Why do I always do this to myself? Just when things seem to be going good, I pull the rug out from under me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid of success–so I pile on an insurmountable load of work onto my shoulders–or because I’m just a glutton for punishment.
Either way, I’ve made the decision to dedicate myself to the life of a student. I’m killing myself for no reason, and fracturing my focus between far too many disparate goals.
It’s going to be hard to face the facts when I talk to my supervisors on Monday, but this is no way for anyone to live.
I need to own up to my one responsibility now: finishing school. Everything else can wait.
I need to rediscover who I used to be. The girl who craved the company of books, who wasn’t running 24/7. I used to spend every lunch hour in high school just reading, reading, reading. The best company was that of books.
I want to find that girl again, that girl I used to be. There is nothing wrong with being close to people, but people inevitably disappoint and hurt us.
I remember one day, long ago in high school, I ditched the bus and spent all day in a playground reading the final book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After I read the last line I closed the book and cried. I cried because I was moved, I cried because I was scared to go to school, I cried because I was awed at what the human mind can produce when motivated.
I need to find that girl again, the one who loved books and not people. The one who cried everyday when she got home because she didn’t think about Allah for one second that day, and curled up with the Quran and read until the pain dulled. The girl who couldn’t sleep until she read the Quran and prayed with all her heart because it was all she had.
I was miserable in high school, but the one thing I knew was that there was only one way out: through the remembrance of God. Nothing else.
When things ameliorated for me and my family, I slowly became cocky and arrogant. I wasn’t alone anymore, I wasn’t miserable anymore. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by other Muslims in college. I slowly lost my connection to seeking solitude, and refuge in the remembrance of God and solace through prayer. My actions migrated from the inward to the outward, because for the first time in my life, my outward life was something I actually looked forward to.
Insha Allah I will find that balance. The balance between my inner spiritual life and my outward life. I can’t cultivate the outside without focusing on the inside.
I know that girl is in here somewhere. I’m gonna find her, insha Allah. She’ll step out into the sunlight, smile, sigh contentedly and murmur, “Well, I’m back.”
Then she’ll pick up a book, curl up, and rediscover the true meaning of solitude.