Dear Typecaster

6/12/2016

immovable-prejudice

When I open my eyes I see more death than life.

It’s all around me, the ground stinks of it. It’s all I hear about, it’s all I read about. The most typical reaction that I see is people finding a unit to focus the blame on. Do you know what I never see? People blaming the killer.

It’s as if blaming the one who actually yielded the weapon, the one who actually did the killing just isn’t enough. You need to find something else, something far greater in which you can dump your abhorrence. You can’t just blame the doer of a monstrous action, you also have to hold to account anyone who shares an extremely general similarity. This includes people who look the same, speak the same, share common names. This includes people who have never had a violent thought, people who only want to contribute goodness to this world, people whose only similarity to the guilty is a physical one; a physicality that you are so keen on focusing on.

Let’s get one thing straight: anyone who intentionally ends the life of an innocent person is a monster. As simple as it is plain.

What do they think they’ll gain from it? There are so many people in this world with so many practices and opinions, that going on a killing spree won’t change anything that they want it to change. All they’re doing is denying someone of growing up to know their mother, or their father, or their sister or brother. All they’re doing is stripping someone of their chance to live. When I read that people often kill themselves after they’ve killed someone else, it reminds me that they are people just as well. They don’t want to deal with any of the guilt or punishment that will come after their crime. So they want their final act to be committing murder? Is that really how one would want to go?

To be honest though, I don’t know what frustrates me more. The one who does the killing, or the reaction of those who hear about it. Some of the things that people say are truly disheartening, and those are the views that are on the path of making you as monstrous as those whom you are trying to eliminate. When you should be filling a time of mourning with prayer, or whichever way you chose to cope, you instead choose to fill that tender time with even more hatred. Even more killing, even if it’s verbal. You make the situation worse. Don’t you see?

Placing blame brings up an underlying issue. It’s easy to assign responsibility to all constituents of a particular category for the actions of one person. When you break it down though, when you try to trace the blame to the source that is truly responsible for why people act the way that they do, you are opening yourself up to face the incredibly demoralizing and soul-crushing reality that is the inability of humankind to dispel ignorance.

As dispiriting as it may be to embark upon this new train of thought, it is a much better use of our time to realize that every issue that pops up these days is rooted in a much bigger, ignored truth. A very small step to take is making sure, damn sure, that you don’t contribute to this ignorance. Sure, everyone lives life the way they think it should be lived. As long as you have the right to do that, don’t take away someone else’s to do the same.

Hashtag after hashtag, each wave of violence causes an eruption of responses that all say the same thing. “We blame ____!” If you are to place blame, place it where it is due. Do your research and back up your facts. But always remember that our within our history lies a chasm of unjustified hatred. When you blame me for what some extremist did, just remember that somewhere in your search for justice, you have become the object of your own loathing.

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**Once upon a time I wrote this post and never published it. I don’t know if this is still going on or what, but I’ll post anyway. To remind myself in a couple of years that people out there actually existed that liked my blog. 🙂


There’s this thing called the Liebster Award. I didn’t know what it was either, until the wonderful Geeky Muslimah from “Troublesome Thirties” was extremely generous and nominated me! Why thank you, my geeky sister. This award is a pretty great way to pay it forward to new bloggers and show them your support.

Bit odd, my being nominated, seeing as my posts are about as irregular as weather in the Midwest. But alas, I humbly accept and instead of questioning why on earth Miss Geeky thought my blog was worthy, I’ll go ahead and follow the rules.


What are 11 interesting facts about me, you ask? Sure, here they are:

  1. I paint
  2. I consider one of the most comforting things to also be one of the most poisonous: music
  3. Funnily enough, I got pretty good at the piano
  4. I once spent an entire day only having consumed chocolate, in some form
  5. I’m obsessed with lizards. I want 2 of them and maybe a snake one day
  6. I can’t, but desperately wish that I could, write poetry
  7. I think ostriches are misunderstood
  8. I’ve been placed in all 4 houses of Hogwarts…multiple times
  9. I physically hurt myself at least 3 times a week
  10. I only like beach calendars
  11. My feet are two different sizes

