Friday, September 28, 2012

Building My Nest

Asalamu Alaykom,

Did you ever stop to think about the life you're building?  

Your life is much like the nest in the tree.  While it's true that Allah provides for the birds, the birds do have to work at finding their provisions.  Likewise, we humans also have to do our part to find our blessings.

These last weeks have been tough on me.  I had a new job and a new school year.  Both have been ripped from me.  Alhumdulillah.  I'll say it even though it's a little hard to say.  Alhumdulillah.  I don't know why Allah took them from me and maybe I'll never know.  Our lives are not here on Earth to figure out Allah's Plan but simply to live through the moments with as much grace as we can muster.

Mr. Boo is still at the school.  It's hard as a kid to switch schools.  He's done a good job adjusting.  To a large degree, it's me being present in the new environment which has eased his mind.  For sure, our hour and 45 minute bus ride Thursday morning was only possible because I was with him.

I'm one foot out the door.  They say they can find a different set of jobs for me to juggle this year.  Next year inshahallah I'd have a classroom.  I don't have a lot of trust.  I truly only trust Allah.

So, I've prayed istakarrah about leaving.  I'm sending out emails.  I'm looking into what's really important.

Take a look at what I'm building.  Go to the bottom where my foundation is, then move upward.

hi-ho-hi-ho it's off to work I go

--------extended family-------------- 

a place to put your stuff... A HOME both body and mind

....togetherness in family.....

love love love  love love love love


Did you view the building from the ground up?  

"Deen" faith is most important.  That's not just talk.  It's true.  Without that base, it doesn't matter what else you have.

"Love"  I used to have love as my base.  AbuBoo and I had LOTS of love.  Wow.  Like a crazy amount.  And we lost it all.  With love as the base, you forget that commitments to God need to proceed feelings.

"Togetherness in family" is something that used to mean me and Mr. Boo.  I have to get out of that way of thinking. I remember it when everything is going smoothly.  I'm quick to bail from that idea when times are tough.  I forget that it's not just two of us anymore.  I do have a husband who really is in our lives and wants to be there.  

"Health" is important.  We tend to think of it as just in our bodies; physical health.  For me, I really need to remember mental health.  I'm strong.  SO STRONG!  Yet, when I feel weak I simply crumble and take days  until I can regain my power.  It's not OK to take myself to the limits of my endurance.  This isn't the Mind Game Olympics.  I don't need to try for any gold medals in pushing myself to the limit.  Lots of people are telling me to "hang in there" but they don't know the state of my mental health like I do.  I know me.  I know that this job switcheroo has devasted me.  No joke.  I'm not filled with enthusiam for new opportunties.  I'm quietly holding back from belief in the happily ever after.

"A Home"  I did turn down an offer which would have me moving to the coast.  My husband simply isn't interested and if I believe that our family is a huge part of my life then I'd better listen to his needs to stay put.  We do have a furnished apartment now.  It's ours without a monthly rent.  It's ours and it's clean, safe and comfortable.  It comes with a hot meal twice a day.  It is home.  It was easy to dismiss it this morning when Ahmed's brother-in-law was yelling upstairs for him at 10:15 am.  I don't like it at times like that but I have to see the big picture. 

"Extended Family" This is more for Ahmed than for me.  I really have to respect his need to have a close relationship with his family.  I don't have ANY brothers or sisters.  I never really associated with uncles, aunts or cousins.  This is new for me.  So, I will accept it even if I don't totally need it for me.  I know that the man I married would be a different person without his family and if I want him....I have to want them.

I declined my mother's offer to head to The States for this school year.  It's tempting because Mr. Boo would get a first-class education for free.  I'd also get to be close (by distance at least) to my disagreeable daughter.  

However, there's a lot of problems with the offer.  For starters, she isn't really able to live with us.  Another problem is that I'd have to find work and I don't know if that's possible.  Actually, the immovable husband is a problem for that idea as well.  And even if I convinced him to come to the U.S., I couldn't get the azan five times a day, the name of Allah on every car or the Quran recitiations heard wherever I go.  I did make hijrah and it's past tense now and I have to live within the boundaries of that hijrah.  I have to honor my move and not go backwards. 

