I was reading my entries here from my trip to California in January 2013. I was a little saddened to feel that the quality of my descriptive writing had diminished since then. I felt like a part of me, the part of me that had the momentum then to write vivaciously, had died. But I am not fully dead, because I’m still writing, still trying.
Similar to now, I wrote then during a time in my life where a relationship was ending and I was exploring a new life path ahead. The main themes at that time seemed to be conquering loneliness and discovering who I am, or at least defining myself. In one entry, I wrote that I will find what I am seeking in those areas by following Allah. And it’s true, that has happened.
It’s been nearly 6 years since then. In those years I found a true home in Egypt. I have found purpose and comfort in the vision and experience of a life here as a Muslim woman. Along the way, I realized who I was. I realized who I was when I was asked to give myself up, and I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. What I am not willing to change, or let go of in myself, that’s who I really am. That is the soul inside me which I find so valuable to hang on to.
And somehow, I found a way not to be terrified of loneliness. In Egypt, it’s impossible to be alone- it’s just too crowded. And knowing Egypt is always there for me, I could be anywhere in the world and find solace in knowing I have love and connection available to me here.
So despite the pains I’ve meandered through, despite the sacrifices and gains that have passed through my hands, despite the euphoria and heartbreak of love that has patterned itself through my recent years, I have achieved something that I saw I needed in my life back in 2013. What I have been through, no matter how painful at times, gave something back. Everything that happened, it mattered, and it bore fruit. And that’s how I can know now that whatever is coming next in my life, I can make the most of both the hardship and the ease.