Why Do People Leave Each Other?

Dear Mimi,

In this part of the book, Sr. Yasmin mentions how attachment was her biggest weakness. And honestly, it is mine too. It’s really hard growing up away from all of your grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, especially when everyone around you seemed to have all of theirs close by. Eids were lonely, Thanksgivings were hard, and it was difficult to not be able to enjoy your friends and family in the same place. It always felt like I had to choose: either go to India for 3 months and forget about spending summer with my friends, or stay here with my friends and miss out on family. It could never be combined.

The times I did have with my family though, were better than and closer to my heart than any of the times spent with my friends. Yes, alhumdulillah, my friends were great, but at the end of the day, I had to go home and they had to go home. With family though, they were your home. You never had to leave. They were a part of you, and you, a part of them. And of course, because I never saw them as often as I would’ve liked, they became my attachment. They became my test of patience in this dunya. Continue reading

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Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed

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Dear Mimi,

Recently, I heard about a book called “Reclaim Your Heart” by Yasmin Mogahed. I knew people who have read it, including some of my friends, and claimed that it had changed their lives. Ever since I turned 20, and started the third, and probably most important, decade of my life (OMG I’m SO OLD!), I have been looking to change myself and start anew. They say that a person changes every ten years, and it seemed that my timeline was exactly on point.

So, in the spirit of 2015, new changes, and a better life, I bought the book. Everyone who has read this book has told me to think and reflect after each chapter. So, I will do that here, with you, so I can ventilate my thoughts, and you can learn from my experiences of this crazy thing called life. Of course, you can borrow the book anytime you want. But in the meantime (or if you’re too lazy to read it all haha, I meant the book, not the blog 😉 ), here goes.

Bismillah.

Love, Didi

Your heart knows things your mind can’t explain.

2015: Life has no remote, so wake up and change it

Dear Mimi,

2015.

Another year has come and gone. And while the days go by so slow, the year goes by so fast. What kind of weird magic is that?

Usually, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Well I do, but it’s usually to floss more and avoid getting annoyed at most people. But, now I’m 20, and I feel like I have to change my life. They say that a person changes every ten years and this time for me came right on the dot. Your 20’s are supposed to be the most challenging, fun, craziest, important time in your life. It is when you step into the “real world” (I hate this phrase, the world is already real. It’s not like you were living in a fake world before this) and experience it for yourself, firsthand. You find out who you really are, without the confinements of anyone else. For the first time, you have everything and nothing, all at the same time.

So this year, I’ve decided to do only one thing: change. I want to make my life how I want to, not how others expected me to. I want to try more things and be more open. I want to better my character and be more giving. I want to be brave enough to put others first, but also say no when I didn’t want to do something. I want to have the courage to try new things and not live with the feeling of “what if?” I want to have a healthier lifestyle in terms of food, fitness, and fun. I want to become more spiritual and figure out my purpose in life.

But most importantly, if I am given the privilege to reach the end of 2015 inshAllah, I want to look back and not be surprised at how another year went by so quickly, and how it seemed as though I hadn’t accomplished anything. I want to look back and say 2015 was the year that I changed myself, that I did things, and I took my life where I wanted it to go. I want to look back and say that was an incredible year and I am different person now.

To be honest Mimi, no one can change you, except for you. You have to want to change in order for it to happen. And everyday, life passes us by and we lose another day. We look back at the end of the year, at our 365 page books, and realize that they are blank for the most part. I know that it sounds so cliché, but the time to do things is now. I was depressed in 2014 and because of that, highly unmotivated. All this stress and negative energy surrounded me and I didn’t know what to do. So I turned to Allah SWT and asked Him for help. And with that, I decided to get up, and change. I realized that no one can help me if I am not willing to help myself.

So with that, I hope inshAllah, I can accomplish everything that I want to, enjoy the happy times, and learn from the bad ones, filling up my new book of 2015. And I hope, as you get older, you will too.

Love, Didi

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” -Neil Gaiman

I’m Back!

Dear Mimi,

I am sorry. It has been a long time and when you are old enough to read this, you’ll probably hate me for missing out on a whole year of my life, but to be honest, most of things you can just ask me about anyway.

It’s been a long, hard, but definitely interesting 2014. While I wish I had remembered to tell you about it here, the fact is that I just forgot and for about 25% of it, I didn’t have internet, so there.

Anyway, I’m back now for 2015 and I promise, I will try to blog more this year. Here’s to more love and laughter with you. After all, you are the dancer, and I am the watcher. Stay smiling my love 🙂

Love, Didi

“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.” -Louise Glück

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Dear Mimi,

Love. Ishq. Amour. Pyaar.

This one thing, I don’t even know what to call it, but this one thing, has the power to take over our lives. To posses us and hold us captive, even when we don’t know it. It sneaks in and drives us crazy. It is the only thing that has the power to change us; to make us do things we never thought we would do. It can make us overcome our fears, leave our comfort zones behind, and take leaps of faith. It is the driving force between most songs, movies, and actions. It is encompassing and it takes everyone prisoner and leaves no one untouched. It is very much like the plague, and in some circumstances, it is.

But why? Why does this one little emotion, kept so hidden in the depths of our heart, have so much power over us. And how? How can it alter the chemical releases in our body and change us completely? It is amazing how God has given it so much power. Why do we, as human beings, chase after it, want it, and keep it close, when we have everything we could possibly ever need? And if we don’t have something, we can come up with a way to create it. But if we don’t have that thing, we go insane, and drive ourselves into the ground to get it. It is one of the few things that cannot be forced onto anyone else. It just needs to be felt. It is either there, or it’s not. Continue reading