Mind crippling fear…

I’ve realized that new things terrify me. This is not something new that I have just stumbled upon. It is something that I discovered when I turned 20, my junior year in college when  my anxiety was through the roof,  I had just begun studying for the GRE, and I was overwhelmed with the decisions I had to make at the time.

The fear of the unknown. I hated it. I hated that bubbling feeling deep down in my stomach that felt like butterflies trying to force up my dinner, giving me the sweats and the chills at the same time, and that feeling when you are at the top of a rollercoaster and you have decided in that moment that you want to get off the ride. This is what fear does to me.

I graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a double minor in Legal Studies and Arabic in December of 2013, a semester early. I am supposed to be half way done with my Ph. D by now. But Allah and the 10 Ph.D programs that I applied for and didn’t get into, knew better. I was not ready. I realized that a few thousand dollars later, before my first rejection letter came in, that grad school wasn’t for me. Not just yet.

So I bought a ticket to Africa, praying that it would open my eyes to what I was supposed to do next. And it worked, kinda. I recieved a job offer while I was there. So I headed back to Lubbock, TX, the only other place I have ever lived aside from the city I was born and raised. I was happy, because I was going back to a place in which I was familiar.

I tried the whole grad school thing again, soon realizing that it was still not something I was ready for. Nor something that I wanted. I did it because people said, “Get a masters degree. It’ll be partially paid for. Just do it” So I applied, 3 weeks later I was accepted. 4 months later, I quit.

I have had ups and downs, but mostly growth in my position. 2 amazing years with such amazing colleagues, students, and friends.Especially the students. I took this job because like 2 of my most favorite people Shay & Doc say, #ChangingLives. In the division that I work for, we are in the business of changing lives, not realizing that our lives are the ones that are greatly impacted by the students that we serve.

I have had my tantrum and crying fits, and I have had time to console myself (my poor husband), but after submitting my letter of resignation 4 months ago, it still was not easy. Now that my students know, have had their fights with me, cried multiple times, determined that I am not allowed to go anywhere, given me the silent treatment, helped me pack my office, and given me the permission to move forward with my life without seeing their beautiful faces everyday, I feel comfortable in sharing it with everyone else. I have passed on the knowledge that I have to those who I am now entrusting my babies.

I have less than 3 weeks left with the most incredible souls I have ever had the pleasure to know. And my heart breaks everytime one of them gives them a dirty look, or hugs me, or starts crying, or hands we an early going away present, or simply walks into the office that is no longer mines. I am moving into the unknown and that sickening feeling that I first spoke about has started to make itself comfortable in the pit of my stomach. But after 2 months of reading self help books, listening to TedX Talks, discussing the possibilities to anyone who would listen, training my replacement and leaving my babies in capable hands, I can finally say that I am ready.

I am ready to embark on this new journey. I hope that I can use this platform to take everyone with me on this new journey. I am moving. And that is okay.

Insha Allah.

 

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The house is on fire…

Regardless if it’s a conspiracy.

Dead bodies still lay cold on the ground.

Families now have holes that can never be filled,

like the holes in his chest

and the holes in her back.

Like the hole my heart that mourns for the lives lost.

No more value placed on a human beings life.

No more lives lost.

No more mass shootings.

No more killing.

No more murdering

No more innocence and peace lost.

My heart cannot handle it.

 

Gone are the days where we walk down the streets,

thinking that we are free.

Paranoia is the zip code that our minds now live it.

Distrust fills our heart and anger clouds our judgement.

These are not peaceful times.

As a Black (strike one) Muslim (strike two) woman (strike three),

Am I supposed to be out?

Those that I identify with are harassed, discriminated, oppressed,

and murdered in cold blood each day.

These things are getting closer and closer to home.

No one has the luxury of pretending that everything is okay anymore.

Racial profiling, systematic oppressions, false accusations, wrongful deaths…

Wrong is wrong and there is no justification for that.

 

Will my father or brother or husband be next?

Will I?

Will you?

 

What is left of this world?

What future are we giving our children?

What future?

…if we’re all dead in the streets

 

 

 

 

Melanated Child

Dark skin

Coconut oil

Weaved crowns

and crowns grown straight from the roots that stand straight up and defy gravity.

Beautiful melanated children

how sweet you are.

Dreaming sweet dreams of the summer sun on Juneteenth.

Swinging,

Singing,

Playing hopscotch and double dutch,

standing on the side lines,

watching Bubba dunk on Ray Ray.

The innocence of childhood flies past you

as you play on the playground.

Indifferent to the realities in this world.

 

The horrors of Tamir Rice flash before your tired mothers eyes,

another baby, another life,

another black boy whose body lies cold in the ground.

His name forever intertwined with the memorial of every single black boy

whose life ended a moment too soon.

While your granny makes silent prayers over you each night.

Praying that you name doesn’t join the ranks.

 

Brown eyes.

Full lips.

