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Where their voice still sounded like they loved me




I'll never be enough. For you. Or for anyone.

It took years for my bones to learn this, and I have. Being the oldest girl in a South Asian household gives you a VIP seat to what it feels like to never be good enough. The day I was born my mother was told; "a girl, better luck next time."

It was as if my existence were a curse.


As a boy, you're almost faultless. A boy makes a mistake, and you get over it because it is okay for them to have flaws. A girl makes the same type of mistake, and your world is shattered

because the "sweet and domesticated" girl that they've had in their minds, the one that has "no flaws", no longer exists. It is like how dare she suddenly have a voice, or should I say a brain of her own?


The problem is I was never the sweet next door domesticated girl instead those attributes were always pushed on me. I was always assertive, outspoken, and ambitious. I guess, growing up as a brown girl I had to go through a whole trial and error process to learn that I am not responsible for the image of my parents and the community. My shoulders do not have to carry the weight of all the unfulfilled dreams and their irrational desires. Because it was never my burden to begin with in the first place.


I will admit that all of this is very hard to unlearn because it has been engraved in me for far too long. So, the guilt is very powerful. The guilt of never being the kind of daughter my parents wish that they had. I spent a very long time being guilty and fitting in boxes that were never tailored for me in the first place. Those boxes made me miserable and now I just refuse to fit in those boxes anymore. Instead, I decided to rise above and go construct my own table where there are no comfort zones instead there are new learnings every day. Where I allow myself the room to be human and where I refuse to settle.


Settle for anything that once again cages me. You see my Ama thinks I am lonely. Ama is what I call my mother. To her all she seems to see is these twenty-four old. Unmarried woman. Travelling for pleasure. Working for the community. Living and breathing stories as her passion. Refusing to see any proposals that come her way.


I am not saying that my mother is not wrong that there are times when I am lonely. I am human, I do have moments when I wish someone understood my silences and my core. Someone who truly sees me. And I just think that it is natural to have those waves of utmost loneliness take over. But the thing is I would choose them repeatedly than settle for something less. I worked hard to construct this version of myself, and I continue to work very hard to embrace my vulnerability. How can I just settle for the bare minimum?


So, I understand my mother's frustration. In her world women aren't given a choice. They aren't the ones that get to be picky. How do I explain to her that I live in my own world? I get to live in a world where I am picky, loud, seen, and unapologetically myself. I wish sometimes, I could hear my mother's voice where it sounds like she still loves me. But life.


I live my life with the philosophy of gratitude for all the little things and the acceptance of the Qadr of Allah. Therefore, in the deepest darkest pit of my heart I believe that everything in my life is taken care of by Allah. That doesn't mean I do not work hard for things. It just means that even when I am drowning, I am assured that Allah's plan will always come at the most perfect timing. I have an unyielding trust in that plan. Because,


"What's meant for you will reach you even if it's beneath two mountains, and what's not meant for you won't reach you even if it's between your two lips”

My mother thinks I don't care for marriage since I am a product of the new generation. How do I tell her that this couldn't be further from the truth? How do I tell her I grew up seeing her ugly marriage? How do I tell her I saw more hurt than I saw love? How do I tell her that it took a constructive effort to believe that good exists out there?


Ama, it is not that I do not care. It is just that I value it. I have way more to offer than the bare minimum and I expect the same in return. I know what I'm looking for is hard to find. But I already know that. I'm only asking for what I'm willing to give. If that means it may take a little longer, might be a bit harder, so be it. Because I'm okay with waiting even if no one else is.


It was a very long journey in figuring out that I can only be me. And for the first time in mv life, that is enough. I am at peace.



- Love, light, & healing.

Until next time,

Shanzay.

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