A prayer is a lonely call

I read the first few paragraphs and scrolled back up to look at the photo. This is written by a girl, so why is the photo of a boy? I ignored my confusion and finished the story, and then I realise… I’ve been tricked! In a good way, of course. Because when a writer can pull you into the story, make you feel like the character is a real person, and make you empathise with the character, then that’s one hell of a good writer! 😀

This struck a chord with me. I’ve been that girl who somehow always felt she could never satisfy her mother. I’ve been that girl whose parents hurt her. I’ve been that girl who struggles with acne (and still do, nearing thirty, though its effect is more of annoying me rather than destroying my self-esteem). And to have a male writer ‘trick’ me like this… that’s some great talent he has!

Love, InshAllah

Eds. Note: We’re featuring the stories and perspectives of Muslim youth between the ages of 18-25 this month! Today’s feature is our first short story.

Tune in on Twitter to join the #MYRising conversations and check out our sister sites Muslimah MontageComing of Faith and Muslim ARC for more #MuslimYouthRising features.InstagramCapture_85d812f9-c92a-4829-9ac2-c2b37e7ae141_jpg[1]

I used to write poetry. Don’t worry, I am better now.

During those days of angst, my life consisted of Tumblr posts, Instagram, little pastel graphics I’d make that were nothing really (but got quite a few likes), quirky romance movies with oddball characters, and guilty pictures of actors on my iPod touch that I begged my parents to buy for me. And of course, poetry. My secret was Pablo Neruda:

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

Ah, how my heart flutters. Of course…

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Gratitude, to me, is not a state of being.

Rather, it is a process involving a conscious choice, a deliberate decision that I make,  which then requires me to put in conscious effort.

For me, it’s a constant struggle. Every. Single. Day.

There is an opportunity for gratitude even in the simplest things. Like doing laundry, for example. It used to be just a chore to me, a part of which I hate (hanging clothes to dry) and a part of which I don’t mind doing, and you could even say I like (folding and putting them  away). Yet, to me back then, a chore is a chore is a chore. Many times, it is something that makes me grumble and grumpy.

Yet, now every time I do laundry I feel grateful. I consciously make the choice to. When I realise the abundant amount and variety of clothing I have, I feel grateful. I chide myself for having so many, for being the excessive shopper that I was, yet I still feel grateful. I have clothes that fit, clothes that are comfortable, clothes of many colours and prints and styles and cuttings that provide me an outlet for creative expression, clothes that can last me a month, or maybe more, if I decide to go on a laundry strike. I feel grateful for all that, so grateful that I’ve significantly cut back my online shopping habit.

And then, at the end of folding and putting everything away, I feel grateful. I feel a sense of accomplishment. I feel grateful for the neat and tidy wardrobe that allows the husband and myself to find clothes easily. I feel grateful for the clear bed and room. I feel grateful for the time available to get the job done. I feel grateful for the mind-clearing effect it has on me.

I’m not sure where I am going with this piece. It may sound pretty petty, or frivolous. I’m just glad I got around to writing it down. In a world characterised by consumerism, it gets pretty easy to feel that there never is enough. So when I realise I feel grateful, well, I just do. I’m grateful for being granted a glimpse of gratitude. 😀

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