Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snapping out of it: Gratitude

In my life lately, alhamdulillah, a lot has straightened out. I can't front: I was one day from being homeless at one point in October of this year. I had looked into hotels. It was a fearful and stressful episode I hope never to have to relive. 

During that time I kinda regressed on a project I began earlier in 2012, the Complaint Free World project. You can see it at . 

But anyway, the intensity of facing not having a home, combined with some resentment I felt toward family members.who I felt could have helped and didn't... lately I'm feeling the bitterness and alternatig lethargy of the complaints in my mind start to build up. Leaving.the sace of completely never complaining had me feeling unmotiva ited, bored, and blah .

Cue my mother's voice in my head: "Snap out of it, honey! Get with the program." Even disembodied and.powered by my imagination, my mama is right on this one. I need to pull out of this funk.

Faiza Dean over at notes in one of the articles selected for their best of 2012 list that one of the biggest mistakes: unproductive Muslims make is ingratitude to God (swt). She continues to suggest that the reader write down five things for which they are grateful... and that's nothing new; I distinctly recall Nicole of the old Dictator Princess blog, having a regular 'Thanks, God' post. My turn!

I am grateful for: 

1)Ice. I spilled boiling water from a teacup over my hand a couple days ago. The pain was stunning, to the point where I just stood for a couple seconds with my eyes closed against it. Then I yanked open my freezer with one hand while the scalded one was under the cold tap. My hand did its best to blister, the skin is now blackened and starchy crackling. It didn't blister and didn't hurt too badly because I had ice. I still have the use and function because of a plastic baggie with salt water.and that blessed ice. I refilled it all night long. Thanks, God.

2) Hair.
My hair now passes my waist. I would like to complain about it. Instead, I will share that I love the swish of the ends around my waist, love that I can nearly seat myself on it. I literally dreamed of having long thick hair when I was a little girl. I'm living that dream, all natural. Alhamdulillah.

3) Friends
Keeping the ties that bind is hard for me. And I have friends anyway. Bless them. :-)

4)Babies everywhere!
I get to see newborn babies! Daily! 

5) Freedom
I have the liberty to choose and the power to execute my choices in every single thing I do. Everything. And not only is that freedom protected, but I live in a country and region where that is *recognized*. I choose to call that a blessing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

So 2012 ends...back where I began

Whatcha think?

It's been a year of enormous changes. I've missed blogging tremendously.  Especially as I navigated the end of grad school, taking on a job that was a dead-end, though I didn't know it at the time, taking another job that could lead to midwifery (inshaAllah), and handling my emotions and desire for love and romance through it all.

On the way several of my good friends had babies- two had babies in the same week at the same hospital!  And one very special couple allowed me the pleasure of being present at the birth of their son, may he be blessed and a blessing to them.

It's been a glorious year.

Right now, I'm sleeping on a pallet on the floor of a room I rent from a nice Muslim couple. I'm not homeless, just broke.
A lot of people are wondering about that; but what they don't know, what I didn't know, was  that a master's degree, in the nursing field, doesn't mean automatic salary increase. One has to have experience.
I don't have experience, and believe it or not, most places won't hire a new graduate who doesn't have experience.

"So, how are you 'sposed to get experience if no one will hire you?" said my bestie Amouna in an echo of, oh, everyone I know,

"That's exactly MY question," I answered.

Still, I'm making enough so that if I hold off on getting a car, or if I find a part-time position somewhere, I can make ends meet. What I really don't want to do is lower the $950 (!) monthly payments on the loans that got me through the master's degree (which in turn did not get me the experience to have the salary to pay the loans).  Because 10 years is quite enough to be paying loans. If I lower the payments per the (really nifty, don't get me wrong, can I say a hallelujah for Obama and co. getting the loan companies to lighten up on my generation?) graduated repayment plan the government loan places have set up, I'll be paying it for 25 years. No, thank you. I can hardly believe I'll see 40 years before these loans are finished.

Riba'a is a bitch, y'all.

So, consider me back for the short term. I'm back to where I started- fresh out of school, living in conditions that are alternately dubious and wonderful, isolated from my old friends, and just needing someplace to talk. I'm hoping you'll listen. I'm hoping you haven't all gone away. I missed you!