention is to avoid hurting your feelings. Okay. So fast forward to last night, almost three years later.

Since I felt slightly weird about this party (I mean, I'm twennyfour years old, what the shadoozy am I doing at a college party?) and so did Emmy and she graduated pretty recently, then of course I wasn't expecting a lot of people older than me to be there. I was just going to dance to the salsa and merengue that I miss SOOOO MUCH from Puerto Rico. So imagine, I scanned the crowd and... Eddie was there. But so were a lot of other people who were uneasy blasts from the past; members of both of the sororities I've mentioned, who were very close to me at some point. I will be honest on this blog and say that there was a point where I felt that both of these organizations owed me something because they came out better for their associations with me, but that's not true now. I understand a little bit better what went down. I know that my efforts allowed one of them to be established on campus in the first place, but I also know that no one owes me anything, and that that feeling of entitlement was causing drama and keeping me from growing. So while last night I did get to dance and shake my booty, I also got on a maturity tip and actually hugged people I thought at one point I'd as soon spit upon. And had several people walk up to me and say hello and be glad that I was there. As Emmy said during the obligatory rehash, "I was never made to feel unwelcome. And there was definitely drama there before. But I felt okay." I'm okay. So I really give thanks (AlHamdulIllah) for that opening of spirits on all sides. At a party no less. Hmmph. Who woulda thought.

Eddie walked up to me last night and said hello, and we did the whole cheek kiss thang and the big hug and sway thing and I said, "Como tu 'tas?" and his reply was a sincere, "Bien". And because there was an initiate of Omega Phi Beta doing her thang at that point, we didn't say much else. There was no need to; no hate, no drama on either part. I got beyond that first shock of pain and remembering allll that went down, and by the time he said hey, I was okay.

I dunno; he may just be the friend that got away, I might only see him once or twice if ever again, and we will not be the same close friends as we were my freshman year. What came out of last night for me was that that's okay. I'm not holding it against him and I'm not holding anything against myself. Relationships aren't always going to be about me or what I did or what I'm owed. And from my shocky reaction, I know that I still have some work to do on myself and my emotional attachments et cetera.

But I'm okay. I'm okay... I really truly am going to be okay.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eid Mubarak

assalamu alaikum to all... Eid Mubarak!

I'm so sad the month is over... I want more! Really.

I didn't feel like writing much today, but at the same time I've had this entire post running in my head on thankfulness. See, my great-grandmother, G'Mama, is here from her almost-tropical home state. She's a Geechee Gullah. (our family is from Edisto Island. Go look it up.) And she's 90 years old. My aunt invited her up (for various reasons I shall not get into just now), so it was kinda unexpected for me. But I'm glad she's here and glad I have the time to spend with her.

I enjoy sitting and talking (or listening, really) to her. I enjoy fixing her breakfast and listening to her running commentary while she watches TV. (You should hear her talk about the President... better than any comedy act, I promise.) I just let her feisty kind of patience and wisdom wash over me. I'm sooo thankful to Allah swt for letting me have my entire life to this point with her not only alive but well, kicking, and tellin' it like it is. To hear and see her you just would not guess that she's 90 years old. At all. SubhanAllah. She's hilarious and has opinions but at the same time just isn't malicious. What I'm so incredulous about is that... I like her. As a person. Not only do I respect her (as I should) but the respect and the liking is sincere. She'd have been one of my best friends had she been about sixty years younger, I think. Thank You, God.

Two days ago she fell while leaving my aunt's split-level living room and my heart just 'bout stopped. She walks and gets around so well- better than her daughter in law, my grandmother, in fact- that it's easy to forget just how old she is. She didn't even want any help getting up, masha'Allah. I told you she's still kicking. Thank You, God.

Seeing her talk to my 9-year old cousin just as she talked to me made me think about the future. I hope, I pray, that she stays here long enough to influence my kids the way she has me... and my mother's generation. Insha'Allah.

And one of the kickers in my mind is that my whole family, those of us who are her descendants, almost didn't happen. She's the mother of my mother's father; my grandfather was born when she was 17 and unmarried. Though she eventually did marry, she never had any other children, and in fact my grandfather was raised for much of his childhood by his grandmother. Yet this was in a day and time when a chain of teenaged parents wasn't established, and abortion wasn't condoned... imagine if she was that teen parent today. Thank You, God for Your hand in things.

Anyway, I'm off to various things today. Eid Mubarak for those of you who are Muslims... and everyone, hug someone you love and tell them just why you appreciate them.


Friday, October 28, 2005

benDIta sea la HIJA de la PUra MAdre...

peace, yall

1)BENDITA SEA LA PURA MADRE DE LA PERSONA QUE ESTABA TRABAJANDO EN EL DEPARTAMENTO DE EDUCACION HOY. Eso porque no voy a maldecir a nadie durante el mes sagrado de Ramadan. SOLAMENTE por eso.

2) Es oficial. El departamento de educacion de puerto rico (sin letras mayusculas porque no los merece) es una gran porqueria. Punto. No sirve pa na'. Ni para limpiarme el posterior y de ninguna manera para emplear maestros ni para EDUCAR a los ciudadanos de la isla encantada. Yo decidi HUIR de la isla por no soportar la ineficaz de esa benDIta organizacion y lo tengo verificado desde ahora mismo que era una decision sumamente bendecida e inspirada por la mano de Dios, glorificada sea su nombre.

3) Siempre hay una cosa buena de cada situacion mala. En este caso es que me dio una buena oportunidad para ejercitar mi vocabulario y todas las palabras alternas para las que preferiria usar en la situacion en que me encuentro. Gloria a Dios.

Nada, ya termine. Cuidense.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Meme #3

peace, y'all

Yup. Saw it, had to do it. This is from Khadija Teri's blog, thanks! :)


March of the Penguins- saw it with my youngest cousin. LOVED it.

Two: "Sarah's Long Walk" by Stephen Kendrick with MY FRIEND Paul Kendrick (his son) and "Rosie Dunne" by Cecelia Ahern.

Hmm. Y'all know I can't just choose one. Scrabble or Sorry are def faves. Spades is the fave card game.


Have to agree on National Geographic. Wish it wadn't so expensive.

Stila's Jade Flower perfume. MMMMMMMM!!!

Fresh Cherries.

Any instrumentals...oh, shoot, music period. (think Cassandra Wilson's Waters of March)

Frustration without an outlet.

