Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reprise and (non)Developments: Touch. And Love.

Assalamu Alaikum, peace...

Warning: once again, whine without cheese is served. If you're inclined to be judgmental, just go away. I'm already judging myself exceptionally well, thanks.

A little more than 10 months ago I wrote this entry, titled Touch. And Love. Go on, read it, you need to know what I said then to have the perspective on what I've got to say tonight...

Since then, alhamdulillah, there have been some major improvements in my life. I no longer live with my aunt, and I'm gainfully employed in a place I love that uses my skills. I've bought a gym membership and started taking real steps to feel good- better- about my weight and fitness. I started an Arabic class at Alma Mater in order to finally do something about strengthening my Qur'anic and social skills. I mean, tis tough to be a Muslim around here without speaking 'Arabee. It's like you don't count as a respectable human or something.

This week, though, the feelings that led to my writing the first article reached a crescendo. I'm sure I wasn't the easiest company on Friday nights. I have to thank my remaining roomie S., who put up with me and helped talk me to some conclusions that I want to explore.

(But first, that reminded me- my other roomie went to Idaho for a friend's wedding, and, incidentally, saw her father for the first time in a while. He's terminally ill , and it is very hard for her to talk about it, or see it. She has not and probably won't talk to me about it, but I wanted to ask my ummah and friends inside the computer: Please pray, make du'a for my roomie (R), her father, and her family.)

This weekend is the first full weekend after Ramadan ended. And it was like the dunya just rushed back to whap me in the face. I wrote a post on it earlier, but insha'Allah none of y'all saw it since I took it down a couple hours later when I had cooled off. Basically I was whining. Because I saw that the end of Ramadan was closing a lot of options for me.

I really enjoyed the iftars and taraweeh et cetera at Alma Mater. I saw old friends, women I hadn't seen in a while. I got sooo deep in tarawih that the tears just rushed to the surface. I really read the Qur'an and actually stayed part of the night at the nat'l masjid (I'm horrible, not sure what the formal name is- the one up on Mass Ave.) And let me not front: There were Men! Good Muslim Guys! around. Not even necessarily interacting with me 90% of the time, but they were there. That wasn't so bad, either. Y'all, I fully understood why so many people wait for Ramadhan to come every year. I got an instant COMMUNITY. It was easy to not feel unfulfilled to an uncomfortable degree.

And then I got put back into my everyday. And I felt- and still feel just with less urgency- that I'm stuck having to choose between being Muslim, being 'Everyday American Woman', or fudging an existence out of both. What set my tantrum off on Friday was that, plus finally feeling desirable to ANYone, and not having a clear choice on what to do. I flipped right on out.

*thinks for a while, head in hands*

I keep coming back to the conclusion that I'm wrong. I'm wrong, I'm not doing something right somewhere, I just don't know WHAT. Let me see if I can put the major issues in short sentences.

I want to date.

I want a good man.

I have friends willing to help me get started.

I want to be a good Muslim.

Good Muslims don't "date".

Good Muslim men don't date.

Good God-fearing non-Muslim men date and they're asking me out.

Too often dating = sex around here.

I'm confident that I'm not having sex if I don't want it.
[But who said I trust myself to not want it? (see: grown woman below)]

And, (b/c nothing's simple) I'm struggling with an 'invatuation' with a good man who isn't necessarily good for me.

I want to be good. I do.

I want to not feel so darn badly.

It would be so easy to just be not-good and face the guilt later.

My sense of integrity is in the way. That and "el Que-dir'an".

I'm judgmental by temperament and I'm turning that into a very destructive sense against myself.

*ducks rotten tomatoes and eggs being thrown*

Let me look at that a little more.

Look, I'm a grown woman. A "Black Woman in America" as we used to laugh. I want to Enjoy some Male Attention and going on all these dates that're offered is how that's done. This is the whole purpose of dating. It's also the purpose being married, by the by, and I know that, but...

Look, I'm Muslim by conversion, e.g. by choice. No matter whether I knew that this is what I was signing up for- I asked for the good so I oughtta take the not so good. And God is really good right now. If I didn't like Islam or acting in ways in accordance with Islam, this wouldn't be such a struggle.

Look, I don't do much half-assed. And certainly not something as integral to my state of mind, state of being, as my religion. Or the way I conduct myself concerning men.

I think my standards are too high. I hold myself accountable to a high expectation. I mean, someone mentioned that if it weren't such a problem, that I should just go where the Muslims are- but since the problem is that good Muslims dont' date, and I'd be dating with an eye toward serious, then dating is just wasting time, unless I want to consider a non-Muslim. My thing is that my future husband follows God in his life. However, God and Islam dictate that my husband be a Muslim. So I'm stuck there, unless I want to be majorly disobedient.

Maybe I'm seeing that with too strict an eye. There are tons of Muslim guys who date, right?

But do I want a Muslim guy who dates? The majority of the ones I know personally are sleazeballs, thankyouverymuch. The rest are already taken/spoken for/not allowed or about to date a Black convert. Hmph. Let's not even finish THAT particular conversation.

I feel sometimes like I live two lives, the inner and the outer.


Then there's the whole letting my feelings get hurt by the good guy issue. I promised myself after what-all went on with Imiaz that I would not fall for some random friend. And right now I'm struggling to keep that promise. It'd only lead to me hurting, and I'm doing enough of that without any extra help. *sigh*

At the end of the night, I'll have fasted all day and cried all evening. I want permission from somewhere to relax my standards and just be human and do whatever and not be jealous and not know God is not happy with that and it's not forthcoming. This is so. hard. And I'm mad and I'm sad and I'm lonely and I'm longing and I'm sobbing and I don't have anyone here to help me through any of it. Please make du'as for me. I know, it's a sad reminder at the end of all that but I think that's all anyone can do just now and it'd really help.



  1. It's true. It's all I can do. :(

    I'm sorry. It's hard.

    Pray. Stay strong. You ARE strong. You're unique. You're not like the others. That's what's so amazing about you. That's why your struggle is harder.

  2. Twenny,

    What do you mean you don't have anyone? I'm here and so are some really good sisters just down the way from the IHOP. I can introduce you.

    We need to hang out, btw I've been there. Let me know if you want to chill, no judgments.

  3. I'm there for you too. I know how it feels.

  4. Girl, I'm so there. I know just how you feel. And sometimes (when the Muslim girls that date are geting married) it seems like there are more rewards for doing the wrong thing. But I remind myself that true rewards are in the hearafter. God, that sounds sanctimonious. Like something my mother would say. I would love to just forget my beliefs and do whatever but I just don't think I could look at myself in the mirror. And don't feel bad about the convert thing. I'm Black and a born Muslimah and it's just as hard. Trust.
    Stay strong, pray, and InshaAllah it'll all work out.

  5. salaams. i feel your post. i have often felt the same things especially, when as singlemuslimah pointed out, when so many muslimahs have boyfriends that they eventually marry. sometimes one feels the urge to be disobedient but i just pray to Allah more that he keeps me strong in the face of temptation.