So Miss Geeky asked some awesome questions to her nominees, and here’s my chance to impress you with my answers:

  1. What motivated you to blog? To put it blank, I tend to leave a lot unsaid. Unlike my spirit animal, Lorelai Gilmore, I don’t really share many of my thoughts with anyone. So I realized that writing them down is better than abandoning them in the void of my being. I began writing in journals, and once those started piling up I decided to actually share my thoughts with the world. Granted, my audience is about a trillionth of the the population of Monowi, Nebraska, but I like the idea of my words being scattered around the blogosphere for the most unlikely of readers to stumble upon one day.
  2. What do you wish you could experience, but probably never will? Always thought it’d be cool to be an actress (avoiding the grim reality that is the industry, of course.) Some of my heroes are fictional characters and while some think that’s pathetic, I think that’s one of the greatest things about fiction.
  3. What is your favorite book genre? This is like the time I was asked what my favorite book was on a radio show. So hard to answer. Instead of an actual genre, I’m just going to say that I like a book that takes me on an adventure. One that’s hard to put down and even harder to read the last sentence. It can be any genre, but it helps if I can somehow apply it to my own life.
  4. If you could acquire a superpower, what would it be? Healing.
  5. What is your favorite dessert? Brownies. Brownies. Brownies.
  6. If you could abolish one thing, what would it be? Not a fan of such these absolute questions. I’m sure my answer would be different tomorrow. But as of now, I would do away with ignorance.
  7. What is your biggest pet peeve? Loud chewers/Open mouthed chewers. I don’t hate you, you just make my skin crawl. No offense.
  8. What is the greatest experience you’ve had so far in your life? I’m one of 5 siblings who are rarely ever under the same roof anymore. A few years ago a forgotten occasion brought us together in my sister’s basement. I just remember looking at each of them, smiling, and laughing so much. I still feel stomach pains from the laughter. Best pain ever.
  9. What is your biggest regret so far? I’m going to be annoying and say that I don’t see the point in regretting things. It’s just a feeling we force upon ourselves to feel bad about something that we’ll never be able to change anyway. But what I will say is that past experiences have lead me to handling money with more delicacy. Aka, don’t spend half of your income on junk food. (I wish I was kidding)
  10. What is your greatest hope for the future? Man, I just want to see happiness around me. I want to bring joy in any shape or form to my loved ones. I’ll take that however I can get it.
  11. What is the wildest thing your imagination ever came up with? I used to make up stories on the spot for my nephews and niece. They were about 20-30 minutes long, and some of my wackier stories included a fantasy land that is accessed through crawling inside of a tree, kids with superpowers, and a killer baby.

Here is the place where I write questions for people that I nominate…but seeing as I am months late putting this up I’ll just write some random questions and you can feel free to answer them!

  1. Most recent embarrassing moment?
  2. Last thing you drank?
  3. Favorite outfit?
  4. Next vacation spot you’d want to go to?
  5. How on earth did you find this blog?
  6. Any allergies?
  7. Would you rather do without construction paper or without Elmer’s glue?
  8. Do you wear hats?
  9. Do you wear watches?
  10. Any piercings?
  11. How is your life going so far?


Someone remind me why I posted this again?

No, Mr. Boss

7/7/2016

Craziest week of my life.

The word “corporate” gives me a rash.

I’ve never been the kind of person to wear business attire to her high profile job 6 days a week, yet that’s the exact job that I managed to get hired for. I knew I wouldn’t be in it for the long run. I just needed a way to make some money to pay for this or that. So when Mr. Boss gave me a huge smile as he told me I was hired in his office on a Tuesday at 8pm, I thought YES! This is it, the answer to my prayers! This is how I’ll pay for school and get my degree in journalism and go into publishing like I’ve always wanted. This will allow me to do everything I’ve been wanting to do for the past 4 years!

I can finally buy my professional camera!

I can finally pay my dad back..

I can finally finish my Bachelors’…

I can finally live….

This job is all about money. I’ll never forget what Mr. Boss said after he told me I got the job. He said “Money doesn’t solve everything, but it definitely solves most of it.”

No, Mr. Boss. No.

