The Black Keys - Lies
Earl Sweatshirt - Guild Feat. Mac Miller
Some blessings can take years to blossom, and even more importantly, years to realize and appreciate. We go through so many progressions and so much maturing as we grow up, that it’s humbling to look back at where it all stemmed from. A lot of times, it originates from a place we resented in that moment and time. For me, this moment was when my family relocated to Palestine as I began college.
I didn’t grow up around many Muslims or Palestinians. The only connection I had with my culture and my faith was my parents and their values. Our household was the only semblance or reminder of my background. During my youth, I struggled to define myself as a Muslim or a Palestinian. Those two things were only part of who I was and my feet weren’t really planted in either.
You don’t really learn much about your character until you’re truly dependent on your own judgement; left to make your own decisions and carve out your own path that you want to follow.
After my family left, I soon found out my feet weren’t planted into anything. And it’s hard to march forward when you don’t have any real confidence in what you’re currently standing on. And I really struggled with that. It’s hard to feel good living your life with no real conviction.
So I needed to find my foundation. Something to stand on. And the strongest foundation I ever had was and always is my family. And even though they were far away, I rediscovered those simple values they taught me. But now I needed to dig a little deeper to understand where those values came from. I needed to give them more meaning. And only then did I begin to gradually embrace and discover my identity first and foremost as a Muslim, as an Arab, as a Palestinian. I’m still learning a lot. But learning is beautiful when there’s pride and love embedded in it. And learning is progress and growth.
It’s strange to think…I see family once a year these days but my love for them is infinitely more than what it was when I had them here with me. So I’ve discovered that being away from them, even with its difficulties, was a necessary adversity for me to finally wake up.
Alhamdulillah for the circumstances that are hardest to swallow but end up being the most nourishing.