"Money"  is not everything.  In Egypt, alhumdulillah I have enough money if I'm working.  If I stop working, then the money runs out quicker than I'd like.  The "haves" and the "have nots" are very far apart in this country.  I need to be a "haves".  To be without in Egypt is to be in danger.  

"Work"  I had to ask myself if I really need to work.  I need to be productive.  If I could have a baby and tend to his or her needs, then I would.  A lot of people would love it if I just birthed a fourth kid----not my mom of course.  If my hub had work, then I could make having a baby my work.  He doesn't... so I feel that I can't.

I do like to contribute to this society.  I do feel that inshahallah when I die I'll have left this world a little better for the children I've taught in Egypt.  Being a teacher is truly such a noble effort.  I love being one of the good guys...I mean gals.  I love being a helper not a hurter.  I don't know if I could continue living in Egypt if I weren't trying to solve some of its problems.

I'd be fine working on TV as a kind of educator.  I got sooooo close to this before but I walked away from it.  I don't regret it.  I don't want the same set-up.  If I could get a new offer, I would certainly look at it.

That's as far as I got on my priorities.  There's more.  I know there's more.  The ones which have to be in place are known and remembering them will help me make decisions for this next chapter in my life.  Inshahallah.


egyptchick7 said...

Did you have an offer from the only international school in the coastal city we have in common? It really is a great school that pays Americans an awesome amount...

It's unfortunate that your husband doesn't want to move. I don't see how he has a choice if he is not a worker....I mean sure, family in Egypt really is everything- but money is so important too...

Have you thought about becoming one of those tutors that every Egyptian student seems to need? I am sure an American as talented as you would be very useful there...

Coming back to the states with your hub would be very very hard I think...the economy isn't so great still...

Anyways, please feel better..I am sure you will find something in your niche soon...

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom EgyptChick,

What an astute reader YOU are! Yes, it's THAT school. It's actually the same man who tried to recruit me back in 2009---on like my third day in Egypt.

The weird thing is that I wasn't going to contact him. Didn't think of it. Then I spoke to a co-worker about my situation and this other teacher said, "You know who you should call?" And sure enough it was this man.

I would have liked to explore the idea more but doing so would cause a fracture in our home. I can't live alone in Egypt. I'm not that great at being a single mom or living in celibacy. I know you don't think it's fair that my husband's needs are coming into play but I can see his points.

I do want a stable classroom position. That is what I went for back in March. So, it's VERY sad that I'm now digging around for it again. I could make money other (legal) ways and tutoring is one of them. That would be a way to put food on the table but it's not a life or a career.

My goal in zooming around my resume is to secure something NOW before all the positions settle down at the schools. If I don't work NOW at getting a spot, then I will have nothing until next year. That's a long time not to have enough money.

Thanks for voicing some of what I was wondering about with trying to find work in America. Ya, I think I'm actually better off here looking for work INSHAHALLAH.

Thanks also for being supportive.

Love and Light :)

Marie Vie said...

Dear Yosra,

How everyone of your lines talks to me.......I find myself thinking more or less the same things as you, thought I see it from the over side of the ocean.
I was tempted to move back to France but I am not on my own anymore and I have a hard time with it, not that I don't like being married to A, it's just I am so used to manage things on my own. Now we are a family and when it comes to changes we have to see the bigger picture, we have to focus on what makes sense and what matters.

Thinking about you. I am sure things will get better and soon you'll find yourself in a better position and see things under another light.

Take care dear.
Keeping you all in my prayers.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Dear Marie,

Nice to hear from you and to know that my thoughts resonnate. Often you and I do think simmilarily :)

Maybe us movers (and shakers) keep thinking of other ways to live NOT because we are dissatisfied with everything but out of habit. It does become a habit to end things and move on.

Priorities put us back on track. And truly only WE ourselves know what's really important to us.

Inshahallah, my life will fall into place---as it always seems to. I've got a connection to a nearby international school now BUT they were thinking to pay me half...which is only half good. So, I need to speak to the owner about what HIS priorities are. If he wants an American teacher, he better dig deeper in his wallet inshahallah.

Thank you for good thoughts, prayers and sisterhood.

Love and Light!