4/28/2017 – general updates, ponderations

It’s April 28, 2017. I know I don’t need to iterate that, since it’s probably everywhere on the screen, but it’s glaring at me. I have only published twice in the last year, and less than 10 in the last two.

I miss blogging. I miss writing. I miss having more time to myself. But a lot has changed in such a short amount of time.

One minute, I’m grabbing a coffee on my way to class, thinking about graduation and getting excited for my wedding. The next, I’m grabbing a coffee so I can handle the day alone with my 7 month old little girl; my husband at his job in D.C.

I think about frames of mind quite a bit, how your daily experience shapes who you are and how you perceive everything around you.

I see the busybody grad student and think, “I wish I could go back there, so many dreams! So many possibilities.”

Now two years later I see her at the grocery store, baby in one arm and a shopping basket in the other. I see that she’s there during work hours and unbeknownst to everyone around, she actually does have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. But maybe that’s not obvious with her mismatched hijab, trousers, over-sized blouse and casual Nikes. Oh, and bouncing, relentless baby.

But I don’t give myself enough credit. I’m taking care of three, sometimes four or five other people. I cook, I clean. I tolerate. I’m not just a holder of proofs of education. I carried a baby for 9 months, often painfully and in sickness. I had that baby cut out of me unexpectedly one night, but she was still perfect. All 5 pounds, 8 oz of her. She is still perfect, even though her mother might not be.

I went through post-partum depression. A battle I still fight peripherally with anti-depressants and a variety of obsessions (oh, there have been plenty…lipstick, crochet, and iced coffee).

I take pains not to let my daughter look at screens so much, but hilariously, I’m always surrounded by them myself. Imagine telling your child to be quiet and look away, while you desperately seek escapism through your Instagram feed. Try telling your mother and father in law not to let the baby watch Television, while you plan to catch up on a Netflix show later on. Go on, laugh at me trying to cling to my habits and motherhood at once, I’ve done it. Then I’ve shrugged helplessly and continued on.

It’s a mad juggle, honestly. You can cook a perfect meal, do the dishes, some cleaning, and do laundry later. Or you can do laundry now, make a somewhat decent supper, do the dishes, and save the rest for later. You can sleep when the baby sleeps, or you can use that time to do something for yourself. You can go to bed early and be energized for whatever life has for you the next day, InshAllah, or you can watch a movie with your husband. But you can’t really compromise on being a mother.

That’s 24/7, 365 glorious, exhausting, completely incredible days of the year, InshAllah.





More News, Yo.

Assalamu Alaikum

Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim.

I am officially a member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team, Alhamdulillah!! This has been in the works since October of last year, but I haven’t had time to attend the orientation until today.

I’m super excited because I get to take CPR/First Aid/AED certification classes, as well as a whole list of other classes that will help learn how to help and handle disaster situations, such as setting up shelters talking to clients, learning about blood pathogens, etc.

And I’ve also signed up to be on-call for national emergencies. So, I have the opportunity to go and help people affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other disasters on a national level.

It’s so exciting. I’m a bit nervous though because I didn’t think we’d be going INTO homes affected by disasters (by this I mean, fires, explosions, natural disasters) but it seems that I will be doing a little of that.

I’m more excited than nervous, actually, because I want to be able to learn how to handle these situations, and it’s important to me to break through my comfort zone a little so, if one day, I’m faced with a situation like this in my life, I will know how to handle it, who to call, how to do or not to do certain things.

Most important of all, this sort of work is important to me as a Muslim. I don’t want to go about my life ignorant of people that need help, because in the end, I’m accountable for what I did in my life, and also for what I didn’t do.

I have time right now, alhamdulillah. I may not have so much time in the future to do these things. I’m looking forward to becoming closer to Allah through important volunteer work.  I’m not getting paid. There’s really nothing in it for me except Allah’s judgement on my actions.

So, I want to go into this with a clear heart and mind. Clear intentions.

Allah, I’m doing this for You. Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim.

Allahu Allahu Rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an (Allah, Allah is my Lord. I associate nothing with Him)

InshAllah my efforts in this will open the door to larger opportunities to gain Allah’s pleasure and reward.

Once I start going on calls, unfortunately I’m bound by law to keep everything I see and do and hear confidential. So I won’t be blogging about my experiences, or at least not in detail.

Oh and PS…all of this is volunteer work.

I encourage you to go out and volunteer in your communities as well!


Just Some News


Bismillahi Ar Rahmani Ar Rahim.

Assalamu Alaikum

Today I got my official letter of recommendation admitting me to a Public Health Master’s program in Chicago. ALHAMDULILLAH. It’s a huge load off my mind just to know that I’m admitted, alhamdulillah. I had some pretty major fears due to the fact that I come from a literary and social-science background. But Alhamdulillah. Allah provides. Alhamdulillah.

InshAllah, I won’t be the only writer in the mix.

The point is, Pinky, I’m one step closer to world domin-

I mean…uhh.

World…uhh.. world…uhh,,,hmmm…uhh …dominos.

Yep. (Anyone remember Pinky & The Brain?)

Now, I have to decide between this program and an MPH program in Philadelphia. InshAllah whatever I decide will be the best choice.

The good part is that I love Chicago. I know it pretty well. Or at least I know how to get Pakistani food there (Devon street, represent!)

This pretty much means I’m going to be running around like a mad person (always been a leetle mad to begin with) for the next 2 years.

Gotta pick a school. Find a Muslim roommate & apartment. A job. Figure out transportation and learn how to get around the city. Financial aid. Pretend I’m good at math when I’m actually pretty horrible at it.

I could go on but I’m already getting anxiety just from blogging this.

OK. well. InshAllah, this just means that life’s getting better. We’ll see.

More on my MPH plans once I pick a school.

:I Help?



“Change is a di…

Change is a direct product of how much faith you have in Allah and how tightly you’ve tied your camel ~ Areej Usmani

My younger sister Areej’s MSA National Blog post on the “Six Steps to Improving Muslim Life on Campus.” Take a look! MashAllah, it’s a great read.

A request

I get a considerable amount of of reads a day, mostly on the TOMS post. But I do see that some are reading my poems.

I’d like to make a small request. If you have time, and if you are willing, would you please make a comment or two about what you think of my poetry?

It can be constructive criticism or suggestions or whatever you want. But please bear in mind that all of what I write is based on very personal experiences. Experiences that have changed me, for better or for worse.

So, if you’d like to interact with me, I’d really appreciate it 🙂

Thanks all!!!

Have a good one.

AND please follow me on Twitter!