Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Born Feminist​

As a little girl, I always identified as female before anything else. Above all of my other characteristics, religion, and ethnicity, I knew being a woman is my superpower. 

I don’t recall at what age I realized I was a feminist, but I believe I was born one. 

I remember when I started attending public school and would share my strong feminist views, people would assume it was because I was Muslim, and came from an oppressive home. Honestly, that’s the furthest thing from the truth, my father has always made me feel like the most powerful and brilliant person to walk this earth. 

What made me a feminist, is viewing television, reading books, and any other media outlet, that sent me a subtle message that I am not equal to a man. What made me a feminist is learning history and realizing every society has underestimated or belittled women’s strength and intelligence. What continues to make me a feminist is being a young woman, and society constantly telling me my number one value is my physical appearance, and no matter how hard I strive for “perfection” I still will never be enough. 

Regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, culture almost every woman at some point in their lives, unfortunately, had a man belittle, disrespect, take advantage, mentally or physically abuse them. That’s why Women’s Rights and  Women’s History Month will always have a number 1 spot in my heart. I constantly see women’s accomplishments being overlooked or belittled, but in reality, especially women of color, we have double or triple the number of obstacles any man will ever have to face. 

I’m a powerful Young, Black, and Muslim Woman, and no matter how many obstacles life continues to throw at me, I’ll always keep getting back up, but just a little bit stronger each time.

HAPPY WOMAN’S HISTORY MONTH!! 💕

Posted in Relationships

Fire Sisters

Most of my relationship posts tend to be about a failed love, missed opportunity, or just bad timing with some man. I do have several other successful and prospering relationships, not romantic, but just as special. This one, in particular, is going on four years strong, and each day we become closer; with my freshmen year roommate. 

Initially, it was just a very friendly roommate relationship, but second semester something changed. We became true friends, that blossomed into being besties. We both were experiencing so much for the first time together, and we helped each other grow along the way. 

We have two very different strong personalities, with different backgrounds, but our differences brought out something special in one another. Once we truly got to know each other, we realized we have the most important things in common; mutual respect and a desire to be successful. 

This woman is beyond dependable, and always right there when I need her. She has a strong exterior shell and firmly believes in tough love, and we share mutual mentality no woman left behind! Over the course of our friendship, we’ve been through some crazy trials and tribulations both individually and together. Each test brings us closer together, and we are no longer just friends, she’s my sister. We may not always agree with each other’s choices and the way we handle situations, but we are always there to support and help one another to be the best versions of ourselves. Most importantly gladly give a nice kick in the ass to one another to keep moving forward, until we set this world on fire, with our names in the ashes.  

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. 

Posted in The Afro Muslimah

Unapologetic

You never truly know what a person is going through until you have walked a mile in their shoes. As a young adult, I am constantly asking myself: who I am? I often felt the need to change who I was based on my environment and in the process, I sometimes stunted my own growth. These past four years in college have completely changed me as a person, and at times I struggle to accept how I’m stepping out of my shell and letting my voice be heard.

In high school, I was known for being the short little Muslim girl with a scarf on her head. I was shy and quiet unless you were one of my close friends,  then I was able to show my true personality. I let my insecurities hold me back from truly shining, I so desperately wanted to blend in, but I always stood out. In hindsight, there was no way to blend in being one of the few hijabis at school. I viewed myself as a short, skinny, and underdeveloped, with problematic skin. I looked around at my peers, with developed bodies and perfect skin, and couldn’t help but feel inadequate. Yes, I had people telling me that I was cute and smart, but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel that way. I ended my high school career determined, that college was going to be different; I was going to discover and love myself. 

When I made that declaration to myself, never did I imagine how the end results would turn out.  I began college pretty much the same, still shy and reserved, but no longer in hijab. It was not until my second semester that I truly began to step out of my comfort zone and transformed. Inside, I still felt like myself and didn’t understand why the people around me were treating me differently. I slowly started going out more and coming into my own sense of style.  I stopped overthinking and became young, wild, and free; while keeping my grades up and landing a nice internship. 

That summer internship changed my life forever; as much as I gained from the experience, I lost a piece of myself as well. I began to internalize everyone’s opinion of my change and started questioning myself. All of a sudden I was viewed as this privileged, pretty, smart, party girl, that had nothing in the world to be upset about. I was screaming and crying inside, but to the world, I showed a bright smile and highlighted all of my achievements. I felt like my life was becoming a series of unfortunate events, but I had no right to be depressed about any of them. I remember one day I started to open up to someone, but they shut it down immediately. I remember clearly, they said, “what do you have to be depressed about, you’re pretty, smart, and you have a bright future ahead of you”. So, I bottled up all of my negative feelings and put back on my bright smile. 

I had an internal dilemma, I loved how I was growing and blossoming into my own, but at the same time, I was depressed. I never took a break to deal with any of my emotions, until my bottled up emotions broke me. I started making terrible decisions, and not turning to anyone for help, because I felt guilty for being depressed. My parents noticed something was off with me and forced me to go to therapy. 

Let me tell y’all, the best decision I made was going to therapy, but I resisted initially. During my first couple of sessions, I insisted nothing was wrong with me and this was a waste of time. Like most people of color, I had this stigma about going to therapy and it was only for crazy people. Eventually, I let some of my guards down and shared the truth behind my smile. Most of the time when I began to smile or let out a giggle; I’m stopping a tear from running down my cheek. I informed him my Godmother and one of my close friends past away about two weeks apart, and losing them was the straw that broke the camels back. For the first time, I had an honest moment about how I felt after their passing. All of the tears I held back behind my smile began pouring out. After I allowed myself to be vulnerable, I was able to fully express and let out everything I was going through. I received advice from an unbiased person without any judgment. With the help of my therapist, I stopped feeling guilty and the need to apologize for the way people perceived me. I’m no longer in therapy, but I continue to use all of the techniques I’ve learned and it helped me grow emotionally as a person. One of the best advice I received from him was, to stop caring about everyone’s opinions and do what’s best for you. Embrace all of your mistakes and stop apologizing for the decisions you make, that’s helping you heal. I still struggle to fully accept the change in myself, and not to crawl back into my shell. I continue to blossom every day, and I can honestly say, I love who I am and becoming; all of my imperfections are what makes me unique. I’m done apologizing for being Kareema.