I really thought that the thing stopping me from achieving all of my dreams was the lack of money. I never said it aloud, but I always truly thought that having more moolah would solve it all. There’s a lot that I would have done to earn that money, because I knew that with it, I would accomplish my long term goals. But I had to start somewhere. Well, this job quickly turned into a nightmare.

There was another thing that Mr. Boss said to me on the 3rd day of the job. I was in his office going over my sales for the day and he mentions money again. I make more in those 3 days than I made in 2 weeks at my previous job. So naturally, I was giddy. He says to me to picture the 10 people that I spend the most time with in my life. Figure out the average of their incomes, and that is most likely what I will make for the rest of my life. I remember just looking at him, staring, actually. It really made me think on the drive home that night. It made me think of all the most amazing, sincere, and intelligent people out there that are driving cabs or working in factories because their lives turned out that way. I thought of my life and the people in it. Sure, I could make a lot more sticking with this job, but I would miss graduations, vacations, reunions. I would get to buy stuff for my nephews and nieces but never get to see them enjoy it. My nephews from across the country would have come to visit, which doesn’t happen often, and I’d be working 10 hours each day they were here. No, Mr. Boss. I’m not going to want to be a part of a circle of rich people. In fact, I think the people in my life right now are the greatest. And I don’t think Mr. Boss will ever realize that what he said to me that day was probably the #1 thing to make me want to quit. Of course, he had this smile on his face as he said it like he thought he was really inspiring me to work even harder. But hearing that made things more clear for me than ever.

Imagine you’re at a new exciting job and you last 6 months. For the first 2 months, you’re buzzing with the excitement of a new atmosphere, glad to be there and even more glad at your glorified bank account. For the next 2 months, you begin to think to yourself, “so…is this what my life is going to be now?” 65+ hours a week. Say goodbye to my family, to my friends. This isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. And by staying here I’m agreeing to live my life by their terms, not my own, and certain not Allah’s (swt). After those couple of months of doubt you begin to feel like you can’t stay at this job anymore. As a friend of mine put so eloquently, “The only thing you get from a job like that is money, but they drain every other aspect of your life.” Yes.

The different stages of your 6 month job: excitement, doubt, resentment, quitting. That entire process was what I went through, but jammed into one week. I went through an incredible high, straight to an incredible low. It all hit me at once, on my 4th day on the job. I was losing bits and pieces of myself, already. I felt my personality slipping away like beads off a broken piece of thread. So the very next Tuesday I sat in Mr. Boss’s office, at 8pm, and I quit. It isn’t worth it. Money doesn’t solve anything.

The whole experience opened my eyes and I’ve realized that’s what it was supposed to do. I’m not a business type of gal, I’m just not. I don’t fit in the world of commerce. And I don’t want to, even it if works for some people. I’ve rediscovered the value in doing the things that make you happy. The most important things to me are my religion and my family. If I have that, I don’t need much else. Things will fall into my path, as they will fall into yours. But if you don’t have your values; the things that you would put before anything else; the things you would sacrifice anything for…you really don’t have anything.

 Think, what will follow me to the grave? Money will have absolutely no value whatsoever, so what will? (___________________) < This, you hold onto.

 

 

Kick a man while he’s down.

7/8/2016

1_Year_Commemoration_of_the_Murder_of_Michael_Brown,_the_Ferguson_Rebellion,_&_the_Black_Lives_Matter_uprising._(20426285322)

Because with any level of authority you begin to think that you can decide who is worth more.

When you know that you can hurt him, and you know he can’t hurt you back.

Because you can.

Because he’ll just be a statistic.

He’ll just be another number that people forget when this dies down.

Another name to add to the list…

As long as your family is okay.

Your sons are going to school and getting to grow up.

Your 4 year old daughter can play hide and seek with her father.

So you watch the world rise in uproar, yet again.

And you contemplate your actions for .06 seconds.

But life must go on…

You figure something else will happen next week

And his death won’t matter anymore.

Because in that moment, your authority protected you.

It gave you the chance to make that decision.

To end the life of an innocent man.

A family man.

A wounded man.

A great man.

I hope you realize one day the value of the fire you contributed to.

