Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

A Conversation with an Atheist

I typically try to stay away from conversations dealing with race, politics, and religion, especially with people I barely know. In my opinion, those conversations never go well, and rarely does either person change their mind; both parties leave frustrated and upset.

Unfortunately, I had this one co-worker who loved talking about all three! He was Republican and Atheist, seemed to really enjoy the fact that I’m a black Muslim woman. You could see the joy on his face starting a controversial conversation. For the most part, I ignored him and enjoyed watching my other co-worker go back and forth with him, who happened to be a devout Christian. Occasionally I’d chime in and remind them both to calm down, and how it’s an inappropriate conversation for the workplace.

One day and one very ignorant comment got under my skin. I normally don’t let his comments get to me and definitely never wanted to give him the satisfaction of reacting to them, but on this day, I just had enough. He starts off with is normally commentary about God not existing and religious people being stupid, but this time he adds, “I hate when Muslim Women call themselves feminist”.It was like he saw my face and in his head he said bingo! He goes on to elaborate, saying comments along the lines of you can’t claim to care about women’s equality if you support an oppressive religion. Pissed was an understatement of how I was feeling, it wasn’t a surprise he felt that way, but I was officially fed up with all of the comments.

I gave him a brief lesson on Islam, and how he sounded beyond ignorant and offensive. I tried to keep it short, my main objective was for him to know, that no one cares about his small-minded opinion, and he didn’t have the right to dictate who is or isn’t a feminist.

One thing I found interesting about him, he always complained about religious people trying to convert him, but in reality, he was doing the exact same thing. He never respected a different perspective or belief. It seemed like he was trying to convince us all to be atheists and then we’ll have this utopian world.

Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

Quarantine Days

I can’t believe all this time in the house and I’ve barely written anything. I have tons of notes and ideas scribbled down but haven’t actually written a post. So, I’ll just tell y’all what I have been up to.

I decided to go home and spend the stay at home order with my parents and younger brother, which has its pros and cons. For the most part, it’s been nice, and I am enjoying my time at home. I don’t, however, enjoy hiding food from my hungry hippo of a teenage brother who eats everything in sight. I’m extremely territorial, so the food I pick out for myself I feel this internal rage when someone else eats it, but then I must remember I didn’t actually pay for it, so I calm my broke self down. To reduce my desire to snack and just eat out of boredom throughout the day, I have increased my daily water intake drastically. As a result, I can officially put peeing as one of my hobbies, it’s crazy!

Not only did I increase my water, but I have been eating relatively healthy. I still, of course, indulge in some comfort food, but I haven’t been eating out and I’ve been cooking all of my meals. Since all of the gyms closed, I’ve been trying to keep active. So I decided to become my little brother’s personal trainer and I make him workout with me every day for at least 30 min. When it’s nice outside we do the workouts in the backyard, I know one day he’ll be grateful for this, even though now all I get is complaints and backtalk. I am loving this bonding time I get to spend with him and going to miss it when life goes back to normal.

Now I have binge-watched so many shows and currently re-watching every single Marvel movie in order. I guess during that time I could have been doing something productive, enhance my knowledge, or even just do some type of maintenance with my blog, but I didn’t feel like it. I’m at peace and don’t regret any of my choices. However, I am now ready to make better use of my time and I can’t think of a better time since Ramadan has just begun. Hopefully, these next 30 days will be healing and help me find some inner peace. 

Ramadan Mubarak to all of my fellow Misunderstood Muslimahs and Muslims!  

Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

Embracing the Unkown

It’s crazy how fast time flies, this time last year I was in England trying to figure out how to spend America’s Independence Day.  All week talking to my friends back home, hearing how they planned on spending the fourth, made me extremely homesick and sad. 

I usually don’t look at the Fourth of July as my Independence Day, because in reality, my people were still slaves, but being in the country America won their Independence from made me a little more patriotic than usual. So, I planned out how I was going to spend my day down to every meal of the day. I’m a little bit of an over-planner. 

That morning I woke up and watched Independence Day, and sadly realized my preplanned day wasn’t going to happen. I was initially going to go to Buckingham Palace, and take a cute selfie with the American flag, but, unfortunately, the tube line I  normally took was closed. I also intended to go to the American Embassy for a firework show that night, but it was canceled as a response to Trump’s visit. I became frustrated and was ready to just cancel the whole day. I knew I didn’t want to stay in the house all day and forced myself to go out.

