I finally figured out that this is why I am so exhausted when I am ‘home’ – life.
I have social commitments and responsibilities, I have to run errands, I workout, I have to take care of momma things. My days in Ottawa are never ever my own.
When I’m away, I have 24 hours to myself. Every second of these 24 hours are unscheduled and without obligation but for exactly what I might wish to do. It’s why my writing is far more reflective when I am traveling; it is unhindered by quite literally anything.
I never thought I would enjoy not working so much; but, if there’s one thing this sabbatical has taught me, it’s an appreciation and love for doing nothing. When I consider how panicked and anxiety-ridden I was leading up to the sabbatical – WHAT WILL I DO?!!!! – that’s another person I don’t recognize. For anyone paying attention, please let the record show that I am really great with a life of simple leisure made up of long walks, late coffees, a lot of reading, writing, working-out, watching films, and attending events of interest. I’m going to love retirement, y’all.
Second and last wrap-up point – an inclination to split personality behaviour among the Ummah. Though I don’t like to generalize, I’m about to generalize because I started noticing this last summer, and really confirmed it while traveling across parts of the Muslim world.
Antithetical to Islam, there appears to be very little balance across our family; instead, there are extremes.
I’m not entirely certain why this is but when people derail, they really derail. They use a small thing as an excuse to behave totally outside of the Faith.
It’s a type of self-loathing behaviour, a self-flagellation which has never been a part of Islam.
I distinctly remember someone saying to me how Everything changed the moment I had a taste of non-hallal meat at that airport.
Though I didn’t say it, I most certainly thought The fuck are you talking about, you weird fundamentalist? This is not how Allah operates. If anyone understand nuance, it is He. But please, go ahead and draw a direct line between that time you had the wrong chicken nugget and last week when you were snorting cocaine with a prostitute.
Look. I’m not perfect by any means, and I have always struggled because my personality (not my deen) pulls me into extremes. My deen is what balances me and chills my ass, and I have never once scapegoated a situation by declaring that Allah must hate me because I did one bad thing so I may as well do all of the bad things because He hates me anyway and yes this is a tautological argument and yes it is completely ridiculous because. It. Is. Not. Honest.
Here’s what I’ve been able to figure – people are either holding themselves to these weird standards of perfection, forgetting that they’re human, or they’re hiding behind the Faith and declaring that they can’t engage any part of it because they’ve turned their back to one aspect of it. The latter, it is a lazy cheapening of this deen, and what a cop-out it is. The former is just boring old lazy narcissism.
Both? Lazy. Pedestrian. Fucking do better.
I’d have more respect for people if they just said they didn’t want to. That they were too lazy. That they didn’t feel like it. But spare me your I’m not good enough so I won’t do any of it and that’ll be better. Apostate instead; sloths of spirit with such a low opinion of Allah.
Islam has never been all-or-nothing, and if anyone taught this to you, then they taught you how to hate, rather than love Allah. If anyone taught this to you, then they didn’t like you. Frankly, this behaviour across the Ummah most definitely makes me think you might not be worth liking.
So. Apparently. This topic gets me into an extreme imbalance of opinion.
Today, I am grateful for:
1. Moderation of spirit.
2. Toothpaste and toothbrushes. I really like my smile, and your smile.
3. The willingness to learn and adapt.
Ottawa | Day 221 | July 9, 2019