Now? Gotta eat gotta eat gotta get up and eat.
Normally? Gotta washup. gottagetup to washup. Okay.
I have to chivvy myself out of bed, it's ridiculous.

Wendy's normally. J Street (GWU) if I'm flush.

Zeinab or Zakariah and Leontyne/Leontine. Yes, lots of thought in this.

I'd cut a CD and travel.

Yes, when I have access to a car.

Nope. Slept with 'Clowny' the clown until I was 'bout 7.

Cooool... "shh, listen to God speaking"... with the lights off. Wonderful.

N/A. I used to say my first car would be a jaguar and you know what? That's still a possibility since I have yet to have a car. It could happen.

Jamba Juice with blueberries and strawberries and peach juice and yogurt. Talkin' bout GOOD!!!

And virgin pina coladas ALWAYS hit the spot.

See more of my family.

Of course. Mine, yours, and anyone else's I can reach.

I'd do just the tips in random bright blue and hot red shades. Mmm.


Cincinnati, OH
Tuskegee, AL,
Salamanca, SPAIN,
Washington, DC,
Alexandria, VA,
Santurce, PR,
Guayama, PR,
San Juan, PR,
Sta. Rita, PR.

Dag, I moved around more in PR than in the rest of my life combined. Jeesh.

Um. Empty?

B-ball, baseball, track, and the olympics (esp. regattas!)

She's a dedicated mama!

Night - I'm always more productive at the evening side of the day.

Over real gent'like.

a sunny beach.

Potato! My mama's version. I don't even like granny's too much anymore, ain't that something?

Planes. or reallly fast cars.

Take it if you want it!


Get Real. And how to do so. (rant ahead!)

peace, y'all

Okay, so, I've been doing some reading and I've been doing some thinking (ohhh no- a thinking Black woman! Danger, danger!) and I've decided that I don't like a certain situation I'm facing.

I feel conflicted between my faith and my reality, and that is not good, since I am a person who MUST live my faith AS a great part of my reality.
I feel like the debate must go on and the questions must be asked (sheepish grin at Umm Zaid) in order for me to get answers and feel out my path.

Islam, as most of us know, has a concept called hijab. I'm not referring to the dressing modestly part of hijab, but the acting modestly part. (I won't get all technical here in part because I can't; I haven't memorized all of the sirat (surah, pl?) and hadeeth that explain this concept.) The important and relevant part here is contact between the sexes (as well as nonbelievers vs believers but that's another blog entry entirely and I'm not going there just now). Specifically, that a woman should be modest and communicate with non-mahrams and non-related men on a modest, non worldly basis; or, importantly, 'for the sake of God /Islam (depending on which source you're using)'. This, as I understand it, is better for all involved. It promotes a realistic mindset and living out your spirituality in your actions- not just for lustful reasons, etc. In other words, it keeps you and everyone else "real" about your motives and expectations when interacting with people of the opposite sex.

This also (back to my 2005 USA reality here) precludes one-on-one dating, and, really, any exploration of sexuality in a relationship context (meaning, outside of academic and religious context) that isn't a person seeing what goes on between familial and societal role models. This isn't your do-it-yourself sexuality or interactions or marriages here. Since I live in the USA as a single female convert, I have to be able to get around in this world within this society. That's reality. With me so far?

I truly believe in the modesty and God-focusedness (yes I made that up) of hijab. I dress modestly because I see a reason for it and I believe in it. I have and still sometimes do feel like it is a sacrifice, but one that gives me real satisfaction. Sacrifice is not only part of life but, really, what we should relish (not in a suicidal way! I am not Asima Blomaselfup here, people. Please don't take this to an extreme.) because it does, again, keep you 'real' in your motivations and actions. They are gut checks, and really, who wants to live a life superficially? That's a waste. Anyway.

My problem is not common amongst my friends in reality, and so I'm turning to my peeps inside the computer for some insight. Its this: in the reality that is Mainstream Metropolis, USA where I live, there are very few opportunities to suss out good, stable, reliable, non-repressed men without dating. And I'm saying 'very few' to be charitable and open, here.

Dating one-on-one, as I've noted, leaves openings for lustful intentions that may happen outside of that God-focusedness, or can fail because young Muslims feel as if they're doing something incorrect (and they would be correct...). You can find someone by interacting in a group, but you have to find that group. And since I've left college and that nice MSA atmosphere, where there are plenty of group and community-oriented activities, I've hit this wall when it comes to meeting potential. I don't have the family circles and connections that most young Muslims who don't date rely on and have used to good result. God (swt) "heps them who heps themselves" in my G'mama's words. I'd like to meet someone believing as I am, and it's problematic. I don't feel comfortable going to the masjid by myself (although I return to the MSA one instead) since I am a single convert (read: No Mahram, No Family cooperation, No Pattern or Role Models from a similar background or an understanding viewpoint to give a clue). The sisters I do meet are not really about helping me, which I can understand since they've got their families to think about. They've got their own lives. How do I involve myself in this kind of community? How does anyone know I'm ready to be looked at if I'm not in a place where I can be?

Yes, I know I'm supposed to have a wali. Here's a thought: any wali I have will not be a mahram. This would involve knowing someone well enough that I could trust them in helping me initiate and negotiate a REALLY important part of my life. This would also involve meeting someone who is Muslim and knows both the ways of Islam and the ways of Muslims but can understand, again, my reality. I ain't in the Khaleej, yo. Yeah. How many people do I know like that? I could think about an imam. But this involves again going to a masjid or otherwise getting in contact with one.

Shoot, let's talk about that one for a second. Where is the DAWA, people? How is it that I can call four different masajid and only get a courteous, respectful-if-apologetic response at ONE? (Incidentally, supposed to be the nicest and biggest masjid in the area, therefore almost inaccessible by public transportation.) It's RAMADHAN! Nevermind finding my man, let's talk about spiritual isolation. I have yet to go to tarawih prayers that weren't at GWU. That. Is. A. Shame. It's also a sign of the issue I'm talking about.

And I'm afraid that men I do find when-not if, y'all should know me better by now-I get through all of that, who have lived within a "hijab-enforced" and (please God) God-focused society or family or community will have serious issues with their sexuality, or worse, with mine. This is a sticking point with me. People, sex is important! I think because Muslims don't talk about sex in public sometimes we forget to talk about it in private, and that... should be a crime. In any type of situation where anything is placed under pressure/wraps it has to either have a way to let off steam or explode. In perverted or inexpressive ways. In Islam, marriage is the only and very simplistic answer to that issue. Unfortunately, a person with my reality has very little chance of getting to marriage...without dating. And here's the kicker, I really believe in marriage. I don't believe in hasty marriage, or marriage where you don't really know a person first, where things jump out from behind masks when the rings are exchanged. In short, the kind of marriage I believe in, is the kind that is traditionally preceded and begun with dating.