I hope you understand the gravity of your choices.

I hope you come to learn that respect goes both ways.

I hope you understand how absolutely ridiculous it is for us to have to use the slogan #BlackLivesMatter

In 2016.

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0

1

6

I hope you feel sorry and I hope you feel remorseful.

Because that’s one of the only things we have left.

I’m no Robot

6/24/2016

busybodies

I find it so difficult. Doing that thing they called being an adult? Yeah, that.

I don’t quite wish I were younger. Rather, I just hate what it means to be an adult. Being an adult means giving up things that you love, for the ability to do things that you have to do. It means putting on a face and no longer being who you really are. Sure, maybe that “face” is an actual facet of your personality, but once you’re an adult it takes over completely. Now you must dress a certain way. You have to interact more with older people, make more connections. You’ll get weird looks if you sit at the table with all of the young people, even if you genuinely enjoy conversation with them more than you do with the adults.

You’re off looking for a full time job that offers you insurance and PTO and this and that. You’re polishing your resume like it’s your firstborn child and man, you just have to have your stuff together. I can be that person if I wanted, I can fake it till I make it. But I don’t want to. I want to redefine what it means to be an adult, or at least spread to others the message of those who have already done so. I don’t want to dress a certain way that isn’t my way and I don’t want to interact with only certain kinds of people. I don’t want to have a face on if it isn’t one I’m proud to look at in the mirror and I most definitely don’t want to give up the things that I love.

But when I look around me, and when I glance into the professional world, one that I’m trying to find a place in, I’m just overwhelmed by the notion that I highly doubt I’ll ever become one of those people. The briefcase holding, coffee inhaling, schedule checking professionals that live in conference rooms. Why am I trying to be a part of that world again?

Oh yeah, I need a job.

One may say that the business world I’m referring to isn’t all bad, that I’m just making it seem that way. I simply want to ensure that I retain my personality. I see so many people enter that world and become robots. They lose bits and pieces of themselves for a higher salary. Not saying it doesn’t come without benefits, but how worth it are they really? My goal is to dabble in the professions I like, but preserve the things about me that make me, me. Maybe it won’t be so hard, I don’t know.

A big part of me is excited to embark on the journey that will hopefully get me into that world, but for now I just view it from my rooftop. It doesn’t look so bad from here.

Greetings

1/31/2016

Hi, welcome to my blog. I’m a Muslim woman. It stills feels weird considering myself as an adult, as I still have times when I definitely don’t act like one, but I have a feeling I’ll always feel that way. I’m extremely imperfect, naïve at times. I’ve struggled with my faith here and there, but who hasn’t? Now I don’t care what religion you practice, or if you practice one at all. I think we can all go the same distances in trying to improve ourselves. You focus on your beliefs and I focus on mine. Something always draws us together though…we are all human. And at the basis of humanity, I just can’t help but sense that there is good in all of our cores. Even the tiniest amount. There just has to be.

I sometimes lose myself a little, as the months go by and I go through different experiences. I find myself wavering a lot. My Iman (for lack of a better translation, “faith”) goes up, down, left, and right. Constantly. I always wonder how normal that really is. Of course people will always appear one way in front of others. They will try to be the best versions of themselves, and I think that’s a very good thing.  When you hide the things that you do wrong, at least you are recognizing that they are indeed wrong, and you know of the shame that will come along with exposing them.

You are who you are in private.

I’m a firm believer in that your character is measured greatly by what people don’t see.

This idea of one’s “character” is such a complex subject to me. Sometimes it seems like your character changes daily, yet your true character rarely changes, right? So when my Iman waivers so much, I begin to think that there is something wrong with my character. That the amount that I practice my religion is directly related to the kind of person that I am. I don’t know if that’s so true though, and I’m only beginning to explore this concept. People get lost, oh boy do they get lost. But in their innermost self they still are good. They still believe, that has never left them. But they are just…human. And as much as we can say that we are imperfect and use that as a reason to justify our mistakes, as comforting as that idea is to us when we’ve done something bad, it shouldn’t be that way. It shouldn’t give you as much comfort after you commit a bad deed as much as it should before you think to. Imperfection is our safety net, but we should always aim to be up in the clouds. As high as we can get, with the hope and belief that we will be alright when we fall.

