I haven’t done that, ever? Not since I’ve been on Instagram, which is for several years now (I’ve done a few clean sweeps on my account so the earliest post I can find in my archives is from 2012).
I was, not coincidentally, sick at the time, and (this hurts my ego to admit) I was definitely feeling like nazr/evil eye was a looming factor, but not from others – my own.
For a while now, I’ve struggled with my relationship with my own work. It’s a toxic one. I am no fan and not proud of what I do or have ever done. If I have had moments of joy, they were singular dots bridged by long periods of darkness and self-hate.
Here I am at a junction, as is everyday that we choose to live. A junction, a moment, a choice, a choosing of how to proceed. How will I proceed? The words hang over me, in the moment. The words hang in me, in my blood.
I lived in New York City for five years and never had the courage or balls to go into Bergdorf Goodman’s once. It’s on the corner of Fifth and Central Park, directly beneath the Plaza and across from that one toy store in Home Alone (the store is now closed). I always wanted go to Bergdorf’s because it was on Gossip Girl and because Fifth Avenue window shopping is iconized by Breakfast at Tiffany’s (also known for its portrayal of yellowface). But I felt like such a poser/imposter, like I would immediately be sniffed out by the money police: ooo, she doesn’t have the wealth. She does not belong here.
It’s been seven months since I moved back (more like back back) to California, and I recently returned from my first visit to New York as a free agent – no work, just play, following whatever whim I had that week. As my whim had it, after a glorious day at the Met, I found myself walking toward Fifth, through the Plaza, and smack dab in front of Bergdorf’s. I went in.
I’m definitely experiencing a JT/Britney breakup worth of emotions (audience perspective) as I surround myself with packing boxes, preparing to move for the ::counts on fingers:: two, three… five… fifth time in six years.
This time, my mini-family unit (male partner man and feline companion) and I are heading back to California to be closer to family. I hesitate to say for good because as I’ve just mentioned, our track record says otherwise. Either way, we’re movin’, on the move again.
When I was growing up, there were like three people proud of being Muslim in American media: Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and honestly, I can’t even remember. Non-Muslims looked at me with confused, empathetic eyes that said, “You’re like, Kwanzaa, right?”
I went to Paris this summer for the first time, and I traveled alone, on purpose.
I’ve taken flights by myself before, but I had never gone on a solo trip. I was too scared or too broke or too woman or too excuse-ive. And now I was worried.
I imagined myself at 80-years-old, afraid to do things on my own. What happens when everyone I love is dead and I’m like… Damn, what now? I don’t want that! I want to be 80 and be like, Yeah, bitches, I’m in Italy! Smell ya later!
So this summer, after I talked my sister down (“Have you seen Taken?!?!?!?!?!”), and on the way back from a trip to Egypt with my beloved friend, I planned a short solo trip in Paris all for myself. Continue reading “My Solo Trip To Paris”→
I took this picture on my last trip to California. I was window-shopping and feeling uncomfortable and afraid because I was wearing a midi dress for the first time – not in New York where no one knows me, but in SoCal where I’m bound to see someone I know wherever I go.
I was taking a step towards dressing how I want to, and a step further away from the dress code I was raised to follow. I had willingly (and mostly happily) followed it as an adult, but now I wanted something different.
And I was petrified that I might run into someone who might talk shit about me and pass it along the grapevine. “I hate when hijabis take off their hijab and start dressing all slutty.” I’ve heard that so many times. Continue reading “The Midi Dress”→