Understand my dilemma now? I'm a little too real for my own good.

I'm coming to face this because it's Ramadan, but also because I'm doing a lot of introspection about relationships in general and Nishat in particular.
I thought when I 'met' him that I was on the up and up, but really, what we are doing is long-distance dating without having met face to face. I need to meet him, to have seen him. My reality is just not going to stand up for me marrying someone I've seen a handful of times, and as a matter of fact, Islam doesn't do that either. I get to choose. I have to choose. (Thanks to Amina F. who told me the story about Salma, her father, and her suitor.) I guess I'm questioning whether the path we've taken is healthy or even viable, because it is really a one-on-one thing. I don't want exclusivity yet. I think I have to have a selection in order to have one person stand out and be sure of what I like and want/can live with for the next sixty or so years Insha'Allah. And I want the man who's interested in me to have the same conclusion. If I were OF this world as I am IN it, the response to this would be to date. I think if I did not believe in what I've learned and been taught 'bout Islam, I would date, quite chastely but definitely one-on-one. Not for marriage partners but just to meet people and see what's out there, what I like, how I am with men who aren't family, etc.

Now. What is the Muslim solution to the converts' need for dating? The need for that interaction and decision-making? To be adopted by Muslim friends? To just throw yourself into masjid activities and hope for the best? My friends, muslim and not, inside the computer, I'm asking y'all for your opinions, surah, hadeeth, and reality solutions to the problem. Let's get real, cuz that's how we have to live.


I Forgive

peace y'all.

Reyna Larios, I forgive you.
I have hated you. For that I ask your forgiveness.

It has taken me too long to understand that my part in the incidents that happened back then is simply to forgive. Not to understand. Not to be vengeful or selfish. But to open my heart and let the mean and hurt feelings go. And live on. Life is too short for me to carry hate for you around. Especially not for you.

I fully and unconditionally forgive you. In peace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thanks Sherry

Your Blog Should Be Red

Your blog is full of intensity and passion.
You are very opinionated - and people love or hate you for it.
You have the potential to be both a famous and infamous blogger.

I figured it would come out like this, even though tis wrong, all wrong.


Monday, October 17, 2005


peace, y'all

Yeah, so Umm Zaid got me thinking as usual, with one lil word this time... "howzit"

... and after some thought my answer is 'sucky'.

I'm persevering. Through the various challenges- some I've described, most I have not.

Know what? I've figured out that part of the whole 'I want to be (not get, mind you, be) married now' issue for me derives from the fact that I feel slightly illegitimate as an unmarried woman convert to Islam. Especially during the Ramadans that have passed after I left undergrad.

I think that's prolly because I see (unconsciously, really) that marriage, in Islam, helps bolster the family and community ties; if you aren't married and your family isn't Muslim and ain't supportin' that, the door to praying in unison is more closed than open as a woman. Celebrating iftar by yourself is the norm. Add to that a lack of transportation so as to GET to where everyone else is, and it's no wonder I feel the way I do.

But as I said, I'm persevering, even though I know that my spiritual development isn't progressing the way I'd like or the way it should. I can't take Qur'anic arabic classes. But I'm reading the Qur'an at home in my room. I feel uncomfortable praying in front of my family. But I make sure that by the end of the daily fast I've performed all the prayers but Isha. I don't have the audiolectures and music (Our World, anyone?) that I would like to play during Ramadan. But I'm avoiding 'worldly' music for Ramadhan (this is a HUGE sacrifice for me).
So I'm goin.

I just wish I had a way to share Iftars with more people. I'm working on it.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Ramadan Challenge: Family

peace, y'all

Thanks to everyone who has seen what I've been going through and has been making duas for me with due diligence accordingly. I needed (and still need) them! The entire past WEEK has been a Ramadan challenge, one called FAMILY.

AlHamdulIllah, my mommy is fine. Turns out they didn't perform the surgery because they couldn't- she was in way too fragile a state to be going through surgery. While that is scary in and of itself, it had the silver lining that Mama was able to push back surgery possibly until December, Lord willing, so that my sibs and I can make it home and prepare the house and care for her while she's recovering. Insha'Allah.

A talk with my mother and some reading I've done in the interim have helped me as I come to terms with everything my aunt had to say the other day. I'm still not done and I don't think everything she said was true. My conclusions are that:

1) I can only be myself, no matter what ANYONE thinks about it- good, bad, or ugly. This might cause me anguish, and I can change anything about myself that I decide I don't like, but I cannot me all things (or even many things) for all people.

2) My aunt and my father and many others in my family are about assistance the way I am about information and personal plans: don't volunteer it unless asked. So they're blowing up at me for not giving them information so they can help me, and I'm furious at them for not helping me to understand what information to give them. Subhanallah. Now that I'm beginning to understand what the biggest issue is (I'm being good and not saying 'their' issue since it's mine too), I'm starting to try to find ways around this.

3) I have to watch myself after intensely emotional interactions with my family or with very very close friends. I tend to get VERY depressed after them and have dark dark thoughts. Not good. Because of the way I feel things I kinda isolate myself, which doesn't help any. Hmm.

Right now I'm just glad that the heat of the moment is over.

I'm off to try to find a masjid for iftar tonight. Do you all realize I haven't been to a jumah prayer or prayed in unison at all during Ramadan? This is because of my personal situation- the busses don't run after dark, and it is a little dangerous to walk home inthe dark here. So if you or someone you know lives in/near Fairfax County/ Hybla Valley and can help me out on this even once, holla back... jazakhAllah khair.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

So, why I'm upset. See previous post first.

peace, y'all.

Ok, I've had a moment to cool down. And to talk to Nishat, which helps. He was making cracks about coming down here to see me and sleeping in a dumpster. Like Demogenes. Made me laugh. So now I feel better.

I was/am (I'm still in-between just now) upset because I'm seeing a pattern here, and I don't like it, and at the same time I'm feeling attacked, as has happened before, and I don't like it. I'm thrown into conflict b/c it's hard enough as is to deal with feeling the way I do. As my mother has told me, I can say anything - the issue is how I say it. And I'd love so dearly sometimes to tell my entire family to go *bump* themselves, but have yet to find the way to say so. And even writing that last sentence has me saying 'astaghfirullah' under my breath.