So, with all the mistakes that I reflect on most nights when I can’t sleep, I entirely doubt who I am. The more I make them, the more I think I’m not meant to be this perfect version of myself that I always thought I was supposed to be. But truthfully, we don’t need to be perfect. I’ll probably write multiple times on this topic of “character”, as it is one that just fascinates me.

To that end, I settle on the knowledge what we should all try to be better. It’s not useless, no matter how many bad things you’ve done. I personally get an Iman-boost when I watch videos and short lectures online about Islam. Little by little, I get inspired to be the Muslim I want to be, and it works. But like I said, it fluctuates. It’s a spiritual lilt.

So, as structurally flawed as you think you may be, you’re definitely good enough to improve on. Note the oxymoron. Find something that works for you, and know that you won’t always do it. But when you start to again, each and every time, it’ll help.

Hermit

1/6/2016

funny_hermit_crab_3

I can sometimes be a bit of a closed box. Maybe not sealed shut, but it definitely takes special people to get me to open up about things. I’ve been trying to figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but to no avail. A question that I see pop up everywhere is “would you rather have a couple of close friends or a bunch of friends who aren’t as close?” I’m not so sure that there is a superior response, but I’ve always favored having a few closer ones. This has always seemed right to me, but the older I got the more I realized that there are quite a few negative side effects of having this type of personality.

Having fewer people that are very close to you means that there aren’t as many people out there that you can really depend on as you might like. We’re going to get dark here for a moment, but consider the possibility that you might lose one of these people. This can happen in a number of ways so let’s not go immediately to death, even though that’s immediately where I went because I am sometimes an undeniable pessimist.

What happens when you’re starving and you only have three loaves of bread left? You treasure each loaf with everything inside of you but you eventually lose one. In this situation you would most likely have lost the loaf of bread by eating it, and seeing as I don’t condone cannibalism, let’s just pretend that the metaphor doesn’t imply that and that you lose your loaf some other way. You then have two left. Two. God forbid you only start out with one. Each time you lose a loaf it takes a piece of you with it. You are never the same person. Sure, you may grow from that loss but it may hurt so much that that the change goes uncredited in your eyes, so then what’s the point of that growth if you never do anything with it?

At one point you may be down to one loaf of bread. You really put every ounce of your strength into preserving this loaf, but you never go looking for others. How can this possibly be a good thing? When this loaf disappears, what on earth are you going to do? Depending so heavily on such few people can be dangerous. Placing all of your trust and reliance upon such a minority of beings doesn’t seem to end well in theory. This is all assuming that you’re the last one to go, but if you leave them before they leave you then I guess this is something you will no longer have to worry about.

Let’s go back to a happy place. Having a larger number of people who you can refer to as “friends” seems like a good thing, doesn’t it? You have more people who have your back, more people to hang out with. More people to text and video chat. It’s certainly not a bad thing. But here’s the way I see it: you can only share your deepest emotions and undisclosed particulars with so many people. To completely uncover and expose your truest self takes a huge amount of courage, and once you do that with someone you develop such a notable bond. The more people in your circle, the harder it is to keep up with. So you may go your entire life without having a friend who really knows you at your core. At your innermost disposition. That, to me, is a huge loss.

So…I guess what I’m trying to say is this. I prefer having fewer people in my life who I’m really close with. I should probably make an effort to meet more people, but why does that not seem as important to me as maintaining the relationships with the people I already have in my heart?

At least I’ve managed to keep people close to me who aren’t as close geographically. My kind of closeness luckily doesn’t depend on physicalities. I should probably just work on the expansion of people I can trust. Being a hermit is such a great attribute for that.

Snow in April

4/8/2016

snow

As much as I don’t like working long hours at my extremely ordinary retail job, there’s one thing that I love about heading to my car at night. When I exit the huge glass doors, the world is different than it was when I went in them. The sky is a different color. The wind has calmed, or has lost its temper. Sometimes it’s so bright that I somehow feel the sun shining through the sheet of dark purple that the sky usually is at this time of the night.

