Friday, August 30, 2013


I was always one of those girls that loved dreaming about what life would be like when my prince comes and sweeps me off my feet. I knew exactly what I liked, but also had a crush on every boy I stumbled upon. I didn't grow up with a lot of boys around me, due to my parents strict parenting, but that didn't stop me from liking that kid my mum used to teach in her kindergarten class, or that new kid in school, or that boy who thought girls had cooties. They ranged from cute to hot, and were always out of my reach. My low self esteem and love for pop music left me wanting something special, which then perpetuated my love for pop music and my low self esteem.

And then, when I got the chance, I made a few mistakes. Mistakes that wouldn't be considered as anything wrong by any average teen, but due to my restrictions, I didn't get the same opportunities as regular teens did. Either way, I broke the boundaries that were set on me, as much as I could. Looking back at them, I know that I made mistakes as a form of experiments - I was curious to know what it would be like to set my foot across the line. This is one of the reasons why I'm really grateful that I have been born in my family, and not one that simply didn't care, because I can see the seventeen-year-old-me try drugs, given the chance. Due to my family, I had some sort of fear of consequences and never physically touched anyone of the opposite gender by intention. Which is quite unthinkably hard if you're not a Muslim, but its a given if you're a practising Muslim. My family was practising, but my mind often wasn't. So, I found it hard to compromise between the two. Thankfully, my mother had a horrible way of unintentionally blackmailing me by being so emotional - she always makes me feel like she'll have a heart attack at any moment. I think she was the main reason why I never did anything too stupid and ruined my life.

When I got to university, suddenly, I was thrown into this world with boys. I went to a girls school for ten of my thirteen years of schooling, so, even sitting next to a boy in biology was daunting at first. I have heard way too many stories about MSA marriages, which made me shun out the guys from our Islamic Society. But I thought of non-Muslim boys as 'non-potentials' - and I remember a friend suggesting that I have more guy friends to make me feel comfortable around them - so, by the end of second year, I had a few guy friends that I could so easily share jokes, lunch, advices and secrets with. I remember getting a disappointed shake of the head once, from a guy I recognised from our MSA. I felt a little guilty about laughing so loudly with the friend that I was with, but my mind immediately turned it around and blamed him for passing off unsolicited judgement from ten feet away. (My parents must've recognised my swooning attitude, because I remember, quite early on in my university life, they told me not to even think about marriage before I finished it. Being the stubborn idiot I was, I also made a mental note to keep studying as long as I can, so that they regret saying that. I actually am studying for much longer than I intended. But this is independent of that mental note!)

Around that time, I had also started to work on a project with a Muslim guy I knew. My female Muslim friends teased the living daylight out of me, to the point where I began to hyperventilate before every meeting.  The worst part was, I have asked all of those girls to help me in the project, which meant that at least one of them was present in one meeting or another. To this day, I can't work on that project without having flashbacks of the cringe-worthy immaturity. I later realised why they did that - two out of three of them were considering marriage as a serious option at that time, and one of them is married with a child now. Their life focus was entirely different to what my focus at that time should have been.

In third year, I got entangled in some of my friends' guy problems, and became good friends with some of their fiances. That's when I realised that I make a very good third wheel and I got along with guys better than girls. But then, being a third wheel got too hard and relating to guys better than girls became problematic in many ways. Around this time, I have lost a lot of things I used to romanticise before. Marriage no longer seemed like a solution, it seemed to be part of a solution which created a whole lot of new problems. I also realised that my prince charming would be no prince, he will be someone like one of these ordinary boys with ordinary flaws. Being a third wheel also taught me how cringe-worthy couples can be, which made me lose the rest of my appreciation for idealistic romance.

This year, things have changed yet again. I hardly talk to or see any of the guys from the past few years. I have realised that I am not really sure which direction I want my life to head and that I can't exactly wait for someone to come and show me the way. I have to figure it out myself. I have to figure out what line of career I will go down in, what aspects of Islam I will learn about and how to spend my days in the most productive way. No one else will live my life for me, so I might as well make the most of it.

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