(I love my family. I just want them to chill sometimes. We're all very intense people, you know? Everyone wants to know who is doing what how, and I'm gen'rally not that forthcoming in person. )

Sistahgurl got issues. Yes. I know I do.

I think what set me off was my aunt. I'm not all that upset over what's going on with my mother, because I know she'll be okay; she's getting medical care. They know what's wrong with her and how to fix it.

I'm really pizz-ed because of the whole information chain in my family. It has me 'by the roof', as said in portareecan. I mean, it's as if I'm supposed to think it's lovely that my own mother is in the hospital, but she and my father have told their parents but not their kids. And then I'm supposed to think it's wonderful that I'm supposed to keep that particular piece of important information to myself without thinking about it. When, in fact, during my life no one has EVER kept anything about ME to themselves. This is what's driving me nuts: either you have confidences, or you don't. Either you tell people things or you don't. If this is a family issue, and you're upset with me because you want me to communicate more fully with my family, then DON'T turn around and get pissed because I COMMUNICATED something important WITHIN THE FAMILY.

That's all I'm saying. It seems a bit hypocritical to me. But I shouldn't come outta my face and call anyone that. Especially as dependent as I am.

That's something else that is bothering me. I'm not independent. I don't truly want to be, but this whole 'act like an adult' business is a fine line to walk. I'm sick of crying every time I have a serious talk with anyone, but especially my family.

My time is low so I'm gonna post this and then come back.



peace, y'all.

a hug and a welcome to my sister, Toto. I've invited her to my blog for the first time. All I ask is that you keep me anonymous.

Yeah, so I'm upset. Really upset.

Between yesterday and today, this is what went down:

1)Nishat called, and we talked. About a coupla things. Most important to this blog entry is that we talked about when we're gonna see each other. This made me happy, but it also made me seriously think about the fact that it probably won't happen soon.

2) Right (I do mean right) after I got off the phone with Nishat, my aunt came downstairs. She asked me if I had spoken with my father. I told her I had not. (That is not unusual.) She proceeded to let me know that my mother was in the hospital, and that she would probably have a surgical procedure done on Monday. In there somewhere she told me that she had heard this from my grandmother, and she asked me to hold back on letting my sister know.

3) I finished a letter I was in the process of writing to Nishat, and then texted my sister. She had no idea what was going on, but incidentally, she knew more about my mother's medical condition than I did (I'm the oldest). She just didn't know how serious it all was. So. She proceeded to call our father on 3-way. We left a message asking him to call us.

4) After trying to chill out I went to bed really really late (this all happened after midnight, as far as I could tell), and thus did not get up for suhoor, even though Nishat did call me as I asked. I was just exhausted.

5)I woke up really late, and called my sister first thing. She said that my mother had called her, and that Mama said she wasn't going to have the procedure done until December. That makes me happy b/c at least it's not such that she had to have it immediately. On the other hand, Mama does want her back in December. So then I called my mother, and since they were discharging her, rang off. Haven't heard from her since. Still haven't heard anything from my father.

6) Went upstairs to find some clothing my aunt's housekeeper left there, and proceeded to have an hour-long convo with her. She was upset that I had told my sister what was going on, in that she feels that I betrayed her confidence (that I did expect) but also with 'the way I've been acting', specifically that I'm not telling her my plans for a job, that I'm not letting her know about my islamic practices, that I'm not talking to her about how I'm going to kick in to the household (we've actually already had that convo; she's upset b/c she approached me about it and not the other way round), that essentially I'm not acting very adult. This is where I feel I have to explain much of what I've been doing for the PAST SIX YEARS and begin to cry (see the meme below).

7) I washed my face in cold water, finished getting dressed and left the house. In the middle of me walking out, Nishat called. I told him I was upset, but had to reassure him that it wasn't about him; then, because I was in the basement of the house, asked him to call me back in 5 minutes, since I can't call him. That was 'bout 20 mins ago. I'm writing this from the library.

Yeah, so I'm upset.

More in a minute.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Today's Ramadan Challenge: Water

peace, y'all

Yeeeeaaah. So tis raining cats, dogs, cows, and elephants outside (;o) at Nishat), and so I'm stuck inside.
Plus I'm thuuuursteeee. Yahoo. So, the way I look at things, every day is a different challenge, during Ramadan. Yes, we all abstain from food and other sensual fun during the day, but each day is a little bit different in the challenge. Yesterday, my challenge was prayer. I never did go to Juma'ah, because I haven't found a masjid/a way to get to a masjid that satisfies. So finally I just asked that God accept my prayers at home and help me through the FRUSTRATION. That last I know He's still working with me.

Yeah, so anyway, today's test is water. I normally drink like 2 liters of water throughout the day. I'm one of those chicks you always see with a big Evian bottle, little knowing that I've refilled that sucker like 10 times. I feel like the albatross man. (Bonus if you get that reference without looking it up.)

I started this blog with the intention of meme'ing the Original Seven Things, so here goes:

Seven things I plan to do before I die (insha'Allah-Hajj is already a given):
1. Pay off debts and pay Cash the rest of my life
2. Have a happy marriage
3. Get under 200 lbs / stop feeling like a "big girl"
4. Learn French, Arabic, Yoruba, Dutch
5. Deliver babies in my clinic
6. Grow my own food
7. Become a publicly elected official

Seven things I can do:
1. Communicate in writing or in a speech
2. Procrastinate
3. Embroider, Crochet, Quilt, and Sew
4. Make my sibs smile even when they're feeling bad
5. Sing
6. Swim
7. Teach/tutor

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Communicate my strong feelings without crying
2. Drive in a city (on the highway I'm fine)
3. Live without family contact
4. Forget and forgive myself times where I 'messed' up
5. Keep any room neat and organized for more than 24 hrs
6. Watch suspenseful/violent movies w/out peeking through my hands
7. Wear white gold / fake jewelry

Seven things I say most often:
1. Good! Excellent!
2. Ay, por Cara'!
3. What?!
4. Thank you, ma'am/ sir.
5. Bootyscratchers!
6. "Like none other"
7. Insha'Allah...