So, I decided to get cute and put on my most American outfit, which happened to be a baseball t-shirt, jean shorts, and converse. I stepped outside and decided to go to the mall to get a cheeseburger and milkshake. As I was walking to the food court, I decided to go into some shoe store, and actually can’t remember the name of it. That’s beside the point, when I walked into the store I met this nerdy guy struggling to find a pair of shoes. I remember one of the first things he said to me was, “damn, you really look American AF”, which meant my outfit was a success. I ended up hanging out with him for the rest of the day just going with the flow and had one of the most memorable Fourth of Julys.  You can read all about that story in a “ British Love Story”, but today marks the anniversary of me finally realizing I don’t have to plan out my whole life for it to be amazing. Up until that moment, I felt like my life was falling apart because nothing was going as I planned, and it was too late to get back on track with my original timeline. I don’t know why that day helped me realize that, but I’m just grateful it did. I still struggle to remember to stop planning and trying to control life. Each day I remind myself to just embrace the unknown and live a joyful life. 

Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

Semper Paratus

I live my life by two quotes or mottos; “what’s the worst that could happen” and “fake it till you make it”. I honestly believe replaying those two things in my head makes me unstoppable. 

My first college internship was with the US Coast Guard, and I remember during the entire application process, I was thinking just fake it till you make it. They asked me several questions about my physical fitness and at that time I had no idea. The most physical activity I was doing was running late to my classes. I knew I was nowhere near military fit, but I just faked it. 

I portrayed so much confidence in my physical abilities, and of course academic attributes, I received a job offer. I attempted to get in shape before the internship, but my laziness kicked in, and I thought what’s the worst that could happen if I go there out of shape. So I went back to binge-watching my latest Netflix series. 

Shortly after starting my internship, I found out what was the worst that could happen. I was in store for an extremely exhausting summer! After week one, my entire body was sore and was homesick. Besides the workouts, just getting around was exercise! I was in the middle of nowhere, and it seemed like I was always climbing up a giant hill, figuratively and literally. My room was located on the 5th deck, and no elevator in sight. The only comforting thing was the cafeteria was on the bottom deck, and the food was amazing. 

Although my body was hating me, and wondering why I couldn’t apply for a desk job for the summer, I refused to let it show. I was determined to always be on top of my game. I was the only short and small black woman, and I just assumed they were waiting for me to complain and not be able to keep up. So, I did what I do best, fake it till I made it. I was a little G. I Keems, mastered the physical fitness and robotics, which was one of the main reasons I was there. 

By the end of the summer, I was stronger mentally and physically. I learned so much about myself and realized I can do anything, as long as I put my mind to it. Life is a giant mental chess game, and I refuse to lose. 

Posted in Misunderstood Adventures

Hair Journey

For the majority of my life, my hair has never been a big concern of mine. When I was younger, my mother always did my hair in a cute braid style. By the time I hit middle school I was wearing a hijab, so people rarely saw my hair. My biggest concern while getting dress was finding a hijab to match my outfit, and making sure my make up looked nice. I enjoyed the convenience of never having a bad hair day. 

Although, that all changed when I decided to no longer wear the hijab. For the first time in my life, I had to concern myself on a daily basis what to do with my hair. At the time I had my hair straight, but with natural hair in the summer, so I knew that wasn’t going to last long. I decided it is time for a drastic change and a brand new look. 

I cut my hair off and truly began life outside of hijab in a short natural cut. I absolutely loved it, bold, easy, and cute! After the first cut, I decided to grow out my hair, and see how long it’ll grow by the time I graduated college. That plan did not last long, my hair was growing back quicker than expected and I no longer felt like doing and maintaining my hair. 

Once again I cut my hair off, but this time a cute cut with a relaxer. I truly regretted that decision, and it was not easy or cheap to maintain! After three months, I missed my natural curls and was ready to cut the creamy crack out of my hair. 

I braided my hair up, and at the first sight of new growth, I cut all the creamy crack out, and swore never again! Leaving me back where I started, rocking a short natural cut, but this time a lot shorter and blond. I wore the cut for about a year and playing with different colors and styles until my mother convinced me it is time to grow it back out.

Here I am today, six months into my new hair challenge. A year of protective styles, and letting my hair truly grow out. I don’t know how long I will last until I have the urge to cut it again, but I’m ready to have my fro back.