Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Woman Alone

I didn't sleep at my apartment last night...

He pulled me close and said, "I can't spend another night without you, Habibti."

So I laid down next to him all night, in his strong arms; finally unafraid in the dark.

Ok, I'm fibbin'.

I wasn't at my apartment last night because I stayed at my mom's. It was the first time since I last moved out. I had moved a carload of cr*p--
I mean treasures
and I was truly weak. Mr. Boo was so tuckered out, he had fallen asleep in the car. Mom had gotten a new Netflix and then she offered to grab a thin-crust Mediterranean pizza from Papa John's.

Ya, there was wheat in the crust. I'm no longer thinking ZERO WHEAT. I've decided that I can't be stringent about ANYTHING in my life. I just need to be mindful. I will continue to analyze the amount of wheat and corn that is in my diet and reduce it greatly. Already, I'm down half-an-inch on waist and hips because I eliminated both carbs for a week and reduced it in the second week. Alhumdulillah. Nothing in excess is good---ever.

I made my new favorite drink. My old favorite drink was frozen orange juice concentrate with milk, vanilla and sugar. My new favorite drink is the fresh juice of a lime with sugar and ice.

We watched The Station Agent together. So interesting how my mom kept making comments about the main character who is a dwarf.

"How terrible to always have someone staring at you."

"And they really shout out at him?!"

I finally had to say, "Ya, mom. I get the same thing for wearing hejab, you know. And the most amazing part to me is that those people neeeeeeeeever even question if it's right or wrong to stare or harass. They are sooooo sure that it's within their rights."

It was a good movie.

Loved the character of Joe. He's my kind of guy. A bit of a goof. Good looking. Funny. Talkative. Friendly. Always looking for the next excitement. That's how AbuBoo was when I first met him.

That actor is playing the character of "Cupid" on TV now. I refrained from contacting him on Facebook.

But that was the closest I came to being with a man on Friday.

So, my night away from the apartment wasn't a big romance. Honestly, there are moments of weakness when I wish I could just take the strength from a man and rest.

I was sooooo exhausted. Some days of the month SHOULD NOT be days when you move. I guess I was overestimating my abilities. I would really like to know how Wonder Woman or Bionic Woman handled their Aunt Flo!

It was, however, good enough. Mom actually was happy to have us there. She for real pinched my cheeks upon my arrival and tucked me into bed at night.

The thought crosses my mind about me alone in Egypt and feeling unwell. There won't be a mom. There won't be comfort foods. There won't be help minutes away.

Oh, ya...there won't be a husband.
I always pictured Egypt with a husband---with AbuBoo, and then later with one of the various interchangeable Egyptians who courted me.

Now? I will be A Woman Alone. I'm reading the book with that title now.

But, I've decided how to wrap my brain around it all. I am conjuring up images of summer camp. Yes, I LOVED summer camp. Whether it was the one-week Methodist church camp or the eight week arts camp, I loved getting away from the norm and living a new reality. I loved re-inventing myself with immediate friends.

So, if, inshahallah, we go, then we will go as campers--happy campers.


Mrs. S said...

I know you wrote this post a few days ago, but I wanted to comment.

I convinced my mother and very conservative father that I should go away for college. Then I convinced them that I was going to go even further away to take a job and take a chance. Growing up as a first generation Muslim-Arab I never imagined living alone. I was unbelievably frightened at first. Every noise made me jump. I locked every single lock, and the first time I got sick I called my mom hysterically crying.

It didn't start out as I thought and sometimes I got lonely. I never imagined how much I would have to rely on myself. Especially being a Muslim woman in a SMALL town. I only lived alone for a short time before I ended up getting married, but it taught me so much. I really grew up, and I am so happy that I took a chance and did something that no one expected of me. That I didn't expect of me.

No matter if you go to Egypt or even just another city you will surprise yourself with what you can do when you have to. Most importantly I gained a confidence that has translated to all areas of my life.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Mrs. S.,

I really appreciate your comment. It's a shame I didn't respond years ago. You wrote with such helpful kindness and tried to give me hope for the future.

If I can kind of remember my head and heart at the time when I wrote this, I think I was mostly hopeful. What surprised me was not that I could leave and succeed but rather how I still felt some sorrow at leaving. My mom's welcome that night was a pull at my heart and made me feel how truly solitary my journey would be. I would not have a place to run home to. I would not have an emergency exit or wayside stop. I would have to keep going on my own for as long as I needed. That was what was hitting me.

You are right, of course, that I did gain confidence. I have steadily been gaining it since I made a resolve to be a better person and gain a better life. When we make that promise true to ourselves, we inevitably feel more confidence.

May God reward you today for your words many years ago.