Seven things I never thought I would do, but did:
1. Live with my Aunt C.
2. Lose touch with my highschool peoples
3. Get my flippin' drivers license
4. Get a 2.3 gpa / Get a 3.7 gpa
5. Become an NCAA Athlete
6. Attempt something with all my heart and fail
7. really angry over something stupid

Seven cities I've seen (I'm including towns):
1. Salamanca, Spain
2. Atlanta, GA
3. Opelika, AL
4. New Orleans, LA
5. Coqui, PR
6. Chicago, IL
7. Washington, DC

Enjoy... I'm not gonna pass it on.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Seven (More) Things

peace y'all,

Yeah so I got another meme tag from UmmZaid and I am most happy to oblige (rolled up sleeves and rubbing hands together).

7 people I admire (okay, and I mean besides the most obvious since we should all admire the Prophet Muhammad salalahi alahi wa salaam, his family, and all of the Sahaba and the rest of the prophets...)

1. My Mother and great-grandmother (G'Mama)
2. My sister ("Sussuur")and my aunts (especially the ones born behind my mother and father respectively- and let me add the rest of my family elders here to save room).
3. Professor Richard Skolnik. This man has had an incredible, serving life, masha'Allah.
4. Steven F., Phil R., Ben L., Chanel H.,Molly H. They'll all be internationally known, just watch.
5. Amina F, Nesra, Mahwish, and all the other sisters who love the deen and just glow with it. You can see their faith by their actions. Their love is an example to me.
6. Good public school teachers. The ones who put up with BS for the sake of knowledge and the children they teach to love learning. Especially Black teachers who stay with our people.
7. The incredible women of Sigma Lambda Upsilon. I don't want to join any other org.

7 things I plan to do within the next year (inshaAllah)
1. Start grad school at Columbia (and complete all the attendant paperwork, including scholarship applications *groan*)
2. Find a full time job
3. Attend Halaqas at a great masjid on the regular.
4. Crochet at least 2 sweaters to give away as gifts
5. Get a passport and a continental US drivers license.
6. Take an algebra class.
7. Spend some real time with N.

7 books I love (besides the Qur?an)
1. Let the Circle Be Unbroken (and the rest of the Logan Family series) by Mildred D. Taylor
2. Spin a Soft Black Song by Nikki Giovanni. I love all of her work, but this was my first, a gift from Mama when I was 4.
3. Eleven Blue Men by Berton Roueche. Public Health and why I Care 'Bout It.
4. Plaited Glory by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. How I overthrew the tyranny that is a relaxer.
5. Thinking Out Loud and just about all other prose by Anna Quindlen.
6. El Sueno de America (linked in English but best in Spanish) and everything else by Esmeralda Santiago
7. I'm a Fantasy freak, so I'll just list authors: Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, David Eddings, LM Montgomery, Terry Goodkind...

7 movies I have to own
1. Roots. and Queen.
2. Sixth Sense just appeals to my sense of the spooooky.
3. Flight of the Navigator. Child of the 80's syndrome strikes.
4. School Daze and Malcom X, Spike Lee classics.
5. The entire Back to the Future Collection, though I like 1 and 3 best.
6. Crash and Traffic. Together two movies that really impacted me.
7. Like UmmZaid, I'm having issues with a number seven due to the fact that I pretty much have all the DVD's I was dying for (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Carmen Jones, Crouching Tiger, Color Purple, Shrek, Nemo, the LOTR trilogy, etc). When I was in PR I bought them for off the Blockbuster cheapie racks, or if I wanted it it was cheap b/c who watches American (English) movies in portareeco? Also, I've got a wierd taste in movies due to the fact that I didn't watch many of them until I was grown. While I'm frantically catching up in the movie dept., I don't like to buy dvd's when I haven't seen the movie...

7 places I want to visit (besides Hajj and Medina, and not including anywhere I've been)
1. Brazil. Starting in Sao Paolo and working from there.
2. "Arabia", as Abeer calls it- this is bka Palestine/ Jordan/ The Emirates/ Maghrib/ Egypt... yeah, dem places. One fell swoop.
3. London.
4. Cuba. I long to see it for my own eyes.
5. The entire US Pacific coast. Esp. Washington State in the summer and fall.
6. Nigeria.
7. any island with crystal clear, quiet, undisturbed waters where I can go snorkeling, diving, and maybe even find a pearl.

7 places I?ve already been
1. Isla Culebra, Puerto Rico, and La Parguera (bioluminescent bay), Puerto Rico. I don't recommend everyone go there cuz that would spoil it. Beautiful, alhamdulIllah.
2. The Shenandoah and Smoky Mountains. Gooooorgeous. Would love to spend more clear summer nights there stargazing.
3. Salamanca, Spain
4. Disney World /Caribbean cruise.
5. The SouthEast. KY,TN,LA,GA,AL,WV,VA,SC,NC,FL... I think I've only been THROUGH Mississippi, but the rest I got.
6. Toronto, Canada.
7. Washington, DC.

7 websites I love ( I tend to lose websites.)
1. Idealist
2. WashingtonDC dot Craigslist dot Com
3. Da Momma- warning: I've laughed so hard on this I couldn't speak...
4. Sherry, who got me into this blogging mess in the first place
5. Gooooooogle!
6. SLU is still an ambition
7. As a group: the blogs on the side of my blog! UmmZaid, TRK, AngryBB, and Waiter, and Leila are faves... and let me admit right now that I don't update it properly or nearly as much as I could, but if I visited you more than 3 times, you are a fave, too.

All Seven and I'll watch them blog... your turn!:

1. Sherry- do it this time
2. Sister Scorpion, if you ever see this
3. Nene
4. David bka the Bus Stop Cutie allll the way down in PR
5. Umm Mahtab- welcome to my world!
6. Nishat
7. You, oh anonymous reader.... come and tell me you did it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the Shore

From the Shore, Umm Mahtab's blog, has a good list of goals up for the month. Thank you, if you happen to see this!

Anyhow... goals for me

1) Learn more duas. I'm actually TIRED of just doing the same two over and over. SO I have an entire month to get some down, from transliterate paper if not from a real live actual human being. which brings me to...

2) Go to the masjid (a masjid) at least 10 times within the month. This is because I want the baraka of praying in unison... but also because it's just plain uplifting. Masha'Allah.

3) Find a way to dress more islamically for the winter. I have few clothes here, and I feel like I have to sneak on my hijab because of the way my aunt looks at me when I wear it. I gotta go find my courage, I musta left it on PR. Gotta get a coat, and maybe even abaya.