Sweaty palms.

Melanated child

hold on to your innocence

firm

because soon, your hands will become tired and you will loosen your grip,

and they will try to rob your innocence from under you.

 

The days of diabetic causing kool-aid and seed spitting watermelon

as the juice runs down your cocoa butter skin, are numbered.

Because even if you make it out alive,

you will still have to hold firmly to your roots,

for that too, they will come for.

Even if the revolution is televised,

it will forever be intertwined into your history.

For them, it’s just another documentary.

 

Melanated child know this.

You will have to work twice as hard for simply half of what they have.

But no matter how hard you work, at the end of the day,

the only thing that they will see is

a melanated child.

Human…

What does it mean to be human?
Sir, why so you ask me these questions
That I do not know the answer?
What does it mean to be human?
Think.
You are more than a brain and blood vessels that being oxygen to the heart.
You are more than lungs that fill with sweet air, with nostrils that filter out the tantalizing smell of hickory smoked chicken on the grill at your grandmother’s house on fourth of July.
You are more than  a student in a classroom who stares at the white board, filtering out the Read More

Ramadan Lonesome

as ii sit here in this big apartment that is made for two, all by my lonesome

surrounded by things because quite often ii don’t like being surrounded by people

at the beginning of this blessed month

ii sit with tears in my eyes

for 5 years ii have been on my own

away from my family for Ramadan

despite thinking that wouldn’t be the case again this year

a week ago

ii sit with these tears in my eyes because Ramadan is the greatest time in my life where

Read More

Thoughts from my prayer rug…

This morning as I was praying Fajr, I read Surah-al-Fatiha like normal. Then I read Surah-an-Nas. And this thought popped into my mind. That is how short this life is. That’s how short this whole world is.

It was kind of like that notion of the tombstone.

“Khabirat Abioye-Tijani. 1992-2992.”

That dash represents your entire life and accomplishments. (Obviously I’m not going to live a thousand years. But I didn’t want to sell myself short.) But as a Muslim, reading the first and last Surahs of the Quran, it really made me think. That’s how short this world is. The beginning of the Quran till the end.

My life is fairly insignificant compared to the trillions of people who are living and who have passed. Everyone had a dream, everyone had things that they wanted to achieve, everyone had a mother (except Adam and Hawwa/Eve, unless you believe in evolution. But that’s an entirely different story.), everyone lives no matter how long or short and every died.

They all lived.

They all died.

And that is the only thing that is promised.

I think what I’m trying to get at here is, what will your dash be comprised of? No one will know unless they lived in your lifetime and Allah. No one will care about your fancy clothes or shoes. How big your house was. What type of car you drove. What fancy school you got your 6 degrees from.

What will matter is you role in society. How you treated people. The charity you gave, and not necessarily monetarily. Were you kind and gentle or stern and rude?

Your good deeds and bad deeds will be the only things that matter on the day of judgement. There is this video of Muhammad Ali that is circulating around the internet when a fan asked, what will he do once he retires. His response was, “Get ready to meet my maker.”

He recently passed, but that interview was many years ago. We all think that we have time. I’ll pray later. I’ll go to the Masjid later. I’ll call my parents later. I’ll read Quran later. I’ll fast next year. Excuse after excuse because we are caught up in this duniyah/worldly life.

If you died today, would you be ready to meet your maker?

 

If your answer is no, then you better start today, right now, preparing. Because it could happen at any moment.

 

Ramadan Mubarak!

I wonder if you think of me…

I wonder if you think of me,

As much as I dream about you.

Praying that you’re not a figment of my imagination.

I wonder if you think of me,

Leading me in Salah 5 times a day,

Building us a home in Jannah.

I wonder if you think of me,

Rubbing my belly as it grows Read More

Flying While Muslim

Flying While Muslim: My thought process.
Checking bag: Please don’t flag my bag. Please don’t flag my bag.
TSA: Please don’t stop me. Please don’t stop me. Just pat me down and send me on my way.
Air Marshall Gets On Plane: Please don’t pull me off. Please don’t pull me off.
Crazy Old Lady Whispers To Flight Attendant: Please don’t let it be about me. Please don’t let it be about me. Read More

Waiting…

I sit in the back of this classroom with my head ducked low.

Too smart for the black kids, taught that I am inferior to the whites, so I keep to myself.

My grades reflect those of a mediocre middle class school kid, whose parents care, but work too hard to pay me any attention.

My mouth don’t twist with a twang, so this Ebonics feels unnatural and foreign on my tongue.

As I sit in this classroom, my teacher attempts to fill these empty souls with knowledge, not knowing that their hearts are empty… Read More

Dear Future Hubby pt. 2

Dear future hubby,
You’re my liquid encouragement and I’m your crystal meth.
We find comfort in our addictions.
Trying to get my fix,

I need you.
Never wanting to let go,

so take my hand and guide me down the path that we are meant to take together,

Read More