It’s 10:46pm.

I’m in my car, watching people scrape snow off of their windshields. In April.

I’m sat here, teasing the snow. In the warmth of my heating engine as the energetic little flakes try to get through to me.

To some, this would be the ultimate inconvenience. But to me, you see, I’m very much in my element. Winter is my favorite season. You have no idea how much I need snow in my life. Much like Lorelai Gilmore, I feel as if snow is my own little present. I wish the sky would sprinkle a little snow in July, August, and every other month of the year.

Before you attempt yelling at me through your screen, try to see it from my eyes. With the way that global warming is taunting its unknowing supporters, I feel there are dwindling numbers of snow-filled winters left, and that scares me. It means my present is almost at an end. Every snow of February and March has the potential to be the last one of the year. That would be fine if snow began in November or December like it used to. But the first snow has shifted a couple of months into the new year now. Something that I very much dislike.

So imagine how giddy I feel, heading out of my job after a long day of repetitive and tedious folding and sorting to find my present falling from the sky. Imagine my smile as I sit in my car watching the ground get covered in solidified crystals. I’m the last one in this parking lot. The atmosphere is full of glitter. My coworkers all gone to their various homes and families. But I think…

I think I’ll go outside.

 

Dabbling

3/13/2016

tree

My motivation is extremely fleeting, as are most of my emotions. I have never stuck to anything fully and completely. Every time I feel passionate about something, it ends up being so short-lived that I end up convincing myself that I was just forcing something that never was.

This is probably why college has been such a nightmare for me.

I’ve never been the academic type. The kind of person that goes to college, graduates in 4 years, and goes on to do what they were born to do. I think I may have been born to be confused about life and everything in it. This goes beyond the fact that I’ve switched my major more times than I can count. After going to several schools, and even trying to finish my degree online, something always keeps it from happening. I’m starting to think that maybe it’s entirely mental. Who am I kidding…of course it’s mental.

I’m realizing that if you don’t do the things that will make you happy, it is your fault. You will be living your life from now until whenever your candle is no longer lit and you shouldn’t live that life in the terms and requirements of someone else. Faith aside, we need to start making our own decisions. It’s moments like these when I tend to take a break from life and chill with a large body of water, for the much needed inspiration. Lake Michigan doesn’t disappoint.

I’ve wanted to do so many different things, all the while never really figuring out what it is that I’m supposed to do. It really sucks to want to do something great with your life but never find out what that is supposed to be. Do I want to write? Sure. Do I want to dabble in photography? Yeah, I guess. Everyone has always seen me as a good teacher. Sure, I like kids. But there has never been anything that really gets me excited. There has never been anything that I can’t not do.

So what does this mean? Where do I go from here? I’m in the same place that I was in 5 years ago when I started college. All that’s changed is that I’m older now, and I don’t have much to show for it.

This was a depressing one, but hey. It happens.

The journey will continue and I’ll never stop searching. One day a post might come explaining it all. Stating that I’ve finally found it. That I’ve found the thing, the answer to all of this. That day might not come….but I prefer to think that it might.

I’ll be in touch.

The Daily Round

3/1/2016

excited

There are pros and cons to normalcy. The cons, in my humble opinion, are:

1. You know what you’re doing tomorrow, and the day after that.

2. There is no room for planned spontaneity. Yes, that’s quite an oxymoron. Spontaneity can come in any shape or form in one’s life, but if you’re the type of person that enjoys that kind of thing, it’ll probably be more evident in your life. And with a routine, there is less room for it. Sure, there will be things that occur that you probably won’t be able to forecast, but they won’t be due to your doing.

3. Your life loses color.

Fine, let’s take a look at the pros:

1. A little security never hurt anybody.

2. Your life is normal when it could have been much, much worse.

3. Less question marks.

I guess I just like things to be a little more…vibrant. But when that’s all your life is, you tend to miss things that are just black and white. I suppose there’s no need to pick favorites when we live in a world where we can enjoy a multitude of things we like. It might be selfish to want a life different than your own, but I say it’s a good motivator to work towards the life that you want.

There’s barely anything that’s “normal” anymore though, is there?

normalcy