4)Write letters to friends- at least 2 a day during the month. I'm in a position where I already know I won't be able to give gifts during the month or at Eid (and y'all thought y'all knew 'bout broke), so I want to just give old-fashioned communication. I need to hand-write letters. In this day and age, they are a way to show you care.

5) Get clear on status with Nishat. Self-explanatory. If marriage is half the deen, what better time to get serious about it than Ramadan?

6) Have an organized living space. I find myself avoiding prayers in my room cuz it's crowded. Insha'Allah I'll take a bunch of lunchtimes and just get it done.

7) WALK on the weekends instead of sleeping between Dhuhr and Asr. My health is too important, but more, I could spend that time constructively with my cousins.

INSHA'ALLAH all of this I'll get done.


Ramadan Mubarak! Shana Tova!


YAAAYYYY Ramadan is here! and a blessed year to my Jewish amigos. It's funny- I knew about Rosh Hashanah (I know I ain't spell that right) from toddler-hood since Steven is Jewish, but learned about Ramadan mad late in life. Ironies, Ironies.

May all your fasts be easy and accepted. May God grace you with his love and blessings and grant you peace.

I've got about an hour left here. I was planning to go to ICNA, but guess what- it ain't open. I stopped there on the (near interminable) journey home from work, and the center, while clearly in use, wasn't occupied at the time. It was just about time for Asr, and I didn't see any cars out front, no sisters or brothers getting ready for prayer. So I'm kinda disappointed- you know it would've been sooo nice to have a masjid riiight there in walk-able distance during Ramadan. Still, insha'Allah I'll find a great place to celebrate not only the month but the rest of the year.

Work is going well- I like the students. We'll see how it goes.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Stages meme

KhadijaTeri has this meme up. Even though she don't even know me, Ima act like she was gonna tag me cuz I like memes. Ok? Ok.

Yesterday- I chilled all morning, washed some clothes, sent out resumes. Talked to Nishat at night while cooking food (mashed potatoes and salmon). Was having a lazy stage.
Oh, and got shocked into doing a budget since money gon' be tight 'round here this winter.

1 year ago- at this stage in my life I was a despairing teacher in San Juan. Ramadan was almost here and I didn't have enough money to pay my rent. Or various other bills including my credit card and phone. I was working 40 hour plus weeks. I spent a lot of time in Borders in Plaza Las Americas. Tropical Storm Jeanne had already passed through on her way to loop-de-looping before hitting southern Florida.

5 years ago- lesseee... 5 years ago right now... I was a sophomore in college. Had just come off of my best GPA ever, and thought I was about to pledge a certain sorority. I was a member of several student groups, including GWU MSA. I was living in Madison and not fighting with my roomates. And working at Starbucks on the side. My hair was short and curly and bright yellow like the leaves. Life was bliss.

10 years ago- I was going through a major upheaval- leaving all my friends of many years to transfer from the IB/Bilingual high school to the kick-arse college prep public high school I graduated from. I didn't want to do it, but at the same time the school was full of drugs, thugs, and pregnant girls, and I was terrified. So my (sainted) mother pulled some strings and got me into Walnut late in the year, for which I will always love her.

5 snacks I enjoy: 1) sweet apple slices with peanut butter. 2) pb&j on potato bread- mmmmm carbs! 3) popcorn- plain w/salt, or w/ a lot of butter. 4)non-red kosher/halal jello with whipped cream on top. Oh yeah. 5) any kind of cookes, but I grew up with oreos and chips ahoys and home-baked goodies. Yahhh.
Bonus: these are if I don't have fresh apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, grapes, or bananas available, I love sweet fruit out of the hand.

5 songs I know all the words to Out of the many: 1) Lift Every Voice and Sing (bka the Black National Anthem) 2) The Puerto Rican National Anthem ("laaaa tierra de boriiinken, dond'he nacido yo..." 3) Every single song off of 'Songs in the Key of Life' by Stevie Wonder 4)Mi Tierra by Gloria Estefan 5) "Song for You" by Earth, Wind, and Fire

5 things I would do with $100 million: after I tithe my 2.5 percent, save 10 percent, and spread 3 percent through my family: 1) Pay for my grad school at Columbia and pay all the debt from undergrad 2) buy a house SMACK in the middle of DC and set up a trust so I wouldn't ever worry about losing it 3)Pay off my parents' home 4) Set up a scholarship for muslima converts in undergrad 5) Bide my time, then run for US president AND WIN

5 places I would run away to: 1) Puerto Rico 2) Tuskegee 3) Spain/Andorra 4) Brazil 5) Any other peaceful, international-style place near water.

5 things I would never wear:
1) Midriff top 2) a crucifix (never did never will) 3)too tight pants/skirt 4)relaxed hair 5)fake jewelry (allergic)

5 favorite TV shows: 1)CSI- the original 2) ER 3) Saturday Night Live 4) Anything Discovery Channel 5) by now I'm reading a book.

5 biggest joys: 1) Feeling really 'connected' and blessed in prayer (or anytime) 2) Any and every time my family unites 3) Winning the co-presidency Sr. year 4)Skinny dipping on Culebra under the moon 5) singing whole heartedly

5 favorite toys: um. Now? 1) books. Books. books. 2) my crochet hooks and a wide assortment of yarn 3) my watercolor kit, crayons, and coloring book... can't think of any more.

5 People to take this challenge: Nishat, Aleksa, Sherry, TRK The Rabbi's Kid, and UmmZaid.


peace, y'all

Umm Zaid is already worked up about masajid over on her page, so Ima let y'all go read what she said first.

Then say, ditto.

As for me... well, I'm happy Ramadan is coming, masha'Allah. I'm happy I'm starting work tomorrow.

I'm not happy that I haven't been to the masjid close to here yet. I'm running out of time.

One of the reasons I haven't been is because I called and have received absolutely no response from anyone there- and this is the ICNA center, so I'm wondering why someone hasn't replied to a newbie calling to see about a new 'home' masjid the week before Ramadan. It takes two seconds to call someone and be like, "Slaam'Laikum, sis M_____, this is the masjid at ICNA returning your call, we will have tarawih prayers on _____ days from Ao'clock to O'dark thirty insha'Allah. We hope to meet you and your family then, insha'Allah. Slaam'Laikm".

Did y'all hear that? I just wrote a basic script for masajid offices to follow should they not know what to say.

One of the other reasons I'm a bit anxious and haven't just walked up in the piece and introduced myself or fallen into prostration is... I'm scared.

