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┬ásee 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.






Not the pain that shudders within

No, not the storm that brews in the heart

Never the scars upon the soul

But the moments before

in which happiness is drowned

and the hope lost.

And the dreams are distant memories.

The seconds spent in agony,

the stomach twisting and convulsing,

And the mind goes numb at the perimeters

of the brain.

Denial thins the blood.

And the water that drips

from the eyes

is naught but a symptom

of the long road ahead,

In which the only lantern is

the softly flickering heart’s

relentless faith in God.

Nesha Usmani




From sunrise to nightfall,

I practice my devotion.

But often I find my heart

being twisted by other desires.

I long for that golden chain of faith

that stops my knees from buckling

under the weight of my thoughts.

Give that chain to me and

I would wrap my wrists and ankles

with it

and beg You

Take me from the world,

if there is only foolishness.

If there is no reprieve, if I am always

in danger of being dragged under.

Let that chain make welts in my flesh,

Let all who see me know

I am Yours.

I am Abid.

Not of this world.

Free me from the barren soils of greed

and desire

Where I have mistakenly planted my roots.

Let me live among those who have pleased You most.

Let me live and die with Your name on my lips,

and hope in my eyes.

“Verily, Only in Remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest”

Verily, in worldly pursuits, are hearts wasted in life and death.


Nesha Usmani