mental travels of a Chinese-American Hijabi from Arizona.
When I told people I was moving to China, and their jaws dropped, I internally shook my head from what I thought was an overreaction.
After all, I thought, I’ve lived in Nanjing to some degree for about a cumulative year.
And I had relatives, a job and a husband. What more could I ask for? I was used to the weather, the culture (mostly — off days result in a lot of unhappy sniffling in a corner), the people and the job.
But at 22 years old, no summer-camp-esque experience to jet-start me into meeting new people, I have discovered that I am entirely reliant on my husband and relatives to introduce me to new people.
And although I truly appreciate all the help, somehow I feel a lack of autonomy in choosing with whom I’d like to befriend and get to know.
It reminds me a little of when my mom once told me,
"Once you get married, your friends life will disappear. You either become friends with your husband’s friends, or you husband will become friends with your friends’ husbands. That, or a mix of both. And it’s a miracle if you ever find the perfect couple match for both of you."
And to some extent, what with jettisoning off halfway across the world, I’m beginning to find that a little true.
OK — a LOT true.
I’ve been in Nanjing for 10 days or so now, and I’ve met some new people. But entirely through my husband. And it breaks my heart because I know he’s trying hard to ease me into his lifestyle and his friends.
But as an introvert (and particularly so, as I’m feeling fairly displaced with this realization of a lack of friends), I get wiped out very easily and particularly so with making sure I act correctly within the associated cultural nuances.
When it comes down to it, I get along with them, I enjoy their presence and their conversation. But somehow, something key is just missing.
And even though, knowing myself, I much prefer simply being home and sleeping, reading or thinking to myself, I also know that I need a few English-speaking friends that I’ve made in my own time, in my own terms, in my own awkward way, to feel fully at home back here in Nanjing.
It’s not to say that I don’t like and enjoy my husband’s friends on their own, but somehow it’s just not the same as finding someone I like within my own context.
Once I start working. InshaAllah.@1 week ago with 2 notes
1. Death brings out the best in people.
2. When someone tells you your hijab takes away your beauty, you must laugh. If your beauty is so fragile a mere scarf can take it away, why would you want it?
3. Talking over death is like stitching over a wound. At first it hurts, but then it starts to heal.
4. Going out to see a sad movie, even by yourself, is what you need sometimes.
5. In prayer, Allah reveals the deepest parts of you. The parts you forgot about, or put away in hiding.
6. The joy of a stranger calling you sister is worth a thousand times the joy of cute shorts or a pretty dress.
7. When you say it enough, Salaam Alaykum can sound like hello.
8. Ringing up friends is more important than sleep, or exams, or jobs when they are sad and alone.
9. Mama only wants what is best for you. Be patient. She was to you.
10. Spiritual talks until 4am are sometimes more than okay. They are important. And sometimes they keep you up for fajr.
11. Hearing Salaam on a bad day is as good as coming back to your hometown.
12. Words in people’s native languages are as close to jannah as we get in this world.
13.When you see your friends faces after a long drought of their company is enough to make you tell them you love them. You should tell them this more often.
14. You should tell the people you love, that you love. Sometimes we don’t get the chance. Don’t waste your own.
15. It’s okay to cry. It is love, it is. I have spent the last three years trying to get over her, not letting myself cry. When I did, I realised it did not make me weak, it made me human. And I was created to be human."