I'm scared that I'll find another masjid like the one UmmZaid has amply disgraced in her post today. The women are shunted off to one side. Everything is done in Arabic with no attempt at English translation or explanation. The prayer room is completely separate from the Imam and dirty. I'm scared because although:
1)I AM muhejabah and an American-raised convert and
2)I'm conservative socially (NOT politically- or at least, conservative for an american woman of my time),

I am not one known for keeping my mouth shut under such conditions. To the contrary. I'm the one who will organize the entire place until the situation is 'fixed' and/or I feel welcome. Not exactly the best personality to have when you're coming into a new place and don't want to make waves.

And, while I don't object to women having walled-off, impenetrable spaces, I grew up in a church. With a raised pulpit, and all the families sat together (though my father was never there, but I digress). So I want to SEE and HEAR the person giving the talk. Anyone who has studied communication knows that a great deal of understanding can be had from observing body language alone. I don't want that walled-off musallah for women to be my only option.
Another remnant of my churchgoing upbringing is that ideally, I would go to the masjid every single week, at least twice a week if possible. (For those curious, yes, I can actually go every single week. Get out my biz, you don't need to know why.) Frequency and classes are the things that most increase my learning. Until now, I've had to struggle for every bit of learning on my deen because I've felt little sense of community, and I've felt forced to go it alone. I dont' have a husband and in-laws to help me out. (Though from what I've heard in various venues they might hurt more than help. I digress again.) That's why this whole idea of a 'home' masjid. I want to feel as welcome and at home in my place of worship as in my own home. More, if possible. And I've seen so many places where that just wasn't the case that I'm wary of putting myself out there again. Y'know?

Anyways. I never can let my nafs get the best of me, so tomorrow after work (alHamduliLLAH I CAN SAY THAT) Ima bebop myself right on over to ICNA and see what's the dealie. I'll let you know what happens.

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone, may the Lord accept all of your fasts.

to be continued....


Saturday, October 01, 2005

To Balance Bitter, Sweet

peace, y'all

I was really feeling bitter, confused, and sad not even an hour ago.

Then, I read a response to an email I sent to portareeco.

Turns out, my dear friends Isa and Pedro are expecting a baby! Not only that, but other friends, Angela and Daniel, are very close to the arrival of a healthy girl, insha'Allah.

I was at both of the weddings and am sooooo HAPPY For them. I couldn't be happier if I were the one with such good news. Masha'Allah!

I'm also praying for Pedro's sister, Jamie. She's been in the hospital for a week. They just removed her from ICU. Jamie is a dedicated biology and agric/veterinary student. She was attacked by one of the animals at the UPR farm. She is one of the sweetest people I know, dedicated and direct. God send her a speedy and complete recovery from heaven, amin.

Funny how I was feeling all sorry for myself, and now I feel great, masha'Allah. I guess I was sent the sweet at the height of the bitterness.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Dead in Escape from Africa

Peace y'all
This Yahoo Article saddened me when I logged on this morning.

"But what saddens me more is the final quote from the El Pais newspaper:
Spain's leading daily El Pais said in an editorial Friday that long-term solutions must be sought to address the economic disparities between Europeans and Africans, which are propelling waves of immigrants in often deadly attempts to cross the continental borders at the two enclaves.

"There is an immediate problem which has claimed eight mortal victims in a month and which demands urgent solutions," it said.

"But there is a more serious problem which can only be resolved over the long term which is the economic inequality between the African and European continents which turns the two Spanish cities in northern Africa into siphons for immigration,"the paper added." (emphasis mine.)

If you have even ONE country that acknowledges that the fault lies in the difference in life between Europe and Africa, and if you have ANYONE who knows that the way to fix that is to create equality (or at least much better standing) in the economy and in the civil institutions of the countries these people are coming from, WHAT ON EARTH IS STOPPING US? People are KILLING THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY WANT TO LIVE BETTER! That says that the lives they already have are detestable. And that's scary, because a man with nothing to lose is everyone's worst enemy. He'll give or take anything to get half a chance at what he wants.

Astaghfirullah. It really drives me nuts. I'd say that I'm ashamed to be an American, except that way far back, it was the fault of America that even I am here. This makes it my responsibility as a citizen descended from some horrific American policy to make sure that my country and others change their ways.

Wow. I'm really upset. really upset. I need to go take a minute.

pray for us all

Submitted to the Radical Women of Color Carnival :

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lookin' Forward

peace y'all

I just made one of those hard decisions I was talking about the other day, and then I slept on it, and I still feel good about it, so I'm going to do it.

Yay! No advice nor wish-washyness involved.

In related advances, I now have two jobs. Unfortunately both are part-time, but whatever. I just need enough to kick rent to my aunt every once in a while. I'm going to be so broke when I reach NYC it won't matter anyway. School dorms. Old sweaters. Weight loss (little food). That's ok. The goal is in sight...

I'm glad, now, that I applied to BELL program. It's a much better fit than the Kaplan program- even though they reach the same type of population, they're still very different.
Kaplan teaches at urban catholic schools, and they teach a lot of kids, at the same time. It's more professional and less focused on the effects of culture on the kids.
BELL teaches in urban public schools, but the program is focused for minority and underprivileged urban kids. The teachers are a mixed group (I do mean mixed- black, white, latino, asian, poor, rich, students and professionals) and take into account the effects of environment on the scholars. Which is another thing- they focus a lot on attitude, and working with students with your own attitude.

I just like BELL better. Insha'Allah, I can work out my transportation issues so that I'll get an Outstanding evaluation at the end of the year... then maybe I'll work with the program in NYC, where it has grown.

You right, I'm always looking for the chance, for the future.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Can't Complain

And because I can't complain I won't call the department of education in pr or in dc a porqueria.

No hay porque hacerlo.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ramadan for Single Muslims

Well, someone out there is thinking about me. And everyone like me.

I found this site while blurfing (blog surfing) today. Ramdan for Single Muslims from Sound Vision does have some good suggestions.

AlhamdulIllah, I went to jum'ah yesterday, and it was good. I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in 2 years. I also asked around about local masajid that are easier to get to than GWU's makeshift spot, but... little luck. I'll just have to be adventurous. Insha'Allah I'll find a place to go to before Ramadan that isn't too far away. I'd like that. I need to be 'adopted' by a Muslim community. It felt sooo good just to go and pray shoulder to shoulder there. I came out uplifted, alhamdulilah.

The Seven-Day Shukr project is going well... it is helping me with my humility project as well. Right now, I can't stop thinking about the people on the Gulf Coast. So I ask for special blessings, patience, endurance for them, and that they are cared for until they can do so themselves.

I'm feeling funny. Think I'll go for a walk.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Female Imam Survey Results are Up

Was just messing around and googled my name; thus I came upon the Azizah Female Imam Survey Results. I was pleasantly surprised, masha'Allah, to see that what I wrote was actually coherent. And though I disagree with a lot of what was said, I enjoyed reading other coherent opinions (for, against, both, and didn't have a clue included).

Check it out.


Seven days

Seven Day Shukr Challenge

For those who don't know, shukr means 'thanks' or 'thankfulness' in Arabic. (This based on the little Arabic I learned from Doktr Taj in 101 back in college- and the fact that 'thank you' is "Shukran!")

SO. Since I whined and complained earlier about getting advice that didn't help me... and since I knew I was lucky to be getting it... I am in the challenge. UmmAli over at aheavytruth dot blogspot, started it, so alhamdulillah for that initiative.

Yes, I am not going to complain about ANYTHING in my life for seven whole days. In my head or verbally.

In my own little version of this... I'm going to focus on humility in my thankfulness. Meaning I'm just going to play the role of a witness to the greatness of God that has touched my life, and not act like I'm in the starring role of receiving blessings, something that comes a little too naturally for me lately.

Care to join us in the challenge?


ps Aleksa, thanks for the tips...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

In honor of working today

AlHamdulIllah~ I worked a full day today!

The job isn't full time but it pays well. I got a temp to perm position teaching English to adults. I LOVE the class I'm working with- only 2 students, but with such awesome dispositions. They like working and want to learn. What a joy!

I just found out that I won't be working tomorrow, but the ladies had asked me to bring them some riddles. In honor of their request, I'll post one heck of a tongue twister that I found on an English forum here:

The pheasant-plucker

I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's child;

I sit here plucking pheasants, though it drives the pheasants wild:

I pluck and chuck the feathers from the pheasants in a pile;

the pheasants, plucked, are chucked out in true pheasant-pluckers' style.

Oh a pukka pheasant plucker is a pleasing thing to see;

a pleasant peasant pheasant plucker I am proud to be.

The pheasants, plucked and chucked, are tucked up in a tidy heap;

the pheasants' feathers, plucked and chucked, are sucked up four feet deep;

the plucking job ain't easy, it's an awful plucking task -

still, I get a plucking bonus, what more could any plucker ask?

A pukka pheasant plucker is a plucky peasant chap

a pleasant peasant pheasant plucker fills a needed gap

To find a pleasant peasant who plucks pheasants on the side

just advertise for peasant pheasant pluckers far and wide

Pukks plucky peasant pheasant-plucking people we;

plucking pheasants present in out pleasant company

pheasants plucked professionally by our pleasant peasant crew;

our pukka plucky pheasant-plucking folk will pluck for you

Oh a pukka pheasant plucker is a pleasing thing to see;

a pleasant peasant pheasant plucker I am proud to be.

Have fun with that.

Sha'ban is waning... Ramadan is almost here. For those few of you who read me and are Muslim... how do you get ready?
I have, really no firm customs except to read Qur'an and find out where the masajid in the area are, since I've spent every Ramadan for the past three years in a different place. This year, though, I want to do a bit more... Any ideas?


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Making decisions.

Today, by email, I turned down a position in Boston.

A nice one, though temporary- I'd be paid $750 per week for a little more than 2 weeks of work. Guiding kids and going to conferences. With the potential to stay on if I dazzle.

I had already been interviewed.

The recruiters had already called my references.

They were suitably impressed, and called Friday to offer me the job, pending my passing a background check (no problem).

I accepted. I was uneasy but had no concrete reason not to accept.

Then I had... 'discussions' with my mother and aunt, during which I put the situation out there. I felt like I needed help with making the decision. Because the job is 1)temporary and 2) In Boston, I had some issues. Do I take the well-paying but temporary position, and then keep on in part-time jobs afterward? Or take the two part-time positions I already have lined up and forego the opportunity, until I can find a part time job, and be squeezed to pay my bills? I don't have the money to go to Boston, too- or I do, but BARELY. I'm tired of having to ask for money. The thing is, once I get up there, I'm good. It's a marginality thing.

Then, too, was the part of the discussions about my taking the test requred to be a public school teacher which is paid with benefits, and then grind myself into being a teacher for another year. I think I said before that my great-aunt is paying for the test. Which costs way to flippin' much- I'm BROKE. I don't HAVE money to get transcripts from various schools sent, AND pay for testing and still pay my BILLS plus the actual not-insignificant TRANSPORTATION it costs just to go here and there on interviews both in and out of the public school system.
Anyway, since my great-aunt, aunt, and mother- hell, everyone- wants me to take the test, AND because I do have teaching experience, I figure, what the hey. Just do it, and pray and pray I actually get a job and then don't have to wait for-flippin-ever to be paid a mediocre to poor salary. I'm doing this for the benefits anyway. The emphasis I'm hearing is on health insurance- I don't have any of that right now, so if I get hit by a truck tomorrow I'll be in real deep.

All that isn't what's bugging me so much as that I feel really squeezed by decisions right now. I don't care to ask others for their opinion, but I do have trouble making decisions. It's hard to hear what they say and their opinions on how hard I'm working to get a job (I'm not being aggressive enough on the public school front, for instance- they have NO IDEA how crazy the system is after No Child Left Behind has begun to persecute teachers) when that doesn't HELP ME. I am NOT lazy. I AM broke. There's a difference, something a lot of people apparently don't get. My lack of resources is severely limiting my choices and the time I have to make them. I'm seeing so many parallel situations to my life on a national level right now. Tis ridiculous.

*sigh*. I'm mad at myself for even bringing it up and giving folk the opportunity to come at me like that. I'm just upset. Two days later. And hoping that I made the right decision. Since I've decided that I can't be asking anyone else what to do or how to do it anymore. I've been lucky enough to be able to do so thus far, but it's becoming a big PITA. I'm just not going to ask. If the consequences are rough, then too bad. At least I made the decision myself. It's much easier to live with negative consequences of a decision I made on my own as an adult than to hear negative opinions and options from others because I felt I couldn't make a decision on my own. Ha. There. I feel better now.

ma Salaama